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Review: Swallowed by a secret

Title: Swallowed by a secret

Author: Risa Nyman

Genres: Middle grade/Mystery/Family/Grief

Pages: 198

Goodreads rating: 4.63/5

My rating: 5/5


One dead father. One lying mother. One giant secret.

12-year-old Rocky’s father dies suddenly, and he learns the “his heart stopped” story he has been told is bogus. Immediately after the funeral, his mother sticks the For-Sale sign in the lawn and whisks them out of town as if living there has become too dangerous. As his trust in his one remaining parent unravels, Rocky is determined to crack the secret about how his father really died.

The road to the truth involves eavesdropping, snooping, and listening to advice from his dead father which sends Rocky on a risky journey to find the truth.

But sometimes it might be better for a secret to stay secret. Will Rocky have to rethink the father he thought he knew?


First of all, I want to thank Risa, she’s the first author who contacted me on IG after reading my bio, and gently asked me if I want to read her book. I’m grateful for this, it means that my work on bookstagram is seen by someone.

At first, I admit I wasn’t fond of the main character, Rocky, since he was so rude and ungrateful to his mother, but it was also somewhat justified but the tragedy that took away his father.

This book shows perfectly the “famous” stages of grief, and also includes one of the best character development of the MC I have ever seen in a book, even in an “adult” book.

My fave character is Olive, a great side character who easily became best friend with Rocky and helps him in more than a way.

The relationship between the characters is so heartwarming, thanks also to the development and personal growth of Rocky.

Prepare the tissues, because you’ll need them right before the ending. It was so emotional I had to pause my reading and calm myself. But don’t worry, there’s a happy ending.

Read it, you’ll not regret it.

Senza categoria

Best books of 2021

Hello readers! Here’s the first post recap of all the books I’ve read in 2021.

This post will focus on the best of the best!

If someone is interested, here you can find my year in books on Goodreads. Feel free to add me as a friend or send me a request if you like my profile!

It’s quite a selection, some middle grade, a lot of historical fiction, both crime and a little romance, I’m satisfied with those 5 stars books.

In the next few days you will find the post with the worst books of 2021.

Happy reading!

5 star, meme, review

The time hunters saga: review

Hello readers! I’m finally back with a review!

This will be a general review of the first five installment in the series. There’s a sixth book that I didn’t read yet.

Title: The Time hunters

Author: Carl Ashmore

Genre: Sci -fi/Time Travel/Young Adult

General rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads

The time hunters is a great series, and even if GR says that’s young adult, an older middle-grade reader will find it really entreating.

I found it by chance on Amazon unlimited, and quickly became addicted, I easily gave all the first 4 books in the series 5 stars on GR, except for the fifth, with a solid 3 stars.

The plot is simple, at the beginning: Joe and Becky, brother and sister, are invited to spend the summer holidays with their Uncle Percy, an eccentric man who lives at Bowen Hall. They didn’t know that Uncle Percy is a time traveller!

Each book is set in a different era, a bunch of characters are a costant in every story, and it’s fascinating to read all their adventures. The reader will encounter a lot of famous character and creatures (yes, even dinosaurs!) during the time travels.

There are the villains, and they are really mean. There’s a great sense of family and friendship, to try to being kind and do the right things, but the books deal also with some darker pages of our history, like the Olocaust. Keep that in mind for younger readers.

I found myself crying and laughing and hold my breath during my reading sessions, and with the progress of the series, the plot became more violent, and darker and complicated, that’s why the fifth book hasn’t reached the 5 stars for me.

I still reccomend this underrated series, if you have read it or plan to, feel free to comment below! I would love to hear your opinion!

Senza categoria

Wrap Up: July 2021

Hello readers! I know I’m late, I’m so sorry. I thought I had time to write at the end of July, and then time flies and I was in vacation.

Anyway, in July I managed to read 12 books!

5 stars:

A nature journal full of magnificent illustrations, Secrets of a Devon Wood is a beauty, perfect to gift to someone who loves nature!

The time hunters and the the sword of ages is the fourth book in the series, I can only say my heart is broken after finished it.

4 stars:

Araminta Spookie and the her haunted house is so cute and with a lovely ending! Perfect to read in October, that’s why I’m reading it in July, I’m preparing for Halloween.

The Moria pearls is the second book in the Lady Diviner series. A delightful series with two lovely and brave ladies as MC.

I’ll never have the time to bake all the marvellous cakes and cookies in the book, so I dream about desserts with Baking with Mary Berry.

3 stars:

I’ve listened to the audiobook version of Rebecca, very well done, maybe now I’ll watch the movie on Netflix.

Ghoulia has really cool illustrations, but the plot was a little weak, maybe it’s for younger readers.

