Twirling Book Princess
5 Stars
ARC review for Gnarled Hollow

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

OH MY GOSH. Guys, this book was just too good. I have been looking around for something like this, books with haunted houses, maybe even (a bit) in the style of Darcy Coates. And I found it in this book. It never had a boring moment, you will be on the seat of your chair all the time, and you may just not be able to sleep or walk around at night easily (I know I didn’t, as I read part of this book before I went to sleep, bad bad idea).

Meet Emily Murray, she just got fired from her job at the university, but an opportunity knocks on her door. Does she want to spend her summer at a big house in the country to study the works of one of her favourite authors: Margot Lewis? Of course, what else would you expect, our girl is instantly interested. And so a summer full of creepy things, hauntings, but also romance, will start.

Yup, you read that right, there is also romance, but surprise, this one wasn’t going for the obvious choice so many authors make. You won’t see a MxF relationship, oh no, we got ourselves a sweet FxF relationship. I was a bit worried if the romance would fit this book, because it is still mystery/horror, but I loved it, I was eagerly looking for those sweet and soft moments away from the horror and the creepiness. June and Emily just fit together like two puzzle pieces. I did like that they both worked to be together, it wasn’t just oh we are together and done, oh no, we see Emily’s thoughts, and see how she starts to love June. But that she is also worried about how things would go after this summer. Does June love her or just see her as a casual fling? The author did a great job on writing this romance, it was believable, fun, and made you root for these girls.
I do have to say at one point I was worried for the romance, but I shouldn’t have worried.

The house was properly creepy. Really, thanks to the descriptions I just wanted to stay away. Far away. But not only the house and all the things that happened, the gardens/pool were also a place of nope. The things that happened to our characters were haunted, spooky, and I was definitely creeped out. Doors that close on their own, time loss, a girl looking out of the window. The author did a magnificent job slowly revealing more creepy things about the house. About the presence (or presences) lurking there. And then we slowly found out about what happened in the house so many years ago. Oh my goodness! If you thought you found out one thing, wait until the next thing is revealed.

Emily was a very nice character, I liked her instantly, maybe also because of how she felt about herself and how she felt as if she was an outsider. I can totally relate to her. I loved how strong she was and how hard she worked on breaking those codes (Margot Lewis loved codes). I was impressed that, instead of letting someone else do it due to how Jim was, she went to Jim multiple times to talk to him or to give him help.

June! Next to Emily my favourite character. She was just so much fun, and I loved how dedicated she was about her work/studying all the art stuff. Plus, even though she was clearly frightened, I liked how she stayed. For Emily.

I am not sure how I felt about Jim. He was by far my least favourite character from the book. It also didn’t help that THAT happened to him, but even before that he was a dick. I get that he was afraid, and probably didn’t want to let the fear in, but he did some things that just pissed me off. I guess I should say good job to the author for writing him that well.

Mark, I liked how he was instantly a believer due to what he saw. How he didn’t dismiss it (like some other characters). How he listened to Emily, and also later on became quite a strong character. Sure, he was afraid, but he wanted to dig deeper, he wanted to find out all he could. He was also the one to find out several things due to what he does for work, things that really turned some stuff upside down for our characters and their situation. Who knew that a house could change dimensions!

Why Emily felt so at home in the home? At least I could call it that. Sure, she had her moments of frights, and at times felt pretty out of place. I definitely had a suspicion on the matter, even some theories. As we found out more (and certain events happened) I settled on one theory, and I was delighted to see it confirmed! How fun! It fits so well. It is kind of a thing that you see more often in haunted houses books, but I love seeing them.

I also liked seeing the characters work/study. They have such interesting fields/hobbies. From art to English to gardening. I loved seeing them discover new things in the house based on what they did as work/hobby.

All in all, an exciting book that won’t let you go until the end. You will just be as invested as the characters to solve this mystery. Even if that means not sleeping at night. I would recommend it to everyone!

Review first posted at

5 Stars
ARC Review for Sharky Malarkey: A Sketchshark Collection

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I was so delighted when, a week or so ago (well, in June, as this review had to wait until today), Megan twittered about her brand-new book. I couldn’t wait to pre-order it and then read it. Now I don’t need to wait as long as Netgalley had the book and it was a read-now. Squee.

This book contains Megan’s comics and illustrations in all its glorious weirdness and hilariousness. Really, you will laugh your butt off. It is not, as the blurb may say, only about Bruce the shark. Yes, there are parts with him, but really this is much much more. It contains a lot of Megan’s comics, most (if not all) I already knew from following her on Twitter, there is a story about a toad (or is it a frog? :P), it is about Megan herself.

My favourites would be the normal comics about all sorts of hilarious stuff. And really, all sorts of weird stuff will pop up. Sexy butts, boobs in various yoga-ish poses (or used as pillows), cats, birds.

Bruce is just a tad bit annoying at times with his ego (then again I guess he is supposed to be like that). But I still had fun reading them as Bruce adventures are quite fabulous!

I even shared a few of them with my boyfriend as he could use some laughter in his life these days, and I wonder how hard he had to hold his laughter as he was at work (I was whatsapping him with a shot of the page I loved).

Megan’s art is just the best. I also love the colours she uses in her works.

And I am just too happy that I can now have Megan’s art without having to check her twitter. Now whenever I have a bad day I can just grab this book (as yes, I am buying it) and laugh my butt off.

All in all, very highly recommended. Sharks, butts, boobs, birds, and so much more. You won’t be disappointed. The best book to read when you have a day where you need tons of laughs.

Review first posted at

2.5 Stars
ARC Review for The Sabbides Secret Baby

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

And the second Harlequin manga. Oh my. This time about a sweet girl and a rich guy. She gets pregnant (because she forgot her pills (how?)), and he doesn't want it. Years later they meet again. Yep, you can already imagine the dramarama, the romance, and of course tons of other things that will probably make your eyes rolls. 

*snorts* "I'm an old friend of your mama's. Jed Sabbides. I'm Greek." I am sorry, did we even ask you about your nationality? 

Also the pregnancy thing was just, I am so so sorry, I feel terrible for saying this. But it was hilarious and so typical of Harlequin stuff. I already had a suspicion something would have happened because come on, there is no way she would just lose her baby without something extra happening. 

Dude, no, no, no. You can't just throw a girl on the sofa and try to woo her with sex. Eww, bro, no. *shakes her head in disgust*

Plus I hated how he just inserted himself in his kid's life. Without regard to Phoebe on her feelings. Boy, you said all that crap, you left her, and now you find out she has a kid you want to go back? You don't take no? Please. Urgh. I hated what he told Phoebe's kid. That is a decision she should make. That is something she should tell her kid. Not him. And then he is also making all sorts of remarks on how she cares for her kid, in the three days since he met them. Boy, please, just go jump of a cliff. Urghhhh. And he forces her to take Ben with her to Greece, or else he will fight her in court. You whut mate? That is not how you treat people. Also the whole marriage thing? Boy, eww, no, that is just way to creepy.

But of course we are supposed to feel sorry for Jed, because all that happened wasn't his fault and yadadada, really? Sorry, no. 

In the end it was quite cute, but it just felt so forced, so unnatural. Plus I just couldn't get Jed's creepiness out of my head.

The art in this one was way better than the previous one, even if Jed always looked like some hungry predator to me. 

All in all, not as a big as a success like the other Harlequin manga. But will I be checking out other Harlequin manga should they become available? Oh hell yes. Sorry, for some reason I want more. I guess I can see why people read these books. They are quite addicting. 

Review first posted at

3.5 Stars
ARC Review for Girl on a Diamond Pedestal: Harlequin Manga

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

So, I normally am not the kind of girl who read Harlequin books, but I just couldn't resist this one (and another one) when I spotted them on Netgalley. The art looked absolutely gorgeous, and the story sounded actually decent. 

Meet Noelle, a girl who, when she was young, was a famous pianist. However now she is in debt and her fame has lessened as she grew up. She meets Ethan, who proposes a plan to get back with her mother (but Ethan also has a payback to pay to his dad/Noelle's mom). They plan to get engaged. Insert more drama, and some romance. Oh my, oh my. That plot. I mean, wow. 

Noelle was a bit boring, sorry girl, but while it seemed the book is also about her, I felt she wasn't that big of a presence. She was cute, and I was impressed with her skills on the piano, but that is all. And I had such a big laugh at the one part where she ate an ice cream but didn't know how to eat it. Girl, what? How sheltered are you? :P Plus, I did think it was hilarious that she didn't even get that maybe Ethan had an ulterior motive. 

Ethan? Well. Eh. I didn't even think he was that hot, to be honest. Nor did he, like Noelle, feel like he had a lot of personality. 

Why he wanted to take revenge? Gee, as soon as he said the word mistress I just knew. Then it took quite a few pages before the writer finally shows it herself. 

And oh my, the romance. Yep. While these two are meant to just be partners in crime, I soon saw that there was something more coming. I could see Noelle falling fast, and Ethan, who at that moment was trying with all his might to keep his revenge goals in his eyes, fall as well. But, this is a Harlequin book, so one can imagine how it all will go. I have to say that I had a hard time not laughing, though I noticed I was also tearing up. Poor Noelle. She really believed in Ethan. 

The art was pretty gorgeous at times, but why did everyone look so so tired? Especially Noelle looked like she hadn't had a good sleep in years. And at times the characters looked way older than they were. 

The ending was just so adorable, so sweet, and I am happy for our characters. Both of them have been played by their parents and finally deserve to be free.

