Hi everyone, I hope you’re all doing okay! I’ve been meaning to post here for about a week now but I just felt so overwhelmed with the post I was writing that I just kinda left it festering in the drafts! It’s a really fun sapphic recommendations post that I’m really excited about so I am still hoping to post it by the end of the week! But back to the post at hand! Over the past week, if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I have been part of the street team for Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl – an amazingly queer debut fantasy novel – and I really enjoyed my time reading the ARC, so I thought I’d share a super quick review to let you know my thoughts on this fun debut (and perhaps give you a wee nudge to pick it up!).
Title: Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl
Author: Erin Grammar
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, LGBT, Young Adult
Synopsis: Holly Roads uses Harajuku fashion to distract herself from tragedy. Her magical girl aesthetic makes her feel beautiful—and it keeps the world at arm’s length. She’s an island of one, until advice from an amateur psychic expands her universe. A midnight detour ends with her vs. exploding mutants in the heart of San Francisco.
Brush with destiny? Check. Waking up with blue blood, emotions gone haywire, and terrifying strength that starts ripping her wardrobe to shreds? Totally not cute. Hunting monsters with a hot new partner and his unlikely family of mad scientists?
Way more than she bargained for.
Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl is a stunning debut novel that drew me in from the first page and had me clinging to the edge of my seat as it drew to a close! The novel follows Holly, Lolita fashion enthusiast who, on the night of her birthday after coming across two bizarre looking brutes, ends up with superhuman strength after one of them explodes all over her!
From the get go I was so intrigued by the plot! As I’m sure you all know from my raving reviews of the Cute Mutants series, I’m a huge fan of anything mutant/X-Men related, and I loved this take on superhuman abilities! I really enjoyed Holly as a main character and I loved her bubbly personality and love of Lolita fashion; it made for a really unique read that was not only entertaining, but also so informative for someone like me who has only ever admired the style from the outside! This juxtaposed with her superhuman strength led the story to a really interesting place and I can’t wait to see more of her ability in action in the upcoming books! The ‘queerness’ of this story was also something that I really loved – almost every character of note in the series is queer: Holly is bisexual and there are other lesbian, bi/pan and nonbinary characters, as well as characters on the ace spectrum, and there is very little romance in this book too if that’s not really your thing (although what we do get is some really great enemies(ish)-to-lovers tension)!
This book is so action packed that there is never a dull moment throughout. I know that if I had picked this up when I was younger (during my Jane Blonde/W.I.T.C.H/Winx Club/Totally Spies/Trollz phase) I would have ate this book up and it would definitely have immediately become a new favourite of mine! There’s a really fun found family aspect to this book, too which, if you know me, you know I’m a sucker for! I really enjoyed the big mishmash of characters, all with their own unique personalities, and seeing them all interact with each other was a lot of fun.
The only reason I docked a star is just because the writing style didn’t fully gel with me, but I know that it’ll work for so many other people (aka it’s a me problem, not a problem with the book). I also know that there are quite a few changes between the ARC and the final copy, so when I finally get my hands on a gorgeous physical copy (like, I mean, did you see that cover!!), there is still a high chance that my rating will go up as a result of this editing, so bear that in mind while reading my review!
Overall, I had such a great time reading this and I can’t wait for everyone else to get to read this fun, whimsical and action-packed debut!