Can’t-Wait Wednesdayis a weekly meme hosted over at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about but haven’t yet read. Most of the time they’re books that have yet to be released, but not always. It’s based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme, which was originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week my Can’t-Wait-For is The Scratch Daughters by Hannah Abigail Clarke!The Scratch Daughters (Scapegracers, #2) by Hannah Abigail Clarke
Representation: Lesbian MC, queer Black secondary character, bisexual Asian-American secondary character, secondary M/M
Published on: 21st December 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
It's been a wild year for Sideways Pike. After forming a coven with the three most popular girls in school and developing a huge crush on a mysterious stranger named Madeline, Sideways' Halloween was ruined by finding out that Madeline wasn't trying to make out with her, but to steal Sideways' specter, the force that gives witches the ability to cast magic spells. From Madeline's perspective, it's not her fault: after a doomed relationship with one of the creepy near-identical Chantry Boys turned into a witch hunt, they took her specter, so, really, she's only borrowing Sideways' until she can recover her own and punish the Chantrys.
The specter-less Sideways is in a horrid, distracted mood, unable to do magic and with part of her consciousness tied to Madeline's, on the lam as she uses Sideways' specter to hunt Chantrys. The other Scapegracers are much jollier, heading into the winter holidays having set up shop as curse crafters for girls in their school who've been done wrong by guys. When Sideways—through Madeline—gets a flash of how to track down both her foes at once, she asks the Scapegracers to help entrap them, only to be told her plan is unsafe and unwise. So if she's going to find Madeline, her only ally is Mr. Scratch, the inky book demon currently inhabiting her as life support until she gets her spectre back.
Sideways is used to being an outcast loner, and is desperate to do magic again, so she's not going to let little barriers like facing an betraying crush and a family of six demented witch hunters practically alone stop her. But she and her trusty stolen bike are in for a bumpy ride...
Release day is coming up fast – this might be the first 2021 release I’ve featured for Can’t Wait Wednesday, actually – but it really can’t come soon enough! The Scapegracers was one of my best-beloved books of last year, and I’ve spent all of this year pining for the sequel. I cannot get enough of Clarke’s insanely delicious, gorgeous prose, and I’m in love with every single one of the characters, and this is the first book I’ve ever read that actually, really and truly, gets magic; gets what it’s like to feel it and use it, and captures all of that so superbly. And everything Scapegracers has to say about queerness and being a girl – all the different ways of being a girl – with all the fem-friendship feels instead of all the Not Like Other Girls nonsense – it’s just *chef’s kiss*
The publishing date for Scratch Daughters was pushed back a few times, but it’s currently slated to be released on the Winter Solstice, and honestly – that’s just freakishly, epically perfect. It’s correct. Of course it’s coming out on the longest night of the year; the night after which the days get longer, the nights get shorter, the world fills up with light again. (At least, for us in the Northern Hemisphere.) The tagline for Scratch Daughters is It’s gonna be another dark night of the soul, and yes! Yes it is! But there will be LIGHT because we will finally have MORE SCAPEGRACERS and that is simply THE BEST THING.
If you’ve somehow missed The Scapegracers, go read it, and then preorder Scratch Daughters! And if you’ve already preordered…well, there might just be time for another Scapegracers reread if we’re quick!
Update: the release date of The Scratch Daughters was changed after this post was made; the book is now scheduled to be published in November 2022.