Review | Baker and Taylor and the Mystery of the Library Cats

Synopsis (from NetGalley):
This is the first title in a newly independent reader series that combines fun storylines featuring two bookish cats, with factoids throughout to create an immersive reading experience for bibliophiles, cat-lovers, and learners of regional history and culture alike.


Meet Baker and Taylor, two cat buddies (opposite in every way) who are about to leave the comfort of their cozy public library reading nook to embark on one epic literary road trip!

After spending most of their time reading in the library, Baker and Taylor are encouraged by their friend Flora to get out and see the world. Their first stop? New York City. There, Flora tells them, they’ll meet another pair of cat besties eager to share their library—the 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library —with them.


Review

Purrfect book for library and cat lovers, alike!

This was a fun and short picture book starring Baker and Taylor as they try to uncover a mystery: what are the famous library cats of New York City’s public library? And how do they find them?

As the two cats seek out these felines they use the transit system and traverse the streets of NYC. Being a studious and literary cat, Baker has brought along his guidebook and together he and his friend, Taylor, make sense of their surroundings while learning tons of facts about NYC! I thought this was such a fun way to incorporate an educational component into this picture book and it’s so much fun when they finally find out exactly what the NYC library cats are.

The illustrations are so charming and display beautiful detail of the cats and their surroundings. The text is easy to read and the dialogue and narration component is written well. It includes information on how diverse NYC is, it’s population size, and information about the wide range of languages spoken in the city. And, at the end, there are info pages of the New York Public Library and other landmarks in NYC.

Absolutely wonderful book that fosters a love of the two cats, the discovery of new sights and locations when travelling, and of libraries! An absolute joy to read. My cat Olivia and I read this together – this is highly recommended!

Thank you to NetGalley and Paw Prints Publishing for this advanced review copy. This was voluntarily read; all opinions are my own.

Themes

  • Exploration
  • Education
  • Mystery

Feelings

  • Informative
  • Adventurous
  • Fun!

Rating

Numerical Rating: 5 stars!

QOTD: What is the last children’s
book you’ve enjoyed? Let us know!

REVIEW | Shoo!

Synopsis (from Amazon):
A raucous debut picture book about an invasion of pesky animals.

Mrs Golightly doesn’t like animals – and now a whole zoo has moved next door! No matter how hard she tries to shoo them away, she finds animals everywhere: a kangaroo on the loo, a giraffe in her bath, and even ants in her pants.

What can she do to get rid of these stinky, bothersome creatures?

Bursting with colour, delightful rhyme and outrageous humour, Shoo! is acclaimed children’s author Susie Bower’s first picture book.



Review

This eARC was a cute picture book about Mrs. Golightly, a character who does not like the company of animals; however, a zoo opens up next door. What is she to do?!

The illustrations were adorable and filled with cute creatures that each display so much personality. I enjoyed the rhymes within, their structure and placement, and the themes of tolerance, acceptance, and embracing/adapting to change.

Some text was hard to read (e.g., black font on a grey/dark blue/dark green background). While I liked the themes, I think the story itself was alright. The illustrations had a simple colour palette of neutral and dark greens, greys, blues, and reds which were melancholy.

I enjoyed that you do see personal growth with Mrs. Golightly as she adapts to the neighbouring zoo and root for her and the zoo’s inhabitants to befriend, or at the very least, coexist with each other. And to be flexible while adapting to these changes, which can be a challenging thing to do!

Thank you to NetGalley for a review copy. All opinions are my own.

Themes

  • Tolerance
  • Facing changes

Feelings

  • Funny
  • Lighthearted
  • Reflective

Rating

Numerical Rating: 3.5 stars

QOTD: What is the last children’s
book you’ve enjoyed? Let us know!

August Wrap up

Hi everyone! Olivia and I are excited to share our August reading wrap-up with you. We’ve read 12 books and enjoyed most of what we read.

This month, we participated in the #ARCathon and did our best to manage our NetGalley reviews. Currently, we are sitting at an 85% feedback ratio and are happy with our progress.

So, let’s dive into this wrap-up!

