Consent Is Sexy: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Consent Is Sexy: Song of the Current by Sarah TolcserSong of the Current (Song of the Current #1)
by Sarah Tolcser
Release Date: June 6th 2017
Published by Bloomsbury Children's
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, YA
Format: eARC
Pages: 373
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four-stars
Source: ARC received for review purposes

Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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Sarah Tolcser’s debut novel wasn’t on my radar until Amber-Elise mentioned loving it, and I’m so glad that she talked about the book, because this book is one of the best historical YA fantasy books that I’ve read in a long time. It’s been a while since I’ve been THIS invested in a new series, and a new cast, so I’m thankful beyond words to this author and Song of the Current for that.

Any time a book mentions pirates, sailing, and the ocean, I’m 100% in. I got out of this exactly what that blurb promises. Song of the Current was fun from beginning to end, and it’s a story that’s hard to put down because of how compelling it is. There’s a lot of great things going on here, so I’ll talk a bit about all the elements that worked for me. First off the world building. It was stunning. Tolcser managed to craft a fantasy world that bears familiar elements, but is still unique in many aspects. I think one of my concerns going into any YA fantasy is that the world is difficult to picture because of info-dumping, but that wasn’t the case here. The author builds the world foundation by foundation, and slowly introduces us to the history, culture, and magical beings inhabiting her world. I particularly enjoyed the different cultures and the different people in the world, and I’m looking forward to learning more about them in the next book. I also liked how adventurous the book was. Like I said, it was a fun book, and Sarah Tolcser weaved together a pretty addicting story in Song of the Current.

The story wouldn’t have been great had it not been for its terrific biracial (WOO) heroine. Caro was sassy, brave, strong and mouthy – just the kind of heroine this book needed. She was quite the blast, and I enjoyed what a firecracker she was. She wouldn’t bow down to others, and she did not let anyone boss her around. She’s not perfect though, and along the way, she stumbles and makes mistakes. But Caro also undergoes a lot of growth as she goes on this journey to deliver the special cargo, across the ocean. I love that she was a character who was willing to learn from her mistakes. I think that’s what made her infinitely more attractive as a heroine. Tarquin, who at first I wasn’t sure I could trust, also managed to sweep me off my feet by the end. He’s a bit more uptight and proper compared to Caro, and they butt heads a lot in the beginning, but they also grow to become very fond of each other.

The romance here between the two was an enemies-to-lover romance, and it was exactly the way I like my hate-to-love romance, not too acerbic. The build-up to the kissing scenes especially was fantastic, and you bet, I was giddy with the swoons when it came to the chemistry between Caro and Tarquin. I loved how they made each other better through their relationship. I also have to give major props to Sarah Tolcser for the detailed conversation about consent, and what has to be the most consenty (not a word, I know), love scene I have ever come across in YA book. These conversations are so important, and I wish we’d see more of them in YA.

OK. I think I’ve rambled enough about my love for Song of the Current. I know that there are many books out this month, but do yourself a favor, and add it to your TBR. It’s a whole lot of fun, has an A+ cast, and the romance is swoony as heck. What more can you ask of from a fantasy book? 🙂

What are some of YA books that you’ve read that described consent?
Let me know in the comments below!

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Nick
  • Oh I don’t think I know this one. Sounds awesome though. Plus the cover is so pretty and that can be enough to get me to pick it up 🙂 Great review!!

  • This sounds good from the subtle world building to the swoony haters to lovers romance Nick. I am curious about the magic in this world.

  • This sounds like such an incredible book! I definitely think there need to be more conversations about consent in YA, especially because a lot of the most popular series have questionable relationship dynamics. The fact that the book covers consent immediately piqued my interest! I’m definitely adding this to my TBR immediately. Great review, Nick! x

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

  • Rambling is awesome 😉 Hehe I do that too

  • I like the idea behind this story. Great review.

  • I want to read this for the swoony romance. I adore the antagonistic romance!

  • I hate info-dumping, my mind ends up wandering when an author shoves too much at me. It’s an art to build a world in an interesting and addictive way. So happy to hear you were impressed. It’s also nice that the author had the hate/love romance balance just right. Too much hatred and snipping gets old after a while. Wonderful review, Nick! 🙂

  • oh my…this book sounds simply amazing. I just love great world building and a swoony romance…seems like the perfect match. Thanks for sharing your wonderful review.

  • Greg Hill

    I keep seeing good stuff on this one, and it’s a debut too. Nice! I’m so impressed with some of the debut novels that have come out lately and how good they’ve been. Sounds like another one here. And how awesome is that cover?

  • Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Oooh nice! I saw the cover for this one and was nearly swept away, but with a tumbling TBR pile I’ve been trying to hold myself back from adding to it willy nilly. I must read reviews first for possible new books! This one does sound rather interesting! Glad to hear it was a win! Great review!

  • Jazmen

    I’m really starting to come to appreciate historial fiction, be it YA or otherwise. I’m definitely willing to try this one, and it sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing it!

  • Yesss! I got to read this one too and I really enjoyed it. I loved so much about it. Caro was definitely my favorite of course. She was such a badass! I love strong heroines. I agree with you about the talk of consent. I thought that was really important and I loved that the author included it. They had a great love/hate relationship. Fantastic review, Nick!

  • I’ve read amazing things about this book! Thing is, I just found out about it. I’ve been out of it on new releases lately so I missed this one. And wow, it really is rare for their to be a talk of consent and I’m glad it was included in a YA novel. Yay for hate to lover romance!!! Gah I love that. Great review, Nick!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  • Nick, this book totally wasn’t on my radar until I read this review. It sounds brilliant and my life needs more good fantasy in it even if my life doesn’t need more series for me to forget to finish. Ugh, I am blaming you when I’m living on the streets in a house built of books.

  • Three cheers for talk of consent!!! I don’t know why but I’ve always passed over this book whenever I see it, which is strange seeing as it has a lot of components I love in fantasy. I love it when an author takes the time to lay the foundations to their world before building upon it instead of info dumping it all in one go. I’ll have to keep me eye on this book. 😀

  • Oh, this sounds lovely! And you know I don’t read too many historical fantasy but you got me at a sassy character and an enemy-to-lover angle. Sold!

  • This was definitely on my radar, but I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to read it until now! Also biracial MC YES.