never ever make a deal with the shadow man!

Disney Chills: Fiends on the Other Side (Book 2) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange 

Disney, children’s literature, villains, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Jamal always felt like a shadow, more like in his brother’s shadow. He felt very invisible. One day he receives stuff from his grandma which was just a skull necklace. A man appears and introduces himself as Dr. Facilier. Dr. Facilier wants the necklace but Jamal doesn’t want to trade that but he was willing to trade another item. Little does Jamal know that he must never make deals with the shadow man. 

This was exceptionally different and very dark for a children’s book. Like the other one there were a lot of dark themes but not too dark. I wasn’t expecting the author to continue with the same level of horror as the other one but with this one. I loved that there was a reference to the movie. The other book also has references to the movie but it was more evident in this one than the other. Altogether I enjoyed this and can’t wait to find more.


the usage of the amnesia trope is fun lol

Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune – Rick Riordan 

Greek gods and goddesses, roman gods and goddesses, mythical, fantasy, children’s, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Percy wakes up with no memory other than he is a demigod and the name Annabeth. He finds himself going to Camp Jupiter and Juno, a goddess, announces that he is to be an important addition to the camp. Hazel is hiding a secret of her origin as well as the fact that she walks among the living for a reason. Frank doesn’t know who his parentage is, or rather which God he comes from. The three of them are the key to fulfilling the quest. The quest begins and frees Thantantos, or God of Death, from being imprisoned. Each of them learn more about what is going on and how Gaea is obtaining more and more power each day. 

I found that this was really interesting and there was a map. I wished that there was a map for Camp Half-Blood. Sadly there is only one for Camp Jupiter. A lot of world building and lore was explained in this novel that helped explain the previous book. I’m not too sure how to feel about the amnesia aspect because without the memories, this tends to cause a lot more issues for these demigods. I understand that it serves a purpose but it is annoying. Drives the plot unfortunately. Either way I did love this second book of the series.

this was fun

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aiden S. (as told to his brother) – David Levithan 

Mystery, children’s literature, fiction. 

Rating 8/10

Aiden disappears and is nowhere to be found. His family speculates a possible kidnapping or that he simply ran away. Liam wants to know where he could have gone. A week later he appears and everyone is in wonder of where he went to. Aiden can’t tell them but they must believe him that he wasn’t kidnapped nor did he run away. 

I found this novel to be rather interesting. I got it mostly because the title seemed rather odd and mysterious. I thoroughly enjoyed this because there was some intense mystery but not too much for a young reader. This is a good introduction to mysteries though. It is excellently written and the plot is so interestingly fun. I enjoyed this and definitely recommend for any young reader to grab off the shelves if they want some fun mystery.

so much better than HP and Percy Jackson combined!!

Amari and the Night Brothers – B.B. Alston 

Supernatural, magic, missing persons, African Americans, fantasy, adventure, POC representation, children’s literature, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Amari is trying to fit in and not feel much like an outcast. Also, she wonders what had happened to her brother and wants answers. She gets mystery mail that reveals that he nominated her to join the Night Brothers. She ventures to get accepted into this magical society but before she has to go through training and tests. Ultimately she will try to fit in and be accepted into this society while trying to find her brother. Some strange and unusual things occur at the Night Brother academy and she has to obtain the stolen items to return as well as find the traitor of the Beauro.

I had seen a TikToker read and review this book. I instantly knew I was going to love this book. This takes parts that I enjoyed about Harry Potter and parts of Percy Jackson, combined into this beautiful and stunning children’s book. I love a good female heroine and Amari was that for sure. I finished this in one sitting and I am still stunned by the magicalness of this novel. This had POC representation and a lot of lore but not too much that it would be overwhelming. I have to say that I am sort of mad that there are no sequels to this novel, but when the moment that Alston produces another book I will be instantly buying. The writing is amazing and adventure packed. This novel is good for all ages really because I think this is really fun to read. I highly suggest to not only get this book for one’s self, but as a gift for a middle grade, high school, or a gift to anyone. All ages can enjoy this phenomenal novel.

