Review: The Babysitters Coven

Title: The Babysitters Coven
Author: Kate Williams
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: September 17th, 2019

When I first read the concept of this book, I wanted to read it immediately. Babysitter’s Club meets Buffy? Yes, please! While the book did meet that brief, there were some aspects that I didn’t love. I really enjoyed all of the great pop culture references (Labyrinth, Buffy, Harry Potter and more) as well as some of the discussion surrounding difficult issues such as Esme’s mom’s condition and how the town/school treated her because of it, as well as her internal dialogue about her worries and fears. Esme’s voice/point of view is rather harsh at times, which could be considered unlikable or polarizing, but for the age of the character it is understandable.

I do wish that some things had been a little more descriptive. At times the relationships between people didn’t seem to be as close as they were described. Also, a lot of the characters (granted, more minor characters) could have used more description to differentiate them from each other. That being said though, this was mostly with characters that only appeared a few times and I’m sure that if they show up in future books they will be fleshed out more.

The last half of the book was jam packed with action and went much faster than the 1st half, which I really enjoyed. There were definitely a lot of twists and turns that were surprising, but there were also many twists that were pretty predictable. There were times that I had a hard time liking Esme and Cassandra (mostly Cassandra) because of their decisions, but I could see some of those things being addressed in future books. In that respect this book set up future conflicts really well.

All in all I did enjoy this book and as I said the last half was really quick paced and enjoyable. If you’re looking for books that have great pop culture references, lots of mystical and paranormal content and babysitters who have to protect the world, then you’ll probably enjoy it. It was definitely a fun book with a lot of quirks and capers.

The Babysitters Coven is out now from Delacorte Press, so be sure to pick up a copy if it’s something that is up your alley, Happy reading!

Review: Case of the Shinigami by KC Hunter

When I saw this book available to me on Book Sirens I was immediately intrigued and excited to pick it up.

Case of the Shinigami is a prequel novella to the Kana Cold series and it a great introduction to the characters. Though it is short it is a great setup for what will be a paranormal series. This book is about Kana and her partner AJ as they tackle a case where a small child is being terrorized by an unseen force.

Glimpses of Kana’s personality and references to her past are few at first, but as the story goes on you start to learn some of the things that have shaped her and motivate her. She’s not the most likable person, doesn’t deal well with people and has a quick temper, but there are reasons that are slowly revealed.

I will definitely be picking up the first full book in the series as I feel like things that happened in this prequel will be playing a part in the series as a whole. This is creating a beginning to what looks to be an interesting and thrilling series full of adventure.

Be sure to check out this prequel and the series as it comes out if it sounds like it is up your alley, happy reading!

Review: The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Caroline Flarity

ghost hunter's daughterWhen I read the synopsis for The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter, I immediately got excited and had to check it out. This is the story of Anna, whose father is well known for being the town well, ghost hunter, and because of this she is known as Goblin Girl at school. Things start happening in her town during a number of solar flares, things of a paranormal nature, and it’s up to Anna to figure it out.

Before I go any further I would caution that there are trigger warnings for bullying, self harm and suicidal thoughts. Though these aren’t central themes in the book, there are situations that arise that could be triggering to people.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way – this story was so much fun! Yes, it got pretty dark at some points with some of the things discussed (um hello demons and ghosties). If you’re looking for something with Poltergeist/Ghostbusters vibes, this will fit the bill.

Anna’s struggles are very relatable regardless of the supernatural aspects and influences in the story. It delves a lot into her internal dialogue and talks about how the bullying she endures affects her, as well as other characters and their struggles. While these situations are influenced by the supernatural aspects, they are still very real experiences that teens have and humanized the story a bit more.

The writing was really easy to read and get into, which meant that I flew through it.  Overall I really enjoyed this book and all it’s twists and turns.  This book is already out, so if it sounds like something you would enjoy, be sure to check it out!

Review: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

mooncakesOh my heart! Mooncakes was such a fun and enjoyable read and was a perfect title to break up my reading. This story follows Nova (a witch) and Tam (a werewolf) as they reunite and face a danger while also exploring their feelings for each other. It was a beautiful story that put a smile on my face, seeing friendship and love blossom between all the characters.

This story discusses so much in the way of real life issues such as family, love, diversity, etc while also seamlessly blending in the supernatural aspects and the mystery they must solve. I would definitely love if there were more stories following these characters, but this also stands well on its own. The art style and color palette are beautiful and fit the tone of the story perfectly. It leans earth tone, but that is perfect for the setting and feel of the story.

Overall, Mooncakes is a beautiful story full of magic and the strength of friendship and love. I’m very interested in seeing more from both the author and the illustrator as their collaboration produced such an amazing tale.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy.  Mooncakes comes out October 15th from Lion Forge.  I know I’ll be adding it to my shelf!

Happy reading!

Review: Haunted Hearts

Kimberlydean_Haunted_Hearts_300x480I originally requested this book from Netgalley purely because the subject seemed interesting and I usually like most things with a paranormal spin. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but it was a very fun and enjoyable read. This story follows Callie who has recently inherited a house and decided a change of scene is just what she needs.  Turns out, that house comes with a history that’s known to everyone but her.  Watching her discover the secrets of the house and her ancestors was wonderful, though part of me wished for more.

The chemistry between Callie and Carter was great and it was always fun to watch them spar. There were certainly parts of the book that were predictable, and once I got to 80% I had figured out what the climax/twist was going to be, but I was pleasantly surprised it took that long for me to see all the clues fall into place. I felt that supporting characters were well defined enough to be individuals, though I would have loved to have more details about the town and locations.  Though this appears to be set up as a stand alone, I would definitely enjoy getting more books set in the town and reappearances by many of the side characters.

The scenes where we see the point of view of Callie’s ancestor were well written and there was no mistaking the personality and individuality of this person.  In fact, the different personalities of all of the characters were some of my favorite parts of the book, I found myself falling in love with some of the characters and secretly wanting more.

The writing and pacing seemed to fluctuate a little, but not to the point that it was off putting and the read itself was well paced on average. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think it would be great for anyone who enjoys paranormal romance.  If you want to pick up your own copy of Haunted Hearts, it is out now and clicking on the cover image will take you to the Amazon page for it.  Check it out if you like ghost stories, romance or just a fun and dynamic story.  If you want to find out more about Kimberly Dean, check out her website at https://kimberlydean.com/ – I know I will definitely be checking out more of her books.

Happy Reading!