Title: The Trouble with Toads (Book 1)
Author: Danyelle Leafty
Source: Review Copy from Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not a Writer
*My review is based on my thoughts and opinions. I have not been persuaded in any way.*
Summary & Cover
Once upon a time a young girl wanted revenge. But first, she wanted to be beautiful. Twelve-year-old Bettony has read enough stories that begin with ‘Once upon a time’ to know what happens to the ugly stepsisters at the end, and she’s determined to escape that fate by any means necessary—even by magic.THE TROUBLE WITH TOADS (45,000 words) is the first book in a new upper MG series The Secret Stepsister Society. The second book will be released Summer 2013.
Unfortunately, when it comes to magic, there is no place for regret, refunds, or exchanges. Even if you accidentally turn your older sister into a toad.
If Bettony wants her Happily Ever After to end well, she’s going to have to find a way to turn her sister back into a person before their mother finds out she’s been dabbling with magic and grounds her for life.
Tracking down the family magic turns out to be surprisingly easy. Now, if only it came with directions . . .
I solely signed up to read this book and review it for the tour because of that cute cover! Love, love, love it! It is perfect for the story and it is appealing to middle grade readers.
Now, the story...
I thought some of the explanations and descriptions were a bit higher than middle school thinking. Maybe it was just me and my end of school year squishy brain. I don't know for sure!
I did enjoy the important themes this book covered: loving yourself, it's inside what counts, etc... These are definite themes that apply to all girls, any age. We all want to be that beautiful girl that everyone fawns over and can do no wrong for anyone. This book and its character, Bettony, are teaching the reader and showing a clear example of things that can go wrong if you're not happy with yourself. Granted, it's using magic as means of making things go terribly awry, but in our world, we don't have magic to do that. We just have ourselves to mess things up.
I thought the book was a fun little read and I will definitely pick up the next installment on the series. I have to know what happens! Will Bettony learn how to control the magic? Will Cadmilla remain a toad forever? How soon before the three girls are friends? Will they become friends? Will Bettony get her song back?
Author Danyelle LeaftyDanyelle Leafty writes upper MG and YA fantasy, and is the author of THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA series. Danyelle has always loved fairy tales, and prefers stories where someone gets eaten, or at the very least, transmogrified. Much of her inspiration has come from fairy tales, because as G.K. Chesterton so aptly states, "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She also collects books, and one day hopes to make a house out of them. She enjoys learning languages, fiddling with her harp, and perfecting the fine art of mothering. (It's a lot like trying to herd chickens during a lightning storm while a goat stampede is going on.)
One of her heroes is Albert Einstein, particularly for the following quote: "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The most important thing is not to stop questioning."
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