Review: Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4) – Ted Naifeh

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4) – Ted Naifeh

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Title: Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: October 22, 2013

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 128

Source: Public Library

Courtney Crumrin’s adventures continue — this time in a newly remastered, full-color edition! Courtney and Uncle Aloysius’ European vacation has brought them into the heart of a country rich with mystical history and tradition. At first, eastern Europe seems like the perfect place for Courtney to strengthen her abilities, but just as Courtney begins to tap into the mystery of the old country, she comes face-to face-with overwhelming magic and even larger moral ambiguities.

4 out of 5 stars

Courtney Crumrin travels to Europe with her Uncle Aloysius and finds out more about paranormal beings. She gets wrapped up with werewolves, vampires and even more warlocks. Courtney feels lonely even though she’s traveling with her uncle, so she befriends a vampire boy. He makes her swoon and he whisks her away with his magical wings. So romantic. Courtney has to deal with her new sense of loneliness while away from home…

This book was a great continuation of the first three. I think this one has been my favorite so far because she gets into some trouble, but that causes some cool additions to the plot. It makes me sad that Courtney is lonely because she gets semi-depressed. I also must have missed something because I’m not really sure what the horrible thing her uncle did that made her not want to talk to him anymore. I thought they were friends. Idk.

I liked that this took place away from the mansion and her parents. I don’t like her parents because they’re too focused on being fancy in the rich neighborhood. They don’t seem to care about her, so it’s nice she got to spend some time away from them. I wish that she was still buddy-buddy with her uncle because that would have made this story so much cuter.

There was a lot more action throughout this graphic novel. There were some fights between a few different groups of people which added some suspense and mystery. I like that she befriended the vampire guy, but I wish he wouldn’t have turned on her. Sorry, not a huge spoiler. He seemed like a cool enough guy and it just made me sad that they couldn’t be friends. They both needed a friend.

I’m sad because I don’t know how I’m going to get ahold of 5, 6, and 7 in this series. My library doesn’t have them, but I don’t like buying graphic novels because I read them so fast ugh. It’s a struggle being a book worm let me tell ya.


The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Review: The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3) – Ted Naifeh

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3) – Ted Naifeh

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Title: The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 134

Source: Public Library

Courtney Crumrin returns in a series of newly remastered, full-color hardcover editions! To her new classmates, Courtney is merely the grim, quiet girl in the back row. But when a group of students accidentally turns a young boy into a goblin, Courtney must lead the children into Goblin Town to find a cure. Unfortunately, misfortune seems to follow the group straight to the Twilight Kingdom – misfortune and a misguided lawkeeper who has it out for Courtney!

4 out of 5 stars

Courtney gets some new friends from her school filled with witches and magic and takes a trip to Goblin Town to try and change a classmate back into a human. The newly-founded friend group has to venture far into the forest in order to save the boy who has gotten turned into a goblin. They eventually find themselves in Twilight Kingdom where they end up in trouble with the law and have to fight there way back to their town.

This one was just as good as the first one! There was action and an actual plot. Yay for plot-driven stories.

I am really starting to enjoy Courtney more as a character. She’s spunky and sassy and a little mean, but I think she’s a solid character to have a series about. I’m so excited that she finally has a group of friends because now I don’t think she’s going to be so sad. She’s been so sad and lonely, so it’s nice to see her be a little happier.

My favorite part of this book was right at the end when her uncle offered for her to travel with him this summer. Aww cute.

Yay the horrible parents are back. Not yay in the sense that I like them in the story, but yay in the sense that they haven’t just randomly disappeared. In the last book they just were randomly gone, so I think it makes sense that they were back in the story this time.

I didn’t like her friend Malcom from the beginning, I don’t really think he had anything important to do with the storyline so idk why he was even there. I’m sure that he’ll come up somehow in the rest of the series, but he just seemed like a very stagnant character.

I really appreciate the art style because it’s so unique and the color scheme is so pretty. I love when the colors are more neutral but still fall into the darker side of cool colors. Theres a lot of green, purple, and blue so it feels very… cold and mysterious maybe? I’m not really sure but I think it complements the storyline nicely.

I’m sad because my library only has the first four volumes of this series so I don’t know how I’m going to read 5, 6, and 7 :( #tragic. I’ll have to find them somewhere because I think I’m really going to want to finish this series!