All in all, even with the predictable plot, the characters without personality, I just couldn't stop reading this one. I just wanted more. 

Review first posted at

2.5 Stars
ARC Review for Purrfection: How to Achieve Balance and Happiness Through Your Cat

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

How could I resist this book. I adore cats (though I am allergic), and I love books that combine cats with balance and happiness (I read a few already). 

However, it took me ages to get through this one. Because reading on a PC tires me out, and this one could only be read through my PC. Secondly, it was just a bit boring and totally not what I had expected from reading the blurb (or the title for that matter). I had expected something like several other books I read the past year. (Funny) Cat behaviour and how we could sort of do the same as humans to achieve balance, relaxation and maybe look at the world a bit differently. However a large chunk is about the history of cats, how to take care of a cat, purring. The purring at least has one exercise that seems to bring forth mindfulness. 

It isn't until page 49 (of 96) that we finally get some stuff about connecting, relationship with your cat, exercises. Then it was finally getting good. Don't get me wrong, information about cats is fun, but I have already read tons of books about cats in my life, I want something different. I came here for happiness and achieve balance and exercises, not to get yet another talk about how cats work and the history of them.

I loved the Cyber Cat: Cat Online 2.0 chapter. That one was definitely my favourite. How I wish I could get a cat. I would so love to download all those apps, or find out what my cat is up to when he is out and about. 

Fashion: A shirt that is just white or a solid colour, that costs 20 to 25 dollars. What the hell? You can buy a good shirt for ~5 euros (so about 6 dollars) that will last forever (believe me, I have had to throw away shirts because I wanted something new and they didn't want to die :P). Unless they meant all the materials together, but then they shouldn't put: "depending on the T-shirt". 
But those shirts and other things were fun, and I do want to try them out. 

The book ends with some useful information, cafe's, toilet seats, health insurance, etc. 

The book is also stuffed with all sorts of adorable cat photographs, and I was just awwwing every time one popped up. 

But yeah, given that it took about half of the book to get to the freaking point, aka what the blurb promises, and that it was still very basic, I am not going to rate this one very high. 2.5 stars.

Review first posted at

5 Stars
ARC Review for Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? 1

I received this manga from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Eep! This was one of the manga that I was very excited about ever since Kodansha licensed it a few months ago. Sure, I was less happy that it seemed to be digital only, but eh. :P 

This one is about two girls, twins, who run an estate agency in Kichijoji. They run the estate agency in their own way. You may expect them to always be neatly dressed and ready for you, but the truth is that these girls, during moments of nothingness, sleep, eat, or generally hang around. But don't worry, these girls are pros. These girls, and their colleague, will help you find a home that you will just love to bits. And not only that, because they will also promote a neighbourhood (every chapter has a new one) and totally make you want to move there instantly (and make me want to visit Japan even more). 

As the title already says, this manga will not just feature Kichijoji. Oh no. While the girls have their estate agency there, and they are willing to help you find something in Kichijoji, and of course complain about the changes happening, they will quickly sweep (or kidnap) you to a whole new neighbourhood, based on your preferences/style/age/gender (as they do want to find a safe neighbourhood that makes you feel safe and we girls wouldn't like a shady neighbourhood). Yep, these girls can, with just a few words, a bit of conversation, find a neighbourhood that fits within your price range and has that one house that makes you totally happy. Oftentimes with the help of other real estate agents that have control over that area/have houses in that area. 

I loved that these girls were professional, but weren't afraid to treat their customer to a nice snack or meal and then hold a casual (but still mostly serious) conversation about all things. 

The guy who works with the girls? Dang, he is just amazing with the PC. Within seconds he can find tons of available apartments for you in or near Kichioji. He is a true search demon. Google is probably jealous of his superskills. 

I know the prices in Tokyo were crazy, but seeing it confirmed once again, and then see how freaking tiny these apartments are for that price. Dang, I can't imagine spending so much on such a tiny room with the bare necessities. I can understand though that people are still willing to throw down so much money, it is Tokyo, and it is a wonderful big city. 

Each chapter is about a new person looking for a change. And each chapter also ends with the person taking whatever apartment they saw that took their fancy. I loved that they sometimes even texted with the twins to let them know they were having a good time.

Another fun thing is that each chapter also gives us real life locations (often the ones we saw, but sometimes new ones) that you could visit if you were in the neighbourhood. I just adore that they did this and that the mangaka even picked stores/shops/restaurants that truly exist in that neighbourhood. 

I liked that we don't just see the real estate stuff we also get to know the twins a bit more. We see them ponder about weight, going to that concert (or all the concerts), if they should also move or stay, we see them walk around the neighbourhood, talk to locals, and more.

The art is just fantastic, I really love the style. The backgrounds/scenery are just gorgeous. You don't always want to flip over the next page when you are done, you just want to gaze at it a bit longer. 

All in all, I need more! So much more. I would highly recommend this manga, and I can't wait until the next volume. 

Review first posted at

4.5 Stars
ARC review for Luke and Lottie: It's Halloween

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

It is a bit early for Halloween (not that it is really celebrated here), but I just couldn't resist this one any longer. Not only because it is super hot here and I am melting, so I could use a book about spooks and ghouls and fall, but also because I just adore Ruth Wielockx' books. 

This one was just so adorable, we follow Luke and Lottie as they celebrate Halloween. We see them mentioning their outfits way before the trick or treating (Witch and Ghost), but before they can actually wear them there is still enough to do this day. Yep. Halloween isn't just about trick or treating as Luke and Lottie will show us.

A home cannot be Halloween ready if there are no decorations, but let's also not forget the delicious treats (I did like that the treats were healthy (but I do wonder how long the banana ghosts will stay that way or give up the ghost :P), though I would have loved see some unhealthy treats as well), pumpkins and carving them (which I tried last year for the first time and was a messy but fun activity), I had so much fun seeing Luke and Lottie's family go all out for Halloween.

Definitely adored that the dad also participated with dressing up. Quite often in books/movies/series I see parents just stroll around with the kids while wearing their normal outfit, but not this dad. He is dressing up as well and does quite a good job at it.

Luke and Lottie are dressed up as a ghost and witch. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with Luke's outfit. That is a ghost? Um? Sure? At least Lottie's outfit looked like a witch. Though it is a cute witch, and not a creepy one. :P

The trip through the neighbourhood was creepy fun. I love that everyone is doing such an effort for Halloween. *thumbs up*

All in all, a fabulous fun Halloween picture book that I would recommend to all. Maybe I will re-read this one during Halloween (though it will probably be next year as I will still remember this book this October). 

Review first posted at

4 Stars
ARC Review for The Kiddie Table

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

So we don’t have Thanksgiving where I live, but I still couldn’t resist this book. That cover just looked hilarious and I wanted to know the story behind that chaos.

Our MC is put at the kiddie table during Thanksgiving, and she is not having any of it! She is already old enough to do all sorts of things, and she doesn’t need a sippy cup! To make matters worse the other kids (way tinier) are making a mess. The girl can’t take it and explodes!

I just had such a laugh when she suddenly stood up and starting holding that speech. Not only because of how silly it looked, and how she was doing the same as the tinier kids (shout/scream/etc.), but also because the speech (and all the book) was in rhyme. Sorry, I just cannot take that serious. :P

Thankfully her speech is heard by the adults. I did like how the parents handled it. Not only by allowing that, but also telling her that shouting is not good and asking is preferable.

I didn’t understand why the parents gave her a sippy cup/kid-proof cutlery in the first part. I get that she was sat at the table with kids, but come on. It just felt like they were making fun of her. :|

The ending was pretty cute, and I am happy for her. Though I do hope that next time the parents make room for her.

The art was so-so. Mostly because there were quite a few unfinished illustrations. I get that this is a proof/ARC, but still it was a shame. Especially since I could see how pretty they would be in the finished illustrations. :(

All in all though I did like this rhyming book about Thanksgiving!

Review first posted at

4 Stars
ARC Review for Meet Yasmin!

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review!

Meet Yasmin, a tiny little girl with big plans!

This book consists out of 4 stories. In each story Yasmin is trying out something else!

First story: Yasmin the Explorer: 4 stars. Yasmin is going to make a map of the neighbourhood, she is going to be an explorer! This was just adorable. I know I did the same thing when I was a child. Making a map of my home and neighbourhood, exploring every nook and cranny of it.
Only then Yasmin and her mom go to the farmers’ market and that happens. Well, she has a map, but it doesn’t help out in this situation. I knew everything would be fine (after all it is a children’s book and there are more stories), but still I was worried. But all is well in the end. And Yasmin learned a big lesson. Maps are nice, but maybe mom’s are also handy to have with you when exploring.

Second story: Yasmin the Painter: 4 stars. Oh, a painting contest, how fun! Though, I guess not fun for everyone. If you know you can’t draw/paint, and you have to participate. And even your family is in to help… I can imagine that Yasmin isn’t too happy about it. But practice makes perfect, remember that! I am happy with her solution though, that is brilliant. It is still art, plus you are having fun doing it. Of course the ending was a bit of a letdown, sure it was a happy one, but it was so predictable.

Third story: Yasmin the Builder: 4 stars. It is time for a new project, time to build a city! But before one can build you have to plan and draw a sketch of what you want to make in the city. Yasmin’s mind is full with ideas, what to make, what to build? Then she sees her classmates build stuff already, stuff she also would have loved to make. I did feel for Yasmin, I know the feeling of having too many choices, or not knowing how to make something and then seeing others make something without seemingly any problems. But Yasmin is a creative little girl and she isn’t giving up. I just adored her idea, and I am happy that she managed to do all that without breaking the buildings.

