Full Pour Review: Know My Name

FUCK, man – talk about another incredible book to start off 2021! Know My Name by Chanel Miller is a moving, powerful and heart-wrenching memoir that left me absolutely speechless. Chanel is such an impressive human being and it was a privilege to hear her story. This book will captivate you from the beginning and take you on the emotional roller coaster ride you didn’t realize how much you needed.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, and an instant New York Times bestseller, Chanel Miller’s breathtaking memoir “gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter.” ( The Wrap). Her story of trauma and transcendence illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicting a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shining with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.”

First off, Chanel is a very talented writer and I want to applaud her for approaching her trauma in such a beautiful and hopeful way. This was a very emotional read and I was utterly moved by her resilience as I watched her grow through her pain and find herself again through the pages of this book. I am in awe of her strength, passion and commitment to fight for justice and hold predators accountable for their sexual assault. This story should absolutely be required reading for everyone, not just those who know of, or work with, sexual assault victims or predators. Brock Turner’s sentencing is a truly embarrassing example of how far we still have to go as a society to not only encourage victims to share their truths, but completely overhaul the way we currently address these crimes in the justice system. Because of Chanel’s courage and perseverance, I am hopeful that one day we will eventually get to where we need to be. Because of Chanel, I know we will be better.

Hands down, Know My Name is the most memorable and powerful memoir I have ever read and it goes without saying that this one will be on my mind for a very long time. If you haven’t read this book yet, please do yourself a favor and move it to the front of your TBR list- I promise you will thank me later.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Know My Name by Chanel Miller is best paired with Savage IPA by Burley Oak Brewing Company, a deliciously smooth and crushable New England IPA 🍻

Full Pour Review: Malibu Rising

Holy shit was this intense! Taylor Jenkins Reid blew it out of the water again, as per usual. I fully expected all of the usual TJR magic with Malibu Rising and not only did she deliver, but it was way more magical than anticipated- the characters, the storyline, the family dynamics, the Malibu landscape, the history… everything.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.”

I couldn’t get enough of the characters in this book. Specifically, the Riva siblings: Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit. They are truly badass and I was blown away by everything that they endured through out this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but these siblings experienced truly heartbreaking hardships and loss over the course of their young lives and their resilience is absolutely inspiring. Nina Riva is the most incredible of all and the roles that she assumed/decisions she had to make as a young girl because of these hardships are things that absolutely NO child should have to do but SHE 👏🏻 FUCKING 👏🏻 KILLED 👏🏻 IT.

I really enjoyed the deep dive into Mick Riva’s life and background. Readers get to familiarize themselves with his childhood, his relationship with June (his first wife and the true love of his life), his skyrocketing career and even the other marriages along the way. I LOVED how this story still connected (very briefly)in some ways to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo with a few quick mentions of some beloved characters.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a fantastic storyteller and the queen of inventing dynamic characters who feel so realistic and make you become instantly attached to. I love how she addresses forgiveness, resilience, child neglect, spousal neglect, infidelity, acceptance, self love, and much more, in such a mature and thought provoking manner. One downside to this book is that there are A LOT of secondary characters that get introduced throughout the book and it can feel a little overwhelming at times not knowing who you should be focusing on.

If you’re a fan of TJR, or are looking for an engrossing, gut wrenching and heart exploding family drama that will suck you in from the very beginning, I can’t recommend Malibu Rising enough. This story will be released June 1st 💛 thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for this gifted eARC in exchange for my honest review.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is best paired with Lil’ BB’s Brekkie Tastee by The Veil Brewing Co. This delicious smoothie-style sour ale is brewed with milk sugar, oats, maple syrup, strawberry, banana, and blueberry purée 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Push

Wow- what a fast paced, gripping story! I have been reading so many great reviews about The Push by Ashley Audrain and this story totally lives up to the hype! I love a good psychological thriller, and this story absolutely didn’t disappoint. I was hooked from the beginning and genuinely didn’t know where this story was headed until the very end where there was a surprising cliffhanger ending.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

