Caitsbooks Reviews Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith: 2.5 Stars

Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1) by Crystal Smith – A Quick Read, But Is It Good? (Review)

Overall: 2.5/5 Stars
Characters: 2.5/5
Setting: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Plot and Themes: 2/5
Awesomeness Factor: 2/5
Review in a Nutshell: Bloodleaf is an okay read, but overwhelmingly so. Nothing about it is unique or amazing enough to make it stand out from the YA fantasies it finds itself similar to.

“The wolves howl, Aurelia, and there may come a time when I will no longer be able to hold them back.”

[ Related: Disney-A-Thon Wrap Up! ]

// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Torture, Suicide Mention, Self Harm (for magic), Rape Mention, Animal Death, War Themes, Murder //

“I’m just as lost and confused and lonely as anyone else.”

Release Date: 3/12/2019
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Page Count: 384
Premise:
Bloodleaf is a loose retelling of The Goose Girl. It follows Princess Aurelia, a blood-magic wielder in a kingdom where witches are the enemy. With her people eager to see her burn, Aurelia is sent to the neighboring kingdom for her safety, and to meet the prince she has been betrothed to since childhood. But when she is betrayed, Aurelia is forced to disguise herself as a commoner as she uncovers a plot that could destroy everything.

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Review: The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas

35795943Overall: 2.5/5 Stars
Characters: 2/5
Setting: 2/5
Writing:
2/5
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Awesomeness Factor: 3/5
Review In A Nutshell: The Supervillain and Me is cute, but reads more as a younger-YA contemporary rather than a superhero novel.

“He saw me in a way I hadn’t realized I wanted to be seen until I met him. Not a hero, not someone with powers, but just a girl.”

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Review: Lullaby by L. R. W. Lee

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/trigger warning for this book: sexual assault, rape/

Overall: 2/5 Stars | 3/5 Stars
Characters: 2/5 | 3/5
Setting: 3/5 | 3/5
Writing:
2/5 | 2.5/5
Plot and Themes: 1/5  | 2/5
Awesomeness Factor: 2/5 | 3/5
Review In A Nutshell: Lullaby had a great premise and could have been amazing. Unfortunately, the writing style, pacing, and the characters make this book very disappointing.

 

“I believed creativity to be the expression of the person, who they were inside. Evil didn’t create beauty like this.”

 

Note: This review was initially written for the 1st Edition, released January 2018. After posting, the author had reached out to me and other reviewers to edit the book and republish. The second edition – the version currently for sale, as of February 2018 – has addressed a lot of these issues.  I have increased my rating here to reflect my new rating of her book (but I also left my previous rating), and any issues that were addressed in the new edition have *s next to them to indicate that it is either less of a problem or gone entirely.

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Review: My Oxford Year by Julia Whalen

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Overall: 2.5/5 Stars
Characters: 2/5
Setting: 4/5
Writing: 2.5/5
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Awesomeness Factor: 2/5
Review in a Nutshell: My Oxford Year was an interesting book, full of smart characters and a very vivid setting, but ultimately fell flat for me. However, I can see why people may enjoy it.

“But in our story, there’s no villain, no witch, no fairy godmother, no moral imperative or cautionary conclusion. No happily-ever-after.
It just is. It’s life.”

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