Reviews on Children's and MG books (with a dash of YA!)
I'm a reader and reviewer. I focus mostly on children's books, middle grade, and young adult fiction. My favorite genre to read is fantasy. I'm also especially interested in how disability is portrayed within said media.
This makes a whole year since we started with the first Valentine’s Chopped Readathon and the Chopped Readathons throughout the year. I’m excited to get back to it. At the end of the year, I hoped to have another round of it but wasn’t able to. However this year we are back at it at full strength. I’ll be introducing the prompts for this round as well as the rules for anyone who isn’t familiar.
Heart Shaped Pancakes
For this prompt, we are looking for a cozy read, whatever your favorite genre is or any favorite book that you like to curl up with would fit with this prompt. Just something you would like to settle in bed or your favorite reading chair with.
Meat and Cheese Platter
For this prompt we are looking for a book with multipe points of view or with multiple authors. Like a meat and cheese platter has lots of variety we are looking for something with lots of varitey. An anthology would be a good pick for this one.
For this book we are looking for the pretty covers, the book you just pick up because of the cover. It can be a cover buy or something you check out from the library, just focus on the pretty.
For this prompt we are thinking about something that is new and fresh, that can be either a new release or a book that is fresh and new to you.
For this prompt we are looking for a book with a lush setting, this can be either a setting in reality or fantasy just something detailed that you could fall into.
Mimosas made us think of friends chatting together often featured in rom-coms and romance. So for this you need a romance book, pretty simple and fitting for the Valentines Day theme.
For this prompt we are looking for a book with words on the cover, doesn’t have to be all words, as long as there is a word on the cover it fits the prompt.
Box of Chocolates
Okay so I’m riffing off Forest Gump a little here, a book with a surprise since you never know what you are going to get.
A book that gives you bubbles, any book that gives you any kind of of bubbly excicment or nerves will fit this prompt.
Knot My Type was an adventurous yet informative book was book that was one of my favorites from last year. Even though I read it at the end of the the year it still ended up in the the favorite column because it was the first examples I’ve ever seen of well written disabled erotica.
The book follows sexologist Frankie, our heroine who host a podcast called All Access which talks about love, sex, and relationships for the disabled community. Frankie who is a wheelchair user, and her group of friends with different disabilities including blindness and Crohn’s disease usually have the answers for her listeners questions.
But when a question comes up about shibari (rope play) Frankie is coming up blank. Until she finds out one of her close friends associates might be able to help she goes in simply for research but finds herself attracted, too bad Jay doesn’t do dating.
Jay is jaded after an older woman broke his spirit and made him believe he was no good. But he finds himself attracted to Frankie and he also finds her fitting in with his family and bolstering him emotionally. But he has a knot in his heart he doesn’t know if he can untie, will Frankie be the one to set him free from his past pain and give them both a chance at love?
Kelsie Hoss is a good romance author, some of her other piece are great. The romance between Tyler and Henrietta is very sweet. This was the first piece I read by her and probably the only reason I’m not judging it as a great piece is the way her heroine of color is written. There was just a bit to much of food descriptions for eye and skin color.
As for the chemistry between Tyler and Henrietta was very well done. Some of the scenes are very spicy. But the one particular scene where Tyler takes Henrietta’s virginity just reads really weird for several reasons, I get why narratively, but it’s just odd.
I also like the friendship that developed between Tyler and Henrietta and their friends and families, that seemed to me like the most realistic thing about the book. I especially loved Hen’s grandmother and Tyler’s brother who is supposed to get a story of his own this year.
The subplot of the two of them not being able to date each other and Hen’s jealous boss also added a little flavor. Overall it was a lighthearted and emotional nice comforting read at a good medium pace. Hoss did a good job creating relatable characters and a spicy relationship between the two main leads.
The book tended to focus more towards characters but not at the expense of the plot which was important loomed big in the characters lives. Hoss wasn’t afraid to show her characters had flaws though and spent the last third of the book showing how they overcome them.
While it followed the formula of the romance novel that’s exactly what I was looking for going in, it was cute, sweet, spicy and despite a few flaws was generally a good book. I’d give this book 4 Stars.
So I’ll be honest, I was gone for a long time because I was working through personal trauma related issues. I needed the time, but I missed being here, and after I had the time I kind of shied away because my reading habits had changed and I wasn’t sure the blog would support that or not. Now after talking with some fellow book bloggers, I’m okay with the blog supporting it one way or the other. I’ve started reading some spicy stuff and new adult, it may not fit with what I was reading before and it will be tagged just in case you don’t want to read about it, but I’m not going to be ashamed of it. I’ve already almost finished two books for this year both romance, but I just got a fantasy last night I can’t wait to start on plus I have plenty of books that I read last year to review. I can’t wait to get back to blogging and counting having fun. Hopefully this will be the year post leg injury that I get back into Instagram too.
I’ve also been playing D&D a lot both running games and being a player and I’ve really enjoyed the writing for that so I hope to get some work done on maybe a novel this year. Or at least play around with some original writing. Finally I’m shooting for 100 books again. I only hit 50 last year but I have Orillium twice this year plus my own readathons. So I think I’ll be back in a better place to hit it this year. I love using Storygraph to keep track.
So that’s what will be changing and what has kind of kept me away, but I can’t wait to be back. Looking forward to being active again.
We’re back! It’s my favorite time of year. Spooky season and fall in general, so we had to come back with with another addition of Chopped. The prompts are based on generally fall based things as well as a few Halloween favorites with historical ties. I was going to post this list on Friday but it’s up early due to one of our biggest fans (we’re looking at you Bethwrym). The readathon will be from October 1st-October 31st. Midnight to midnight wherever you are.
So here are the prompts
Candy corn is distinct for its multiple colors. For this book we want a cover with multiple colors. If you want to be especially spooky you can try for orange, yellow and white but any multiple colors work.
This book makes you think of fall. Doesn’t matter if it’s spooky or cozy just something with a distinctly fallish aura about it.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
This is a trendy or popular book.
This is the book you read in your pajamas in your blanket nest, whatever you consider a comfy read use for this prompt.
This prompt ask you to push your reading limits sweet potatoes are hearty so we are looking for readers to read a hearty book. Now what you define that as depends on what you normally read. Normally read 300 pages try for 350 or 400 for example. We leave what everyone reads to the honor system and their personal goals.
We also considered that fall was harvest time and put in some things that would be harvested. So eggs are in here for that reason, the prompt for them is a new release.
My co-runner assures me these are very popular in the UK. And you can’t have Halloween without candy. The prompt for this is circles on the cover.
Of course we had to have two kinds of candy on the list! It’s Halloween. I chose peanut butter cups and the prompt for this is more than one main character because you can never stick to eating just one of these.
Apple Cider reminds me of fall even though I don’t live in a state where I can go pick apples. I would love to go pick apple picking and have fresh apple cider, however as we know some apples can be a bit tart. So for this one we want a protagonist with a bit of a edge, specifically a witty protagonist.
Though some would argue this is a Christmas drink it made is think of fall because it’s toasty and warm and perfect for settling in front of a fire with. Also that spice based flavor fits best with fall. For this charming drink we want a charming protagonist to match.
Well we had to get superstitious didn’t we? Salt is suppose to form magical protective circles thought at one time to repel witches. Now it’s used in all sorts of magic work and a seen as a lovely ingredient for spells and purifying. With it’s history around witchcraft for this prompt read a book involving witches.
Like salt radishes also have some Halloween history before people carved pumpkins they would often carve gourds and radishes to keep the spirits away as a nod to that we want you to read a historical fiction.
So those are the prompts we hope you enjoy them! You can find us on our discord channel! https://discord.gg/VGyXDykd and we hope you have a great time!
So for Pirateathon we had the size of our the ship we got depended on the length of the book we read. I was going to be happy reading something medium length but at the same time I was looking for a book that featured time travel to fulfil another prompt I missed from Orilium about time travel so I found The Glass Sentence and it ended up being five hundred plus pages so it worked for both this
While the main protagonist of the story is Sophia a girl from 1800’s Boston the book comes alive because of its ensemble cast that comes together as Sophia tries to protect the glass map.
The main story focus around Sophia’s uncle Shadrack being kidnapped by at first unknown forces and Sophia going to look for him. Along the way she meets Theo a boy who was in a circus who broke into her house to try to find her uncle. Theo become her traveling partner on her way to the Badlands where she think she can find her Uncle.
The interesting thing about Sophia and Theo’s world is different places are in different time periods ever since something called the Great Disruption. It has made cartography an important art in the world and may have been the reason Shadrack was kidnapped. The Glass Map seems especially important because as Sophia and Theo make their way down the coast from Boston members of a cult called Sandmen seem to be intent on coming after them. These are the same men that are keeping Shadrack along with a mysterious woman. They will all meet in a city where things are not what they seem, but will Sophia be ready for the revelations the Glass Map brings?