Reading Wrap-Up and Stats

@sarasreadingnook

What was your favourite read of August? See any books on our list you’d like to check out? Let us know! Note all @NetGalley books were provided for an honest review. Thank you to the publishers and to NetGalley. #ReadingWrapUp #ReadingStats #AugustBooks #BookTok

♬ Oke work that imaged the Ghibli-like forest – CRAFT SOUND STUDIO

Reading Statistics

In terms of overall mood, we mostly read mysterious and emotional books with dashes of adventure, reflection, and lightheartedness. Our books were all medium pace, which is quite a shock. Usually, there is a range, so it’s curious how this happened.

Correction – 11/12 books were fiction. And most of my books were in the > 300-page range. Again, not typical, but I have been trying to read more of a mixture between children’s and YA/adult fiction on NetGalley, which may have resulted in this trend.

Another active month! With the TBR game, Readathon, and our Top Shelf Society buddy read, August was quite a productive time! Also, my back injury has made it challenging to be active, so reading has been welcome this month. Olivia has very much enjoyed cuddling and reading together.

Reading Wrap-Up and Mini Reviews

Book Cover images link to Goodreads. Highlighted Book Titles link to book reviews. Content Warnings link to The Storygraph, if available. Books with an “NG” were from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Published: July 19th, 2022.
(5 stars) This book was my favourite book of the month! Silvia Moreno-Garcia has an impressive ability to provide atmospheric, entertaining reads that hook me in from the first chapter. She creates captivating stories while weaving social and political commentaries into her novels. Spectacular. Historical fiction, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror.
Content Warnings.


Baker and Taylor and the Mystery of the Library Cats by Candy Rodo.
Release Date: September 5th, 2022.
(5 stars) This picture book features two cats, Baker and Taylor, as they try to discover the mystery of the famous library cats. Magnificent read and so much fun! Children’s, Picture Books, Animals. (NG)


Anne of Green Gables by Manga Classics.
Published: November 10th, 2020.
(4.75 stars)This manga is the most entertaining, fun, and creative adaptation I’ve read of AOGG. It stayed true to the original book highlighting pertinent events. It was excellent to read. Manga, Classics, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction. (NG).


A Treacherous Tale by Elizabeth Penney.
Published: August 23rd, 2022.
(4.25 stars). This sequel is a terrific, cozy mystery and is book #2 of The Cambridge Bookshop Series. Honestly, I enjoyed book two even more than book one. There are fairy tale vibes and a page-turning mystery present. Oh, and there are cats! Cozy Mystery, Fiction. (NG).
(Suggested CWs: death, murder, missing/?captured persons.)


The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero.
Published: May 10th, 2022.
(4 stars). This book is a haunting and enchanting story about a biracial Jewish girl sent away to stay with her aunt in Prague. I read/listened to this book and enjoyed it. I highly recommend this book, especially if you love poetic writing. Fantasy, YA, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Poetry. (NG)
Content Warnings.


The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson.
Published: February 2nd, 2022.
(3.75 stars). This is a contemporary fiction novel about Ruth, an Ivy-League Black engineer who is eager to start a family with her husband; however, she had to give up her baby years ago. And now, to move forward, she needs to make peace with her past. Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I think that Nancy Johnson did such an impressive job of setting the timeline and in crafting Ruth’s story. There are two points of view and Ruth’s POV was my favourite. Recommended if you’ve enjoyed books such as Little Fires Everywhere. Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery.
Content Warnings.


Underneath the Earth’s Crust. Trip to the Core of our Planet by Mack Van Gageldonk.
Release Date: November 29th, 2022.
(4 stars). Informative nonfiction children’s book that covers material about the earth’s crust. There is a lot of information packed in here! The earth’s layers, underground animals and plants, gemstones, thermal springs, etc.! And there are lots of drawings and images to keep kids involved. I enjoyed reading and learning from this one! Children’s, Nonfiction, Science. (NG)

Lucky Cat by Melody Cheng; Helen Wu; Janet Wang.
Release Date: September 20th, 2022.
(3.25 stars) This picture book features a good story about the struggle of immigrant families trying to run a business in a new country. The illustrations are so beautiful in this one and my favourite aspect. I wanted a bit more from this story, and some themes could have been explored differently; however, it was a good read overall. Children’s, Animals. (NG)

The Gravity of Existence by Christina Sng.
Release Date: December 5th, 2022.
(3 stars). This poetry book has many poems about sirens, ghosts, fairy tales, myths, and other topics. Not every poem was a hit for me, and many were short. My favourites were poems about myths and fairy tales. Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Poetry. (NG)
Content Warnings.