The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Review: The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1) – Ted Naifeh

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1) – Ted Naifeh

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

Title: The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: April 24, 2012

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 137

Source: Public Library

Fan-favorite and critical darling Courtney Crumrin is back in a series of newly remastered, full-color hardcover editions! Courtney’s parents have dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She’s not only the new kid in school, but also discovers strange things lurking under her bed!

4 out of 5 stars

I went to my public library to do some studying for class and of course couldn’t leave without perusing the shelves… I wanted something fast and fun, so I chose this graphic novel. I thought the art style would be super cute and it looked a little creepy, so I decided to go for it, and I was not disappointed!

This graphic novel follows a girl named Courtney Crumrin moves into her great-uncle’s house with her parents in order to take care of him. Her parents are obsessed with the idea of moving up in society and being part of the popular crowd, so she starts to connect with her “creepy” uncle Aloysius instead of fostering a relationship with her parents. She now lives in the only creepy house in the whole neighborhood of rich mansions, so when she gets to school it’s hard for her to make friends. She finds out that her uncle has books about things she didn’t even know were real. Faeries, magic witches?! Who is her uncle?

This was just as cute as I had hoped it would be with just enough creepiness slipped in. I found this to be just what I needed because it was fast and easy to read. I have always been a fan of things that are a little creepy and spooky, so this was perfect for me. I loved the art style of this graphic novel because it focused on the cool colors. There were lots of purples and blues which made it seem quite eerie.

One thing that I don’t quite understand is the fact that Courtney doesn’t have a nose… Literally every other person in the book has a nose drawn on them, but Courtney has nothing. She’s a little Voldemort-esque…

Her parents annoy me to no end because they don’t seem to care about her. What is the point of even having a kid if you’re just going to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist? Ugh. Come on, having money is NOT that important in your life.

One of my favorite scenes was when Courtney went to see her uncle after she was having nightmares and couldn’t fall asleep. It was the first time that you saw an emotion from him and I thought it was really cute because he walked her back to her room. Aww. That’s so cute.

One thing that made me laugh was the fact that kids would randomly get eaten by things that were just chilling in the forest, but nothing gets said about them again. Like okay, this kid was just eaten by a monster, but no worries they’re probably fine…. Right.

I’m not really sure how old Courtney is supposed to be, but I would guess late middle school or early high school. She goes on a date, so I would assume she would be about 8th grade, maybe? I’m not sure, but I think any age would enjoy reading this graphic novel. I can’t wait to read the next three novels in this series because I already picked them up from my library :)



The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Weekend Reads (1)

Weekends, the perfect time for reading!

This weekend I am going to continue with the book I’m currently reading: Quiet by Susan Cain.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

One of my dance teachers actually recommended this book to me because she said it helped her understand herself better. I’m on a self-discovery/self-love journey right now, so this has been very interesting to read. I find myself nodding along to pretty much everything in this book. I definitely identify myself as an introvert, but have never really realized it has been negatively stigmatized until starting this. After reading a few chapters of this it’s clear to me that people do see extrovertedness as the “ideal” personality type. I think this is going to continue to be a great read for me!

I’m currently sitting at my public library *go books* and was just in the mood to read a graphic novel, so I went to the lovely graphic novel section and found The Night Things by Ted Naifeh.

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

The art style looks super cute even thought there are some creepy elements to it. My library has the first four volumes, so if I like the first I’ll probably check out the other three! I am just so in the mood to finish a book. It has felt like a HOT MINUTE since I’ve started and finished something in a short amount of time, so I think I just need a light graphic novel.

Do I have quite a bit of reading homework? Yes. Am I going to do some pleasure reading instead? Yes.

What are your weekend reads for this weekend?

Review: River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) – John A. Heldt

River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) – John A. Heldt

River Rising (Carson Chronicles, #1)

Title: River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1)

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: September 20, 2017

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Format: eBook

Page Number: 661

Source: Author

Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret web site and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s.

While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889.

In RIVER RISING, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.

2 out of 5 stars

Huge thank you to John A. Heldt for sending me an e-copy of this book!

