SynopsisThis is a charming and delightful tale that is reminiscent of children’s favorites The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy and Astrid Lindgren’s Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. Black and white line drawings sprinkled throughout reveal the humor and warmth in everything Kiki does.
I am not a big anime lover, but I have heard of the ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service‘ story before. When I discovered the book, I knew that I had to pick it up. The story follows a young witch named Kiki, who leaves her home to find her own path as a witch. I found Kiki to be a fairly typical young girl, aside from being a witch.
She is energetic, and excited to embark on this adventure. But, she has a tendency to think she is all grown up, and already has everything figured out. She is curious about normal tween things, like boys and love, and has big dreams. I see her being relatable for young girls.
Like most witches, she has a cat familiar named Gigi. I found Gigi to be entertaining and delightful. They balanced each other’s personalities, which was nice. Also, she adds a touch of humor to the story. I enjoyed those tiny funny parts a lot, and they added to my enjoyment of the book.
“How wonderful it is to have a place to return to.”
There weren’t a lot of side characters, but they were all very likable. That being said, they didn’t have a very large part in the story. As the title suggests, the book centers around Kiki, and follows her delivery adventures. Honestly, it felt like a collection of short stories. I didn’t mind this at all, since it made the book a quick read.
Overall, this is a cute witchy story that is perfect for younger readers. I would definitely classify it as a middle grade. There’s an underlying message, that some people pass judgement on others who they simply don’t understand. This is something that which holds very true in real life as well.
It was interesting to learn that the author’s inspiration for the story was a drawing her daughter made. She even loosely based Kiki off her daughter. I found that to be adorable. Reading the book made me want to watch the movie, because I hear that it closely follows the book. So, I think that I will enjoy it as well. Leave me a comment, letting me know if you have either read the book or seen the film. And hit that follow button to help grow my blog!
Based on the original inspiration for the Nutcracker ballet, Sherri L. Smith brings the Nutcracker Prince to life in this fascinating journey into a world of toymaking, magical curses, clockmaking guilds, talking mice and erudite squirrels.
A lot of the middle grade books I read usually fall some where around the 3-star range. However, this book exceeded my expectations. I learned about this book from BookTube, and the storyline piqued my interest. I had recently read ‘The Nutcracker’, so finding out that this was a retelling of that story made me even more interested.
When we meet the protagonist, Stefan, his mother has just passed away, and he is thinking about his next steps. He questions being a toy maker is his destiny, as it was for his father. Grief has left him confused about the future, and made him guarded. When his estranged cousin, Christian, shows up Stefan immediately finds him suspicious. However, they quickly form a connection and bond while reminiscing about Stefan’s deceased mother.
Stefan accept Christian’s offer to be his apprentice, and become a clock maker. More than anything, it seemed like he desired to forge a new path, due to his mother’s death. Stefan wasn’t necessarily a complex character, but he was clever. He easily combined his love of toy making with his fascination with clock making, which made him unique.
“True survivor swallows is his pride.”
The other characters, such as Christian, Stefan’s father, and Christian’s companion were well rounded characters. However, I found Stefan to be the most enjoyable character. Still, every characters had their own place in the story, even all the mice, and I don’t think the plot would have been complete without all of them. As I mentioned, there are mice characters, because it wouldn’t be a Nutcracker retelling without mice.
I liked how we got a look into the mice kingdom and the evil Mouse Queen. Her mice babies were all different in personality, but you could see how much their mother’s influence affected them. Their thoughts and emotions were very human like, which is an odd thing to say about mice.
The story is slow at first, but around the third chapter, it picked up. There wasn’t a point throughout the story that I was bored, or wanted to put it down in favor of something else. There was so much mystery and excitement within every chapter. Stefan goes on this adventure that changes his life forever, and you can see how it helped him come to terms with his mother’s passing.
There were so many twists and turns throughout the book, that you almost couldn’t tell where the story was going, or what to expect next. Right when you think the ending is near, and everything is wrapping up, the author throws you for a loop, and you are left needing to know how it all turns out.
I couldn’t put down the last few chapters, because the plot was so enticing. The ending was fantastic, while being somewhat sad. I wanted these characters’ journeys to continue. In my opinion, the author needs to write more books that include this cast of characters. Also, if you are new to the fantasy genre, this would be a good book to pick up. It is a gripping fantasy, but it isn’t intimidating. More of a lighter fantasy, in essence.
If you haven’t read this book yet, I really don’t know what you’re waiting for. I would also recommend it to any tween, 12+ years old. Please leave me a like, and share my reviews with others. Remember, something as little as liking my blog means a lot to me.
Boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them. And doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu. But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash. When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he’s whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family.
I was slightly nervous going into this book, since middle grades can be hit or miss for me. This book was an okay read, but nothing too special. The overall plot was interesting enough, and was engaging at times. But I did find my mind wondering quite a bit while listening to it. And, that lead to a much slower reading experience.
The main character, Ash, was way to naive and stubborn. Sure, he is a young boy but he kept ignored the warnings of the people closest to him. When I was a kid, it was nice to know there were people looking out for me. It seemed as though his only agenda was to find his parents, and he didn’t care who lead him to them.
The supporting characters were a fun bunch. I enjoyed the character of Tobu, Ash’s yeti guardian. I would love to learn more about him and his past, especially since the story only gave us a little glimpse into his life.
“Gather round, children, and you will see something so awful it may turn your hair as gray as mine.”
Besides the fantasy aspects, the book had some funny moments. I wouldn’t say there were a ton of laugh out loud scenes, but there were some parts that did make me laugh. However, it was primarily a mystery and fantasy story that left you with way more questions than answers.
Still, the story as a whole was super predictable. Within a few chapters I could tell what was going to happen. There was a twist ending that I didn’t see coming. But it was neither a jaw dropping twist, nor very shocking. It was more like an interesting turn of events that is supposed to make you want to pick up the sequel.
This is a trilogy, but I can’t defiantly say if I will read the other two books. On the one hand, I want to see how the story ends. However, I don’t feel that I am all too invested in the story to continue with it. This isn’t a bad book at all, and I know that it is some people’s favorite trilogy. It just wasn’t something I would read again, but I’m still glad I picked it up.
Have you read and liked the ‘Frostheart’ trilogy? Should I read the rest of the books? Let me know in the comments below.
I posted a bookish holiday gift guide to help those that who were struggling to find a gift for a reader. However, in that post, you probably noticed that I didn’t mention many books. I thought it would be fun to do a different kind of gift guide this time around, so I’m going to recommend some books for certain people in your life, such as your parents, kids, etc.
Biography: My mom is a huge audiobook biography reader. Especially if the author reads it themselves. She has read a ton of them, such as ‘Talking as Fast as I Can’ by Lauren Graham and ‘Home’ by Julie Andrews. So, if your mom or grandmother is anything like mine, than a memoir is the perfect gift option. The current bio on my mom’s radar is ‘Will’ by Will Smith, which is a 2021 memoir release. Another great choice would be ‘Open Book’ by Jessica Simpson, which mom says is an interesting read.
‘The Honey-Don’t List’ by Christina Lauren: Now, I don’t know if my mom would like this book, but after seeing the the synopsis, I instantly thought it was a great read for a mom. This book is about master home renovators, couple Melissa and Rusty Tripp, who secretly despise each other. It is up to their assistant Carey and engineer James to keep their career ruining secret under lock and key for just a few more weeks. Don’t all moms and grandmothers watch HGTV? I have heard nothing but great things about Christina Lauren books, and this sounds like a cute romance read. Also, I get ‘America’s Sweethearts’ vibes from it, which is kind of weird.
‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline: Guys love video games, at least the ones in my life do. This book follows Wade Watts, who plays a worldwide virtual reality game in hopes of discovering an Easter egg. Once found, he will inherit the game creator’s fortune. There is a movie adaption as well, which I believe was well received.
‘Daisy Jones and The Six’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid: This might seem like an odd suggestion, but it is perfect for the music loving guy in your life. The book documents the history of one of the biggest bands in the seventies, ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’. I know that my husband would 100% enjoy this book, since he is a music addict. Also, I have heard that the audiobook version is the way to go with this book.
‘The Hating Game’ by Sally Thorne: This is another book being adapted to film, and it’s very popular among the adult romance crowd. I am not big into adult romances, but I know that one of my sisters loves to read them. I went for this one, because I have heard a lot of positive things about it. And, who doesn’t love a good enemies-to-lovers romance. However, I have heard that it is a little problematic, so keep that in mind.
‘Fool Me Twice’ by Carrie Aarons: I think any young adult contemporary reader would thoroughly enjoy this book. The plot follows a college freshman who is out to finish off her late best friend’s bucket list. The final and most important task on the list is to get revenge on Lincoln Kolb. He is the jerk that dumped her best friend supposedly due to her cancer diagnosis. So, to honor the wish of her best friend, she is out to make this seemingly cold-hearted boy fall head-over-heels for her, than break his heart. Anyone else thinking of ‘John Tucker Must Die’ after hearing this plot, or is it just me?
