Book Reviews

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

“I think we ought to live happily ever after.”

This was such a fun read! It had just the right balance of magic, fun, and quirkiness. It was an original fairytale that inspired me and left me smiling.

“Yes, you are nosy. You’re a dreadfully nosy, horribly bossy, appallingly clean old woman. Control yourself. You’re victimizing us all.”


I love Sophie, the main character. She was a determined, no-nonsense, young woman who even when faced with the Witch of the Waste, just kept on rolling with it. She was so hilarious! She just bossed everyone around but was still really kind to everyone. Then Howl was just a vain, temperamental, sweet, and brilliant guy. He definitely grew on me! Now, to be honest, I wasn’t sold on Sophie and Howl’s relationship, but the ending was still very sweet.

“If I give you a hint and tell you it’s a hint, it will be information.”


I really enjoyed the world and the idea of the moving castle with its different doors. The writing was also simple yet precise. It is easy to read yet still creative.
I can’t wait to read more books by Dianna Wynne Jones!

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Death at the Crystal Palace by Jennifer Ashley

I wasn’t sure how this book would go since it’s the 5th in a series, but I quickly found myself enjoying Kat’s lemon cake along with the rest of the characters (in a manner of speaking).
One of my favourite aspects of this book was the detail. Jennifer Ashley was very thorough with all of her historical details (as far as I could tell). While some might find all of the cooking instructions boring, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them and the way Kat prepared her suppers.

At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Kat, but by the end, I realized that I appreciated her contentedness, kindness, and determination. She loved her job and the people around her and it was lovely to read about. Daniel was a real sweetheart! Kat and Daniel each had their own mystery to solve and as they went about doing this, their paths frequently crossed. I really, really hope she and Daniel can find a happy ending together.

The mystery was well executed as well. The evidence was all on the page, but like Kat, I had to figure it out. I definitely did not put all the pieces together and enjoyed that the ending took me by surprise. Honestly, I came to a point where I suspected almost all of Lady Covington’s family and staff.

I am excited to read more books in this series and I expectantly await the next installment.

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Book Reviews

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

I will be completely honest, I had a hard time getting into this book. At first, it just felt rather dry and for months I couldn’t convince myself to pick it up. Then finally, I decided to try again. I thought, “This is a classic, even if I don’t care for it too much, I think I should read it.” I started again at the entrance of Mr. Collins and man, was I ever hooked after that. Mr. Collins’ proposal to Lizzy nearly brought me to tears it was so hilarious! And then Lizzy’s attraction to Mr. Wickim was extremely frustrating. I wanted to shake her shoulders and tell her that he was a no-good loser. Then of course there was Mr. Darcy. At first, he’s rather annoying, but after he expressed his undying love and Lizzy gave him a piece of her mind, my heart started to melt for him. It just got better from there and in the end, I think I was just as much in love with him as Lizzy was. This is another thing, the romance is such a slow-burn romance. I think this made Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship solid, though. They had months to think about each other and get to know each other.   

Best Pride And Prejudice 1995 GIFs | Gfycat

“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

And oh, all of that witty banter! It’s just too much for me. Lizzy is such a strong and determined woman. She doesn’t let social expectations or snooty rich girls push her around. Oh, no. She speaks her mind and she speaks it well. 

Lastly, I loved that there was a nice wrap-up chapter at the end; it really filled out the happy ending of this story. 

Pride and Prejudice Fan Art - Pride and Prejudice 1995 Fan Art (34592036) -  Fanpop

I think I will definitely be rereading this book. I am sure there are many tiny gems that I missed upon the first reading.   

 

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

“I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.”

Book Reviews

Natural Born by Morgan Perryman

I loved the concept for this book! It was really refreshing to read a YA novel with such a close connection to nature. As I read, I found myself deeply wishing that there really was Quid out there who could heal the land. And Quid’s relationship with the natural environment was fascinating as well. She loved nature, but there was a lot of fear involved as well. She didn’t know how to control this ability or even exactly what it was. She was acutely aware of the fact that she was different and of course, she needed to wrestle through that.

Overall, I wish there was more depth. For example, I was really intrigued by Vernie’s past! And I think it had a lot of potential to be a compelling element. I think, though, the work-up towards the revealing of Vernie’s history wasn’t quite intense enough. I read it and thought, “Oh, okay. That’s interesting, but it didn’t impact me the way I wish it had.” This was similar to the revealing of Quid’s origins. It should have been a huge moment, but to me, it didn’t quite hit the mark.

This was a clean read. There is an aspect of romance which seemed to happen quickly and felt a bit cliché, but it was really sweet.

I’m looking forward to the next step in Quid’s journey!

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Book Reviews

Gellan Parker and the Black Owl by A.L. Wicks

BLURB

Gellan always was odd. He just didn’t realize how odd. It all started when he happened to be exploring along the cliffs like he usually did. Or maybe it had started long before that.With no other option, he ends up in Cremstoll at a school called Gilsthorne. Only this school is different, like him. He finds he just might fit in for the first time. Until he realizes he can’t quite do everything everyone else can . . . and maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing.

