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From Brick & Darkness by J.L. Sullivan – Review by Brandy Vaughn

From Brick & DarknessFrom Brick & Darkness by J.L. Sullivan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The way this story starts out reminds me of Lord of the Rings and Aladdin. The djin of the ring manipulates Bax and his wishes, leading down a trail of mystery. This story takes coming-of-age to a darker and twists it to a modern approach. I enjoyed this YA magical realism story and you will too!

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The Letter Carrier by L.C. Lewis – Review by Brandy Vaughn

The Letter CarrierThe Letter Carrier by Laurie L.C. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This coming-of-age story is told through the eyes of 12 year old Michelle Naget, as the Germans march through France during WWII. The Naget family’s life is turned upside-down when they are forced to endure the Germans taking over their home and becoming servants to the enemy. I was hooked on this story from the beginning and couldn’t put the book down. The reader is shown what the family went through in the ravages of war without the explicit details, but lets us in to the emotional experience. The story is also brought to life knowing it is based off of the stories and French documents from Michelle Naget. It’s hard to imagine what it was like for the Naget family, but the author does a wonderful job bringing it to life for the reader. This is definitely a book you should read!

Reviewed by @bilberrysweet
Brandy Vaughn, August 2022

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Seven Strengths: A Tale from Turaset by P.L. Tavormina Reviewed by Jessica Pritt

Seven Strengths: A Tale from TurasetSeven Strengths: A Tale from Turaset by P.L. Tavormina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely loved!!

This book was great! Very different, unique world, and loveable characters. I loved the storyline. The story flowed wonderfully. Definitely a page turner! The main character, Celeste, is courageous, strong willed, and intelligent. I can’t wait to read the next book!

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Reviewed by @purplesky25276

Mom, Is There a Santa Claus? by Susan J Berger Illustrator: KC Snider – Review by Dahnielle Hibbert

Mom, Is There a Santa Claus?Mom, Is There a Santa Claus? by Susan J. Berger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a cute coming of age Christmas tale. A young boy asks his mom if Santa is real. Mom explains the “truth” behind Santa and the spirit of giving and joy that is what Santa really is.
He’s not an old man with a beard in a red suit. The truth about Santa Claus is that he’s not a person at all; he’s an idea. This great little story, with beautiful illustrations, is the perfect way to help parents explain the truth behind Santa Claus and make their kids “Dream Keepers” too.

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Bargaining (Hero High Book 3) by Mina Chara – Review by Kerry Chalmers

Bargaining (Hero High, #3)Bargaining by Mina Chara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bargaining (Hero High Book 3) by Mina Chara.

I can honestly say I have loved following this series from the start. We are following Fridays story. Friday is a very relatable and realistic character. She’s not perfect and she knows it and doesn’t try to be anything else which I love about her. Mina Chara has done another great job keeping the readers attention and is an amazing author. I can’t wait for the next instalment of this series. Highly recommended.

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Finding Leda; the Science of Happiness (Italian College Novel 1, The Italian Saga) by Gaia B Amman – Review by Netania Lim

Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness (The Italian Saga #5)Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness by Gaia B. Amman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fifth book in the Italian saga, and can be a standalone read, but I have loved following Leda as she’s grown up. I love the setting in landscapes of Italy, including Milan, Padua, and Garda Lake, but I also love the introduction of new and old characters and how Leda’s relationships with them are still so complicated, even as she starts her biotechnology major in college. I related to Leda so much in this book, being an undergrad university student myself. Leda is such a layered female character who’s learning about life and love as she goes along. There’s some gorgeous writing in this one. I enjoyed this more than previous books in this series.

