Genre: Magical Realism


Sep 23
I’m a 2020 Round One Cybils Awards Judge! Plus, Quick Reviews of Last Year’s MG Speculative Fiction Finalists

I’m a 2020 Round One Cybils Awards Judge! Plus, Quick Reviews of Last Year’s MG Speculative Fiction Finalists

Cybils, Reviews 8

I really enjoyed being a round-two judge for the Cybils Awards. The process for picking a winner was WAY harder than I expected it to be, but it was also great to have in-depth discussions about each of the finalists. I was surprised how many of the books I absolutely loved! This year, I said I’d be willing to be either a round-one or round-two judge, and I was chosen for round one for the MG Speculative Fiction category. That means I’ll be reading TONS of MG Spec Fic this fall, a prospect that is both daunting and exciting! The round-one judges decide the finalists, and I’m eager to see how the whole process works. More on that later. For now, I realized I never actually featured last year’s finalists here on the blog after I read them, and that seemed like a travesty since I adored many of these… Read more »


May 23
The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos: Excerpt & Giveaway

The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos: Excerpt & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended) 12

Today I’m sharing an excerpt and giveaway for The Wise and the Wicked. Epic Reads aptly calls it a lush, dark, and unforgettable story of the power of the past to shape our futures—and the courage it takes to change them. I’m reading this one now, and I’m loving the LGBTQ rep in the book. For now, I’m sharing just a little taste of what you can expect with this story … EXCERPT FROM EPIC READS WEBSITE (Click the link to read even more—all the way through chapter 4) In an old house built of bloodred bricks, with a tea shop in the converted front rooms, there lived three sisters and their mother. Solnyshko, the eldest, was willow-tree tall and sweet. Zvyozdochka, the middle child, was beautiful and sharp as a cut diamond. The youngest, Zerkal’tse, was small but hard, like an unshelled nut. Each was different as could be… Read more »


May 18
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Way You Make Me Feel & The Girl and the Grove

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Way You Make Me Feel & The Girl and the Grove

Reviews 12 ★★★★

I’ve got two bite-sized reviews for you today, both YA review books. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This is a cute summer read that features an MC who has a lot of growing up to do (luckily she does!). Clara starts out pretty unlikeable—she’s a jokester and a prankster, but it all feels a little mean-spirited. She has a never-try attitude and doesn’t really care when things blow up in her face. On the one hand, it was refreshing to see a girl portrayed in a stereotypically guy role, but on the other hand, it was hard to get behind her. Things get a little better when she ends up befriending her nemesis (a mean girl who turns out to be a lot more complex than the stereotype) and falls for a nerdy kid who’s the absolute sweetest. She also learns to… Read more »


Mar 16
Bite-Sized Reviews of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Deception So Dark and Some Kind of Happiness

Bite-Sized Reviews of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Deception So Dark and Some Kind of Happiness

Reviews 30 ★★★★½

I’ve got three bite-sized reviews for you today: two YA and a MG. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This middle grade book tackles some very heavy topics, focusing on Finley’s anxiety and depression. It also covers divorce, family schisms, mysterious deaths, and secret-keeping. The result is a somewhat dark, but ultimately hopeful middle grade read. First off, I want to say that I think Legrand does an excellent job of describing Finley’s feelings of depression and her self-doubt and anxiety that often stem from that. She realizes that she shouldn’t feel so sad all the time, and she feels a lot of guilt over that—she feels like there’s something wrong with her and that she doesn’t deserve her family’s love or affection because of it. Then, of course, she struggles with her parents’ broken relationship and a whole mess of secrets that unfold as the… Read more »


Oct 27
Bite-Sized Reviews of Long Way Down, Nyxia, Hanna Who Fell from the Sky & My Heart and Other Black Holes

Bite-Sized Reviews of Long Way Down, Nyxia, Hanna Who Fell from the Sky & My Heart and Other Black Holes

Reviews 23

I’ve got four bite-sized reviews today. Three new(ish) releases and one backlist book. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I honestly don’t even know how to describe in words how I felt about this book. You almost just have to experience it for yourself to understand its brilliance. When I started the book, I was both delighted and scared to see that it was written in verse (it’s all free verse, with one concrete poem thrown in there). How would Reynolds convey the story with so few words and still connect us to the characters? Would I know what the heck was going on? Turns out that Reynolds did indeed convince me to care about Will in a sparse number of actual words—and time, really. Most of the book takes place during a sixty-second elevator ride (though it tells a story that actually spans… Read more »


