Hi all! Welcome back to my blog! Today is my stop on Not Good for Maidens Tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours! A big thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours as well as the author and publisher for providing me with an early copy of this book!
Title: Not Good for Maidens
Author: Tori Bovalino
Release Date: June 21st 2022
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Horror
Content Warnings: on-page gore, on-page body horror, violence, trauma
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Salem’s Lot meets The Darkest Part of the Forest in this horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”
Lou never believed in superstitions or magic–until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.
The market is a place Lou has only read about–twisted streets, offerings of sweet fruits and incredible jewels. Everything–from the food and wares, to the goblins themselves–is a haunting temptation for any human who manages to find their way in.
Determined to save Neela, Lou learns songs and spells and tricks that will help her navigate this dangerous world and slip past a goblin’s defenses–but she only has three days to find Neela before the market disappears and her aunt becomes one of them forever.
If she isn’t careful, the market might just end up claiming her too.
Not Good for Maidens follows Lou who has to travel into the Goblin Market after finding out her Aunt Neela was kidnapped by said market. The Goblin Market offers humans everything they could dream of, a temptation to any human who enters. Lou wanting to save Neela has to learn songs and spells in order to save her. But the twist is that she only has three days to save Neela before the market disappears.
When I saw in my email that I was selected for the Not Good for Maidens TBR and Beyond Tours, I was not expecting it and I’m so glad to be a part of this tour! This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022 and the premise of this story sounded so intriguing to me.
As I stated before, this was one of my most anticipated books for 2022. Going into this story, I had high expectations for this story. Ultimately, when I finished I was left with mixed feelings. While I thought some elements of the story were executed brilliantly, others fell flat for me.
Not Good for Maidens centers around the premise of the Goblin Market, which is a retelling of the original Goblin Market written by Christina Rossetti. I didn’t actually know that this was a retelling of an original story until other readers started pointing it out in their reviews. Since I haven’t actually read the original story, I can’t really speak on how well executed the retelling part of this story was. For the purpose of this review, I will not be focusing on the retelling part, but rather focusing on the worldbuilding itself.
The premise of the Goblin Market is what had me so intrigued with this story in the first place. The overall concept had me wanting to know more about it and see where the author could take it. The worldbuilding of the Goblin Market was very well executed bringing a horrific atmosphere that perfectly captures the experiences our main characters face.
I haven’t read a lot of YA books within the horror genre, but the gore and violence were done in such a descriptive way that I could actually imagine all the horrific acts the market committed. This story goes to a much darker level than other YA books I’ve read before, but I think we could use more of it in YA. I will warn you that if you aren’t the biggest fan of gore and body horror, then this story might not be the best for you.
While I did like the concept of Not Good For Maidens, I believe that it could have been executed a bit better. One of the main elements of this story is the dual timeline perspectives. The current time period focuses on Lou traveling into the Goblin Market to save her Aunt Neela and the past which focuses on May’s journey with the Goblin Market many years prior.
While this was an interesting idea, in theory, it didn’t end up working for me. While the difference between perspectives was announced at the beginning of each chapter, I had a bit of trouble differentiating what perspective I was reading because Lou and May felt very similar, not having any distinguishing character traits.
The problem with dual timelines is that if you don’t execute it quite right it ends up affecting the overall pacing of the story, which is exactly what happened here. The pacing dragged at several points of the story making it boring at times and overall had a very choppy feel instead of smoothly gliding through the story.
Not Good for Maidens is a plot-driven story, which was executed very well for the most part. It was very entertaining to read about Lou’s journey into the Goblin Market as she tries to save her Aunt Neela without getting trapped there herself. Since this story is more plot-driven, which isn’t bad, to say the least, the characters ended up falling flat with no real defining character trait of them. I wish that the amount of work that the author put into the worldbuilding and horrific atmosphere was carried over to the characters as well.
While there were elements of Not Good for Maidens I didn’t necessarily like, I know there will be other readers out there who will absolutely fall in love with this story. Not Good for Maidens is perfect for readers who are looking for a plot-driven story with well-developed horrific atmospheric worldbuilding that is sure to give you a fright.
Tori Bovalino grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and never knew she wanted to live abroad until she was already in London. She’s awful at picking favorites, but her consistent go-to books are Pride and Prejudice, Fire, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. She’s enamored with books that make her cry.
Tori holds a BA in English fiction writing and anthropology and a minor in German from theUniversity of Pittsburgh and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. She is currently on the Creative and practice-based PhD course at RHUL, researching the relationship between Russian folklore and YA fantasy novels. In her free time, Tori enjoys reading (duh), embroidering, and traveling.
She is represented by Dr. Uwe Stender and Amelia Appel at TriadaUS Literary Agency. She writes short stories, poetry, and novels.
Be sure to check out the rest of the TBR and Beyond blog tour for Not Good for Maidens. You can check the schedule down below! There are some amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers on here that you should check out!
Kait Plus Books – Interview
Nine Bookish Lives – Promotional Post
Brinn’s Books – Review, Favorite Quotes
Becky’s Book Blog – Review
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post
Althea Is Reading – Review
Clouded Galaxy Reads – Review
Book Notes by Athina – Promotional Post
Ink Slinger – 15 Reactions While Reading Not Good for Maidens
Beneath A Thousand Skies – Review
Metaphors and Miscellanea – Review & Favorite Quotes
Quills and Stardust – Interview
Inking & Thinking – Review & Playlist
Stuck in the Stacks – Review
Modest Hiccup – Top 5 Reasons to Read Not Good for Maidens & Mood Board
Phannie the ginger bookworm – 15 Reactions While Reading Not Good for Maidens
The Book Dutchesses – Promotional Post
Justice For Readers – Top 5 Reasons to Read Not Good for Maidens
Gwendalyn’s Books – Review
stories with saima – Review
Lu is lost in books – Review
The Bookish Coven – Promotional Post
The Nerdy Nook – Review & Favorite Quotes
A Court of Coffee and Books – Interview
Stuck in Fiction – Promotional Post
Unabridged Adventures – Review & Favorite Quotes
Literary Liza – Review & Favorite Quotes
kerasalwaysreading – Review
tbrandbeyond – Promotional Post
ninebookishlives – Blogger’s Choice
brinnsbooks – Blogger’s Choice
the.mixed.pages – Review & Favorite Quotes
folowing.fantasies – Top 5 Reasons to Read Not Good for Maidens
cloudedgalaxyreads – Blogger’s Choice
booknotes_athina – Blogger’s Choice
aamnaiswriting_ – Blogger’s Choice
metaphorsandmisc – Blogger’s Choice
onemused – Review
stuck.in.the.stacks – Blogger’s Choice
modesthiccup – Blogger’s Choice
pcreads – Review & Favorite Quotes
justiceforreaders – Blogger’s Choice
gwendalyn_reads – Blogger’s Choice
writingrosereads – Promotional Post
bookish.by.trade – Top 5 Reasons to Read Not Good for Maidens
luislostinbooks – Blogger’s Choice
thenerdynoon – Blogger’s Choice
acourtofcoffeeandbooksblog – Blogger’s Choice
feliciareads11 – Blogger’s Choice
unabridged_adventures – Blogger’s Choice
literarylize – Blogger’s Choice
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