The time hunters and the lost city is the fifth installment of the series, there are a lot of dramas and revelations, and I didn’t like the dark way the plot has turn.

1 star + DNF:

The immortal Prudence Blackwood has an interesting premise, but it’s strange and it has failed to keep my attention.

A wonderful cover isn’t enough if the book seems to be written by a robot, totally empty of emotions, that’s why I DNFed The Queen’s poisoner.

The lost property office is the perfect example of a male author who isn’t good at writing female characters.

Shatter me was on my shelf since… 2017 I think. I didn’t like it, dystopian and romance are not my fave genres.

And that’s all!

Have you read some great books during July?

Senza categoria

Series I want to finish in 2021 #1

Hello readers!

At the beginning of the year, a thought crossed my mind: how many series I’ve began and never finish? I’m not good at finish series/things. I have a fear that the ending will ruin my experience with that story, and ending always make me sad.

But I already own the last volume of some of these series, so this year I will try and finished them.

That’s the first post about them, and it will focuses on the series with only a volume left for me to read.

The Stoker & Holmes series by Colleen Gleason

What I’ve read:

These 4 books are so beautiful, full of adventures, strong female characters and Steampunk vibes, and only The Zeppelin deception waits for me.

The StoneHeart trilogy by Charlie Fletcher:

What I’ve read:

This is a trilogy, I simply put both the italian and the original covers side by side. An adventurous middle grade trilogy, perfect if you love the city of London!

I still need to read the last one, Silvertongue, or as you can see down below, Demone di Ghiaccio (Ice Demon) it’s the Italian translation. WTF is wrong with Silvertongue?? The original cover is much better, in my opinion!!

The Hermux Tantamoq series by Michael Hoeye

What I’ve read:

How beautiful are those vintage style covers?? I’m totally in love with them! The english titles are: Time stops for no mouse / The sands of time / No time like show time.

This is a middle grade series about a mouse who is a watchmaker, lives in a city full of mice, rats, squirrels etc… and who has a ladybug has a pet. Incredibly cute!!

Il tempo delle rose (Time to smell the roses) is the last volume in the series.

And that’s all for this first post! Do you have some series you need to finish? Tell me in the comments!

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S.C.R.E.A.M. book series: review


Title: S.C.R.E.A.M. The mummy’s revenge (#1)

Author: Andrew Beasley

Genre: Middle grade, historical fiction, mystery, supernatural

Pages: 240

Goodreads rating: 4.15

My rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads, Bookdepository.


In the dark and winding streets of Edinburgh, a burglar is on the prowl. But this is no ordinary thief.

Three thousand years old and risen from the grave, this rampaging robber is a rotting Egyptian mummy – and he wants rubies and revenge!

There’s only one crime-fighting force who can deal with a menace like this: Billy Flint & Charley Steel aka S.C.R.E.A.M. – top-secret investigators of Supernatural Crimes, Rescues, Emergencies And Mysteries.


Title: S.C.R.E.A.M Carnival of Monsters (#2)

Author: Andrew Beasley

Genre: Middle grade, historical fiction, mystery, supernatural

Pages: 240

Goodreads rating: 4.23

My rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads, Bookdepository.


Roll up, roll up, if you dare, to Doctor Vindicta’s Carnival! Gasp at the dancing ghosts! Grimace at the creepy clowns! It’s all harmless fun and frights…until a young boy disappears and his sister swears he was snatched by a monster. Only the bravest detectives can detain a demon: send for supernatural investigators Billy Flint and Charley Steel!


I’ll write a general review for this duology. The S.C.R.E.A.M. series is a middle grade historical fiction featuring a main character with a disability, lots of action and the supernatural touch that I love in a book.

I found the first book casually, searching for “mummy” books on Amazon. I’m really happy to have found it and to have read it, it’s a really underrated series, but look at the amazing covers!! Aren’t they great? Have you seen the detail on the cover of Carnival of monsters? Isn’t funny? I laughed when I saw it!

As I said, this series features a main character with a disability: as you can see from the covers, Charley Steel, the female MC, is on a wheelchair, but this certainly doesn’t stop her from being intelligent, wise and incredibily brave, and I know children will love her, along with Billy, the boy with a troubled family and some paranormal powers.

Both of the books are really intense and historically interesting, the second one (Carnival of monsters) is a little darker than the first, because includes children abduction and evil demons, just to let you know.

My only regret with these books is that I want to know more about the S.C.R.E.A.M. department, how has begun for example and also that this is a duology (for now), because I want to read more books with Charley and Billy!!


For now, thanks to Andrew Beasley for writing such an amazing series.