‘Percy Jackson & the Olympians’ by Rick Riordan: This is a Greek mythology book series about a boy whose life is turned upside down when he learns that he is the son of a god. Any kid, boy or girl, is probably going to want to follow this adventure series. There are even a lot of adults that call this their favorite book series of all time.
‘The Isle of the Lost’ by Melissa de la Cruz: This fairy-tale reimagining book series might seem more for girls, but I think boys would enjoy it as well. In the first book, we learn the backstory of villains, meet villain kids, and search for the Dragon’s Eye. The book follows Mal, daughter of Maleficent, Jay, son of Jafar, Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen, and Carlos, son of Cruella de Vil. Fun fact, the Disney Channel ‘Descendants’ films where based on these books.
There you go, some fun holiday gift book recommendations for specific people in your life. Let me know in the comments what books you’ll be gifting this holiday season. Also, you can give me a gift by following my bookish blog.
Title: Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3) Author: Victoria Schwab Published: 2021 Genre: Middle-Grade/Paranormal Rating:
Synopsis Nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colourful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself. Credit: GoodReads
I was sad to finish off this trilogy, but excited to see how things would end. In my opinion, the previous books were slightly different from each other, but followed a similar format. The first book was spooky and interesting. While the second book was gripping, it was quite sad as well. I was curious to see where this book would fall.
For me, the story was a bit underwhelming. As the reader, you could tell that the author was trying hard to make the story spine-chilling and exhilarating, but something about it didn’t work. I wasn’t as invested in the plot, and characters like with the other books. In this book, we aren’t following a ghost mystery, but being chased by a soul eater. Personally, I missed the simple story of helping a ghost move on.
One of my major issues with the book was Cassidy’s personality. In the earlier books I had nothing against her, but this time around she thoroughly annoyed me. It is possible that I was more critical this time around, with it being the final book. But she acted reckless and immature throughout the book. She wouldn’t listen to anyone putting others lives in danger.
“Once, I stole from Death. I’m ready to do it again.”
I was glad to see that Lara was back, since she is my favorite character. Not only do I love her accent, but her intellect as well. As always, Jacob is a treat and adds the much needed comic relief. I did feel as if we didn’t see many of the side characters in this book. Cassidy and Jacob were alone a lot of the story until Lara joined them. I could be wrong, but I remember Cassidy’s parents being more prominent in the other books.
One thing’s for sure Schwab had a way of bringing each city to life. This time around we are in New Orleans, yet the author didn’t utilities the city as she did with Scotland and Paris. The only thing that was talked about was New Orleans cuisine.
Don’t get me wrong, the book wasn’t all bad. I do enjoy Schwab’s writing and storytelling. However, the energy in the story was off, and it didn’t read like the first and second book. The ending to the series was satisfying, but there was something missing in the plot.
These are good middle-grade ghost stories that I can see fans of Neil Gaiman enjoying. The author left the series somewhat open-ended, so she might revisit these characters in the future. If you asked me to name my favorite book out of all three, I’d pick ‘Tunnel of Bones.’
Let me know if you have read the Cassidy Blake trilogy. Did you like the final book? Please like and share this review. Don’t forget to follow my blog for more bookish content.
There are some books that I read, but don’t have enough thoughts to dedicate a whole review to. I decided that, in those cases, I would do mini review posts. So, I will be doing shorter reviews for multiple books in this post. Here, I will be reviewing a middle-grade and and a sort-of-memoir. I hope you enjoy!
“The Everything I Have Lost” by Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny 2.5/5.0 Stars *I received an ARC of the audiobook from Netgalley*
This is a hard-hitting contemporary middle-grade, told through a young girl’s diary entries. I found this to be a very impactful story that deals with some serious topics. The narrator did a wonderful job bringing the main character to life, and I felt all of her emotions. I knew going into the story that it would be sad and touching. It gave a look at the differences between living in Juarez, as compared to El Paso, which was interesting to hear about.
However, there were some plot points that left me feeling uneasy. There was an incest incident that was unsettling and glossed-over. Also, one of the characters was shamed for being plus-sized, called Fat Nelly. However, the book is told from the perspective of a 12-year-old, so I tried to ignore the stereotyping. I wouldn’t exactly call this a middle-grade read, since the subject matter is heavy. But if you are looking for a bridge between tween and young adult, you might want to give this one a try.
“You’re Not Special” by Meghan Rienks 2.5/5.0 Stars
A person has to be pretty awesome for me to want to pick up their memoir. The life of YouTuber Meghan Rienks wouldn’t exactly be one I would usually care to read. However, I heard a rumor that it talked about her falling out with her mother, so it piqued my interest. This is mainly because I used to see her mom in her vlogmas videos, and they seemed to have a good relationship. First, I want to note that I never really watched Meghan’s YouTube channel, but I have seen some of her vlogs. No shade to her, I just always found her personality to be over-the-top and unauthentic. I think she overacts in her videos.
