Rad Reads

Beach read alert! Romance, monsters, girl power and so much more

Welcome back to our Bestie Book Club—
a community for book lovers from Girls' Life magazine

If you're new here, hello and welcome, book lovers! Here's how this works: Each month we read, discuss and obsess over a new book so if you haven't signed up already, be sure to follow us on Instagram where you'll be able to find Bestie Book Club updates, special contests and giveaways, event invitations and more. 

Here's a quick list of everything you'll find inside this post (and beyond). Just remember, *major spoilers* are ahead, so look for the spoiler ratings before you read!

+ Buy the Book
+ Quick-Read Recap
+ Commentary from our Bestie Book Club
+ Details on how to participate

Spoiler level: Low

The sun is shining, beach days are upon us and summer love szn is *officially* here. Whether you’re lounging poolside, heading off to camp or still indoors with the fam, dig into the amaze Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa.

In the first book The Iron King, we were captivated by the story of Meghan Chase and the mystical world of Faeryland, from her father King Oberon to her BFF Puck and (possible) love interest, Prince Ash.

We’re happy to report that the second book in the series, The Iron Daughter, does *not* disappoint. The drama is even more intense, the stakes higher and the plot twists more surprising than ever. Plus, we are shipping Meghan and Ash—or wait, is it Meghan and Puck?!—and the story gives us no shortage of swoon-worthy moments between its two potential power couples.

Scope our sneak peek below (warning: major spoilers ahead) then reunite with our fave bookish besties Ana, Lauren, Alana and Ally  (all in our Bestie Book Club) who share why they’re *totally* loving this enticing summer read.

Psst: Want to skip the spoilers and just read our (low spoiler) Bestie Book Club reviews? Click HERE.

Spoiler level: High

Meghan Chase is trapped between worlds. She’s half-human and half-fey, born of King Oberon’s Summer Court but trapped in Queen Mab’s Winter Court. She’s freezing, losing track of time without sunlight and not sure how much longer she can last.

Plus, she can’t stop thinking about her fight with King Machina, the Iron King—and the existence of the iron fey at all. Even more intense? She hasn’t seen Prince Ash since her arrival…and since they shared a heart-stopping kiss.

Prince Ash is Meghan’s enemy. If Queen Mab ordered him to torture her, he’d have to do it—the Unseelie Court is known for being icy and cruel. Ash warns Meghan not to trust him, but she can’t contain her emotions. Although she fears Queen Mab and the Unseelie Court, she has a feeling that Ash will protect her. After all, she’s finally admitted to herself that she’s in love with him.

No one believes that Meghan, a half-human with no known powers, could have killed the Iron King. As she tries to convince Queen Mab of the truth, Ash returns with his intimidating brothers Rowan and Sage. Meghan hopes that Ash will defend her—but instead, he insults her in front of his family. Meghan is heartbroken.

Meghan gets to know the ins and outs of the Winter Court, especially the manipulative games of Queen Mab, Rowan and Sage. A phouka named Tiaothin gives Meghan more insight into Prince Ash—he is grieving his former love, Ariella, a member of the Winter Court who died. Tiaothin says that Ash would never betray Ariella’s memory and his own family to pursue Meghan. Meghan starts to think the phouka may be right. Even when she pleads with Ash, saying that she loves him, he is rude and cold to her in front of his brothers.

The drama becomes even more complicated when Meghan is the sole witness as Tertius, an Iron knight, kills Sage as Sage is showing Meghan the Scepter of the Seasons. The Iron fey steal the scepter that was supposed to be exchanged between the Summer and Winter Courts.

Queen Mab finds Sage dead and the scepter gone and thinks it is the work of King Oberon and the Summer Court. Meghan tries to explain that it was the Iron fey who did it, but Mab won’t believe her. Queen Mab declares war between the Winter and Summer Courts. As chaos swirls around them, Meghan and Ash share a moment alone where he confesses that his cruel behavior is all an act—and he does still have feelings for her. They have to get out of there.

Ash and Meghan flee the icy palace to find Tertius and the Iron fey so they can retrieve the scepter. Their journey is full of darkness, danger and, of course the he will-they/won’t-they nature of their relationship only grows more intense.

They are running from Iron fey when a mysterious figure appears to save them: It’s Puck! “I’ll always come back for you,” he tells Meghan. Meghan is delighted to see her best friend. Ash asks Puck for a favor—to take Meghan back to the Summer Court. Meghan is hurt that Ash wants to retrieve the scepter on his own, but he knows she wouldn’t be able to help. Queen Mab cut off her magical powers.

Meghan tell Puck that she’s sick of Faeryland and wants to go back to the human world. Puck says he’ll take her back and betray King Oberon because…he’s in love with Meghan. (Well, he doesn’t *actually* say those three words, but Meghan can see it in his eyes).

The two of them share a kiss (OMG), but Meghan feels guilty. She’s still thinking about Ash. Ash walks in on Meghan and Puck kissing and is clearly shocked. His demeanor immediately goes cold as he tells them to leave by morning.

The next morning, Meghan and Puck get ready to go home. But that’s when Meghan realizes she can’t leave yet—she must stay in Faeryland and fight the Iron fey. The fate of the fey depends on her. So, Meghan and Puck head into the unknowns of the forest.

On the way, they reunite with Grimalkin, the sarcastic talking cat from The Iron King, and Ironhorse, one of the Iron King’s lieutenants. But this time Ironhorse doesn’t want a fight; he wants to help them retrieve the scepter.

