ARC Review: The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Publication Date: September 17, 2019

Publisher: Oni Press

Pages: 136

Genre: Children’s graphic novel

Rating: 5/5

This is the sequel to The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill and I loved this just as much as I loved the first one. This story primarily follows along with Rinn and Aedhan, who is a real dragon, and their friendship. Rinn has grown up with tea dragons but she has never met a real dragon before until the day she stumbles upon Aedhan who has been sleeping for a long time. Hesekiel and Erik from The Tea Dragon Society are also in this book and I really enjoyed getting to see more of them.

This series is the cutest graphic novel series that I have ever read. I absolutely love all the characters. There is so much diversity and all the characters have such pure good hearts that I can’t help but love them all. There was also different tea dragons introduced into this book and I seriously wish they were a real thing.

The message behind this book was of friendship and really being intentional about helping our friends through their troubles. I can’t say it enough about how loving and sweet all the characters in this book are. Also, the illustrations in this book are simply stunning. The colors, the style, the details, it is all simply so perfect.

I recommend this book to everyone. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this heartwarming graphic novel series.


The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill


The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Pages: 72

Publisher: Oni Press

Publication Date: October 18, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Rating: 5/5

This is the sweetest graphic novel I have ever read. I am seriously in love with everything about this book. From the art, to the diverse characters, to the colors and the tea dragon handbook at the end. Everything is perfection. This book follows Greta, who rescues a tea dragon, and when she gives the dragon back she is invited by Hesekiel and Erik to learn how to take care of them. There is also another character, Minette and I loved her back story and her friendship with Greta. This is a short graphic novel so I don’t want to give too much away. Just know that it is a beautiful story. The message behind this book brought me to tears because it deals with what we pass on to future generations (like memories, stories, a craft) and the importance of doing so.  I think for anyone who has lost someone important to them this story will touch your heart in a beautiful healing way.


Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie


Title: Ordeal By Innocence

Author: Agatha Christie

Pages: 198 (The edition shown above has 288 pages. The book I read has a plain hardcover and I thought the show tie in version was more appealing.)

Publisher: Bantam Books

Publication Date: November 3, 1958 (first published)

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4.5/5

Accused of bludgeoning his mother to death with a poker, Jacko Argyle had maintained his innocence throughout his trial, claiming he was hitchhiking on the night of the murder and had been picked up by a middle-aged man in a dark car. The police were never able to locate this mystery man—until he shows up a year later. But Dr. Arthur Calgary arrives too late to substantiate Jacko’s alibi. For after serving just six months of his life sentence, Jacko dies behind bars following a bout of pneumonia.

Feeling a sense of duty to the Argyles, Calgary is surprised when his revelations reopen old wounds in the family, leaving him to wonder if one of them is the real murderer….  


Every time I read an Agatha Christie novel I am blown away by how well she could weave a story together. She wrote such interesting characters and such compelling plots. I read this book in two days because I was so engrossed in the mystery. I was slightly disappointed with this one though because this is the first Christie novel that I have read where I figured out the killer pretty early on. The journey to the reveal was so good though and I was constantly second guessing myself. I didn’t see the motive coming at all either so that was still surprising.

This book was written in the late 1950’s so a lot of the thinking on certain topics is pretty outdated. The main two being how a mixed race character was talked about/described and also adoption. If you are someone who stays away from classics that don’t age well (aka problematic) then I would suggest you try a different Christie novel. If you can look past it, this is a well done mystery that any fan of the genre will enjoy. Also, there is a miniseries based on this book on Amazon Prime. I haven’t had a chance to watch it but I plan to do so soon.


Book of the Month

A couple people that I watch on Booktube have recently shared their Book of the Month collections and I thought it would fun to share mine today. Not only am I an avid reader but I am a book collector and I take pride in my little library. (My oldest was doing a project about himself a few months ago and his fun fact about himself was that his mom has her own library *insert heart eye emojis here*).

Just to give some background, Book of the Month, is a monthly subscription box where for $14.99 you get to choose one book from five new releases for that month. For an additional $9.99 you can add a second book to your box. You can also add a third for another $9.99. Which is pretty freaking great in my book (ha) since they are hardcover copies and most of them have a Book of the Month emblem on the spine so they look so nice all shelved together. You also get a bookmark with every order and it is free shipping. The only downside is that is a U.S. only service but hopefully one day that will change. They recently adopted a reward system once you get your 12th box which is exciting because I’m only one box away!

Already Read












Circe by Madeline Miller

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser


The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Killer Across the Table by John Edward Douglas, Mark Olshaker

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak

Bought Used



I love this book service so much and I highly recommend it to anyone living in America to give it a try. I am going to leave my referral link below if you want to use it to sign up for Book of the Month. You get a free book for using the link and I get a free book as well. Or if you are interested but want to support a favorite American booktuber that uses Book of the Month they almost always have their referral link in their description boxes. (I signed up using ChelseaDollingReads code.) Or you could just go to the website and sign up that way if you want to.

