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



You are here: Home » Genre: Mystery

My Last KissMY LAST KISS by Bethany Neal Book Review
Publication Date: June 10th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary:What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy?

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss–the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died–is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn’t a suicide as everyone assumes. She can’t remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she’s worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend.

If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she’ll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made–good and bad–that led to her last kiss.

Bethany Neal’s suspenseful debut novel is about the power of first love and the haunting lies that threaten to tear it apart.

My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal Book Review Overview:

  • Mystery that keeps you guessing
  • Convoluted ending that made it a little unsatisfying for me as a reader

The last thing Cassidy remembers is her birthday party. But when she wakes up, she realizes that she is no longer living. Trapped as a ghost in the living world, Cassidy tries to piece together the events that led up to her death. MY LAST KISS by Bethany Neal is a page-turning mystery about lies and first love.

I wasn’t really a fan of the romance in MY LAST KISS by Bethany Neal. I just have a hard time with the fact that Cassidy cheats on her boyfriend of three years. I don’t think she ever justifies the fact that she cheated, but it was hard for me to like her as a protagonist. I like the chemistry between Cassidy and Ethan, but I can’t forget what Cassidy did. I feel bad for both boys who were affected.

I found the mystery to be really enticing at first. Bethany Neal kept me guessing throughout the entire book. But the mystery got a little too convoluted in the end. I can’t believe I’m saying this but there were just too many twists and turns towards the end, and it got tiresome. I just wanted to know who was behind the murder. I think that the red herrings were too close together, and I think I would have liked them spaced out throughout the book instead of all in one go at the end.

The ending felt a little abrupt, and I would have liked to see a little more resolution. Unfortunately, because the book is told from Cassidy’s perspective, the story ends when her friends solve the murder. The secondary characters are never fully realized and we are left hanging in the middle of their grieving process.

The mystery in MY LAST KISS by Bethany Nealis a page-turner, but the ending left more to be desired.


About the Author

Bethany NealBethany Neal writes young-adult novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing from her Ann Arbor, Michigan home. She is obsessed with (but not limited to): nail polish, ginormous rings, pigs, pickles, and dessert.

You can find her locked in her Writertorium for insane amounts of time. But, hey, insanity is fun! My Last Kiss is her first novel.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 0 comments

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , | Words 923 words

You are here: Home » Genre: Mystery

Catherine by April LindnerCATHERINE by April Lindner Book Review
Publication Date: January 2nd 2013 by Poppy
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. Wuthering Heights as you’ve never seen it before.

Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years—a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her—starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery.

Catherine by April Lindner Book Review Overview:

  • Fun contemporary with an intriguing mystery
  • Likeable protagonists but Catherine is more of my favorite
  • I never read Wuthering Heights: I can’t judge on how successful it is as an adaptation.

I picked up CATHERINE by April Lindner without any knowledge of Wuthering Heights. As much as I itched to search up a plot summary, I really wanted to read CATHERINE without any outside influences. CATHERINE by April Lindner is a fun contemporary with an intriguing mystery told from alternating perspectives set nearly twenty years apart.

When Chelsea finds an old letter addressed to her from her missing mother, Chelsea leaves home in search of her mother in New York City. She is determined to find out what has become of her mother after all these years. Once in New York, Chelsea starts to find out more about her mother as a teenager when she discovers her mother’s old diary. Chelsea hopes that this will be the clue to help track her down.

Chelsea is likeable enough as a protagonist. Her determination is infectious and you want nothing more to find her mother. Of the two, Catherine is probably the one who is more likeable because it is her character that has a questionable future. Catherine’s happily ever after was more in question than Chelsea’s. Catherine had a lot more forces going against her, so I tended to sympathize more with her character.

I wasn’t a fan of how New York City is portrayed in the story; it was like reading a novel from the eyes of a tourist. As someone who lives in the city, it was quite a disappointment.

The romance in CATHERINE by April Lindner is inevitable. It isn’t necessary to the plot and I thought it filler than anything else. I would have been fine if Chelsea had gone through the novel without a romance. It was more of her mother’s story that I found interesting.

Guest reviewer, Loreal, also had a chance to read CATHERINE by April Lindner. I asked her to co-write a review with me, but she said that she loved the book so much that it would be impossible for her to write anything coherent. I should also add that she loved CATHERINE by April Lindner even more so than the original.

CATHERINE by April Lindner succeeds as an engaging contemporary mystery with a touch of romance. But because I have not read Wuthering Heights I can’t judge on how successful it is as an adaptation. However, CATHERINE by April Lindner did not convince me to pick up Wuthering Heights unlike how Lindner’s Jane immediately got me to pick up Jane Eyre.

Other Book Reviews:
Chapter by Chapter
Once Upon a Prologue
WinterHaven Books

About the Author

April LindnerApril Lindner is a young adult novelist and poet. Lindner is a professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She is the mother of two sons, plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets–two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs.

Find the Author

Website | GoodReads

Comments 1 comment

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , , , , | Words 1057 words

You are here: Home » Genre: Mystery

The Season by Sarah MacLeanTHE SEASON by Sarah MacLean Book Review
Publication Date: March 1st 2009 by Orchard Books
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued ? in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.

When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex’s heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year’s season begins!

The Season by Sarah MacLean Book Review Overview:

  • Fantastic mix of romance and mystery.
  • Great cast of characters – I’d be interested in a sequel or two!
  • While this was interesting, I still prefer MacLean’s adult romances; I definitely recommend it to those who love YA historical romances though.

I have such a high expectation when it comes to Sarah MacLean novels just because I am so in love with her adult romances. Of course, I had to tell myself that THE SEASON is young adult and that I cannot give it such high expectations.

THE SEASON by Sarah MacLean still turned out to be a fun read despite the fact that it is not quite as sexy as I expect MacLean novels to be. I love the mix of romance and mystery in THE SEASON. It’s not the most well-crafted mystery – I uncovered the culprit way before the characters – but the mixing of genres made it a more engaging read.

Alex is a fun character to read about. Like any other protagonist during this era, she’s the kind of girl who doesn’t want to live by the ton‘s standards. Alex doesn’t want to get married for the sake of duty and she secretly wants a love match. When she sees her childhood friend Gavin for the first time in months, readers immediately notice the spark between them.

I would not mind it at all if MacLean decides to write a sequel or two (romance genre style, of course) about Vivi and Ella. They made great supporting characters, and I have to admit – I’m really curious as to how they will get their happily ever afters.

At the end of the day, I still prefer MacLean’s adult romances – just because they are a lot steamier. I would still recommend The Season to teens who love historical romances that is more age appropriate. If I had discovered THE SEASON a lot earlier, this probably would have been the book to make me seek out adult romance.

About the Author

Sarah MacLeanSarah MacLean is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of YA and adult romance.

She grew up in Rhode Island, where she spent much of her free time bemoaning the fact that she was more than a century too late for own Season. Her unabashed addiction to historical fiction helped to earn her a degree in European History from Smith College before she moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. After receiving a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Sarah returned to New York, where she lives with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Comments 1 comment

Permalink Permalink Category Book Review, Three Stars - , , , , , , , | Words 930 words

You're still trying to protect me. Real or not real.
Real. Because that's what you and I do, protect each other.
- Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

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

Join 28 other subscribers

Currently Reading

Voyager (Outlander, #3) by Diana Gabaldon
Voyager (Outlander, #3) by Diana Gabaldon

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