Book Review: A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A feminist retelling/remix of Sleeping Beauty that captured my heart.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on!

Premise (from Goodreads)

It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

I read this book as part of Trope-ical Readathon and I was definitely not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. A Spindle Splintered is a novella that is a multi-dimensional feminist retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I’ve actually never watched Sleeping Beauty and I always get a bit confused between how the basic story premise differs from Snow White. A girl goes to sleep because of a curse and is woken up by a prince’s kiss. That’s the same for both right?

The thing that A Spindle Splintered did so well was that it incorporated several different versions of what Sleeping Beauty‘s tale might look like, all while actively pushing back against the fact that at it’s center, Sleeping Beauty is basically the tale of sexual assault. After all, a sleeping person is not actually capable of giving consent.

On top of that, the book also does an amazing job at portraying a healthy relationship. The main characters in A Spindle Splintered are basically constantly flirting between platonic and a romantic relationships. There’s even a kind of complete-circuit love triangle thing going on at certain points that I was actually enjoying quite a bit despite hating the love triangle trope. There was absolutely no way I was going to get upset at all these women caring about each other so wholesomely. These characters managed to be relatable and realistic while also being unfailingly supportive of one another. It was incredible to witness.

A Spindle Splintered is the first book in Alix E. Harrow’s Fractured Fables series, and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment.

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.


Blog Tour Spotlight: The Mostly Invisible Boy by AJ Vanderhorst

Today I’m bringing attention to the book The Mostly Invisible Boy by AJ Vanderhorst. I’ll take you through the blurb, about the author, and a few tour excerpts!


Eleven-year-old Casey is stubbornly friendly, but he’s eternally the new kid at Vintage Woods Middle School. Students look right through him—and they’re not faking. Casey doesn’t know why he’s mostly-invisible, but when he scales a colossal oak, he discovers a fortress in its branches. The forgotten sentry tree marks the border between his safe, suburban life and a fierce frontier.

Casey and his little sister Gloria infiltrate Sylvan Woods, a secret forest society devoted to ancient, wild things. Sky-high footpaths. Survival sewing. Monster control. Shockingly, people here actually see Casey—but being seen isn’t enough. He wants to belong.

Keeping his identity hidden–while struggling to prove he fits–is hard enough, but Butcher Beasts have returned to Sylvan Woods after a hundred years. Trickery is under siege. As the monsters close in, and the fearsome Sylvan Watch hunts Casey down, he and his newfound friends must unearth abandoned magic, buried at the forest’s roots…or be devoured along with everyone else, Sylvans and civilians alike.

A fast-paced middle grade fantasy/adventure book with all the monsters kids could ever hope for.

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on

Purchase on Amazon US (affiliate link)

About the Author

AJ Vanderhorst has had many jobs, including journalist, paramedic, escape artist, and baby whisperer. One time in fifth grade, he built a traffic-stopping fort in a huge oak tree, using only branches and imagination, and slept there for a week.

Now he and his wife live in a woodsy house with their proteges and a ridiculous number of pets, including a turtle with a taste for human toes. This makes AJ an expert on wild, dangerous things—invisibility spells, butcher beasts, hungry kids, you get the idea.

He is the only author in the world who enjoys pickup basketball and enormous bonfires, preferably not at the same time. He and his family have drawn up several blueprints for their future tree castle. Visit AJ online at

What readers have to say

I love his relationship with his sister, Gloria. He never disparages her ideas or tells her that she is imagining things. He protects her as much as he can but ultimately lets her stand up for herself. Gloria, in fact, is the heroine in several of their adventures and he never feels slighted by this, instead, he is proud of her achievements. This is such a refreshing and delightful depiction of sibling relationships.

Broken Geek

AJ Vanderhorst has the most beautiful imagination. The way Vanderhorst puts this world in your mind is nothing short of brilliant. The journey to the Sylvan Woods had me on the edge of my seat, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My Bookish Bliss

I absolutely love the world that AJ Vanderhorst has created here, he really does have a wonderful imagination. It kind of gives off treetop Percy Jackson vibes, and I am totally here for it.


