Review: Spells Like Teen Spirit (Babysitter Coven #3) by Kate Williams

Spells Like Teen SpiritSpells Like Teen Spirit by Kate Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Spells Like Teen Spirit is the third, and purportedly final book, in Kate Williams’ Babysitter Coven series.

This entire series is a ridiculous ball of laughs that is part Buffy the Vampire Slayer and part Adventures in Babysitting.

Although, I will say, as the series progressed, the whole babysitting angle sort of dropped off a cliff. Luckily, the rest of it more than made up for that slight change.

In this installment, we again follow teen witches, Esme and Cassandra, as they continue their fight against the forces of evil and try to discover a way to end Esme’s Mom’s curse, all while protecting the town from an evil rock band.

While I didn’t have quite as much fun with this one as I did with the second book, it was still cute and hilarious. Nothing could really beat the chickens in the hotel room from For Better Or Cursed.

I really enjoyed being back with this group of characters, especially the girls we were introduced to in the second book and a certain four-legged companion.

The audiobooks for this series are so well narrated; I definitely recommend them as a medium if you choose to check out these stories.

Williams has a consistently good sense of humor. Her 90s vibe and references gave me life throughout this series.

While I can see this as an ending, I sort of wish it weren’t. I think there is so much left to explore for Esme and the rest of this fun-loving group of characters. I mean, there are still demons out there, who is going to defeat them if not Esme and Cassandra?

I’m not ready for it to be over. C’mon, Kate Williams, I know you have more in you!!

View all my reviews

Review: Tiger Honor (Thousand Worlds #2) by Yoon Ha Lee

Tiger HonorTiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Tiger Honor is the second book in the Thousand Worlds series by veteran Sci-Fi writer, Yoon Ha Lee. This series is published through the Rick Riordan Presents imprint.

The first book, Dragon Pearl, was released in 2019 and was my favorite Middle Grade release of that year. At the time when I read it, I thought it was a standalone.

I was so happy when I heard the news that we would be getting more in this world; best described as a Space Opera inspired by Korean mythology.

In this installment we follow a young tiger spirit, Sebin, who dreams of joining the Thousand Worlds Space Forces just like their Uncle Hwan, who they greatly admire.

But on the day that Sebin’s acceptance letter arrives, another letter arrives as well and the news it brings is not good.

According to this letter, their Uncle Hwan abandoned his duty in search of the legendary Dragon Pearl and has thusly been branded a traitor. His current whereabouts are unknown.

As Sebin heads off to their orientation, they decide that no matter what, they’ll find the truth, hopefully clearing Uncle Hwan’s name and returning honor to their clan in the process.

As you may expect, however, things do not go as planned for sweet Sebin.

This story is full of action and a ton of heart. Sebin is such a cinnamon roll, who is easy to become attached to. The pace is super quick, and I’ll be honest, at times I found myself a little lost.

Even though that’s the case, it always came back around for me and I had a lot of fun reading it.

For me though, this wasn’t quite as enjoyable a story as the first book, in that it lacked a bit of the humor that I always felt when following, Min, the protagonist of Dragon Pearl.

Sebin, I would say, is more of an old soul, a bit more serious than Min was, and the narrative reflected that, making this story feel more mature than your average Middle Grade.

With this being said, Lee’s writing, as would be expected, is impressive. The complex mix of Sci-Fi with Mythological elements was so well done.

Additionally, the characters Lee develops are extremely likable. You root for them when you’re supposed to, you dislike them when you are supposed to and you certainly love them when you are supposed to. Chef’s kiss.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Audio and Rick Riordan Presents, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

This one left off in a great place. This could be it, but I am really hoping for more in the Thousand Worlds. There are endless possibilities as to where this series could go!!

View all my reviews

Review: Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells

Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries, #4)Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Exit Strategy is the fourth novella in Martha Wells’ beloved Sci-Fi series, The Murderbot Diaries.

I have really enjoyed my time with this series so far. It’s hard to believe how attached I have become to the unconventional protagonist, an antisocial SecUnit, Murderbot.