How you read it? Do you like the covers? Tell me in the comments!

5 star, discussion, meme, non fiction, wrap up

Best books I’ve read so far (2020)

Hello readers! I began, a couple of weeks ago, to write the Mid-Year freak out book tag, but then I decided to change it to a simple best/worst books I’ve read so far, mostly because I’m not the tyoe of reader to know every single release of the year, and because I totally forgot nearly all the characters names of the books I’ve read.

So there you can find all the magnificent books I’ve read in the first half of 2020.

A lot of blue in those covers! We have historical fiction, middle grade, non-fiction. I’m gklad to have found new favorite authors (like Carl Ashmore) and to have the possibility to talk about these underrated titles.

And you, have you read great books during these months? Tell me in the comments!

challenge, meme, Senza categoria

The ABC Book Challenge (G)

Hello! How’s everyone doing?

The challenge is to post some books that I loved and some books that are still on my TBR (please TBR, don’t hurt me), corresponding to each letter of the alphabet.

Personally, I found this challenge on A Book. A Thought. Go and check this great blog!

Please remember that maybe some books will be in Italian. I will write the English title too.

Previous Post:

The ABC Book Challenge (A)

The ABC Book Challenge (B)

The ABC Book Challenge (C)

The ABC Book Challenge (D)

The ABC Book Challenge (E)

The ABC Book Challenge (F)

Memorable books:

Gone girlgirl was an amazing thriller, but I didn’t like the movie so much.

Global garden is a really strange and original manga, but it’s also sweet.

Godchild is a work of Kaori Yuki, less famous then Angel Sanctuary, but with a great plot.

Il Grande Inverno is the second part of A Game Of Thrones. They printed the books all separated, then decided to re printed them with better covers and reunited.

To Be Read Books:

I’m totally in love with the cover of Ghost Talkers, and I can’t wait to read Greenglass House!

Do you know some of these titles?

See you for the next post of the ABC book challenge!


5 star, meme, Senza categoria, wrap up

Wrap up: April 2019

Hello readers! Welcome to my April 2019 wrap up! I’m back for my hiatus! Thanks for your messages, I really appreciated them.

How was your reading month? In April I read 10 books, 2 were in Italian and 1 was a DNF.

5 stars:


The yard is a fantastic historical fiction/crime book, I’ve loved it so much!

4 stars:


I received the ARC of Dead school, and is a funny book with a twist of dark humor.

3 stars:


Johannes Cabal The Detective is a great series, but I didn’t like this second book like the first one. Tamamo the Fox maiden is a graphic novel on Asian myths, very interesting. The flaw is all magic is a fantasy steampunk with a great female side character. Thornghost has a beautiful cover, but the previous book was better.

2 stars:


Oh Crenshaw, how disappointing were you! And the cover is so beautiful!

Zombie boy press start was a required reading for my A to Z reading challenge! It’s not easy to find books that begins with Z.

And that was my reading month! Have you read a 5 stars book this month?

middle grade, review

Review: Cogheart, by Peter Bunzl


Title: Cogheart (The Cogheart Adventures #1)

Author: Peter Bunzl

Genre: middle-grade, fantasy, steampunk

Publisher: Usborne

Pages: 366

Release date: September 1st 2016

Goodreads rating: 4.06

My rating: 3/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon


Lily’s life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her?

With her friends—Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox—Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realizes that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart. . . .

Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure.


Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a free copy in exchange of an honest review.

Cogheart has a beautiful cover, and I’m always attracted by Steampunk books with beautiful covers. In this book we can find Zeppelin, mechanical animals and people,  skies battle.

“Broken clocks can always be fixed, but broken hearts are a harder thing to save”

However, this book has a lot of potentials, but has a big problem too: it’s so predictable.
If you have already read, like me, more than a couple of steampunk/middle-grade books, you can easily predict not only the main plot of this book, but like every single scene. During the entire book I was like: ok, I bet know they… And I was right. It’s so frustrating, and a bit annoying too.
And it’s so sad, because I found the emotions and the feelings very strong. The friendship between Lily and Robert is so sweet, and all the sidekicks are fantastic. Malkin is the usually sarcastic and wise animal sidekick, and it’s a fox! How cool is a mechanical fox?

The robots that living in Lily’s house are all like a big family to her, and they are fantastic, my favourite characters of the book with Malkin. But as I said: we can immediately guess who is the evil guy; where is the Cogheart; who is willing to help our little heroes, etc.

Now, I know that I’ve read a lot of books, and I’m usually intuitive, and this can be a perfect book to a young reader who loves adventures and fantasy stories, but I’m feeling a little disappointed.
I’m not encourage to read the second book in the series.

Other books in the series: