The Best Of: Standalones #6

I was uploading posts in this series so sparingly because I thought I was going to run out of books to talk about. Well, I recently did a massive organise of different post types and what books I want to talk about in each and turns out I have enough to start posting these monthly. 

Influential by Amara Sage

Now, this isn’t the most perfectly written book, however, it is very entertaining. It was my first read of 2023 and it was super quick to get through. 

I really enjoy books about influencers, especially ones including a downfall and this was does that story very well. It does deal with some very series topics though, so do check out the trigger warnings before reading. 

Synopsis: Almond Brown has no friends in real life . . . but 3.5 million followers online. A heart-felt, whip-smart deep dive into what it would really be like to be internet famous at 17: a cautionary tale for our time from a writer who has grown up with social media.

Almond is forced into the spotlight when she was just a perfectly filtered bump: her mum has been documenting their family through social media since before she was born. And her family enjoy all the rewards that come from that level of influence. Only, it’s not the life Almond would have chosen for herself, and being on a platform all the time has made her anxious and insecure. When the darkest side of the internet begins to haunt her, Almond feels like she’s going to lose everything . . . If only she could see that she has a real-life, too, full of friends and family who love her, and that it could save her.

Dark Room Etiquette by Robin Roe

This book was incredibly haunting and I loved every second of it. The tension is built so well and from the get go you’re on edge because you know something bad is going to happen, but you don’t know when. 

Dark Room Etiquette is very heavy, so don’t expect to go into it coming out happy. No, this book will stay with you. But in a good way, it has a lasting impact.

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Sayers Wayte has everything—until he’s kidnapped by a man who tells him the privileged life he’s been living is based on a lie.

Trapped in a windowless room, without knowing why he’s been taken or how long the man plans to keep him shut away, Sayers faces a terrifying new reality. To survive, he must forget the world he once knew, and play the part his abductor has created for him.

But as time passes, the line between fact and fiction starts to blur, and Sayers begins to wonder if he can escape . . . before he loses himself.

Rust in the Root by Rebecca Ireland

Rust in the Root has a really interesting magic system, quite unlike anything I’ve read before. The first few chapters are a bit of a slog, but once the story really gets started, the pages fly by. 

I’m not sure if this is definitely going to stay a standalone as I can’t remember exactly how this ended, but it technically is for now, so I’m including it. 

Synopsis: It is 1937, and Laura Ann Langston lives in an America divided—between those who work the mystical arts and those who do not. Ever since the Great Rust, a catastrophic event that blighted the arcane force called the Dynamism and threw America into disarray, the country has been rebuilding for a better future. And everyone knows the future is industry and technology—otherwise known as Mechomancy—not the traditional mystical arts.

Laura disagrees. A talented young mage from Pennsylvania, Laura hopped a portal to New York City on her seventeenth birthday with hopes of earning her mage’s license and becoming something more than a rootworker

But six months later, she’s got little to show for it other than an empty pocket and broken dreams. With nowhere else to turn, Laura applies for a job with the Bureau of the Arcane’s Conservation Corps, a branch of the US government dedicated to repairing the Dynamism so that Mechomancy can thrive. There she meets the Skylark, a powerful mage with a mysterious past, who reluctantly takes Laura on as an apprentice.

As they’re sent off on their first mission together into the heart of the country’s oldest and most mysterious Blight, they discover the work of mages not encountered since the darkest period in America’s past, when Black mages were killed for their power—work that could threaten Laura’s and the Skylark’s lives, and everything they’ve worked for.

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Like this post? Why not read this one too: Book Confessions: Popular Books I Didn’t Like 

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