Mini Reviews #10: A Series of Unfortunate Reads

A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan // ✰✰.5

34937165An ancient and dangerous power is being handed down from mother to daughter through some of the most consequential historic events of the last two centuries.

After Grandmére Ursule gives her life to save her tribe, her magic seems to die with her. Even so, her family keeps the Old Faith, practicing the spells and rites that have been handed from mother to daughter for generations. Until one day, Ursule’s young granddaughter steps into the circle, and magic flows anew.

From early 19th century Brittany to London during the Second World War, five generations of witches fight the battles of their time, deciding how far they are willing to go to protect their family, their heritage, and ultimately, all of our futures.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • I am drawn to this book because I always love inter-generational stories and historical fiction, especially if it’s about women.
  • And it’s about generations of women!!! It kinda reminds me to House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende, which is also about generations of women with prophetic power.
  • Unfortunately, this one doesn’t live up to my expectations.
  • The pacing is sooooo slow.
  • There are 5 women to covers, each only get 3-5 chapters which disconnect me from them.
  • Also, the problem is repetitive, so it gets boring after a while.
  • The setting is very atmospheric though, I love seeing the change of setting overtime.
  • And at its heart, this book is about mother/daughter relationship; the good and the bad, and the sacrifices the old generations made for the new ones. This aspect works for this book.

Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss // ✰✰


10PM: Closing time at Café Flores. The door should be locked, but it isn’t, Scott Bradley and Winsome Sommervil are about to become hostages.

TEN MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING: Scott’s girlfriend breaks up with him in the café’s basement storeroom because he’s late picking her up for the big end-of-the-year party. Now he can’t go to the party, but he can’t go home, either―not knowing his dad will still be in a drunken rage. Meanwhile, Winny wanted one night to let loose, away from her mother’s crushing expectations. Instead, she’s stranded at the café after her best friend ditches her in a misguided attempt at matchmaking.

TEN MINUTES AFTER CLOSING: The first gunshot is fired. Someone’s dead. And if Winny, Scott, and the rest of the hostages don’t come up with a plan soon, they may not live to see morning.

Told from both Winny and Scott’s perspectives, and alternating between the events leading up to and following the hold-up, Ten After Closing is an explosive story of teens wrestling with their own challenges, thrown into circumstances that will test their very limits.

I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  • It’s clear that the author has a degree in psychology, the characters are done very well and they give a realistic response towards the situation. You can feel what they feel and sympathize with them.
  • Which is good, considering the main point of this book.
  • The downside is, this book is told from two povs; Scott and Winny, and two timelines; before and during. I get the purpose of two povs, but the before shooting timeline really lost me.
  • I don’t think the before timeline adds anything to the story. In fact, it disrupts the continuity and feeling the amazing inner monologue has done and distract us.
  • I also hate the ending with Scott and his father situation. It’s a hard situation for him to be into, but it’s also send a dangerous message for people in abusive relationship, familial or not.

The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt


When sixteen-year-old Tiuri answers a desperate call for help, he finds himself on a perilous mission that could cost him his life. He must deliver a secret letter to the King who lives across the Great Mountains – a letter upon which the future of the entire realm depends.

It means abandoning his home, breaking all the rules and leaving everything behind – even the knighthood that he has dreamed of for so long.


I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • I’m always up for foreign literature and it’s been a while since I’ve read any fantasy, so I requested this title.
  • Unfortunately, this book seems to be intended to the younger part of middle grade.
  • The language was too simple. This book was written in Dutch, by a Dutch author (who had resided in Indonesia during the colonial and WW2 era; bonus point for me to read this book!), so I don’t know whether the language is just like that in it’s original language, or is it just a matter of translation. Because frankly, at times, the language feels condescending to me.
  • The pacing was too slow.
  • Tiuri, our main character is 16, had an experience as a squire for a knight and his father himself is a famous knight. Yet he acted like an inexperienced 12 year old, his first excursion to the real world. He is unbelievably naive and clueless on what to do.
  • Considering the context of the characters, it’s hard to believe. Considering the target audience, it makes perfect sense.
  • But it doesn’t mean I have to like it… this is not what I signed up for 😦
  • There is no action and even though the stake is high, there is no sense of urgency in achieving the task.
  • There are a lot of children’s books that can still be engaging to adults, but this one is not one of it.
  • And since life is too short and there are too many books for me to read to force myself reading books I don’t like, I decided to DNF this book at 33%.

What are your recent unfortunate reads?


4 thoughts on “Mini Reviews #10: A Series of Unfortunate Reads

  1. i’d say one of my more disappointing reads was dread nation by justina ireland. when i first read it i loved it with my whole heart! but after the newness of the release wore off and i started really reflecting on the book, some things started to jump out at me as problems with the book that made me question if i liked it as much as i thought i did. this was a really nice post tasya!


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