gray scissors on dry leaves

Books I’m Thankful For: Leven Thumps

Sooo… I’ve been unexpectedly MIA this week. I’m sorry about that, I got a little stressed out with the holiday coming up (Thanksgiving) and it triggered a flare up. So I was out of action for part of the week, unfortunately. And the time I did have was spent cleaning and prepping for Thanksgiving or doing family stuff. So yeah, those are my excuses for not posting basically at all this week.

But I’m rectifying it now. This is my Thanksgiving post, Books I’m Thankful For, and it’s something that I started last year. Speaking of which, my BITF post of 2022 was a soliloquy about the series that got me into reading – The Magic Treehouse series. This year I’m gonna do something slightly less impactful but no less thankful for – the Leven Thumps series by Robert Skye.

The Leven Thumps series by Obert Skye

My journey with this series began in 2006 on my birthday. I got the first book Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo as one of my birthday gifts. (The other one was another book, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is. I guess that shows which book ended up being more important to me, lol.) I read it, fell in love with the sketch style art within, and was frothing at the mouth for more.

Then, mere weeks later I saw the sequel, Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret, at Borders and immediately picked it up. And thus, I was hooked on the series. I then waited every year for each release, eagerly anticipating the next three books. And I was never disappointed.

These books were here with their weird plots and great humor whenever I needed to be cheered up, and they fostered a unique brand of creativity within me, encouraging me to think outside the box when coming up with ideas. I read and reread these novels so many times I’ve lost count. I also buddy read them with at least one friend, and we adored them. The story, the world, the characters – all of it.

This is a series that will always be in my heart, and I absolutely have to give a hearty recommendation for. They have weird but unique plots, imaginative rich worlds, and are generally just fun. I’ll always remember Leven and his friends’ adventures very, very fondly. I’m so thankful for this series I don’t have enough words.

(Before I close off, I will say that these books are definitely not perfect. The world building has a ton of issues, but I liked the writing and most of everything else so I was kind of able to turn off my brain and enjoy it. Plus, I was like 10 or 11 when I first read it, and I honestly didn’t care that much about any of that stuff until several years later in college. I just wanted to enjoy the story and characters. I will say, though, that there were some plot points and character motivations that were that were never addressed properly by series end, which I did find a little irritating.)

(This is also definitely geared towards kids and I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this too much as an adult, had I read it for the first time now. The protagonists aren’t very active in the first book, which is also a problem, but I kind of let the magic and whimsy carry me through that one. (Also, Leven’s powers are poorly defined and never mean or amount to anything in the first couple of books, unless the plot needed something to happen and this has always bothered me.) (Book four is the best, BTW.))

So yeah, I know it’s extraordinarily late, but Happy Thanksgiving 🦃🥧 to everyone and anyone who celebrates it! I hope you all enjoyed good food with the ones you love.

What books are you thankful for? What are your favorite novels?

Thank you for reading. I’m always so thankful that anyone reads or follows my little blog at all. I hope you have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

“Hooky” by Miriam Bonastre Tur | Book Review

{Dani} “Oh no – the bus is leaving!”

Hooky: Volumes #1, 2 & 3 by Miriam Bonastre Tur

Hooky by Miriam Bonastre Tur

GRAPHIC NOVEL: Hooky (Volumes #1 – #3)

LENGTH: 1152 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Comics, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Clarion Books

RELEASE DATE: 7 September 2021 – 5 September 2023


Two twins. one prophecy, and a whole lot of hijinks. From WEBTOON, the #1 digital comic platform, comes a fantastical story about twin siblings Dani and Dorian who have missed the bus to magic school and scramble to find a mentor  to teach them before their parents find out. Perfect for fans of THE OKAY WITCH and the 5 Worlds series.

When Dani and Dorian missed the bus to magic school, they never thought they’d wind up declared traitors to their own kind! Now, thanks to a series of mishaps, they are being chased by powerful magic families seeking the prophesied King of Witches and royals searching for missing princes.

But they aren’t alone. With a local troublemaker, a princess, and a teacher who can see the future on their side, they might just be able to clear their names…but can they heal their torn kingdom?

