Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Linkups - What to Eat When




It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
Is there anything that drives you bonkers when you're reading a book that makes you want to tell the author a thing or two?

My Answer:
When a big plot point is just wrong.  I get not researching every single detail but for example I once read a mystery where the main character worked for the government and had a security clearance and the whole plot revolved around this character getting classified information by essentially assuring people that she had a Secret clearance and therefore they cold tell her whatever it was even though it was something she had no legitimate need to know.  I spent the entire book shrieking "That's not how that works!" at the book.  

This week's book is a bit of a departure for me.  I don't read much self help but after being sick last year I am looking to improve my diet and feel better this year so I thought What To Eat When by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Michael Crupain, M.D., MPH sounded like it might be interesting and useful.  While interesting so far it doesn't provide the most fascinating snippets!

The Beginning:
Food is powerfully evocative and has the ability to convey some of our sturdiest memories.

My Thoughts:
This is most definitely true.  Certain dishes will take me right back to a specific time or place.

The 56:
If your day starts like ours, it's probably a tornado of to-does: shower, brush teeth and hair, shave face and/or legs, get the household going, check your phone 437 times before you get in the car and get rocking. 

My Thoughts:
Sounds about right.  None of us here are morning people so getting out the door in the morning is always a bit chaotic.

So what do you think?  Keep reading?  What drives you bonkers in books?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Untouchable - Romantic Supsense Review


Rating: Good
Source: NetGalley

Description: 
Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer's head has garnered him a reputation in some circles--and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace.

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family's hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas's foster sons, starting with Jack.

Genre: Mystery - Romantic Suspense

Why I Picked This Book:
I've enjoyed the two previous books in this series and Krentz's books are always a lot of fun.  

My Impression:
This is the third book of  this series centering around Quinton Zane, three of the surviving boys from the cult he ended in a fiery blaze, and their foster father.  Jack was a bit different from the other two.  He was a bit more awkward and academic than the other two and less action oriented.  Winter is an interesting character with her mediation and hypnotist abilities and I did love her family story.  This was a quick read and definitely kept me turning pages.  It was exactly what I expected from her books - fun and suspenseful.

This book wasn't perfect.  While Jack and Winter were different characters the relationship felt like the same relationship I'd seen in the previous two books.  As well, I'm not sad to see the end of the Quinton Zane plot.  I'm not a fan of the whole master criminal plot and Zane is the master criminal to end all master criminals.  I was satisfied to see the conclusion and I will miss Anson Salinas, Max, Cabot, and now that I've gotten to know him Jack.

This is a fun read that is perfect for some escapist destressing post-holiday reading.  While it's not the most memorable of reads it was thoroughly entertaining and Jayne Ann Krentz will always be a must read for me.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Of course.  Even if it isn't my favorite Krentz it's always a fun read.  

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you're new to Kretnz I start with the first book in this series.  While the series doesn't need to be read in order I just think the first two were better.  If you've been reading this series than I think you'll enjoy this one.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Au Pair - Mystery Review


Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher 

Description: 
Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.

Genre:  Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:
This sounds creepy and I've heard comparisons between this book and Kate Morton's books so there was no way I could resist!

My Impression:
  "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive".  My grandmother is big on quotes and this Sir Walter Scott quote is one of her favorites.   It came to mind quite a bit as I read this book.  What a tangled web this book is!  Seraphine is haunted by the day of her birth -  a day she couldn't possibly remember but still has shaped her life from the very beginning. Everyone has refused to answer any questions - something becomes an issue when Seraphine discovers the picture and the force of the unknown lands fully on her.

This story ran to the convoluted but in the most fascinating of ways.  The story unraveled slowly with lots of tension and heaps of creepy atmosphere.  Just what did happen on the cliff so long ago and what was the Au Pair's part in it all?  This was one of those books that I looked down and was shocked to discover I'd read 100 pages as I was so pulled into the world on the pages.  I can definitely see the Kate Morton comparisons.  The twisted world laden with secrets is reminiscent of Morton's books but is still wholly unique.  This was an interesting page turning read that pulled me in from the start.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  I would.  I'm curious to see just what Emma Rous comes up with next.  

