Book Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty-5 Stars

Goodreads Summary 

Serafina and the Black Cloak is a middle grade fantasy novel set at the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC during the time that the Vanderbilts lived there. Serafina and her Pa secretly live in the basement of the Biltmore, as her Pa is the maintenance man. Serafina is a little different than most kids her age. She roams the halls of the Biltmore at night, catching rats and peeking on the guests during their parties and dinners, envisioning herself as one of them, or being friends with some of them. She has never known her mom, she is missing a toe on each foot, she’s super tiny, and she has really unique golden amber eyes. One night while roaming, she sees a creepy man in a black cloak take a girl who was staying at the estate.

Children continue to go missing, and Serafina strikes up a friendship with Braeden, the Vanderbilt’s nephew. Serafina can’t imagine what/who this person is in the black cloak, and is determined to find out and save the other children and protect herself. There were kind of two mysteries going on in the book-the black cloak, of course, and Serafina trying to figure out what she really is. Her friendship with Braeden was so sweet and genuine and just shows how two children from different social worlds, who look different, can see through to the heart of each other and become friends.

Even though this is marketed as a middle grades novel I didn’t find it to be too juvenile. I could not put it down! It was the perfect mix of suspense, horror, friendship, and magic! All of the main and supporting characters were perfectly developed and described to aid in the flow of the storyline. The climax of the novel surprised me, so kudos to Beatty, because I had not figured out the mystery of the black cloak nor Serafina’s heritage until it unraveled in the forest!

I may be biased since I’m from the area and I love going to Biltmore, but I highly recommend this novel!

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley-thank you!!


Book Review: Buzz Books 2015: Young Adult Spring-3 Stars

Buzz Books YA Spring 2015

I gave this compilation 3 stars because with these excerpts you read some you love, and you come across ones that by the first paragraph you’re hitting the next page button so fast on your kindle it starts to lag…It’s not that they’re bad books per say, just not ones I’m interested in! ūüôā This is going to be a different type of review, since I have only read excerpts. I’m going to list the books and give a little commentary about each. They will be linked to their summary on Goodreads. I’m only going to elaborate on the ones I enjoyed.

The Wrath and the Dawn-¬†this excerpt captured my interest. A young Caliph takes a new bride only ¬†to have her executed the next day. After Shahrzad’s friend¬†is murdered, Shahrzad decides to take matters into her own hands to get revenge. Only it’s not all as it seems with Khalid. It seems mysterious.

A School for Unusual Girls-¬†Set in Regency England, certain daughters who don’t conform to society’s standards are exiled to Stranje House, to be reformed into marriage material. I really wanted to like this one, because the synopsis sounds awesome. But the excerpt didn’t capture my attention.

Undertow-¬†I really liked the sample I read of this! Ocean-dwelling warriors called Alpha’s arrive in Coney Island (they freaking rise out of the water!) and tensions rise between them and the humans. Lyric Walker is caught in the middle when she begins to fall in love. I really like reading dystopia so I might request this one from Netgalley.

Seriously Wicked-¬†Seriously no. Camellia’s mom is a witch and want’s Camellia to be like her.Weird things happen like demons, dragons, and zombies… The excerpt was really cheesy and I didn’t like it.

99 Days-¬†I liked this one. Molly is shunned by the sister of her boyfriend for wrecking their relationship with their other brother….she just has to last 99 days until she can leave for college.

Saint Anything-This excerpt was really confusing and I didn’t even understand what it was about really, from the short bit I got to read. But I do want to continue reading it because the synopsis sounds good.

Feral- This is about a boy who can communicate with crows. Just no.

Painless-¬†About a boy who can’t feel pain who creates a bucket list to really live. I might check this one out.

Magonia-¬†I love fantasy books so it’s no surprise this excerpt interested me. It’s about a girl who discovers she has powers in another world.

Seed-¬†This is about some sort of cult in a place called Seed. 15 year old Pearl finally becomes a woman and is finally old enough to become Papa’s companion…sounds WEIRD but I wanna read it.

Nightbird-12 year old Twig lives in a place where fairy tales are real. And her mom bakes secret magical apple pies!¬†¬†this sounds really good, but it’s supposedly a middle grades novel, so hopefully it won’t be too juvenile because I really want to read it.

Another Day-¬†When I started reading I didn’t realize this was a sequel, but I really enjoyed it! A wakes up every day in a different body and meets Rhiannon one day. This sequel is from Rhiannon’s perspective.

After the Red Rain- Yes to this one! I LOVE dystopias. Earth is ruined and citizens live in mega cities with hardly any resources.

Nowhere But Here- This sounds like it could be good but the excerpt was slow moving. About a motorcycle club, some romance involved.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl-¬†I’m always down for a paranormal novel and this one sounds really fun. Sunshine moves with her mom and their new house seems haunted.

Kissing in America-¬†sounds really cute. Eva has lost her dad so she seeks comfort in romance novel, and then she also meets a boy named Will and she’s starting to feel better-until he moves away.

The Tapper Twins Go To War-skipped

When You Leave-skipped

Daughter of Deep Silence- Sounds so good! A luxury yacht named Persephone is destroyed, with only 3 survivors, and only 1 of them is telling the truth about what happened.

Fuzzy Mud-skipped

The Box and the Dragonfly (The Keepers)- Another middle grade but I really want to read it. Horace F. Andrews sees a sign with his name on it that leads him to the House of Answers-but he only finds questions.

Kissing Ted Callahan-not for me

Goodbye Stranger- skipped


An Ember in the Ashes-¬†too violent…lol! skipped

Ask the Dark-skipped

Thank you to Buzz Books and Netgalley for this download! While there were several titles I wasn’t interested in, I’m glad I read it still because I found several that I can’t wait to be released!