Ashley Audrain is a fantastic storyteller and I feel like she did a great job at getting the reader well acquainted with key characters in this book. The Push is written in Blythe’s perspective, switching between the past and present, but also focuses on the relationships between the women in Blythe’s family: her mother Cecelia, and her grandmother Etta. As readers, we get to see how each of these women experienced motherhood and how these experiences seemingly passed down to younger generations. I also applaud Audrain on her ability to create such an appropriate, slow burning build up to this book that would illicit chills and leave you needing to know what was happening next. The key events that occurred in this book did not feel over the top, which really played into the thrill factor and made this story feel even more realistic in an unsettling way. That being said, one thing that I would have really been intrigued to experience in this story would be the perspective of Blythe’s daughter Violet. I think it would’ve been really interesting to get her perspective on some key events that happened in this book. (Maybe a potential sequel or spin off idea?!).

This book was disturbing to read at some parts and will leave you with a lot to process- it does not come without some trigger warnings (death, miscarriage, abortion, psychological trauma, self harm, child neglect, postpartum depression, abuse, infidelity, and more). However, if you’re looking for a chilling, fast-paced psychological thriller, I honestly can’t recommend them enough. And if you’ve read this book already, please reach out to me! I would love to discuss it with you- especially your thoughts on the ending.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Push by Ashley Audrain is best paired with Bomb! by Prairie Artisan Ales. This delicious imperial stout is aged on Nordaggio’s espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Oh my god… what a beautiful, intriguing and mind blowing story! I wanted to kick off 2021 with something magical and that is exactly what The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is – pure fucking magic.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.”

I can honestly say that this is one of the most beautifully written stories I’ve ever read. I’m normally not a fan of fantasy, so I was admittedly anxious about reading this one, but the storyline was so captivating and well put together, I was instantly drawn in to the magic of the blended fantasy/historical realism. The characters in this story are absolutely brilliant and I really enjoyed how the story bounced back and forth between timelines, locations, and even character perspectives at random times as we got to know more about Addie’s and Henry’s unique stories. I was so fascinated by this book that I slowly read it over the course of eleven days because I didn’t want to rush through any of it. This story was so incredibly gratifying and went down like a satisfying sip of champagne.

Needless to say, this book absolutely lived up to the hype that we’ve all been seeing online and I will happily add to it- I truly cannot recommend this book enough and already know that this will fall in my top 10 for 2021. This was the first book I’ve ever read by V. E. Schwab and I look forward to reading more by her 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is best paired with Sour Me Unicorn Farts by DuClaw Brewing Company and Diablo Doughnuts. This incredibly unique glittered sour ale is brewed with fruity cereal mashed in, bringing forward a bouquet of fruit flavors & a hint of biscuit 🍻

Full Pour Review: Forever Wild

UGH MY HEART 😭🥰 can this series PLEASE last forever?! The Simple Wild series by K.A. Tucker holds such a special place in my heart and the final novella in this series, Forever Wild, the characters, plots and beautiful Alaska scenery was everything that I expected it to be and so much more.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “The holiday season is upon Calla and Jonah, and with the mistletoe and gingerbread comes plenty of family drama. Jonah is bracing himself for two weeks with a stepfather he loathes, and while Calla is looking forward to her mother and Simon’s arrival, she dreads the continued pressure to set a date for their wedding … in Toronto. Add in one bullheaded neighbor’s unintentional meddling and another cantankerous neighbor’s own family strife, and Christmas in Trapper’s Crossing will be anything but simple.”

My favorite part about this book, and this series in general, are the characters. These characters are magical, heartwarming and have so much depth. Calla and Jonah grew so much more as individuals in this book, and I loved being able to watch their relationship continue to strengthen and roll with the punches. I loved the return of so many beloved characters and seeing them continue to play such an important role in Calla and Jonah’s lives. One of my favorite relationships that I was excited to spend more time with in this book was Calla and Roy. It was beautiful to see them become closer and see more walls come down for Roy. It was also a pleasure to finally get to meet Jonah’s mother and stepdad, who we’ve heard about on and off in the first two books.