Fourth story: Yasmin the Fashionista: 4 stars. What to do when one is bored? Hold a fashion show of course! And what to do when one is a bit clumsy? Try to fix it with lots of glitter and glue.

0.5 Stars
ARC Review for Scream Site

0.5 stars.  I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Good grief, this was just absolute boring and urghghghhh. I had the hardest time staying awake and getting through this book. I kept hoping and praying that it would get better, but oh no it didn’t. If anything it got more hilarious as the ending got closer, and boy it was anti-climatic as hell.

So, let’s start with the blurb, aka who the hell wrote this?
Sabrina Sebastian’s goal in life is to be an investigative reporter. True
For her first big story, she researches a popular website called Scream Site, where people post scary videos and compete for the most “screams.” **Semi-true, actually she is doing it for an internship. She has written numerous stories already, and is now looking for something that will entice the boss of that paper for an internship. **
While Sabrina’s friends and her sister, Faith, talk nonstop about the creepy viral videos, Sabrina just hopes that covering this trend will get her the internship she’s wishing for. **Wrong. Sabrina has only one friend and she doesn’t care that much about the site, she only knows about it from an article (and that article spurred Sabrina to investigate). Her sister did watch the videos, and also later uploads one, but to say she talks about it? No.**
But as she digs into the truth behind the website, she begins to suspect that these aren’t only aspiring actors and videographers at work. Some clips seem a little too real. ** Actually she knows this from the start. When she first checks out the videos.**
And when Faith goes missing, Sabrina must race against time to save her sister from becoming the next video “star.” **Hahaahahahahaha, you know this doesn’t happen until page 223, aka almost 85%? Yep, SPOILER ALERT. **

Now we have that blurb out of the way, the blurb that enticed me to read this book, let’s go to the book.

Say hello to Sabrina, a girl dedicated to becoming a great writer. To win an internship she has to write a big article, and she chooses a site called the Scream Site. There are various exciting rumours floating around about the site, ranging from murder to stalkers. As she continues investigating (and sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong) she gets further and further entangled. Not to say it was very exciting, as this girl just keeps on going on and on about the same things. She is pretty gung-ho about Asher (such a rookie mistake to just keep one suspect), even though I thought Asher was pretty cute and sweet and he really didn’t scream KILLER or KIDNAPPER.
Plus I loved how she didn’t care that people warned her that it may be a bad idea to actually do this, and how it took her to page 204 before she realised that maybe this is a bad idea. Then again, she turns around instantly a few pages later and just goes right ahead to investigate.
She also makes various other mistakes that could have gotten her into real danger.. 

Sure it was admirable that this girl kept on going and was dedicated to find those missing girls, but sometimes you just have to let it go, especially if you are 14 years old.

But you can also see what happens when the police don’t take you seriously (then again, that is to be expected, it is something so cliche). But I guess I would also be a bit hesitant to believe a 14-year old girl who just comes with some random evidence. But as I said, we later on see what happens due to this lack of faith.

Also given that Asher knew Sabrina’s name, I was actually hoping for something blooming between them.

The ending was highly anti-climatic. Like really, I wasn’t sure if I should be laughing, rolling around laughing, rolling my eyes, or fall asleep. Maybe I could do a mixture of it. Boy, I had expected some tension, some excitement, but instead I guess I could have expected given how sleepy/bland the whole book was.

I had a laugh at Evelyn when she tried to get her friend to stop investigating. First she talks about safety, and the next moment she talks about how Sabrina would get unpopular due to this. This girl needs to set her priorities straight.

There are a few moments of tension, but they quickly die away, and frankly I was done with this book on page 50, and at page 101 I was wondering how the hell I should continue this book.

Plus these, Sabrina says that her dad was very convincing on the whole: “You should be wary of who you chat with/and be careful on the internet.” Yet Sabrina’s sister just hooks up with some dude on the internet. And yes, I believe she may have known him, but really, I can also tell someone on the internet that I am x or y, it is so easy. So I was kind of rolling my eyes that she would be that stupid.

This could have been so exciting, this had all the potential (based on the blurb) for a terrific, exciting, creepy book. Amusement parks (especially abandoned ones) make for a terrific horror scene. Add to the mix kidnapping and maybe murder and it is perfection. Sad to see those terrific settings and subjects go to waste in this book.

NOT recommended. Not at all. I would kindly ask to have this book renamed to Yawn Site. And I am sure I could point out a few more things, but frankly I want to delete this book and get on with another, hopefully better, book.