I have read all of the novellas in this series via audiobook. Part of the reason for that is because they’re narrated by Kevin R. Free, who is the absolute perfect narrator for this series. He is Murderbot in my mind.

In this installment, we reunite with Murderbot, who continues on their galaxy-wide quest to find answers regarding their past, all while gathering info on the mysterious and sinister GrayCris Corporation.

After Milu, Murderbot chooses to return to HaveRatton Station, which may turn out to be a big mistake. It hopes to meet with Dr. Mensah, but it looks like Dr. Mensah may be in a bit of trouble.

Experiencing something that could be defined as a feeling ((yuck, says Murderbot)), it decides it will do what it needs to in order to help save Dr. Mensah; pairing up with some old acquaintances in the process.

I was pleased with this novella, although I feel like it didn’t quite capture my attention in the same way that the previous three have. I think for me, it felt like it wasn’t quite as humorous as the earlier books.

Perhaps, that’s because Murderbot didn’t have the same lovable AI characters to exchange witty banter with. Yeah, that is probably it.

I am loving how Murderbot continues to evolve, as far as its relationships with humans go. I am particularly into whatever is happening with Mensah; it’s quite intriguing.

The next book in the series, Network Effect, is the first full-length novel in this series, coming in at 350-pages. I am super excited to get into that one!

I highly recommend this to Readers who enjoy action-packed, light-hearted, often hilarious Sci-Fi stories. Look no further, Murderbot is where it’s at.

View all my reviews

Review: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

City of Lost Souls is the 5th-installment of Cassie Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. With this in mind, some minor spoilers may lay ahead in this review.

I actually have no idea what I am going to write yet, but just understand, it’s a possibility.

It’s been a minute since I have picked up any Shadowhunter books. I actually finished Clockwork Prince in February and had planned to continue on right away, however, I got distracted. New releases. You know how it is.

Luckily, Shadowhunter characters are like old friends. No matter how long you’ve been apart, once reunited, it’s like no time has passed at all.

In this installment, the main narrative revolves around the fact that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound Jace to Clary’s psychotic brother, Sebastian, who has full control in their newly formed relationship.

Meanwhile, the clave is still on the hunt for Sebastian, but there is no way he can be taken out without killing Jace as well.

As bleak as it sounds, Clary refuses to give up on Jace. She must figure out how to get him back, no matter the risk.

Clary isn’t the only one determined to save Jace, although she may be willing to go the furthest in order to do so. Alec, Simon, Magnus and Isabelle are also scrambling, trying to find out any way to break the bond of Lilith’s magic.

As Clary and Jace are reunited, it’s clear, he’s not the same boy she fell in love with, but can she trust this new Jace? Is he still worth risking her life for?

I will admit, my interest in this installment fluctuated throughout. Jace and Clary’s relationship isn’t my favorite and was a big focus in this one, obviously. With this being said, Clare definitely pulled it off in the end.

I love how she continues to build out this world. It’s really quite impressive. I’m super excited to finally be able to pick up Clockwork Princess next.

I think for me, I enjoy the The Infernal Devices just a bit more than this series, so I tend to kind of breeze through these ones in order the be able to return to Victorian London.

I’m still enjoying this series a lot, don’t get me wrong. It is a solid series, complex and fast-paced. The way this one leaves off, I am super excited to see what happens in City of Heavenly Fire.

Also, just as a side note, I was incredibly happy to get a bit more Magnus Bane in this one; quickly becoming my favorite character.

View all my reviews

Review: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle, #2)Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Aurora Burning is the second book in veteran writing duo, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s, The Aurora Cycle trilogy.

If you have read The Illuminae Files you are well aware that these authors are no strangers to writing hella compelling, action-packed, YA-science fiction stories.

In this installment, Squad 3-1-2 is back, this time on the run from both the authorities and baddies alike.

With an ancient evil force threatening to consume the entire galaxy, it is safe to say that our lovable band of heroes have a lot on their plate. They believe Auri could be the key to solving the problem, but they still need to figure out how.

They get the opportunity to head back to the Hadfield, the ship from Auri’s past, to try to figure out some of the mystery surrounding her; there’s a lot.