The various character plots through out this story were also perfect and provided the reader with the closure we desired. This story also wouldn’t be the same without the other nerve-wracking “life or death” plot twists that K.A. Tucker is so good at delivering, and she packed so much punch in this short novella.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this book gave me all the feels and truly was the perfect ending to this series. I am beyond excited for the spin-off series with Marie that will continue to feature some of these same beloved characters we’ve become attached to. If you haven’t read this book yet, or The Simple Wild series at all, I highly encourage you to boost it higher on your TBR list. I personally know that I will continue to think about this series and these characters for a long time 💛 I also am officially obsessed with K.A. Tucker’s writing skills and look forward to reading more books by her this year.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Forever Wild by K.A. Tucker is best paired with Christmas Morning by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. This delicious beer is one of the famous variations of Hardywood’s original gingerbread stout, brewed with a blend of Brazilian and Sumatran coffee beans from Richmond, Virginia’s Blackhand Coffee Co. 🍻

Full Pour Review: Coming Out Stories

Oh, my heart! Talk about a feel good read! Coming Out Stories: Personal Experiences of Coming Out From Across the LGBTQ+ Spectrum edited by Emma Goswell and Sam Walker was such a powerful, moving and inspiring read!

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Based on the hugely popular Coming Out Storiespodcast, this empowering, humorous and deeply honest book invites you to share one of the most important moments in many LGBTQ+ people’s lives.

From JP coming out to his reflection in the mirror, to Jacob coming out to their Mum over email, from Christine knowing she was trans as a young child, to Kerry coming out as a lesbian in her late thirties, all of the real life stories in this book show you there is no right or wrong way to come out, whatever your age and whatever your background.

Whether you’re gay, pan, queer, bi, trans, non-binary, or an ally, this uplifting go-to resource is filled with helpful advice and tips on what to expect, and inspirational quotes from leading LGBTQ+ figures, to help you live your very best self. Welcome to the family!”

I was absolutely moved by all of the coming out stories and unique experiences portrayed in this book. These beautiful stories were full of emotion – while most made me smile and laugh, others made me sad and cry. My favorite aspect of this book was its ability to inspire the reader to live their best life and stay true to their most authentic self. To put it simply, this book feels like being enveloped in a warm hug 🤗 no matter what you identify as, you will find value and appreciation in this book.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough and think that everyone should read it. Thank you so much Jessica Kingsley and NetGalley for gifting me this wonderful eARC in exchange for my honest review. Coming Out Stories will be released on 1/21 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Coming Out Stories edited by Emma Goswell and Sam Walker is best paired with Dan’s Jams: Blackberry Raspberry Crumble by Full Tilt Brewing. This highly delicious fruited sour ale is aged on blackberries, raspberries, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and lactose 🍻

Full Pour Review: Lana’s War

I really enjoy a good World War II historical fiction story and Lana’s War by Anita Abriel definitely did not disappoint! This was a captivating story that takes place during WWII on the French Riviera with intriguing characters and wonderful imagery.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband. 

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead.”

There were quite a few things that I really liked about this book. First, I enjoyed the fact that this book started off at a really fast pace, making this a fairly quick read. Within the first few pages, Lana’s world comes crashing down when she experiences the death of her husband and her unborn child at the exact same time. Shortly after, she receives an offer to join the resistance on the French Riviera that will change her life forever and then we immediately get to join Lana on her new adventure, which is regularly packed with surprises.

Second, the imagery. Anita Abriel did a fantastic job at illustrating both stunning landscapes and heartbreaking scenes in this book, allowing me to feel immersed in Lana’s world.

