With a Book in Our Hands

Eighteen reviewers telling you the good, the bad, and the ugly

With a Book in Our Hands

Eighteen reviewers telling you the good, the bad, and the ugly

Author: Jenna Rideout

Jenna is an independent editor & illustrator, book reviewer, and aspiring author from Newfoundland, Canada. Although she has been known to read just about anything, her passion is for science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction books for young adult and older audiences. When she’s not working on bookish or artsy endeavours, Jenna enjoys spending time with her family and her feline overlords.

April 17, 2021

Max and the Spice Thieves

Max and the Spice ThievesSecrets of the Twilight Djinn Book Oneby John Peragine Publishing 20 April 2021Crumblebee Books Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Genre: YA Fantasy I was invited to download an eARC of Max and the Spice Thieves via NetGalley when someone on the author’s team found my other reviews on Instagram, and I accepted. […]

April 6, 2021

The Garden of Angels

The Garden of Angels is a story split between the present and the past. In the present, Nico Uccello has been suspended from school for a week for watching classmates attack a Jewish newcomer. When he confesses this to his dying grandfather, his grandfather gives him his own story, written down in parts, to read and keep secret until he is finished. In the past (grandfather Paolo’s memoir), young Paolo lives in Nazi-occupied Italy and finds himself entangled in the underground Jewish resistance.

April 4, 2021

A Cat’s Guide to Meddling with Magic

Ben, Salaranja, and all our friends from Bonding with Dragons still have a lot of work to do in order to rid their world and all the others of Astravar and the evil warlocks. Astravar can still get inside Ben’s head while he dreams, but now he has a tighter hold on Ta’ra as well, and Ben & Salanraja’s crystal has called for Ben to select a team to hunt Astravar down, rescue Ta’ra, and defeat a demon chimera.

March 25, 2021


Everyone remembers Nick Carraway, the unreliable and oh-so-passive narrator of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, but what did his first 30 years of life look like before he found himself renting next door to the mysterious wealthy party host? Michael Farris Smith set out to find out and share the answer with us. Now that copyright has lapsed on Gatsby I expect we’ll get a lot more retellings and spinoff stories, but this will be remembered as the first prequel story, and a strong one at that!

March 23, 2021

Lost in the Never Woods

Lost in the Never Woods is a Peter Pan retelling like none I’ve ever read before. This is Wendy’s story after returning from Neverland… without her younger brothers and a good chunk of her memory surrounding what happened the day they went to Neverland. It’s been 5 years since Wendy returned and suddenly Peter is back without his shadow and kids are going missing. Can Wendy help Peter get his shadow back? Can they find the missing kids before it’s too late? What sort of demons need to be faced before certain mysteries can be solved?

March 20, 2021

Amelia Unabridged

Amelia Unabridged is heartbreaking, beautiful, uplifting, raw, and real. Just as Amelia’s home life is falling apart she catches the eye of a school mate she’d never approached before, Jenna, a rich girl who’s just as careful about her looks as she is about the condition of her beloved books. The unlikely pair spend high school attached at the hip, with Jenna’s well-off parents practically adopting Amelia as their second daughter and doting on her like the functional family she so desperately wishes she had. Then suddenly Jenna’s gone, buried too soon, and Amelia finds herself the substitute daughter off to college for Jenna’s parents. They want her to go to the school she and Jenna had planned to attend, and they’ll pay her way. They want her to take the degree program Jenna thought she should. They want everything to go the way it was supposed to go, and a barely-coping Amelia is willing to go along with it all. That is, until a mysterious gift appears for Amelia, mailed to the local book store. It’s a special edition of her favourite author’s first book, a printing that shouldn’t exist, and she’s convinced it’s one last gift from her best friend. Wanting answers, Amelia takes a trip to visit the book store that sent it, not expecting to find her favourite author there, only a year her senior, wallowing in the shadow of his own grief.

March 12, 2021

She’s The One Who Cares Too Much

She’s the One Who Cares Too Much is the second book in the War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters series by S. R. Cronin, and it follows the story of the second-born sister Coral. This book is fairly well self-contained and if any readers interested in the series gain access to this one first I do think it’s readable on its own. There’s a lot of world-building done in book one that isn’t repeated that might leave gaps in establishing who the velka are, why this particular family has a rocky history with the velka, and the nuances of the relationship between Ryalgar and Prince Nevik. Beyond that, however, there’s enough done to make the world here make sense, and there’s a whole lot of world-building around the luskies introduced. We also have all of the tidbits about farther reaches of the realm thanks to Coral’s connection with a high ranking military officer.

February 20, 2021

Bloodsworn by Scott Reintgen

When I received the email inviting me to apply for this tour, I didn’t know anything about Scott Reintgen or the Ashlords duology, but I saw a gorgeous Friesian-looking horse and a genre label of fantasy and had to check it out. I was hesitant to apply knowing it was a second book and that the tour would not be providing the first, but fortunately a library I have access to through Libby had both ebook and audiobook licenses of Ashlords, the first book, available. I flew through my listening experience of Ashlords, rated it 5 stars with a rave review, and shamelessly begged to be granted a spot on the tour on whatever date was available in the comment box at the end of the application form. I had to know how this story concluded, and as a book blogger, I wanted to share my love for this story with a wide audience. Now that I have experienced Blood Sworn I can confidently say that I am not disappointed in the least, Reintgen has does it again, and I give the whole duilogy 5 stars!

February 14, 2021

A Sea of Pearls & Leaves

A Sea of Pearls & Leaves by Rosalyn Briar Published 1 December 2020 Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Genre: Fantasy I was granted a complimentary review copy of A Sea of Pearls & Leaves as part of my participation in the February 2021 blog tour for this title through Storytellers On Tour. Thank you to all involved in […]

February 3, 2021

This Golden Flame

The Scriptorium plucks orphaned children off the streets and puts them to work to serve their goals, all of which funnel into the primary goal of awakening the world’s slumbering atomatons. Karis is one of those orphans, and she’s been studying the runes she copies for her masters to work with. Her brother was culled from this island’s group and sent elsewhere, and her one mission in life is to get off the island and find him. When Karis discovers an unexplored cave and within it finds an automaton like no other, and awakens him, she dares to hope that she’s solved all her problems. This atomaton can get her into the records hall and then off the island. What she didn’t anticipate was discovering that this Atamoton, Alix, is more than a mindless machine controlled by runes in a tome.

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