Review: Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive by Kristen J. Sollee

Goodreads Summary:
Witch, Slut, Feminist: these contested identities are informing millennial women as they counter a tortuous history of misogyny with empowerment. This innovative primer highlights sexual liberation as it traces the lineage of “witch feminism.” Juxtaposing scholarly research on the demonization of women and female sexuality that has continued since the witch hunts of the early modern era with pop occulture analyses and interviews with activists, artists, scholars, and practitioners of witchcraft, this book enriches our contemporary conversations about reproductive rights, sexual pleasure, queer identity, pornography, sex work, and more.

My Review:
This compilation of 22 chapters touches on medieval witchcraft, Salem, midwives, voice/language, sex tools, porn, fashion, music, capitalism, film, reproductive rights, and several other controversial topics. Written in a very accessible (and often tongue in cheek) sort of way, this slim book is a primer of sorts--an introduction into the parallels between the sex positive icons/tropes of witches, sluts, and feminists. It also provides an extensive collection of works cited to further one's reading, which I will definitely be referencing.

Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

[Disclaimer: I received my free copy of BABY TEETH by @zoje.stage_author (July 17, 2018 @stmartinspress) at Book Expo].

Can a 7 year old be a psychopath?

Goodreads Summary:
Sweetness can be deceptive.
Meet Hanna.
She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.
Meet Suzette.
She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

My Review:
Hang on to your hats, people! You're either going to love this one or hate it--there's not going to be an in between. After growing up with an inattentive mother, Suzette gives her daughter Hanna what most parents strive to give: the best home; the right amount of discipline; access to arts, crafts, parks, etc. But Hanna refuses to speak--to anyone. After eliminating the possibility of medical conditions leading to her mutism, Hanna's parents attempt to enroll her in multiple schools but her behavior leads to devastating consequences. As Suzette's desperation for some time away from her demanding daughter builds and Hanna's determination to remove her mother from her life (she keeps trying to kill her!) increases, Hanna's parents are forced to make some life-altering decisions.

This book really digs into some ugly cracks about parenting and unconditional love. It belongs right beside WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN and THE DINNER.

Review: The King's Witch by Tracy Borman

The King's Witch by Tracy Borman (July 3, 2018 / Atlantic Monthly Press)

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation**

Goodreads Summary:
In March of 1603, as she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth of England, Frances Gorges dreams of her parents’ country estate, where she has learned to use flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. She is happy to stay at home when King James of Scotland succeeds to the throne. His court may be shockingly decadent, but his intolerant Puritanism sees witchcraft in many of the old customs—punishable by death...
But when her ambitious uncle forcibly brings Frances to the royal palace, she is a ready target for the twisted scheming of the Privy Seal, Lord Cecil. As a dark campaign to destroy both King and Parliament gathers pace, culminating in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Frances is surrounded by danger, finding happiness only with the King’s precocious young daughter, and with Tom Wintour, the one courtier she feels she can trust. But is he all that he seems?

My Review:
I loved escaping to the castles and kingdoms of this historical novel. I was drawn in to the story by Frances' use of herbs to assist those in need. I did wish there was more of that content as the story progressed, but the 2nd half of the book is much more focused on the plot to assassinate the King and all the court players. However, this is the first book in a trilogy and I am hoping the second and third books will focus more on Frances' talents (I mean the trilogy is name after her!).

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