Audience: YA Contemporary Romance + Magical Realism
Length: 400 pages
Author: Emily X.R. Pan
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Release Date: April 12th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new high school.
Luna Chang dreads the future. Graduation looms ahead, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town of Fairbridge.
As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love… but time is running out, and fate will have its way.
Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology in this magical novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Astonishing Color of After
I mostly felt like this book was trying to hard. There’s a lot of different angles for the story and the mythology + Shakespeare vibes were a lot to undertake in a short read. I think the focus one way or another would have been more effective.
The romance between Hunter and Luna was sweet. It was a gentle take on first love and choosing that love. They had an undeniable connection that clearly played out by the end of the book.
The mystery aspects were what kept me reading most. Every time a certain POV chapter popped up I was curious how the story was going to continue. There’s a nice and slow unveiling of facts and backgrounds that lead to the reason Hunter and his family are in hiding. I thought that there would be too many points-of-view (there’s 5+ if I remember correctly) but it did enhance the story and give necessary background information to understanding everything that was happening.
Magical realism isn’t my favorite. I know there’s always a book out there to make me think otherwise, this wasn’t it unfortunately. I do think the audio was narrated really well and would recommend that avenue for trying this book out.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Contemporary Romance
- Language: some strong
- Romance: fade to black; closed door
- Violence: medium
- Trigger/Content Warnings: gun violence, domestic abuse