Review: The Thirteenth Fairy (Never After #1)

Title: The Thirteenth Fairy (Never After #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Contemporary
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Nothing ever happens in Filomena Jefferson-Cho’s sleepy little suburban town of North Pasadena. The sun shines every day, the grass is always a perfect green, and while her progressive school swears there’s no such thing as bullying, she still feels bummed out. But one day, when Filomena is walking home on her own, something strange happens.

Filomena is being followed by Jack Stalker, one of the heroes in the Thirteenth Fairy, a series of books she loves about a brave girl and her ragtag group of friends who save their world from an evil enchantress. She must be dreaming, or still reading a book. But Jack is insistent–he’s real, the stories are real, and Filomena must come with him at once!

Soon, Filomena is thrust into the world of evil fairies and beautiful princesses, sorcerers and slayers, where an evil queen drives her ruthless armies to destroy what is left of the Fairy tribes. To save herself and the kingdom of Westphalia, Filomena must find the truth behind the fairytales and set the world back to rights before the cycle of sleep and destruction begins once more.

Review:

Filomena Jefferson-Cho lives an ordinary life in North Pasadena, but she loves to escape to the world of Never After in her favourite book series. When she gets the disappointing news on the release day that the thirteenth and final book in the series won’t be published, she’s so disappointed. As she walks home, she’s followed by someone who looks like Jack Stalker, the main character in the series. Jack catches up to her and tells her the world of Never After is real and she must go there with him to save it. The world is being taken over by ogres and Filomena has to help Jack and his friend Alistair. Filomena gets to enter her favourite fictional world that is closer to her reality than she can imagine.

As an avid reader since I was a kid, being able to enter my favourite fictional worlds would be a dream come true. It was so fun to read about Filomena being able to enter Never After. There are a few series I would have loved to enter as a kid, so this was such an entertaining premise.

I loved the references to fairy tales throughout the story. There were many fairy tale characters mentioned in passing, such as Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs. This was a great set up for more books in the series to explore other fairy tale stories.

The Thirteenth Fairy is a fun middle grade fairy tale story!

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Have you read The Thirteenth Fairy? What did you think of it?

Happy Pub Day – December 7

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich

Fools in Love by Ashley Herring Blake and Rebecca Podos (editors)

Oddball by Sarah Andersen

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Heart of the Impaler by Alexander Delacroix

No Beauties or Monsters by Tara Goedjen

The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White

The Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick

The Righteous by Renée Ahdieh

The Upper World by Femi Fadugba

The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling

The Big Reveal by Jen Larsen

The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff

The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelle-Dale

What books are you most excited for this week?

Top Ten Tuesday – Freebie: My Favourite Holiday Reads

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 a Freebie, so I decided to do Favourite Holiday Reads. Here’s my list:

1. The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

2. In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

3. Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

4. The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

5. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

6. All I Want for Christmas by Wendy Loggia

7. Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler

8. An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow

9. A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

10. Finding Christmas b Karen Schaler

(All book covers from Goodreads)

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

Review: You’ll Be the Death of Me

Title: You’ll Be the Death of Me
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 30, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day.

Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out–he’s been working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up…. again.

So when Cal pulls into campus late for class and runs into Ivy and Mateo, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn a bad day around. They’ll ditch and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say…

Until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school–and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse.

It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common. They all have a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.

Now they’re all wondering–could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand-new pulse-pounding thriller. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder when three old friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly–and fatally–wrong.

Review:

Ivy worked hard to be the top student and was class president for the last three years. That’s why she was shocked to lose the student council election to class clown Brian “Boney” Maloney. It upsets her so much that she decides to skip school on the day after the election results. She runs into her two former best friends: Cal and Mateo. Cal was just stood up for a date again, and Mateo is burned out from working two jobs and being lied to by his cousin. Ivy, Cal, and Mateo decide to skip school, to recreate the first time they met and skipped school years before. However, this time, they come across the body of a student who they’re all connected to. Each of them are suspects, so they spend the day investigating the death and running from everyone else.

This was another fabulous thriller from Karen M. McManus. It was fast paced and thrilling the entire time. It was so hard to put this book down. I needed to know how it ended.

I haven’t read many thrillers lately, because I’ve found them formulaic and easy to figure out. This one has so many shocking twists that kept me reading. I was truly surprised at every twist, especially the big reveals at the end. This was such a well written, suspenseful thriller.

You’ll Be the Death of Me is an amazing new thriller!

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

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore

Have you read You’ll Be the Death of Me? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – December 6

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 You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading The Genesis of Seven by Sara M. Schaller.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Blame It on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod.

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

Jill’s Weekly Wrap Up – December 5

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 7 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… You’ll Be the Death of Me

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 You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898.png

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day.

Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out–he’s been working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up…. again.

So when Cal pulls into campus late for class and runs into Ivy and Mateo, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn a bad day around. They’ll ditch and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say…

Until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school–and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse.

It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common. They all have a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.

Now they’re all wondering–could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand-new pulse-pounding thriller. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder when three old friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly–and fatally–wrong.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Red/Green Books

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 Red/Green Books. Here’s my list:

1. The Devil and the Heiress by Harper St. George

2. The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody

3. The Betrayed by Kiera Cass

4. Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

5. Lies My Memory Told Me by Sacha Wunsch

6. The Merchant and the Rogue by Sarah M. Eden

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?

