Mini Book Reviews

Mini Book Reviews

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I’ll be sharing mini book reviews here on the blog.

(I borrowed each of these books from the library because I wanted to, all opinions are 100% honestly mine, and I’m not compensated in any way for writing them.)

My goal is to help you find books that you–or the young readers in your life–will love.

Mini Book Reviews

The Rose Legacy (MG)

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by Jessica Day George

When Anthea is sent to live with her uncle beyond the wall, she discovers that he is raising illegal horses—and that she can communicate with them.

I wish this book had been out when I was in elementary school. Even as an adult I loved the characters and the horses.

Book Release

The Thunderstone Theft

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The Minister of the Treasuries has been brutally stabbed. Unfortunately for Miss Ella Highmoore’s godfather, the murder happened right on his doorstep, and now he’s the primary suspect. Ella knows her godfather is innocent, and she resolves to solve the crime and clear his name. A chance meeting with a young man named Charlie sets them both on the path to adventure and romance as they take on the challenge together. But Charlie has a secret, and when the truth comes out on the night of the prince’s ball, it looks like the end of their relationship. Ella is determined, however, that it won’t be the end of her investigation. She seeks the last few clues on her own, winding up in grave danger at the hands of the killer, and only Charlie knows enough about the case to rescue her.

Join the unstoppable Miss Ella Highmoore on the streets of Messene, a city based loosely on historical Regency London.

The Thunderstone Theft is available on January 10, 2023, from Amazon and from your favorite bookstore or library!

Mini Book Reviews

The Offsides Dilemma (YA)

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by Michelle MacQueen

She’s in training for a figure skating championship. He’s the star of the high school hockey team her father coaches. Their team needs desperate help, and he’s convinced she’s the best person to give it, even though her father has declared her off limits.

This was an adorable sweet romance. I loved that the actual sports details felt accurate, like the author is actually a hockey fan. The plot was predictable, but I liked the characters enough that I didn’t mind.

Mini Book Reviews

The Blue Castle (YA)

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by L.M. Montgomery

Valancy Stirling is already considered an “old maid” at twenty-nine. She’s been a quiet, obedient daughter all her life, but when she receives a letter from her doctor predicting an imminent end to her life, she decides to make the most of her last year. Can she shake off her family’s controlling grip and find the life she was meant for before it’s too late?

Despite the somewhat morbid premise, this book is happy, hopeful, and fun. I love Valancy’s attitude and snarky wit. It is one of the sweetest romances I’ve read in the last year, and it’s definitely going on my list of books to read again.

Mini Book Reviews

Instructions for Dancing (YA)

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by Nicola Yoon

Evie’s faith in love has been shaken by her parents’ divorce (and the secret knowledge of her father’s prior affair). A strange encounter at a Little Free Library leads to a startling discovery: when Evie sees a couple kiss, she can see their whole romance, start to finish. As she seeks answers, she finds herself at a ballroom dance studio. Can she let go of her fears and learn to dance with a handsome stranger? Can she regain her faith in love and in her family?

I loved this book, start to finish, but I’ll warn you: there are definite tear-jerker moments. I legit cried. It’s worth it, but be prepared.

Mini Book Reviews

Tuesdays at the Castle (MG)

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by Jessica Day George

Castle Glower changes every Tuesday, throwing out a new wing or redecorating a room or changing the destination of a staircase. When Princess Celie’s family goes missing and treacherous men try to take over the kingdom, Celie and her siblings step up to the task of defending themselves, their people, and the castle that loves them as much as they love it.

I loved Castle Glower from the first page, and Celie is a delightful heroine. The characters are fun, and their defense strategy had me giggling. The ending felt a bit abrupt, but overall it’s a great book.

Mini Book Reviews

Dear Hero (YA)

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by Hope Bolinger and Alyssa Roat

After losing their respective nemeses for various reasons, hero Cortex and villain Vortex are both in the market for a new one. They meet on Mega-Match, the not-dating app that matches heroes and villains (and sidekicks and henchmen). But what happens when they realize that there’s not such a huge difference between them after all?

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. The whole thing is told in private messages and group chats. The dialogue and characters are awesome, and the whole concept was so much fun. It reminded me of the animated movie Megamind, except with 18-year-olds and a much higher body count (and yes, there are deaths, but they’re not gruesome).

Mini Book Reviews

Merci Suarez Changes Gears (MG)

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by Meg Medina

Merci Suarez starts 6th grade with big hopes of joining the soccer team and having a great year. But things don’t go as planned, and she must navigate unsettling family health issues and friends who are suddenly more interested in boys than in sports.

This story felt so real to me, even though I come from a different background. I loved Merci and her family, and by the end, I’d laughed and cried with them. It’s a fantastic book to help with those awkward times when everything is changing and you feel like you’re the only one left.

Mini Book Reviews

Children of Blood and Bone (YA)

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by Tomi Adeyemi

When a strange girl grabs Zelie in the capital city’s market and begs her help to escape, Zelie is pulled against her will into a war to save magic and empower her people, who have been oppressed almost to the point of genocide. Can she learn to harness her own magic in time? Can she save those she loves?

This book is insanely powerful. The writing is incredible; the characters are intense and so, so real. I loved so much about it. Seeing oppression, cruelty, and racism in this context brought so many things home to me in a whole new way—it was a strong kick to my privilege. Downsides: there is a ton of blood, death, and violence, so if you’re squeamish, it may not be your cup of tea. Also, though I loved most of the book, certain events (which I saw coming and wished they wouldn’t) soured the end for me. I don’t think I’ll read the sequel because of that.

Mini Book Reviews

The Crossover (MG)

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by Kwame Alexander

Told entirely in short poems/rap, this is the story of Josh Bell and his family—including his twin brother and their basketball star father.

I’m not big on basketball or poetry, but this was an incredibly cool way to tell a story, and a lot of the poems were really poignant. I loved the characters and their relationships. This book deals with some big issues, and I definitely cried, but it’s well worth the read. (It’s also a really quick read.)