Review first posted at

4.5 Stars
ARC Review for Bumble B. Mission Fun

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

This was just buzztastic! Meet Beatrice "Bumble B." Flinn, a sweet girl who love bees! She is also a giant klutz. Really, this girl would trip over a fly if it was flying in front of her. :P

This fun book has 3 stories, Halloween, Science Club, and Farmers' Market.
In the first one it is time for Halloween (I so wish we had Halloween like this) and Beatrice needs an outfit. But she has a very awesome plan! She isn't going as a normal bee, or no, she is a superhero. I just adored that she still made a bee outfit, but made it a bit more original than all the other bees. Though maybe her mom should have given her a smaller cape given that the poor thing kept falling face first into the ground or got stuck. I am also happy that she didn't give up or cried when people made remarks about her outfit. She just stayed strong, did a superhero pose and went on with trick or treating! In the end even her cape came in handy.

The next story is Science Club and that one started off pretty nice, but I felt sorry for Beatrice when she got partnered with 2 other kids instead of her friends. Especially since these two seemed to be quite rude/mean. It took Beatrice a while before they finally got a bit enthusiastic about stuff, and also started to be nice to her. I did like the change in the kids, they weren't the worst kids, they just needed some kindness. :)
I loved what kind of things they found for the club. Simple daily stuff that is easily overlooked.

The last story is about the Farmers' Market. Beatrice's parents sell honey at the market and Beatrice is coming with them. She doesn't mind it at all. This girl is unlike so many of her age group, she loves trying out new foods, helping out her friends. This time she is helping out her friend with making bouquets. It turned out to be quite hilarious as Beatrice bumbled through it (though I can imagine her hand must hurt, I know mine always hurts when elastics get snapped away).
I am not sure if I was all that happy with how they helped out. They played more, forgot about the chores, and also some other stuff. Sure, they are kids, but if you promise to help out do it right. But in the end I could forgive her, she did something very nice for the grandmother.

I guess the illustrations in this book aren't final? Or is it meant to be half black/white sketches and coloured in illustrations? Either way I did love them. They are so cute and they captured Beatrice and her friends and their adventures so well. Plus I adore the colours used!

Definitely would recommend this one, and I am hoping we will have more stories about Beatrice.

Review first posted at

4.5 Stars
ARC Review for The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

First up, I want to squeal again that I got accepted for this book. This is my first First Second book to be accepted for, and I am so so excited! Eep! 

Next, I hadn't expected this one to be the second book in the series. Since on Netgalley you can't see all the blurb unless you open the book page, I generally just read a few sentences of what I can read, see if I love the cover, and then request it. :P But I have to say that it wasn't at all that confusing to read this one even if one hasn't read the first book. You get some explanation on Margo Maloo, on the monsters, and on the previous case. 

In this one Charles is getting a deal with Margo, he will make some kind of monsterpedia, and Margo will give all the details, or at least the details that should be known, not everything, just the important things. The only thing, no adult can ever see it. And what better way to make such a guide/monsterpedia then by going outside and go on cases with Margo? Oh my goodness. I just adored that she did this. It is also my favourite way of showing people something, but also my way of learning something. By seeing it with my own eyes. Not getting a whole text and get bored. 

We see them pick up some coffee (information) and a newspaper (more information). Dang Margo certainly has her network. I loved it. That she tries to help people (or at least kids) with monster problems, but also keeps in contact with monsters. Quite often it is one or the other. 

The abandoned house, the first case, I first thought, just like Charles, that these kids were just pranksters, as these were pretty much pranks any kid would do to anyone. I was happy to see what was the actual conclusion to it. Plus I actually felt sorry for the creature. I can imagine that he wasn't happy. I had quite a laugh at the reaction of the kids living in the home (they were so impressed). 

The next case, which also brought Charles' name for the website/organisation, took place in a creepy mall. With vampires! And a new character, Olivia, a girl I quite loved from the moment she showed up. I just adored her design. Also can I say that I just adore the vampires? They FLOAT. Like I never expected vampires to just float. I know they can fly, and also change into bats, but just float as if they don't know how to walk? Wow! And their designs are just all so fancy and punk.
Bonus points to them being that kind of vampire. Of course they aren't the first to be that, but I haven't heard of a vampire who lives with just that kind food. Plus I liked that they choose it for themselves, they wanted to set themselves apart from their parents and the adults.
I also liked that they were different from normal, or standard, vampire requirements. These vampires show up in mirrors and cameras. Which of course bring a big load of trouble with them given that almost everyone these days have a phone, and a way to post things on the internet. You don't want people to discover your secret hideout, especially when one is a monster.

And then there is the epilogue, in which Margo tries to find the little imp's family. I really loved how much effort she put into helping the imp. Plus the ending made me very curious for the next volume. What is up with that threat? Who is threatening Margo. Is it human or monster?

I found tow errors in my copy, on page 53 of my copy, the text bubbles are all empty. :( 
And page 84 is not yet rightly coloured and also misses text. 