The Nine Origins by Kes Trester.
Release Date: October 11th, 2022.
(2.25 stars). A YA fantasy book. Set in modern times, within this novel are nine gifts that a select few individuals possess. Our main character is about to embark on a journey to discover what her gift means for her. It sounded like a good synopsis; however, the characters were quite stereotypical, the story did not feel fleshed out, and I think that it could have benefitted from having different perspectives provide feedback on this book. Some language was off-putting as well. I did like several components of the overall story and learning about the nine gifts. Fantasy, YA.

The Unbalanced Equation by H.L. MacFarlane.
Release Date: September 15th, 2022.
(2 stars). Initially, I was looking forward to this book and thought it would be fun and cute. There are some tropes here I think readers may enjoy, like dual perspectives, forced proximity, and others. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me due to the presence of some very off-putting behaviours, language, and scenarios that occurred. Romance, Contemporary.
Content Warnings.

A Nico Colored Canvas by Nao Shikita.
Published: June 21st, 2022.
(2 stars). This manga is about a “free-spirited” art university student as she is learning how to perfect her craft. I was looking forward to it, but it wasn’t for me. The story felt rushed. Additionally, I encountered some very off-putting scenarios and rude language, so it just missed the mark for me. I think the overall art style was at an appropriate level as it reminded me a bit of Lovely Complex. Manga, University. (NG)

So, that is my Wrap-Up! Overall, we enjoyed many of our books, and while not every book was a hit, I hope this wrap-up provides some beneficial information for you and encourages you to check out some excellent books!

QOTD: What was your favourite read this August?
Let us know!

REVIEW | A Treacherous Tale

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Lately, Molly has been feeling that she might have fallen into a fairy tale: she’s reinvigorated the family bookshop Thomas Marlowe—Manuscripts and Folios, made friends in her new home of Cambridge, England, and is even developing a bit of a romance with the handsome Kieran—a bike shop owner with a somewhat intimidating family pedigree.

Having recently discovered The Strawberry Girls, a classic children’s tale, Molly is thrilled to learn the author, Iona York, lives nearby. But while visiting the famous author at her lovely cottage in nearby Hazelhurst, an old acquaintance of Iona’s tumbles off her roof to his death.

Then, when one of Iona’s daughters—an inspiration for the original Strawberry Girls—goes missing, Molly begins to worry this story might be more Brothers Grimm than happily-ever-after. Especially after Molly learns about the mysterious long-ago death of Iona’s husband and co-author of The Strawberry Girls…could past and present crimes be linked? Molly must put the clues together before someone turns this sweet tale sour.


Review

A dark fairy-tale of a cozy mystery. And an absolute pleasure to read.

This is the second book in The Cambridge Bookshop Series by Elizabeth Penney and I was so excited to read it, especially after enjoying Book 1 – Chapter and Curse. They both have their charm and Book 2 was an absolute delight to read. I loved learning about the mysteries that cat lover and bookshop part-owner Molly Kimball gets pulled into along the way.

This time, Molly is meeting with Iona York, co-author of The Strawberry Girls to discuss her latest book, The Strawberry Girls. While visiting, a family acquittance of Iona’s, Robin, has tumbled off her roof to his demise. Additionally, Iona’s daughter suddenly goes missing and is nowhere to be found. Was Robin’s death an accident? Or could there be a link between the two events, and perhaps to a crime committed in the past that still leaves questions to this day? Molly, yet again, is left to uncover the truth.

This book will have you hooked and wanting to know more after the very first chapter. In fact, every chapter leaves on a bit of a cliff-hanger, encouraging you to keep reading which I absolutely love. Molly is a character that truly seeks to support her friends and family and is fiercely loyal to them, and I think that acts a powerful driving factor as to why she is so invested in helping to investigate these cases, despite not being a formal investigator herself.

