Ahoy, there!

Muggle-Born.net is a blog mostly on young adult book reviews. My name is Cialina, and I am a college student living in New York City. I love Harry Potter, coffee, and bookstores.

I am currently accepting review requests from select publishers and authors. I do not accept titles from self-published authors and have no plans to do so in the future. For more on my review policy and rating system, click here.

Recent Reviews



Archive for One Star

You are here: Home » Book Review » One Star

Wentworth Hall by Abby GrahameWENTWORTH HALL by Abby Grahame Book Review
Publication Date: May 1st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Dreadful

Book Summary: A lush, historical novel about the secretive Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall! The prettiest people often have the ugliest secrets…

Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for.

It’s 1912, and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just the extensive grounds to maintain. As one of Britain’s most elite families, they need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been…even as their carefully constructed façade rapidly comes undone.

Maggie has a secret. And she’s not the only one…the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something. Passion, betrayal, heartache, and whispered declarations of love take place under the Darlingtons’ massive roof. And one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever.

When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, everyone is looking over their shoulder, worrying their scandal will be next. Because at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long.

Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame Book Review Overview:

  • Overdramatic dialogue, predictable plot
  • Flat characters
  • Trying too hard to appeal to Downton Abbey fans

Not going to lie, I basically did nothing for an entire week and went through two seasons of Downton Abbey. (I was also bedridden at the time, but that’s not my point.) I was basically obsessed and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the scene. I’m a sucker for drama and period pieces and Downton just had the right mix.

So when I stumbled upon Wentworth Hall, I just had to pick it up. The book was pitched as perfect for Downton fans like me. I should have realized that was a bad sign. Despite my initial excitement to read Wentworth Hall, it turned out to be a poorly written book that tried to latch onto the Downton fever.

Obivously, I’m a girl who likes period dramas, but there’s a line where drama becomes excessive. I think that Grahame tries to pack too much in one book. Everything bad that can possibly happen is happening to the Darlingtons. Wentworth Hall is a pretty quick read, and I didn’t feel like anything was developed enough. There was little to no suspense or mystery. I basically figured out all of the secrets as soon as I met each character. Drama isn’t very dramatic when you know what’s going to happen.

I think that Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame could have been passable with the excessive drama if the writing was up to par. Sadly, I just couldn’t overlook the bad quality. The dialogue was poorly written and it made me want to constantly roll my eyes. How can I sympathize with any of the characters when they are constantly whining and being overdramatic? I felt like I was reading a telenovela… and not in a good way. I never really connected with any of the characters, so my interest level in the book wavered as I progressed.

The ending was rushed and practically came out of nowhere. If I had been enjoying this book, I would have been really disappointed by the ending. To be honest, I was just kind of relieved that this train wreck of a book was finally over.

Wenthworth Hall by Abby Grahame was just trying too hard to appeal to Downton Abbey fever.

Comments 3 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, One Star - , , , , | Words 742 words

The Ivy by Lauren KunzeTHE IVY by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur Book Review
Series: The Ivy, #1
Publication Date: August 31st 2010 by Greenwillow Books
Rating: – Dreadful

Book Summary: Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?

Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with

the guy she loves to hate …

the guy she’d love to forget …

the guy she’d love to love …

and Matt
the guy she really should love …

all vying for her attention.

But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.

Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?

The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur Book Review Overview:

  • Unlikeable cast of characters
  • Too much unbelievable (not in a good way) drama that made it seem so high school
  • I can’t think of one positive thing to say about The Ivy

I don’t know how I managed to read THE IVY by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur in its entirety when I clearly did not enjoy it. Riddled with caricatures and cliches, THE IVY by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur is far from your typical college experience.

There is no debating the fact that THE IVY by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur is young adult, despite the fact that the story takes place in college. Why? Because it’s like the characters never left high school. THE IVY is centered around gossip, drama, and hooking up. There’s really no depth to the college setting – except that it gave the authors more excuses to include sex, alcohol, and drugs.

