Review: Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables #1)

Title: Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables #1)
Author: Jonathan Auxier, Olga Demidova (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The first book in a magical chapter-book adventure series by the Governor General Award-winning author of Sweep.

Auggie Pound is eight years old and has the greatest job of all time: he cares for all the animals in the Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables house the rarest creatures in existence–all of them one-of-a-kind. Auggie’s job is to care for these creatures, as well as track down and safely capture endangered magical beasts in the wild. Some mornings, he arrives to find an empty stall with the name of a new creature to rescue. One day, the Stables rearrange themselves out of the blue, creating a new stall. The sign over the gate says, “Wisp.” But what is a wisp and where is it? All Auggie can see is a moonlit swamp stretching out before him. Then a hungry HOWLLLLLLL rings out in the darkness. It’s up to Auggie to go into the swamp to find the wisp before it’s too late.

Review:

Auggie is a little boy who is in charge of The Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables holds many one-of-a-kind creatures. One day, a new stall appears for an unknown creature. Auggie ventures into the swamp in the new stall and discovers a Wisp named Willa. He has to protect her from hunters, who are trying to capture Willa before she disappears when the sun rises.

I loved the variety of magical creatures in this story. There were some creatures who were based on things in real life, such as a tarantula who was as big as a person named a Garantula. There was a stick-in-the-mud named Fen, who could transform into any item that Auggie needed at the moment, such as a rake. There was also Willa who was a wisp, a creature that is born one day but disappears when the moon sets.

In an author’s note at the beginning of the book, the author says that he wrote this book to be read out loud to children. Some books may read well, but don’t sound the same when they’re read aloud. Sometimes in stories with magical creatures, their names can be complicated and difficult to pronounce. Though there are made-up creatures in this story, their names are easy to say. Some of the dialogue rhymed, which makes it fun to read as well.

This is the great first story in the Fabled Stables series!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Have you read Willa the Wisp? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – October 1

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2) by Ashley Poston.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

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. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after. 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: All This Time

Title: All This Time
Author: Mikki Daughtry, Rachael Lippincott
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Kyle and Kimberly have been the perfect couple all through high school, but when Kimberly breaks up with him on the night of their graduation party, Kyle’s entire world upends—literally. Their car crashes and when he awakes, he has a brain injury. Kimberly is dead. And no one in his life could possibly understand.

Until Marley. Marley is suffering from her own loss, a loss she thinks was her fault. And when their paths cross, Kyle sees in her all the unspoken things he’s feeling.

As Kyle and Marley work to heal each other’s wounds, their feelings for each other grow stronger. But Kyle can’t shake the sense that he’s headed for another crashing moment that will blow up his life as soon as he’s started to put it back together.

And he’s right.

Review:

Kyle and Kimberly were the perfect couple all through high school. On graduation night, Kim tells him she wants to break up while they’re driving after a fight. Then, they’re in a car accident. When Kyle wakes up with a head injury, he finds out that Kim is dead. Kyle struggles to get over his injury and his broken heart, until he meets Marley. Marley has also lost someone close to her, so she understands what Kyle is going through. They start a relationship that seems great, until Kyle has another accident. He has to put the pieces of his life back together a second time, but this time everything has changed.

This was a heartbreaking story about loss. Kyle and Marley lost people who were very close to them. They went through different stages of grief, including survivor’s guilt. They both survived tragic accidents which killed their loved ones, and they didn’t think they deserved to live after that. Since they were both experiencing the same feelings, they can relate to and support each other.

This story was so sad, until a shocking twist two thirds of the way through. I thought I knew where this story was heading, but I was completely wrong. This story kept my heart pounding right until the end. The ending was surprising and perfect for this heartbreaking story about love and loss.

I highly recommend this beautiful story.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Have you read All This Time? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – September 30

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco. The expected publication date is October 27, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes a new blockbuster series… 

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: The Case of the Loathsome School Lunches (Mina Mistry (sort of) Investigates #1)

Title: The Case of the Loathsome School Lunches (Mina Mistry (sort of) Investigates #1)
Author: Angie Lake
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Being at school is boring. It’s really boring when you already know what you’re going to be. It’s really, really boring when you’re going to be something cool like a Private Investigator. Until then, Mina’s going to practise for her future. By keeping notes on all her classmates, spying on suspicious teachers, noticing every little―

Wait … 

Aren’t school lunches a bit strange? Chicken nuggets? Again? On Pizza? Covered in chocolate? Nobody wants to live on lettuce and broccoli, but children are losing teeth over this! This needs investigating. 

