Show Us Your Books (Nov. 2020): Witches, Hockey, and Mary Shelley

Posted November 9, 2020 by shooting in Book Review / 31 Comments

I am a day early for Show Us Your Books because I’m taking part in a giveaway hop tomorrow. However, this is a link-up that happens every second Tuesday of the month and you can show what you’ve read in the past month. Show Us Your Books is hosted by Jana and Steph!!

*all purchase links are affiliate links – I get a small percent of any sale at no extra cost to you*

My Life in the Fish Tank by Barbara Dee 

source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

First off, I love this cover. All of these little aspects are important to the story and to 12-year old Zinnia. This MG novel is one that I think a lot of kids should be reading – and adults too, because it definitely explores how adults handle challenges and tough feelings as well. Zinnia loves her older brother, Gabriel, but she’s noticed he’s been acting a bit off for awhile. It isn’t until he goes away to college and gets in a car accident that everything sort of “makes sense.” Gabriel has bipolar disorder. This is a lot for a 12-year old to take in, but it’s also a lot for her 8 year old brother, 16 year old sister, and parents.

I loved that Zinnia was a huge fan of science and used her teacher’s lab as a lunchtime escape. I think the adults in her life through school were wonderful. They gave her a place to hide away, but they also pushed her to see she wasn’t the only dealing with hard things. I especially loved the guidance counselor, who has a one day a week Lunch Club for kids to come and share their hardships – which is made up of the same group of kids. It was so heartwarming to see Zinnia finally open up about her own sadness, anger, confusion, and yes, love for her brother.

I’ll admit – I got teary-eyed in a few parts. A 5-star read for me, and one I definitely recommend!

Trade Deadline by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

This is the third book in the Hat Trick series. I read and reviewed Off the Ice and Goalie Interference. I really liked Trade Deadline and found it to be a quick read. It’s a childhood friends turned friends again turned lovers story. Daniel Bellamy and Micah Kelly grew up together – they were best friends and each other’s first kiss. It’s years later, when Daniel joins a new hockey team in his hometown, that the two reconnect.

I really loved both of these guys. Daniel is divorced, with two kids, and his family is just fantastic. He has a great relationship with his ex, but I appreciated that the two were still adjusting to each other finding new love. As for Micah, he’s a marine biologist, and I thought it was great that he had his own career that he loved and worked really hard for, and it wasn’t all Daniel and hockey. For the most part, both Daniel and Micah are open and honest with each other, so while they both have fears and insecurities, it doesn’t really lead to annoying miscommunication, which is always a plus!

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

You can read my full review here, but I thought I’d share a snippet:

One of the things that I loved most about Patron Saints of Nothing is that it mostly takes place in the Philippines, which I don’t know much about. I like reading books set in non-U.S. countries and being able to learn more about the culture. For example, I had no idea that President Duterte has a war on drugs in the country, which essentially allows people to kill drug addicts with very few repercussions. The book definitely explains things a bit more, but it was just horrifying to learn this. Addiction is a disease, and that doesn’t make the person addicted any less human.


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Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley’s Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter by Brea Grant and Yishan Li

You can read my full review here, but I thought I’d share a snippet:

This is the beginning of a series, but I still felt like it was entertaining enough while allowing you to get to know the modern-day Mary Shelley and her family and friends. Her ability to heal monsters was really interesting, and I can’t wait to explore that more in the future. I felt like the illustrations were done really well, and Yishan Li was great at capturing the many dark and rainy nights in the novel.

Buy a copy of Mary


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Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky

source: I won a copy; all opinions are my own

This was such a fantastic book. I really loved getting to know the Juniper Sisters and how they live their daily lives as preppers (basically, they are ready if the world as we know it ends). Honey, Birdie, and Blue are all one year apart from reach other and while they are very different personality-wise, they have a tight bond and only REALLY trust each other. This is a contemporary novel; it takes place in the present day. While people might see preppers as crazy or delusional, that’s not entirely the case here. Some of what the girls are prepared for makes sense.

Last Girls is kind of a slow thriller – but definitely a book I’d call a mystery. We learn more about them and their “world” as the book goes on, and it really does have you flipping the pages to see how it all ends!

Buy a copy of Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky


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Witch Wars by Alane Adams

source: review book; all opinions are my own

**the review below is the same as the one embedded above, just FYI**

This was the third book in a series, so I definitely felt a bit behind when it came to some characters and events. However, it didn’t take away my enjoyment of the book and I felt like the author did a good job at giving backstory.

Witch Wars is a fun read that had some slight commonalities to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings- though nothing too “copy-cat ish”. Plus, it features some mythology like Thor! ⚡️ I loved having Thor as a character. ⁣

The two main characters, Abigail and Hugo, were good fun! I thought it was interesting how witches are characterized in the book- they aren’t meant to be so nice, even though Abigail is! ❤️ ⁣

Enjoyable read all around and the end certainly left me wanting the next book!!


Have you read any of these? Are you interested in any of them? 

31 responses to “Show Us Your Books (Nov. 2020): Witches, Hockey, and Mary Shelley

  1. These are all new to me, with the exception of Mary which I’d heard of because I adore the podcast Brea Grant cohosts, Reading Glasses. I still haven’t read any graphic novels, I need to try one!

  2. My Life in the Fish Tank sounds really interesting and important. Last Girls sounds super interesting, too! I actually know a few preppers… Ha. I, myself, am not one, though. Lol

  3. Ooh, Last Girls sounds like my type of read! I’m absolutely fascinated by those doomsday prepper shows, those batty people are so delightfully entertaining. So many great reads here Lauren, looking forward to checking out your reviews and adding a few to my TBR!

    Kelly recently posted: Harrow Lake
  4. verushka

    These all look great, and sound great, but I think Mary Shelley’s Great, great ,great ,great, great great granddaughter just makes me want to smile!

  5. My Life in the Fish Tank sounds good (and it’s so annoying when a cover has nothign to do with the book – I want to read it now just to recognize all the things right about the cover!). Mary also sounds interesting, and I don’t usually read graphic novels. Nice descriptions 🙂 Thanks for sharing and enjoy your month!

  6. I had a goal to read 15 books this year and I’m suuuuuper lagging behind. I haven’t heard of any of these yet, but I’ll be adding Patron Saints of Nothing to my neverending to-read list!

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