The four of them trudge through the mazelike Briars and end up in the Between—the land ruled by Leanansidhe, Queen of the Exiles, standing in between the mortal and faery worlds. Leanansidhe promises to give them the clues they need to reach the Iron fey. Stuck in Leanansidhe’s mansion, Meghan is missing Ash more than ever. She wishes she knew where he was—and that he even wanted to be found.

The Exiles are able to locate the scepter in SciCorp, a technology complex. Meghan has to sneak in and pretend to be an employee—and gets a total makeover in order to do so. While there, she finds the scepter…and Ash. But Virus, another Iron King lieutenant, has planted a mind control bug into his brain. Ash isn’t himself at all—he has no memories of his old self and is programmed to kill them all.

Meghan uses the powers of the Iron King within her to help heal Ash. She knows she will do anything to help him even if it puts her at risk. The journey brings them to a Winter Formal at Meghan’s old high school in Louisiana. She even dances with her old crush Scott…and with Puck…and with Ash.

The romance is interrupted when the gang discovers the location of the scepter. It leads them to fight Virus—and it’s clear not all of them will survive. They lose Ironhorse, who calls Meghan his queen. Virus realizes Meghan has the power of the Iron Queen. Ash sneaks up on Virus and is able to slay her and take back the scepter.

When the action is over, they return the scepter to Queen Mab. Ash is finally honest about his romantic feelings for Meghan—and he’s banished from the Winter Court for it. Meghan is exiled from the Summer Court for the same reason—much to Puck’s dismay. The two star-crossed lovers leave the families where they used to belong and walk into the unknown…together.

What’s going to happen to Meghan and Ash? You’ll have to read Book 3: The Iron Queen

Spoiler level: Medium

Did our Bestie Book Club love The Iron King? Read on!
We *had* to chat about The Iron Daughter with fellow readers who are just as obsessed as we are. Reunite with Ana, Lauren, Alana and Ally —all of whom could totally relate to Meghan’s powerful story of love and adventure. Are they Team Puck or Team Ash? What makes The Iron Daughter even more exciting than the first book? We’ve got the deets.

Ana @literaryxqueen

What was your favorite thing about the book? The absolute savagery of the Fae—and the fact that they are REAL.
What lessons did you learn from The Iron DaughterTo stay true to yourself and always do what is right, even if it's hard.
What was your favorite scene? I am a sucker for a love triangle so my favorite scene was of course when Puck and Meghan kiss!
Her Book Bestie pro tip: To create her enchanting aesthetic, Ana uses natural light and accentuates the books with warm tones, textural elements, twinkle lights and lit candles. 

Lauren @laurenpaigepictures

Did you learn any life lessons from the book? Meghan taught me to be courageous, to fight for what I believe in and to be strong.
Which part did you find the most relatable? Definitely Meghan's confusion about her feelings for Ash, Puck and Scott. They definitely reveal the struggles of teenage relationships!
How would you describe The Iron Daughter to your BFF? As action-packed, thrilling and romantic! I loved that there was such a captivating romance.

Erin @_erin.maureen_

What was your favorite scene? I *loved* the winter formal. I'm a sucker for a dance moment, and OMG—this one totally delivered. Meghan dancing with all three of her love interests? I couldn't get enough.
Who would you recommend The Iron Daughter to? If you love fantasy series, this one is *def* for you. I love how fantasy novels give me a chance to escape from the stresses of my day-to-day routine.
#Bookstagram pro tip: Natural light always makes photos look better. Try taking pics early in the morning or later in the evening, when the sun is lower in the sky. You'll *glow*. 

Alana @alanalintao

What was the biggest difference between this book and the first? This story really focused on Megan's relationships with Ash, Puck and Scott, which set it apart from The Iron King.
What are you looking forward to in Book 3? I can't wait to find out how Ash and Meghan are doing in the real world and if being banished for love was worth it.
Can you relate to the type of crushes that Meghan has? I relate the most to Meghan and Scott's relationship. I got over my frist crush when I realized how different he was than the person I had made him out to be in my head, just like Meghan had done for Scott.
Her Book Bestie pro tip: Match your nails to your book! Alana uses the shade Metallic Fuschia from KLEANCOLOR.

Ally @thenatureofpages

Which character do you relate to the most? I definitely relate the most to Puck. I can be sarcastic and a bit of a class clown at times.
Who would you recommend The Iron Daughter to? This book is perfect for anyone who loves fantasy because it really invites you into the world of Faeryland and to come along for all of the adventures.
Will you apply anything from the book to your life? I learned that, like Meghan, it's important to follow your heart and fight for what you believe.

So you've read the book and you're ready to talk all thing The Iron Daughter? Wondering *exactly* how the Bestie Book Club works and what it means to be a member? There are so many ways you can get involved—whether it's solo, on social media or with your whole squad. Here's a quick list...
+ SOLO. Take your personal reading game to the next level using the themes of love, friendship and family as a guide for your own journaling and personal reflection. If you love to read, it could be fun to start a special book diary where you keep track of all your favorite novels—and the personal musings they inspired.
+ ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Share your thoughts on The Iron Daughter using the hashtag #glbestiebookclub on Twitter and Instagram. (Just remember: You have to have a public account for us to be able to see and respond to your posts!)
+ WITH YOUR SQUAD. Host an IRL (or Zoom) book club party, of course! Be sure to tag us in your snaps so we can share them.

by GL | 7/1/2020