Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert #bookreview #YA #urbanfantasy #witches

THE SUBURBS, RIGHT NOW . . .

Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a secret she’s always known—that there’s more to her mother than meets the eye.

THE CITY, BACK THEN . . .

Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural, set in a city of magical possibilities and secret mystics. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point.

Years after it began, Ivy and Dana’s shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should’ve messed with. 

This story sounded deliciously dark, and the description of “a heady fling with the supernatural” made it irresistible.

The story is told in dual timeline POVs by Ivy in present day and her mother, Dana, about twenty years earlier. Weird things are happening in Ivy’s life. She and her boyfriend (soon to be ex) nearly run over a strange girl in the middle of the road. Then she finds a dead rabbit in her driveway the next day. Some of her memories don’t seem to align with those of other people around her. Even worse, it looks like her mother may be involved.

Already possessing magical talent, a teenage Dana and a couple friends begin experimenting with dark magic – which never comes without consequences. She never dreamed her actions would have an effect on her daughter years later.

At the heart of this dark story is a mother-daughter relationship and all the highs, lows, and complications that come with it. Do parents always know what’s best for their children? Maybe, maybe not. Will a parent’s actions taint the way their child sees them? It’s very possible.

I listened to the audiobook from NetGalley, and the different narrators did an admirable job. I always knew whose POV and time we were in. This is a slow-burn tale with a gradual reveal involving blood magic, and there are animal sacrifices (rabbits) that may disturb some readers. I even fast forwarded through a couple parts. Keeping that in mind, if you’re a fan of dark paranormal stories, this is one that would also appeal to adults.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

19 thoughts on “Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert #bookreview #YA #urbanfantasy #witches

  1. Ooo…the audiobook version. I keep trying audiobooks and I can’t keep them tuned in for the life of me. I stop hearing it as if it’s background noise.

    I couldn’t handle the animal sacrifices in this story, of course, but everything else sounds intriguingly dark. Excellent review, Teri!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got into audiobooks more a couple years ago (listening to another from NG right now). I admit to zoning out on some that don’t hold my attention, just like I do with books sometimes, but for the most part it hasn’t been a problem. This is the second book I’ve come across in the past couple months with animal cruelty – and I’m not happy about it. Makes me skip paragraphs and fast forward. Thanks, Tessa!

      Liked by 1 person

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