the MC has ADHD?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan

Children’s fiction, Greek gods, fantasy, demigods, gods, goddesses, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Percy is on an ordinary field trip to a museum when something strange happens. He came across this being that tried to kill him. Grover, a satyr, warns Percy of danger. Percy and his mother try to escape before a Centaur attacked. Percy had to find safety and finds himself at Camp Half-Blood. The place is a haven for demi-gods to learn and be themselves. He meets other camp members and including Annabeth. Annabeth helped him get accustomed to the change and understanding of what is going on with his life. He does not understand that he is a demi-god until it is revealed that he is the son of Poseidon. Percy has a mission he must retrieve Zeus’s lightning bolt or deal with the horrid consequences. Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, accompanies him with the journey as well as Glover. He decides to retrieve Zeus’s lightning bolt, fighting monsters and gods along the way to find out who stole the lightning bolt.

My friend had recommended me the book series since they are to be turned into a Disney+ original series or something to that nature. I bought the entire boxed set and decided to take a chance on the series. I am so glad and mad at myself for not getting into this series. I love Greek mythology, and if you know me in person, I make the joke about mythology being shortened down if it was Zeus and the other gods and goddesses decided to keep it in their pants. Overall, I really loved the writing and the characters. Some of them, especially the main character, who has ADHD is relatable. I cannot wait to read the next book of the series so otherwise I am thankful for having access to the series. There were a few characters I had liked until they were not likeable. I do not unfortunately ship anyone so do not ask me about the whole Annabeth and Percy ship. It is only the first book and it has yet to be determined. So far, I see them as friends, do not attack me. Anyways I do love the first book and very much looking forward to the next book of the series.

another dark perspective…

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein- Kiersten White

Characters in literature, monsters, scientists, murder, Frankenstein, young adult, fiction. 

Rating 8/10

Elizabeth was orphaned at birth and was a great burden for her caregiver. Later on her caregiver hands her off into the Frankenstien household as Victor’s companion. She grew close to him and he grew close to her. After the death of his mother, he goes to university for a few years to resume further studies. When he doesn’t make contact Elizabeth for a few months becomes worried. She goes to find him herself and tries to make sense as to what happened. When she arrives, she finds him feverish and looks around his residence to find him collecting odd body parts. She worries for his mental state. He confesses to her that he failed and she should go back home and he would soon follow after he cleans up to start his research anew. A while after returning home, someone was found murdered and everyone is pointing fingers. Elizabeth finds the truth of who is the murderer and the murderer is Victor’s creation. 

I had been a fan of the Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley who created science fiction because of a dare. That was a good book and I wished there was more to it. I found this novel that was about Elizabeth. This novel was great at doing the perspective of Elizabeth and the execution felt very science fiction with the side benefit of a thrill. The writing was excellent. The characters remained faithful to the original plot. I loved this novel but wished that this was longer but given it was only about Elizabeth only sort of was the downside. Either way I loved this novel and I do recommend this novel. This novel is more of a one sitting type of read honestly.

the switch

The Prince and the Pauper – Mark Twain

Classics, children’s literature, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Tom is a poor man and the Prince is royalty. One day, these two meet and decide to switch clothes as well as their lives. Tom being now a Prince and the Prince being a peasant. Each of them learns a new aspect of life that neither had known prior to the switch. They had gotten away with the switch due to their similar facial features and such. Later they switched back to their own individual lives and life continued on.

I had read this novel as a child and was intrigued by the idea of two people switching lives to help understand each other’s circumstances. A learning experience with a hands-on perspective. I was obsessed with this barbie movie called The Princess and the Pauper that was inspired by the Mark Twain idea but with some variances. I don’t know why I was obsessed with this book when I was a kid, but some mysteries are left as a mystery for a reason. I do have to say I do like this novel though. I had to reread it for sure and had to do a book review as well.

Monterey is a beautiful place…

Tortilla Flat – John Steinbeck

Hispanic Americans, Monterey, classic literature, fiction.

