Review: Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match

Title: Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match
Author: Sally Thorne
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction
Publisher: Avon Books
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game Sally Thorne comes something a little unexpected… a historical rom-com that imagines Victor Frankenstein’s sheltered younger sister, and her attempts to create the perfect man. 

For generations, every Frankenstein has found their true love and equal, unlocking lifetimes of blissful wedded adventure. Clever, pretty (and odd) Angelika Frankenstein has run out of suitors and fears she may become the exception to this family rule. When assisting in her brother Victor’s ground-breaking experiment to bring a reassembled man back to life, she realizes that having an agreeable gentleman convalescing in the guest suite might be a chance to let a man get to know the real her. For the first time, Angelika embarks upon a project that is all her own.

When her handsome scientific miracle sits up on the lab table, her hopes for an instant romantic connection are thrown into disarray. Her resurrected beau (named Will for the moment) has total amnesia and is solely focused on uncovering his true identity. Trying to ignore their heart-pounding chemistry, Angelika reluctantly joins the investigation into his past, hoping it will bring them closer. But when a second suitor emerges to aid their quest, Angelika wonders if she was too hasty inventing a solution. Perhaps fate is not something that can be influenced in a laboratory? Or is Will (or whatever his name is!) her dream man, tailored for her in every way? And can he survive what was done to him in the name of science, and love?

Filled with carriages, candlesticks, and corpses, Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match is the spooky-season reimagining of the well-known classic that reminds us to never judge a man by his cadaver! 

Review:

Angelika Frankenstein is the assistant to her brother Victor in all of his experiments. When he wants to bring a man back to life, Angelika joins in on the fun. She hasn’t been able to find an appropriate suitor and now she’s run out of men in her town, so she decides to choose her own corpse to bring back to life. However, the man who she revives is more focused on figuring out his identity from before he died than being her husband. Though he is her perfect match, Angelika does everything she can to help him discover his former life. 

I loved the premise of this book, but it wasn’t executed as well as I expected. The romance between Angelika and Will, her creation, was stilted and forced. One minute they would be kissing, and the next minute he would tell her why they couldn’t be together. This happened over and over again, so it was tiring to read. 

The other characters tried to be quirky but I didn’t feel that they stood out on their own. Some of the side characters didn’t really serve a purpose to move the plot forward. Those storylines could have been cut shorter to make the story more concise. 

Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match wasn’t what I hoped it would be. 

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for giving me a copy of this book.

Have you read Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match? What did you think of it?

Review: If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It

Title: If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It
Author: Colleen Nelson, Kathie MacIsaac, Scot Ritchie (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 25, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

There is no single path to the job of your dreams.
What does it take to become a stuntperson? How does a
mathematician spend her days? When does a barber become the center of a community? In this refreshing take on a careers book, meet twenty-five individuals of different backgrounds, genders, and abilities who have found their careers through a wide range of experience, education, intention, and inspiration. From Joshua Jones, who built a business where he could thrive as a Deaf interior designer, to Teresa Tam, whose hunger for knowledge led her to
the position of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, each of these dreamers found ways to dig deep into their passion, to gain experience and knowledge, and to turn that into a job.

Review:

This book talks about 25 inspiring people who found their dream jobs. These jobs range from the arts to sciences and everything in between. These weren’t all typical jobs that are taught about in school. For example, there was a human rights lawyer, a meteorologist, a smokejumper, and an NHL scout. These jobs are all inspired by things the people were interested in and decided to incorporate into their job. 

I liked that there were related jobs listed in each section, to give more examples of work in those fields. There were examples of how a young person can become involved and learn about the job, as well as a real example of a young person who is already making their mark in that field. Many of the people featured were Canadian, which was nice to see in a Canadian book. 

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It is an inspiring book about finding your dream job!

Thank you Pajama Press for sending me a copy of this book.

Have you read If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It? What did you think of it?

Review: In the Shadow of a Queen

Title: In the Shadow of a Queen
Author: Heather B. Moore
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: October 4, 2022
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Based on the true story of the free-spirited daughter of Queen Victoria.