THE IVY by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur lacks any likeable characters. The characters are obnoxious and over-exaggerated caricatures. The protagonist, Callie, is very difficult to like because her moral compass is so way off. She’s quite over-dramatic and self-centered. Her character changes for the worst, and by the end of the book, I loathed her. Her friends aren’t any better. They are annoying and they engage in ridiculous shenanigans.

For all the drama crammed into one book, you would think that the characters had never left high school. The fact that all of this can happen to one group of friends is also unrealistic. The gossip and drama are never-ending. Most of the time, I think their problems are so juvenile that it makes it so hard to believe that these people would actually be my age.

You know I didn’t like a book when I can’t think of one good thing to highlight in a review. THE IVY by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur is not worth your time.


About the Author

Lauren KunzeLauren Kunze grew up in Piedmont, California and attended Harvard University where she majored in English literature and minored in neurobiology. After graduation, she deferred a masters program at the University of Oxford in order to finish her first novel, The Ivy, which was conceptualized in collaboration with best friend and former college roommate Rina Onur. Now Lauren writes full-time, and is currently working on subsequent novels in The Ivy Series. She is twenty-five years old.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 0 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, One Star - , , , , , , | Words 840 words

You are here: Home » Book Review » One Star

ONCE A COWBOY by Linda Warren
Publication Date: February 13th 2007 by Harlequin Books

Summary: Brodie Hayes is a former rodeo star, now a rancher–a cowboy, through and through. But when he finds out some shocking news about the circumstances of his birth, he begins to question his identity. Luckily, private investigator Alexandra Donovan is there to help him find the truth about who he is. Along the way, he discovers that even a man who thought he’d be alone for the rest of his life can fall in love.

For Brodie, love was something you did once–and for always. But is Alex the type of woman who can take on a stubborn man like him? Because there’s one thing about him that will never change, no matter what they find out about his past–once a cowboy, always a cowboy.

Heroine: I didn’t really find anything relatable with Alex. She wasn’t much fun to read to be honest.

Hero: I usually do not have a problem with the age of the love interest but for me, Brodie Hayes was a bit too old. Yeah he’s forty, and I guess that’s not really old. You can blame it on my young parents, but the fact that Brodie is older than my dad … ick. Not sexy.

Supporting Cast: Alex’s eccentric grandmother, Naddy, was quite memorable, but no one else stood out for me.

Plot: I couldn’t follow the premise of the novel. Infants switched at birth, and now Brodie Hayes finds out he’s not who he thinks he is … Adoption, kidnapping, death … I didn’t understand how the circumstances could have been romantic.

Romance: So many elements of this book just seemed so wrong to me. No matter how many times Alex tries to justify exactly how she falls in love with this cowboy, I’d have to side with her father Buck in this case. She should not have gotten involved with someone who was part of a case as a private investigator.

Love Potion Strength:


A bit disappointing for my first cowboy romance, but I did get this for free on my nook. I’m willing to try other cowboy novels in the future though, but I’m now hesitant about Harlequin American Romances.

Comments 6 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, One Star - , , , , , , | Words 506 words

Twice he began to frame a sentence, and twice his voice seemed to fail him. And she thought she understood. What could he possibly say to her now, when he was on the verge of leaving forever? Even something as simple as asking her to write to him carried a distinct sort of promise, the type of promise he was ten years and a half a world removed from being able to make.
- YS Lee, A Spy in the House

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 30 other subscribers

Currently Reading

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Browse by Category

Browse by Tag



Paper Wings Design Studio

Accio Book - YA Book Recommendations Engine



10% Discount / APMA12 Coupon Code / Book Depository

Link Muggle-Born

<a href="http://muggle-born.net/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i46.tinypic.com/168szk1.png" border="0" alt="Muggle-Born"></a>

More Buttons Here

Search Engine Optimization