River Rising follows a family of five siblings who try and find their lost parents after figuring out they were lost while traveling through time. Adam, Greg, Natalie, Cody, and Caitlin travel to 1889 by following the directions laid out by their father. Their trip is full of love, loss, and some gunslinging.

This book took me forever to read. It accounts to the fact that I have much more reading homework this semester than I did last, and that it was 661 pages. I feel like this was unnecessarily long, and found that my interest wasn’t hooked unless I had been reading for at least twenty pages at a time. Being the college student I am, I don’t have huge chunks of time to just sit and read for fun anymore, so I rarely read more than 10 pages in one sitting.

Just to put this into perspective, I was reading this book for 24 days. It usually takes me less than a week to finish a book, so this was exponentially more than normal. Again it was probably just because of my intense class-load, but damn.

I liked the idea of this book because time travel is so cool to me. I love that all of Heldt’s books follow a time travel theme because it ties everything together. I love me some historical fiction so it’s also fun to dive into the past and read about a different time period. This wasn’t my favorite time period to read about, but it was still interesting.

I always have trouble with multiple *more than 2* perspectives, and this had chapters from all the siblings and the parents. Seven points of view was a lot to concentrate on especially when you have to read in short bursts.

I feel like I didn’t really get to know all the characters too well because there were so many to think about. I did really enjoy the twins because they seemed pretty cool. I liked Caitlin because she was the only one without a love interest, and she figured out what to do at the end of the book.

I was waiting for the parents to meet up with the kids the whole time super randomly and be like “hey what are you guys doing here,” but sadly that didn’t happen. I would recommend this to people who enjoy time travel books because there is a heavy emphasis on that throughout! I think this would also be good for younger teen/middle grade readers!

Thanks again!

January Wrapup + February TBR


  1. Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) – Stephanie Perkins *review*
  2. A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) – Sarah J. Maas *review*
  3. A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quartet #1) – Madeleine L’Engle *review*
  4. Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) – Stephanie Perkins *review*
  5. The Tales of Beedle the Bard – J. K. Rowling *review*
  6. Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler *review*


  1. River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) – John A. Heldt
  2. Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2) – Kellyn Roth
  3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #1) – Ransom Riggs
  4. Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #2) – Ransom Riggs
  5. Zenith (The Androma Saga #1) – Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Review: Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up

Title: Why We Broke Up

Author: Daniel Handler

Release Date: December 4, 200827, 2011

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 354

Source: Library

I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

2 out of 5 stars

Let me preface this review by saying that this was not really what I was expecting.

This story follows Min Green who is writing a letter describing the reasons that she broke up with her boyfriend Ed Slaterton. She gives him trinkets back that remind her of him or things that he gave to her with explanations of why the thing reminded her of him.

The concept for this book was very cool, but I think it was executed poorly.

I love that there were pictures/illustrations throughout this book. It was partly the main reason that I picked it up, but I honestly didn’t like much more than that. Sad but true.

I didn’t enjoy the characters, and I thought the fact that Min was so obsessed with Ed was hella annoying. I also don’t really get why Min liked him so much. He was so rude and was just so immature about some things.

Al, Min’s best friend, was there the whole time! Why not choose him? He was so obviously in love with her. Ugh. Come on.

The formatting of this book really annoyed me. There were SO MANY RUN-ON SENTENCES. I am not here for that. Come on, I do not need a full page paragraph that consists of three sentences. *might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist* The hardcover version also has the shiny magazine pages which are annoying to read, and as petty as that sounds, it did inhibit my reading experience with it.

I got quite annoyed with how much name dropping there was in this. Min loved movies and wanted to be a director. Great, good for you, but I don’t know all these silent films and indie actors and movies. I don’t want to see the names in quotations and italics because I just feel like I’m missing out.

The fact that Ed said ‘gay’ in rude terms made me angsty, also. Min calls him out, but he doesn’t even try and fix it at all. That should have been the first indicator that he didn’t really love her, but she was just blinded by wanting the idea of him.

There wasn’t really a plot to this, either. I get that it’s a letter to her ex, but why isn’t there a real story? It makes me so sad that she was so controlled in this relationship, but she didn’t realize it at the time.

All in all I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. Fun fact, though. Daniel Handler is Lemony Snicket from The Series of Unfortunate Events. Crazy stuff.