This looks like a case for Mina Mistry.

Review:

Mina Mistry keeps notes on her friends, family, and school. After learning about healthy food in class, Mina realizes that her school is serving only unhealthy food for lunch. The food choices are so unhealthy that students are getting cavities and the dentist is completely booked. Mina decides to investigate the unhealthy lunches at her school.

This is a great story to teach children about healthy eating. Healthy eating is an important topic at schools. It was ironic that the school was serving junk food while they taught the students how to eat healthy food.

This story was also quite funny. The school planned a fundraiser for their mailman, who needed money to pay for lawyer bills. He lost his hand from a dog attack in the past. Then, he was bit by another dog and the owners claimed that bite gave their dog food poisoning, so they sued him. That was such an outrageous story that it was funny.

The solution of the story was very clever. I didn’t realize what was happening, but it would probably be easy for a reader to figure out. I had missed one of the clues, but this mystery could be solved by the reader.

This is a cute middle grade mystery!

Thank you Sweet Cherry Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

Megabat (Megabat #1) by Anna Humphrey, Kass Reich (illustrator)

Have you read The Case of the Loathsome School Lunches? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Favourite Book Quotes. Here’s my list:

1.

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

2.

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

3.

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.” – Marissa Meyer, Cinder

4.

“One should never save cake for later when it can be eaten now.” – Marissa Meyer, Winter

5.

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” – Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

6.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

7.

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.” – Victoria Schwab, Vicious

8.

“The beautiful thing about books was that anyone could open them.” – Victoria Schwab, This Savage Song

9.

“There were two kinds of monsters, the kind that hunted the streets and the kind that lived in your head. She could fight the first, but the second was more dangerous. It was always, always, always a step ahead.” – Victoria Schwab, Our Dark Duet

10.

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” – Victoria Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Happy Pub Day – September 29

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

All This Time by Mikki Daughtry, Rachael Lippincott

Shine by Jessica Jung

The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter

Swimming Lessons: Poems by Lili Reinhart

Skyhunter by Marie Lu

Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

Dear Justyce (Dear Martin #2) by Nic Stone

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: The Forgotten Kingdom (The Lost Queen Trilogy #2)

Title: The Forgotten Kingdom (The Lost Queen Trilogy #2)
Author: Signe Pike
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook, Paperback
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

AD 573. Imprisoned in her chamber, Languoreth awaits news in torment. Her husband and son have ridden off to wage war against her brother, Lailoken. She doesn’t yet know that her young daughter, Angharad, who was training with Lailoken to become a Wisdom Keeper, has been lost in the chaos. As one of the bloodiest battles of early medieval Scottish history scatters its survivors to the wind, Lailoken and his men must flee to exile in the mountains of the Lowlands, while nine-year-old Angharad must summon all Lailoken has taught her and follow her own destiny through the mysterious, mystical land of the Picts.

In the aftermath of the battle, old political alliances unravel, opening the way for the ambitious adherents of the new religion: Christianity. Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the Christians and the pagans together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”

Bitter rivalries are ignited, lost loves are found, new loves are born, and old enemies come face-to-face with their reckoning in this compellingly fresh look at one of the most enduring legends of all time.

Review:

In 573 AD, Langoureth waits in her locked bedroom for news of her husband and son who have gone off to start a war with her brothers. She also worries about her daughter, who was training with her brother to be a Wisdom Keeper. In the chaos of the battles, her nine-year-old daughter, Angharad, is lost. Angharad has to find her way back home or at least to safety. Langoureth’s brother, Lailoken was one of the survivors of the battle. Lailoken holds the special place as someone who can unite the Christians and pagans, which may help them win the battle.

This historical novel had a slow and steady pace, but it is quite tense. Each chapter and scene is so descriptive that I felt like I was right there with the characters. The descriptions were detailed and seemed so realistic, that it’s amazing that the author can write this with the limited research available about the sixth century.

This was a great second book in the trilogy. The first book just followed Langoureth, while this one also followed her brother Lailoken and her daughter Angharad. They were each in different positions and stages of life. Langoureth was a Queen who was trying to keep her family together. Lailoken was a warrior who had a connection to the natural world. Angharad was a little girl who had to survive on her own and find her way back to her family. These characters show a wide range of lifestyles during that time period.

This is an amazing historical series.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Forgotten Kingdom? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – September 28

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished The Forgotten Kingdom (The Lost Queen Trilogy #2) by Signe Pike.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – September 27

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?