I loved the mysteries in this book, which had a scavenger hunt feel to them at times, but I truly loved one element which is the incorporation of a story-within-a-story. The Strawberry Girls was co-written by Iona’s former, Nate, who also had a similar suspicious death to that of Robin. Passages of the book are incorporated into the novel, and I absolutely loved that! It really helped set the stage and evoked mystery and intrigue in the story, while also making you feel as if the real-life characters of the book were in their own dark fairy tale.

Cats Puck and Clarence are always a joy to read, and we hope to see much more of them in future instalments!

Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for an advanced eGalley of this book. All opinions are my own.

Themes

  • Murder Mystery
  • Missing Person
  • Uncovering secrets
  • Family
  • Loyalty
  • Fairy Tales

Feelings

  • Light-hearted with dark elements
  • Mysterious
  • Enchanting
  • Adventurous

Rating

Numerical rating: 4.25 stars

QOTD: do you enjoy cozy mysteries?
Let us know!

REVIEW | The Ghosts of Rose Hill

Synopsis:
Sent to stay with her aunt in Prague and witness the humble life of an artist, Ilana Lopez—a biracial Jewish girl—finds herself torn between her dream of becoming a violinist and her immigrant parents’ desire for her to pursue a more stable career.

When she discovers a forgotten Jewish cemetery behind her aunt’s cottage, she meets the ghost of a kindhearted boy named Benjamin, who died over a century ago. As Ilana restores Benjamin’s grave, he introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague, where ghosts walk the streets and their kisses have warmth

But Benjamin isn’t the only one interested in Ilana. Rudolph Wassermann, a man with no shadow, has become fascinated with her and the music she plays. He offers to share his magic, so Ilana can be with Benjamin and pursue her passion for violin. But after Ilana discovers the truth about Wassermann and how Benjamin became bound to the city, she resolves to save the boy she loves, even if it means losing him—forever.

With spellbinding verse prose, R.M. Romero channels the spirit of myth into a brilliantly original tale, inspired by her experiences restoring Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe.

Review:

Haunting, entrancing, and so poetic.

Absolutely beautiful story of a biracial Jewish girl who is sent away to stay with her aunt in Prague. I was soon hooked after reading the first chapter and read this book late at night finding it difficult to put down.

Ilana is torn between pursuing her parent’s wishes of having a stable career, for example in the sciences or medicine, and becoming a violinist. While she’s in Prague, she learns about a forgotten Jewish ancestry, encounters a ghost name Benjamin and also a man with no shadow, Rudolf Wassermann and is compelled to know their stories.

The book stresses the importance of remembering our history. Quick and impactful read – I recommend this to anyone who enjoys poetic storytelling and is intrigued by the synopsis. Beautiful.

Feelings

  • Haunting
  • Enchanting

Themes

  • Heritage
  • Fairy tales
  • History

Rating

QOTD: do you enjoy
listening to the violin? Let us know!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing a review copy. All opinions are my own.

July Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone!

Today we will be sharing our reading wrap up for the month of July. We hope that you had a fantastic month!

During the month of July, I read a lot of very informative and lighthearted reads. This isn’t surprising as many of my books were children’s books or middle grades up for review. Though, many of them were also emotional.

I tended to enjoy reading medium paced books but I do like that there were some fast and slow paced books thrown in.

We were craving and loving so many nonfiction reads!

And of course, many of the books we read were children’s literature and therefore on the shorter page limit.

We took a break from readathons this month – it sure was a busy month. I worked quite a bit and didn’t have too much time extra time. Plus we had family visiting! I wanted to join Grinchathon in July. This is hosted by Izzy from Punk Rock Girl PA – we had a lot of fun participating last year and hope to next year!

We reviewed 8 electronic Galleys from NetGalley – 7 of these were advanced reader copies. We only completed 4/7 July TBR game books; however, we are completing the fifth one tonight, DNFing one for now, and transferring over Lore to August.

Yes, here are our 12 books! All of our NetGalley books have a little sticker on them the image above.

Below are full reviews of all of the books for which I have reviews that haven’t been posted yet.

If I have already reviewed them, I’ve provided the link.

And there are some outstanding reviews are still to come.

Enjoy!

Reviews:

How Science Saved the Eiffel Tower
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Click here for review

With the Right to Fight: Planting Peace
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

Review:
What a beautifully illustrated nonfiction book!

The book beautifully illustrates the story of Wangari Muri Maathai from childhood to adulthood, where we go from Kenya to the USA, then back back again. Themes include the importance of nature, education, resourcefulness, imagination, community, ingenuity, and female empowerment.

I’m such a fan of the art style and the composition of the book. It flows, reads, and illustrates the story’s beautifully.

I think that this book should be read in as many classrooms as possible! I wish I learned Wangari Muri Maathai’s story and her amazing Novel Peace Prize achievement much earlier. This is an inspirational and informative book perfect for young readers (and adults, too!)

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(5 stars)

Review:
Beautiful book filled with various illustrations and descriptions of diverse women throughout history and their accomplishments/works of advocacy.

There were a lot of women that I learned about from this collection! I love that this is now in board book format. Each of the illustrations are so uniquely drawn yet the colour palette is consistent throughout, with bright and bold colours.

I definitely recommend this one!

Lola and the New School
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4.25 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Click here for review

Surviving the City
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4.25 stars)

4.25.

This was an impactful graphic novel about very important topics. You are introduced to the main characters Miikwan (Anishinaabe) and Dez (Inninew) who are both best friends. Dez’s grandmother falls ill and Dez is told she’s not able to live at home with her anymore and the threat of having to live in a group home is looming. Dez, overwhelmed, runs away and goes missing and Miikwan is desperate to find her.

I found the story to be quite emotional and impactful. The illustration style is very beautiful and the writing is well done. It is a fairly quick read but I think it’s an important story that includes a dialogue on missing and murdered indigenous women.

Content Warnings (via Storygraph)

Wildseed Witch
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Click here for review.

From Eve to Dawn
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Review to come …
See our interim thoughts here.

Yasmin the Detective
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(4 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Click here for review

Radium Girls
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(3.6 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Review to come …

Shoo!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(3.5 stars)

Storygraph | Goodreads

Review to come …

Always Never
⭐️⭐️
(2 stars)

Review:
Honestly, this one just fell completely flat for me. The art style and story.

Content Warnings via Storygraph

I am a Cat
*undecided*

Storygraph | Goodreads

I am not sure how to review this one. I’ll need some time before I do!

That’s everything for our wrap-up!

Note: Chart data collected from Storygraph; graphs constructed using Canva.

QOTD: What was your favourite book read this July? Let us know!

Children’s lit Reviews | Lola and the New School, Yasmin The Detective, and How Science Saved the Eiffel Tower!

Today is August the first and we would like to wish a warm publication day to Lola and the New School, Yasmin, and How Science Saved the Eiffel Tower!

These were all wonderful children’s books; two of which are fiction and one is nonfiction. Regardless of what you are after, I definitely recommend each one. Below are our spoiler free reviews of each book.

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publishers for these advanced readers copies in exchange for honest reviews.

Lola and the New School

Review:
4.25. This is a cute story by author Keka Novales who grew up in Guatemala and illustrator Gloria Félix, raised in Mexico.

It is about a girl named Lola who has changed schools in the middle of the school year, saying goodbye to her old connections and learning to adapt and make friends at her new school.

I really liked the format of the book – you are first introduced to the main characters, including Lola, Mama, Dad, Abuelita, and Abuelo and are given some interesting facts about each of them. Then starts the story which features several beautiful illustrations representative of the story, each featuring our main character, Lola. This is followed by both an English and Spanish glossary, questions and writing prompts, a recipe (Abuelita’s freshly squeezed Limeade), and author biographies.

My favourite part about the book is how strong Lola’s bond is with her family, and in particular, how her mother and abuelita give her strength and knowledge to face challenges at her new school environment. Abuelita is such a wonderful, kind and loving individual who shares highly meaningful and impactful advice that I think can be applied in many new environments and situations. I really love the incorporation of Spanish and Guatemalan facts/heritage within the novel and would definitely recommend this to young readers ages 5-7 and for children educators!

Yasmin

Review:
This is a very beautifully illustrated chapter book written by Pakistani American author Saadia Faruqi and illustrated by Egyptian-born illustrator Hatem Aly. In this book, Yasmin’s grandmother loses several objects which include a button, a thimble, and a pair of glasses and Yasmin is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery at play!

I really enjoyed the illustrations and thought they were drawn beautifully! The colours and the image placements were done very well throughout the book. Each character has distinct features and focused on elements that enhanced the story well. For example, the image that showed Yasmin watching her favourite detective Dr. Hoo while being completely engrossed in the story as Nani comes in to discuss her dilemma. It introduced characters and their interests well.

There are some discussion prompts that are helpful for learners and educators and there is a Urdu glossary at the end with a pronunciation key for various terms in Urdu. Fun facts were provided about Pakistan at the end of the book, and a binocular DIY guide is added in for extra fun!

Regarding the story, I really enjoyed Yasmin and her family and I thought it provided a fun and easy to follow mystery to be solved for young readers. I did have one qualm re: the story when it came to the retrieval of items, though it’s very minor, I simply think that both parties could have been happier at the end. Nonetheless, it was very cute! And a good read for readers K-2.

How Science Saved the Eiffel Tower

Review:
What a cool and uniquely illustrated children’s nonfiction book packed with awesome scientific and historical information!

Written by Emma Bland Smith and illustrated by Lia Visirin, “How Science Saved the Eiffel Tower” details how exactly the Eiffel Tower was effectively saved and not torn down due to the scientific additions added to the building by Gustave Eiffel.

Each page has beautifully illustrations of the Eiffel Tower’s construction during the late 1800s and the reaction of the general public and officials at the time. The clothes, buildings, structures, and environment displayed wonderful detail and the text was readable (though, at times a bit small) throughout.

I had not realized how many scientific applications there were re: the Eiffel Tower, from weather measurements, to aerodynamics, even wireless radio transmission! I also did not realize there were restaurants and an apartment at the tower as well in which it’s creator, Gustave Eiffel, lived in until passing away at 91 years of age.

At the back of the book, there are many features: an epilogue, French glossary, interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower, a Timeline, and author/illustrator biographies. (There’s even a cat on the back cover – how purr-fect!)

I would definitely recommend this book to young readers as I thought it was trés fantastique! Perfect for young readers aged 8-10.

QOTD: Which book suites your tastes the most? Let us know!

REVIEW | Wildseed Witch

Storygraph | Goodreads

Author: Marti Dumas
Title: Wildseed Witch
Published: May 10, 2022
Pages: 352
Format: E-ARC and Hoopla
Rating: 4 stars

Today I am reviewing Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas, a middle grade fantasy featuring an all-BIPOC cast. This is about an aspiring and raising makeup YouTuber who learns that she’s a witch and gets sent off to a private Witch Camp/finishing school. While at Les Belles Demoiselles, she learns to be a witch alongside extremely talented and powerful girls; however, she is a “Wildseed” as she comes from a family of non-witches, unlike the other girls who attend the school. Hasani must learn how to succeed and harness her magical abilities in her own way.

I thought that this book was a lot of fun and very thoughtful. Hasani is a very relatable and likeable character that has flaws, insecurities, and also amazing strengths, thus making her an awesome protagonist. You see how she learns to navigate exclusive social groups within her school, forming friendships and facing obstacles within them. You also see her grow personally within domains in her life, be it: accepting responsibility, learning to live with difficult family dynamics, and learning how to forgive others (and herself). Additionally, I enjoyed the incorporation of Creole heritage and New Orleans/Louisiana history into the book.

In regards to pacing, the first half of the book is pretty easy to fall into as you learn about Hasani and her background and I felt like this was fairly quickly paced. Towards the middle it was a bit slow, but then it picked right back up again in the last third of the book.

I’m looking forward to reading more in the series as I want to learn more about how the magic system works and know the range of Hasani’s potential magical capabilities. My cat Olivia and I would also like to see more cat appearances in the future! And, gosh, Erick Davila is such a talented artist. This artist illustrated the covers for: The Inheritance of Zoraida Cordova, With the Fire on High, and Clap When You Land (among others!)- I can’t wait to see what book cover number 2 will look like.

Olivia and I definitely recommend this book and hope you will enjoy it! It’s perfect if you would like a book about young witches that ultimately shows character development, friendships, and family.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Content Warnings: Classism, Toxic Friendship, Bullying, Slavery, Colonization, Infidelity, Suicide, Abandonment.

QOTD: Will you be reading this book?
Let us know!