Author: Jimena I. Novaro
Genre & Themes: LGBTQIA+, Contemporary fantasy,
Publication Date: July 11th, 2021
Trigger Warnings: death of a child (graphic), death (mild), suicide attempt from a side character (mild), domestic abuse (mild) talk about terminal illness and death from terminal illness (mild)
A dead girl who won’t talk. A living girl with too many questions. A family with death in its bloodline.
Amy’s family isn’t like other people. Amy’s mother has an almost magical ability to ease the pain of the dying. Every full moon, her aunt sits in a graveyard and talks to ghosts. Her sister Sarah can predict when someone will die.
And Amy—well, she can raise the dead.
Until now, Amy has only ever brought back pets and wild animals. But on the night before starting junior year in high school, she brings back something new: a little girl.
As Amy searches for the child’s identity, she begins to suspect the girl’s death wasn’t an accident. Where is her family? Why won’t she speak? Why is she so frightened to leave Amy’s side?
But while the mystery grows more complex, Amy’s life brings more turmoil. Her crush, the beautiful and mysterious Toni Davis, has secrets of her own. Amy’s powers—and her chronic depression—become tougher to hide from her friends. And worst of all, she finds it harder than ever to connect with her family, the only people who could understand the strange position she occupies in the balance between life and death.
Amy of the Necromancers is a novel about dark magic, love in all its complex forms, and the cost of discovering your identity.
+ ARC from BookSirens in exchange for an honest review +
Amy of the Necromancers is my ideal 3-star book. There were a couple of things that seriously grated my nerves, but there were things I really enjoyed about it too. Since there’s a decent amount to go through, I’ll stop wasting words and just get to the review.
Amy’s disassociation and disinterest was really significant to me. Especially because I went through a very similar feeling when I was sixteen. I really related to her apathy and when asked “what do you like to do?” that feeling of realizing you haven’t been passionate about anything in a long time. I only recently came out of that myself, and it was the BEST feeling.
I really liked the romance. Oftentimes f\f romances are very fast-paced and not as in-depth as I’d like, but I adored Toni and Amy in this book! The romance is a subplot and definitely not the main focus, which was a nice change. Amy and Toni’s interactions, Toni’s secrets, her family – I really enjoyed all of her scenes. If the author writes more f\f in the future I”m going to read it, just because I know that she can make something that I absolutely love (also Toni is 💕).
Amy’s “friend group” reminds me of Bella’s friends in Twilight . . . except catty and mean and irrelevant. I absolutely despised how her friends were portrayed in this book. Amy barely listens to any of them. She’s constantly in her own head, never asks them about themselves, and the only time she listens is when it affects the immediate plot.
Amy’s friends are mostly there to make Amy look good. They say something bad, Amy contradicts them, and then they just move on. None of her friends have any independent personalities. They only ever talk about things that are currently relevant to Amy, and Amy seems to put them down a lot in the first half of the book. They also ptu each other down a lot. Adela is judged for liking gossip even though it provides key information to Amy, Amy has a line seemingly dismissing Jordan’s favorite band, Harper is constantly giving judging looks to others who try to defend themselves . . . I honestly couldn’t stand any of her friends.
One of her friends, Harper, uses they\them pronouns (unsure if they’re nonbinary or not, it was never labelled) and I wanted to be excited about it, but it really seemed like the only reason they were there was to to talk about sex and judge other people. They disappeared halfway through the novel along with Adela.
Despite being there to boost Amy, she really wasn’t likable for the first half of the book. I want to introduce one of Amy’s quotes, form early on:
Lot’s of other people are looking at Toni and talking about her, like we are. I wish we weren’t like everyone else.Amy, page 18
I literally couldn’t even with this quote. This is “I’m not like other girls” on a next level. Toni is literally the new girl and she’s sitting in the cafeteria alone for the first time. PEOPLE ARE GONNA LOOK.
Also, her friends are also just really fucking mean in the first half of the book? I already mentioned it, but let me show you an example:
Adela props her chin in her palm. “Not with those clothes.”
“I think her clothes are nice,” I blurt without thinking. Harper raises an eyebrow at me.
“Yes, they’re nice,” Adela allows, “but they’re from Target.”Adela, Harper, and Amy, page 18
This is an example of the other characters being there just to make Amy look good. Adela’s only personality trait so far is judging someone’s clothes from Target and Harper agreeing. ANd they don’t get any more in-depth throughout the book. I have to wonder: does this author think that teens talk like this now? Like, I got how in the 90s or whatever having clothes from Walmart was something that people made fun of, but Target has nice clothes. And I don’t see kids my age talking like this.
But that’s not the worst part. It was this line that really got to me:
“Do you think she’s had sex?” Harper asks.
“What the hell, Harper?” Jordan says, kicking Harper’s boot.
“I’m just wondering. She seems so uptight. Maybe she’s tried it but didn’t like it.”Harper, page 45
I can’t even tell you exactly why this description bothers me so damn much. But I’m asexual, and I get shit like this thrown at me all the time. Just reading this makes me so frustrated all over again.
And it’s even more frustrating that I’m having trouble putting this into words so I can help you understand why I fucking hate this sentiment around sex.
Toni – the character they’re talking about – is really introverted and quiet. She’s the “new kid” and no one really knows anything about her. And because she declined to go get high with this friend group ONCE she’s super uptight and that must be tied to whether she’s had sex or not.
This did get better as the book went on, but only because her friends literally disappeared. Those first 100 pages were rough.
The mystery aspect saved this novel for me. The first half of this book drove me up a wall, but after Toni came in and we focused on the mystery, everything got better. And the the ending was so satisfying. I thought I knew what was going to happen and then the truth came and slapped me out of nowhere (in a good way). It didn’t feel forced or unrealistic, just absolutely surprising.
That said, the ending was incredibly emotional. The whole premise of this book revolves around the death of a child and figuring out how they died, so when you find out it’s . . . rough. So please be warned before you get invested. I had to stop and cry even though I was almost done because everything made sense now and it was just reall
Overall I gave Amy of the Necromancers 3 stars. I did enjoy the romance, Amy (towards the end), and the mystery. I would definitely recommend the book if you’re a murder mystery fan, or are looking for some f\f novels to read.
What did you think of Amy of the Necromancers?
Disclaimer: my review is based on my life experience and reading preferences. It’s not an attack on the author, or others who liked or disliked the book.
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