Today I am reviewing books on total opposite sides of the age spectrum that are both absolute delightful reads! I am slowly making my way through my ARC stack and I am happy to say that I am quite enjoying the reads past-Rendz picked out for me!
The Winterborne House for Vengeance and Valor
by Ally Carter
Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t even the one who broke the vase.
She had absolutely no intention of becoming the only person who knows that Gabriel Winterborne, the missing-and-presumed-dead billionaire, is neither missing nor dead and is actually living in the basement of Winterborne House, sharpening his swords and looking for vengeance.
Now that April knows Gabriel Winterborne is alive, it’s up to her to keep him that way. But there’s only so much a twelve-year-old girl can do, so April must turn to the other orphans for help. Together, they’ll have to unravel the riddle of a missing heir and a creepy legend, and find a secret key, before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever.
- April was such a delightful character to journey with! She was spunky and mischievous and outright daring. Was she a little too adventurous sometimes? No such thing! She was over-adventurous but often threw caution out the window! which may have (always) led to trouble.
- The other Winterborne kids were also so cute though I wish we would have gotten to know them a little more! Sadie, Colin, Violet and Tim all had such diverse and quirky personalities and the book could have been more rich if it had spent more time spent with these kids. The adults were also quite interesting characters, but let’s be honest we’re here for the kids.
- The plot itself is a perfect kid mystery. A missing and suddenly found billionaire that is being protected by a bunch of orphans! It was funny and perfectly paced. I would have liked a bit more action, but the antics these kids get into are quite fun.
- I loved the theme around family. April holds on to a tenuous hope that her mother will come for her and it is so heart-wrenching at times to read her despair, but I love how she slowly grows to embrace the found family around her.
- The villain, I could smell from a mile away, was a pretty stalk character, but there are other surprises to be had when it comes to twists and turns!
Overall, this was a great kid’s read. I can’t say it is the most spectacular mystery adventure book and it is certainly slow in some areas, but it is a solid read.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars
Recommend: Perfect for someone looking for a kid
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
Pub Date: Oct 1st, 2019
A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.
For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.
Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.
- When I picked this up I was in the mood for something earthy and dark and witch-tastic and this book absolutely delivered!!
- I loved that it had a magic system dedicated to the cultivation of wine, hence the vine witch *get it!* It was so earthy and magical and just gave off the best witch vibes! I mean I don’t know *anything* about ageing wine, but this book made me feel like I should be sipping a glass by the fire.
- Of course there were other kinds of witches and I’m so glad we’ll be getting other books to explore those!
- The characters were fun, but I felt like we were lacking a little depth. Elena and Jean Paul had totally different views of the world that made them clash, but I felt like we only just hit the surface with them
- The side characters also had quite the personality! Brother Anslem was probably my favourite. I mean a monk who knows all about witches and magic?? We love to see it XD
- The romance was a little hasty, I felt. The few interactions we got from them were not enough to build that angst which could have made this an epic rivals to lovers story.
- The plot itself was quite intriguing. There was deception and betrayal and mystery all wrapped up in one. It was not the fastest-paced plot in the world, but it does garner a lot of interest along the way.
Overall, it was quite a fantastical read. I don’t think it is absolutely perfect in terms of characterisation. But in what it lacks it makes up for in a superb magic system. It’s a cosy, earthy and French witch story that I think many people will enjoy!
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Recommend: Oh yes!
Let me know what you think! Have you read any of these? What are your favourite kid adventure books? What are some of your favourite witch books?
The Vine Witch has such a gorgeous cover! The magic system sounds really intriguing. Great reviews💜
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Yes The Vine witch cover is so pretty! Thank you!! ❤
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