Tag: 5 stars

Short Story ARC Review: Merry Meow by Sian B. Claven

Merry Meow
Series: Demon Cat #2
Author: Sian B. Claven

To Be Published:  December 15, 2021
50 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 8-9, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description: 

The cats are back, and it’s still not really a Christmas story.

Danielle rescues a cat from some mean men who are throwing rocks at it. After making sure it’s healthy she brings it home to join the family. Dark deeds abound, Danielle starts finding her neighbour’s dead pets in her house and shamefully buries them in the yard at night.

Is Meow getting out and killing the neighbour’s pets?

Impossible, he’s just a sweet, little kitty after all…

Jessica’s Review:

To ‘prepare’ myself for Sian B. Claven’s upcoming short story Merry Meow I decided to re-read the first in the series Killer Kitteh Khristmas, and prepare me it did!  I enjoyed that one just as much the second time, but I will let my previous review stand for it as it is time to talk about Merry Meow:

Danielle does what every cat lover does: Saves and brings home a new furbaby! But what if you refuse to see things for how they actually are occurring or just in denial? This is what Merry Meow is about. It is a short story, so you can’t say much without giving spoilers, but this is story is not for the faint of heart: Claven writes horror and yes, you get some bloody horror in this story! And no, I did not see that ending coming…

I really enjoyed Merry Meow and look forward to the next in the series: Jingle Fur.  I received an e-arc from the author to read and review and also pre-ordered Merry Meow for just .99 on Amazon!  If you enjoy horror at all, spend the .99 and find a new-to-you author if you haven’t read anything from Claven before. 

One day I will read more than her short stories, as I have several of her full-length novels on my kindle.

Merry Meow is recommended!

Pre-order links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

A Double Review of The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews!  You guys know we both will read practically anything she writes! We both gave The Santa Suit 5 stars and it also touched me in a personal way, which will be in my review. I listened to the audiobook while Kim read the physical book.

The Santa Suit
Mary Kay Andrews

Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
Published: September 28, 2021
Audiobook/224 Pages

Book Description:

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
Kim’s Review:

What a perfect way to start out the holiday season!! This is a Hallmark Christmas movie in book form … except it’s better than the movies! The best way to describe it is “feel good”. It’s not a long book, nor is it complicated with lots of drama or conflict. It’s just a sweet story that probably won’t happen in real life, but stirs up all those warm and fuzzy feelings you want around Christmas time. I wasn’t expecting it, but I was in tears by the end. My heart felt so big and happy that I wanted to tell Ivan that we should buy a fixer upper farm house in the country and keep it decorated all year long! I might just add this book to my annual Christmas reading list!

Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars
Dates Read: November 9-12, 2021
Format Read: Audiobook
Jessica’s Review:

The Santa Suit is a cute novella that will get you all ready for Christmas!  As with many of her more recent novels, MKA has characters that deal with houses that are ‘fixer uppers’, this time newly divorced Ivy buys an older farm house called The Four Roses without seeing it.  Unaware of how much work needs to be done on the house until she sees it firsthand, Ivy finds herself overwhelmed as the previous owners left their personal possessions. This includes a Santa suit which she just can’t throw away. Inside the suit she finds a very old letter written by a little girl wanting her daddy to come from the war.  Ivy then becomes determined to find out what happened to the little  girl and her family.

Ivy becomes friends with a local girl who is engaged to a man she has never actually met, and she isn’t exactly how she described herself to him.   There is also a potential romance and starting over for Ivy.

This is an enjoyable Christmas tale without a complex story to it and everything wraps up nicely in a sweet and cute novella that we need after the last couple of years.  If you are a fan of MKA, do yourself a favor and read The Santa Suit this Christmas season!

The Santa Suit touched me personally, from when I was in middle school on, my own dad played Santa every Christmas. It was something he loved doing. Listening to the audiobook brought back those memories.

The Santa Suit is recommended!

Here are some pictures of my dad in action as Santa:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: George, now being published as Melissa by Alex Gino

George (Now being published as Melissa)
Alex Gino

Published: August 25, 2015

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 25-26, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Jessica’s Review:

Forget what you personally believe about transgender people, we need more books like this!  Whether this will be a book for a transgender child to read, this book can be for everyone as it shows how one person who feels they are very different from others can be their own person.

George is in 4th grade and though she physically looks like a boy, she knows in her heart that she is a girl. As the reader reads the novel, they see how George feels.  She has not told anyone who she really is, including her family. Over the course of this short novel, George tells her best friend Kelly who she actually is and that she wants to be Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web in the school play and Kelly is all for that!

This is a novel of differences, acceptance, and coming together.  This is a novel that shows how being different can make one person feel among other ‘normal’ people. 

This is a novel written by trans author Alex Gino and the title was just changed from George to Melissa earlier this year.  Here is a link that explains that change:  https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/87750-alex-gino-debuts-new-title-and-cover-for-groundbreaking-trans-novel.html  This book is one of the most banned books for a variety of reasons and I found out about it during Banned Books Week this year and decided to read it for myself. Though I am not a parent, I did really enjoy this novel and feel it would be appropriate for middle grades kids. 

Depending on the version you read, George/ Melissa is highly recommended!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK