Wow, we are halfway through the year already, can anyone tell me where it has gone? Many people, myself included have noticed that their reading has slowed down while everything has been going on. But for this round-up, we had 16 reviews linked! That’s great numbers for spec fiction, keep up the good reading and linking habits 🙂 We had a couple of older books and some new ones to take a look at too.

eloise and the bucket of starsFirst up we have a middle-grade children’s book reviewed by Ashleigh @The Book Muse. Eloise and the Bucket of Stars by Janeen Brian is a historical fiction story that weaves magic into the real world. Ashleigh says “Eloise and the Bucket of stars is a charming, delightful and magical story – set in an orphanage during Victorian times, it shows the hardships faced by orphans, and the treatment they received in places like the orphanage Eloise lived in. It also shows how harmful beliefs can be when taken to the extreme and the lengths people like Sister Hortense will go to protect dark secrets – even from those they work with, just to make sure they’re not outed as what drives her to punish Eloise. At its core, this is a story about friendship, being yourself and family – and what makes a family.” she also says “I loved this book – it evoked the same sense of wonder that The Secret Garden did all those years ago, with an orphaned child discovering magic beyond what she could ever imagine in a mundane world that didn’t appreciate her at first. Orphans are common in children’s literature and dealing with them in gentle ways, and each story is of course different, and this one had a sense of magic and wonder about it that many don’t, which is what made it so special and why I really enjoyed it, and hope that younger readers do as well.” You should definitely check out her full review.

Sacrifice by Peta CrakeEleni reviewed books #2 and #3 in the Ophelia Lind series by Peta Crake, this is urban fantasy series, she read book #1 Harbinger ages ago, but her Defiance (Ophelia Lind, #3)review can be seen here. Of book #2 Sacrifice, Eleni says “Book 2 did not disappoint. Well written from the POV of the sassy Ophelia, it takes you on a journey to uncover some mysteries.” Book #3 Defiance, the final in the trilogy didn’t disappoint Eleni who says “A delightful read with fascinating twists and turns. I will be sorry not to read more about the gang but happy with the ending.” 


jane in love smallAmanda @Mrs B’s Book Reviews reviewed one of my most enjoyable audiobooks this year, Jane in Love by Rachel Givney. She says “Jane in Love is a wholly entertaining novel, light but also whimsical, with great comedic timing. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one!” and “First time novelist Rachel Givney takes on quite an ambitious project with her debut novel. Reimagined lives of prominent figures can often prove tricky and it can be especially hard to get the finer details right. I feel Givney put her heart and soul into this novel. As a result, we have a strong recreation of Jane Austen and her life both in present day Britain and her life in the eighteenth century. Although I had some reservations about the time travel aspect of this novel, I found Jane in Love to be a delightful read. Givney does an excellent job of recreating Jane Austen’s world in the regency period. I loved being immersed in this era and Givney has strived in the world building department to provide a solid reimagining of this fascinating point in time. Connected to this historical reconstruction was Givney’s embodiment of her lead, along with key figures such as Mr and Mrs Austen and Jane’s sister Cassandra. I think Givney was mindful of staying true to these well-known fictional characters and Austen’s world.”

Next up is an older YA novel, one I’ve had out of the library several times, but still haven’t managed to read. Kali Napier read and reviewed Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin KwaymullinaCatching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and had this to say “This was utterly joyful to read, despite the subject matter of a multiple murder investigation and darker, systemic abuse that is the undercurrent to this short YA novel. The structure disrupts temporality, so while it may appear procedural on the surface, by the end we learn that all investigations are journeys of healing and resolution. Just as in crime series, there will be more murders to investigate with narrative arcs of their own. The more I think about the seeming simplicity of this story, the deeper its meanings. It upturns genre conventions and conventional linear thinking. Highly recommended, and not just for teens.”


Veronica reviewed a short story that sounds like fun, The Damsel Gauntlet by P.A. Mason and she says “The Damsel Gauntlet by P. A. Mason is a quirky and unexpected tale, much like the main character Gretchen. If you’re looking for a light-hearted fantasy, but one with plenty of detailed work building and good repartee between an eclectic cast, then this is a fabulous place to begin.
The start of a good series in the making.”


ShoestringAshleigh @The Book Muse read another middle-grade novel Shoestring: The Boy Who Walks on Air by Julie Hunt & Dale Newman and says “It is a lovely book – one that will be loved by all readers over the age of eight and will enthrall and enchant readers as they enter this fantastical world and have them on the edge of their seats as they go on the journey with Shoestring and the rest of the troupe. It does refer back to a previous book by the same author and illustrator team, but enough information is given that they can be read separately, but also, together. It is a beautiful story, and one that will be loved and treasured.”


To check out all the books read in June just click here. Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed and then linked their books this month, I look forward to seeing what you all read in July. Until then, happy reading.