5/5 Stars: The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna

This book was exactly as it was described ‘a warm and uplifting novel’ – and I loved every second of it. Mika Moon is an isolated witch, and ends up moving in with three young children and their guardians, one of which is Jamie (the love interest). She has some baggage, but somehow doesn’t let it drag her down. The description of magic and how it works fit into the world very well, and I loved the character development, everyone felt real and brought to life. There were some parts of the book I was less interested in than others (Edward, for example, felt like a bit of a let down) but overall this was a book that I just melted into and I’m so glad I randomly decided to pick it up. A friend had it in their TBR pile and the title immediately jumped out at me. If you’re looking for a warm cozy read in cool fall weather, I highly suggest this one. I also now want to buy multiple cauldrons and start my own potion shop.

5/5 stars

4/5 Stars: Alpha & Omega #0.5 by Patricia Briggs

I have to say, this book was not one that I would have normally picked up, but it came recommended to me by a handful of friends when I was looking for something ultra casual (but still a good story) to read. I wanted to start with the first book of the series, but I did some sleuthing and learned that the first book would make much more sense if I read the 0.5 one first – so I did.

Shapeshifters? Check. Romance? Check. Other supernatural beings? Check. Anna is the main character, unwillingly turned into a werewolf with more than one suitcase of baggage dragging along with her. I loved the play between her and Charles (another werewolf, and love interest of course), and she feels like a real character despite the fact that I was (at times) frustrated with her meekness (that passes as she discovers herself and heals). The writing is beautiful, and that’s what really made this a page turner. The world building felt complete, and it fully prepared me for what to expect in the first book. I didn’t have to work too hard at deciphering where the book was going, and I was able to just submerge myself in the characters. I love those types of books, even if this one ended too quickly since it was more of an introduction novel to the first of the series.

I hear that this novella comes either as a stand alone, or a compilation of three others – the suggestions mention that the other books are not nearly as good, so if you’re just looking for this one, buy it as the e-book stand alone. I’m glad I did, and I fully enjoyed moving forward to the first novel having read this one.

4/5 stars