YA Mini Reviews: What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix by Tasha Suri and Blood and Moonlight by Erin Beaty

As the abandoned son of a Lascar—a sailor from India—Heathcliff has spent most of his young life maligned as an “outsider.” Now he’s been flung into an alien life in the Yorkshire moors, where he clings to his birth father’s language even though it makes the children of the house call him an animal, and the maids claim he speaks gibberish.

Catherine is the younger child of the estate’s owner, a daughter with light skin and brown curls and a mother that nobody talks about. Her father is grooming her for a place in proper society, and that’s all that matters. Catherine knows she must mold herself into someone pretty and good and marriageable, even though it might destroy her spirit.

As they occasionally flee into the moors to escape judgment and share the half-remembered language of their unknown kin, Catherine and Heathcliff come to find solace in each other. Deep down in their souls, they can feel they are the same.

But when Catherine’s father dies and the household’s treatment of Heathcliff only grows more cruel, their relationship becomes strained and threatens to unravel. For how can they ever be together, when loving each other—and indeed, loving themselves—is as good as throwing themselves into poverty and death?

*****

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

Review:

I’ll start my review by saying I’ve never read Wuthering Heights. I had no familiarity with the story going on and I only finally checked the Wikipedia summary 60% into the book. With that being said, I think I can confidently say that What Souls Are Made Of will be a delight for fans both new and old. Suri uses the scaffold of Wuthering Heights, the characters Cathy and Heathcliff, class differences and outlooks, to really explore how colonization and exploitation of India in the 1800s lead to two people losing, and re-learning, their heritage. More specifically, Suri looks at the 2nd-generation immigrant experiences, of inheriting a culture you’ve never directly interacted with, the vicious suppression of denial and ignorance. There’s such richness in the prose that brings Heathcliff and Cathy to life. I switched to the audiobook about halfway and the power in the narrators’ emotions, especially Heathcliff’s, brought this book to a whole new level. I’m taking off half a star because I didn’t really like the ending, but everything else was just a delight to read. Overall, I rate this book a 4.5/5.


Publication Date: 5 July 2022
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: eBook, Audiobook, ARC
Pages: 304
Word Count: ~75,000
ISBN: 1250773504 
Buy It Here: Amazon | Google Books | Barnes and Nobles | Goodreads


Rising above the city of Collis is the holy Sanctum. And watching over its spires is Catrin, an orphan girl with unique skills—for she alone can spot the building’s flaws in construction before they turn deadly.

But when Catrin witnesses a murderer escaping the scene of his crime, she’s pulled into the web of a dangerous man who will definitely strike again. Assigned to capture the culprit is the mysterious, brilliant, and enigmatic Simon, whose insights into the mind of a killer are frighteningly accurate.

As the grisly crimes continue, Catrin finds herself caught between murderer and detective while hiding her own secret—a supernatural sight granted by the moon, destined to make her an outcast, and the only thing that might save her and those she loves from becoming the next victims…

*****

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

Review:

This is definitely book I requested entirely for the cover, because just look at the composition of vines and the rendering of the skin. Hot damn. As for the book itself, I was extremely excited when I saw that the author has a background in engineering and that really really shows. The descriptions of structural components of the Sanctum (similar to a cathedral?) and the scaffolding Catrin climbs around, how seamlessly those details are woven into plot points really show the author knows her way around structures. Unfortunately, I found the characters fairly forgettable. Catrin feels like your generic YA female protagonist, a little spunky and ‘not like other girls’ and her romance with Simon, the investigator, felt forced. Additionally, I thought plot twists were all fairly obvious. I did like the magical elements in this book and I definitely wish that could have been explored more. Overall, I rate this book a 3.5/5.


r/Fantasy 2022-23 Bingo Squares:

  • Standalone (hardmode)
  • Published in 2022

Publication Date: 28 June 2022
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 448
Word Count: ~121,000
ISBN: 1250755816 
Buy It Here: Amazon | Google Books | Barnes and Nobles | Goodreads

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