Mini Reviews | Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet + Black-Winged Tuesday + The Casual Vacancy

Last week I participated in the September Reading Club marathon (TBR and Wrap Up) and I didn’t have much time to write full reviews about the books I read. I didn’t have much to say about them either, so I decided to write mini reviews instead (more focused on what I hated and loved) and post them all together. 🙂

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Title: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

Author: Charlie N. Holmberg

Publisher: 47North

Number of Pages: 306

Language: English

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. 

My Opinion (spoiler-free):

This could have been an awesome retelling book for Hansel and Gretel and The Gingerbread Man! However, they’re only mentioned in one or two chapters, and the idea was totally wasted. The main character, Maire, lost her memories, and is searching for details about her past – meanwhile, she works at her own bakeshop, and she’s very succesful, because she can bake magical cakes. But one day she’s kidnapped, and becomes a slave. Her Master seems to know her from before, but refuses to answer her questions, and asks for more and more magical cakes. And there’s also this kind of angel / spirit / I don’t even know, that says he knows her, but also refuses to answer her questions. Summing up, everyone here is useless, because we know as much as Maire does ( = nothing). The book also lacks in worldbuilding, and everythings we get to know towards the end of the story is still little. And the epilogue was unnecessary, I mean, I’d have prefered the way the last chapter ended! But it was entertaining, had some cute moments and, of course, had lots of cake, so I’m giving it 3/5 stars.

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Book Depository 


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Title: Black-Winged Tuesday

Author: A. B. Rayn

Publisher: Createspace

Number of Pages: 294

Language: English

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Unlucky in life, twice as unlucky in the after-life? When Tuesday dies and becomes a guardian angel, he’s sure his luck has turned. Little does he know he’ll have to face were-beavers, old sweethearts, archangels, and even Lucifer himself. Nevertheless, Tuesday’s death may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to him.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

My Opinion (spoiler-free):

I was such a big fan of Hush, Hush and I’ve been wanting to read more angel books ever since, but never got around to. Black-Winged Tuesday was certainly different, but as equally entertaining. This book is definitely hilarious! Tuesday and Price are very funny to read about, and I highlighted at least one sentence every chapter. The whole concept of this book, that you can choose between being good, bad or neutral after you die, is also very interesting, because, you know, not everything is black and white. And there’s more fantasy elements other than angels, which caught my attention, and I wonder if we’ll get more of those in the next books. And although sometimes things got a bit strange, I want to see how everything works out for Tuesday!

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“God, I love doughnuts.”

“I thought we weren’t supposed to take the Lord’s name in vain?”

Price shook his head.

“The big guy and I have a special understanding when it comes to doghtnuts.”

Book Depository


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Title: The Casual Vacancy

Author: J. K. Rowling

Publisher: Sphere

Number of Pages: 568

Language: English

Synopsis (Goodreads):

A BIG NOVEL ABOUT A SMALL TOWN …

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

My Opinion (spoiler-free):

I thought I was ready to read this book. I’ve read reviews (mostly bad reviews) about it, and I said to myself “Okay, I’m probably not going to love it, but I’ll still try”. The problem was that I knew barely anything about the plot, and maybe if I had known what it was all about, I wouldn’t have picked it up. Sometimes I enjoyed reading it, and I though it was okay, but most of the time I just couldn’t like it. That’s why I decided to give it 2.5 stars – it’s in the middle of “I don’t like” and “okay” for me. My main issue with it were the characters: both adults and teenagers were so immature! There’s gossips, there’s “he/she did this and that”, and most of the characters couldn’t think about anyone else other than themselves. The teenagers were funny sometimes, and Kay actually stopped being stupid (she was the only one, though), but that wasn’t enough for me. There’s also a lot of family dramas, that I enjoyed reading about and thought they were important for the story (because that’s one of the “okay” things) but a lot of situations could’ve been avoided if the characters weren’t so selfish!

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3 thoughts on “Mini Reviews | Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet + Black-Winged Tuesday + The Casual Vacancy

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