Book Review: Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel


Title: Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel
Author: A.W. Jantha
Genre: YA Paranormal
Released in: 2018
Pages: 528
My Rating: 1.5 stars

Synopsis: The famous Hocus Pocus movie put into novel form, and then it’s highly anticipated sequel!

My Thoughts: Terrible, simply terrible! I think this is like, the worst book I’ve ever read. I really really want to rate it 1 star (which I’ve NEVER rated a book!), but I can’t even do that, because the first part won’t let me. Gah. I actually really liked the first part, the novelization of Hocus Pocus. I mean, it was pretty spot on, exact, word for word, the same as the movie. And because I love the movie, I of course, loved this too! It even stuck in a slight few more tidbits…thoughts to base reasoning of things that happened in the movie. It was great, and it got me hyped for the sequel portion, which may be part of why it was such a let down, though it also did that pretty well on it’s own. From the very start, I was not enthralled with the story, or where our characters were in their lives, in relation to Halloween and their familial history with the Sanderson sisters. I don’t know what I expected, even…and I tried to keep an open mind, to see where it would go. It was just boring, really, though…until the ended up actually getting to Halloween night and meeting the witches. And even then, halfway through the actual action portion of the sequel (the last….half? of the book), I skimmed a lot to just get done. I didn’t like the witches’ portrayals…you really saw Mary and Sarah so much less, their roles very unimportant, and they felt very unimportant to Whinny. Whinny felt much meaner. I didn’t like Max and Allison’s kid, she was such a waffler, until the witches were slapping her in the face, and the rest were just as bad. The whole story starts off with no backstory to how it is happening and took some crazy turns that just…blah. By the time we were getting to the climax, I was ready to be done. The book was SO LONG.


I received this ARC from NetGalley for free, in exchange for an honest review.


DNF: August and Everything After


Title: August and Everything After

Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Pages: 320

DNF at page: 83

Synopsis: A girl goes off to the shore to stay with her aunt for the summer. She’ll be a senior next year, and graduating, moving on with life. But she has no idea what to do with the rest of her life, let alone after graduation. She meets a musician at the beach, who is in somewhat of the same boat.

My Thoughts: I had to go look up the synopsis of this book. Of what I did read, I still couldn’t even think of single thing that happened…but for there was music involved. I’m not big on the music scene/musician plots, and it’s hard for me to get into this book. I made the mistake of looking at some other reviews, and heard that it’s pretty fast instalove, and those 2 combined I just couldn’t keep interested. I didn’t get very far before I found I hadn’t picked the book up in a week, nor could I remember anything I read.

I appreciate the chance to review this ARC copy from NetGalley.

Book Review: Cascading Petals *Trigger Warnings*

CPTitle: Cascading Petals

Author: Jane C. Brady

Genre: YA? Romance

Release Date: December 7, 2017

Pages: 259

My Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: A senior in high school is a loner, bullied all her years of school. She has no friends, and no allies to turn to. The new boy proves not to be so shallow, and they become friends, showing Jewel that she is not alone, and even strong enough to help others that feel they’re in the same kind of place.

My Thoughts: By the end, I really loved this book. It took a bit at first to be hooked. I felt, at the beginning, that the situation we are dropped into, with a senior in high school being so severely bullied, for seemingly no reason, was a bit unrealistic.

Jewel is constantly bullied all her years of school. This is despite her being beautiful, smart, and coming from a good, healthy family, and a large enough school, that not everyone knows everyone else. In small schools, I can *maybe* see a situation like this (at the start of the book, Jewel’s status in school) happening, but I feel it’s very unlikely. There’s seemingly NO reason for anyone to not like this girl! She’s written this way purely to make the plot work. After the first quarter to third of the book, the cheesiness and unrealistic details are finally not so prominent, and it gets much better.

One thing that irks me a bit is this “insta friend/love-ship” desire. The new boy initially runs into her at a coffee shop by accidentally grabbing her coffee, instead of his own, and taking a drink of it. He immediately apologizes, buys her a new one, and while waiting, he asks a total of 4 questions, 2 of which concerned the coffee. The other 2 were about if she went to the local high school, and if he’d see her around later. All of which she was very stand offish, and answered with short, one word answers, and left. Anyone else would have written it completely off and figured nothing of it, but for some reason, he’s *enthralled with this gorgeous girl* and can’t stop thinking of her. Pah-lease. AND THEN, the barista just informs this random stranger of her full name!!! On the first day of school, when they run into each other, they make easy, joking conversation like they’re friends already. They just come into that easy friendship way too easily and quickly for reality. And I don’t know why, but I did not like it at all. ANYways…

There are **MAJOR TRIGGERS** for bullying and suicide, also a little self harm.

For my minimal knowledge in such subjects, I feel like this book does a really good job of showing how bullying can affect teenagers, and how that alone, just words or direct injury, can lead someone to committing suicide. It also covers, at least a little bit, how suicide is a selfish thing that doesn’t consider the pain of those on the outside goes through, afterwards.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for free, in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Summer Constellations


Title: Summer Constellations

Author: Alisha Sevigny

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Pages: 264

My Rating: 4.25 stars

Synopsis: A teenage girl growing up in a campground, with her single mom and little brother, is heartbroken when she finds out that they may have to sell their property due to hospital debt. Her little brother is now recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a very serious nerve disorder. She befriends the possible-future-developer’s son, who conspires against his father in order to try and help her save the campground. She’s not sure she can trust that his intentions are sincere, both with his opposition to his father, and her heart.

My Thoughts: This was so sweet. I really loved the setting of this story! It takes place in a campground, up in the mountains and forests. The story is a bit unlikely, as there is definitely instalove, and the whole, possible future-developer’s-son falling for the teenager (especially so quickly) thing is a bit unbelievable.

Also, his actions and behavior and being-able-to-do-everthing-ness at only, what, age 21? Nah. But it’s not in your face either…I still enjoyed the story!

I loved most of the plot, there’s a lot of facets that come together well in the end! Only starting at the second-to-last chapter did it get a bit cheesy. All lovey-dovey perfectness and everything came together just a *tad* too easily at the very end. Without spoiling: the whole helicopter thing? For real?! Like, why would his cousin even do that, at THAT moment. Cheese factor! Still debating on if it’s a 4 or 4.5…4.25 would be great, really.

I received this ebook for free, in exchange for a review, from NetGalley.

I Am a New Net Galley Arc Reviewer!

I recently joined NetGalley. I’m not sure why I waited so long, but decided to join last week.

Then, since I wasn’t sure how things worked…like, how long it took to get the books, or if I’d even be accepted of my requests…I went and requested about, 6 or 7 books? A few already released, and some E-ARCs. So, now I have 4 books to read from NetGalley! At least, 2 of them have a few months til their release, 2 of them have already been released.

AND, unrelated, but I went and grabbed like, 5 books from the library. WHY? I don’t know. It’s not like I don’t have a bajillion books on my shelves to read!! I even had my FB friends pick out 3 (from my shelves) for me to read, plus bought at least 3 new releases so far THIS MONTH. I do not need library books! But I take the kids, and these books just jump out at me from the shelves. *sigh* And now I added ARCs with reading deadlines.

HEY. I’M SMART! haha

Soooo, anyways. Any tips/tricks/things I should know about requesting/receiving E-ARCs from NetGalley for review? Please let me know!