Posted in Book Reviews

Being a Witch, and Other Things I Didn’t Ask for by Sara Pascoe

Thank you to Netgalley, Sara Pascoe and the Independent Book Publishers Association for allowing me to read and review this book about a teen witch.  I enjoyed following Raya’s journey of self-discovery.

being a witchThis is a wonderful story about a young girl, who has had a difficult life and is struggling to come to terms with her past.  Raya finds it difficult to let anyone get close to her and vice-versa.  She is in foster care but wants to run away and be free to make her own choices.  In her quest to find herself and establish her independence, Raya quickly discovers that she is an integrator (witch).  This turns out to be a huge relief to her as it explains some of the weird things happening to her.

She is quickly immersed in a new world of adventures, which relies on her mastering her new skills to save herself and her companions.

Characters

Oscar, her talking cat companion, is a fun yet wise character.  Who wouldn’t want a talking cat?

Raya is a troubled teen, who is initially irresponsible and selfish, but later realises the value of her friends and lets them into her life.

Bryony is her tutor and attempts to help Raya practise her new time travel skills.  She even tries to save her when things go awry.

I liked most of the secondary characters as well.

Conclusion

I enjoyed the contemporary setting of the story as well as the historical period featured during the time travel.

I thought that the time travel, which wholly depended on Raya’s wishing to be elsewhere, was believable and added significantly to the storyline.

Raya’s past and her perceptions of her life were explained in an authentic and easy to understand way.  I think that it helps the reader understand her character better and allows them to relate more easily to her.

There was a well thought out moral underpinning the story.

I think that teens aged 13–15 would especially enjoy this story.

All in all, it was an enjoyable read giving a troubled teen a voice and letting her find and embrace acceptance and love.

This book deserves

Posted in Book Reviews

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

bookishly ever afterThank you to Netgalley, Isabel Bandeira and Spencer Hill Press for allowing me to read and review this book.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.  I really enjoyed reading Bookishly Ever After as it reminded me a bit of my own childhood teen angst.

Phoebe is the epitome of a devoted bookworm.  She make notes of dialogue and quotes from her books to use in real life as she is very shy and not good at communicating, especially with boys.

Her book obsession and constant book referencing is just so relatable but she takes it to another level when she actually dresses up to go to author events. It made me sad, though, that she felt the need to go to her books for answers to real life problems and relationships.

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Her hobbies include band practice, archery and knitting.  Phoebe spends a lot of her time (when she’s not reading) knitting herself costumes related to her favourite character in her books.

Without going into detail, there is a boy interest or two.  Phoebe is trying to decide which one she likes more.  Her best friend intervenes and tries to push her towards one in particular.  Just it happens like in real life if you had friends like these!

Phoebe is a very likeable character and I think that she is easy to relate to.

Bookishly Ever After is an easy and enjoyable read for teens/YA but I bet that there are adults out there that will enjoy it too.  I was entertained and really liked the story.

This book deserves

Posted in Book Reviews

Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

Thank you to Netgalley, Juliet Lyons and Sourcebooks Casablanca for allowing me to read and review Dating the Undead.  I loved it!  It was a sassy and funny read with a dollop of intrigue and adventure.

dating the undeadSilver Harris is kicked out of a New Year’s Eve party for throwing her drink over a woman she catches kissing her date and a well-placed kick directed at her date’s unmentionables.  While out on the street, she meets a gorgeous man, who walks her home.  They get along really well and end up sharing a sizzling midnight kiss to celebrate the New Year.

Silver soon realises that her sexy Irish man is a vampire but she doesn’t mind, even after he bit her, as it was the best kiss of her life.

She tells her step-sister, Jess, the next day about her exciting night.  Unfortunately, Silver had no way of contacting her vampire (she didn’t get his name) and had given him a false address when he had walked her home.  Jess mentioned that there was a vampire dating website called V-Date so Silver decides to join in the hopes that he is on the site.  Silver goes on a few dates with vampires from V-Date but she doesn’t connect with any of them and finds herself incredibly bored.

Meanwhile, the vampire that Silver is besotted with, Logan, has been tasked by his head vampire (boss) to track down human women dating on V-Date.  It is imperative that Logan glamour these women to forget about vampires so that they can keep their secrets.  Ironically, the first woman Logan is instructed to glamour is Silver but he can’t bring himself to do it as he doesn’t want her to lose interest in him.  This could get him in serious trouble with his boss but he thinks Silver is worth it.

At the same time, Silver is contacted by the police as they want her to go undercover on V-Date to obtain information about the vampires that she meets.  She decides to do it once they agree to re-investigate her mother’s death which happened when Silver was just 9 years old.  The police set up a fake account for Silver and she starts meeting up with vampires in the hopes of extracting their secrets.

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Things get a bit tense with Logan ignoring his “boss’s” directive and Silver informing on the vampires to the police.  Despite this, they can’t help falling in love.  Where will this lead?

To complicate things further, Logan’s original sire appears on the scene.  She wants to punish him for not being the murderer that she wanted him to turn into.  How will this affect Silver and Logan’s romance?