Book of the Month referral link



Do I Still Want to Read it?

Currently on my want to read shelf on Goodreads I have 651 books. What??! That is a ridiculous amount of books especially since I can’t even think of what half the books on there could be. So I thought it would fun to periodically go through that shelf with you and see what I actually want to read and what I am no longer interested in.


11/22/63 by Stephen King

Yes, I very much still want to read this! My plan for the past few years is to read it during the month of November so maybe this year will finally be the year 🙂


Deception Point by Dan Brown

I’m going to leave this one on here because I physically own it and it does have an interesting synopsis. I have been putting this one off because there are so many other books that I would rather read first but I definitely plan to read this sometime. In the vague future. So perhaps this is a maybe?


The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

I have quite a few Anne Rice books on this shelf but I plan on removing all of them. I no longer have any interest in the stories so I am happy to let them go.


The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

I used to love Philippa Gregory’s books but for whatever reason I haven’t read one in years. I do still want to read this. Her Tudor books are my absolute favorite and she is how I discovered my love of historical fiction.


If Looks Could Kill by Kate White

I had totally forgot that this book even exists but I reread the synopsis and I still want to read this one. It sounds like such a fun chick lit mystery and I am a total sucker for a mystery.

The only books that I took of my TBR shelf were the Anne Rice ones so maybe there really are close to 600 books that I want to read! I also rediscovered a couple of books that I had forgot about so I would say that this was pretty successful.


Buzzwordathon Day 1

Today was the first day of the Buzzword readathon and it went ok… I still have a couple of books that I want to read this week so I spent a chunk of this morning reading those. One is a library hold that I am part way through and want to finish as soon as I can because someone else has it on hold for when I’m done. I also am really into a book on my Libby app and I don’t want to lose my momentum on that one. But for a first day I feel like I did pretty good. Here is how my day went:

8:00 am

I woke up and didn’t really do much for a couple of hours. My 7 year old slept in until a little after 9 (its spring break this week) so myself and my two other sons just had some quiet time until he woke up. Well, as much quiet time as a 2 year old can manage 🙂 This is when I read those two books I talked about above and also caught up on some Youtube videos. I also just hung out with kids and enjoyed a slow morning with them.

10:00 am

I finally got dressed and got my youngest dressed as well. We then went grocery shopping and came home and put away the groceries. Putting away groceries is one of my least favorite chores. I would much rather put away laundry than put away groceries.

12:18 pm


I have no intentions of finishing this book durning the readathon but I thought I would include it since it does have a buzzword in the title. This is a really great parenting book and I have already learned so much from it. My 7 year old, Hunter and I sometimes clash and I don’t want to unnecessarily argue with my kids. I also don’t have this problem with my 9 year old so I want to learn a better way to communicate with Hunter. So far it has really opened my eyes to how I’m diminishing his feelings without even realizing it. I will do a full review of this book when I finish it but I thought I would mention it here if you are interested. I will probably only be reading this when I eat my lunch so I’m guessing it will take me at least a couple of months to finish it.

1:05 pm


My little one goes down for a nap after lunch so I took this time to take some photos for my blog.

1:13 pm


Once I finished taking pictures I went downstairs to hang out on the couch next to my sleeping son. I started my first official book of the readathon, The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. I got 18% through it before Spencer woke up. I am loving this book so far and I can’t imagine not giving it 5 stars.

4:11 pm


It was such a beautiful day here that after nap time we hung out outside until dinner. When we lived in the Bay Area we didn’t have a backyard so we are all really loving having one now. I was planning on reading while my kids played but I ended up playing with them. I’m happy we got some good outside time in because the rain is supposed to come back in a couple of days.

6:55 pm


After we played outside I did some work around the house and made dinner. 7 is when bath/showers start for my boys so I came upstairs to put away some laundry and finish my blog post for Tuesday (which is up now if you want to check it out :)).

7:53 pm


My husband got home from work around this time so I got myself ready for bed and went downstairs to hang out with my family. My boys usually go to bed at 8 (my oldest reads for awhile before he falls asleep) but we let them stay up until 9 because it’s spring break.  My plan was to read a chunk of Little Fires Everywhere once they were in bed but I only got a couple of chapters in before me and my husband decided to watch Game of Thrones and eat some ice cream. We are on the finale of season 4 and we plan on being done before the last season premieres. Which really cuts into my reading time because most of my reading gets done when the kids are in bed but how does one say no to GoT.

Thats a wrap for day one. I hope you found this interesting or somewhat enjoyable. My days are a lot more go with the flow right now because there is no school or homework that needs to get done. I will see you back here tomorrow for Buzzwordathon day 2. Hopefully I will have gotten a lot more reading done.


