Review: A North So True by Serena Clarke


A North So True combines the best of so many worlds: fast-paced corporate marketing in the city, getting back to nature in the Swedish countryside, family connections and family secrets, icy climate, warm fires, fika, and lots of love. 

Every bit of it is done well. Zoe and Jakob (a quiet, well-mannered, but very alpha male) have the requisite chemistry for my liking, and I appreciate their relationship ebbing and flowing naturally. I love the party Zoe attended – so fun to see a character loosen up! I really got to know her as she shrugs off some inhibitions and socializes. Zoe’s host family is adorable and warm and stable. They provide a thread of constancy in Zoe’s crazy life – and in the novel. 

But my absolute favorite part of A North So True is the juxtaposition of cold and hot. Serena Clarke crafts it so well. No gratuitous snowflakes on eyelashes and fireplace sparks on a bear rug; Every description has a purpose and moves the plot forward. From ice skating and snowmobiling to gut-warming shots and hot baths, my senses soaked up every description.  

I’m not a re-reader in general, but I kinda want to re-read this book just to enjoy the magical Swedish feast again. ❤️❄️⛸🇸🇪


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Review: Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

Of-Scars-and-StardustHidden deep within the cornfields of of Ohio, the wolves are waiting for you. They’ll hunt you down with their eerie yellow eyes and tear you apart with their sharp, glistening fangs. If you look closely, you may be lucky (or unlucky) enough to catch a glimpse of gray fur streaking by in a blur. So stay inside at night and lock your doors. And whatever you do, don’t wear the color periwinkle or anything cherry-scented. These are the two things guaranteed to draw them to you in an instant.

This is the story that’s been passed down for years in rural Amble. It’s the story Claire and her friends have passed around, some believing in the legend more than others. But when a young girl goes missing and just traces of blood are left behind, what other explanation could there be? Surely it’s better to believe that wild beasts are responsible rather than the human kind. Now Claire begins to see the wolves everywhere. She’s sure they’re watching her. And when tragedy strikes her younger sister, Ella, Claire escapes to New York where she hopes to become lost in the crowd. Nightmares have a way of following us, however, and Claire finds herself returning to her hometown to confront her fears, both real and imaginary.

This debut YA novel from Andrea Hannah is creepy on so many different levels. It’s got that spooky campfire story feel to it, with a scary tale that will keep you up at night. There’s the psychologically thrilling fear that comes from so many twists and turns that keep you guessing from one page to the next. And then there’s the aftershock as you sit and reflect, trying to digest exactly what just happened. There isn’t a happy ending where everything is tied up in a neat little package with a pretty bow on top. But this is one story that will stick with you long after you’ve finished it!


Buy it Now: Of Scars and Stardust