REVIEW

This was a really fun read. I don’t typically read children’s fiction, but I’ve been making my way through the Harry Potter series, so I thought “Why not try this one?”

I think my favourite thing about it was the setting. For some reason, I got a Nova Scotia, Newfoundland sort of vibe and I thought that was really fun. Overall, Wicks built an interesting and compelling world.

The characters were great too! I especially loved Drina. She was smart and brave, and her relationship with Gellan was really sweet.

I thought that the pacing was a bit slow, though. It felt like there was a lot of explaining at the beginning that dragged down the action. I was really excited for Gellan to arrive at Cremstoll, but it took him a while to get there.

I also found that there were a lot of details that were very close to the Harry Potter series. It was interesting how Wicks put her own twist on these details, but I did wish that she had strayed a little further away from them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Book Sirens. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”

This has got to be one of the biggest books I’ve ever read. It was mammoth size! (Over 200,000 words) So where to begin… 

“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”

I was thrilled to join Harry, Ron, and Hermione once again. I’ve been reading a bit about what makes the Harry Potter series so compelling and a lot of people name the characters as a key component. I have to say that I agree with them. The golden trio was, as always, absolutely charming. From Ron’s reaction at discovering that he was a prefect, to Hermione’s Christmas gift of homework planners, to Harry’s dedication to the DA, I was spellbound. And I know you will all agree when I say that Umbridge was absolutely horrible. Rowling did a really good job of portraying this and making me want to just reach inside the story and ring of Umbridge’s neck. I have to admit, though, that this one was a hard one to read in terms of Harry’s ever-shifting moods. He was angry a lot of the time and now I know why, but it was a little frustrating to read. I really wanted to tell him to just calm down and take a chill pill.  We’ll see what he’s like in the next book. 

“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

The plot of the Order of the Phoenix was interesting as well in that I felt it didn’t have a crystal clear end goal. With the others, usually there was something that the characters were working towards throughout the entire book (i.e the finding the Philosopher’s stone, discovering the location of the chamber of secrets, surviving the Triwizard tournament). Rowling still made it work, though, and did an excellent job of keeping things rolling and engaging the attention of her readers. Lastly, I was very much intrigued by Snape’s memory. Up till now, Harry has thought of his father as a great and noble hero, but in this book, he discovered that his father wasn’t all that. I think especially in this book we see Harry step away from the naivety of a child. 

Image result for harry potter and the order of the phoenix gif


I’m looking forward to book 6. Although things are becoming sooo intense, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it…..

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Ashes of Glass is on Book Sirens!

I am so thankful that Book Siren s has approved Ashes of Glass! If you’re interested in snagging a copy, just follow this link: Ashes of Glass on Book Sirens.

A servant struggling to survive.
A prince becoming a leader.
A snake seeking power.

Arella Marceau, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, finds herself diminished to a lowly servant who must obey the every whim of her stepmother. Then she meets Freddie who is handsome, kind, strong, and of course, very charming. They spend an afternoon together, exploring ruins, becoming lost in the forest, and dealing with gypsies and Arella begins to fall for the young man. When a mysterious debt arises, it inevitably tears Arella away from what she thought might have been a shred of happiness.

Arella accepts her dismal fate, but working as a scullery maid at the palace is a tumultuous task. For it is soon revealed to her that Freddie is Prince Friederic, heir to the throne of Ormandy. Even though discovery would mean life-shattering consequences, Freddie and Arella defy social expectations and meet in the safety of a secret garden. To complicate things further, Arella’s creditor seems to be frighteningly fascinated with her, as well as with the monarchy. What kind of secrets does he keep behind his black eyes?

As Arella’s life spins out of control, she must hold to her love for Freddie and to her belief that God has a perfect plan.

my writing

Ashes of Glass Revamped

So I have a confession to make… You know that book I wrote? The Cinderella retelling? Well, I’ve been avoiding it. I’ve been telling myself that I need to revisit it and do some editing and whatnot, but I was afraid I’d be disappointed (and maybe a little embarrassed) with it since it was my first attempt at self-publishing. I was wrong. I was actually pleasantly surprised.

I read through the whole book and made some formatting adjustments and fixed some grammar issues. I also tweaked some things that were not explained well or worded awkwardly. All in all, I’m happy with the final result. I mean, obviously, it’s not going to be a book for everyone. I’d say it’s for people who love a clean, sweet, and faith-based fairytale retelling.

If you’re thinking that maybe you’d like to give it a read, but you’re not sure you want to actually buy it, never fear! It is coming soon to Book Sirens (YAY! *does a happy dance*). I’ve uploaded the files and now I’m just waiting for final approval. So keep your eyes peeled for an update. I will be posting about it as soon it’s official. Till then, add it to your Goodreads bookshelves.

