Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mini Reviews [22]

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts: A Book about Anger
by Ian De Haes

Synopsis (via Goodreads): When Simon gets mad, he gets REALLY mad. So mad that big, bad, angry beasts appear. At first Simon loves having the beasts around to help scare off anyone who upsets him, but over time he realizes that no one wants to be around him or the beasts. This makes Simon sad, so he decides to try to still his mind and practice being calm. And the beasts disappear! 


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

We loved this one! Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts personified anger and offered a more understandable perspective for children. My son thought it was interesting that the boy's anger could change shape depending on the situation, and we had fun discussing what his animal would be. We both liked the illustrations and thought they really added to the overall experience (especially at the end when the dragon starts dissolving into butterflies). We will definitely be adding this one to our shelves!

Normally, I don't read the teaching guide in the back of a book, but this one was actually helpful. My son was able to express himself in new and unique ways that I think will benefit us both in the future. He even surprised me by doing the breathing exercise! 

How Rude! by Clare Helen Welsh, Olivier Tallec
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Dot invites Duck to a tea party, but from the moment Duck enters the house, the tea party descends into chaos; from licking sandwich fillings to spitting tea, Duck gets ruder…and ruder…and ruder. Just how will Dot react to such outrageous behavior?

Simple, funny, and ultimately touching, this book will appeal to any child who is learning what it is not to be rude and, more importantly, what it is to be a true friend.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

This book didn't hold our attention. I think How Rude! had the potential to be more than it was, and would have benefited from more dialogue. We see Dot becoming increasingly frustrated with Duck, but Dot never actually communicates her feelings. We always tell our children to use their words to express their thoughts and emotions, which allows us to have conversations. Eventually Dot snaps and does something rude, and Duck realizes he was being a terrible friend. 

I think it sends a bad message to children, because the book is essentially telling them to mimic the bad behavior to solve their problems. Dot should have tried talking to Duck instead of lashing out. I believe this one missed the mark.

The Not-So-Brave Penguin by Steve Smallman
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Posy the penguin is scared of many things - snowstorms, loud noises, the dark - but when her adventurous friend Percy is missing, Posy plucks up the courage to overcome her fears and goes on an excursion to find him. After an intrepid journey, Posy finds an injured Percy in a dark cave. She rescues him and brings him home, realizing in the end just how brave she can really be. A heartwarming story about friendship, being brave, and overcoming fears when it really matters, this picture book is sure to delight and entertain.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

The Not-So-Brave Penguin was a short read about overcoming your fears. Posy is scared of a lot of things, but her biggest fear is darkness. At night she imagines the worst possible scenarios, even though she is huddled against friends and family. Eventually the need to save her friend becomes more important than her fear, and she's able to overcome her personal obstacles. While the story itself was okay, I felt like it was missing something. There was no oomph!

Who Is My Neighbor? by Amy-Jill Levine, 
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, and 
Denise Turu (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Blues and Yellows just don't mix, and that's how it's always been. No one remembers why. But then comes the day Midnight Blue takes a tumble along the road. His friends Navy and Powder Blue don't even stop to help! It's only when a Yellow comes along that everything changes--forever.

This creative story is sure to prompt rich conversations, encouraging new ways of seeing our neighbors and ourselves. A note for parents and educators is included.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I thought this book showed the importance of kindness and the consequences of fearing others because they're different. The Blues think poorly of the Yellows, the Yellows distrust the Blues, and that's just the way things are. The two have never mixed, and we see how an older generation passes on that prejudice to their children. It took two people meeting on accident, and being their best selves, to show the two groups that neither was "bad". 

I believe this is a lesson everyone should learn, and not just children. People may be different, but that doesn't make them less or bad. It's going to take everyone being their best selves to make a difference in the world. We have to ignore the hate and distrust from the past and focus on what we know to be right.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

My Weekly Pull [53] & Can't Wait Wednesday [23]

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

 Firefly #3 by Greg Pak, Dan McDaid, Lee Garbett
Shades of Magic The Steel Prince #4 (of 4) by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri, Roberta Ingranata, Enrica Eren Angiolini, Warina Sahadewa

Jacob's comics for the week!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IDW 20/20 #1 by Paul Allor, Dave Wachter, Gabirel Rodriguez
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder in Hell #1 by Mateus Santolouco, Kevin Eastman
Amazing Spider-Man #13 by Nick Spence, Ryan Ottley
Man Without Fear #3 by Jed MacKay, Danilo Beyrouth, Kyle Hotz
Spider-Man Deadpool #44 by Robbie Thompson, Jim Towe, Dave Johnson
Venom #10 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman

...and the week before that!
Domino #10 by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Gang Hyuk Lim, Gang Hyuk

Jacob's comics for the week!
Hit-Girl #12 by Rafael Albuquerque, Claire Roe, Rafael Scavone
Kick-Ass #11 by Steve Niles, Marcelo Frusin, Declan Shalvey
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 by Tom Taylor, Juan Cabal, Andrew Robinson
Man Without Fear #2 by Jed MacKay, Danilo Beyrouth, Greg Smallwood
Miles Morales Spider-Man #2 by Saladin Ahmed, Javi Garron, Marco D'Alfonso
Punisher #6 by Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski, Greg Smallwood
Web of Venom Unleashed #1 by Ryan Stegman, Kyle Hotz

Phew! That was a lot of comics for two weeks! I'm sorry I haven't been around. After moving and settling in, our computer decided to crash. I tried blogging from the iPad, but it was too frustrating. We finally got our computer back, so here I am! I'll try to do a lot of blog-hopping over the next few days, because I really want to see what books you've been reading! I've felt so disconnected! Clearly blogging is an addiction, or maybe it's just the books? 

I'm really enjoying Firefly, and cannot wait to read the newest issue! Shades of Magic The Steel Prince is ending this week, and I'm curious how Schwab plans to wrap everything up. There's a lot going on! Finally, Domino. I'm still not a fan of the realistic covers -- aargh. I was really hoping they'd revert back to the original artwork. 

Jacob's pull is insane! I don't know when he's going to find the time to read all of these... I'm considering Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, because I adore Tom Taylor! He's written some of my favorite comics (All-New Wolverine, X-Men Red), and I'm interested in seeing his take on Spider-Man. 
Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, that highlights upcoming releases that we're anticipating and excited to read. It's a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren
Expected publication: March 12th 2019
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Holland Delviss wants to be known for her talent as a hockey player, not a hockey player who happens to be a girl. But when her school team is selected to be featured and televised as part of HockeyFest, her status as the only girl on the boys’ team makes her the lead story. Not everyone is thrilled with Holland’s new fame, but there’s one person who fiercely supports her, and it’s the last person she expects (and definitely the last person she should be falling for): her bossy team captain, Wes.


I love how simple the synopsis is: intriguing yet vague!

Happy reading everyone! I have a lot of reviews to write, and I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you. I just have to find the time to catch up! <3

*Share your My Weekly Pull post! Please leave the direct link to your My Weekly Pull post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Magic Strikes & Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #3-4) by Ilona Andrews

Narrated by Renee Raudman
Synopsis (via Goodreads): When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…

Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.   

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…


I am devouring this series! I would have posted my review for Magic Strikes a few days ago, but our home computer decided to crash. I’m currently using the iPad, which is infinitely more difficult to write reviews on. 

Ilona Andrews is a wonderfu duo! I discovered them when a friend recommended Burn for Me, and instantly fell in love with their writing. Once I’d read all of the available books in the Hidden Legacy series, I looked for something else written by them and stumbled across Kate Daniels. Hooray for me!

This is going to be a review for both Magic Strikes and Magic Bleeds, since I listened to the latter in less than twenty-four hours. It’s still fresh on my mind, so there's a chance my thoughts would overlap. Also, before you read any further, you should know there might be spoilers for the earlier books in this series. Some of the information is relevant to my review!

Listening to these two books one after the other made me aware of a few things I’d missed in the past. For example, the authors use the word “preternaturally” quite a lot. It’s not a word I see or hear too often, so it started to stand out in this series. Someone is preternaturally fast or they have preternatural strength, and I’ve started noticing every time it’s used. It has already been said a few times in Magic Slays, which I am listening to right now.

This series has a slow burn romance, and I’ll admit to being sexually frustrated on their behalf. Kate refuses to believe that Curran’s feelings are real, and she doesn’t want to risk her heart just to have it broken. We can see that Curran’s intentions are authentic, but Kate is stubborn and they’re both frustrating. They would rather play games and challenge one another than have a heartfelt conversation. I’ve enjoyed watching these two come together and seeing how their relationship developed over three books. Their status was still unclear at the start of book four, but something finally happened. Phew! I was beginning to think they’d be at odds the entire series. Despite wanting them to get together a lot sooner, I’m happy their relationship wasn’t rushed. Their feelings are legitimate, and they’re willing to destroy the world for each other.

Once you've read the first few books in a series, some of the details can start to feel repetitive. I understand and appreciate that each book can stand on its own, but reading them consecutively made some of the information feel tedious and unnecessary. Some of it varied slightly, but I would still tune out until something else happened. I really hope I don’t have to listen to how the shapeshifter society works (or what happens when they don’t follow the code) in any of the following books. 

The secret fight club was interesting in Magic Strikes. It challenged Kate’s morals and also forced her to spend time with Curran. The hot tub scene was fantastic until Derek popped up. I’ve never disliked Derek, but I really wanted him to disappear for a few minutes. Don’t get me started on what the Andrews duo did to him... it was nearly unforgivable. I’m still not sure if I’ve completely recovered from what they did to a beloved character. 

At the end of Magic Bleeds more people were aware of Kate’s secret, and I’m glad it’s finally out in the open. As a reader, we know what her secret is before the other characters, but Andrews kept readers in the dark for awhile too. 

Kate doesn’t do well with politics, so I’m curious about her new role within the Pack. She kicked ass in the last book (against friend and foe), so it’ll be interesting to see how she handles her new situation. I liked Kate before Magic Bleeds, but I appreciate her so much more now. She stuck with Curran despite the unfavorable circumstances. 

Am I rambling yet? Haha! This is seriously one of my all-time favorite series, and I’m looking forward to diving back into Magic Slays. The balance of power has shifted, and I’m not sure what disaster Kate will have to tackle next. At least now she has friends and people to rely on, and her attack poodle is almost always nearby (hopefully we learn more about him too). I still have a lot of questions after the last book, but the indivual story wrapped up nicely. I’m only halfway through the series, so I have plenty of books to look forward to!

Also, the history and mythology interspersed throughout the story is phenomenal. It’s clear they’ve done their research on people, places, and cultures. The way they slide various gods and deities into their stories feels seamless and completely believable. I cannot wait to see what they come up with next!

If you are looking for a new UF series, look no further! Ilona Andrews is an amazing author duo that writes wonderful stories and creates fantastic characters. You could start with this series or the Hidden Legacy books, because both are marvelous and addictive. Books like this make me wish I didn’t need sleep. 

Narrated by Renee Raudman
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle — especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromance, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years — and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family...

I’ll try to clean this post up once we get our computer repaired! All of my icons are on there, and I’m going to be really bummed if we lose all of our files. All my pictures of the kids are on there. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
[Blog Tour: Review + Givewaway]

Hello! Welcome to the next stop on the Two Can Keep a Secret blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. I'm really happy to share my thoughts on this book with you!

Author: Karen McManus
Pub. Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 336
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself. 


I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Two Can Keep a Secret lived up to my expectations! Every review I'd read had been singing its praises, and I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. McManus has created a vivid, engaging, complex story that captured my attention until the very last page. All of the characters were detailed and interesting, and I enjoyed trying to solve the mystery on my own.

If you enjoy books that make you think and keep you on your toes, Two Can Keep a Secret is definitely worth reading. Even if you don't normally like mysteries or suspenseful books, I'd recommend this one! Great characters, a twisty story, and one hell of an ending.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Sunday Post [9]

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at the Caffeinated Reviewer! It's an opportunity to share news, post a recap for the previous week, showcase books, and highlight what's planned for the week ahead.


Ugh! I never want to move again! It took me and my husband two full days to load the moving truck by ourselves. It was miserable work, and the kids were more than a little stir-crazy. We had to pack all of their toys before we could move them, so they were bored quickly and fussy often. When we were finally on the road, I popped in an audiobook, they fell asleep, and I enjoyed sitting down after being on my feet for two solid days. Thankfully, we had family waiting at the new house to help us unload everything, so it didn't take nearly as long to get things put away.

Once we were unpacked, I thought things would calm down and we'd settle into a new routine, but I was very wrong. The house we're renting hasn't been used in awhile, so the water pipes were buried. When I tried to do a load of laundry, the pipes overflowed back into the house. It flooded the utility room and the downstairs area. It took two visits from the plumber, and a few more from the landlord, to finally solve the problem.
Next issue: ants. It has been raining the last few days, so the massive leafeater ants in the yard have tried to take over the house. We're being invaded! These are the largest ants I have ever seen, and their bodies are ridiculously sturdy. My children have made a game out of it, which is basically them screaming and running whenever one of them discovers and ant in the house. Then they pretend to be ants themselves and won't stop until I pretend to spray them with my invisible bug spray (have I mentioned how much I love my kids?).
There are a few other things I'll have to get used to, like the sandy areas in the backyard (it's like living on the beach with dogs and kids going in and out), a tin roof (love the sound of rain pinging on the top), family that can pop in whenever they feel like it (still not sure how I feel about this), and grocery stores that are not as vegan-friendly. The closest store that carries my coffee creamer is 45 miles away.

