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!

Our first post! – Mid-Year NetGalley Review Wrap-Up!

Hello, everyone, and welcome to our new blog! We are very excited to share our thoughts on our NetGalley books from January to June 2022. We will be going from most to least recent here. All e-galleys were received in exchange for honest review and have been catalogued previously on our Goodreads and Storygraph pages. 

So, let’s go!

June

Amalia by Aude Picault

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.75 stars.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel.

In this story, Amalia and her family are encountering a stressful time and as the story progresses, you realize that taking a step back and re-evaluating things might be important for them as something is right about to give.

I enjoyed the story overall and think that this might be a very good read for those who are encountering stress or burnout. Some things I would have liked to see different: I found the font a bit difficult to read (although it’s aesthetically pretty charming), the father character in particular was a bit much for me, and some of the language was off-putting, especially early on. However the progression of the story was really good and landed on an ending I was definitely satisfied with.

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CW: family conflict, stress, burnout

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed reading this NetGalley toolkit.
It was very helpful and included a lot of useful information, including:
– tips for requesting NetGalley books and keeping your feedback ratio high
– creating book reviews for various formats (e.g., blog, YouTube, Instagram, etc.)
– social media tips and strategies
I particularly enjoyed the strategizing and accessibility sections! There were a couple of formatting issues I found, such as deleting extra spaces, but overall I really liked the format of the toolkit.I recommend this to anyone just starting out on NetGalley or who is looking to improve their experience on this platform.Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free review copy in exchange for an honest review.

February

Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

3.75

This was a really cute graphic novel about Ben Cook, a new graduate who needs to find a job ASAP who, despite being unable to find a job related to his degree, is given a shot at a restaurant. During his time at Le Cochon Doré, he is faced with several challenges and finds himself falling for one of his mentors and becoming more distant from his initially desired career path.

This book makes it really easy to root for Ben as he learns how to improve his culinary skills. I really loved the characters, especially his friends Liz, Rachel, and Tom! Oh, and gosh, it was a bit silly but I just LOVED Watson. And thought he was just a wonderful addition to the book. I do wish that there was a little bit more of the romance, mostly because I wanted to see more of this blossoming relationship. I did really love Liam’s character and how supportive he was. I thought this was really cute and would like to read more from the author in the future!

CW: emotional abuse, homophobia.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, author, and illustrators (cover and main book) for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

2.75

This poetry collection by Amanda Lovelace is the third instalment of the “you are your own fairy tale” series.

CW: Fatphobia, Homophobia, Mental illness, Child abuse, Confinement, Self harm, Death, Eating disorder, Queerphobia, Grief, Trauma, Sexism.

 
My rating:

This was such a good children’s novel that focused on the perspective of a granddaughter and her abuelita.
The illustration style is absolutely gorgeous and beautifully helped tell the story.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, illustrator and the publisher for an eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
My rating:
This was such an adorable book! First, Maxine’s little critters are anxious about getting their vaccine shots so she eases their anxiety and congratulates them all for getting their shots. And then, Maxine goes to the vet to get her actual shot, and her and her critters all celebrate together.
I’m a huge fan of the artwork! I think that this is such a delightful book for children getting all of the shots they need to and can be so useful.
Thank you to the publisher, the authors/illustrators, and to NetGalley for providing an advanced readers copy for an honest review.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a concise and very well written graphic novel which serves as an introduction to asexuality. My favourite part of the graphic novel are the descriptions of the following:

– what asexuality is; the spectrum of asexuality
– differences between asexuality and aromanticism
– ace stereotypes in culture and media representations

I do wish that the illustrations were more detailed as it mostly centred on the two narrators; since the graphic novel is in black and white, more detail would have added visual interest to the book. Or, to add colour to the various illustrations in lieu of additional detail. However, I still think they did a good job of maintaining the reader’s interest through interesting dialogue and topics covered.

I would recommend this book to those interested in learning more about asexuality and would also recommend it to my friends who are practicing medicine; as a healthcare worker, I found the feedback re: the Ace patient demographic and experiences within medical clinics to be incredibly beneficial!

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher, author, and illustrator for providing an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

My rating:
 
The narration throughout the book was kind, welcoming, and informative. Reassurances were provided in a nonjudgemental fashion, allowing the reader to know that they are not alone when facing health anxiety. I thought that the illustrations were great: representations of children from various ethnicities, backgrounds, and with disabilities were provided.

There were so many “fun facts” about health and the human body sprinkled within the book. I found them to be highly engaging and informative.

Additionally, the book provided a small guide for caregivers and for parents, as well as a link to numerous books, videos, and organizations relating to the subject matter presented.

I would recommended this to parents and caregivers of children 6-10 years who would like to help ease any anxiety their little ones are facing regarding health.

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher, author, and illustrator for providing an advanced reader’s copy in exchange of an honest review.


Astronomers and What They Do

My rating:
 
I really liked the illustrations, but also enjoyed the simple way scientific concepts were broken down. Bolding terminology was done effectively, and I liked that comparisons were used to distinguish similar sounding terms, such as astronomers vs astronauts.

Finally, each illustration nicely complimented the text well. The activity at the end of the book would be a fun one for younger readers!

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.


 

3.75.

I really loved that this book was set on the beach in Florida, a welcome departure from the cold weather we have been having this winter.

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

Full review and reading vlog:
I really enjoyed The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox! It was a very fun read and had likeable characters, an interesting set of protagonists, and a good set of challenges and obstacles to overcome. I feel like it was a perfect read for the holidays, and it was just so cute.

😸