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy psychological characters with twisty plots than I think you'd enjoy this.   

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - New To Me Authors I Read in 2018

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl is New To Me Authors I Read in 2018.  I love this topic because finding new authors I love is one of my favorite things but I never think to track this so I had a lot of fun looking through my 2018 reads and seeing just what authors I discovered last year.


1.  Rosemary Simpson - I was on a winning streak with historical mysteries in 2018 and this series featuring a society girl with a mind of her own, a former Pinkerton detective and a whole cast of characters all in Gilded Age New York.

2.  Emily Brightwell - Another historical mystery though this one features the servants of a Victorian era Scotland Yard detective along with a sprinkling of friends and neighbors - all with a fun cozy feel.

3.  David Bell - David Bell wasn't an unfamiliar name to me but I had never tried his work until this year  It was creepy and unsettling and totally compelling.

4.  Catherine Ryan Hyde - I wasn't sure I was going to like this story about a former executive who threw up everything and ends up living out in the middle of nowhere with an eclectic cast of characters but it ended up being a total delight full of humor and poignancy.

5.  JoAnn Ross - I love a good small town contemporary romance and thoroughly enjoyed this series set in Honeymoon Harbor in the Pacific Northwest.


6.  Jennifer Ashley - Did I mention I was loving historical mysteries this year?  The Kat Holloway series from Jennifer Ashley that centers around a cook is one of my favorite discoveries.

7.  Liane Moriarty - I've been meaning to read Moriarty for years and finally did in 2018.  She completely lived up to my expectations.

8.  Tess Arlen - Another historical mystery and another author I'd been meaning to read for quite sometime.  And another series that did not disappoint.

9.  Anna Lee Huber - Okay last historical mystery but another one that I went into expecting good things and fell completely in love with.  I'm glad I have a few

10. Jessica Fletcher (Jon Land) - I've watched Murder, She Wrote since I was a little girl but never read any of the books because I had it in my head they wouldn't be very good.  Happily I was proved very wrong!

What authors did you discover in 2018?

Monday, January 14, 2019

An Anonymous Girl - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Description: 
Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.
When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?
But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking… and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?
As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?
From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:
  I haven't read nearly as many psychological thrillers as I'd like and this sounds really good.

My Impression:
  This is one of those books that I can't quite wrap my mind around how I feel about it.  I didn't really care for any of the characters and I did feel frustrated at times at the pacing but at the same time I just couldn't stop reading it.  I'd think "when I turn on my Kindle I'm going to find something light and fun to read and take a break from this one" but somehow I found myself reading this one every single time and what's more I had to make myself put it down.  Yes, I wanted the plot to go faster and while I didn't care about any of the characters I found myself needing to know just what happened next.  I also found myself incredibly relieved that I never participated in any of the studies that the psychology department were always advertising in college.

Jess and Dr. Shields were both incredibly frustrating.  Their decisions were puzzling and maddening and I never felt particularly connected with them.  Since I typically read character driven books this took some getting used to.  However, I felt compelled to find out just what was going to happen next.  I liked the changing POVs - especially with Dr. Shields' chapters feeling like journal entries.  This was a compelling read that kept me reading far into the night even when I didn't like any of the characters in it.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  I would.  While this isn't a book I really loved it was one I really enjoyed reading and I'm curious to see what other kinds of craziness the authors can come up with.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy a slow building psychological thriller and don't mind not liking the characters then this is a good read that will keep you turning pages.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Saturday, January 12, 2019

This Week in Reading - January 13

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

Final Exam by Carol J. Perry - I'm so behind in this series but I love it so much and am looking forward to getting caught up and reading this one! (NetGalley)

