A lot of us in this community struggle with mental health: Depression, PTSD, and a variety of trauma. Many of us read to help with that. It helps to take me away from what I’m dealing with, even for just a little bit. I’ve found ambiance/ASMR videos with bookish themes can also help to soothe my anxiety. I like the sound of people thumbing through books, libarary whispers, and a storm forming outside those confined ancient library walls. It’s comforting somehow. Even if I turn off the sound and just watch it’s still comforting: the visual of old books and the light of the lamps shining against the darkness of the room. It transports me to just me and the book. I can breathe for an hour. That’s enough to re-energize me.
I am here to give you an ambience/ASMR video and a book to go with it.
This book has diverse body types. The heroine is a big muscled girl and proud of it. Keeley is like Brienne but with 90% more snark and 0% tolerance of men’s bullshit. The hero does not exhibit any toxic masculinity, something I am still surprised by because this a fantasy romance. This book gives us queens, maniacal villainous ones. It’s just a pig pile of romance fantasy FUN. Please check my review for trigger warnings.
This book is honestly one of those books that will always be on my favorites list. It impacted me on a personal level. I connected with Maggie more than I could ever have anticipated. She’s a girl with a traumatic past and those rough around the edges heroines just rip my heart open in the best way. You’ll get the archival ambiance video once you’ve read it. Trust me on this rec. Once again, please watch out for trigger warnings.
I can honestly say I’ve never read a more feminist romance novel in my entire life. This is god tier. It is without imperfections. Period. It deals with the traumas children in the foster system often deal with, the loneliness and dissasociation that comes with that. How misogynoir plays out in STEM workplaces. My favorite thing is how the author gives the heroine her own space to process her feelings without relying on the hero’s speech. It’s beautiful.
What should I read if I’ve read all Holly Black’s faerie books? This. You should read this. Melissa Marr and Holly Black are the original faerie queens of the YA genre. Their faerie stories are those grunge/woodsy/shades of grey you get from authors when they read up on the folklore. Marr has spoken about being a survivor and this is the story that came from her experiences. There’s also queer faeries and honestly I feel like there should be way more at this point but what do I know. I love all Marr’s books but the dark court books are my favorites. You could possibly get away with reading this first, even if you might be missing some of what happened in the previous book. It mostly just focuses on the dark court aka my favs. The spin off books are much better. TW: sexual assault off the page.
I read this book long ago. It is a feminist monster hunter book. No Sam and Dean nonsense here. This book talks about the pressures of the ‘virgin’ label society puts on girls in an interesting way. Maggie comes from a family of monster hunters. She’s gotta get rid of that pesky label and have sex or she can’t be a monster hunter. It’s got an honest talk about sex and perceptions about women’s bodies. This book is the most fun I’ve ever had while reading a horror novel. Don’t get it into your head this is dark horror. This is comedic horror. You will laugh your little butt off.
Enjoy your self care.