The characters are all so witty and eloquent, and yet the dialogue feels so natural and flowing. The story itself is fast-paced and fun, it doesn’t ever get stuck on anything or leave you bored.

The Artsy Reader

A great little middle grade novel and loads of fun to read.  Descriptive and creative and extremely enjoyable.

Herding Cats

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Spotlight: Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay

Today I’m bringing attention to the lovely book Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay. I’ll take you through the blurb, about the author, a few tour excerpts, and information about the Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award (BBYNA)!


Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure.

When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one madhouse for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen.

When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on

Purchase on Amazon US (affiliate link)

About the Author

H.J. Ramsay has loved fantasy ever since she was a child. Growing up, she was influenced by movies like Legend, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth as well as books and short stories, such as The Collected Works of Brothers Grimm. She is drawn to fantasy with a darker side to its glittery world and the idea that things are never what they seem. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and teaches writing classes at her local community college. Ever Alice is her first published novel.

What readers have to say

If you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland, this book needs to be up next on your TBR because you will not be disappointed.

Books Are 42

I really enjoyed reading this book as it felt more of a continuation of the story of Alice in Wonderland than a retelling or reimagining or the original story. I felt like that character’s were well written, the world building was strong and that the fantastical nonsensical feeling of the original story remained.

Sarah’s Book Life

This book has gained a special place in my heart for continuing on a story I have loved for years, but it is done so well without ruining the magic of the original for me! This I feel is a book I will be raving about for months to come.


I think the author did an amazing job of giving this world a great twist and her own flair while leaving the crazy, whimsical and enchanting side that we all love.

Read to Ramble

The writing of this was just incredible (if I haven’t said that word enough) and H.J.Ramsay deserves a massive rid of applause for her ability to make Alice in Wonderland fresh and exciting while staying within the parameters of the original world.

Shelves of Starlight

The Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award

I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA tours organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website ( or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official .

If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. If you are a book blogger or reviewer, you can apply to be part of BBNYA 2021 by filling out this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up)!

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society ( (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) And the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Trope-ical Readathon Wrap-Up

My partner and I hosted our first readathon on April 5th! We called it the Trope-ical Readathon and it was a 24 hour readathon where participants could read whatever books they wanted and fill out a bingo board that we made based on things that appear in a lot of books.

Here’s the bingo board we had:

Honestly, it was a LOT of fun. We’re definitely going to be doing another readathon again, so if you’re interested in participating, follow @tropeicalreads on Twitter for updates!

Book #1: Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon (2.5 stars)

This book was such a disappointment and I’m still so sad about it. It was so hyped on Twitter and I really thought I was going to enjoy it.

One of the things that upset me the most about the book was that it’s classified as a Beauty and the Beast retelling but it kind of isn’t? I felt like it would have been fine as an original tale (given a few tweaks) and that the author was beating me over the head with a stick trying to get me to believe that the male MC was the beast. The following quote is completely made up by me and not in the book but this is basically what it felt like I was reading every time he was in a scene:

He ate his spaghetti with such ferocity that it was SO INCREDIBLY BEAST-LIKE. The slurps he made sounded more like THE GROWL OF A GRIZZLY BEAR than that of a human boy. His hunched over frame resembled that of A LARGE ANIMAL ready to pounce on its prey.

Book #2 Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey (4 stars)

This was pretty darn cute of a read! The characters were kind of completely ridiculous but in an adorable rom-com sort of way that I enjoyed. I think what I most appreciated was that the book didn’t shy away from showing how friendship can mean so many different things depending on the people involved.

I don’t remember much about why I took away a star but it was probably because this book includes a trope that I’ve always hated. It’s kind of a spoiler if I say which trope it is but if you’re curious, just ask!

Book #3: Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz (3 stars)

This book started off really well for me. I was laughing a lot and falling in love with both of the MCs fairly quickly. Unfortunately, I got incredibly bored as the book progressed and lost interest in the plot. There is a good chunk of around 100 pages in the middle where I felt like almost nothing happened. I kind of wonder if the book started off as a novelette since it’s only around 300 pages total.

