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My Reading List: A Recap of the Books I Consumed This Past Week


1- Happy Days for Mouse and Mole book 3 by Joyce Dunbar, illustrated by James Mayhew - StarBright Books


My review 5/5

I love this series. The illustrations are amazing and each volume has always three short stories that are little anecdotes focused on the daily life of two friends, Mouse and Mole. I love that the stories are about things that we usually don't think about but are very relatable. Also has very fun and valuable lessons, making us think. Even when one of them is naughty and tries to trick the other, they solve it without negative feelings. Their friendship is very strong. Lots of imagination and all ages will love this.

Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this e-Arc.


From the Publisher

Simple pastimes like preparing for snack time and skipping pebbles help Mouse and Mole realize there is something special in everything—including themselves. Joyce Dunbar’s pals Mouse and Mole return in three heartwarming stories of friendship, imagination, and joyful surprises. Youngsters (and adults) will smile and frown alongside the delightful illustrations of Mouse and Mole by James Mayhew.

Advance Praise “The two cohabiting animals are characters that stand alongside the greats of children’s literature.” —Sunday Telegraph “This cozy pair enjoys the gentlest of Kenneth Grahame-style adventures, making plans for picnics, overindulging in food, and trying and failing to get rid of excessive clutter; the perfect antidote to real-world worry.” —The Guardian


Buy on Amazon


2- A Very Special Mouse and Mole book 4 by Joyce Dunbar, illustrated by James Mayhew - StarBright Books


My review 5 stars

What a beautiful book, not only the illustrations have a traditional classical style the design of the book is beautiful breaking the text with sweet illustrations.

This book has three cleverly simple stories that make us think of the famous Mouse and Mole. My favorite is the last one with the pebbles.

There is so much to explore, from friendship and imagination to finding joy in the smallest things and existence. It's a delightful read for all ages.

Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this e-Arc.


From the publisher

Simple pastimes like preparing for snack time and skipping pebbles help Mouse and Mole realize there is something special in everything—including themselves.

Joyce Dunbar’s pals Mouse and Mole return in three heartwarming stories of friendship, imagination, and joyful surprises. Youngsters (and adults) will smile and frown alongside the delightful illustrations of Mouse and Mole by James Mayhew.


Buy the series on Amazon


3- Will Santa know we've moved - Picture Book by Bloom Publications

My review 4 stars.

A sweet simple Christmas Joyful night


A wonderful book focused on family and Christmas themes. The children are concerned that Santa will know they moved to a new house, but their parents assure them Christmas is more than gifts and all their joyful emotions will be seen from afar.


From the publisher:

2023 Reader's Favorite Silver Award Medal Winner - Children's Audio Books

Ease the hearts and minds of children who have recently moved with this delightful modern twist on the classic Christmas story that kids and parents will love reading again and again.

"Oh no! we've moved! How will Santa be able to find us this year?"

If you have moved house in the last year and have young children, no doubt this is a question you have heard.

But how do you answer this question? The excitement of Santa is wonderful, but is Christmas really just about getting presents?

With the commercialism of Christmas in recent decades, many parents wonder if all of this gift-giving is teaching our children that happiness and joy come from things. The classic Christmas poem we all have grown to love now has a modern twist that parents and children will enjoy reading again and again. The delightful and heartwarming message shares the spirit of St. Nick for modern times and helps kids understand that true joy doesn't come from presents under the tree.

Feel good teaching your child that Christmas means more than nice gifts and good cheer. It's also about sharing and caring and giving our love.


Buy on Amazon or B&N.


4- The Mountain King by Anders de La Motte - Thriller/ Mystery (This author became an auto-buy for me)


My review 5 plus stars.

Amazing thriller with the right amount of twists only very close to the end and well done. The short chapters help with the flow and transition between the multiple points of view.


This is my favorite kind of thriller including mental health disturbances, people kidnapped and a clock ticking to save them, clever clues, a team of underdogs, and a damaged but confident kickass main female character.


Some of the elements are predictable but it's not about the discovery of those steps. It's about the journey. The game is played between predator and prey. We also get slowly into the mystery of why is Leo so unique. Her past opens slowly.


Awesome start to a new series. I didn't know this author's work but it became an auto-buy for me when it comes to thrillers.


I've won a copy with Goodreads Giveaways


From the Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - Simon & Schuster

This atmospheric and sinister mystery, perfect for fans of the Nordic thrillers of Jo Nesbo and Stieg Larsson, follows an overachieving female inspector investigating the darkest side of humanity.


