Mini Reviews: Language of Thorns + The Cure for Dreaming

I desperately tried to come up with more thoughts for these two books, but I failed. Sometimes you just sit there and are like, but I mean, I think that’s it! That one and a half paragraph is all I got for this 300+ page book. These poor books got that treatment today although I will say that both of them are the spooky, perfect Halloween reads!

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Spooky, dark, and so Bardugo-y that it hurt (oh so good, of course).

Of course Ariel had to appear since there were mermaids in this one based off her story!

My favorite was easily Ayama and The Thorn Wood, but The Witch of Duva was a close second. My least favorite was surprisingly the mermaid one. o.o Who would have thought? The pictures were amazing, and gosh, Bardugo can write. It was just a bit slow in parts, but Bardugo captured the beauty and essence of a fairytale, folktale, and all the lore behind it. These stories are lush, creative, and something I’m not sure Grimm could have ever done if they tried. If you are in love with anything in the Grisha universe or just want some spooky tales to read, do yourself a favor and pick this book up.

Four crowns and an Ariel rating!

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

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Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

Cat Winters is the queen of mood, darkness, and shadowy creepiness. She creates the coolest premises, creepiest settings, and rich storylines and characters. This book did a pretty good job of living up to her track records, but I wasn’t as sold on it as I was with her prior books. I think the issue was that it felt like it dragged on a bit longer than necessary and just had a feeling of meh. I got bored quite a few times, even though I was cheering on the main character and the feminist teachings throughout.

Belle is definitely super excited for any kind of feminist books!

This was a fascinating story and it never quite takes you where you think you’re going to go. Winters infused wonderful facts and quotes and pictures throughout the story, and like always, I felt like I placed back in the right mood and atmosphere to hear this chilling tale. It was spooky due to the chilling thoughts and beliefs that people actually thought this way about women and our right to vote. The book will get you angry in the right way, and I thought it was a great job at showcasing feminism and why no woman’s voice should be taken away.

But as I said, it just kind of felt meh? I was bored throughout it multiple times even though the storyline was quite intriguing. There was just a disconnect. Three crowns for that reason and a Belle rating!

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