Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – January 31

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?


Sundays in Bed With… We Could Be Heroes

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An extraordinary and emotional adventure about unlikely friends and the power of choosing who you want to be.

Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories—a power he uses to hold up banks to buy coffee, cat food and books.

Zoe is also searching for her past, and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it.

When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake than their fragile friendship. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else—and yourself.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Bookish Hates

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Bookish Hates. Here’s my list:

1. Deckled Edges!!!

2. When a book isn’t in stock at a store

3. When books or promotions aren’t available in Canada

4. Dogeared pages

5. Books left lying open, spine side up

6. When people borrow books and don’t return them

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?

Blog Tour Review: Wench

Title: Wench
Author: Maxine Kaplan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 19, 2021
Rating: ★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A funny, fiercely feminist YA epic fantasy—following the adventures of a tavern wench

Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her. But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.

Content warning: Some magic in the book involves self-harm.


Tanya has worked at a tavern with her adopted father for the past ten years. When he suddenly dies one day, she loses the tavern. The Queen’s guard takes it from her, so she decides to travel with them to see the Queen and get the title for her tavern back. On their journey to the city, Tanya finds a magical quill that the guard is also transporting. Tanya ends up connecting herself to the quill through blood magic, which leads her on an epic journey through different worlds.

This was quite an extensive magical journey. Tanya went to many different kinds of lands, including forests, a palace, and a volcano. The blood magic was intriguing because it was irreversible. She was connected to the quill in a very intimate way that also had complications.

This story focused on Tanya, but it was written from a third-person perspective, rather than a first-person perspective. I think I would have felt more of a connection to Tanya if it had been written from her point of view. Tanya also seemed to get distracted from her goal of retrieving her tavern. She became focused on the quill and magic, rather than just working towards getting her tavern back. If she had stayed focused on her original goal, she could have completed it much quicker. Also, since it was called “Wench” I thought there would be more of a focus on her working at the tavern. That was a small part of the story, with most of it being about the quill and magic, so the title is deceiving.

This was a good epic fantasy story, but it could have been presented in a more accurate way.

Thank you Amulet Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

About the author:

Maxine Kaplan was born in Washington, DC. She and her twin sister spent their early childhoods trotting behind their journalist parents as they traveled around the world, eventually settling in Brooklyn, NY. Maxine graduated from Oberlin College in 2007. Following a long stint in the world of publishing, she has worked as a private investigator since 2009. She lives in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her dimwitted, but soulful cat.Her first novel The Accidental Bad Girl received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and will be available in paperback January 5, 2021. Her sophomore novel, Wench, is coming in January 19, 2021. 


One person will win a finished copy of Wench. The giveaway starts on January 25th and ends on February 1st.

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a59520/

Have you read Wench? What did you think of it?

Top 5 Saturday – Weapons on the Cover

This is a weekly meme hosted Devouring Books. This week’s prompt is Weapons on the Cover. Here’s my list:

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

2. Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

3. The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

4. Shadow Frost by Coco Ma

5. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

(All book covers from Goodreads)

If you’d like to do this list too, consider yourself tagged!

Did you make a Top 5 Saturday list?

Review: The Case of the Disappearing Pets (Mina Mistry (Sort of) Investigates #2)

Title: The Case of the Disappearing Pets (Mina Mistry (Sort of) Investigates #2)
Author: Angie Lake, Ellie O’Shea (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Mystery
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 4, 2021
Rating: ★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Disappearing hamsters? Vanishing toads? Missing snails? This needs investigating.

This looks like a case for Mina Mistry… 

An explosion at the local pet shop shows Mina that this pet palaver can’t be a coincidence. But why is someone stealing all the animals? What do they want them for?

About the Mina Mistry Investigates series: 
Introducing Mina Mistry, witty schoolgirl detective and soon-to-be Private Investigator. Mina Mistry Investigates is a fun detective series packed with comic-style illustrations and mystery-solving throughout.

Great for reluctant readers aged 7+ and fans of Planet Omar and Dork Diaries.


After a pet presentation at Mina’s school, a bunch of the pets who were brought in by students go missing. Then, there was an explosion at the pet store in town, with all the animals in the store going missing as well. Mina Mistry starts investigating the disappearance of all the pets.

This was another entertaining Mina Mistry mystery. I found some parts gross, like the bugs that children kept as pets, but young readers would probably find that funny. The illustrations were great at telling the story. They made the story a quick read. Some of the illustrations were funny, such as the way Mina’s best friend Holly would dress her hamster up in clothes and jewelry. Her hamster, Harriet, was famous on social media for all of her glamorous clothes. I loved those illustrations because they really showed how fashionable the hamster looked in clothes.

I didn’t really like the ending of the mystery. There were multiple solutions to the various different kinds of missing pets. Since they were all investigated together, I thought the different missing pets would have been connected, but they had each disappeared to a different place.

This was a great illustrated children’s book, but the solution to the mystery was disappointing.

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

What to read next:

The Case of the Loathsome School Lunches by Angie Lake

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Case of the Disappearing Pets? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – January 29

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here is my first line:

“My banged-up spoon scrapes the bottom of a barrel that should’ve held enough dried beans to last for three more months.”

Do you recognize this first line?

And the book is… Woven in Moonlight (Woven in Moonlight #1) by Isabel Ibañez.


Goodreads synopsis:

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

Have you read Woven in Moonlight? What did you think of it?

Blog Blitz Review: The Heiress Gets a Duke (The Gilded Age Heiresses #1)

Title: The Heiress Gets a Duke (The Gilded Age Heiresses #1)
Author: Harper St. George
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Even a fortune forged in railroads and steel can’t buy entrance into the upper echelons of Victorian high society—for that you need a marriage of convenience.

American heiress August Crenshaw has aspirations. But unlike her peers, it isn’t some stuffy British Lord she wants wrapped around her finger—it’s Crenshaw Iron Works, the family business. When it’s clear that August’s outrageously progressive ways render her unsuitible for a respectable match, her parents offer up her younger sister to the highest entitled bidder instead. This simply will not do. August refuses to leave her sister to the mercy of a loveless marriage.

Evan Sterling, the Duke of Rothschild, has no intention of walking away from the marriage. He’s recently inherited the title only to find his coffers empty, and with countless lives depending on him, he can’t walk away from the fortune a Crenshaw heiress would bring him. But after meeting her fiery sister, he realizes Violet isn’t the heiress he wants. He wants August, and he always gets what he wants.

But August won’t go peacefully to her fate. She decides to show Rothschild that she’s no typical London wallflower. Little does she realize that every stunt she pulls to make him call off the wedding only makes him like her even more.


August Crenshaw is an American heiress to her father’s railway company. She and her family go to London for the season where her parents set up her younger sister to marry Evan Sterling, Duke of Rothschild. Though Evan is a Duke, he has inherited his father’s debt and his family is suffering because of it. He must marry a wealthy woman to save his family’s properties. However, he has a chance encounter with August before being formally introduced to her family. He realizes that August is the perfect match for him, but he has to convince this working heiress that she should marry him.

This is the perfect book to read right now. It is a fun regency romance, that will appeal to fans of Bridgerton. I just finished watching the Bridgerton TV show, and this was the perfect book to follow it.

This romance had just the right amount of steam. Right away, I could tell that August and Evan should be together. The title gives away the romance, since it says that the heiress will get the Duke, but I loved reading about their journey. It was a bumpy road to getting together which created a lot of romantic tension and suspense.

I loved this regency romance!

Thank you Berkley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Have you read The Heiress Gets a Duke? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – January 28

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 City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents CITY OF THE PLAGUE GOD, an adventure based on ancient Mesopotamian mythology written by Sarwat Chadda, author of the Ash Mistry series. Characters from the Epic of Gilgamesh populate this high-stakes contemporary adventure in which all of Manhattan is threatened by the ancient god of plagues.

Thirteen-year-old Sik wants a simple life going to school and helping at his parents’ deli in the evenings. But all that is blown to smithereens when Nergal comes looking for him, thinking that Sik holds the secret to eternal life.Turns out Sik is immortal but doesn’t know it, and that’s about to get him and the entire city into deep, deep trouble. 

Sik’s not in this alone. He’s got Belet, the adopted daughter of Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, on his side, and a former hero named Gilgamesh, who has taken up gardening in Central Park. Now all they have to do is retrieve the Flower of Immortality to save Manhattan from being wiped out by disease. To succeed, they’ll have to conquer sly demons, treacherous gods, and their own darkest nightmares.

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

Review: Maya’s Big Scene

Title: Maya’s Big Scene
Author: Isabelle Arsenault
Genre: Children’s, Picture book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Maya’s imagination sets the stage for her friends to act out her feminist play. Can she make room in her queendom for the will of the people? A funny picture book about leadership and fair play for fans of King Baby and Olivia.

Maya is a bossy, burgeoning playwright and loves to have the kids in her Mile End neighborhood bring her scenes to life. Her latest work, about a feminist revolution, is almost ready for public performance. But as her actors begin to express their costume preferences, Maya quickly learns that their visions may not match hers . . . and as both Director and Queen, Maya demands obedience and loyalty in her queendom of equality! But she soon realizes — with the help of her friends and subjects — that absolute bossiness corrupts absolutely!


Maya has invited her friends to put on a feminist play with her. She will run a queendom and they will all be equal. However, once they begin to get costumes and figure out their parts, the other kids realize there isn’t really equality for all in this play that features a queendom ruled by one person.

This story starts out with a great premise of the children creating a world with equality. They want everyone in the play to be equals. The problem with this comes up pretty quickly when Maya bosses them around. The other kids realize it isn’t an equal society if one person is in charge. This teaches them firsthand what an equal society would look like.

I loved the illustrations in this book. Most of them were black and white, with some of the costumes and props in colour. This highlighted the purples, reds, and pinks that Maya wanted them to wear in her queendom. I also liked that the children were playing in Maya’s backyard, but her neighbours’ yards were visible in the images too. This makes it more realistic, since there would be more houses beside her house in real life. It shows that there is life beyond the pages in the book.

This is a cute picture book!

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

What to read next:

Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault

Albert’s Quiet Quest by Isabelle Arsenault

Other books in the series:

  • Colette’s Lost Pet
  • Albert’s Quiet Quest

Have you read Maya’s Big Scene? What did you think of it?