Regardless, this book had pretty in-depth character development which is something that I think YA often lacks. I was really happy that I was able to watch the MCs grow as people and learn from their mistakes.

Book Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A rollercoaster of a book that had me going back and forth between loving and hating it.

Book CWs

  • Character Death/Murder
  • Gore
  • Paranormal Creatures
  • Not sure the word for it but there are times when you don’t know what is real and what is not


The Duke of Highmoor has watched over the People of Salt for decades but after tragedy repeatedly strikes his bloodline, the town beings to worry that his family is cursed.

Four of the duke’s daughters have suffered tragic unsuspected deaths and Annaleigh, one of the oldest of those remaining, is the only one who suspects that something evil may be working its way through her loved ones.

One night, Annaleigh and her sisters discover a magical portal that takes them to extravagant balls where they can let go of their grief and dance the night away. But after Annaleigh begins having increasingly disturbing visions of her dead sisters, she starts to wonder if everyone is really who they say they are.

Review (No Spoilers)

Once again, this is a book I read because of House Battles (it was the Ravenclaw book). I had seen it around book twitter and bookstagram but I had no idea that it was a retelling until I read the blurb on the back. To be fair, I hadn’t even heard of the 12 Dancing Princesses before–I read the synopsis on Wikipedia. It’s a pretty jacked up story.

I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would–though I mostly thought I would like it because the cover is gorgeous.

When I first started reading, I was almost completely bored. I was also kind of annoyed because I felt that the author was using unnecessarily complicated words to be fancy. Mix having to look up words with being bored and you get a grumpy Jenny.

I trudged through the beginning because I rarely ever DNF a book (and because I wanted the points for House Battles) and luckily I was rewarded! As soon as the ghostly visions started happening, I was in awe. The details were absolutely amazing and I found myself terrified–in a good way.

As the plot began to thicken, my excitement just kept growing and growing. I was even convinced that it would end up being a 4.5/5 star read. But once it got to the climax where everything was explained, I was super underwhelmed. I felt as if it was a huge copout!

This book had so much potential for me but the ending effectively killed it. It almost hurts to rate it 3 stars.

Book Review: Towering by Alex Flinn

Rating: 2/5

The story was a really interesting take on the classic story of Rapunzel but bad writing and editing made it fall flat.


The story is a retelling of Rapunzel taking place sometime (I assume) in the 21st century. 

Rachel is a young woman who has been secretly kept in a tall tower in the middle of a forest for her own safety. She discovers that her hair will occasionally grow to extreme lengths and eventually creates a rope that allows her to leave, but her fear of what dangers the outside world holds keeps her from leaving for good. 

Wyatt is a young man who moves to a large house in a small isolated town to finish his studies. The house is owned by an old woman whose daughter went missing long ago. As he settles into his new life, he discovers he finds himself enchanted by someone’s singing that seemingly no one else can hear. 

Review (No Spoilers)

I was really excited to read this book. For one, I read Beastly in college and though I do not at all remember how much I liked it (if I even did like it), I am a HUGE sucker for cheesy fairytales. Imagine my sadness when I discovered that this book was a totally utter mess. 

I liked the new take on the classic tale of Rapunzel but the way these elements were put together seemed to lack any real thought on the authors part. It seemed like Alex Flinn one day had some good ideas for a story but didn’t feel like actually trying to nicely put them together. There were so many plot holes and sloppy explanations. 

Perhaps the worst thing for me was that I feel like whoever edited it didn’t even try. Let me give you the worst excerpt of writing from this book in which a woman stops walking twice:

A woman approached me first. At a point about ten feet away, she stopped walking. What did she mean to do? I saw that her eyes were the same shade of blue as her clothing, an almost inhuman shade, the same color as the folowing plants that hung from the ceiling. Like the others, her eyes appeared foggy, as if she was not sure what she was seeing. I remembered my strength. I could fight her off if she tried to harm me. But I couldn’t fight all of them.

Then, suddenly, she stopped walking.

Not to mention, almost all of the characters in this book talk really weirdly for no real reason. It doesn’t really add up, then again, a lot of things in this book didn’t. (I made a very spoilery list of questions that I had at the end of the book on my Goodreads review)