Lives of Magic – Lucy Leiderman.

4.5/5 stars.

Overall, this is a very readable book. It took me perhaps a third of the book to really buy the plot and be pulled in by it, but that was mostly because the word “magicians” threw me off. The connotations of “magicians” versus “sorcerers” (which I think would’ve been a better fit for those who were known as magicians in this book) – that may have been something Ms. Leiderman should have thought about, since – to me at least – magicians are the quacks at carnivals and such, and sorcerers are the workers of magic in fantasy worlds. However, the protagonist’s disbelief in the entire idea of the story helped the reader believe the story, so that was a clever twist of Ms. Leiderman’s.

I really enjoyed Gwen’s voice throughout the novel. She seemed like a very down-to-earth 17-year-old girl, although the depth of her love for Kian was a little unbelievable. I kept thinking to myself, “Is this really how a 17-year-old would feel?” but I guess it’s possible. I was grateful, though, that the romance didn’t take a front seat, and that more stock was placed in the adventure of trying to find the fellow magic-wielders across the globe.

My one complaint is that the ending felt a bit rushed. And the fact that Kian didn’t say goodbye before he left?! That broke my heart. I wish that he would’ve been able to say goodbye to Gwen at least, if she meant that much to him… and the way that no one knows what he meant by “I’m going home” because his true home is in the past… ahh, so sad.

However, overall, a definite good read. It was very absorbing and I’d recommend it to pretty much anyone with an interest in a quirky cast of characters, lots of actions, some romance, and some pretty cool uses of magic. Well done, Ms. Leiderman, for a very readable novel that I hope will be the beginning of a series!!


Many thanks to Dundurn, via Netgalley, for the opportunity to read and review this book.


Soon – Charlotte Grimshaw.

3/5 stars.

While I think that this book may appeal to some readers, it was a little too political for me to really enjoy. The characters were well drawn in that I could imagine them easily, the dialogue believable (for the most part), but I just couldn’t relate to the characters. I can’t really explain why I couldn’t relate to them – I think it had something to do with the difference between countries as well as just the huge difference between the lives of the opulently rich, as in the book, and me.

I don’t believe that this book is suited for younger adults (as in, 18-22ish, new adult I guess – not YA). It would more suit those who have dealt more with politics, who have been in the working world for awhile, and who can relate, perhaps, to the more sordid details of adult lives. Or, perhaps, this book would be good for those who don’t mind reading about affairs and messy relationships, messy beyond the norm.

Many thanks to Random House UK, Vintage Publishing, through NetGalley, for an opportunity to read and review this book.

Slumber – Tamara Blake.

4/5 stars.

When I picked up this book, I was ready for an interesting read based on the blurb. However, nothing prepared me for the utter darkness of the inhabitants of Cottingley Heights. This story is quite dark, in my opinion, and deals with pretty depressing topics that I would only recommend to the older end of YA readers. To me, this story would be a little too scary for younger YA readers – but it is very interesting, and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it.

Ruby is a very likable protagonist, and her family is very sweet. Tam is likable as well, although the further the reader progresses into the story, the less s/he is inclined to trust Tam and those at Cottingley Heights. I think that Ms. Blake really captured the essence of a small family, though, in creating Ruby’s family – the closeness of Ruby to her younger sister, Shelley, and the hard-working mom who always tries to provide for her daughters, even doing the worst of jobs to keep them fed and clothed.

The only problem that I had with this book was its ending. As far as I know, this is not the beginning of a series, and I feel like a sequel – or even an epilogue – would have been appropriate. It’ssuch a feel-good ending… right until the last few paragraphs. It just left me hanging, wondering what actually happens after the last paragraph. But overall, yes, 4/5 stars. Well done, Ms. Blake, for writing a fascinating novel that takes a look at the darker side of magic.

Many thanks to Diversion Books via NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.