Hotel Dare Review

Hotel Dare by Terry Blas and Claudia Aguirre

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Not entirely sure how this book got under my radar, but the amazing Bec sent it as a gift form my wishlist and I couldn’t wait long to get into it and read through. (She also sent an awesome super soft fox eye mask and I love it!)

Three adoptive siblings are sent to visit their grandmother at her hotel, who is slightly enstranged for their father (her son). The siblings each ahve their own personal things to work through and it doesn’t help that grandma Lupe seems to be just giving them chores and not much more.

But one day while cleaning, they discover that the rooms are portals to other worlds! Each of them ends in a differnet world and when grandma finds out, chaos ensues.

I like the mysticism in the book and the idea of the different portals and how they came to be. However as much as I enjoyed it, at the beginning it was too confusing and wasn’t grasing my attention enough and instead it just felt like it was trying hard to be mysterious and not saying things just to have a plot (which to be fair, given the actual plot and what happens, was a little unnecessary and I wish it had been approached differently).

However I liked the way things slowly fall inot place for each of the siblings and their own personal issues, plus the secrets grandma Lupe keeps and why there are portals in the old hotel. It places family at the core of the story, not just blood/biological but family that is found or made through life, which sometimes isn’t valued at the same value in books and I felt like this did it justice.

A fun graphic novel to read and have a crazy adventure with portals and family at the core of it.

The Way of the House Husband Vol 1 Review

The Way of the Household Husband Vol 1 Review

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Ok, the best way to tell you about this is to let you watch this video, but if you watch it you probably won’t need to read my review to know about the book.

I thought the idea of an ex-yakuza boss becoming a house husband was intriguing and would do for a lot of fun. And it definitely does. He takes his house chores very very seriously. It isn’t just the cooking or the cleaning, but even going to a sale and shopping and the best part is that he is good at it.

But it isn’t just that he is a house husband and that he takes his chores seriously, we also meet his wife (and kinda understand why he chose this new path and calling) and we meet an an ex “colleague” who is still part of the yakuza but struggling without the “boss”. This ensues in hilarious interactions. There is so much fun between our main character just trying to be a man and have a clean home and present his wife with delicious food, and his past trying hard to catch up with him.

And it does try a few times.

I giggled a lot at this and remembered how much I enjoy silly comedy in manga and I haven’t seen this take before, so I had a blast!

So, if you want a laugh about super “intensive” yakuza version of being a the one in charge of house chores, this is a brilliant funny read to enjoy!

Witch for a Week Review

Witch for a Week by Kaye Umansky and Illustrated by Ashley King

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

More #Februwitchy books, and this oen was definitely one I saw Asha talk about and bought the first two, forgot about them in my middle grade shelf and dug them out for the readathon.

What a great gem they are! Once I finished Witch for a Week, I ordered books 3 and 4 so I could keep reading them, because I needed more. That good was it.

Elsie Pickles lives a “boring” simple life helping her dad in their shop and living by Customer Service rules. I have done customer service and I loved the rules. They were just so eprfectly encompasisng of the whole how to deal with customers. It made this book dearer to me. But then she gets to “house sit” for the local witch.

The house is actually a tower with a personality, and it comes with a snarky obnoxious raven, and some fun visitors who befriend Elsie. And then there is the fact that part of the offer meant more books for Elsie to read, and maybe some magic may happen. Even if Elsie isn’t too sure about it.

It was just very fun to read the story, meet the characters who come to the door and do some shenanigans. It was great to just escape to the tower (I want a tower that gives me cake or whatever I want when I knock on the larder/cupboard). The perfect mixture of cute and fun and magical in a book.

Under a Dancing Star Review

Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood

In grey, 1930s England, Bea has grown up kicking against the conventions of the time, all the while knowing that she will one day have to marry someone her parents choose – someone rich enough to keep the family estate alive. But she longs for so much more – for adventure, excitement, travel, and maybe even romance.

When she gets the chance to spend the summer in Italy with her bohemian uncle and his fiancée, a whole world is opened up to Bea – a world that includes Ben, a cocky young artist who just happens to be infuriatingly handsome too. Sparks fly between the quick-witted pair until one night, under the stars, a challenge is set: can Bea and Ben put aside their teasing and have the perfect summer romance?

With their new friends gleefully setting the rules for their fling, Bea and Ben can agree on one thing at least: they absolutely, positively will not, cannot fall in love…

A long, hot summer of kisses and mischief unfolds – but storm clouds are gathering across Europe, and home is calling. Every summer has to end – but for Bea, this might be just the beginning.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

It seems to me that Laura is set on making me love her books on things I do not like. She did it first with A Sky Painted Gold, a “Gatsby” like kind of book (I do not like Gatsby at all), and now she’s done it with Under a Dancing Star for Shakespeare.

Her ideas are a different take on things, for Under a Dancing Star, she asks, “What made Bea and Ben in Much Ado About Nothing, get to that point where the play starts?” and she does it masterfully. Not only for the main two characters, but for the whole ensemble, and I loved it deeply.

There is a lot of care into the fashion part and on setting the scene and the feel for it, which is also delightful and makes you feel like you’re there chatting with the artists, sharing a lazy dinner with them.

The banter and teasing between Bea and Ben is glorious! I laughed a lot throughout the book and also giggled and smiled. Oh, if I had the guts Bea does. And maybe a younger me did have some of that. Plus it is nice to see her blossom into herself rather than stay in the shell of what her parents want for and from her.

Highly recommended alongside A Sky Painted Gold.

Moonstruck Vol 2. Some Enchanted Evening Review

Moonstruck Volume 2: Some Enchanted Evening by Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle

Werewolf barista Julie and her supernatural friends try to unwind at a party, but a conniving fraternity of fairy bros has other plans for our heroes. With one of their friends trapped in the frat house and the winter solstice (a notable night of magical mischief) looming ever-closer, it’s up to the amorous werewolves and gregarious centaur to save the day.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I read the first volume for Moonstruck a while ago, and enjoyed it so much that I preordered the second volume. (And somehow didn’t review it here, oh shame on me!)

They had me at the Newpals (a Neopets alternative in this universe). I loved Neopets, and it was part of my tweens/teens so much, I still go visit my pets (I have a rare Lutari for example, that I worked hard to catch on Lutari day). And basically, there is a small plot line about Newpals, and it made me all soft and reminded me of so many happy times.

But the story in general is about a party they end up with adn complications, plus there is a lot of figuring out how things work and relationships should work between the characters (not just romantic relationships, by the way). But this is all explored in a really cute, funny way. I adore the characters and how unique and special each one is, plus despite not reading the previous volume to 2catch up” or “refresh” I still thoroughly enjoyed this and it jolted my memory without having “recaps”.

There’s some new developments about characters that make it amusing, and there’s the whole take on frat parties but with fairies. Yes, you read that right! It was just a blast to read, a cuddly funny but also very real story (yes, I know it is all in a magical world, but that doesn’t take anything from it).