I know it sounds like I'm complaining a lot, but we really do like our new house! The area is lovely, and there are a lot of wooded areas for us to explore. Having family close by is different but nice! They might pop in without calling, but we can also get together on short notice. I'm still trying to catch up on my reading and blogging that I missed, but I'll get there eventually. We still have some things to wrap up with the old house, and I look forward to putting that behind us.
Previous week on the blog:

Sunday: Nothing!
Monday: DNF&Y [12]
Thursday: Circe by Madeline Miller ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Saturday: Nothing! 

What I'm currently reading:
I've been impatiently waiting for the Magic Strikes audiobook to be available at my library, and it's finally here! I'm really enjoying this series, and I cannot wait to see what trouble Kate finds herself in this time. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that something romantic happens between Kate and Curran, because it has been a slow burn since the first book! They challenge each other, and it's been fun watching them dance back and forth.

The Wicked King is another book I started recently, and I am thoroughly enjoying being back in Black's magical world. The first book ended with a twist, and I have a feeling this one is going to leave me wanting more. This is another book that has placed the romance in the back seat, so I'm going to need Jude and Cardan to play nice and admit their weird feelings. I like my books to have a little kissing! ;)

I'm only a few pages into Two Can Keep a Secret, but I have a good feeling about this one. I've heard there are a lot of unexpected twists and turns, which I love, and I'm anxiously awaiting the ending. I've skimmed other reviews, and they've all vaguely mentioned how awesome and unpredictable everything is.

What I plan on reading next: 
I already have Magic Bleeds queued up and ready to go, and The Gilded Wolves is one I've been looking forward to for awhile now -- yay! I love it when I'm excited about the books I'm reading.

What I'm watching:

I'm still working my way through the final season of Fairy Tail, and Jacob and I are finally making progress with S3 of Daredevil. We're both really bummed that S4 was cancelled on Netflix, but supposedly Disney is picking up all of the Marvel shows for their new streaming service (which is incredibly aggravating). I don't think Riverdale has started back up yet, but that's another show I'll be watching in the near future. I keep telling Roberta that I'll start Dr. Who, but I just haven't had the time!

Challenge updates:

Discussion Challenge: 0 / 20

Phew! That was a long post! What have you guys been up to? Did I miss anything in the last two weeks? Let me know!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Mini Reviews [21]

A Flicker of Hope by Julia Cook, 
MacKenzie Haley (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): HOPE is our children's window for a better tomorrow. In terms of resilience and well-being, hope is a critically important predictor of success. This creative story from the best-selling author of My Mouth is a Volcano!, and Bubble Gum Brain, reminds children that dark clouds can be temporary and asking for help is always okay. We all have times when we need to borrow a little hope from someone else. When your clouds get too dark, and too heavy to push away, Reach out and ask, "Can I borrow some light?" "I'm having a really bad day."

It's always okay to admit to yourself, "I just can't do it today."

Everyone needs somebody sometimes, to help them find their way.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. 

A Flicker of Hope is a children's book, although I think the writing is for an older audience. It might be a good teaching book, but it didn't really work reading it one-on-one with my son. I always ask him what he thinks about a book when we finish, and what he enjoyed most about the story. The only thing he could really say about A Flicker of Hope was that he liked the candles, and wanted to know why his birthday candles didn't die when their flames went out.

In the book, one of the candles is feeling sad and having negative thoughts, so her candle is dimmed and dull. Another candle comes along to give her hope, which effectively brightens her light. However, the other candle starts talking about everyone having gifts, and how candles without a light are no longer able to share theirs. It was a good lesson in personification, but the deeper messages were lost on him.

I think A Flicker of Hope addresses important issues about depression and touches on mental illness, encouraging people to ask for help when they feel down, but it doesn't mention someone needing more than a friend. Yes, you should continue to ask for help, but sometimes that's not enough. Maybe the book could have encouraged readers to seek medical help? Also, essentially telling a person not to kill themselves, or let themselves die because they have "gifts to share", might not be the best approach. A person having negative thoughts and feelings is likely unconcerned with what they have to offer the world. 