I didn't particularly like how Margo was so anti-adult. I wonder what happened in her life that made her so distrustful of adults. Maybe something that was mentioned in the first book? Or something that will still be shown later?

Bonus points to the ending which has some information on monsters. Done in a fabulous way, like it really came out of an old file cabinet, the paper is old, there are additions to the information, there are drawings, the text is typed out by way of type writer. I love it!

I loved the art style, it just fitted perfectly with the story and how I envisioned Margo's cases. 

All in all, I need more Margo Maloo, I need more monsters, I need more cases. I would recommend this one. And again, you don't need to have read book 1. 

Review first posted at

4.5 Stars
ARC Review for Glow in the Dark: Voyage through Space

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

OMG, this was even better than I had hoped. What I had expected (given the cover): lots of gorgeous space photography as we travel our universe. Instead we travel the universe with a sweet girl, her dog, and absolutely stunning illustrations! 

Come explore with the girl and her dog as we travel from the sun (hot hot hot) to the last one, the Kuiper Belt (which features Pluto). I loved finding the girl in the illustrations, sometimes she was quite tiny so you had to look around. I loved that she at times, if the planet allowed it, was seen stepping on the planet. And at times she was just sitting and relaxing on an asteroid. 

What I did think was a shame was that they clumped Earth and Moon together. I kind of get why they did it, as the girl came from Earth. But I would have liked to see her take a pit stop in between her journey and tell us about Earth. Or maybe end it with Earth? Though that would be kind of weird as we go from Sun to Kuiper Belt, but I guess in the end would make sense. 

Each planet (or belt) has a short story and all sorts of fun facts spread around the illustrations. Some facts were a bit hard to read, but generally they were easily readable (sometimes they were in a box). 

The illustrations are just gorgeous! Really stunning. 

I just wish I could see the Glow in the Dark poster (and in real life or else it wouldn't work of course).

All in all, I would highly recommend this fun, delightful, and did I mention stunningly gorgeous book to everyone.

Review first posted at

5 Stars
ARC Review for The Music Box - Volume 1: Welcome to Pandorient by Carbone

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Wow, this was just wow. I had high hopes for this one based on the cover, and then I started reading. I just adored this one, believe me it will grab you and not let you go until the end of the story (and then you just want more).

Say hello to Nola. She just turned 8 years old and has been given something that belonged to her mother, a small snowglobe/music box. Nola quickly finds out that the music box is much more special beside looking gorgeous. It contains a world filled with people (humans and non-humans). Nola is being called in to help (in a way that had me laughing, especially her reaction upon seeing the call for help) and thus begins the story.

Nola was such a fun character, though I did feel sorry for her once we find out that her mom has gone (I am guessing that means she died).
I thought Nola was very brave. Many people wouldn't have done what she does in this story. She kept going and thinking of solutions, she tried her best to help out her new friends and their mother. 

As the story continues we find out more about the world Nola entered, Pandorient. We find out that it is a pretty strict world despite looking absolutely peaceful and gorgeous. There are rules everywhere, and people call on some sort of police-kind of force (even for something like someone having a relationship with someone they shouldn't have a relationship with). Which is kind of creepy and gave me flashbacks to Russia and Germany during certain times in history.
Plus, Nola, isn't all too welcome and has to be hidden. Nope, this world looks gorgeous but there is a lot going on and I am quite curious as to who rules this world and if it was always unfriendly towards strangers. Plus I do want to see more of the world in general as it looks pretty dang gorgeous. How big is this world? Just this one city? Or is there a whole world that one can explore should they choose to? And how did it come to be in the globe/music box or how did it start to exist? Hopefully we will get more answers in the next volumes.

There was also a hint of mystery, namely how did Andrea's mom get sick? What is going on with the water? Is it the water? It was quite fun to see the kids (Igor, Nola, Andrea) try to figure out what was going on and if they could fix things. 

The ending was great, and we have a new item that will give more information on Nola's mom and Pandorient. 

And then there was the return, and yes, I have to say I sniffled a bit at how sweet the dad is. Aww!

The art was just amazing, as I said I loved the cover already, but the art inside is just as gorgeous. 

All in all, I need more Pandorient. I need more of this series. It was just too good. I would highly recommend this one to everyone.

Review first posted at

3 Stars
Review for Mia & Co #1

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I had expectations for this one, the blurb especially seemed to mention something in the way of that Mia's group of friends (all boys) was about to change as they were growing up. I was looking forward to seeing how the group would handle it, if they would fall apart, or not? And also how Mia was going to be changing. Sadly though, I didn't see anything changing about the group or things getting complicated. Or at least, not major things. I saw small things, like Mia suddenly having a different kind of interest in Gauthier (though I have no clue if that was like > love or just a bigger kind of friendship), Mia at times fell a bit out of place in the group (but only a bit, most of the time the guys accepted her fully), the boys getting girl attention (and Mia having to be the messenger). So yeah, a bit of a shame. I was quite curious as I have seen friendships fall apart due to girls and boys mixing up. Boys or girls suddenly falling for their best friend, or that they would rather form a group with other of the same gender. Or that due to bodies changing they will act differently around each other. Not to mention how people outside view having boys as friends. I have had enough boys as friends, nothing more, but for some reason people often assumed we were dating or something else. Um, no. So that is what I kind of expected from this. Seeing a close-knitted friendship change due to people growing up. 

In fact I was mostly bored while reading as it was just Mia and her friends playing games, watching movies (from romance to horror), trying to go to a concert, going to school. We see that Mia has trouble at school, not only her grades are pretty terrible, but she also has troubles with connecting with the other girls (to which I could relate oh so much). 

I found the boys way more interesting than Mia. Sorry Mia. You are a nice gal, and at times quite fun, but I wouldn't have minded if we had gotten more POV's. Like Zouz, or Garthier's POV. 

I did like that Mia found a hobby she wanted to pursue. I would have loved to see that video she made.

The art? Not entirely my favourite. It did remind me a lot of Code Lyoko. 

The ending? Eh, not too happy with it. Are cliffhangers really needed? I never like them. Not in books I love (as you always have to wait) nor in books I didn't quite like (as you don't want to continue the series, but yet you do want to know how things continue). 

So yeah, not entirely what I was expecting, and it took me hours to get through this. Every time I had a small moment of nothing happening I read a few pages. 

Review first posted at

0.5 Stars
ARC Review for Tokyo Tarareba Girls Vol.1

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Wow, this was just so shitty that I wish I hadn't laid my eyes on it. I adore Akiko Higashimura's other manga: Princess Jellyfish (I should really get the rest of the volumes as I am super behind). I was kind of hoping that this one would be just as fun, just as wow. I was delighted when I spotted it on Netgalley as I have been hoping to read it for some time now.

Sorry if this review is a bit chaotic, I am really raging and fuming about all the crap. :|

However this was just the worst. Rinko? Terrible terrible character. All she and her friends do is drink through the night, complain about all the things (mostly men and sometimes work), make fun of things, whine, whine and whine. Oh and drink. Drink until fucking oblivion when Rinko sees talking food. Then again, maybe she doesn't necessarily need to be drunk for that, instead just be herself. That talking stuff was really not helping the terribleness of the manga.
And whine she does. Oh boohoo, I need to find a husband, because it is totally not normal to be 30 and single/not married. /sarcasm *rolls her eyes* But instead of actually doing an effort to find a cute guy she constantly drinks (funnily, apparently her friends have various forms of alarms, it is that the author added that the manga as clarification, otherwise I would have thought that there was only the fourth alarm until about 113 pages in when we finally get another alarm kind, but which also means drink drink drink until death). And no, I am not against drinking, but every night? Just because you had a shitty day? Which is apparently all of the days given that I don't really get a clear image on how the days go by. Alcoholism ahoy?

I am sure if she actually did a bit of an effort, maybe went to other places than karaoke or the pub, and maybe act a little less over the top dumb (and drunk), she could easily find a good guy. She is strong-willed, looks cute/nice, is smart. I know that there is a Rinko there, under all the stupidity and idiocy, who is a good girl, and who could easily get a ton of cute guys. And maybe she should gain some confidence because she bases her No one wants me on two guys and oh yes, that one party she went to. Girl, please, do you really think that you will find your dream guy that fast? There are tons of fish in the ocean, and unless you have actually tried more of them I don't want to hear you whine about it. Plus she keeps going on and on about how she can't find a guy. Gee, did you even try?

There is one time that they actually make an effort, but I will give you one guess on what happened. *snorts*

Then there is Key. An asshole. Truly. He instantly judges the ladies when he comes across them in the bar, calls them names, and also makes some very judgemental opinions known. Not to mention that when Rinko has to add him to the tv show she wrote, he acts like a total jackass. Telling her that her writing is boring. Sure, he does show he cares... somewhere... but sorry, I just wouldn't want him and Rinko getting together. 

Then there is that time the girls called all Japanese men pedo, especially hinting at Hayasaka-san falling for someone who is a fucking adult, but 12/13 years younger than him. What the actual hell? And they keep going on and on about it. Such hypocrisy, because I know for sure that if they had a chance? They would take it with a 19 year old guy. (view spoiler)

Oh, and who the hell buys a 500 euro dress. o.0 I am sure guys are also happy with cheaper clothes, they probably won't even notice. :P

But the art was pretty fabulous, so at least this wasn't a total loss. Too bad about the rest though. 
I am not going to read this series further. Bah. I need some werewolf romance to get rid of the bad taste this one left. 

Review first posted at