Third, the characters. I absolutely adored Lana and her bravery. She experienced such tragic loss and it was liberating to witness her strength and resilience from this loss, and ultimately helping to honor her late husbands life by carrying out his mission of protecting Jewish families from the Germans. Her heart was also incredibly pure and kind, and I love how her relationship developed with Odette, a young Jewish girl, throughout the story. I also really liked Guy Pascal and the relationship he developed with Lana.

Finally, the ending. I thought Anita Abriel did a wonderful job at tying up all of the loose ends. While I would have appreciated more focus on Guy and Lana’s relationship, that ultimately wasn’t the point of this story and I was still satisfied with the way it ended- it was beautiful and heartbreaking, yet fulfilling all at once.

If you’re looking for a new historical fiction story, or are relatively new to historical fiction and trying to step out of your comfort zone, I recommend checking out Lana’s War by Anita Abriel, coming out 1/12. Thank you so much to Atria Books and NetGalley for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Lana’s War by Anita Abriel is best paired with Apple Pie Blonde Ale by Flying Dog Brewery. This highly enjoyable seasonal blonde ale is brewed with apples, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and lactose 🍻

Full Pour Review: Ten Rules For Faking It

OMG MY HEART. I can’t express enough how much I loved Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan. I fell in love with this story instantly and adored every single character. This one was tough to put down and left me feeling so many emotions because it is so relatable and came at a perfect time to help me address/sort through some of my own personal struggles with anxiety at this moment.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “What happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?

As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.

Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?

Even clichés sting.

But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.

There’s just one problem.

Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he’s extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?

And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).

That’s three problems.

Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.

Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.

Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.”

First, these characters are magical. Let’s start with Everly, who suffers from severe social anxiety. I can personally relate to Everly’s character so much and the positive and delicate way that her social anxiety was addressed in this book made me tear up a few times because I felt like Sullivan was also indirectly helping me to understand the need to be more gentle and positive with myself. Everly’s character was raw, real and wonderful and I loved how much of her growth we got to experience throughout this book as she bravely overcame a lot of difficult things. Chris’s and Stacey’s character were truly incredible as well and I was in awe of their sensitivity and care toward Everly’s anxiety. They were both so encouraging, consistently reminded her of how brave and strong she truly was, and not once did they ever make her feel like her and her anxiety were too much. That finally leads me to the emotional connection that Everly and Chris shared- it truly was a breath of fresh air. Sullivan couldn’t have done a more perfect job with creating such a beautiful, more relatable relationship that didn’t focus heavily on the steam or physical connections found in most rom-com’s.

Once I was done reading this book, I immediately went online and preordered myself a physical copy. I wasn’t expecting this one to leave such an impact on me, but it did and I’m very grateful for that 💛 I was really impressed with the way that Everly’s social anxiety was handled in this book and I truly can’t recommend this book enough if you’re looking for a sweet, light hearted, not-your-typical rom-com that will not only leave you thinking about the story long after you finished it, but leave you feeling a little stronger if you suffer from general/social anxiety like I do. Ten Rules For Faking It hits shelves on 12/29 and really is a terrific palette cleanser for ending at 2020. Thank you so much NetGalley and Griffin for gifting me this incredible eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan is best paired with Out of Shape Superhero by Black Flag Brewing Company and Fourscore Beer Co. This boozy, delicious hazy TIPA is brewed with Citra, Strata and Mosaic hops 🍻

Full Pour Review: Detransition, Baby

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is one of my top five favorite books I’ve read in 2020 and I cannot recommend it enough. This story is so unique, witty and heartbreaking and had me hooked from the very beginning. I walked away from this book feeling so many different emotions and I still feel like my words won’t be able to do this book the justice it deserves.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn’t happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby—and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together? 

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.