I was first reading this book just because I needed a long book. However the story is one of the best constructed I’ve read in a long time. The worldbuilding is amazing and I can’t wait to read the sequel. I also loved the ensemble cast that we say throughout the book they were all interesting and I wanted to know more about each of them.
I love the Orilium readathon, I had a great time with it in April and was looking forward to it this August. In April I managed to finish all my classes with no problem before the end of the month. But I don’t know if it was post COVID slowing me down or the fact that the fall semester was harder but I didn’t manage to finish all of the August prompts I’ll list first what I did finish then I’ll show you what I have to finish in September.
I had to get the second level Qualifed in Art of Illusion. I managed to do this via two books. For the Ordinary level Blur Face prompt: a book I didn’t know much about. I did Anne of West Philly. This was a great diverse graphic novel retelling of Anne of Green Gables.
I needed an Ordinary in Spells and Incantations I got this through the Spell Recolor where I picked a book via color wheel a then had to pick a book based on color. The color I got was teal and the book I picked was Just Roll with It.
This was an interesting book that explored OCD and dealt with it through the sufferer comfort interest of tabletop rpgs.
Need to Do
That was mostly what I finished. I still need to finish Psionics and Divination which has three books one that has has time travel, a book with the same word as your last read, I’m currently working on that one, that is second hand
I just went to the second hand book store and bought some books so I have that covered.
I also need a text with the cover the colors of the country or state flag, which is harder than I expected.
Another one I had a problem with was a book of someone’s worst list. At this point I’ve just decided to count the next book I come across because everyone hated at least one of the books I’m reading.
I’m also going to probably do some quests to get my guild points up and get ready for April when this comes around again or if there is a holiday surprise readathon.
I need to review all the books that I did for Magical Readathon as well as doing a wrapup for that readathon. But I really enjoyed the Year of the Reaper so I wanted to review it first.
Three years ago Lord Cassia was on a mission from the King, until he was ambushed by enemy soldiers and spent three years rotting in prison. Meanwhile a plague sweeps over the land leaving countless dead and deavesting the kingdom. Cas is spared, and finally manages to free himself from his prision.
Now all he wants is is to return to his home in the mountains a forget his time as a prisoner. But with the shadow of the plague hanging over everyone his home is not what he remembers. It has become a refuge for the royal court and they have brought the past and the shadow of the reaper with them.
So when an assassin targets those closest to the Queen, Cas finds himself with a mystery on his hands one that leads him to need the help of brilliant young historian Lena. But Cas and Lena soon realize who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. On the trail of a terrible secret that could threaten newfound peace between two kingdoms and plunge them back into war.
Cas and Lena must solve the mystery save the queen and figure out the secrets of the past before it comes for them.
Review of Year of the Reaper
Cas was a great main character he was well written and believable in his thoughts and fears. Normally I don’t like male MCs but Cas was written very well and had a complex and believable personality so that I made an exception to my rule. I’m also reading more of Lucier’s work and it seems like this ability to make me like her male characters extends to other pieces of fiction so I will give her points for that.
I also loved the mystery it was very well written and it kept me guessing till the end, which is tough for most books to do so I’m happy with that as well. I’d give the book at 5/5 especially for its relevance to modern events.
Another readathon you say? Always I say. I still be finishing up Orilium in September since some of the prompts slowed me down but I’ll also be taking part in the pirate theme readathon lead by Scurvy Sal. I’m running as Captain Liza Deepsea, and here is a little bit more about how the Pirateathon is structured.
Reading Prompts for Pirateathon
Acquire a Ship: Read a book that’s 200+ pages long. The bigger the book, the bigger your ship. This prompt only needs to be completed once.
200-300 pages: Sloop
301-400 pages: Schooner
401-500 pages: Frigate
501+ pages: Brigantine
Hoist the Colors: Read a book whose cover is predominantly one color. That’s the color of your pirate flag, matey! This prompt only needs to be completed once.
Name Yer Vessel: Read a book whose title shares a word in common with the book from Acquire a Ship and/or Hoist the Colors (this can be “a” or “the”). This prompt only needs to be completed once.
Figurehead (10 bonus points): Read a book with a female-identifying main character. This prompt can be completed multiple times.
Treasure Map (1 gold for every page read): Read a book you expect to rate as a 5-star read. This prompt can be completed multiple times.
Mutiny! (1 gold for every page read): Read a book with an ensemble cast (more than two MCs). This prompt can be completed multiple times.