As always, they run into a wee bit of trouble on that mission.

Bigger trouble is on the horizon when Kal’s savage long-lost sister makes an appearance with an entire Slydrathi army at her back. Let’s just say, she’s not there for a charming family reunion.

This entire book is go-go-go, from the very beginning. I enjoyed learning more about all of the characters, as well as being introduced to new ones.

The stakes are getting higher and I seriously have no idea how this trilogy is going to be concluded. I am really glad that I held off on reading this one until Aurora’s End released.

I don’t know how I would have made it through otherwise. This one finishes on such an incredible cliffhanger, oh my goodness!

I’m hoping to finish up with the trilogy by the end of the year. Wrapping up 2021 in style!

View all my reviews

Rereading Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Squad 3-1-2 forever!

Reading Aurora Rising for the second time was such a treat. I think I am going to be rid of that pesky 4.5-stars rounded up thing we did the first time round.

It felt so incredibly good to be back with these characters and in this world.

I felt like I was able to relax more into the story this time, as I wasn’t flipping the pages a million miles per hour to see what was going to happen next.

Therefore, I was able to learn more about and become even more attached to this cast. Each character is unique and brings their own special blend of something good to the table.

My plan is to move directly on to the second book, Aurora Burning, and then straight on through to Aurora’s End.

My copy of Aurora’s End just arrived today and I am so excited to see how this is going to turn out. I literally have no predictions.

If you are a Scifi fan, if you loved the Illuminae Files, if you love stories set in space, if you love stories featuring a ragtag group of individuals fighting for survival, you should pick this up.

Heck, everyone should pick this up! It’s a great book, an action-packed story and a phenomenal start to a series.


Now that the final book, Aurora’s End, has been released, I am rereading this, because I hope to actually binge the entire trilogy this month!


Let’s do this!!!


**4.5-stars rounded up**

Apparently, this is what it feels like to have your still beating heart ripped violently out of your chest?!

The year is 2380; our story begins on the eve of graduation at Aurora Academy. Traditionally, immediately following the graduation ceremony, squad leaders choose their teams and are given their first real assignments.

Tyler Jones, star pupil and known leader, cannot sleep.

Call it nerves, call it excitement for the future, whatever it is, sleep is not happening.

During the course of his restless night, he hears an SOS over the comm system and sets out to see if he can help.

He reasons, since he is incredible in almost every way, he will definitely be able to help.

When he comes across the starship emitting the SOS beacon, he finds hundreds of dead aboard, with just one survivor locked in cryogenic sleep state.

Fortunately, he is able to save her and bring her back to the Academy with him. But just who is this beautiful lone survivor?

Coming out of cryosleep, Aurora is shocked to find herself at an Academy for space cadets and not at Octavia Colony, her original destination.

As she struggles to clear her head and put the pieces of the puzzle together, she also discovers she has some sort of mysterious powers awakening.

Tyler is disappointed and confused upon returning to the Academy as well.

Due to his late night rescue mission, he missed graduation and as a consequence, the selection of teams.

As a new squad leader, what is he left with?

His sister, a loyal friend and a few other miscreants: Scarlett, Cat, Kal, Fin and Zila.

Thusly, Squad 312 is formed. The most lovable bunch of misfits the galaxy has ever seen!

The story follows all of their perspectives as they go on their first mission and learn more about Aurora, as well as her puzzling claims about the nonexistent Octavia Colony.

Guys, to say I am anxiously anticipating the next book would literally be the understatement of 2019.

I loved this story a ton. My only negative is that I found the numerous POVs a bit jarring at times. Other than that, nothing but love from me!

Squad 312 against the whole galaxy?

This author duo is hard to beat in my eyes. I hope they continue to collaborate for years to come!!!

View all my reviews

Review: Murder, She Wrote: Debonair in Death (Murder, She Wrote #54) by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

Murder, She Wrote: Debonair in DeathMurder, She Wrote: Debonair in Death by Jessica Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Murder, She Wrote: Debonair in Death is the 54th-installment of the beloved Murder, She Wrote Cozy Mystery series.

I was so excited when I learned that Terrie Farley Moran was going to be continuing writing this series. It seems to be a great fit.

She did a fantastic job with Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond, really capturing the spirit of Jessica and the feel of the earlier books.

With Debonair in Death we return to Jessica’s hometown of Cabot Cove. It was a true delight being back there with Jessica and her dynamic group of friends and neighbors.

While I love when Jessica travels, which she does a lot, it always feels good to go home.

The good vibes don’t last for long though after Nelson Panzell, a local art store owner and rumored womanizer, is murdered and a young nail tech at Jessica’s favorite salon, Coreen, is fingered as the number one suspect.

Jessica and her friend, Loretta, the salon’s owner and Coreen’s boss, know the meek girl would be completely incapable of killing Panzell, but how will they be able to convince Sheriff Metzger of that?

The two women pair up and luckily are able to secure a very capable attorney for Coreen. Then just as you would expect, Jessica begins a little investigation of her own.

She’s thrown for a bit of a loop, however, when an old acquaintance, Agent Michael Haggerty, a member of MI6, gets caught red-handed bumbling around the victim’s home. He claims to be on an important investigation of his own. Could the two issues possibly be related?

I love the feel of these stories. They’re so comfortable and nostalgic for me, as I’ve been reading them, quite literally, for most of my life.

After the passing of the original series author, Donald Bain, I was obviously concerned about the future of my favorite comfort read series. Now with Terrie Farley Moran at the helm, I can relax with confidence, knowing some quality content will be still be released.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am looking forward to more. Please keep ’em coming!!!

View all my reviews

Review: In the Company of Witches (Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery #1) by Auralee Wallace

In the Company of Witches (Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery #1)In the Company of Witches by Auralee Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

In the Company of Witches, the first book in Auralee Wallace’s new Evenfall Witches series, is the Practical Magic of Cozy Mysteries. A delightful series starter!!

After the tragic loss of her husband, Brynn Warren moves into the B&B owned by her Aunts, Nora and Izzy, ostensibly to help them run the place.

Warren women have been a staple of the small town of Evenfall for over four hundred years. Although there are whisperings of them being witches, the townsfolk don’t actually have any proof of that.

When a local woman, staying at the B&B while her home undergoes some renovations, is found dead, the Warren women are thrown for a loop.

Not only is it upsetting that Constance Graves died inside their home, but it seems Nora is now the authorities number one suspect. That’s right, they suspect foul play. Constance was murdered.

Further, you know those suspicions the townsfolk have about the Warrens? Yeah, they’re true.

Brynn is a witch of the dead, meaning she can commune with ghosts. In order to clear her Aunt’s name, she may need to contact Constance’s ghost and find out what really happened to her.

Unfortunately, since her husband passed, Brynn has had a really hard time using her powers. Thus, a bit of old fashioned investigation will have to be incorporated into her mission to help Nora.

Brynn discovers a whole host of family secrets and drama as she dives into Constance’s past in order to figure out who would have had the motive to kill her.

Y’all, this was a great start to an all new Cozy series. I really enjoyed getting to know Brynn, Nora, Izzy, Gideon and all the other citizens of Evenfall.

I find with Cozies, the longer the series goes on, the more attached you get to the characters and place. I have no doubt this series will be the same.

The next book, When the Crow’s Away, is expected to be published in April 2022. I cannot wait to get my hands on it. Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

If you love Cozy Mysteries, or Witchy stories, you absolutely should check this one out. Pure fun from beginning to end.

View all my reviews

Review: Along the Saltwise Sea (The Up-and-Under #2) by A. Deborah Baker

Along the Saltwise SeaAlong the Saltwise Sea by A. Deborah Baker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Along the Saltwise Sea is the sequel to Seanan McGuire’s, writing here as A. Deborah Baker, 2020-release, Over the Woodward Wall.

These novels, which are loosely-related to her tour de force of SFF, Middlegame, are perfectly suited for the young at heart.

The story follows two children, Zib and Avery, who upon encountering a giant wall where it shouldn’t be on their walk to school one day, go up and over, thus finding themselves in a different world; the Up-and-Under.

