Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black Cloak

Book Reviews

Bitsy Words: Jesse's Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black Cloak

Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black CloakJesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: July 7th 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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4 Stars

Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Thank you Sourcebooks and Netgalley! This was adorable; I really liked Maya’s vibe, all the music, and her relationship with Jesse. It was great to see how they progressed over days/weeks/months and felt believable despite his celebrity status. I especially loved their Ferris Bueller day!! And her friend Dave. And SAM AND JORDAN!! It got a little cheesy in the second half but I read it in an afternoon so I obviously enjoyed it :) Her family was wonderful and it was a great summer read. “You know I wish that I had Jesse’s girl…”



Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black CloakStitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Published by Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: October 14th 2014
Pages: 328
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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4.5 Stars

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

I really loved this, I’m so glad I gave it a chance!! I had a few issues but overall I thought it was wonderful. While I certainly understand the comparisons to the Lunar Chronicles, Stitching Snow is unique and stands on its own, while still being perfect for fans of that series. Essie is self-sufficient, badass, and brave (she cage fights!) and I loved the droids, especially Dimwit. I also loved learning about Essie’s past, and Essie’s relationship with Dane (total hate-to-love). They learn to work together and trust each other despite many obstacles. The setting and worldbuilding was extensive but not confusing, the villains were disturbing, and I loved all the Snow White allusions throughout the story. I’d definitely recommend it for fans of Cinder, fairy tale retellings, sci fi, awesome characters, and standalones! (Reading Challenges: FairytaleRC, 365 Days of YA)



Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black CloakSerafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Published by Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: July 14th 2015
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy the book! (Affiliate Link) | Goodreads
4 Stars

"Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in the shadowed corridors of her vast home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

Thank you Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley! Serafina was a great surprise. I loved the writing and the atmosphere of the Biltmore Estate and surrounding grounds. For some reason I thought the book would be set in England but it was set in the South which added a lot of grit and character to the story, as well as Serafina herself. The Chief Rat Catcher! The book starts off on a unique and macabre note, it was fantastic. I loved that it was a historical fiction mystery mixed with the supernatural. It was engaging, well-written, scary, mysterious, and captivating. The word choice and vocab was interesting and one of the things I enjoyed most. I also loved the graveyard scene in the woods. “Rest in peace and don’t return.” So creepy!

Serafina’s friendship with Braeden was really wonderful; I liked getting to see her open up and work together while still keeping the essence of herself and her bravery. My only caveat was that the ending seemed abrupt, a little too tied in a bow. I thought there would be more of a giant struggle with the antagonist, or some consequences for Sera and her father. But it actually made it better for its intended MG audience. I would recommend this book without hesitation to people who enjoy historical fiction, mysteries creepy supernatural stories, friendship, brave and resourceful girls, and grand old-fashioned storytelling.



About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

18 Responses to “Bitsy Words: Jesse’s Girl | Stitching Snow | Serafina and the Black Cloak”

  1. Avatar

    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    Great reviews. I really need to read Jesse’s Girl, I think. I read Serafina and the Black Cloak and I completely agree with you. I really enjoyed it. I don’t usually read MG books and I didn’t realize this was one. There were times I couldn’t really connect with the main character because of her age, but I still enjoyed the story. Super creepy!

  2. Avatar

    Alexa S.

    You’ve basically succeeded in making me want to read Serafina and the Black Cloak AND Stitching Snow! They both sound AWESOME, and the GIFs sealed the deal in convincing me to add it to my list for consideration. And I’m so happy you enjoyed Jesse’s Girl!

  3. Avatar

    Lyn Kaye

    I never thought Stitching Snow was like Cinder. I was honestly shocked by the comparison. I feel bad that it was blackballed because it “ripped off” Cinder. (I honestly liked this one more than Cinder, TBH).
    The droids TOTALLY made the book. I think without them, the book would have been pretty okay, but the droids pushed this book all the way up to 5 stars.

    I am SO HAPPY that you liked it!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      I mean, I can see it. They’re both fairy tale sci fi retellings that take place partially in space. But having read both they definitely feel different from each other! I hope more people will give it a chance. Yes, the droids had so much personality! I loved them.

  4. Avatar

    Hannah @ So Obsessed With

    “I would recommend this book without hesitation to people who enjoy historical fiction, mysteries creepy supernatural stories, friendship, brave and resourceful girls, and grand old-fashioned storytelling.” —> Ahhh Morgan! You’ve just made me REALLY want to read Serafina and the Black Cloak! I don’t read a ton of Middle Grade, but this one sounds right up my alley. And it helps that I love that cover ;)

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Yayyyy! Oh I know, the cover is gorgeous. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a chance! I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade either but I gravitate towards the kind that doesn’t feel young when you read it, you know?

  5. Avatar

    Crystal @ Bookiemoji

    Okay I don’t read reviews before reading books I’m interested in but I’m super excited to see that you have high ratings for STITCHING SNOW and SERAFINA because those are two I definitely plan to read!!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      I do the same thing; at the very least I’ll scan for general impressions from people I trust to see if it’s worth reading! But I’m glad my high reviews swayed you, I hope you enjoy both!! Thanks for commenting :)

  6. Avatar


    I need to read all of these! Especially Jesse’s Girl! The only Miranda Keannealy book I’ve read so far is Breathe Annie Breathe but it was one of my all time favorites! Great reviews :))

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