One Potato, Two Potato, Dead by Lynn Cahoon - I never turn down a book by Lynn Cahoon and the title made me giggle so I couldn't pass it up!  (NetGalley)

Pinot Red or Dead by J.C. Eaton - Eaton is another favorite and while this isn't my favorite series there was no way I could pass this one up! (NetGalley)







Currently:

Reading:  Cloaked in Malice by Annette Blair and Governess Gone Rogue by Laura Lee Guhrke

Listening:  I finished A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie and was in the mood for romantic suspense so I'm going with Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

Watching:  I made the mistake of watching 5 episodes of Criminal Minds in a row so I'm a bit jumpy right now.  I'll be sticking with The Great British Bake Off for awhile.

Off the Blog:

My Granddad and me in the early 80s
I'm in South Mississippi this weekend celebrating my Grandfather's 95th birthday.  It's been a rough couple of years starting with a fall where he broke his neck and while not paralyzed is in a wheelchair.  He gets around amazingly well and I'm always so impressed with how he adapts and finds work arounds.  We have a good time watching movies and doing projects and I'm so glad to have this time with him.  

This was the first week back at school and I did not enjoy getting back to the early mornings!  The Tornado did remarkably well and I think has enjoyed getting back into his routine and spending time with his friends.  Next weekend is a three day weekend here and I'm already looking forward to getting to sleep in a little for all 3 days!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  An Anonymous Girl - Mystery Review
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday - Ten New to Me Authors I Read in 2018
Wednesday: Au Pair - Mystery Review
Thursday:  Untouchable - Romantic Suspense Review
Friday: Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

A Good Marriage - Thriller Review

A Good Marriage by Stephen King (Amazon Link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: Purchased - Audio

Description: What happens when, on a perfectly ordinary evening, all the things you believed in and took for granted are turned upside down?

When her husband of more than 20 years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It's a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage.

Genre: Thriller

Why I Picked This Book:  I've wanted to read Stephen King for years but the length of his books were a bit off putting.  This novella seemed like the perfect thing and the blurb intrigued me too.

My Impression:  Well that was unexpected!  I've always associated Stephen King with straight up movie horror.  Lots of blood and screaming running people and a crazed serial killer chasing them.  But this novella had none of that - well not really.  Everything in this book was perfectly ordinary.  The marriage was good but ordinary, the characters perfectly nice.  Bob and Darcy are the kind of people you pass the time chatting with at a kid's birthday party and smile when you pass them at school open houses.  That's what made what was lurking in the shadows so terrifying.

Everyone knows that you can't really completely know what's going on in somewhat else's head but in a marriage - especially a good marriage - you can get pretty close. And King uses that instinctive knowledge as manipulation and as a weapon at times and it's so easy to identify with Darcy that it was uncomfortable at times to listen to it.

This was terrifying in this most ordinary of ways which I think made the terror 100x more real.  This wasn't aliens dropping from the sky looking to take out humanity this was an ordinary husband with an ordinary job and a horrific secret hiding in the shadows. It was eerie and unsettling and a completely compelling listen.

Audio Note:  Jessica Hecht does the narration for this novella and she's the perfect Darcy. Her voice has just enough inflection to catch and keep my attention and have me holding my breath at times but not so dramatic that I can't imagine her reading the minutes at a PTA meeting.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I'm not sure.  I really enjoyed this but it was so unsettling that it might take me a little while to get the courage up to read another!  However, when I get the courage up I won't hesitate to pick up The Shining or one of the others I've been wanting to read for years.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you've been wanting to read Stephen King for a long time but have always chickened out I think this is a great place to start.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Linkups - Cloaked in Malice



It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
What is your first book of the year?

My Answer:
My first books of the year were The Island of Glass by Nora Roberts (in actual book form), Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz (on my Kindle), and A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie (audio).  I've finished all three and really enjoyed them.

