Reviews: A Tried and Tested Trio

Hello everybody! Today, I have a lovely trio of reviews for you, which are all books I’ve read in the past week and which have been a lovely source of light during my exams, and then something to relax with after those were over too, as well as being books by authors whose previous work I’ve always really enjoyed. Anyway, onto the post!

Willow Moss and the Magic Thief by Dominique Valente and illustrated by Sarah Warburton (recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

This is the final installment of the spectacular Starfell series, which has been one of my favourites since 2019, and it sees Willow go on a quest to try and reclaim her magic after it was stolen from her at the end of the last book. It has truly been so special to see Willow evolve from the girl we meet in book one who thinks her magic is a bit pointless, to the the girl in this book who is so much more confident in herself and her abilities, has genuinely been a privilege and I love her dearly. Oswin is just one of my most favourite sidekicks in the world, and the entire ensemble just make me so happy and I loved the way Dominique incorporated basically everyone into this last book and gave them their moment to shine was so perfect. I loved the discussion on disability and chronic illness in here as well; it’s such a subtle moment but it meant a lot to me and I’m sure it will be special to many other people too. I am genuinely bereft that this series is over, because I don’t know what I’ll do without my yearly catch-up with Willow and Oswin and the rest of the cast, but I am sure Dominique will write something I love equally as much, because she’s such a talented writer.

The Secret of the Treasure Keepers by A.M Howell (recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review)

This is the story of Ruth, which takes place a few years after the end of the second World War, and sees her travel to a farm where treasure has been discovered with her archaeologist mum. Then things go wrong when the treasure is stolen and Ruth sets out to find the culprit with the help of her new friend Joe, the farmer’s son. I loved learning nore about archaeology and the importance of these sorts of finds, as well as the post-war time period of course, because I haven’t read much about it in the past and I found it really interesting when I studied history. Ruth and Joe’s friendship was really lovely, and I loved their determination to get justice and also their loyalty to their families. I found Audrey a really interesting character also, and loved the mystery surrounding her family, and I was definitely very intrigued to find out the solution to all the mysteries. This is another brilliant historical book from this author, perfect for fans of writers like Emma Carroll and Helen Peters, and I’m already looking forward to seeing which historical era she decides to write about next.

The Secret Sunshine Project by Benjamin Dean

I loved Benjamin’s debut Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow, so my expectations of this were sky-high, yet I still think it managed to exceed them. It follows a girl named Bea, and the summer where she and her family go and stay in a small village that’s very different to their home in London, a year after the death of her dad. Bea is so determined to make things better for her sister Riley, and she comes up with the idea of having a Pride parade in St Regent’s Vale to make up for not being able to go the London event this year, despite how much it meant to their family. As you may be able to guess from that, Bea is just the most darling person ever, she is so sweet and caring and does everything she can to make the world a better place. The apple clearly doesn’t fall far from the tree, because I felt the exact same about her mum Camille and gran Sylvie, who are very outspoken. My Heart was hurting for Riley throughout because of how much she was struggling for most of the book, and Bea’s friend group was also a delight. Basically, the characters felt like real people to me and I wish I knew them all (except for Rita Ruckus, obvs!!). There are so many funny moments and the tone overall is just so optimistic and hopeful; Benjamin Dean’s writing is just so much fun and I love everything about it. This book is just an absolute joy from beginning to end, and a stunning celebration of community and family and pride.

Thank you so much for reading! Have you read any of these books, or are you planning to? What are the last 3 books you read? I’d love to chat in the comments!

Amy xx


Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: | she/her

2 thoughts on “Reviews: A Tried and Tested Trio”

  1. Im really hoping to read new Starfell soon! I’m umming and ahing Treasure Seekers as I really enjoyed Garden of Lost Secrets but didn’t like her others as much.
    Interesting to read how real the characters felt to you in Sunshine as it was the characters that really switched me off Me, My Dad…


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