Magical Mini Reviews: Vampire Weekend + Weyward

I’ve been struggling with book review motivation lately, so I thought I’d try something a little bit different today and review two recent reads in one post. These will be super short, snapshot reviews (I say now, but knowing me, they’ll wind up longer than I think). 

(Full disclosure: This post uses affiliate links)

Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen

Photo credit: Amanda Kay Oaks

Format Read: Paperback

Rating: 3 stars

Vampire Weekend follows Louise, a musician turned vampire. She wants to disprove your exisiting notions about vampires — namely, that they have cool powers. Louise mostly spends her days trying to acquire blood in a humane way and searching for a new band, all while trying to conceal the fact that she’s a bit on the undead side. When a long lost relative shows up on her doorstep, things get shaken up.

I loved the idea of vampires, but make it mundane, and really enjoyed that aspect of this book. It was fun to see Louise living her daily life, snuggling with her corgi, and trying to pursue her passions. Vampirism was just sort of an inconvenient thing that had happened to her and which dictated elements of her life. 

The plot lost me a bit when it took a surprising turn and got very eventful, very quickly. I kind of preferred the quiet suspense to the big spectacle, but all in all, this was a very fun read and a unique take on vampires that I appreciated. 

Weyward by Emilia Hart

Photo credit: Amanda Kay Oaks

Format Read: Hardcover (BOTM Edition)

Rating: 5 stars

I’ve learned by now that I love a multigenerational story, and Weyward delivers. It follows three women from the same family, living in different times but struggling with what it means to be a little bit unusual and quite possibly magical. We see the ways their lives connect and echo one another, and how being a wild woman creates its own challenges in different periods of history. 

I adored this book and seeing each woman grapple with her nature, her gifts, and what she should do with them. The stories were woven together well, and the magic was used in interesting ways. At its heart, Weyward is about women finding and claiming their power, even as the world fights to snuff it out. 

There’s some really heavy stuff that happens on page, so I’d recommend readers check out trigger warnings before embarking on this journey. But if you can, read this book. It’ll be with me for a long time. 

And there we have it, two bite-sized (ish) reviews for my recent reads. They don’t have a ton in common except that they both have some supernatural, magical elements and that I read them recently. Have you read either of these? Or are they on your TBR? 


Mini Review: The Quarantine Princess Diaries

Format Read: eBook (NetGalley ARC)

Rating: 3 Stars 

Ahh, nostalgic returns to book series from my youth. I confess I kind of love the trend of authors like Meg Cabot revisiting their teenage protagonists to check in on their adult lives. 

During the early days of the pandemic, Meg Cabot released some blog posts letting us know what Princess Mia was up to. Naturally, these posts joined up with some new entries to eventually become an entire book — The Quarantine Princess Diaries. I kind of still can’t believe that I got approved for a digital ARC of this one, so a thousand thank yous to NetGalley and Avon for the pleasure.

This is a mini review in large part because I can’t quite make up my mind on how to feel about this book. On the one hand, I’ll never say no to a chance to catch up with Mia. On the other hand, it’s a bit hard to blend the humor and ridiculousness of Mia’s overreactive tendencies with something as serious as the COVID-19 pandemic. At times, I felt the tone was a bit of a miss in this regard.

However, in terms of seeing what all of our favorite characters would be up to during the pandemic, this book fully delivers. It was great to see Grandmere partying on yachts and Lilly in all her lawyer glory, not to mention a few appearances from a now very old Fat Louie. The nostalgia factor definitely delivers here, and Cabot doesn’t miss a single character callback that I can think of, even if some get more page time than others.

This is a quick read and manages not to make thinking back on the quarantine days of the pandemic too painful. I’m glad I had the chance to read it and definitely recommend it to anyone who grew up with Princess Mia. Would I say this is the best entry point to new fans? Probably not. Would I personally still read a hundred more diary entries from Princess Mia? Almost definitely. 

The Quarantine Princess Diaries comes out on March 28th and is available for preorder in all the places.