The Finale Strife by: Saara El-Arifi

The premise for this book really grabbed at me but unfortunately, there were things in it that just let me down and left me with mixed feelings. Trigger warnings for the story: Drug use, violence, child abuse.

Positives first I guess.

It’s not poorly written, structure is good although it is a bit slow paced. Characters are well written, strong and each feels distinct from one another, their voices don’t blend together at all.

Chosen one who doesn’t save the world, chosen one who absolutely and totally misses being the chosen one, that’s pretty well done. Drug addict, found family, she’s doing her best because the world sucks ok?

I will say that because of a lot of things, some of what happened in the beginning was a bit much for me.

We do get solid representation, F/F, queerness just is, it wasn’t commented on, nothing hateful, which is always fantastic to see.

What’s unfortunate, is the fatphobia. There’s several comments made about a character’s size, how their clothing fits on another character of slim size, that’s not ok. It’s treated as casual and in the real world, casual fatphobia gets people hurt.

Then there was the adopted sibling romance and that’s not my thing. I absolutely just can’t. If you’re raised as siblings, then turn to romance, for me it’s a squick I cannot deal with. Wish Umbrella Academy hadn’t done, I don’t like seeing it

For me this gets three (3) stars out of five. (5) Not sure I’ll continue considering some of the issues that were in this and I don’t want to be exposed to that a second time so for me, the series is done.

I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to them and the publisher.


Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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