Magical Mini Reviews: Vampire Weekend + Weyward

I’ve been struggling with book review motivation lately, so I thought I’d try something a little bit different today and review two recent reads in one post. These will be super short, snapshot reviews (I say now, but knowing me, they’ll wind up longer than I think). 

(Full disclosure: This post uses affiliate links)

Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen

Photo credit: Amanda Kay Oaks

Format Read: Paperback

Rating: 3 stars

Vampire Weekend follows Louise, a musician turned vampire. She wants to disprove your exisiting notions about vampires — namely, that they have cool powers. Louise mostly spends her days trying to acquire blood in a humane way and searching for a new band, all while trying to conceal the fact that she’s a bit on the undead side. When a long lost relative shows up on her doorstep, things get shaken up.

I loved the idea of vampires, but make it mundane, and really enjoyed that aspect of this book. It was fun to see Louise living her daily life, snuggling with her corgi, and trying to pursue her passions. Vampirism was just sort of an inconvenient thing that had happened to her and which dictated elements of her life. 

The plot lost me a bit when it took a surprising turn and got very eventful, very quickly. I kind of preferred the quiet suspense to the big spectacle, but all in all, this was a very fun read and a unique take on vampires that I appreciated. 

Weyward by Emilia Hart

Photo credit: Amanda Kay Oaks

Format Read: Hardcover (BOTM Edition)

Rating: 5 stars

I’ve learned by now that I love a multigenerational story, and Weyward delivers. It follows three women from the same family, living in different times but struggling with what it means to be a little bit unusual and quite possibly magical. We see the ways their lives connect and echo one another, and how being a wild woman creates its own challenges in different periods of history. 

I adored this book and seeing each woman grapple with her nature, her gifts, and what she should do with them. The stories were woven together well, and the magic was used in interesting ways. At its heart, Weyward is about women finding and claiming their power, even as the world fights to snuff it out. 

There’s some really heavy stuff that happens on page, so I’d recommend readers check out trigger warnings before embarking on this journey. But if you can, read this book. It’ll be with me for a long time. 

And there we have it, two bite-sized (ish) reviews for my recent reads. They don’t have a ton in common except that they both have some supernatural, magical elements and that I read them recently. Have you read either of these? Or are they on your TBR? 


What We’re Reading Wednesday, March 15th

Image created by the editor in Canva

Hello, and welcome back to Your Book Friend! I’m writing this while looking out at the lightly snow-dusted trees on our drive and wishing for spring. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good snow — but it feels like we should be done with all that now, even if the equinox is still a few days away. 

It does feel extra cozy to sit inside under the blankets in our cabin and read with snow on the ground, though, so I won’t complain too much. Let’s get on with the reading updates!

(Full disclosure: This post uses affiliate links. Books marked with an asterisk were received as complimentary review copies).

Recent Reads

I finished Mike Chen’s Vampire Weekend last week. I enjoyed it overall, but found it sort of lost momentum for me as I got towards the end. It’s weird, because a lot of the book is sort of quiet and mundane, but it was once things started getting “exciting” that I felt less interested in reading it. 

This could also just be circumstantial, since I started it while our power was out and really all I could do during the day was read, so once I had the TV at my disposal I didn’t feel like reading for a bit. I remember having a similar feeling about his book We Could Be Heroes, though, so perhaps it’s something else I haven’t quite put my finger on. 

After reading about vampires it only felt natural to move to witches, so I grabbed my BOTM copy of Weyward by Emilia Hart. It’s funny, because I hadn’t heard of it at all until I chose it as my birthday month add on, but now I’m seeing it everywhere. It was even the banner ad on Bookshop when I popped over to grab my affiliate links for this post. 

I had a suspicion I’d love this multi-generational saga about women who have witchcraft in their blood, and I definitely did. I tore through it pretty quickly and then felt quite sad it was over. I loved getting to know these women and see how their stories connected and echoed across generations. It was hard to read at times given some of the subject matter, but nevertheless may well go down as a favorite read of the year for me. 

Current Reads

I just finished Weyward last night and found I needed a bit of time before picking something else up, so I haven’t started my next fiction read just yet. 

On the nonfiction front, I’m continuing on with Alex Mar’s Witches of America. There’s some interesting information in it, but I continue to be a bit put off by the tone at times, and find some of the writing genuinely confusing (there are time jumps that I don’t feel are always signaled clearly). Nevertheless, I want to finish it, so on I go. 

Audiobook wise I’ve kind of stalled. I just can’t quite find anything that feels like the right book to listen to for my current mood, so I’m back to podcasts instead for a bit .

Up Next & On to You

I’ll be starting Play the Fool* by Lina Chern next. It’s a mystery, which is a genre I don’t read that often, but I couldn’t resist the pitch of “cynical tarot reader tries to solve a murder” so here I am. I’m very excited to dig in to this one. 

What about you, book friends? What have you been reading lately and how are you liking it?