Ashes of Glass on Goodreads

Ashes of Glass on Amazon

Back cover blurb:

A servant struggling to survive.
A prince becoming a leader.
A snake seeking power.

Arella Marceau, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, finds herself diminished to a lowly servant who must obey the every whim of her stepmother. Then she meets Freddie who is handsome, kind, strong, and of course, very charming. They spend an afternoon together, exploring ruins, becoming lost in the forest, and dealing with gypsies and Arella begins to fall for the young man. When a mysterious debt arises, it inevitably tears Arella away from what she thought might have been a shred of happiness.

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Arella accepts her dismal fate, but working as a scullery maid at the palace is a tumultuous task. For it is soon revealed to her that Freddie is Prince Friederic, heir to the throne of Ormandy. Even though discovery would mean life-shattering consequences, Freddie and Arella defy social expectations and meet in the safety of a secret garden. To complicate things further, Arella’s creditor seems to be frighteningly fascinated with her, as well as with the monarchy. What kind of secrets does he keep behind his black eyes?

As Arella’s life spins out of control, she must hold to her love for Freddie and to her belief that God has a perfect plan.

Book Reviews

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K Rowling

Goblet Of Fire GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

This was another great read from J.K Rowling. Everything became a little bit darker and more intense. Again, we had the privilege of travelling with Harry, Ron, and Hermione through another year at Hogwarts. I will confess, that I watched the movie before listening to the audiobook. I really can’t say if I regret it or not, but I think maybe if I had listened to the book first, I would have been immensely disappointed by the movie. But who knows, I might have still liked it. 

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

Anyway, the extra details in the book and of course, the complexity of the characters were so fun to read about. Hermione’s tirade about elf freedom gave her character a whole new depth. I think it showed that she’s starting to grow up and look more at the world around her. This was also shown through her relationship with Krum. Which brings me to a whole other thing. The boys and girls of Harry’s year started to notice each other. His dilemma of having to ask a girl to the ball was quite amusing. Also, I’m really starting to get a sense of the chemistry between Ron and Hermione which is interesting to see. Oh, and I must say, I really liked the addition of Bill (the “cool” brother) and I’m excited to read more about him in the next book.

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

The Triwizard tournament brought many more exciting thrills and dangerous experiences that had me sitting at the edge of my seat. Sometimes I got really frustrated with Harry and wanted to just grab his shoulders and shake him and tell him to hurry up and figure out the next task. Seriously, he needed to get his priorities straight. I can’t finish without mentioning the ending. It was actually quite scary! Rowling does a fabulous job of painting Voldemort as a terrible, frightening, and evil villain. When he came out of that cauldron…… I wanted to hightail it out of there. I’ve already started reading the Order of the Phoenix so far and I’m absolutely loving it. Fred and George are a hoot and Dolores Umbridge is a complete toad. 

Stay tuned for my next review and a little (or big…) writing update. 
Ta ta for now. 

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Book Reviews

Pawsitively Betrayed by Melissa Erin Jackson

And here we are with the great finale to a pawsitively magical and mysterious series. I was so excited for this last book and it was definitely as intense and exciting as I had hoped it would be.

Cat Silhouette" iPad Case & Skin by parthiangifts | Redbubble

It has been amazing to watch Amber grow as a character throughout this series. She went from being someone who kept to herself, a reclusive cat lady, to someone who had a lot of strong friendships. I was a little sad that we didn’t get to see as much of Chief Brown as we have in the other books. Amber’s friendship with him was one of my favourites of the series. However, we did get to see lots of Edgar. Poor guy! I’m so glad things started working out for him (sorry, I can’t say more without giving anything away). Also, to be honest (and I think this was my least favourite thing about this book and maybe the whole series), I was not a fan of Jack. Sure, he was sweet and caring but felt a little useless (sorry!). I was really hoping that he would step up in this book and take a more leading role in the action, but he seemed to stay more as a side character.

The plot was quite fast-paced and I often found myself trying to figure out what was going to happen and who Amber could trust. I mean, the book is called “Pawsitively Betrayed” so a part of me was expecting one of Amber’s closer acquaintances to suddenly reveal themselves to be with the Penhallows. As result, I felt a lot like Amber: always being wary of people and wondering how in the world the Penhallows could be stopped. I would say this is a spot of good writing on Jackson’s part.

And, of course, I must mention the ending. It was really nice. Amber finally got some peace, was able to open the Quirky Whisker again, and reunited with some people she thought she would never see again. Overall, it was a lovely ending to this series.

A Witch of Edgehill Mystery (5 book series) Kindle Edition

If you haven’t read the Witch of Edgehill this series and enjoy cozy mysteries, I absolutely recommend that you do!

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book. All opinions in this review are my own and freely given.

Until next time! Keep your eyes open for my review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it will be coming soon.

Cat Bye GIFs | Tenor