This week's book is one that's been on my TBR for awhile and one of my goals this year is to make some progress on those books that have been on my shelf for far too long.  I've read the previous 4 cozy mysteries set around a vintage clothing store and a woman who sees ghosts and can tell what happened to previous owners of the clothes.  I really enjoyed the previous books so I'm excited to read Cloaked in Malice by Annette Blair

The Beginning:
My name is Madeira Cutler, and I'd like to invent a ghostly tracking device.

My Thoughts:
I do remember ghosts being a factor in this series but this is definitely getting straight to the point!

The 56:
Paisley folder her arms as she turned to me and she stamped her foot.

My Thoughts:
Paisley sounds like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum here but she's actually an older woman so I'm curious to see what gets her into this state!

So what do you think?  What was your first book of the year?  What did you think of it?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Botched 4 Murder - Cozy Mystery Review



Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:
Sophie "Phee" Kimball is getting dragged into the drama again at her mom's Arizona retirement community. A new board member wants to get rid of two golf courses and replace them with eco-friendly parks, and some of the residents are pretty teed off about it. On top of that, her mother's book club friend Myrna is being pushed out of the bocce league. These seniors are serious about winning, and Myrna's dragging them down. She's so bad at bocce, in fact, that when a community member's dead body is discovered while Myrna's practicing for a tournament, she assumes it was one of her own errant balls that killed the woman.

But before Myrna can be tossed off the bocce court and into criminal court, the police find an arrow in the victim's neck. It looks like this was no accident--and Phee and her investigator boyfriend Marshall will have to team up to bounce a killer into the slammer . . .

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
This is one of my favorite mystery series so I can never resist seeing what trouble the book club gets up to next!

My Impression:
  I love this series and this one fully lived up to my expectations.   Phee is one of my favorite cozy mystery characters and her mother, Harriet, may be the most fabulously annoying mother ever.  The bonus is that while she drives Phee up the wall I find her incredibly entertaining.  I also enjoyed seeing Phee's relationship developing with Marshall.

The mystery was entertaining and as always well done.  The motives are many and there are suspects galore but are any of the motives really worth killing over?  It was fun to watch Phee, Marshall, and Nate (Phee's boss, friend and also a PI) unravel all the clues with the help of Harriet and the other book club members of course.  The mayhem and hijinks are at an all time high in the community of Sun City West and many old friends make appearances.

If you can't tell I'm a fan of this series.  I've been reading it since the beginning and it's one of the few series that I'm actually caught up on.  If you're new to the series you can jump in right here with no problem.  While most of the characters are reoccurring you don't need to know their backstory though I do highly recommend the earlier books.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely! This is a favorite series and I've enjoyed other books by this author as well.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is a series you absolutely shouldn't miss.  

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Best of Us - Contemporary Romance Review


Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:
I've really enjoyed the previous books in the Sullivan's Crossing series so I couldn't resist this one.

My Impression:
I've really enjoyed my visits to Sullivan's Crossing and while I was a little sad to be away from the Jones family I was thrilled to be back - and especially thrilled to spend more time with Sully.  Leigh is an interesting character.  She has a bad relationship in her past but while she definitely has trust issues regarding it she doesn't have a chip on her shoulder.  Rob had a good marriage and takes his responsibilities regarding his sons very seriously.  I loved seeing his interactions with the boys and with Leigh.  Carr has a gift for creating genuine and authentic feeling relationships and this book positively glowed with that.  While I wouldn't classify Rob and Leigh's relationship as a slow burn the evolution of feelings and intensity felt very realistic and was lovely to watch.  I also really enjoyed the storyline involving Helen.  I like the different relationships Carr weaves into the story.  It really makes the little town feel like a real place.

What kept me from absolutely loving this one is pretty much the opposite of what I just said.  While I do like the secondary relationships that are woven throughout the book.  I didn't care for the romance between Rob's son and his girlfriend.  I liked both the kids but I don't really enjoy teenage romance so I could have happily done without it.  This is purely personal and it's well done so I suspect this complaint won't bother most people.

