Buttons Book Reviews

All books are magical, whether enchanted or not.

Toil and Trouble, by various authors — November 23, 2018

Toil and Trouble, by various authors

download (1)Toil and Trouble is an anthology about witches. Some of my favorite characters in fantasy get a whole book about themselves. I was interested in this book from the moment I heard about it and I can wait to discuss it with you. 

 

 

¨Starsong¨, by Tehlor Kay Mejia

¨Starsong¨ was the story that I anticipated the most, and it did not disappoint!!! I loved reading about Luna and her love interest. Luna did not have a good past, but it was explained very well and I was so glad that Luna was trying to change her life. The plot mostly took place in Luna´s bedroom, on social media, but I enjoyed it anyway. Reading about Luna´s abilities was pretty cool, and it made me so jealous. My favorite thing about ¨Starsong¨ was how realistic Luna was. I loved this story and highly recommend it.th (14)

Starsong Quotes

¨Afterbirth¨, by Andrea Cremer

¨Afterbirth¨ was disappointing after I had just finished ¨Starsong¨. I was confused during the whole story because I didn’t know if Deliverance was telling it as it happened, or looking back on it. The story took place at the birthing of a child, and a witch trial. I didn’t understand what part of this was actually happening, or if any of it was actually happening. I liked Deliverance and I wanted the best for her, but I just wish that Andrea had made her POV clearer. I think that the concept of this story was very well-written, but I wish that the actual story had been better. Afterbirth Quotes

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¨The Heart In Her Hands¨, by Tess Sharpe

I really liked ¨The Heart In Her Hands¨ but I had one burning question that needed to be answered, yet wasn’t. I really wanted to know if Fate was worshipped by everyone or just a few people. Normally, this question is answered early on, but this time it wasn’t. Otherwise, I loved the way that “The Heart In Her Hands” was written. The characters were very unique and the magic system was quite detailed. The plot was something new and I was very impressed. I really enjoyed this short story and will definitely try and pick up another one of Ms. Sharpe’s works.th (15)The Heart In Her Hands Quotes

 

 

 

 

“Death In The Sawtooths”, by Lindsay Smith

“Death In The Sawtooths” was an interesting read and I really enjoyed it. I loved the way that Ms. Smith incorporated bullying into this story and made a point of how terrible it is. Mattie is such a relatable character and I loved reading about her. The one thing that I didn’t like about “Death In The Sawtooths” was how one of the bullies seemed to be forgiven by the end of the story. Otherwise, I loved the magic system and I hope that Ms. Smith writes like this all of the time. I really enjoyed “Death In The Sawtooths” and I will be reading more of Ms. Smith’s works.th (15)Death In The Sawtooths Quotes

 

 

 

 

“The Truth About Queenie”, by Brandy Colbert

“The Truth About Queenie” was a well-written story, but it wasn’t my favorite. I enjoyed reading about Queenie and her life, but there was a very problematic scene involving Queenie and the love interest. It upset me, but I understood why it was happening. The magical aspect of this story was not downplayed at all, and I really loved how stressed the consequences of magic were. Sure, it was a little bit too much but better that then nothing. My favorite thing about “The Truth About Queenie” was how it talked about self-doubt and how to overcome that. I really liked “The Truth About Queenie” and I will be picking up more books by Ms. Colbert in the future.th (15)The Truth About Queenie Quotes

“The Moonapple Menagerie”, by Sheveta Thakrar

This was definitely one of my favorite stories in this anthology. “The Moonapple Menagerie” is a story about a play that gets disrupted when a churl shows up. It was a humorous story, at least to me, and I loved how the witch coven figured out how to solve their problem. “The Moonapple Menagerie” was a story about friendship and trusting others with your problems, and it was done beautifully. I had no problem with this story and highly recommend it. th (14)The Moonapple Menagerie Quotes.jpg

“The Legend of Stone Mary”, by Robin Talley

This story was very disappointing and I wish that it had been better. The ending of this story was too well tied-up and I wish that it had been more open-ended. All of the characters were too tropey and I hated them. They smoked and made terrible decisions. Which I don’t approve of if anyone was wondering. I wish that the characters had been better written and I enjoyed reading this book more, but what will be, will be. download

“The One Who Stayed”, by Nova Ren Suma

“The One Who Stayed” was a very interesting read. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t understand what was happening for the first page or two of the story. This story is about a group of witches who have been hurt by men in their small town, and they band together to get revenge. I can’t say that I liked reading some parts, but they needed to be told. I really think that “The One Who Stayed” would be a good book, but it is Nova’s choice to continue it. I will definitely be picking up more books by her. th (14)The One Who Stayed Quotes

“Divine Are The Stars”, by Zoraida Cordova

“Divine Are The Stars” was an odd story, but it worked. Reading about Marimar and her life was really fun, and I found her relatable. I really liked the magical aspect of this story and how some of Marimar’s family felt unwanted because of their lack of magic. You don’t see that very often in fantasy settings, where pretty much everyone has magic. The plot was also interesting and it made me want to pick up more books by this author. I really liked this story and I will be picking up more books by Zoraida. th (15)Divine Are The Stars

“Daughters of Baba Yaga”, by Brenna Yovanoff

When I started this story, I thought that it would be another two or three star, but it turned around halfway through the book. In the beginning, the girls showed no signs of magical powers (and they still don’t appear to have any powers) and just whined about the injustices that they weren’t trying to fix. Until the middle of the story. By the middle, the girls had finally figured out that they needed to do something. It was an interesting book, and I did enjoy it – sort of. th (52)Daughters of Baba Yaga Quotes