In the first novel, the children travel through a magical forest while following the improbable road, making friends and enemies along the way.

In this installment, Zib and Avery, joined by their new friends, Niahm and the Crow Girl, are exhausted from the continuous stress of their travels. Their hope is to find the Queen of Wands, who may have the answer on how to get them home.

Unsure of how much more they can take, however, they collectively decide they can’t go on right away. They need to rest. Children need to rest.

As luck would have it, they discover an abandoned cottage. It’s pristine, with everything in place that they would need. Sure, it’s a little ominous, but they can’t resist.

They stay the night. Zib and Avery eternally grateful to have a comfortable bed in which to sleep through the night, as well as fresh running water.

Unbeknownst to the children and their companions, the cottage actually belongs to a powerful pirate Captain, who believes they now owe her a debt for trespassing on her property and using her things without asking.

The group agrees to board her ship and work for her for one week in order to pay off their debt.

It certainly extends their adventure, but does it get the kids any closer to finding their way home?

Y’all, I absolutely LOVED my time reading Along the Saltwise Sea!! I’ll admit, I was a little nervous going in, because it has been a long time since I have read Over the Woodward Wall.

I was concerned I wouldn’t remember enough of the story for this one to make sense. That was completely silly of me. I should have trusted McGuire.

This novel has the perfect amount of refresher at the beginning to let the Reader fall gracefully back into the story. It was seamless and probably the best transition between books I have ever read.

Further, I am absolutely obsessed with the narrative voice of this series. It has that classic, whimsical fairy tale feel, meshed perfectly with modern inclinations on how to be a good human.

I say this because, I feel like fairy tales are intended to teach lessons and consequently, Zib and Avery are also learning lessons throughout their journey in the Up-and-Under. Fortunately, the lessons aren’t outdated. They are perfectly tailored for today’s world.

I love all of these characters so much. Avery and Zib are as opposite as opposite can get, but have learned to love and appreciate one another not just in spite their differences, but because of them.

The setting of this one, mostly on the pirate ship, was just so fun! I love stories set at sea and this one captured everything I love about that atmosphere.

I cannot wait for the next installment of The Up-and-Under. I am not sure how long this series is slated to be, but I am hoping it goes for as long as the Wayward Children series. At least!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. It was an absolute delight!

View all my reviews

Review: Tristan Strong Keeps Punching (Tristan Strong #3) by Kwame Mbalia

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching (Tristan Strong #3)Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching is the third and final book in Kwame Mbalia’s courageous Middle Grade Adventure series.

This was my most anticipated Middle Grade novel of 2021 and unsurprisingly, Mbalia DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

In this installment, which I won’t get too far into because it is the third book in the series, we see all of our old favorite characters return, including the absolute star, Gum Baby.

Unfortunately for Tristan and friends, however, we also see the return of one of the most heinous villains to ever grace the pages of a Middle Grade novel, King Cotton.

Starting at a family reunion, heading to New Orleans, then up the mighty Mississippi all the way to Tristan’s hometown of Chicago, this story is never want for action!

In addition to great action, these books contain enormous amounts of heart and humor. Mbalia doesn’t shy away from exploring important societal issues as well, making this a great book for parents to discuss with their children.

Looking back at the series as a whole, I am so impressed with Tristan’s growth as a character. He seemed to have a lot more introspective moments in this finale and I think those moments will be highly relatable to a lot of young Readers.

Mbalia’s ability to blend the serious moments with laugh out loud humor is really unmatched. If you want a action-packed series that will make you laugh, make you bite your nails in anticipation and make you think, look no further, Tristan Strong is where it’s at.

While I am really sad this trilogy had to come to an end, I am so happy with how it turned out. The Epilogue filled my heart to bursting.

I highly recommend this series to Readers of all ages. It’s a ton of fun, but more than that, it provides a necessary voice and an equally important hero for our time!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Books and Rick Riordan Presents, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I am a huge fan of this series and will carry it in my heart for a long time to come!!

View all my reviews