Sep 08
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland: Review, Giveaway and Sutherland’s Top Ten Addictions

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland: Review, Giveaway and Sutherland’s Top Ten Addictions

Author Top Ten Lists, Coyer, Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 30 ★★★★½

This book starts out super fun and quirky, and to be honest, that’s all I was expecting out of it, but it turned into something more. In fact, there were parts of this book that were downright heartbreaking. By about halfway through, I realized that there was more than meets the eye with this little gem. It’s not just a book about facing a list of fears (often in humorous and quirky ways). No, this book is about the fears that we shove down so deep that we hide them even from ourselves. It’s about facing the fact that sometimes fear rules us because we let it. And that some fears are well-deserved, but that doesn’t mean we should let them keep us from truly living. So, I loved pretty much everything about this book, from the family relationships, to the friendships, to the romance, to the way it handled… Read more »


Sep 05
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera: What Would You Do With Your Very Last Day?

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera: What Would You Do With Your Very Last Day?

Coyer, Reviews 18 ★★★★

The genre for this book is sort of hard to describe, but I guess I’d call it paranormal or magical realism. The setting feels mostly contemporary but then there’s this obviously fantastical element: the fact that people receive a call to warn them on the day they die. This fact has (rightfully) affected society in many ways, so we get a modern-day world with a twist. What Fed My Addiction: The unique concept. I found the entire concept of receiving a phone call on the day you’re going to die fascinating. How would this affect the way we live our everyday lives? What types of things would you want to do on that final day? Silvera presents us with a world that’s shaped by the “Deckers”—those who are going to die that day. There are special opportunities for them to get a last-ditch chance at experiencing life—places where they can try… Read more »


May 22
A Start of Two Series: Bite-Sized Reviews of (the Start of) The Ruined Series and The Gold Seer Trilogy

A Start of Two Series: Bite-Sized Reviews of (the Start of) The Ruined Series and The Gold Seer Trilogy

All-Time Favorites, Reviews 25

Today I’ve got bite-sized reviews of two awesome fantasy series that I’ve started (they’re not done yet, so it’s actually not my fault this time that I haven’t finished them!). Hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! On the surface, this book seems like it might be sort of derivative. It’s not. Well, okay, it sort of is. I mean, just based on the basic description, I feel like I’ve read this book before: Em’s parents were murdered because a power-hungry king is afraid of her people’s abilities, and she wants revenge. She decides to pass herself off as the prince’s bride-to-be (possible since they’ve never actually met), but she falls in love with the prince and starts to doubt her plan to betray him. It sounds vaguely familiar, right. But Tintera makes this series stand out because she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Em’s no wronged angel, she’s a… Read more »


Dec 30
Bite-Sized Reviews of the Rest of the Books I Read in 2016 (Including The Beauty of Darkness and Glass Sword)

Bite-Sized Reviews of the Rest of the Books I Read in 2016 (Including The Beauty of Darkness and Glass Sword)

Reviews 12

Okay, so I might be exaggerating a little bit with that title—I’m not actually reviewing all of the rest of the books I read in 2016, but I am reviewing most of them. The only holdouts are a couple of books that I plan to review along with future books in the series and a couple that are releasing next week (which I’ll review then). Oh, and I’m still reading and the month isn’t quite over, so … Anyway, hopefully these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This was everything I was hoping for in a series finale. Even though the romance was rocky (and I was very scared for Rafe and Lia), it seemed realistic. After all, these two both had a strong sense of responsibility for their kingdoms (and Lia for Venda as well because of the prophecy). This put them at odds sometimes because it was… Read more »


Dec 21
The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee – Review

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee – Review

Reviews 16 ★★★★

This utterly unique book would best be described as magical realism: It’s a perfect blend of contemporary romance and a fantastical twist, which makes it appealing to fans of multiple genres (because it never really goes too far in either direction). The synopsis describes the book well, so I’m going to jump straight to my review! What Fed My Addiction: Everything described in smells. I thought I might get a bit tired of this, but I didn’t at all. Absolutely everything that happens in this book has an olfactory description because that’s how Mim experiences the world. She recognizes emotions through smells (which definitely helps in her line of work), and she recognizes a person’s scent (and, often, an object’s too). I loved imagining how Mim “sees” the world and the descriptions really helped me experience her perspective! An adorable romance. If you love a sweet romance with minimal angst (which I… Read more »