Review: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

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Wrap Up: April 2021

Happy end of April! This was a pretty good reading month for us overall, and we’ve all read some wonderful books! We’re so excited to continue out reading into next month, and we can’t wait to see what wonderful posts our fellow bloggers produce. We recently announced our teatimereads book for May, and we’re so excited to read The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. Be sure to let us know below what your favourite books of the month are, and we hope you have a safe and productive May!


This month Caitlyn read 17 books, Cossette read 17 books, and Mary read 9 books.

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Spotlight: Caitlyn’s Favorite Shakespeare Plays

Well, with April coming to a close as does my William Shakespeare month (though am I ever not talking about Shakespeare?). I’ve really loved focusing on Shakespeare and his works this month. As I said at the beginning of the month, Shakespeare’s works have been so influential to so many, so it’s been awesome to check out works that have been modeled after his as well as reading his works.


Originally my goal was to read all 39 of Shakespeare’s plays by the end of this month, but alas due to just life in general that has not happened. As of now, I’ve read 11 plays, so my goal is to now finish them by June. We’ll see how that goes. While I haven’t read/reread all of his works before writing this post, I do know which plays are my favorites because they’re the ones I always gravitate to and ones that mean a lot to me.

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Review: Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.

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TEATIMEREADS MAY PICK: THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA BY TJ KLUNE

Hi, hello everyone! We are super excited to be announcing our May book today! We cannot believe it’s going to be May already, but we hope the year has been kind to you so far. We’re happy to announce that the tea party guests chose The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune as our May book! We’re so incredibly excited to be reading this with everyone next month! 

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Links for The House in the Cerulean Sea: Goodreads | TheStoryGraph | Bookshop | Indie Bound

Content Warnings: Abuse (mentioned), anxiety (trauma-related), bigotry, body shaming, bullying, child abuse (backstory), fatphobia (internalised), homophobia, microagressions, queerphobia, violence (against children)

To find out more about teatimereads please click here. You can also join the server by accessing this link

Happy reading! 

Spotlight: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

As we know, this month I am celebrating all things Shakespeare in honor of the Bard’s birth/death month. Today, I’ll be discussing my favorite book, If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio.

Note that this post does include major spoilers, so if you haven’t read If We Were Villains yet and don’t want to be spoiled, check out the book before you read this post.

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Let’s Talk: Shakespeare

With April being the birth and death month of Shakespeare, I thought it would be a fun idea to dedicate the month to Shakespeare and Shakespeare-related stories!

I don’t think anyone is shocked to hear me say that I love Shakespeare. It’s no secret. In fact, I’m pretty vocal about it. Shakespeare has had a huge impact on the worlds of both literature and theatre. Both things are incredibly important to me and have changed my life in different ways. It just makes sense that I would find myself feeling deeply connected to his works.

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Review: A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

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Book Recs: 12 Book Recs for Theatre Fans

In honor of World Theatre Day (March 27th), which is unsurprisingly one of my favorite days of the year, I thought I would post some books that I recommend to anyone who is interested in theatre!

To quote the great Audra Mcdonald (who is also the actor with the most Tony Award, she’s a total badass), “I found the theatre and I found my home.” I started performing when I was 15 and it completely changed the course of my life. In the span of 3 months, I discovered what was missing from my life: Theatre. It completely revitalized me; it gave me passion and drive, and I experienced joy as I’d never experienced it before. 

I (unsurprisingly) read a lot of books about theatre. If any aspect of theatre is mentioned in a book (acting, directing, stage managing, voice performance, dance, etc.) I will definitely be checking it out. With the number of books about theatre that I read, this list could be very long. Additionally this list does not include plays, that’s another list for another time. This list focuses on recommendations for musical theatre and dance, both fiction and non-fiction.

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Review: That Way Madness Lies edited by Dahlia Adler

Fifteen acclaimed YA writers put their modern spin on William Shakespeare’s celebrated classics!

West Side Story. 10 Things I Hate About You. Kiss Me, Kate. Contemporary audiences have always craved reimaginings of Shakespeare’s most beloved works. Now, some of today’s best writers for teens take on the Bard in these 15 whip-smart and original retellings!

Contributors include Dahlia Adler (reimagining The Merchant of Venice), Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew), Lily Anderson (All’s Well That Ends Well), Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet), Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale), Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing), Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147), Joy McCullough (King Lear), Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Samantha Mabry (Macbeth), Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus), Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night), Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar), Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet), and Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest).

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