Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review & $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway - The Trouble with Toads by Danyelle Leafty

I'm participating in a blog tour for The Trouble with Toads by Danyelle Leafty.  Make sure you scroll down to see my review of this book.  I absolutely LOVED it!!  (And then scroll down even further to enter the awesome giveaway!)

trouble with toads tour
trouble with toadsThe Trouble with Toads Once upon a time a young girl wanted revenge. But first, she wanted to be beautiful. Twelve-year-old Bettony has read enough stories that begin with ‘Once upon a time’ to know what happens to the ugly stepsisters at the end, and she’s determined to escape that fate by any means necessary—even by magic. Unfortunately, when it comes to magic, there is no place for regret, refunds, or exchanges. Even if you accidentally turn your older sister into a toad. If Bettony wants her Happily Ever After to end well, she’s going to have to find a way to turn her sister back into a person before their mother finds out she’s been dabbling with magic and grounds her for life. Tracking down the family magic turns out to be surprisingly easy. Now, if only it came with directions . . . THE TROUBLE WITH TOADS (45,000 words) is the first book in a new upper MG series The Secret Stepsister Society. The second book will be released Summer 2013.

I honestly cannot begin to tell you how in love I was with this book.  After reading it, I felt compelled to immediately go out and find everything else that Danyelle Leafty has ever written because I was enraptured by her whimsical and flowing writing style.  She told Bettony's story with such wit and yet with incredibly beautiful language.  I found myself constantly thinking, "How does she come up with this stuff?"  It's like she's a creative genius.  I know I'm gushing, but this is honestly how I felt while reading the book.  I just got so caught up in the lush language and fun metaphors that I couldn't put it down!  Here's just one example:

"Sometimes magic is all beautiful sparkles and breathtaking views. Other times, its something simpler, easier to understand, and far closer to home . But if you could peel away all the wonder and awe, all the pretty colors and inviting views, you would see magic as it is at its most basic: a wish. A wanting. A need."

Okay, so on to talking about the actual story.  The Trouble with Toads was a really adorable story about the trouble that can be caused by dissatisfaction - especially with oneself.  Bettony is sure that all of her problems would go away if she were beautiful, so she goes to her grandmother (who happens to be a witch) and asks her for a spell.  Despite her grandmother's warnings that magic always has a price, Bettony is sure that beauty will outweigh any price she might have to pay.  Unfortunately, it turns out that she is not the one who has to pay the price.  Bettony unwittingly turns her sister into a toad!  Realizing the depth of her mistake, Bettony tries to go to her grandmother to reverse the spell.  But Bettony's grandmother tells her that only Bettony can fix the problem she has created.  So Bettony, her sister Cadmilla (now a toad) and her far too perfect step-sister, Desire go off on a quest to try and turn Cadmilla back into a human.  Along the way, Bettony learns a lot about herself and about her two sisters.

My one and only complaint about this book (and the only reason I didn't give it a full five stars) is that it ends mid-story.  I was looking for some sort of resolution at the end of the book and there really wasn't any.  We will need to wait until the next book to find out what happens with our trio of sisters.  Our family will definitely be reading the next installment when it comes out!! (I should mention that both of my kids loved this book as well, although my son said that he wasn't too crazy about the flowery musings about magic.  He's a 10-year-old boy - he just wanted to get to the action).  4.5/5 stars

One more quote, just because:
Promises are curious creatures. In general, they’re soft and small and, often, unthinkingly made. But time has a way of twisting them here and curling them there until, before you know it, the shape of the promise has changed, although the meaning burns just as brightly as ever.
***Disclosure: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and my review was not affected in any way. All opinions are my own*** 

  danyelleAuthor Danyelle Leafty Danyelle Leafty writes upper MG and YA fantasy, and is the author of THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA series. Danyelle has always loved fairy tales, and prefers stories where someone gets eaten, or at the very least, transmogrified. Much of her inspiration has come from fairy tales, because as G.K. Chesterton so aptly states, "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She also collects books, and one day hopes to make a house out of them. She enjoys learning languages, fiddling with her harp, and perfecting the fine art of mothering. (It's a lot like trying to herd chickens during a lightning storm while a goat stampede is going on.) One of her heroes is Albert Einstein, particularly for the following quote: "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The most important thing is not to stop questioning."

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/28/13
 a Rafflecopter giveaway Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $25 US.  


  1. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this blog on one of my posts from last week (I'm really behind on catching up). I've done a couple little reviews with my oldest and can't wait until he is a little older so we can do some more! :)

  2. This sounds like such a great story. I think I am going to get this book for me and my son to read. Thank you for the amazing and honest review.

  3. First off, that cover is AWESOME! I love it; it is so stinkin cute! And the synopsis draws me in, and makes me want to read this book. ASAP! Thank you for your great review! And for the giveaway!

    1. The cover was definitely the first thing that caught my eye too - so cute!

  4. This book looks like a lot of fun. I teach fourth grade so I recommended it to a few of my higher level readers. The style of writing seemed a bit challenging but these girls are pretty good. I can't wait to hear what they think of it!
    I am now following both of your blogs. Thanks for coming to mine!

    1. Yes, some of the vocabulary is a little bit challenging (and the stylized writing can be a bit tricky too), but my 9-year-old daughter (who reads above grade level) read it and enjoyed it immensely. I think your fourth graders will probably love it!