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  • Writer's pictureChristina Pfeiffer

Christina Critiques

Today is like a reward for some of you, there are only a few reviews. I have had one heck of a week but the books I have read have had made sob… and they are middle grade novels!


Next week, I will finish up the SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL and SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A MIDDLE GRADE NOVEL but until then, add all three of these to your TBR immediately.


 
 

LOS MONSTRUOS: FELICE AND THE WAILING WOMAN

by Diana Lopez


Felice lives with her Uncle Clem after a tragedy struck her family when she was younger. When her Uncle’s friend comes to visit, she finds she can meet the mother she never knew AND help a town she can’t remember. There are a few problems: she’s aquaphobic, her mother is feared by the town, and well… there’s a mayor’s race that is a bit unfair. But with her three new friends, Felice will face it all and then some.


Lopez builds a world full of love, friendship, and longing. Longing for truth and closure being the main focus in my opinion. Maybe reading this as a Mom hit a bit harder but the story’s play on La Llorona was the most impressive. What if she didn’t kill her children? What if it was all a horrible mistake?


Felice and her universe cause tears and I mean, I sooooooobbed. I immediately found the next one in the series is releasing next month and preordered it. I can’t wait to read about Rooster and his dad! (Hint: his Dad just may be the Devil.)


A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND for any age 5/5.


 

WHAT STAYS BURIED

by Suzanne Young


Calista has a gift that is often generational in her family, she can see and communicate with ghosts. There is a catch though, because of a family curse, she loses her gift at midnight on her thirteenth birthday. If that wasn’t enough, two ghosts that she sees are very personal to her and she will lose them too. When children start going missing and their ghosts start showing up for Calista to help, time is running out … not just for her and the kids that are still alive but her sister too.


WHAT STAYS BURIED did me dirty. I was not ready for the emotional turmoil I was going to go through. Sobbing and gasping at a middle grade novel was not on my bingo card for 2024, I’ll tell you that. This book hit hard and I mean hard. Much like Calista and what she had to go through, I wasn’t ready to grieve for these characters. I need more of this world, I need more Mac and Nora and their love. When you read it you will truly understand.


A stellar, emotional novel and a HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.


 

THE NIGHTHOUSE KEEPER

By Lora Senf


This is the second in the series but can be read as a stand alone, at least in my opinion.


Evie Von Rathe just got back from dealing with the evil Clackity when the ghosts in Blight Harbor begin disappearing. Curious as ever, Evie finds herself trying to help a young girl in need by following her through a door… well, that’s not the best idea. To get back home, Evie must not only help Portia (who is a jerk face) but save the literal souls of other ghouls/ghosts trapped in the Dark Sun Side. Is she brave enough? And will she have surprise help from someone assumed long since gone?


THE NIGHTHOUSE KEEPER is a dark, twisty, glorious story reminiscent of THE WIZARD OF OZ in so many ways. I love that Evie has a guardian angel of sorts in Bird, her animal helper. He has the ability to assist her in the darkest of moments. What makes this novel stand out the most is the descriptions. The Radix … I’m not going to lie, I kinda want to see it.


Absolutely heartbreaking at points but so much hope and friendship makes every tear worth it. And you will cry. A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.

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