After reading the blurb for this book, I knew it was going to be an enjoyable, fun read.  I like Silver’s feistiness and sense of humour.  I appreciated how Logan managed to maintain his humanity after all those years.  The author did a great job of writing their romance and developing their characters.

This books deserves a fabulous

Posted in Book Reviews

Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright

Thank you to Netgalley, Julie Wright and Shadow Mountain Publishing for allowing me to read and review Lies Jane Austen Told Me.

Emma Pierce is a marketing executive for a firm called Kinetics and a fervent Jane Austen fan but sadly, she still hasn’t found her romantic hero although she is dating the rich and hot Blake Hampton.

Emma is invited by Blake to his family’s home but turns him down as she is busy at work.  A friend of hers encourages Emma to be spontaneous and decides to visit Blake on a whim.  Between them, they have decided that Blake must intend proposing to Emma by reason of the invitation.

Emma’s boyfriend, Blake, looks less than thrilled to see her when she arrives unannounced on his doorstep and she discovers that he is with another woman.  Blake protests his innocence but Emma storms off in embarrassment.  Whilst walking away, Emma is stopped by Lucas Hampton, who apologises for his brother’s behaviour and offers her a ride home.

Come Monday morning back at the office, Emma discovers to her mortification that Lucas has been offered a consulting position with her firm and they will be working closely together for the foreseeable future.

She finds herself drawn to Lucas and the more she learns about him, the more she likes him.  But at the same time, he is singing his brother’s praises and seems like he is trying to get Emma and Blake back together.  Emma is initially confused about her feelings, but then comes to realise that she only has “friend feelings” for Blake but is in love with Lucas.  Where will this lead?  Could he be her Mr Knightley?

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Conclusion

I liked the idea that the heroine and hero of this story were flung together as co-workers so that they could get to know each other on several levels.

It was compelling to witness Emma’s realisation and understanding of her own feelings in contrast with how angry she felt about Jane Austen’s unrealistic expectations of love and finding Mr Right.  She finally came to the conclusion that Jane Austen’s works were written to empower women and not to leave them with false expectations of romance.  To live life to the full, we need to take risks in life and love.

I have always been a Jane Austen fan and I enjoyed reading this book immensely.  I think that there is a bit of Emma in all of us.

This book deserves a fabulous

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Breakwater (Broken Tides Book 1) by Catherine Jones Payne

Thank you to Netgalley, Catherine Jones Payne and Fathom Ink Press for allowing me to read and review Breakwater.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

breakwaterI liked that this story had strong female characters, who weren’t afraid to stand up for the less fortunate and speak the truth as they saw it.  I think that this story has political parallels evident in our own society.

Jade is a seventeen year old mermaid, whose father is one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors.  Everything in her life is wonderful and she is preparing to marry her handsome fiancé, but her bubble is about to burst.

She witnesses her fiancé murder a naiad and he and his family try to stop her from reporting it.  Of course, Jade does the right thing by breaking off their engagement and reporting him at great personal cost to herself and her family.

This incident plunges the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar and tensions flare between the mer and the naiads (the lesser water race).  Jade learns too late that the choices that she makes have far reaching effects for her family and her city.  The fragile peace is shattered and the mer guards are killing naiads to get them under control.  Jade is caught between trying to help the naiads and keeping her family safe.

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Jade, as the protagonist in this story, can come across as naïve, which could be irritating in parts as she doesn’t seem to grow in character and she foolishly thinks that she can save everyone by sacrificing herself.

There is a hint of a developing romance between Jade and a mer, who lives amongst the naiads and is a long-time friend.  I am presuming that this will be elaborated upon in Book 2.

This book offers plenty of intrigue, authentic characters and interesting plots.  It will leave you wanting to find out what happens next.

This story earns a solid 3 stars.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Stone Quest (Book 2 of The Middengard Sagas) by June Wilson

I love The Stone Quest even more than The Stone Keeper !  Action packed and full of twists and turns!  This book has kept me guessing from beginning to end.

stone questThe Stone Keeper (Book 1) was a riveting and enjoyable read but Book 2 has left me wanting even more.  I need to know what happens next!

In Book 2, Alice is back in Melbourne, mourning the loss of her cousin, Toby, and wondering if her friend, Jess, is okay.   Somehow, her stone was returned to her after she had thrown it away but she is unable to return to Middengard.

While out on a walk during an unexpected weekend away to Portsea with her relatives, Alice finds herself transported back to Middengard.  War is coming and it is imperative that Alice finds the other Doom Stone so that good can conquer evil.  Only the Stone Keeper can sense the stone, which has been hidden by the Aetheling (Gods).

Who can she trust?  People aren’t as they appear.  Events begin to unfold and there are some interesting character developments,  but we will have to wait for Book 3 to unveil the rest of the mysteries.

 

This book ends on a HUGE cliff hanger!  It’s a very exciting read and I can’t wait to find out what happens in Book 3.  June, please put me out of my misery soon!  I am loving your series!

This awesome book deserves