Review: The Undercover Book List

Title: The Undercover Book List
Author: Colleen Nelson
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

He’s known as the class troublemaker. She’s known as the bookworm. But when every note they send is anonymous, identity is suddenly what they make it.

Between her father’s posting overseas and her best friend Sienna’s move to the other side of the country, seventh grade is looking lonely for Jane MacDonald. But Sienna has left her with one last trick: a hidden message in a library book—the perfect plot to start a secret club and find Jane a new book-loving friend.

Tyson Flamand has problems of his own. Since the fourth grade he’s had a reputation as a bad kid, and there’s no point fighting it when teachers always think the worst. So when he finds an anonymous note in the library looking for a nerdy new friend, he knows he’s the last person in the world it could be meant for. But something makes him answer it anyway, and Tyson finds himself pulled into a secret book club where being hidden may be the first step to being truly seen.

With the insight of a veteran middle-school teacher, Colleen Nelson, author of the award-winning Harvey Comes Home and Sadia, weaves together two stories of identity, expectation, and the courage to challenge both. As their paths move ever closer, Jane and Tyson both discover their own self-reliance and their ability to overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable.

Review:

When Jane’s best friend moves away, she leaves Jane a book scavenger hunt to find a new friend who loves to read as much as she does. There was a note left in the book Liar and Spy, with the start of the Undercover Book Club for Jane to start with someone else. Tyson sees Jane with the note, and decides to play along with the secret book club to play a trick on Jane. However, when he starts reading the books she suggests, he realizes that he actually likes to read. Jane tries to solve the mystery of who’s leaving notes for her in the Undercover Book Club, while Tyson tries to adopt a more serious attitude towards school and reading.

In this book, the kids compete in a Kid Lit Quiz, which is a trivia competition about books. I don’t think that was around when I was a kid, but I would have loved it. I haven’t read many of the books mentioned in this story and I’m curious to read them now. I loved that the book club and quiz in this story turned Tyson, a reluctant reader, into a book lover. Whenever someone tells me they don’t like reading, I just say that they haven’t found the right book yet. That was true for Tyson in this story.

This story had two narratives, a first person narrative from Jane and a third person narrative about Tyson. It wasn’t obvious to me why Jane told her own perspective while Tyson’s narrative had a third person narrator. Jane had a more complex storyline, so maybe that’s why, but I’m curious why they didn’t have the same kind of narrator.

The Undercover Book Club is a fun middle grade story!

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

Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson

Me and Banksy by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Have you read The Undercover Book List? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Meet Me in London (Meet Me #1)

Title: Meet Me in London (Meet Me #1)
Author: Georgia Toffolo
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: HQN Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Fans of Josie Silver’s One Day in December and Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze will adore watching Victoria and Oliver’s pretend engagement dissolve as their very real chemistry threatens to upend all their carefully laid-out secrets. Set against the most charming London backdrop, Meet Me in London is an irrisistable seasonal treat!

What do you do when your fake engagement starts to feel too real… 

Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well-meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her over the holidays—a girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion…something to keep his mother from meddling while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed, will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…?

Review:

Victoria Scott is an aspiring fashion designer who works in a bar in Chelsea. She’s worried that her neighbourhood will be under threat from the big department store moving onto the street. Oliver Russell is the CEO of that department store. When he meets Victoria, he realizes she can help solve his major problem: she can pretend to be his fiancé at their opening night so his mother will stop asking him about his nonexistent girlfriend. Victoria agrees when Oliver offers to showcase some of her designs at the opening of the store. However, things get more complicated when they start to fall in love. Victoria has to keep the secrets of her past, which would ruin any possibility of a relationship with Oliver.

This was a fun holiday romance. I was rooting for Victoria and Oliver the whole time. Though they had many differences in their lives, they had powerful chemistry. There were some serious moments in this romance. Victoria had been in an accident when she was younger that left her with physical and emotional scars. Oliver also had to deal with his sick father, who could no longer work like he used to.

I would have liked to see more of an explanation of Victoria’s past. Also, Oliver’s family was very present in the story, but Victoria’s wasn’t, though they didn’t live that far away. I also would have liked to see a bigger conclusion or even an epilogue. I’m curious to see what other characters would have thought of the ending.

Meet Me in London is a sweet holiday romance!

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

Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

About the author:

Georgia Toffolo is a broadcaster and TV personality. She has been a firm favourite with the public right from the start of her TV debut, Made in Chelsea, all the way to winning over the hearts of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2018.

Georgia turned her eye to fashion and has curated two sell out collections with fashion retailer Shein. An ambassador for many British brands, both large and small, Georgia has also collaborated with Dyson, Baileys, Emma Bridgewater, Great British Racing, Foreo and Malibu amongst many more.

Most recently, Georgia has dived into the world of fiction by publishing her debut novel Meet Me in London with publishing house Mills and Boon. This is the first of an original series of four books following a group of lifelong friends and bringing personal anecdotes to life with humour and charm.

Where to buy:

Have you read Meet Me in London? What did you think of it?