Based on the beloved webcomic from WEBTOON, Hooky is in stunning print format for the first time with exclusive new content sure to please fans new and old.

My Review(s)

Hooky was absolutely the cutest little set of graphic novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading so far. The art and the characters are both so completely adorable. I love so much about this comic.

Since it was three different volumes, however, and since I gave each volume its own rating, I’ve decided to give each book a mini review and rate them individually. They’re all more than novel length anyway, so it feels completely okay to me to treat them as three installments of a series. Kind of like what I did for the Murderbot Diaries last year.

But I’ll stop blabbering. Here’s the full review.

Hooky: Volume #1

Hooky: Volume #1 by Miriam Bonastre Tur

{Dorian} “Oh, Nico… So you were playing hooky?”

{Nico} “I can’t go to class like this!”

Out of the three volumes, the one is probably the most adorable. It’s also definitely the most lighthearted. So much of it gives me Kiki’s Delivery Service vibes, and I’m all here for it.

The art is so pretty – the author is very, very talented. The art style in general is very Ghibli-esque, which is why it probably reminded me of Kiki. That, and the whole witchy theme going on.

The characters were also very loveable. I love it when stories have twins, and especially twin protagonists. This aspect of the novels honestly reminded me of Gravity Falls (an American cartoon) a little bit. Especially with Dani being the more outgoing of the two, and Dorian being more bookish and shy – it seemed a similar dichotomy to Mabel and Dipper. Of course, they are still very different characters despite their similarities.

I also really enjoyed the other protagonists – Monica, Nico and Mark. They added an additional flavor to the cast, and helped the twins come out of their shells. The characters and character and friendship development were definitely the strongest part of the book, after the artwork.

This is a very festive read for spooky season – even though it’s not at all scary. Fall in general is perfect to read this graphic novel in, perhaps with a pumpkin spice candle burning in the background and with some hot chocolate or tea.

Hooky: Volume #2

Hooky: Volume #2 by Miriam Bonastre Tur

{Dani} “I love you so much.”

{Dorian} “…I love you too, silly.”

In volume two, things start to heat up. The plot definitely begins to move more and become more defined. The author also starts to lay down a little bit of foreshadowing, which is always appreciated.

The art is still just as cute and pretty as it was in the first volume, but then I didn’t expect it to change at all. There’s also more character and relationship development here then before, but then the story has also moved forward as well.

The romance that’s been inching along since volume one, but far more prevalent here, is also completely adorable. I can’t help but ship all the canon pairings – the characters are just so cute together! And the chemistry between everyone, romantic or friendship based, as just so amazing.

But yeah, definitely still festive for the season. The volume might even be more so, as it’s darker than its predecessor. I’d definitely rather read this one in October.

Hooky: Volume #3

Hooky: Volume #3 by Miriam Bonastre Tur

{Monica} “I promise we’ll find a solution. Together.”

{Dorian} “Thank you for everything. Seriously.”

In Hooky: Volume #3 we’re thoroughly embroiled in the plot. Though there’s obviously always been a plot here, this is definitely the most story focused of the three. The first two focused more on character interaction, I found. (This one still focuses on character interaction too, don’t worry!)

(Also, I just realized that I gave all three volumes the same exact star rating, and could have totally just put one star rating at the top of this review, instead of one for each book. Whoops.)

The artwork is, as always, beautiful. I know it might seem a little bit redundant to comment on it a third time, but 1) I really, really like it and 2) there’s been a significant enough that timeskip between volumes two and three that the protagonists have all had character redesigns. And they’re still great, everything’s just a little different.

The romance is also somewhat more prevalent, as the characters are all older now – they’re well into their teens. It’s all just as cute and sweet as it always was, but there are confessions this time around. The chemistry is also as palpable as ever.

This is definitely a solid ending to this graphic novel. I was pretty satisfied with everything about it. And yes, this volume is also perfect reading for autumn, as if you couldn’t already guess.