Detransition, Baby is essentially a study of motherhood and three women: Amy/Ames, Katrina and Reese. Ames is a former trans woman who detransitioned from Amy and began dating his cisgender boss, Katrina. When Katrina became pregnant, after Ames was convinced he was sterile due to his 6 years of treatments while he was Amy, he finally came clean to Katrina about his past as a trans woman. Reese, also a trans woman and Amy’s ex girlfriend, wants to be a mother more than anything in this world. After finding out that Katrina is pregnant, Ames comes up with the unconventional idea of proposing to Reese and Katrina that they raise this baby together. The story flips back and forth between pre-conception and post-conception, giving you a detailed view of Amy’s transition, her relationship and life with Reese, the reasons why she ended up detransitioning and how her life led her to Katrina and their current situation.

I was truly blown away by the characters in this book. They are raw, real, complex and leave you with no choice but to be utterly invested in them- I couldn’t get enough of Amy/Ames’s and Reese’s stories. What I loved the most about them was how messy and honest these characters are and how eye opening their experiences are. You will not be able to read this without feeling their pain, fear, triumphs, joys, hopes, disappointments, and more.

Torrey Peters is an incredibly talented writer and storyteller and after reading her dedication in the beginning of the book, I need to know about her story and everything that inspired this book. Detransition, Baby is an incredible thought-provoking book that taught me so much about the lives of white trans women. Peters does an incredible job at exploring so many other themes such as divorce, parenthood, womanhood, unconventional family structures, sexuality, gender, mental illness, body dysphoria, friendship and more. The exploration of these themes made for quite a few moments of discomfort throughout the book, but they were absolutely necessary and I how thought provoking they were.

This book will make you feel so many different feelings and I encourage you to sit with those feelings afterward. I am so impressed with this compelling story and I truly cannot applaud Peters enough for writing such a fantastic debut novel. I look forward to reading more by her and watching her career grow. Thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is best paired with Cobbler: Blueberry Peach by Black Flag Brewing Company. This delicious fruited sour is brewed with cinnamon tincture, vanilla, lactose and over 450lbs of blueberries and peaches 🍻

Full Pour Review: Wicked

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

WOW. I can’t believe I waited so long to read this one!! Wicked by Gregory Maguire blew me away with his incredible storytelling and magical worlds. I went into this book having never seen the Broadway show and not really knowing what to expect, other then the fact that this book told the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. This book wasn’t at all what I was anticipating and it was darker than I imagined it to be, but it was pleasantly surprising overall!

DESCRIPTION: Gregory Maguire’s groundbreaking New York Times bestseller redefines the land of Oz, its inhabitants, its Wizard, and the Emerald City, viewing the world created by L. Frank Baum through a darker and greener lens. Brilliantly inventive, Wicked offers a radical new portrait of one of the most feared and despised villains in all of literature: the universally maligned Wicked Witch of the West who, in Maguire’s imaginative retelling, isn’t nearly as black-hearted as we imagined…

First, the characters in this book are all truly remarkable and complex. I loved learning about Elphaba’s story and following her along her journey. I viewed Elphaba as being incredibly misunderstood and not the evil witch she is portrayed as in The Wizard of Oz. She was very compassionate and heavily involved in advocating for Animal rights and committed to her “cause,” which was incredibly brave and noble of her in a place like Oz, which was full of crooked politics and an evil dictator (the Wizard).

Gregory Maguire is an incredibly talented writer who painted a beautifully complex world that allowed the reader to truly escape from the real world into something magical. The amount of detail that went in to describing these characters and these worlds were truly remarkable. At times, I was almost overwhelmed with how much detail was written in this book and found myself having to re-read some sections to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

If you are looking for a dark, racy and complex fantasy book that will serve as true escapism while reading, I highly recommend checking out Wicked. After the ending of this book, I’m really curious to read the others in this series and see where Gregory Maguire takes this story. Thank you so much to WilliamMorrow books for gifting me this fascinating (and BEAUTIFUL 25th anniversary edition!) book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire is best paired with Wizards and Gargoyles, a delicious hazy coffee IPA brewed in collaboration with Stone Brewing and Modern Times Brewing 🍻