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Month in review

Reviews
All For One by Melissa de la Cruz
Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Blastaway by Melissa Landers
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
Cloaked by Alex Flinn
Death by French Roast by Alex Erickson
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 8 by Ryoko Kui
The Drastic Dragon of Draco, Texas by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien
Feast by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller
Float Plan by Trish Doller
The Hedgehog of Oz by Cory Leonardo
In Your Shoes by Donna Gephart
Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Like Home by Louisa Onomé
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
Lullaby For Eggs: A Poem by Betty Bridgman and Elizabeth Orton Jones
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier
Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
Orsinian Tales by Ursula K. Le Guin
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung
Read or Alive by Nora Page
Rockridge by Robin Wolf and Tom Wolf
Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans by Russell Ginns
Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright

Miscellaneous
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March 2021 Summary

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Cloaked: 04/21/21

Cloaked

Cloaked by Alex Flinn is an urban fantasy set in South Beach, Miami, Florida. It blends together a half dozen fairy tales to cobble together a modern day quest by a shoe repairman for a princess and her cursed brother. While the basic plot is similar to Disney's adaptation of The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker (2002), the blending reminds me more of Gail Carson Levine's fantasies.

Johnny runs his mother's shop while she works a second job to keep the lights on. It happens to be inside the hotel that the Aloran princess is staying at. Of all the people present at her arrival, it's Johnny she takes a fancy to. By the end of her first day there, Johnny's been hired to track down the Aloran crown prince who has been turned into a frog somewhere in the Florida Keys.

In case anyone needs help figuring out which fairy tales are being used, each chapter opens with a quote from one of them. There's also a list of them in the afterword. For those familiar already with the stories, they are a fun hint of what's to come.

My one minor quibble with Cloaked is with the pacing. Once Johnny is given the magical means to travel, he ends up blipping from place to place, sometimes multiple places in the span of a few hours. There is very little in the way of segue from scene to scene. If I had been listening to Cloaked as an audiobook, I would have spent a lot of time rewinding to see how one scene lead into the next.

Four stars

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