Little Girls by Ronald Malfi

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was not familiar with Ronald Malfi’s work when I received the opportunity to review Little Girls, but the premise was intriguing. By the end of the book, I had become a fan and will be seeking out more of Malfi’s books.

Little Girls is the story of Laurie Genarro, who has returned to her childhood home after her father’s passing. He was an old man, but there was nothing natural about the manner in which he died. Laurie moves into the house with her husband and daughter, with the intention of preparing the old home for sale. Her father’s caretakers tell Laurie about her father’s ranting in the throes of his dementia, and she can’t help but wonder if there was any truth to his fear. What if something was trying to get into the house? Laurie is also unsettled by her daughter’s new friend; Abigail looks exactly like her own childhood friend Sadie, who died thirty years ago. Read more

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China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Two years ago, I read Kevin Kwan’s debut novel, Crazy Rich Asians. It was a delightful romp through Singapore (and other locations) that featured some of the wealthiest people in the world. When I found out that a sequel was coming out, I placed a request at the library months in advance. China Rich Girlfriend arrived about a week after its release, and I was very excited about diving right into the book.

China Rich Girlfriend features an ensemble cast of characters, most of whom appeared in the first book. While there are many subplots, the main story features Rachel Chu. In the first book, she was forced to dodge accusations that she was a marrying her fiancé for his money. How could this be true when she had no idea that Nick belonged to one of Singapore’s wealthiest families? Nick’s mother Eleanor has returned, and she has managed to track down Rachel’s father. Even though Rachel and Nick are content to live typical American lives (they both work as professors), they find themselves flying to Shanghai to get to know Rachel’s father and his family. Read more

Antebellum Awakening by Katie Cross

I was provided with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Antebellum Awakening is the second novel in Katie Cross’ The Network series. The story begins two months after the events of Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, and culminates with protagonist Bianca’s seventeenth birthday. Please proceed with caution if you have not read MMSFG– it’s difficult to discuss the plot of Antebellum Awakening without discussing the events of MMSFG. Read more

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

I was interested in A School for Unusual Girls from the moment that I first read about it on Goodreads. I immediately made a request at the library, and was thrilled when it arrived a few days later. This young adult novel was written by Kathleen Baldwin.

Miss Georgiana is a clever girl. In fact, she is deemed to be more clever than a girl ought to be in Regency England. She wins all the card games she plays because she counts the cards, and she once injured her arm jumping out of a window to see if she could replicate Da Vinci’s flying wings. But the last straw occurs when she sets fire to her father’s stables. It was an accident, of course; Georgie was trying to make an invisible ink, but she is packed off and sent to Stranje House. The headmistress, Miss Stranje, has a reputation of being able to tame her unruly charges, transforming them into model students, poised to take their place in Proper Society. The school is rumored to use ruthless discipline to achieve their end goal, and poor Georgie is terrified and wants no part of this new reality. Read more

The Isadora Interviews by Katie Cross

I was provided with a copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review.

I recently read Miss Mabel’s School For Girls by Katie Cross. This is a young adult fantasy novel about a girl named Bianca who is desperate to remove a curse from her family. If she cannot remove the curse, she will die on her 17th birthday. Bianca enrolls in Miss Mabel’s School with the hopes of being able to undo the curse. I absolutely fell in love with Miss Mabel’s School and the world of The Network. So when I received an opportunity to review the other books in the series, I was very excited.

The Isadora Interviews is a short novella that takes place before the events of Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. I would say that readers need to have read MMSFG before reading The Isadora Interviews in order to have a better familiarity with the characters. Read more

Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat by Deborah Underwood

My three girls fell in love with Cat over a year ago when we borrowed Here Comes the Easter Cat from the library. This book was followed by Here Comes Santa Cat around the holiday season. These delightful picture books were written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda.

Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat is the third entry in the series. At the beginning of the book, Cat has just received a coin from the tooth fairy. Cat is disappointed that he didn’t get to meet her, so he hatches a scheme to trick the tooth fairy by giving her a tooth from a comb. Everyone knows you can’t trick the Tooth Fairy, and she sends Cat a note. If Cat can help her with some deliveries, he can meet her. Cat is joined by a mouse that also tried to trick the Tooth Fairy. Cat is usually thinking of ways to benefit himself- can he work together with Mouse to make those deliveries? And will Cat ever get to meet the Tooth Fairy? Read more

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

After we finished listening to Paddington, my girls and I listened to the Audible edition of Pippi Longstocking in the car as we drove around town on errands. I grew up with Pippi- even before the 1988 movie- and I was excited about sharing Pippi with them.

Pippi Longstocking is a unique little girl, who is probably best known for her bright red pigtails that stick straight up and her incredible strength. At the beginning of the story, Pippi has just moved into Villa Villekulla, a house in a little town in Sweden. Pippi lives all by herself- her mother has passed away, and her sea captain father was blown away in a storm. Pippi is not completely alone: she has a little monkey named Mr. Nilsson and a horse. Read more

City of Darkness and Light by Rhys Bowen

I first discovered Rhys Bowen when I read one of her Royal Spyness mysteries. After tearing through all eight of the Royal Spyness mysteries, I turned my attention to her Molly Murphy mysteries. This series takes place in New York City during the early years of the 20th century and features a plucky young Irish American woman named Molly Murphy.

City of Darkness and Light is the thirteenth Molly Murphy mystery. By this point, Molly has married handsome police captain Daniel Sullivan, and their son Liam is a healthy and happy baby. When their home is attacked, Daniel sends Molly and Liam to Paris to keep them safe. Molly is excited about the prospect of staying with her friends Sid and Gus, who are having a grand adventure. But when she arrives in the city, the ladies are not in their rented apartment. As Molly, who became ill during the crossing, struggles to find her way in an unfamiliar city, she becomes involved with investigating the murder of a famous artist. Molly finds herself with two mysteries to solve- can she find her friends and catch a ruthless criminal? Read more

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I picked up I’ll Give You the Sun when it was the Audible Daily Deal. I had it checked out from the library at the time, so I was very excited to get the audiobook. I’ll Give You the Sun is a young adult novel written by Jandy Nelson.

This is the story of a pair of twins who live in California. Noah narrates half of the story, which takes place a couple of years in the past. Jude narrates the other half, which takes place in the present day when the twins are 16 years old.

When Noah narrates, he is a gifted young artist with a quirky way of looking at the world. He is also falling in love with the boy next door, who is home from boarding school for the summer. Noah has plans to apply to the special art school, but his twin sister isn’t interested. She is much more interested in surfing and hanging out with the popular crowd. Read more

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross

I received this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When I first saw the title Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, I imagined a Victorian or Edwardian setting, with the addition of some magic to liven things up. I was pleasantly surprised by magical world of The Network, which has regions with varying topography and factions with shifting alliances that make up Antebellum.

Bianca is a sixteen-year-old witch who has just enrolled at Miss Mabel’s School, an official Network school for the instruction of witchcraft. In this regard, it is not unlike that other famous school for witchcraft and wizardry. Young witches attend the school for three years, choosing a course of study best suited to their individual talents. Read more