Book review · novella

Book review: Help Wanted

Help Wanted (Ashveil Academy Book 1), by J. Emery

19 help wantedDescription: (from goodreads)

Em is confused about a lot of things: who she is, what she wants, how she’s going to pass Alchemy when she’s awful at it. The one thing she’s not confused about is how much she wants to buy her best friend (and college roommate) the best birthday present ever. Luckily the local magic supply shop is hiring.

Her plan to get a job there would be working perfectly if not for her coworker Phineas who is in turns aggravating and endearingly awkward. She’s not sure if she wants to date him or wants to be him. The more time they spend together the more she thinks it may be both.

Help Wanted is an 18,000 word novella with a gender and sexuality questioning f/m romance. It is the first in a new series about students at a contemporary magic college.

Expected publication: July 26th 2018
A review copy (e-galley) of this book was provided by the author. Some things might change in the final copy.

This novella is a cute slice-of-life story set in a magical college. Magical school is one of my favourite trope and it being in a contemporary setting with characters close to my age-range (so this isn’t YA, more of NA) was just what I wanted needed.

Add to this a vegetarian gender questioning main character who’s poor and starts working at a magic supply shop so she can buy a nice present for her roomate/best friend’s birthday and I don’t know what more I can ask. The queer representation doesn’t stop there, there is as well a f/f side couple, an aromantic side character and as I said, a main character struggling to understand her sexuality, romantic orientation and gender.

I loved how her time at work and her interaction with other students felt very real, from having to restock the store to starting writing paper right before the due date and having a kinship with her fellow classmate in the same situation. The “have you started writing this paper? no ? welp me neither” situation is something most college student have known at least once 😉
The awkward interactions with her co-worker who starts tutoring her in Alchemy was also really nice to read about.

So this is exactly what I’d love to read more of.
Reappropriation of fantasy tropes with queer content, no life or death situation… this is going to be a novella series and I’m ecstatic because I definitely need more!
This was an adorable read from beginning to end ❤

Content warnings (as stated at the beginning of the book) : mentions of gender dysphoria and minor mentions of death, nonspecific.

6 thoughts on “Book review: Help Wanted

  1. Some of the scariest dreams I have (thankfully quite rarely) are ones where I’m panicking because I haven’t done an assignment on time or I haven’t studied for an exam, hahaha. It must be quite refreshing that this story isn’t a life-or-death one. Sounds like a great read!


    1. Ever since I got my approval for my next year of uni I’ve had nightmares on the same theme so uh, I can relate x’)

      Yes it reads kinda like a nice fanfiction and that’s something I really like 🙂


          1. Why must our brains betray us so, ahahaha. I’m done with studying!! Although actually another super scary dream I had was one where I’d quit my job but didn’t have another one lined up. I woke up feeling really stressed, heh.

            Liked by 1 person

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