Anyhow, the book is tagged as sort-of-memoir, where she tells stories and gives real advice. I found the deeper parts of the book engaging and interesting. Learning about her struggles with alcohol and strained parental relationship were the best parts of the book. They were the most honest and unfiltered chapters as well. However, most of the book was filled with random, silly anecdotes with pop-culture references. This could be her inner YouTuber coming forth. In my opinion, much of the book could have been a story-time video. I got the impression that she was trying too hard to keep the reader engaged with her tips and witty one-liners. My biggest issues with the book was that it blurred the lines between memoir and self-help book. It was too all-over-the-place for me to truly enjoy.
I can’t wait to do more of these 2-in-1 mini book reviews. Don’t worry, though – I will still be doing solo reviews as well. I would love to know if any of you have read either on these books. If you have, leave your thoughts in the comments. Please like and share this post with all your bookish friends.
Returning to the place of nonsense from her childhood, Alice finds herself on a mission to stop the Queen of Hearts’ tyrannical rule and to find her place in both worlds. But will she able to do so . . . before the End of Time?
Writing a bad review is one of the worst parts of being a book blogger. I never want to offend the author or other readers, but not everybody will enjoy the same story. I went to this book with an open mind while excepting much. I read, and reviewed a different book in the “Twisted Tales” series, so I sort of new what to except. Going into this book, I knew it was going to be a fresh take on the Wonderland story, and hope it would instantly capture me. Unfortunately, nothing about this story worked. The writing style was geared towards a much younger audience, which being a middle grade is to be suspected. But there are some pretty spectacular middle-grade books that work for all ages.
The biggest issue I had with the story was that it was slow. I don’t mean slow for the first half of the book, and then it picks up. It was slow and boring throughout the entire book. I kept getting distracted, and tuning out while reading. I had to go back and reread pages multiple times. Truthfully, I wanted to DNF the book, but I felt like I had to see it through to the end. I’m not mad that I stuck with it, but I did want more from it.
I didn’t get the connection between Alice’s real-life and wonderland life. Speaking of Alice, she acted just as bratty and sure of herself as she did in the original story. But being 18 years old, you would think she’d grown up. It seemed that even the Wonderland characters didn’t enjoy her company. The plot of Alice having to save Wonderland from the Queen of Hearts could have been interesting if the villain was an actual part of the story. During Alice’s journey through Wonderland, the Queen didn’t appear until the final few chapters. She didn’t even say much or acknowledge Alice’s presence.
I wanted a whimsical re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland, and that wasn’t the case. The book didn’t hold up to Lewis Carroll original work, nor the classic Disney animated film. Honestly, Tim Burton did a better job retelling the story. One final thing to note this book is nearly 500 pages long—too long for most books, especially middle-grade reads.
If you would like to send me an inquiry about reviewing a book or product please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep in mind that all my reviews are 100% honest.
When a magical accident erases Anna and Elsa’s memories not only of magic, but of each other the sisters are separated for protection. But when Elsa unexpectedly finds herself as a young queen mysterious magic begins to happen and questions of her past start to form. Will the sisters ever be reunited? Source:GoodReads.com
I pictured this book to be a new take on the Frozen story. However, it was the same basic story with slight changes. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Frozen movie, so I don’t know why I was excepting to enjoy this book. When I think of retellings, I envision a whole new tale that takes inspiration from it’s origin story. Unfortunately that was not the author’s plan for this novel.
I was curious to see who Elsa and Anna would become without one another. The answer the same exact people they were in the film. There were minor changes to their personalities, but unless you were looking you wouldn’t be able to notice these differences. I think the biggest change was Elsa and Hans’ relationship. Although, he is scum the book and movie writes him in a charming almost likable way. As someone that loved his and Anna’s duet from the animated film it would have been great to have him be a good guy this go around.
This is probably an unpopular opinion but I find Olaf to be annoying. He is too much for me in the movie. However, I liked the change to his personality in the book. The author kept his lovable and clueless charm while reining in his over-the-top persona. Also, I found his forgetfulness kind of adorable. One character change I wasn’t a fan of was Kristoff. Now I enjoyed his interactions with Sven, yet he seemed cold and irritated with Anna. I didn’t see them development from friends to lovers, or in this case enemies to lovers.