This is a nice romance with mature characters, strong family bonds, and an established community feel.  It's a fast read with that's got a bit of heart and a solid helping of warm and fuzzy.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  Carr has become an autoread for me.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy contemporary romance or women's fiction than I think you'd enjoy this book.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten New Releases I'm Looking Foward to in the First Half of 2019

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl Most Anticipated New Releases for the First Half of 2019.  I'm not always great at this topic because I'm not fantastic about keeping up with new releases but it's also fun to go wandering around book lists to see what I have to look forward to in the coming months!

1.  The Last Lie by Alex Lake - I've been wanting to read Alex Lake for awhile so I'm really excited about this one.  I love twisty phycological thrillers and this one looks seriously moody.

2.  No Escape Claws by Sofie Ryan - I read the last one in this cozy mystery series involving a second hand shop and a cat last year and really enjoyed it so I'm really looking forward to this newest one.  

3.  Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert - I've read the first two in this cozy series set around a librarian and full of mysteries with ties to the past and I have high hopes for the third mystery.

4.  Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins - I love genealogy and can easily see how it would be a rich subject for a mystery series so I think this will be a fantastic read.

5.  The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne - I love RaeAnne Thayne and so I'm excited to see what she does with this book which is more women's fiction than romance and focuses on the relationship between two sisters and their aunt.

6.  The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott - I enjoyed another thriller by this author and the premise of this one involving an old Scottish manor and an estranged father really appeals to me.

7.  The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr - I've enjoyed Carr's books - especially her women's fiction so this should be a nice read.

8.  Montauk by Nicola Harrison - I know nothing about this one but I love historical fiction and I haven't read many books that are set right before World War II.

9.  The Summoning by Heather Graham - Not only is this a Krewe of Hunters book from Graham but it involves a haunted B and B in Savannah, GA so I'm really excited about this one.  It doesn't hurt that I always enjoy a Krewe book.

10. California Girls by Susan Mallery - Once again I can't resist a women's fiction story involving sisters. Not sure why this kind of plot is an auto buy for me but it most definitely is.

What 2019 releases are you looking forward to?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Reviews from the Children's Section - At the Back of the North Wind

One of my favorite genres and one that is the easiest for me to push aside is middle grade fiction. This year to make sure I get a little more children's and young adult fiction I thought I would designate the first Monday of every month Middle Grade Monday (though sometimes it doesn't end up working quite right) .  While a lot of my picks this year are classics I am trying to branch out a little bit and read new or at least recent releases.  This month's read is a classic that I had never read but had a bit of nostalgia attached none the less - At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald.


Goodreads:  At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

This was one of my Grandmother's favorite books as a child so there was quite a bit of pressure on me to like it.  And at first I wasn't so sure.  I didn't love Alice in Wonderland and the beginning had the same whimsical nonsensical feel to it. All the back and forth discussion between Diamond and the North Wind didn't interest me and felt a bit like listening to someone describe there dream in minute detail.  However, suddenly the book gained traction and while there is a good deal of whimsy and a bit of nonsense I found myself really enjoying it and wanting to hear more about young Diamond's adventures.  The book was originally published in 1868 which was a time where children's fiction tended to lean heavily on a moral tale.  However, while Diamond is most definitely good and pure, the whimsical nature of it kept it from being overly preachy.  It occasionally lapsed into fairy tales which wasn't really for me but I enjoyed the story enough that I didn't mind.  This would be perfectly appropriate for any age reader and I suspect that it will entertain any reader who enjoys fanciful tales and doesn't mind a touch of sadness.

As a parent I would have no issue with a child of any age reading this.  I didn't find there to be much scary imagery or intensity.  This would be a good read a loud book and would be a fun fanciful story to share.