Book Review: Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch by Julie Abe – Our Favourite Witch Returns! Higher Stakes and Thrilling Dangers; A Magical Conclusion to Eva’s Story

Synopsis:

From this day forward, we will believe in the impossible.

Eva Evergreen has fulfilled her dream of earning the rank of Novice Witch, and discovered the chilling truth behind the mysterious Culling — the violent magical storm wreaking havoc across Rivelle Realm.

Revealing the truth, however, proves to be a difficult task and soon the culprit is at large. To make matters worse Eva learns what might be the horrible truth behind her pinch of magic and her mother’s own mysterious connection to the Culling and rogue magic.

With her spirits at an all-time low, Eva must muster up the courage to prove her mother’s innocence and learn to believe in her own magic, if she wishes to put a stop to the Culling once and for all.

Early last year, I had the privilege of reading Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch, a story about a witch who, with only a pinch of magic, endeavours to follows her dreams (and her mother’s footsteps) of becoming a witch of her own right. Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch was delightful, wholesome, and just so much spectacular fun that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. And then, you have the sequel, Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch, which surprised me in more ways than one and elevated the story to new thrilling, dangerous, yet hopeful heights.

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Five Reasons to Read: Josephine Against the Sea by Shakirah Bourne – A Spirited Adventure in Barbados about Grief, Magical Stepmothers, and Carribean Mythology

Josephine
Synopsis:

Eleven-year-old Josephine knows that no one is good enough for her daddy. That’s why she makes a habit of scaring his new girlfriends away. She’s desperate to make it onto her school’s cricket team because she’ll get to play her favorite sport AND use the cricket matches to distract Daddy from dating.

But when Coach Broomes announces that girls can’t try out for the team, the frustrated Josephine cuts into a powerful silk cotton tree and accidentally summons a bigger problem into her life . . .

The next day, Daddy brings home a new catch, a beautiful woman named Mariss. And unlike the other girlfriends, this one doesn’t scare easily. Josephine knows there’s something fishy about Mariss but she never expected her to be a vengeful sea creature eager to take her place as her father’s first love! Can Josephine convince her friends to help her and use her cricket skills to save Daddy from Mariss’s clutches before it’s too late?

After reading Josephine Against the Sea, I felt like I had traveled all the way to the small village in Barbados where Josephine lives, and that I had gone on an unforgettable journey with her. Josephine Against the Sea reminds me so much of the middle-grade books that I used to read as a younger reader – a story filled with mischief, a little danger, but is ultimately a simple and fun adventure with so much heart.

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Shakirah Bourne, Author of Josephine Against the Sea; On Carribean Mythology, Her Author Journey, and Writing Younger Voices

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

I’m so excited to share and tell you all about this wonderful book that I read very recently, friends. If you love stories that capture the thrill and joys of adventure, a story set entirely in Barbados, a satisfying sprinkle of Carribean mythology, and a good-hearted and mischievous heroine who meddles – and actually saves the day – then you will love Josephine Against the Sea by Shakirah Bourne.

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Graci Kim, Author of The Last Fallen Star – On Korean Folklore, Building Elemental Magic Systems, and Self-Acceptance

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

Way back in January, on a mostly-sleepy New Year’s Day, I picked up an early copy of The Last Fallen Star on a whim, having been eagerly anticipating it since its very first book announcement. And friends, I was enraptured. I basically inhaled the book in one sitting. Delving into this magical world of divine goddesses, haetae, and uniquely Korean-inspired magic reminded me of the best parts of my early childhood experience with Percy Jackson: the way magic thrums right underneath our noses in the modern world, how story winds and bends in exciting (and at times, unpredictable!) ways, and how all the characters were so lovable and easy to root for. Today, I am absolutely delighted to bring you an interview I had with the gracious Graci Kim herself, where we chat about the book and her journey as an author so far!

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Our Friend is Here! An Interview with Saadia Faruqi, Author of A Thousand Questions – On Writing for Young Readers and Bridging the Gap Between Homeland and Diaspora

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

Earlier this year, I read this absolutely incredible middle-grade book called A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi. While also a story that had coming-of-age elements and friendship, I was absolutely blown away by its deeply profound themes about identity, privilege, and how the story explores the gap – and ultimately bridges that gap – between a Pakistani-American girl, whose parents immigrated to America, and a Pakistani girl, who has lived in Pakistan all her life. True to the story’s title, I had so many questions I wanted to ask Saadia after reading her incredible book – which, to my delight, brings us here today.

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