Book Review: Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

Book: Other Words for Smoke
Author: Sarah Maria Griffin
Genre: YA fantasy/magical realism

{I was sent a free copy of this book by the publisher but all thoughts and opinions are my own}

The house at the end of the lane burned down, and Rita Frost and her teenage ward, Bevan, were never seen again. The townspeople never learned what happened. Only Mae and her brother Rossa know the truth; they spent two summers with Rita and Bevan, two of the strangest summers of their lives… 

Because nothing in that house was as it seemed: a cat who was more than a cat, and a dark power called Sweet James that lurked behind the wallpaper, enthralling Bevan with whispers of neon magic and escape. 

And in the summer heat, Mae became equally as enthralled with Bevan. Desperately in the grips of first love, she’d give the other girl anything. A dangerous offer when all that Sweet James desired was a taste of new flesh…

My Rating: 3 STARS

My Review:

The beginning of Other Words for Smoke has a really mysterious pull that makes you immediately interested in the story, I liked the overall premise of the book and that mixed with the atmospheric writing style definitely intrigued me.

The story is certainly unique. A story about a talking cat, a talking owl that lives in the wallpaper, witches and a house that has almost it’s own personality.  I liked how eerie all these things added together made the story to be.  The house itself was very interesting and creepy and I thought the descriptions of the house were very haunting.

I felt like there was something missing with each of the characters that made me not care or feel connected to any of them.  I also didn’t think there was much of a connection between Mae and Rossa despite them being twins.  I didn’t like Bevan much and I felt that we didn’t really find out much about her personality even though a lot of the book it told from her pov.

I did like the flashback scenes that took place to show Rita’s past, I thought they were some of the most interesting parts of the book and I was disappointed that there were only a few of those scenes.

Overall I didn’t care for the characters much and I was underwhelmed by the overall storyline, I expected there to be more to things than there was but I did like the flashback scenes and the creepy atmospheric vibe of the book.  The writing was also intriguing.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

  1. I'm curious about this one but the Magical realism scares me a little. It's always a genre that is either hit or miss with me. Great review! thank you for sharing, I might wait a little to grab this one


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