I believe the wording was too wordy at times, and the story wasn't presented in a way that younger children would easily comprehend. I think a few of the pages could have been removed (like when the second candle essentially repeated everything the first candle said at the beginning), and the story could have been simplified for its target audience.

Ida and the Whale by Rebecca Gugger,
Simon Rothlisberger (Illustrator)
Expected publication: April 2nd 2019
Synopsis (via Goodreads): What lies behind the sun, the moon, and the stars?

Ida can’t stop thinking about these and other very important questions. Then one night, a flying whale wakes her and takes her on an amazing journey—where some of her questions are answered and even more created.

This gentle, philosophical tale is a visual treat sure to fill curious little listeners with wonder. 


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. 

The illustrations were lovely! I think Simon Rรถthlisberger did an amazing job bringing Rebecca Gugger's words to life. The story felt a little random and nonsensical, but there were a few memorable moments. The whale takes Ida on an incredible journey, and shares bits of wisdom along the way. "Some quicker, some slower, but all of us grow." I thought it was an enjoyable story that my children could understand and relate to. However, now my son wants a whale to show up at his window to take him on an adventure!

Shhh! by Barroux
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Night falls…It is late. Close your eyes. Time to sleep. This wonderful bedtime story from the masterful illustrator Barroux takes you on a journey through a child’s imagination to a series of dreamy landscapes where animals ready themselves for sleep. The simple, lyrical text and charming illustrations will gently lull even the most reluctant sleeper, providing a calming way for parents to say goodnight.

Listen to the world gently slowing down, then stopping. A whimsical moon character tiptoes to the sky. Shhh! A boy imagines his stuffed animals winding down for bedtime, one by one. Visit a dozing polar bear on an ice floe; a lion in pajamas brushing his teeth; tired giraffes resting their sleepy heads on clouds; a whale singing a soft, beautiful song; a whispering elephant; a yawning hippo; a toucan counting sheep; and finally, the sheep themselves, who are waiting for the end of the story. Time to sleep now. It is late.

With gently humorous text and enchanting imagery that will soothe both little ones and their adults, this bedtime story will quickly become a family favorite.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

The synopsis for Shhh! is longer than the actual book. It's also a little misleading, because it didn't soothe me or my children. They were still bananas after reading this story, although they did enjoy it. My daughter liked pointing out the animals and making their sounds, while my son thought it was funny to see a lion brushing its teeth. 

However, the story felt choppy and didn't flow from page to page. There were very few words, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I felt disconnected from the overall story. It was just me turning pages and saying words, instead of feeling like we were a part of the story.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Circe by Madeline Miller

Narrated by Perdita Weeks
Synopsis (via Goodreads): In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product. 

Madeline Miller has surpassed my expectations, and they were pretty high after The Song of Achilles. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, and jumped at the opportunity to read Circe. I've always loved stories about Greek mythology, so her books have been perfect for me!

I've heard about Circe, but I wasn't really familiar with her story. I think I would confuse her and Calypso, though now I can see there is no comparison. Circe wasn't like the other gods, or even the other members of her family. She was soft-spoken, didn't draw attention to herself, and was mostly left to her own devices. She wanted to find love and be loved, though her efforts tended to backfire or not work out.

I liked watching Circe grow throughout the book, even though it took her centuries to come to the same conclusions others only have a few decades to discover. She was oblivious to the outside world and how it worked, so her exile was an eye-opening experience. Most of her knowledge came from secondhand stories, and the majority of those were embellished or lies. She lived alone, which wasn't too terrible, but her first few interactions with humans taught her their behaviors the hard way. She had to learn how to defend herself, and all of her magical abilities were self-taught.

I wasn't a fan of Odysseus in The Song of Achilles, and he didn't do himself any favors in Circe. He was a very calculating man, and despite having a family at home waiting for him, he chose to seek more glory for himself. He cost men their lives, he was cruel and at times physically abusive, and dangerously smart. He was able to think of creative ways out of unfavorable circumstances, although it rarely kept everyone alive.

I've really enjoyed listening to the audio versions of Miller's books. Frazer Douglas and Perdita Weeks were brilliant and perfect! I could listen to them all day, which is what I did with Circe. It was the book I listened to while we were driving to the new house, and even the children enjoyed the story. I have no complaints about this book, and I'm looking forward to whatever Madeline Miller writes next!

“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.”