Closing Thoughts

Hooky by Miriam Bonastre Tur is a brilliant and adorable graphic novel. I loved nearly everything about it, and even though it’s geared more towards middle grade, I think everyone should read it regardless of age.

Those who enjoy fantasy and comics will probably enjoy it, but I also think that Studio Ghibli fans will also really like it. Actually, I think most people in general will enjoy it.

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day/night!

See ya ~Mar

My Links:

Book Review: “The Chalice of the Gods” by Rick Riordon

“I couldn’t trust anyone else! You’ve already turned down immortality once, Percy Jackson.”

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordon

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordon

SERIES: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book #6)

LENGTH: 288 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, YA, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Disney Publishing Group

RELEASE DATE: 26 September 2023


The original heroes from The Lightning Thief are reunited for their biggest challenge yet: getting Percy to college when the gods are standing in his way.

After saving the world multiple times, Percy Jackson is hoping to have a normal senior year. Unfortunately, the gods aren’t quite done with him. Percy will have to fulfill three quests in order to get the necessary three letters of recommendation from Mount Olympus for college.

The first quest is to help Zeus’s cup-bearer retrieve his goblet before it falls into the wrong hands. Can Percy, Grover, and Annabeth find it in time?

Readers new to Percy Jackson and fans who have been awaiting this reunion for more than a decade will delight equally in this latest hilarious take on Greek mythology. 

My Review

“I am a guy of limited talents. If I can’t kill it with water, a sword, or sarcasm, I am basically defenseless.”

So. A long time ago, waaayy back in like 2007, I read a little book called The Lightning Thief. And it led me to discovering my favorite series of books in my middle school career.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians was a huge series for me and my friend group growing up, and basically until high school. Even though there were a couple of really not good film adaptations, it didn’t dampen the books whatsoever for us. The Last Olympian was the most hyped book of 2009 for like my entire grade at my school, and I still consider it to be one of the greatest finales ever written.

And sure, Rick Riordon continued the PJO saga in other ways after TLO, but I never could get into the Heroes of Olympus series, and The Trials of Apollo… exists. (It’s really not as bad as people say – it just has a very, very rocky… first couple of books. (I didn’t really mind them, though.))

So when The Chalice of the Gods was announced, I was filled with disbelief. I never dreamed that there’d be another Percy Jackson book. In the greater Riordon universe? Sure. But another book with the original trio of main characters from the series that started it all? Never in my dreams had I imagined this happening.

I’m going to continue with my usual likes and dislikes momentarily, but before I get into it, I just want to let everyone know one thing: I absolutely loved this new adventure. It was everything I’d hoped it’d be. It wrapped me in nostalgia exactly the way I hoped that it would. This novel was a Percy Jackson fan from the ’00s dream. (And it’s also just as welcoming to newer fans.)


  • The characters ▼

She let the thought drift away into the Land of Half-Formed Thoughts About Things That Could Kill Percy Jackson. I spent a lot of my time in that land.

Percy Jackson is back, and he’s just as sassy as ever. Sure, he’s slightly more mature than he used to be, but saving the world twice will do that to you. Riordon also seemed to be writing him in such a way that evoked as much nostalgia as possible. Or maybe that was just me coming back to the series after ten plus years. (It was probably me.)

Annabeth Chase is still awesome, and her and Percy’s chemistry is just as strong as it’s ever been. Annabeth was Percy’s best friend and a good character before she was his girlfriend, and that careful character work is still prevalent today. Their friendship is also still strong, even though they’re very serious about each other, which is something I’m glad about. So many series can’t or won’t keep this aspect of the relationship up after the couple gets together, and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

I imagined us sitting around a table together, sharing a good meal and laughing about all the crazy things we’d done in our lives.

And last but certainly not least, Grover Underwood is back! Everyone’s favorite satyr is back on an adventure with his two best friends. And he never felt like a third wheel. Ever. Not that I doubted he would for a moment, but he never was. Which was awesome. He’s just as kind and enchilada (and aluminum can) loving as he’s always been, and I’m so happy that he and Percy are still super close bros.

There weren’t really any of the major supporting cast that appeared, like Clarisse or Nico or Chiron. (Nor any of the major new characters introduced in Heroes of Olympus.) It was nice to see Percy’s mom and stepdad again, as well as some of the Olympians.

  • The story ▼

The plot was as fast-paced and as fun as it’s always been. There’s always something going on, but there’s also always time for character moments and development. Rick has perfected his plot-heavy-stuff and let-the-characters-breathe ratio.

  • The writing and voice ▼

Percy Jackson and the Olympians has one of the greatest first person POVs that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s so extremely well done. Especially considering how difficult it is to pull first person off effectively. (Third person is usually considered easier to do.)

But Percy has always had a unique voice that isn’t too cluttered up by random unnecessary thoughts (which is a problem several books have). And he’s a genuinely fun character’s head to be in, which is also something I can’t say for all first person POV novels that I’ve read.

After an uneventful weekend, Annabeth broke into my room at 4:30 A.M. Monday morning, which sounds a lot more exciting than it actually was.

  • Nearly everything else ▼

I don’t really know what else to say here. Just, pretty much everything about this book was amazing. I loved it so much, and it meant so much to me, as a longtime fan of this series.


  • Maybe some nitpicks? ▼

I didn’t have any huge problems with this one. Part of it might be my giant nostalgia goggles, but I’m pretty confident that this isn’t it. I think that this is just a genuinely good book that has a lot of what I like to see in books. Sure it might be geared younger, but I don’t consider that a bad thing.

Final Thoughts

You’d be amazed how many teachers, administrators, and other school staff are monsters in disguise. Or maybe you wouldn’t be amazed.

The Chalice of the Gods was peak nostalgia. It felt like a love letter to the entire series, and for fans new and old. It has the same charm and adventure as the original five books.

I feel like I can only recommend this to those who are already fans of the PJO novels. Since, you know, it’s the sixth installment. But it’s a hearty recommendation for them.

Have you read any of these books? Were you excited for The Chalice of the Gods? Are you a fan of Greek myths?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a fantastic day/night!

See ya ~Mar

My Links:

Weekly Wrap-Up: 7/17 – 7/23

Yay! Last week was better for me! I got in four posts (aside from the weekly wrap-up of course). It was a huge improvement after the week preceding it.

I honestly don’t have much of an intro this time. ☹️ So without further ado, let’s jump right into the wrap-up.

Monday 7/17: Majestic Monday

Last Monday, I did the first Majestic Monday that I’ve done in a long time. It felt great, and I’m excited to post more of these in the future. For those who don’t know, Majestic Mondays are when I gush over covers that I like.

Majestic Monday #14

Wednesday 7/19: Shelf Control

On Wednesday, I finally posted another Shelf Control. Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books languishing on our bookshelves created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control #14

Friday 7/21: First Line Friday

Last Friday, I once again participated in First Line Fridays. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words.

First Line Friday 7/21

Sunday 7/23: Deltora Quest Review

Yesterday, I finally posted my review for the entire first series of Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest. It’s a series of fantasy books geared towards children/middle grade. I rated the entire series as a whole ★★★★☆, but I also rated each of the eight books individually.

Deltora Quest Series Review

Books That I Read Last Week

The City of Rats by Emily Rodda
The Shifting Sands by Emily Rodda
Dread Mountain by Emily Rodda
The Maze of the Beast by Emily Rodda
The Valley of the Lost by Emily Rodda
Return to Del by Emily Rodda

Goals for 7/24 – 7/30

I want to do at least four or five blog posts, aside from this weekly wrap-up. I’ll be doing my usual weekly feature participating, of course, but I also definitely want to do one and hopefully two book reviews. I’m also considering doing a new post this week.