Rating 8/10

Danny returns home from the war and deals with life after the war. Danny realizes that he owns two houses and decides to share with his good friend Pilon whom Danny let’s stay at the second house. Pilon promises to pay for the room and be a good friend. Time progress and two more people, Pablo and Jesus Maria join into the group. They navigate together in an unforgettable adventure and get a sense of belonging amongst each other in Monterey.

I was recommended this author to read since I plan to move to Monterey. I loved this novel and I found the Arthurian legend themes in a new and modern adaptation with the place of Monterey was really intriguing, Usually I have a harder time reading classics, but this came at an ease. I binge read this novel so fast. I do recommend this novel for sure. I had a good time reading this novel. I plan to read another book of Steinbeck’s.

up and up we go

Elevation – Stephen King

Literature, suspense, fiction.

Rating  9/10

Scott has run into an unusual issue that he would prefer kept under tabs, so he goes to the retired doctor and friend Bob. He tells Bob that he had been losing weight like crazy, Bob doesn’t believe him at first but then sees for himself as Scott puts himself on the weight scale. Bob tells Scott that this is unusual and to go seek professional assistance for this issue, but Scott doesn’t want to. Life goes on as usual; the new neighbors opened a new diner and live next door to him. They always walk their dogs unleashed and they don’t pick up after their dogs either. He goes to confront one of them and it ends badly. They think he is a homophobe like the rest of the town, but he isn’t. Time goes on and he continues losing weight and tries to eat large quantities of food thus creating an image for him in the town as the fat man. There is a turkey trot that everyone attends including his neighbor and her wife. He bets her a wager and in a plot twist way he helps her win. She sees that and still wants to go for the wager he waged if he won. For her and her wife to come to dinner. That is when he tells them of his condition and at first, they speculated something was going on. He was losing weight but, in a way, that gravity is losing its hold onto him. He doesn’t want to be seen by professionals but see where this goes.

This was a weird short novella that I read that was strange. I assumed that King was going to possibly do a plot twist of the guy having a disease or cancer, but King surprised me. Just unusually tame genre. Scott was just a ordinary man who kept losing weight and didn’t bother to go see other help besides a select few, nothing too dramatic. However, the situation itself always should be a concern but the guy was so relaxed about it besides the little concern. I wasn’t expecting something so tame from King. Of course, this is a novella and the shortness does warrant a quick pace but seriously tame. I honestly love this novella and even though I was expecting something worse but still a wonderful novella. I do recommend this novella for those who want a quick read that is tame. I have to say this was the tamest piece of work I’ve ever read from King.

Not the Disney Version

Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs

Classic English literature, fiction.

Rating 10/10

John Clayton took his wife, Alice, on an expedition in hopes of finding new land and such. When mutiny happens, he and his wife is sparred but left on an island to fend for themselves while waiting to be rescued. Accepting fate that they are not to be rescued by no one, John and Alice take refuge on the island and brave the island like their ancestors had done before. His wife borne a son and a year later dies. Leaving John to protect himself and the baby. Sadly, as a group of gorillas come upon the cottage, he is brutally killed. His son was rescued by the female gorilla by the name of Kala. After losing her own baby, she sees the baby as an opportunity to raise a child. As time progresses, young Tarzan learns to survive in the jungle, doing what it takes to survive. Young Tarzan learns of a man-made cabin and discovers literature inside. Up until his young adulthood he had no clue of other beings that were like him. Tarzan realizes he is a man and not an ape. When more of his kind arrive in the Jungle, Tarzan obsesses over Jane Porter and takes her with him. Tarzan goes with Jane Porter to where his kind are and where he truly belongs.

I really enjoyed reading this classical novel very much. It is an incredible book about man versus man, man versus nature, and man versus himself. The ability to survive and live through times where it’s dangerous as well as harsh conditions is expressed in this novel. This was not what I had expected and completely different from Disney’s Tarzan. It might be a bit sadder, but it is a good read. I highly recommend giving this novel a chance. I purely thought that I was going to hate this book but nope, it’s my favorite now. I prefer this version over Disney’s version because this is reality versus cartoon fantasy. It had a satisfying ending for me, and it was a cliff hanger. Also knowing that there is an actual sequel I plan to read the sequel as well.