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These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

***Spoilers ahead***

This was a great choice for my Book of the Month Young Adult box! I initially chose it solely based off of the title and the cover. But I am very glad with my decision.

This was a very quick and engaging read. The story was captivating and made it difficult to stop even when I needed to. Hannah story seemed, at first, like a typical teenagers. Teenage angst, rebellion, trying to find your place in the world… of course with the added twist of being able to do magic and be a witch.

While I did understand the need to focus the book somewhat on her relationships, I did find that to be a little excessive for the plot of the story. I would have preferred to learn more about what being an elemental which means, as well as the history of her coven, and her life in general.

I definitely did not feel that her dad‘s death needed to be part of the book. It felt that it was thrown in there to be the “token” death of the fight. I was also disappointed with who the antagonist turned out to be. I did not see it coming, which was a nice surprise, but I really wish that it had been someone else. Actually, the person that I was hoping it would be would have made the story a bit more interesting, although at the same time it probably would have been more foreseeable.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the book and greatly enjoyed Hannah‘s character. I enjoyed watching her relationships, both romantic and platonic, grow throughout the book. I hope to see more in the future with Hannah and everyone else.

Thank you to Book of the Month for this book! If you have not already checked out the subscription box, I highly highly recommend that you do so!

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Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

“Wait, who are you, man?” -Ross

This is a question that everyone has been asked at some point in their life. Not necessarily by someone specific, but at least by themselves. And at different points in life, that answer changes.

Is Pablo a college dropout? Is he the boyfriend of a teen celebrity? Is he a social media sensation? Or is he a normal young man, trying to find his place in the world?

Pablo has a situation that many young people find themselves in, massive student loans, credit card debt, and no strong sense of what they want to do with their lives. He dropped out of school, is working a minimum wage job, and has no strong ambitions on what to do as of yet. In walks Lee, who is very successful, and suddenly Pablo knows what he wants to do….he wants to be with her. As with every relationship, the curtains open, the magic wears off, and you discover the truth about each other….and whether or not you can handle that. And you find yourself in the meantime.

I enjoyed reading Pablo’s journey as he starts taking his life seriously and learns to ask for help. And that ignoring his problems will not make them go away. Unfortunately, I did find the book to not be engaging and found it very easy to put down. It was well-written, just somewhat dull for me. I would have liked to see more backstory on why Pablo chose the college he did, why Lee became the person she is, and so on. I am curious as to if their relationship progressed as well.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Permanent Record was a great Book of the Month Young Adult selection.