“The Well Witch”, by Kate Hart

This book was magnificent!!! “The Well Witch” is fairly explanatory and I loved how point blank it was. All of the characters were quite realistic and I loved how sassy our main character, Elsa, was. She was very relatable and I need more of her in my life. The plot was very intriguing and I was engrossed in it. I loved “The Well Witch” more than I expected and I can’t wait to read more by Ms. Hart. th (14)The Well Witch Quotes

“Beware of Girls With Crooked Mouths”, by Jessica Spotswood

This story seemed too much like Three Dark Crowns for me to fully enjoy it. The main storyline was literally sisters trying to kill each other with their magical powers. And some of their powers were the same as the sisters in Three Dark Crowns. One sister could control fire and one could control poison. Does that ring a bell? Two of the sisters came up with a plan to steal the love of a younger sister’s life. These sisters claimed to love each other very much, yet they stabbed each other in the back an awful lot. Well, that was a lovely rant. So far, this is my least favorite story in this anthology. download

“Love Spell”, by Anne-Marie McLemore

This was yet another McLemore gem!!! It felt like I had known the main character (who remained unnamed) and Adrian all of my life. All of the side characters were very fleshed out and I enjoyed reading about them. This was not a happy story, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. “Love Spell” was a very well-written magical realism, so obviously, the magical aspects were spot on. I loved hearing about the different kinds of magic, and how magic interacted with religion. “Love Spell” is one of my favorite stories in this anthology. th (14) Love Spell

“The Gherin Girls”, by Emery Lord

This story was amazing!!! I loved this book and I can’t wait to read more by Emery. I was addicted to this story and wanted to know everything about the sisters. Nova, Rosie, and Willa were such great characters and sisters. Rosie was the main character in this story and I was so amazed at her strength. Not the traditional kind of strength, mind you. Rosie was strong in a different way and I respected that. The plot did not have very much magic in it, but the girls had detailed, well thought out, abilities and I loved that. I will definitely be picking up more books by Emery Lord.th (14) The Gherin Girls

“Why They Watch Us Burn”, by Elizabeth May

I loved “Why They Watch Us Burn” so much!!! It was a hard read, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good. I loved the way that the girls looked out for each and cared about the health (mental and physical) of each other. I was so proud of all the girls by the end and I really hope that everything turns out alright for them, although I know how likely that is. The plot was one of the most interesting that I have read in this anthology. “Why They Watch Us Burn” is probably my favorite story in this anthology. th (14)Why They Watch Us Burn

I really enjoyed this anthology and I highly recommend it for the Halloween season. Remember to fill out my survey. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Anthology Rating: th (14)

When The Moon Was Ours, by Anne-Marie McLemore — November 21, 2018

When The Moon Was Ours, by Anne-Marie McLemore

download (1)As their deep friendship turns to love, Latina teenager Miel, who grows roses from her wrist, and Italian-Pakistani Samir, a transgender boy, fear their secrets will be exposed by the beautiful Bonner girls, four sisters rumored to be witches.

This was not my favorite book, but it was not my least favorite book either. I enjoyed reading about Miel and Sam, but not as much as I wanted to. The plot was interesting, but I pitied the Bonner sisters, instead of hating them. I enjoyed the character relationships in this book, and I can’t wait to see if that carries into The Weight of Feathers.

Anne-Maire McLemore’s writing style was as lyrical as I remember. It was so nice to read and I am addicted to it. Anne-Marie writes smoothly, and I love it. Anne-Marie is such a lyrical writer and I love that. Anne-Marie writes in a way that interests me, just like her use of Spanish words that I can’t pronounce. I don’t know very much Spanish, but I thought that I would know more of the words. Anne-Marie’s writing style is pretty constant and I bet that it will be pretty much the same in her debut novel.

The characters were okay. I enjoyed reading about Miel, Sam, and the Bonner sisters, but the Bonner sisters were just normal girls and I didn’t really hate or dislike them at all. The things that they were doing to Miel were terrible, but I understand why the girls did them and pitied them. I loved reading about the dynamics between Aracely and Miel because they acted so much like sisters. All of the characters changed over the course of the book, and it was so apparent. I enjoyed seeing the characters change, I just wish that it had been less obvious.

When The Moon Was Ours

The magic was definitely my favorite part of this book. It was so original and beautiful. I loved reading about Miel’s roses and Aracely’s ability to cure lovesickness. I loved how Miel and Aracely didn’t make their gifts a big deal, even though this whole book was based on Miel and her roses. The magic was so unique and I even though I didn’t agree with how Miel used her roses, I understood and respected it. I loved the way that the Bonner sisters were thinking of using Miel’s roses (what does that say about me) and I loved the magic so much.

The plot was my least favorite part of the book. I wish that I could say otherwise, but I wasn’t engrossed in it like I wanted to be. I liked the characters, loved the plot, and was excited about this book. So what went wrong? Well, two things. One. I didn’t understand a lot about the culture. Two. I pitied the Bonner sisters, instead of hating them. I wish that this had not been the case, but it was. I can wait to see if The Weight of Feathers makes me feel the same way as this book, or if it is different.

Even though this book wasn´t my favorite, I still enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of magical realism. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons