Winning with Jenna: Whimsical, Magical Books


Welcome to the second installment of my recommendations series. Today I’m going to feature three of my favourite books with magic. These are all whimsical and fun.

carry on Title: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release date: October 6, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5
Goodreads || Book Depository || Amazon

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story, and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.

Carry On was one of my favourite books of 2015 and if you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know how absolutely obsessed I am with this book. The world and the magic of Carry On were hilarious and lots of fun! The characters were so amazing and I loved the relationships between them. SnowBaz is also one of my favourite ships of all time. I just love this novel so, so much, and you’re definitely missing out if you haven’t read it yet!

a corner of white Title: A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine #1) by Jaclyn Moriarty
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Release date: September 18, 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5
Goodreads || Book Depository || Amazon

Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop.

Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours.

They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter. Elliot begins to write to Madeleine, the Girl-in-the-World – a most dangerous thing to do for suspected cracks must be reported and closed.

But Elliot’s father has disappeared and Madeleine’s mother is sick. Can a stranger from another world help to unravel the mysteries in your own? Can Madeleine and Elliot find the missing pieces of themselves before it is too late?

A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.

The Colours of Madeleine is my most recent obsession. I absolutely love this series and the world Jaclyn Moriarty has created. The novels are colourful and magical, and it’s difficult to comprehend the fact that I won’t ever be able to visit the exciting Kingdom of Cello. The first two books in this series are lots of fun but the final book absolutely BLEW MY MIND. It was sooooo good! I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for something that’s unique and lots of fun.

the sleeper and the spindle Title: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (illustrated by Chris Riddell)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release date: May 3, 2014
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Goodreads || Book Depository || Amazon

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

This was a very interesting retelling of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. It was imaginative and empowering. I thought the illustrations by Chris Riddell really enhanced the story. The story is a little bit dark, unlike the previous two books I featured, which were more fun and magical, but I really liked that hint of darkness and thought it was a beautiful reimagining of some well-known fairytales.

I hope you enjoyed these recommendations. I love these books so, so much and hope you check them out, if you haven’t already!


18 thoughts on “Winning with Jenna: Whimsical, Magical Books

  1. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    Thanks for the recommendations. Whenever I read Jaclyn Moriarty’s books I’m totally blown away by how she crafts a story. I love the way she weaves magical or out-there elements into the every day. I think I said before that I haven’t read her books since I was in my teens, but your enthusiasm for her lately is reminding me of how much I loved her. Thanks! I am definitely going to start reading her work again soon.

    I LOVE Neil Gaiman. I haven’t actually read The Sleeper and The Spindle yet, but I will soon. I find his stories so atmospheric. Plus I always have him reading them to me in my head and he has the best voice ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      If you enjoyed Jaclyn’s previous books you should totally check out this series. It’s absolutely wonderful and full of those magical and out-there elements that you were talking about. The world is so imaginative and wonderful to read about (it gets better and better with each book too). It was just really exciting and the last book is so full of twists! And you should definitely check out The Sleeper and the Spindle. It’s a really quick read and was a really great reimagining.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kat Impossible says:

    Uuuuuh, The Sleeper and the Spindle has been on my list for a while now! I love fairy tale related stories, so it was instantly on my radar. Now that you recommended it, I feel even more motivated to get it!
    And I definitely agree with you on Carry On! I loved that book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cw @ readthinkponder says:

    I haven’t read any Neil Gaiman books, and I feel like a terrible reader because his books are so well-received and everyone loves his writing. Maybe The Sleeper and the Spindle should be my first? I’m even more interested because you described the book to be ’empowering’ – I must see what Jenna meaaaans!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

      The Sleeper and the Spindle was actually my first Neil Gaiman book (and still the only one). It’s a perfect one to start with to sample his writing because it’s so short and easy to read. The whole book is about girl power and was just so great to read! Read it!


  4. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    Magic and whimsy is what I live for so I love this recommendation post. Your recs are so on point too, as I loved both Carry On and Sleeper & The Spindle! Now I have to add The Colours of Madeleine to my list of read because it sounds simply phenomenal – with all the elements I love like a dash of old-school magic and multidimensional hijinks.

    Liked by 1 person

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