Overall, this book was an average, quick middle grade. While being a good choice for Disney fans, if you’re looking for a reimagined take on the story, skip this one. This is my first “Twisted Tale” and despite it not being my favorite, it hasn’t totally prevented me from giving others in the series a fair chance. Still, here’s hoping the rest are a bit of a fresher take on the classic tales we all know and love.
If you would like to send me an inquiry about reviewing a book or product please email me at email@example.com. Please keep in mind that all my reviews are 100% honest.
Hello Book Lovers,
I felt like April would never end, and though I had a pretty decent read month I’m looking forward to May reading plans. If you have been following my blog than you know that I do monthly tbrs where I talk about the books I hope to read throughout the month. Now I don’t have solid reading plans for May, but I have added a ton of books to my want to read list lately. As for readathons, I am loosely planning on doing the 4th Mini round of the PopCulture readathon that will run from May 16th – 30th and is Degrassi: TNG themed. However, if I do it I will post a separate tbr for it closer to the readathon start date.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyers: Me and my husband started the audiobook about a month back, and I ready to dive into this once popular series. I have seen all the movies, but my husband isn’t a Twiheart. Most of you are probably aware of the plot, still I will give you the shortened version. This is the story of what happens when a human girl falls in love with a vampire boy, and all the must overcome to be together.
The Project by Courtney Summers: I decided to pick this up on a whim since I have heard nothing but good things about Summers books. She writes YA/new adult mystery thrillers with her most notable being Sadie. The Project follows a nineteen-year-old girl as she tries to uncover the truth about “The Unity Project” a religious group that many see as a cult. She knows that the project isn’t as holism as they seem, and believe they are the reason behind her strained relationship with her older sister.
Conceal, Don’t Feel by Jen Calonta: I have wanted to read this for a while not, and I was finally able to get my hands on a copy from the library. This is part of The Twisted Tales book series, which are middle-grade Disney retellings. This is Frozen retelling we see what would happen if Anna and Elsa never knew each other. I am not a huge Frozen fan, but I do think that this could be a fun read.
10 Truths And A Dare by Ashley Elston: I read “10 Blind Dates” from this author, and loved it! I knew that I had to pick up her next YA contemporary as soon as it came out. The plot follows Olivia, a character from “10 Blind Dates,” as she finds out she might not get to graduate with her senior class after all. These books are usually light, fluffy reads that I cannot get enough of.
You’re Not Special by Meghan Rienks: I started this book a while ago, and ready to finish it. It is a collection of memoir type stories by YouTuber Meghan Rienks. I was never an avid watcher of Meghan’s channel, but I thought it would be an interesting read.
Snow In Love by Various Authors: I am a big fan of YA story collections, so I was happy to pick this up back in January. However, I have yet to make a dent in it, and it is already May. I am enjoying the first story thus far, and would love to have it read by the end of the month. Also, I don’t mind a little holiday spirit anytime of year.
Those are all the books that I am putting on my main tbr for the month. I am trying to focus on books that I have already started, so that I can have a clean reading slat going into June, which is my birthday month. Please let me know what is on your May tbr in the comments below. If you want to support my blog you can like and share this post. As always you can follow the blog to get notified when I post. I post bookish content and more.
Title: The Princess and the Fangirl Author: Ashley Poston Published: 2019 Rating: 3.0/5.0 Stars
Synopsis: When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. Source: GoodReads
This book is part of a companion series, Once Upon a Con, where each book follows different characters, but all the books connect. This story is a “Prince and the Pauper” retelling, which is one of my favorite stories. However, the book didn’t live up to my expectations. I didn’t enjoy the characters from this book nearly as much as the first, and the plot wasn’t as interesting.
Now this story is less of a love story, unlike book one, and more of a self-discovery plot, which could have contributed to my dislike of the book. Nevertheless, the over all plot wasn’t excited and the main characters weren’t very enjoyable to read about. I feel that the writing and story was a bit sloppy and not full fleshed out. I did like the side characters that were introduce, and seeing the characters from the first book was a nice treat.
“I am a nobody, but I’m a nobody who wants to leave the world a little brighter than when she arrived.”
Honestly, my favorite part of this book was the love story that developed between one of the main characters. It was a very real and sweet bond they created that turn into more. Also, I think it was an unexpected LGBT romance that was very well written. Overall, the book was pretty cheesy at time and did let me down, since it read more like a middle grade than young adult. However, I will probably be picking up the next book in the series, since it was decent read just not one that I would recommend often.
I do have a review up on Geekerella by Ashley Poston that you can check out as well. Please like and share this post with all your book loving friends. Don’t forget to follow the blog to get notified when I post.