So yeah, I just want to keep on keeping on, basically. Wish me luck! 🤞

As always, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a fantastic day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Deltora Quest | Book Series Review

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

SERIES: Deltora Quest (Books 1 – 8)

LENGTH: 736 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Omnibus Books (Scholastic Australia)

RELEASE DATE: 2021 (Original editions published 2000)


A special 21st anniversary edition of the best-selling first series of Deltora Quest from award-winning master story-teller Emily Rodda…

Three companions – Leif, Barda and Jasmine – are on a perilous quest to find the seven lost gems of the Belt of Deltora. Only when the belt is complete will the evil Shadow Lord and his rule of tyranny be overcome. Set in the fantasy world of Deltora, a sprawling kingdom of magic and monsters, bordered by the sea and a vast, curving mountain range, beyond which is an unknown territory called the Shadowlands. The adventurers must solve puzzles, clues and mysteries to fulfil the quest.

The much-loved first series of eight books is bound in this volume, celebrating 21 years of Deltora magic and mystery.

My Review

So… This review took forever. Sorry about that. (And it wasn’t because I didn’t like it – quite the contrary actually.) The next one hopefully won’t take as long, haha.

This series… This series was something I’ve wanted to read for a long time. As the thumbnail alludes to. But I didn’t discover it until I was about thirteen, and I felt at the time that I was too old to give it a shot. I was also super afraid of being judged by my peers, and I didn’t really have a subtle way of acquiring a chance to read them. I’d suspected that I’d like this series though, so it’s rested in the back of my mind for over a decade.

And now, I’m an adult with no shame and an Amazon account, so both of the perceived hurdles of my early teenhood are gone. So, I read it.

And I really enjoyed it. Yes, it is very clearly a series of books written for ten year olds, and there was a lot of awkward, stilted dialogue (and the author has something against contractions), and there were a couple of huge plot holes, but it was otherwise very enjoyable. I think Deltora Quest is very good. Especially if you consider it’s meant for kids who don’t really notice or care about that stuff. I would’ve given it five stars, had I read it as a tween, and I still rated it pretty highly now.

A long time ago, like on Wikipedia or something, I read that this series was inspired by the videogames that Emily Rodda’s children played. I have no idea whether this was true or not, but I certainly believe it’s possible. The series entire structure is extremely comparable to several fantasy games – The Legend of Zelda in particular comes to mind. (And this is why I’ve always suspected that I’d like it.)

The Characters and Setting

The main characters were pretty likable, though they were a bit simple. They made a lot of very stupid decisions that I’m surprised at, concerning two of them are sixteen (Leif and Jasmine) and one is an adult at least in his thirties (Barda). Though this kind of decision-making did decrease a fair amount in the last couple of books, so I guess that’s character growth.

I thought that Leif was a decent protagonist, and is easy for the reader to root for. His cleverness and sneaky streak were also fun, and I wish they appeared more. Barda worked well as the wiser mentor figure (when he wasn’t being stupid), and he also worked great as the muscle of the group. Jasmine was a great female character, and was definitely the most useful member of the trio in several situations.

I found the setting to be extremely rich and immersive. It’s a credit to Rodda’s writing that this is so despite how short these books are, as well as all of the locations visited. I really loved it.

The Other Stuff

There were also a lot of surprisingly darker aspects throughout. I often forget how dark children’s/middle grade sci-fi and fantasy can get, and Deltora Quest once again reminded me. There’s quite a bit of dying and almost-dying going on, as well as a cult in one of the books, mind control, and some pretty gruesome descriptions. It was a pleasant surprise to read.

However, the “key quest items” that the trio retrieved at the end of each book began to get overpowered. Actually, no, some of them kind of started out overpowered. Leif used the topaz in particular in nearly every book, almost every time he wanted to think up a plan. I just kind of wish he used his own mind as it was and his own ingenuity. It kind of felt like he was “cheating” some a few of these moments.

My Individual Ratings for All the Books in Deltora Quest

So yeah, I quite enjoyed this series, and it was a long time coming. Here are my ratings for each individual book in the series.

There was the topaz, symbol of faithfulness, gold as the setting sun.

The Forests of Silence by Emily Rodda

There was the ruby for happiness, red as blood.

The Lake of Tears by Emily Rodda

The opal, symbol of hope, sparkling with all the colours of the rainbow.