Scurvy (1 fleet ship for every page read): Read a book you’ve owned for at least 3 (three) years. This prompt can be completed multiple times.
Port Royal (1 fleet ship for every page read): Read a book featuring a pirate (fiction, nonfiction, space pirates, airship pirates- as long as there’s a pirate featured, it counts). This prompt can be completed multiple times.
Cannon & Saber (1reputation point for every page read): Read a book written by a BIPOC author. This prompt can be completed multiple times.
White Squall (1reputation point for every page read): Read an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story. This prompt can be completed multiple times.
NOTE: One book may count toward up to 3 (three) prompts!
Okay so I missed the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag however it is still summer and I have plenty of the rest of the year to panic. Here as my distribution of books you can spot where I got Covid in May and the Orilium readathon in April. This was done at the start of August so is not a true representation of the month.
1.) Best book so far in 2022
This was a tough one going with content over things you just love, hmm. But the Bone Spindle had to be my favorite it was both beautiful and wonderful in story. But at Mid-Year this book has to be my favorite. It’s a sweet gender flipped retelling of several fairytales worth a look for anyone who like that genre, I can’t wait to read the sequel, hopefully out next year.
Here are my thoughts on the book as well as an Amazon link for purchase.
Since it’s Mid-Year this wins over a sequel that comes out in September. The Genesis Wars was far and above one of the best books I’ve read and definitely the best sequel it also ends on a cliffhanger so we’ll be seeing more of the world so I can’t wait for that.
This has been one I’ve been trying to pick up but the library keeps taking it back before I finish reading anyone I need to focus on reading this is the point of it. It’s really witchy and very cool and I’ll probably get it read in the fall if nothing else. But I love Claribel A. Ortega and would love to finish it sooner maybe for Orillium readathon.
4)Most anticipated release for the second half of 2022
There is only one choice for this for this I’ve been waiting two years for this book. I did have a little sort of guide in between with a novella. But I’ve been waiting for the novel. Now only a couple months away. The ninth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Stellarlune. As you see it’s beautiful, and it’s on top of the list of the series I can’t wait for, and I have a lot.
I thought this was going to be a good horror novel but it was more psychological and by that it was a girl manipulating everyone psychologically to avoid them finding out a secret, the real drama was a family drama. And while in had all the elements of a good horror novel it just wasn’t scary. A little horrifying maybe at what people can do but you weren’t ever scared of the main villain. A good possibility for horror lost.
I’d never read Rosie Thor before and I’d heard mixed reviews but honestly the cover on this one got me and then the story drew me in. It was a political allogory of the US 2016 election and the conclusion is amazing. It is was really one of my favorite books and I love the character growth throughout.
I’ve read a lot of graphic novels this year because they seem to keep me from slumping. So far I’ve discovered Johnathan Mayberry’s wonderful zombie fiction and Jules Machias’ excellent middle grade novel. Along with great political fiction by KayLynn Flanders and found great disability fiction from Monica Roe.
8) Newest fictional Crush
I don’t have any because I’m 31 and I’m reading YA and that would be weird.
9) Newest Favorite Character
Nix, Lilah and Riot from Rot and Ruin Series, Mandy from I am not Starfire, Jenna from Shielded.
10) Book that made you cry?
These two books made me cry but for two very different reasons, one made me cry because of its relation to real life and what the heroine does and what I’d like to be able to do.
The second because it’s simply sad, I was very invested in the characters and I won’t say spoilers but the outcome made me cry.
11) Book that made you happy?
This whole book made me happy though it’s only the first volume of the series I liked the friendships and the powers of the girls, it reminded me of Sailor Moon which always makes me happy.
12) Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen so far this year?
Can it be comic book to movie? Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness was amazing despite my issues with how they treated Elizabeth Olsen’s character it was still a class A movie.
13) What’s your favorite blog post?
The book you seemed to like the most was the one where I did a post about books as scents. Here, there were also some readathon posts but that posts but that one seem to be the most popular. At mid-year I haven’t done as many post as I’d like so I’ll have to put some more energy back into that.
14) Most beautiful book you bought this year?
I mostly get books from the library. I’ve gotten some pretty ones but nothing I can really think of?
15) What do you need to read by the end of the year?
At Mid-Year I’ve read no where near the amount of books I need to read I had Covid this year so it really put me behind for I’d say the whole summer. I know I won’t make my 100 book goal but I’d like to get at least 20 more books maybe closer to 30 read. I’m really behind this year.