4.5 star, YA

Review: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper #2

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine… and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?


Kerri Maniscalco does it again! It is honestly rare for sequels to be as good as their predecessors, but I can truly, truly say that this sequel is every bit as good as the original. It perfectly picks up from where we left off, and characters keep moving forwards in their lives, ready to solve the next mystery thrown at them with their powers of deduction. In fact, Andge rates this as a 5 Drink Me Potions, and she actually enjoyed this even a little bit more than book one!

I think I would almost agree that it is better, but there’s just a little bit of the ending that I didn’t find quite as satisfying as I did in the first book. That being said, Maniscalco always manages to surprise me and lead me on this fantastic mystery-solving journey while providing deep and rich characters, and setting it on a very well-researched backdrop of late nineteenth century Europe.

Hunting Prince Dracula once again follows our dynamic duo, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell, as they journey to the famous castle of Dracula in Romania, vying for spots in one of the top schools for forensic medicine. While it is initially a dream scenario, everything goes drastically downhill (as usual), as bodies are discovered, killed in very peculiar and haunting fashions.

Continue reading “Review: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco”
4.5 star, YA

Review: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper #1

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.



Okay, just have to start off right off the bat that this was amazing. This series (book one here) was suggested by our very own Andge and I am 100% on board and thankful for this recommendation. I even checked with her and she agreed with my 4.5 rating here.

I was never much of a history buff, and so I tend to avoid historical fictions if left to my own devices. But ever since Andge introduced The Last Magician to me, I honestly have a newfound interest and curiosity for them. So if you have never tried historical fictions, I can honestly say you should give it a try – you may find that you also enjoy them!

I can’t think of a better first dive into historical fiction, especially if you’re into YA (which is why we’re all here, right?). Stalking Jack the Ripper may be a bit of a intimidating title, but I promise it’s not a sappy love story where a girl falls in love with a serial killer. Set in the late nineteenth century England, Audrey Rose Wadsworth is not your typical young lady. Studying as an apprentice under her uncle in post-mortem studies, she is no stranger to dead bodies and getting her hands dirty. Don’t be fooled by the macabre setting – all the essence of your favourite YA novel can still be found!

Continue reading “Review: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco”
4.5 star, YA

Review: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Series: Love & Gelato #1

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is go back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.



You ever feel transported to the place your books take you, whether that be some fantastical land that exists entirely in a collective imagination or a place that you can literally touch and feel? Well, Love & Gelato has swept me off my feet to land safely on the grounds of an American Cemetery outside of Florence, Italy. I never wanted to travel more than right now (not a great thing to feel in the midst of an ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions).

There are so many things in my head and heart with this novel. It can be summarized in 3 parts.

Setting and Travel

Italy is a gorgeous place, and I wish I had the chance to visit its Tuscany charm or walk the big cities at my own pace. While this book is solidly a cute romantic story (more on this later), it also does an amazing job taking you to a place you may not have ever gone to in your life. I most certainly googled a bunch of locations and famous sights mentioned throughout, almost feeling that tangible sense like I can close my eyes and pretend I’m tasting gelato on my tongue and hear the sights of a crowded piazza. It shines through that the author has spent time in this beautiful country and know it by more than mere research. There is a deep sense of love and respect for this place that shines through every word describing the next sight Lina takes in.

Continue reading “Review: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch”