Last month was my birthday and I have officially hit my 30’s. How did that happen?

It’s hard to wrap my brain around no longer being in my 20’s. It’s not that I feel old, it’s just that my life has been shifting in ways I never considered. Like all of a sudden I noticed I’m no longer the youngest person in the room. It’s strange that I noticed that and it’s not that I care that I’m no longer in the “young” crowd. It’s just different, you know?

So on a cheerier note I got a pile of books to celebrate turning the big 3-0 and now I’m going to review them for you! My love of books is one thing that hasn’t changed over the last three decades:)

So you want to be a wizard?

This is the first book in the Young Wizard series and from the description I was anticipating really liking it. Unfortunately in the end it wasn’t my favorite. I did like how the book mixes science and magic in an interesting way, building a rich fantasy world over modern day New York. It’s one of those books that slowly peels back layers as the story unfolds, revealing more about the world in the book while leaving you knowing there is even more underneath.

My biggest problem was I found the story slow and at times hard to follow. I’m pretty good at rolling with a story even if it can be vague. But with this one I would find myself rereading parts just to make sure I didn’t miss something that could explain what just happened. It just wasn’t for me and I don’t plan on continuing the series.


Goldenhand is the fifth book in Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series. If you have never read this series then you should, it is AMAZING! I read the first three books in high school and it has remained one of my favorite book series of all time. I waited years for a continuation to come out and there were squeals and somersaults going on in my living room when I finally held it in my hands.

Let me just say that even though I really liked it, Goldenhand is not as good as the original trilogy. I can’t compare it to the prequel, Clariel, since I shamefully have yet to read it. (I know, bad bad me.) But Goldenhand does not reach the brilliance of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen. The relationship between Nicholas and Lirael felt rushed. Other characters also didn’t get the attention they deserved. However the plot was good and it was nice to get a little more of Lirael’s story and revisit the Old Kingdom.

Cruel Beauty

I love a good fairy tale retelling and Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite so that alone made this a book I was likely to enjoy. A nice twist was the addition of elements from Greek mythology as well as other fairy tales like Rumpelstiltskin and Bluebeard.

But I was left feeling a little breathless by the end. It’s the kind of book that throws a lot at you without always giving an explanation. It felt a little like I was playing a game I didn’t know all the rules for. Though I suppose that’s how the characters felt throughout the story so maybe the reader is supposed to feel that way, too.


Love this book! I found it charmingly quirky and just plain fun. I’m a fan of Sherlock Holmes and paranormal stories so Jackaby was the perfect mix. Throw in an intelligent female protagonist, witty banter and funny characters like a resident ghost and sentient duck in the attic and all I can say is YES!

However the mystery was not in fact all that mysterious. It was pretty obvious whodunit halfway through the book. But the paranormal aspect kept things interesting, and again the characters were more than enough to keep me entertained and wanting more. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

Red Rope of Fate

I love this book and I love this author! (Admittedly though, the cover is rather terrible) K.M. Shea just has a way of creating characters I want to be best friends with. Tari and Arion are so adorable and funny. An elf and a human trying to navigate the pitfalls of differing cultures/languages to forge a stronger bond between their two races. Of course they fall in love along the way and that just complicates things.

I first read Red Rope of Fate last year on Kindle Unlimited and loved it so much I checked it out several more times. When I saw it was being offered in print for a limited time I jumped to order it and am so glad I now have a physical copy. It’s a sweet, quick read that I go back to when I want something light and cheery. I highly recommend checking out K.M. Shea’s other books as well, in particular her Timeless Fairy Tales.




My Bookshelf Lately

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