The City of the Rats by Emily Rodda

There was the lapis lazuli, the heavenly stone, midnight blue with pinpoints of silver like the night sky.

The Shifting Sands by Emily Rodda

For honour there was the emerald, green as lush grass.

Dread Mountain by Emily Rodda

There was the amethyst, symbol of truth, purple as the violets that grew by the banks of the river Del.

The Maze of the Beast by Emily Rodda

And for purity and strength there was the diamond, clear and sparkling as ice.

The Valley of the Lost by Emily Rodda

Where this story began, so it will end.

Return to Del by Emily Rodda

Closing Thoughts

Deltora Quest is a great little fantasy series. I definitely recommend it to kids, and honestly, anyone could read it. It’s kind of trope-y, and there’s a fairly obvious hero’s journey, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.

As always, thank you to everyone so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day/night! Sorry again for the long wait between book reviews. Life kind of happened.

See ya ~Mar


Book Review: “The Last Life of Prince Alastor” by Alexandra Bracken

Life is a blank page on which we write our destiny.

About This Book

Title & Author: The Last Life of Prince Alastor by Alexandra Bracken

Series: Prosper Redding duology

Length: 331 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Release Date: February 5, 2019

Book Description

Three hundred years ago, fate bound Prosper Redding and Prince Alastor of the Third Realm together. Now the human boy and fiend heir to the demon kingdom must put aside a centuries-old blood feud to save everything they love. Alastor will guide Prosper through the demon realm—under one huge condition: Prosper must enter into a contract with the malefactor residing in him, promising eternal servitude in the afterlife. With Prosper’s sister in the clutches of the evil queen Pyra, Prosper has no choice but to agree.

But when they arrive in Alastor’s deliciously demonic home, the realm is almost as alien to Alastor as it is to Prosper—the lowest fiends have dethroned the ruling malefactors, while an unfathomable force called the Void is swiftly consuming the realm. The desperate fiends cling to the one person who says she can stop it: Pyra. As Prosper embarks on a perilous rescue mission to the Tower of No Return, he can’t help but feel for the demons losing their home—even Alastor, who lives by a set of rules that have vanished in a new world.

With the fates of humans and demons at odds, the battle lines are drawn. Long ago, Prosper’s ancestor Honor Redding proved that humans and demons could never be friends. But is Prosper like his ancestor? And is Alastor the same demon who was betrayed by the one human he cared for?

My Review

Star Rating: ★★★★✯ • 4.5 / 5 stars

To be a Redding was to inherit history, but also the shared responsibility of guilt. The beginning of this story was Redhood. The end of it would be Redhood.

This book was, like the first in this duology, tons of fun. But for whatever reason I enjoyed it slightly less than the first book, so I redacted half a star. Still great, but not quite as good as the first one.

Honestly, I’ve kind of already said my piece concerning everything that I liked and the very few things that I didn’t in my book one review. And my opinions really haven’t changed with the sequel, even though I didn’t vibe with it as much.

“As it turns out, Maggot,” Alastor said, his voice no more than a whisper, “I have decided to care about one human child.”

Prosper and Alastor’s relationship is still fun to watch, what with all of the bickering and all, and I liked how it further developed here. Nell was also, once again, fantastic, and I love watching her and Prosper try to navigate their friendship now that there are no longer secrets between them. Prue was also far more important here than in the last one, and I loved the juxtaposition of her and Prosper’s sibling relationship versus Alastor and Pyra’s.

I think I preferred the way that Bracken portrayed the antagonists last book to how she did here, but it still wasn’t bad. There were far fewer twists in this book, though the foreshadowing for them was still on point and amazing. I also loved the final reveals around the climax. That stuff is honestly what cinched my decision to rate this a 4.5, as opposed to 4 stars.

So yeah, even though it’s not quite as great as The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, The Last Life of Prince Alastor is still really good, and I highly recommend for those in a slump or those who like the occasional book in that weird area between middle-grade and YA. It’s just as dark as the first one though, and I absolutely recommend that you read that one first anyway. Cuz this is a sequel and all that. Anyway, thanks for joining me, and have a good one.