The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei Review

Title: The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei

Author: Christina Matula

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction / Asian Literature

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Publisher: Inkyard Press


This debut middle grade series follows a girl finding her place in a brand-new world of private school and frenemies when her family moves to Hong Kong.

Holly-Mei Jones couldn’t be more excited about moving to Hong Kong for her mother’s job. Her new school is right on the beach and her family’s apartment is beyond beautiful. Everything is going to be perfect . . . right?

Maybe not. It feels like everywhere she turns, there are new rules to follow and expectations to meet. On top of that, the most popular girl in her grade is quickly becoming a frenemy. And without the guidance of her loving Ah-ma, who stayed behind in Toronto, Holly-Mei just can’t seem to get it right.

It will take all of Holly-Mei’s determination and sparkle (and maybe even a tiny bit of stubbornness) to get through seventh grade and turn her life in Hong Kong into the ultimate adventure!

Holly-Mei moves with her family, all but her Ah-ma (grandmother), from Canada to Hong Kong. She had just gotten herself into trouble with her friends for speaking up against cheating, so she’s looking forward to the move. Her grandmother warns her that it might take time to make some friends in Hong Kong, but Holly-Mei thinks all will be well once she moves. She just knows she’ll make some instant friends.

What I loved about this book:

The food! There were soooo many wonderful descriptions of the different foods. I definitely recommend this for those of you that love to read about food from different cultures.
Next, the setting! The descriptions of Hong Kong had me wanting to go immediately.
And last, I absolutely loved the way Holly-Mei works through all of her troubles with her friends – both new and old. There were some truly heartwarming scenes while everything was wrapping up.

What I didn’t love: There was too much time where I didn’t feel connected to Holly-Mei or what she was doing. The plot didn’t have enough progression; it was slow and I was bored.
Overall, I found myself glad that I picked this up and thanks to Inkyard Press and HarperCollins for sending me an arc! 


I definitely recommend this for younger readers that enjoy reading about different cultures. It’s a great book, too, for teaching us not to judge a book by its cover – metaphorically speaking.

I’m not a foodie in real life, but my best friend is. We talk a lot about food, but not quite as much as we talk books. She’s Mexican so she’s taught me a lot about Mexican foods.

Although I’m not a foodie, I still love reading about new places and foods I haven’t tried. Do you have any book recs for me??

Happy Reading,


Brutal Prince Review

Happy Thursday! I hope you’re all having a great week! I’ve been struggling with some wifi issues, so that’s why I haven’t managed to put up a post all week. I’d love to say I have the issues fixed, but I don’t. I’ve just managed a temporary work around. I think I’ll end up ordering a new extender before it’s all over with. Anywho, let’s talk books. Last week I had 3 5-star books for you. This week I only have one. That’s no complaint, though. Any week with a five-star read is a good reading week as far as I’m concerned.

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Laws of Physics:Time, Paris Is Always a Good Idea & North and South

Happy Thursday! I hope you’re all having a great week! It’s been too long since I’ve posted any reviews / thoughts on what I’m reading, so I’m correcting that problem today, and what better way to do it than to bring you 3 5-star reads!

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek & Arrogant Devil

Happy Thursday! I’m feeling a little like this dog right now…sleepy. I’ve been missing lately, and I apologize for not giving any warning. Things got a bit hectic for a while, and I had to put blogging on the backburner. I had been mentioning that I was starting a FB group to buy, sell, and trade books. Well, my selling took off at an unbelievable pace, so I thought it best to officially start Ali’s Books LLC. While I’d hoped to one day open Ali’s Books, I didn’t figure it would be anytime soon (even if it is only an e-commerce business at the moment). So, lots and lots of research and paperwork has been consuming my life. Hopefully now that I have all of the initial stuff filed, I can start to find a new balance.

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Honest Illusions & Kingdom of the Cursed

Happy Saturday! I hope you’re all enjoying a nice weekend! It’s been a crazy week, so I haven’t posted a lot. But, I wanted to share my thoughts on the last couple of books that I did finish because I loved them!

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Once Upon a Broken Heart, The Ex Hex, & These Hollow Vows

Happy Tuesday! I wasn’t feeling today’s TTT topic, but I have been wanting to put up some of my thoughts on some recent reads, though, so I’m doing that today.

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Getting Played ~ Review

Title: Getting Played

Series: Getting Some #2

Author: Emma Chase

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 8, 2019

Publisher: Indi / Audible Studios

Pages: 292


Dean Walker is all about keeping life simple. He’s effortlessly talented and intelligent—spending his summers playing drums in the local band and the rest of the year teaching high school in the same Jersey town where he grew up. He likes his love life simple too, enjoying the commitment-free hook-ups his good looks and sexy charm have always made oh so easy.

Then he meets Lainey Burrows. And his simple, easy life gets turned upside down.

One wild one-night stand was all it was ever supposed to be, so Lainey is shocked when she discovers that her sizzling summer fling is also her son’s new math teacher. But that’s nothing compared to the most unexpected twist of all—their hot hook-up left Lainey knocked up, and now they’re about to become parents. Together.

What ensues is an addictive, insatiable, sweet and tender romance that won’t be simple, but it will be more than worth the fight.

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Return to the Big Valley ~ Review

Title: Return to the Big Valley (Wilma’s Wish, Martha’s Miracle, and Alma’s Acceptance)

Series: N/A

Author: Wanda Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter, and Richelle Brunstetter

Genre: Amish Romance/Christian

Release Date: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Barbour Fiction

Pages: 448


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Truly Devious ~ Review

Title: Truly Devious

Series: Truly Devious #1

Author: Maureen Johnson

Genre: YA Mystery

Release Date: January 16, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 416


Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

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