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  • Writer's pictureSelena | Beauty's Library

Bright Ruined Things Review

I loved all the vibes we got from both the era and the magic.

Rating: 5/5

The only life Mae has ever known is on the island, living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the magic on the island and the spirits who inhabit it. Mae longs for magic of her own and to have a place among the Prosper family, where her best friend, Coco, will see her as an equal, and her crush, Miles, will finally see her. Now that she’s eighteen, Mae knows her time with the Prospers may soon come to an end.

But tonight is First Night, when the Prospers and their high-society friends return to the island to celebrate the night Lord Prosper first harnessed the island’s magic and started producing aether – a magical fuel source that has revolutionized the world. With everyone returning to the island, Mae finally has the chance to go after what she’s always wanted.

When the spirits start inexplicably dying, Mae starts to realize that things aren’t what they seem. And Ivo, the reclusive, mysterious heir to the Prosper magic, may hold all the answers – including a secret about Mae’s past that she doesn’t remember. As Mae and her friends begin to unravel the mysteries of the island, and the Prospers’ magic, Mae starts to question the truth of what her world was built on.

Forbidden magic, a family secret, and a night to reveal it all...


I received an ARC from Wednesday Books. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Oh, this was such a fun read! An urban fantasy set in the 1920s? Yes, please!

Set in the 1920s, we follow Mae, who all she’s ever known is the island and her life living with the Prospers, who control the magic on the island and for most of the world. Mae has always wanted to do magic of her own, hoping it might make a place for her permanently. So she wouldn’t have to leave the only home she’s ever known. Now that she’s eighteen, she knows her days are numbered. But her plan to get magic goes awry as they approach the First Night celebration. Secrets come out and choices need to be made.

From the start, this had me entranced. I loved all the vibes we got from both the era and the magic. I read a majority of this in a single day. I simply didn’t want to put it down. The magic involved within this one was so interesting to see. Just the whole premise of their magic and what they truly do with it was so neat to read. This entire book simply felt magical all the way through.

From the start, this had me entranced. I loved all the vibes we got from both the era and the magic.

Then, the era! I absolutely love the 1920s, so I was especially looking forward to seeing that aspect. Though I will say, I did notice it wasn’t heavily focused on “being set in the 1920s.” However, I didn’t mind that, because just based on what was happening and how things were described in passing, I visually saw it in my mind as the 1920s easily. Especially with how one of our main characters’, Coco dressed.

Speaking of characters, I absolutely adored Mae. She grew into such a strong character from where she was at the beginning. I really connected with her on how she felt living with the Prospers. And without spoiling anything, I will just say, I love the ending she got! The ending is left more open than I would have liked, but with how I envisioned it, oh man! My heart swelled!

I think anyone who enjoys the 1920s and urban fantasy might enjoy this one! I loved reading every second of it!


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