A to Z Challenge Book Reviews

My Languishing TBR: V #AtoZChallenge2023 #Books #BookReviews

V is for Vernon

Learn more about the challenge here.

I’m doing folklore and book review posts to reach and please a larger audience. Previous years have shown select interest in both and to minimise blogging throughout the year, I’m focusing my efforts on April.

Focusing on an A to Z of my TBR (to be read) list, each letter will have books starting with that letter on my list, a book I’ve read and reviewed (with the review!) and one of my books matching the letter with a link about more info about the book (I’ve published some new books, so take a look).

I chose the books this year quite randomly from my Goodreads Want to Read page. Some are quite creatively added to letters.

I know there were suggestions in last year’s Reflection post that I skip my TBR and just get on with the review, but I like knowing what I have left to read for each letter (and how far I’ve come with all the reading challenges I’ve done) so things are staying the same. Scroll down to the reviews if you’re not interested in what my TBR still contains. FYI, you might encounter issues with commenting if you don’t tick all the boxes marked as mandatory (especially the privacy one).

Let the fun begin!

If you’d rather check out my folklore post for today, go here.


About the Book I’ve Read

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

From the creator of Dragonbreath comes a tale of witches, minions, and one fantastic castle, just right for fans of Roald Dahl and Tom Angleberger.

When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail’s doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle’s minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite. (The minions are used to tall, demanding evil sorceresses with razor-sharp cheekbones.) But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love. So when Molly assures them she is quite wicked indeed (So wicked! REALLY wicked!) and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful. Unfortunately, it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all: that she isn’t who she says she is.

This quirky, richly illustrated novel is filled with humor, magic, and an unforgettable all-star cast of castle characters.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

It takes some time to get used to the way the story is told: an omniscient narrator then zooming in on a character and their feelings (telling the reader what they’re thinking and feeling) and zooming out again to narrate the events and zooming in on another character – sometimes in the same scene. Some of the explanations felt a bit condescending – like children’s books from the 1950s (I read loads of them growing up as those were the only ones available at the library), instead of what I’m used to reading in modern middle grade novels.

Some of the language is way over the reading level of most middle grade readers. And some of the narrative choices are more suited to young readers.

I did like the premise: an old, magical castle filled with minions and decay needing a new master in the form of a Wicked Witch or Evil Sorceress to take over before the Board of Magic condemns the castle and everyone needs to get a new job.

And the storyline is solid. The bats and moles were my favourite. And that dragon spell…!

I liked the book. But I feel the narrative issues (at least, issues for me) brings down the overall enjoyment.

3 unicorn star rating

My Book

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I hope you enjoyed this. For more books I’ve read and reviewed, check out either my Pinterest board about reviews or my Goodreads profile. Alternatively, you can check out my reviews on BookBub. Have you read any of the books? Loved or hated any of them?

You can now support my time in producing book review posts (buying books, reading, writing reviews and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.*

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4 thoughts on “My Languishing TBR: V #AtoZChallenge2023 #Books #BookReviews”

  1. I tried to read Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned, but I personally couldn’t get into any of them or her writing style.

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