Is it Worth the Hype? Volume Three


I’m back babes, with another installment of “Is it Worth the Hype” to let you know if you should spend the time on that book that everyone is talking about or if BookTok is unhinged and you should move on to something else on your to-read list. Every book has its readers, but it can be disappointing when a popular book doesn’t hit you the same way it does for everyone else. You can share your hot takes and ALL your feelings with us by filling out our Teen Book Reviews form. Who knows, we may feature your review in an upcoming blog!

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

What It’s About:  After her mother dies in an accident, a residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape for Bree—until she witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A demon feeding on human energies, a secret society of so-called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down, and a mysterious mage who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw. The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and buried memories. Now Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth.

When the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

Worth the Hype: I enjoyed this a lot. The system of magic descending through familial lines and the role ancestors play is fascinating. It’s diverse and creative. My only complaints are the impending love triangle that isn’t rushed but is obvious from the beginning and a huge cast of characters that are hard to keep straight.

Be Aware: This is a chonky book that is part of a series. The third (and maybe final?) book isn’t scheduled to come out until 2025.



What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

What it’s About:  Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the upper society of nineteenth-century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old-world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their deaths, Inez sails to Cairo. But upon her arrival, the old world magic pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parents’ disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe. With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parents—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her.

Worth the Hype: I’m not sure why this book is so hyped. Maybe because it’s billed as “The Mummy” meets “Death on the Nile.” And I do think that is a fair comparison, it’s just not exceptional in any way. The rivals-to-lovers plot is fun, but pretty standard. I do love the Egyptian setting and the tumultuous time period during the British occupation.

Be Aware: The second part of the duology, “Where the Library Hides,” doesn’t come out until November 2024.



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