Darling Girl by Liz Michalski

Book Genre Tag "Fantasy" with image of fantasy world of mountains and water
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Well, this was a fun retelling with some dark twists! I enjoyed that this had some aspects that made the story less fluffy, showing a more sinister side to Peter and the Darlings!

This is told through the eyes of the granddaughter of Wendy. Holly has her son Jack and her daughter Eden. Eden has been in a coma, and Holly gets a call that Eden is missing. There are so many secrets and magical aspects to this story, and Eden’s magical blood is one of them. She can age faster than normal, and there are people that want that power.

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The Pickwick Murders by Heather Redmond

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Pickwick Murders is a retelling of the Charles Dickens story, The Pickwick Papers. I haven’t read the original, so this was a new story for me. Set in the early 1800’s, this was a fun historical cozy mystery. I enjoyed the fiancée, Kate in this story. She is a strong female character, and has to use a variety of tools in her belt to figure out what is happening!

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Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost by Lindsay Marcott

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"
Mrs. Rochester's Ghost
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

I really enjoy retellings. Jane Eyre retellings are one of my favorites. I have read quite a few different ones. I like that the general premise can stay the same, and I still enjoy the story!

Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost is a Jane Eyre retelling, and it feels contemporary while still holding strong to the base story of the original. I really enjoyed that this story jumps right into the plot. I feel like I didn’t have to wait at all to get to the Rochester house and see the first creepy thing! It really made the book fly by!

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Cold Hearted by Serena Valentino

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cold Hearted is the 8th book in the Villains series. This is such a fun series! I am huge fan of retellings, and I love it when they delve into the before and after of the original story. It’s so fun!

In Cold Hearted, we get to see what really happened in the evil stepmother’s story from Cinderella. This was great way to understand Lady Tremaine’s story. We get to go back in time and see what happened before Cinderella came into her life, and I loved it so much. This definitely skews to a younger reader, so it’s a quick, easy story, and it’s oh so fun!

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The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was an interesting twist on the Jane Eyre storyline! I really liked that this was a contemporary timeline, and I enjoyed the addition of the rich neighborhood, not a secluded mansion.

Jane is the dog-walker for a rich neighborhood. This area is full of women with nothing better to do than sit around and gossip about everyone else. When Jane bumps into Eddie, the two hit it off, and Jane becomes a kept woman, trying to fit in with these suburban housewives. As the mysterious accident of Eddie’s previous wife and friend turns into a murder, Jane begins to suspect that she is in more danger than she can handle.

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Inherent Fate by Geanna Culbertson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Crisanta Knight series continues to be so much fun! In this third book in the series, Crisanta is still on her journey to find The Author. Crisanta wants to get her story changed, and The Author is the only person that can do that.

Inherent Fate picks up right where book 2 left off. Cristana is stuck in the genie’s lamp with Daniel, and they don’t know how to get out. They do of course, or the book would have been very short! Once out, they must get to the cave to get the third item they have been searching for. I enjoyed that Daniel and Crisanta have some time alone during this book. They are separated from the rest of the group, and I liked seeing their dynamic energy together. I’m very much rooting for the two of them to get together in the end!

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Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I really loved that this was a retelling, but it had really interesting twists. I absolutely LOVED the extreme changes to the Cinderella story that are revealed as the story progresses!

How I Felt:

Cinderella is Dead takes the reader to a world where the kingdom of Cinderella has turned into a cruel place where women are nothing more than property to be discarded at the whim of any man. All girls must attend an annual ball where they are chosen as wives. Those not chosen have 2 more chances at a ball, after that, it’s a fate worse than death, or maybe it’s just death. Either way, women live in fear, and men rule the day.

Sophia hates all of it. Her idea of happily ever after is with Erin, not with any man in the kingdom. After her required attendance at the annual ball turns into an escape to save her life, she decides that enough is enough. She’s going to bring down the king, and stop the horrible treatment of women.

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Nocturne by Cheryl Mahoney

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I love a retelling! I especially like one that comes from a story I love so much. I’ve seen Phantom of the Opera on multiple occasions, I’ve read the book multiple times, and now…my first retelling! Nocturne was a wonderful retelling that really pulled me into the story.

How I Felt:

Nocturne tells the Phantom of the Opera tale, but from the perspective of Meg Giry, a dancer and friend of Christine Daaé. I really enjoyed that this new character was added to the story. I liked her perspective and her investigative mind.

The story’s beginning had me completely pulled in. I love it when a book grabs you from the start, and this one did! Meg is lost in the depths of the Opera trying to get to dance class. I loved the way the author made me feel Meg’s emotions through this. I felt her fear and concern over being late to class, and then of being lost. Cheryl Mahoney’s writing grabbed me emotionally again and again throughout the story. She has a great way of making the reader feel what is happening!

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Protagonist Bound by Geanna Culbertson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I love a fairytale fantasy and that’s SO what I got with Protagonist Bound! I loved the world the author created for this story! I’ll go into that in detail below, but it was so much fun!

My Synopsis:

Crisanta Knight is the daughter of Cinderella, and with that royal heritage comes a heavy responsibility to be the perfect princess and live a fairytale life. Except Crisanta isn’t interested in that. She doesn’t want to be saved by a prince, sing with the birds, or learn the importance of high heels.

Crisanta lives in Book, a realm where the stories of people’s lives are written by the Author. Protagonists are determined by the author, and once your Book appears, your life is in the hands of the Author.

So, as royalty, Crisanta has been a protagonist since birth. She has two years left at Lady Agnue’s School for Princesses & Other Female Protagonists and her Prologue could appear at any time. When it finally does, she wants nothing to do with it and sets out on a dangerous journey with her friends to find out how to change it.

How I Felt:

The world Geanna Culbertson has created is so well described, I could envision everything, and I loved that! She provided detail that allowed me to truly see the buildings and people. She did an excellent job, and it has set up a world that people will continue to love throughout the series. The “Author” that decides who is a protagonist and what each character’s story will be was an interesting concept. I’m really excited to see what happens in book two as Crisanta tries to change her “Prologue”.

The characters were wonderful. Crisanta Knight, the main character, is absolutely fabulous. Her attitude is a bit sassy and so determined that you can’t help but love her. She addresses the reader directly like she’s telling them the story, and I really enjoyed that writing choice. Crisanta provides side comments, and goes on diatribes at times, even in the middle of a fight.

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Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Foul is Fair was this gritty and mean revenge story that was both shocking and thrilling for me to read. I loved the plot and the idea of self-inflicted revenge against an attacker. It is a Macbeth retelling, and I found the similarities and the detours from the original story to be interesting. I enjoyed seeing the story unfold in this way.

How I Felt:

The writing was different and it was something I had a love-hate relationship with. At times, I felt confused and would have to go back and re-read portions so that I could catch what was happening. Other times, I loved it and thought it was amazing. The struggle came from the disjointed feel of the writing. The thoughts would stop and start, as would the conversations. It felt, at times, like how an actual person thinks, where one thought stops partway and another idea comes in. At times this left me confused, but I did like real it made the story feel.

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The Atlantis Bloodline by C.A. Gray- Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the fun YA plot of a girl being chased by a rock star. It was a cute way for the two of them to meet and begin to interact. I loved the struggle that Kai faced as the story unfolded. His feelings towards Ada or his duty to the society? Will their love prevail?

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