Review: Shattered Midnight by Dhonielle Clayton

Posted January 8, 2022 by Richetta in #ownvoices, Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

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Review: Shattered Midnight by Dhonielle Clayton

I received this book for free from Disney NetGalley and Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Review: Shattered Midnight by Dhonielle ClaytonThe Mirror: Shattered Midnight by Dhonielle Clayton
Published by Hyperion Books for Children on January 18, 2022
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic, JUVENILE FICTION / General, Juvenile Fiction / Historical / General
Pages: 304
Format: ARC, Hardcover
Source: Disney NetGalley and Rockstar Book Tours
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

The Mirror: Shattered Midnight is the second novel in the innovative four-book fairy-tale quartet written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, J.C. Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.

Zora Broussard has arrived in New Orleans with not much more than a bag of clothes, a beautiful voice, and a pair of enchanted red shoes. Running from a tragic accident caused by her magic, Zora wants nothing more than to blend in, as well as to avoid her overbearing aunt and mean-spirited cousins. Music becomes Zora's only means of escape, yet she wonders if she should give it all up to remove the powers that make her a target, especially as a Black woman in the South.

But when Zora gets the chance to perform in a prominent jazz club, she meets a sweet white pianist named Phillip with magic of his own, including a strange mirror that foretells their future together. Falling into a forbidden love, Zora and Phillip must keep their relationship a secret. And soon the two discover the complicated connection between their respective families, a connection that could lead to catastrophe for them both. In the era of segregation and speakeasies, Zora must change her destiny and fight for the one she loves . . . or risk losing everything.

New Orleans comes alive in this succulent gem of a novel filled with vibrant music, glittering magic, and a heartbreaking love story that highlights the injustices that plague our society to this day. Shattered Midnight combines Clayton's trademark decadent writing with a fairytale twist that will leave readers clamoring for the next installment in this series." --Roseanne A. Brown, New York Times best-selling author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Shattered Midnight dazzles with romance and danger. As Zora longs for things society and even her family tells her she chan't have, we see her grow into a power that isn't just because of her magic. It's because of Zora's strength. Clayton creates a magical New Orleans every bit as tempting as a fresh beignet. How could anyone resist? --Marie Rutkoski, New York Times best-selling author of theWINNER'Strilogy

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the SHATTERED MIDNIGHT by Dhonielle Clayton Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway! 

I am a sucker for any movie or book set in New Orleans. The city is just meant for storytelling. So when I saw this book on NetGalley I jumped at the opportunity to review it. Plus it was written by Ms. Dhonielle Clayton and I have been wanting to read one of her books for some time. I thought I would start with The Belles, but this is a nice jumping in point.

This book could and should be a movie. The descriptions of Zora’s magical Jazz notes and stormy rage fits will capture your imagination. I was hooked from beginning to the end. If I was a nail biter my hands would look a wreck.

Magic, Joy and Anger

Zora’s magic manifests with both joy and pain. I just felt that Zora was the epitome of what many Black women carry around with them every day. There is utter joy in what we love and when we are able to express ourselves. There is also bitter rage held sometimes deep within, sometimes lurking just beneath the surface when are are oppressed and abused.

Finding Your Own Power

New Orleans Food GIF by Disney - Find & Share on GIPHY
I suddenly have a taste for beignets.

Oh boy, I thought I was going to get a second rendition of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from Madame Ursula for a second in one scene. Zora loves her power and is afraid of it at the same time. She suffers from a lack of magical control because her mother shut down her learning about magic out of grief. But Zora has her fingers on the pulse of both light- through her music – and darkness — through her anger and spontaneous storms.

Forbidden Romance

So when you pick up on the fact that something ain’t gonna end right from the title and then you watch the main character get swept into a romantic relationship that isn’t considered legal at that time in history, you already know there is going to be drama. I mean the boy is cute…but still drama.

Souls Ursula GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Magic causing you problems girlie?

Series Stress and Fun

I messed around and read Shattered Midnight not realizing that it’s part of a connected series. Now, I may change my stance later, but for now, I’m going to say you don’t have to have read book one before reading Ms. Clayton’s book. Based on the family tree that is at the front of the book, you can tell that there are probably some crossover characters from book one mentioned. So for now, I am in the unique position of being excited to read book one, Broken Wish, (which I just checked out from the library) knowing that I will immediately want to re-read Shattered Midnight again to both make new connections and to tide me over until the third book, Fractured Path, by J.C. Cervantes comes out this summer. I will update my thoughts here.

Spoiler Hint

For anyone who like Lovecraft Country… there are some vibes you might catch onto with Zora. IYKYK. (I’m resisting posting a gif so bad right now. )


I came for… the fairy tale set-up

I stayed for…. black girl magic

Hot Cocoa Moments: I love the magical fairy tale elements. The magic red shoes, the enchanted mirror, these items keep you grounded in the magic of possibilities even when the historical setting has so many restrictions on the main character because of her skin color.

Would I Read it Again: yes, I will be re-reading after I read book one.

Educator Recommendations: I would have fun with using this book as a mentor text in a creative writing class. A fun assignment could be, choose three magical objects, a historical time period and sketch the personality of your main character. Then outline or draft a short story that includes those things. I would also be having some conversations with my students about Zora’s rage storms and the connection they have to coping with racism.

Headshot of author Dhonielle Clayton

About The Author:

Dhonielle Clayton is a New York Times Bestselling author of The Belles series, the coauthor of the Tiny Pretty Things duology which debuts as a Netflix original series soon, and the author of the forthcoming MG fantasy series The Marvellers. She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side. She taught secondary school for several years, and is a former elementary and middle school librarian. She is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent—and decidedly diverse—literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. She’s an avid traveler, and always on the hunt for magic and mischief. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

Win a Copy of Shattered Midnight!

3 winners will receive a finished copy of SHATTERED MIDNIGHT, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Be sure to check out the other stops on the Book Tour!

Week One:

1/1/2022YA Books CentralExcerpt

Week Two:

1/2/2022Simplybeccamee Review
1/3/2022The Bookwyrm’s DenReview
1/4/2022Kait Plus BooksReview
1/5/2022Emelie’s BooksReview
1/6/2022Rajiv’s ReviewsReview
1/7/2022More Books Please blogReview
1/8/2022Cocoa With BooksReview

Week Three:

1/9/2022Bri’s Book NookReview
1/11/2022Sometimes Leelynn ReadsReview
1/12/2022Locks, Hooks and BooksReview
1/13/2022@moonlight_rendezvous Review
1/14/2022@bookisheclectic Review

Week Four:

1/16/2022@jypsylynn Review
1/17/2022History From A Woman’s PerspectiveReview
1/18/2022The Momma SpotReview
1/21/2022Lifestyle of MeReview
1/22/2022Stuck in the StacksReview

Week Five:

1/23/2022A Bookish DreamReview
1/26/2022Fire and IceReview
1/27/2022Books a Plenty Book ReviewsReview

Week Six:

1/30/2022Momfluenster IG Post
1/31/2022Popthebutterfly ReadsReview

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