End of Summer Reading and Watching

I know that The Red Menace already killed it with her Summer Reading List, but in the spirit of those of us who would often find themselves cramming the last few books of their summer reading list into those precious final days of vacation, this is for you - one last taste of summer. Hold onto that feeling while you can. Unless you’re me, and want to see summer make way for fall ASAP. This girl misses her hoodies and full-length yoga pants!

So whether you plan to hold onto summer till the very last or are already lovely taking your sweaters out of storage - here is a list of some atmospheric and dreamy reading to help you slide on into fall and (maybe) barely look back:


Sleepless -Sarah Vaughn (writer), Leila del Duca (illustrator)

After a threat on her life, Lady Poppy must rely on Cyrenic, a sleepless knight and her personal bodyguard, to protect her as she does her best to navigate court and discover who might want her dead.

Smal’s take - I love me some romance. Point me towards some likable characters who want to be together but can’t be due to some story trope getting in the way, and you’ve got an invested reader in me! That being said, this story is solid and the artwork lovely. If you enjoy fairytales with capable and princesses who have cute animal sidekicks, you should check this one out.


Norroway - Cat Seaton (writer), Kit Seaton (artist)

Sibylla has always craved adventure and thanks to a surprisingly accurate prophesy, she barely bats an eye when a black bull shows up at her doorway and claims her as his bride. A retelling of the Scottish tale, The Black Bull of Norroway.

Smal’s Take - This book just oozes charm. Sibylla is filled with emotion and fire, while the bull’s stony demeanor makes him both mysterious and a great comedic foil for his bride to be. The art is also lovely and really illustrates who the the personalities of characters as opposed to just giving the reader something pretty to look at. There’s a lot of great drama in this book and I’ve been chomping at the bit for the next volume to come out, but I’m worried I’m going to have to wait.


Vassa in the Night - Sarah Porter

In Vassa’s Brooklyn neighborhood, magic runs wild in the street and a simple trip to the convenience store could mean risking her life. Especially when that convenice store belongs to Bab’s Yagg herself. A dark and modern retelling of the Russian folktale “Vassilssa the Brave.”

Smal’s Take - I bought this book simply because I love tales that involve Baba Yaga. I might have said earlier that I was a sucker for romance, but I’m also a sucker for stories that involve a grotesque evil witch who travels around in a pestle and has a house that walks on chicken legs. Hey, we all have our things, right? Anyway, this books is filled with beautiful imagery and acknowledges how complicated family relationships can be. My only warning is that the story itself can often filled over-stuffed and slow. Read this one when you’re relaxed and just kinda want be taken away by the night and dream of lagoon flavored Pop Tarts.