Reviews written by Penny Olson

25 results - showing 1 - 15
1 2
Ordering
December 09, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A good spooky, supernatural graphic novel

Emsy has always know that she's a witch, but her powers have never gone farther than lighting candles. She loves her girlfriend and friends in California, so when her parents tell her they have to suddenly move to upstate New York because of the murder of some of their coven...

December 09, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A captivating combination of fantasy and contemporary

How to Succeed in Witchcraft follows Shay Johnson, a Junior at the T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School. Shay is determined to win a prestigious scholarship to the magical equivalent of an Ivy League university, not only because she is ambitious but mostly because her family is not well off financially....

December 09, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Incredible, inclusive fantasy adventure

The Sunbearer Trials is a fantasy inspired by Mexican mythology, set in the modern land of Reino del Sol, each of its cities governed by a different dios. The story follows Teo, the trans semidios son of Quetzal, Diosa of birds. Every ten years semidioses from all over the land...

December 07, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Eerie, atmospheric YA paranormal mystery

High school drama student Avril Kendrick is returning to Whisper Cove, Connecticut for two reasons: she has won a spot in a prestigious theater camp run by a famous playwright, and it is where her mother drowned with Avril by her side, 12 years ago. Avril survived the icy water,...

December 07, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Quiet, devastating and powerful

A Scatter of Light follows Aria West, a teenage girl who has just graduated from high school and who has been sent to stay with her grandmother for the summer after a humiliating incident involving nude pictures going viral. She is not happy about this change of summer plans, as...

December 07, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Powerful, beautiful and heartrending

We Deserve Monuments follows Avery, a lesbian, biracial high school senior who moves to her mother's small Georgia hometown with her parents to help her dying grandmother, Mama Letty. She doesn't know Mama Letty and barely remembers her. Her mother and grandmother start fighting almost as soon as they arrive,...

June 25, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Loved this phenomenal, delicious fairy tale

This loose retelling of Grimm's Goose Girl story is told by Vanja, who was handed over at the age of four by her mother to become the goddaughter of the low gods Death and Fortune. As the 13th daughter of a 13th daughter, she was simply considered bad luck. Vanja...

June 25, 2022 (Updated: June 25, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Imaginative, enchanting and dark

Hotel Magnifique follows the story of two sisters who gain employment at a mysterious, magical hotel that travels to a new location every night. Jani is to work as a maid and wants to provide for her younger sister Zosa after their mother died and left them orphaned. Zosa, who...

June 25, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Beautiful tea magic with a brave heroine

A Magic Steeped in Poison follows, Ning, a teenage girl, as she travels to the Imperial Capitol to enter a competition to become the Princess' Shennong-Shi, a master of the art of tea making, who instills tea with magical powers. She hopes to receive a favor from the Princess so...

June 25, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Riveting, powerful and heartbreaking

All My Rage is the story of two Pakistani American teenagers growing up in a small desert town in California. Salahudin and Noor are outsiders and best friends facing incredibly adverse circumstances. The richly developed characters drew me in immediately and I felt that I was right alongside them. All...

February 03, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
A Powerful And Triumphant Conclusion

Ashes of Gold is the intense, powerful and triumphant conclusion to the Wings of Ebony fantasy duology. Wings of Ebony was a strong debut, but Ashes of Gold takes it to another level. The world of Ghizon and the magic system were more fully fleshed out, and the character development...

January 24, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Fun, imaginative middle-grade fantasy

Never After is the first book in a new fantasy series. It's perfect for middle grade or upper elementary school readers, or as a light YA or adult read. Filomena, the main character is beloved by her parents but bullied at her California middle school. She visits the bookstore after...

January 24, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
A Dark, gothic, haunting retelling

Gilded is an imaginative retelling of Rumplestiltskin and the German tale of the Erlking. The heroine, Serilda, a miller's daughter was born cursed by the god of stories and lies. One night, after hiding two moss maidens who are being hunted by the evil Erlking and his undead hunting party,...

February 04, 2021
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Lush fantasy with amazing characters and world-building

I really loved We Hunt the Flame. It is a well-written fantasy inspired by Middle Eastern culture. The world building is skillful, the magic system fascinating, and the characters complex. The land of Arawiya once vibrant and flourishing, has lost its good magic, has become cursed and suffers under a...

January 08, 2021
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Hilariously funny and insightful rom-com

Super Fake Love Song is about Sunny Dae, a Korean American teenager who is a mega-nerd trying to survive at his wealthy, white California high school. He is introduced to Cirrus Soh, a very cool, worldly, beautiful girl. To impress her, he impulsively tells her he is the front man...

25 results - showing 1 - 15
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