Princess Louise’s life is upended after her father’s untimely death. Captive to the queen’s overwhelming mourning, Louise is forbidden to leave her mother’s tight circle of control and is eventually relegated to the position of personal secretary to her mother—the same position each of her sisters held until they were married.

Already an accomplished painter, Louise risks the queen’s wrath by exploring the art of sculpting, an activity viewed as unbefitting a woman. When Louise involves herself in the day’s political matters, including championing the career of a female doctor and communicating with suffragettes, the queen lays down the law to stop her and devotes her full energy to finding an acceptable match for her defiant daughter.

Louise is considered the most beautiful and talented daughter of Queen Victoria, but finding a match for the princess is no easy feat. Protocols are broken, and Louise exerts her own will as she tries to find an open-minded husband who will support her free spirit.

In the Shadow of a Queen is the story of a battle of wills between two women: a daughter determined to forge her own life beyond the shadow of her mother, and a queen resolved to keep the Crown’s reputation unsullied no matter the cost.

Review:

Princess Louise was the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. She was close with her mother, becoming the Queen’s personal secretary after her sisters had married and moved away. Louise was a sculptor, which was scandalous for a woman at the time. She was also interested in women’s rights, though her mother didn’t support that cause. It took a long time to find her a match, but she ended up breaking protocols to marry the man she loved. Princess Louise was an extraordinary woman. 

When I began reading this story, I realized I didn’t know anything about Queen Victoria’s children. I had read stories about the Queen’s early years, but not about her life during her reign. Though Louise made controversial decisions, her mother supported her. Even when Louise wanted to do something that Queen Victoria didn’t approve of, she eventually came around and allowed her daughter to do what made her happy. 

Princess Louise’s mark is still present today. She made the sculpture of Queen Victoria that sits in front of Kensington Palace. That’s one of my favourite statues and I had no idea Princess Louise had made it. Canada’s province of Alberta is named after Princess Louise, as Alberta is her middle name after her father Prince Albert. I didn’t realize she had a strong connection to Canada, living here for many years while her husband was Governor General. I’m glad to see she left a legacy in the world, and I hope it becomes more well known. 

In the Shadow of a Queen is a wonderful story about Queen Victoria’s daughter. 

Thank you Shadow Mountain for sending me a copy of this book.

What to read next:

An Indiscreet Princess by Georgie Blalock

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Have you read In the Shadow of a Queen? What did you think of it?

Review: Hide

Title: Hide
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Horror, Contemporary
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 24, 2022
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The challenge: spend a week hiding in an abandoned amusement park and don’t get caught.

The prize: enough money to change everything.

Even though everyone is desperate to win–to seize their dream futures or escape their haunting pasts–Mack feels sure that she can beat her competitors. All she has to do is hide, and she’s an expert at that.

It’s the reason she’s alive, and her family isn’t.

But as the people around her begin disappearing one by one, Mack realizes this competition is more sinister than even she imagined, and that together might be the only way to survive.
Fourteen competitors. Seven days. Everywhere to hide, but nowhere to run.

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

A high-stakes hide-and-seek competition turns deadly in this dark supernatural thriller from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

Review:

Would you spend a week in an abandoned amusement park to win $50,000 dollars? That’s the challenge that Mack enters. She lives in a shelter and has nothing to lose, so she decides to enter the challenge along with thirteen other people. Each day the contestants must hide from the “seekers,” with two contestants being “out” each day. However, this is a much darker game than they predicted. They have to figure out how to hide so that they make it out alive. 

This was such a psychologically creepy story. There wasn’t anything actually scary on the page for most of the story, but the threat of some unknown seeker gave the story a spooky atmosphere. 

I wish there was more character development. There were three characters that had full backstories, but the other eleven contestants weren’t as well developed. It would have been helpful to even have a list of the contestants at the beginning so I could tell them apart. I had a higher opinion of this book when I read the acknowledgements at the end. Kiersten White tells her inspiration for writing this book, and it made me understand the terrifying atmosphere in this story. 

Hide is a creepy horror story!

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

Happy Pub Day – October 25

Happy Pub Day to these authors!

If You Can Dream It You Can Do It by Colleen Nelson and Kathie MacIsaac

Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris

Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds

The Sevenfold Hunters by Rose Egal

The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake

The Winter Garden by Nicola Cornick

Diper Överlöde by Jeff Kinney

Anne by Kathleen Gras

We Are All We Have by Marina Budhos

Berliners by Vesper Stamper

Sign Here by Claudia Lux

The Stand-Up Groomsman by Jackie Lau

Marlowe Banks, Redesigned by Jacqueline Firkins

Strike the Zither by Joan He

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #3)

Title: Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #3)
Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Thomas Allen and Son
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Myrtle Hardcastle—twelve-year-old Young Lady of Quality and Victorian amateur detective—is back on the case, solving a string of bizarre murders in her hometown of Swinburne and picking up right where she left off in Premeditated Myrtle and How to Get Away with Myrtle

When the proprietor of Leighton’s Mercantile is found dead on the morning his annual Christmas shop display is to be unveiled, it’s clear a killer had revenge in mind. But who would want to kill the local dry-goods merchant? Perhaps someone who remembers the mysterious scandal that destroyed his career as a professor and archaeologist. When the killer strikes again, each time manipulating the figures in the display to foretell the crime, Myrtle finds herself racing to uncover the long-buried facts of a cold case—and the motivations of a modern murderer.

Review:

When the owner of Leighton’s Mercantile is found dead on the morning that their Christmas display is unveiled, Myrtle Hardcastle is on the case. She finds a photo of Professor Leighton with her mother near his body, so she assumes there is some connection between them. Leighton had been a professor when Myrtle’s mother was in school, but after a student went missing, his career was destroyed. Soon after, another person connected with Leighton is murdered, pointing to Myrtle’s mother’s old group of friends. Myrtle must race to find the killer before everyone involved is dead. 

This was a great whodunnit mystery! Though Myrtle is a young girl, almost all of the other characters are adults, so this series would appeal to adults as well as young readers. The mystery in this story was complex and went back generations. There were some great twists at the end, which made it hard for me to guess the killer. The story was quite fast-paced too, so I had to keep reading it.

Cold-Blooded Myrtle is a great middle grade mystery!

Thank you Thomas Allen and Son and Algonquin Young Readers for sending me a copy of this book!

What to read next:

In Myrtle Peril by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer

Other books in the series:

Have you read Cold-Blooded Myrtle? What did you think of it?

Review: Sweet and Bitter Magic

Title: Sweet and Bitter Magic
Author: Adrienne Tooley
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Owlcrate
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 9, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this debut fantasy, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first..

Review:

Tamsin is a powerful witch, but after casting some dark magic, she’s kicked out of the Coven and cursed to never love again. The only way for her to have any feelings of love is to take them from people who need her magic. Wren is a source of magic. People who are sources are required to go to the Coven to be trained, but Wren didn’t want to leave her father alone. Now, her father is sick with a memory-stealing plague, so she approaches Tamsin to help heal him. Wren asks Tamsin to help her find the witch that started the plague to find a cure, and in return she will give Tamsin the love she feels for her father. The two girls must journey into the Coven to find the source of the dark magic. 

This was a cute sapphic witch story. I love it when the duality of good versus evil are explored in a story. Tamsin seemed like a dark witch who stole people’s love just to be mean, but she had a traumatic history that made her behave that way. Wren had conflicting feelings about trusting a witch, but she loved her father so much that she was willing to give up that love to cure him. Love was very valuable in this story. 

There were some surprising twists in this story that I didn’t see coming. I liked how everything wrapped up at the end. It was a complete ending but there’s also the possibility to return to this world and the characters. 

Sweet and Bitter Magic is a great sapphic witchy story.

What to read next:

Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Have you read Sweet and Bitter Magic? What did you think of it?

Happy Pub Day – October 18

Happy Pub Day to these authors!

Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by Rati Mehrotra

Love from Mecca to Medina by S.K. Ali

Read of the Lost by Nafiza Adai

The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrew

Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken by Nita Tyndall

Somebody That I Used to Know by Dana L. Davis

Tell Me No Lies by Andrea Contos

Beneath the Wide Silk Sky by Emily Inouye Huey

We Are the Scribes by Randi Pink

Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad

When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb

Greywaren by Maggie Stiefvater

Marikit and the Ocean of Stars by Caris Avendaño Cruz

Poster Girl by Veronica Roth

The Ghost Woods by C.J. Cooke

A Cosmic Kind of Love by Samantha Young

Built to Last by Erin Hahn

Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai

Outside Nowhere by Adam Borba

The Spirit Queen by Arnée Flores

The Last Chairlift by John Irving

Maybe an Artist by Liz Montague

Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: Twelfth Grade Night (Arden High #1)

Title: Twelfth Grade Night (Arden High #1)
Author: Molly Horton Booth, Stephanie Kate Strohm, Jamie Green
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Contemporary
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The course of true love never did run smooth . . . and neither does high school in this new graphic novel series for fans of Heartstopper and The Prince and the Dressmaker.

Vi came to Arden High for a fresh start and a chance to wear beanies and button-ups instead of uniform skirts. And though doing it without her twin feels like being split in half, Vi finds her stride when she stumbles (literally!) into broody and beautiful poet-slash-influencer, Orsino. Soon Vi gets roped into helping plan the school’s Twelfth Grade Night dance, and she can’t stop dreaming about slow dancing with Orsino under the fairy lights in the gym.

The problem? All Vi’s new friends assume she’s not even into guys. And before Vi can ask Orsino to the dance, he recruits Vi to help woo his crush, Olivia. Who has a crush of her own . . . on Vi.

Star-crossed love abounds in this hilarious and romantic story of self-discovery, mistaken identities, and the magic that happens when we open our hearts to something new.

Review:

Vi decided to go to Arden High for a fresh start in high school and to get away from wearing her uniform skirts. Her brother Sebastian stayed at their boarding school, leaving Vi to start this journey on her own. As soon as she walks into the cafeteria, Vi stumbles into the poet influencer Orsino, and she instantly likes him. They spend time together but before Vi can ask Orsino to the Twelfth Grade Night dance, Orsino asks her to ask Olivia out to the dance for him. Things get even more complicated when Olivia reveals she has a crush on Vi. All of these star crossed lovers come together in a mix of mistaken identities at the Twelfth Grade Night dance. 

As soon as I saw the title of this book, I knew I had to read it. Twelfth Night is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays and She’s the Man is one of my favourite adaptations. This story was set in Arden High, which was full of different Shakespeare characters who will probably be in future books. 

Vi was a girl who dressed in masculine clothing, so others assumed that she was attracted to other girls. This also made Vi look identical to her twin brother. Vi’s masculine appearance led to the mistaken identities that are present at the end of Twelfth Night. These queer and gender identities were a great way to adapt Twelfth Night into a modern story. 

Twelfth Grade Night is a fabulous graphic novel adaptation!

What to read next:

Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

That Way Madness Lies edited by Dahlia Adler

Have you read Twelfth Grade Night? What did you think of it?

Happy Pub Day – October 11

Happy Pub Day to these authors!

Season of Love by Helena Greer

If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang

The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews

The Raven Song by Luanne G. Smith

Runaway Groomsman by Meghan Quinn

Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller by Meredith Ireland

The Edge of Being by James Brandon

Grace Things Like Love by Sara Bennett Wealer

The Witch Hunt by Sasha Peyton Smith

I Miss You, I Hate This by Sara Saedi

The Truth About Everything by Bridget Farr

Dark Room Etiquette by Robin Roe

Twelfth Grade Night by Molly Horton Booth, Stephanie Kate Strohm, Jamie Green

Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner

That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall

Princess of Souls by Alexandra Christo

The Other Side of Night by Adam Hamdy

Fayne by Ann-Marie Mac Donald

What books are you most excited for this week?