Criminal inspector Leonore Asker seems to have the leading position at Malmö’s Major Crime Division within reach. But things go awry when, in the middle of a high-profile kidnapping case, management relegates her to the so-called Department of Lost Souls—the unit for odd, cold cases banished to the basement of the police station.


Despite the humiliation, Asker is drawn into one of the more peculiar cases. Someone is placing small ominous figures in town and one of them seems to represent the missing woman from the kidnapping case. As Asker’s investigation takes her to abandoned buildings, she reaches out to a local architecture expert and together they explore the sinister recesses of the city and discover that an unusual kind of evil lurks in the shadows.


Buy from Amazon or B&N.


5- Womb City by Tlotlo Tsamaase - Erewhon Books


My review 4.5 stars.

4.5 I liked this book a lot. The cyberpunk futuristic gives me a minority report kind of dystopian vibe but not just that. It's feminist and filled with triggers that are pointed at the start. I've read an uncorrected proof and perhaps this will be corrected before it is published but the author keeps repeating the same concepts and it slows down the reading overall I enjoyed this novel. I liked it because it made me feel the future described in the book life. It's filled with relatable things (like knowing that you will be treated by the way you look) and some concepts that unfortunately are still relatable nowadays but sound like things and ways of thinking from the past.


From the publisher:

WOMB CITY imagines a dark and deadly future Botswana, rich with culture and true folklore, which begs the question: how far must one go to destroy the structures of inequality upon which a society was founded? How far must a mother go to save the life of her child? Nelah seems to have it all: wealth, fame, a husband, and a child on the way. But in a body her husband controls via microchip and the tailspin of a loveless marriage, her hopes and dreams come to a devastating halt. A drug-fueled night of celebration ends in a hit-and-run. To dodge a sentencing in a society that favors men, Nelah and her side-piece, Janith Koshal, finish the victim off and bury the body.


But the secret claws its way into Nelah's life from the grave. As her victim's vengeful ghost begins exacting a bloody revenge on everyone Nelah holds dear, she?ll have to unravel her society's terrible secrets to stop those in power, and become a monster unlike any other to quench the ghost's violent thirst.


Buy From Amazon or B&N.


6- The Last Refuge by Christina Bacilieri - Crescent Ink Publishing


My review 4.5 stars.

Magic will transform you. Power could destroy you. Actions will define you.

Kiera Vandyer told herself she’d only agreed to this scheme for the money, that nothing else had drawn her to this venture, but you can’t lie to the truest parts of yourself. For sixteen years, she’s hidden her burning curiosity for magic, knowing that one misstep would mean certain death at the hands of Atterah’s merciless leaders: the all-powerful Ruling Board.

Just when Kiera is on the cusp of securing a stable future for herself and her mother, a cruel twist of fate forces her to commit the worst possible infraction. She trespasses over the border into Etabon, the last refuge for magic on Atterah. Once within, her rare form makes her a target for the warden of the site. To escape the warden and conceal her crime from the Ruling Board, Kiera must use her strange new powers to battle for her freedom… or die trying.

The Last Refuge is the enthralling first novel in the Stealing Sanctuary series, weaving together the destinies of two dreamers caught up in a dark curse that spans generations. Enter a world of gripping adventure where love burns slowly, family is chosen, and hope is a dangerous yet beautiful dream.


From the Publisher:

Magic will transform you. Power could destroy you. Actions will define you.

Kiera Vandyer told herself she’d only agreed to this scheme for the money, that nothing else had drawn her to this venture, but you can’t lie to the truest parts of yourself. For sixteen years, she’s hidden her burning curiosity for magic, knowing that one misstep would mean certain death at the hands of Atterah’s merciless leaders: the all-powerful Ruling Board.

Just when Kiera is on the cusp of securing a stable future for herself and her mother, a cruel twist of fate forces her to commit the worst possible infraction. She trespasses over the border into Etabon, the last refuge for magic on Atterah. Once within, her rare form makes her a target for the warden of the site. To escape the warden and conceal her crime from the Ruling Board, Kiera must use her strange new powers to battle for her freedom… or die trying.

The Last Refuge is the enthralling first novel in the Stealing Sanctuary series, weaving together the destinies of two dreamers caught up in a dark curse that spans generations. Enter a world of gripping adventure where love burns slowly, family is chosen, and hope is a dangerous yet beautiful dream.


Release day is November 14th.


7- Draw down the Moon by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast - St Martin's Press


My review 5 stars.

A crescendo of magic, emotions, plot twists, and magical powers in a visual and striking novel part of a duology that I couldn't put down.