Little Fires Everywhere: 2 chapters

Nowhere Girls: 34%


Fox Book Club

Last year I didn’t read a single big book. I read 92 books and they were all under 500 pages. When I realized that I was so disappointed in myself. I used to prefer big books when I was younger because there was more story, more word building, more everything. So going into this year I knew that one of my goals would be to read big books. It ended up working out perfectly because one of my favorite booktubers, BookswithEmilyFox announced at the start of the year that she was going to create a book club where we could all read her monthly big book along with her. During her monthly TBR videos she picks a big book at random from a Harry Potter mug and I have really been looking forward to her picks. Since it is March there have been three picks and two are books that I have been wanting to read for a while. The other was a young adult fantasy that I enjoyed so all the picks been working at really well so far.


January Pick: The Passage by Justin Cronin

February Pick: A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

March Pick: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

I have been behind since the beginning the book club started though which is the only downside. I am falling further and further behind every month so I think I might have to skip a month to catch back up. It is March 18 while I write this and I still have not started the March pick. It is the Buzzwordathon this week so I’m not going to be able to pick it up until next Monday at the earliest.

If you like reading big books or want to start reading big books I will leave a link to the Goodreads page here. I would be so proud to update you all at the end of the year and have completed all the book picks for the year but I think I can happily settle for reading 10 of the 12.


Reading Challenge Update #2

August 2017 I posted a Reading Challenge of 15 thrillers that could be this year’s Gone Girl. I posted an update to my challenge in May 2018 and then I kind of just forgot I was doing this challenge. So that’s a little awkward but then I thought to myself, “Hey, they are a group of thrillers which you read almost exclusively last year so I bet you at least knocked one off.” I haven’t looked at the list yet so let’s all find out together how well I did.

  1. I See You by Clare Makintosh
  2. Ill Will by Dan Choan
  3. The Girl Before by JP Delaney
  4. Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia
  5. The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
  6. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
  7. Behind Her Eyes by Sara Pinborough
  8. Into The Water by Paula Hawkins
  9. Little Deaths by Emma Flint
  10. The Child by Fiona Barton
  11. Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
  12. Final Girls by Riley Sager
  13. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
  14. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  15. A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena

I have read four more books since my last update! I can’t believe I only have two more books until I am done. I’m going to insert any reviews I have for the books I have previously read now.

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

The Child by Fiona Barton

ILL WILL by Dan Chaon

When I finish the two last books left on this list I will do a full update with my ratings and thoughts on all of them. With the Buzzword Readathon starting next week (my TBR for that will be posted on Saturday) I don’t think I will get a chance to read the two remaining this month but I am aiming to read them in April. I have Everything You Want Me To Be on my kindle already and I did a quick check and The Secrets You Keep is at my local library so I will be picking that up soon. Once I wrap up this reading challenge I will be starting another one. I haven’t decided what I want to do yet but hopefully it won’t take me the better part of two years to read fifteen books!


Welcome Back

Hey everyone! It has been a long while since I have updated my blog. Lots of life has been happening but through it all I have really been missing this space. I’m excited to get back to making my blog a part of my daily life and I hope you will all be able to see that with the changes that I have made. I have really spent some time the last few months thinking of what exactly I want my blog to look and feel like. I really worked on making this space more “me” and personalized, my blog is named Books With Cassie after all! I will be posting every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10 am. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you like all the new content coming your way!


Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review. 


Title: Her Pretty Face

Author: Robyn Harding

Pages: 352

Genre: Thriller (Domestic)

Publisher: Gallery/ Scout Press

Publication Date: July 10, 2018

Rating: 3/5

A few years ago I watched a documentary on a couple that kidnapped, tortured and killed girls together and this book is based on that idea. (I have no idea if the author got the inspiration for this story based on that particular real life event, this is purely my own conclusion that I am drawing based on my own experience. When I say idea, I just mean the broad idea of a couple doing those sick things to a woman.)  Pretty quickly into the book I recognized the story and I was very intrigued.

This book is based on the idea that we don’t know which woman is the killer but I think that is was pretty obvious from very early on. I feel like that just made me more invested int the story though because I couldn’t wait for the reveal. I love how dark and twisted the killer is and I wished we could have seen more of it.

One of the perspectives that we read from is Daisy, Kate’s daughter, and I love the suspense that her character’s arc brings to the story.  Another perspective that we read from is DJ who is the brother of the victim that one of the women murdered. His perspective was my favorite of the three. I liked his perspective the most because it really showed how dark and twisted the murderess is. Also, I think the author did a really great job of showing how devastating it is for the victim’s family that is left behind.

I was not a fan of the predictable twists that were in this story but I think the ending was really good so I feel like that brought my rating up . I liked how the story unraveled and there were a couple of things at the very end that I really enjoyed. Overall, this is an average thriller bust still an enjoyable read. If you are a fan of domestic thrillers than I would recommend this book to you.