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Finding Leda; the Science of Happiness (Italian College Novel 1, The Italian Saga) by Gaia B Amman – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness (The Italian Saga #5)Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness by Gaia B. Amman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finding Leda: The Science of Happiness is the first book in the Italian College series, part of Gaia B. Amman’s The Italian Saga. The saga follows Leda from childhood to adulthood, through relationships and friendships, studies and travels as she grows up.
In Finding Leda, we see Leda starting college to study Biotech. Determined to move on from a bad relationship, Leda welcomes a fresh start. Her social group at college is determined more by her carpool group and choice of seat on the first day than anything else, leading to an interesting mismatched group. She gets a blast from the past when she finds that Claudio, a boy she went to middle school with, is now two years ahead of her and, somehow, less evil than she remembered.
In this series, I particularly like the characters who are always there, in the background. Boyfriends come and go, but people like Starry, Leda’s mum, and Lexi, her best friend, are always ready to come back on the scene when Leda needs them. It’s interesting seeing their relationships develop.
Another thing I particularly like in this book is seeing Leda muddling her way through the sciences, as someone who had previously mostly studied literature. Having already read some of the later books, when Leda seems pretty confident as a scientist, seeing her struggling to get to grips with a whole host of ideas and processes is interesting (and not just because I learnt a lot about science on the way!)
For me, this is a four star book. I’m enjoying the series, and would recommend it to fans of coming-of-age stories that span a long duration (I feel like I bring up Adrian Mole every time I review one of Amman’s books but seriously, if you liked Adrian Mole and feel like Adrian could have been a bit more female and Italian, you’ll love this).

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Finding Leda: The Science of Happiness (Italian College novel 1, The Italian Saga) by Gaia B. Amman – Review by Caralee Loonat

Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness (The Italian Saga #5)Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness by Gaia B. Amman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finding Leda: The Science of Happiness (Italian College novel 1, The Italian Saga) by Gaia B. Amman
4 Stars!!!!

This is the second book by this author I have read and I again was not able to put it down. This book moves on from high school and moves onto college. The author has a very unique way to bring the reader into the Leda’s world as it starts to evolve. I really liked how the author was able to make this story realistic.

Leda really is such a great character and this book is a very good example of youth and how we all have to really find ourselves. There is so much of a mix of emotions and dramas happening to Leda. This makes her so realistic and makes it so one can see themselves within the character. This really is a continuance of a coming of age story. We all have to find ourselves and throughout our lives we might have to reconnect and find ourselves again. This story is just a great read and I will definitely read more from this author and this series.

Reviewed by @caraleeloonat
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Finding Leda; the Science of Happiness (Italian College Novel 1, The Italian Saga) by Gaia B Amman – Review by Karyn Taylor

Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness (The Italian Saga #5)Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness by Gaia B. Amman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finding Leda is a fantastic young adult, coming-of-age story by Gaia B. Amman. Having read the 2 books which told of Leda Balni’s story in high school in 1990’s Italy, it was great to then catch up with Leda a few years later at college. To fully understand Leda and her past I’d suggest you read Forget Nico and Sex-O-S before reading this book.
Having had a hard time at high school, being a bit different from her friends in that she was serious about studying and enjoyed literature, and also suffering from an eating disorder, it was great to see Leda still full of fight and spirit.
I really enjoyed being taken on the journey that is the next few years of Leda’s life, this time at college. Having had poor experiences with men previously, Leda was not looking for love at college and yet she found it in a place she would never have thought. Her adversary from school who she referred to as Evil Centi is at the same university (only he is 2 years ahead) and when he offers to help her with Chemistry, let’s just say that chemistry of a different type starts to flow.
If you enjoy great story with a good deal of angst thrown in then I’m sure you would love to read Leda’s story. I for one look forward to seeing what Leda gets up to next.

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Finding Leda; the Science of Happiness (Italian College Novel 1, The Italian Saga) by Gaia B Amman – Review by Amanda Taylor

Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness (The Italian Saga #5)Finding Leda, the Science of Happiness by Gaia B. Amman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finding Leda: The Science of Happiness is book 1 in the Italian College series by Gaia B Amman which is a young adult story. This follows Leda in her college years, and it will put you on an emotional rollercoaster. She does not have time for romance but then Sergio comes back around, what will happen between these two characters? I love these books since I started reading this series, I can’t wait to read more. They are entertaining and will hook you into the story from the first few pages . You cannot go wrong reading this book!

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