It hits all the marks for me, chosen one, dark academy, powers, magic, trials, slow burn romance with (friends wanting to be more) betrayal... omg that emotional ending.


Wren has lived eighteen years without magic as a Mundane and gets moonstruck on her birthday but she doesn't quite understand what has happened to her only that she will be able to follow her best friends (who are Magickals)to a secret island/academia (de la Luna) and learn to develop her powers. There are four elements and four "houses":Taurus, Aquarius, Leo, and Scorpio). Each with specific powers or affinities, for example, an Aquarius can heal.


This dual POV novel follows Wren but also Lee. Told in the first person, present tense. They both lost beloved close family and their affection for each other is stronger than friendship. Although Lee must do all to win the trials, he is protective of Wren. Wren understands that something is very wrong with the trials and with the school especially when students start to die "accidentally". Wren investigates with all her bravery and with the help of loyal friends.


Wren is a great character who loves Bridgeton, Downton Abbey, and Beauty and the Beast. Approved.


I read my first P.C.Cast in 2007 with her House of the Night series which has already 12 volumes) this author knows her craft and this duology is modern, always on topic, diverse, and inclusive. Perfect for upper middle graders who are already into YA and YA readers. Light romance ( level: kissing).


Awesome cover.


Thank you Netgalley and publisher for this e-ARC


From the publisher:

New York Times bestsellers P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast return with a new duology set in a dark and magickal world filled with incredible danger and irresistible romance.


Wren Nightingale isn't supposed to have any powers. Born of magickal parents but not under a moon sign, she was destined for life as a Mundane—right up until she starts glowing on her eighteenth birthday. In a heartbeat, Wren's life is turned upside down, and she's suddenly leaving her home for the mystical Academia de la Luna—a secret magickal school on a hidden island off the Seattle coast.


Lee Young has always known about his future at the Academia. He has one goal: pass the trials, impress the Moon Council, and uphold his family's reputation. But he wasn't expecting to be attending alongside the girl he's been secretly in love with for as long as he can remember.


As Wren and Lee are thrown into the Academie's gruelling trials, they quickly learn there's something different--and dangerous--about the school this year. Wren will have to navigate a web of secrets, prophecies--and murder. And Lee will have to decide who to protect--his family's legacy, or the girl he loves.


Buy from Amazon or B&N.


8- Godly Heathens by H.E. Edgmon - Wednesday Books - Macmillan Books


From the Publisher:

Gem Echols is a nonbinary Seminole teen living in the tiny town of Gracie, Georgia. Known for being their peers’ queer awakening, Gem leans hard on charm to disguise the anxious mess they are beneath. The only person privy to their authentic self is another trans kid, Enzo, who’s a thousand long, painful miles away in Brooklyn.


But even Enzo doesn’t know about Gem’s dreams, haunting visions of magic and violence that have always felt too real. So how the hell does Willa Mae Hardy? The strange new girl in town acts like she and Gem are old companions, and seems to know things about them they’ve never told anyone else.


When Gem is attacked by a stranger claiming to be the Goddess of Death, Willa Mae saves their life and finally offers some answers. She and Gem are reincarnated gods who’ve known and loved each other across lifetimes. But Gem – or at least who Gem used to be - hasn’t always been the most benevolent deity. They’ve made a lot of enemies in the pantheon—enemies who, like the Goddess of Death, will keep coming.


It’s a good thing they’ve still got Enzo. But as worlds collide and the past catches up with the present, Gem will discover that everyone has something to hide.


Buy on Amazon or B&N.


9- Merciless Saviors by H.E. Edgmon - Wednesday Books - Macmillan Books


From the Publisher

That day at the First Church of Gracie changed everything for Gem Echols, and not just because Marian and Poppy betrayed them. Forced to use the Ouroboros knife on Zephyr, who had kidnapped their parents, Gem now has the power of the God of Air.


While for any other god things might work out okay, the Magician—whose role within the pantheon is to keep the balance—having the power of another god has thrown everything into chaos. The Goddess of Death can now reanimate corpses; the God of Art’s powers are now corrupted and twisted, giving life to his macabre creations; and, while the God of Land has always been able to communicate with creatures of the Earth, now everyone can hear their cries.


As Gem, Rory, and Enzo search for a way to restore the balance without sacrificing themselves, new horrors make them question how far they're willing to go. In the end, Gem may be forced to fully embrace their merciless nature and kill off their own humanity—if it ever really existed in the first place.


Buy on Amazon or B&N.

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