Two Mini Book Reviews {Emma // The Secret Cellar}


Due to the holidays and such, there hasn’t been much book reviewing lately! To make up for it, I have two books to review today. One, a Jane Austen classic that I have been wanting to read for a while, and two, the fourth installment in The Red Blazer Girls series. Enjoy! :)

Emma: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Emma by Jane Austen

Summary: Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.

{kindly taken from here}

My Thoughts: I always take caution when reviewing classics because to be considered a “classic,” there has to be plenty of people who enjoyed it, right? Fortunately, I enjoyed Emma, but it still doesn’t compare to Pride and Prejudice, which, I hope, many of you agree with me on that. Anyhoo, Emma was a witty and entertaining read, and I’m glad that I have the lovely embroidered cover copy to add to my collection.

Emma is not like any of Jane Austen’s characters in the respect that she is nowhere near perfect. Despite her flaws, I came to love her, and I always liked how she tried to cover up her mistakes. Mr. Knightley is another fine man in literature, and definitely deserves a spot up there with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester. I loved the supporting cast of characters, especially Mr. Woodhouse, Emma’s father, for he was always concerned about everyone’s health and their newfangled ways, as well as Miss Bates, who could talk up a storm! :)

The plot moved a bit slowly, but I believe in part that has to do with the language. There were some chapters that moved rather quickly, and then there were others where they moved so s l o w l y. I hope to watch the movies again soon {both the Gwyneth Paltrow and the newer BBC version} Overall, however, this was a delight to read, and just motivates me to read more of Jane Austen’s works.

Pros: An entertaining bunch of developed characters.

Cons: The plot moved slowly.

Heads Up: Nothing to be truly concerned about.

Overall: I give it 4 stars {****} and I recommend it for ages 13 and up. {obviously, it depends on the reading level.}

Funny story time! As I was reading reviews, one person said that Jane Austen must have taken the storyline from the movie, Clueless, and they wished to see Jane Austen sued. Sigh :) On that note, however, I do think it’s time for a re-watching of Clueless…

The Red Blazer Girls: The Secret Cellar

The Secret Cellar By Michael D. Beil

Summary: Mysteries seem to find the Red Blazer Girls: when Sophie finds a secret message in the antique fountain pen she bought for her father, the girls are on a case. Soon, they’re at the home of the pen’s original owner, a secretive man who kept to himself. His house is full of puzzles, all of which protect a hidden treasure, and the Blazers will do anything to get to the bottom of things. Throw in an ill-tempered bookstore owner with a motive, a missing will, a walking stick that doubles as a key, a school Christmas play, and a rat named Humphrey, and it all adds up to another thrilling adventure for the Red Blazer Girls.

{kindly taken from here}

My Thoughts: I am a big fan of The Red Blazer Girls series, so I ordered this one with my birthday money way back in October. The story has a bit of a Christmas theme to it, so it all worked out when I could finally get around to it this past week :) Everything about this flowed very nicely, and I am already awaiting another book!

The four main characters in the story are all awesome role models for the intended audience, and I think that they all have their unique traits. Sophie is hilarious, and she is the one who really kicks off the mystery. As the narrator, her voice is strong and she has the ability to carry the story. Margaret is the “brains,” and she is, again, developed, and adds her own to the mystery. The other two Rebecca and Leigh Ann, are not as prominent as Sophie and Margaret, but I think that without them, there would really be no story.

Michael D. Beil has this amazing talent to write and relate with the actions of middle school girls. It is so easy to connect with his characters! Because of this, I always find that the mysteries are set up and developed, and the pace of the plot is solid. All in all, this was another winner from the author!

Pros: Developed characters and plot.

Cons: Being honest now. The mystery was not the best out of the four, and I think it could be difficult to follow the clues if you don’t get some of the references.

Heads Up: Not really sure what to flag in this one, but it’s a safe read for elementary school readers.

Overall: I give this 4 1/2 stars {**** 1/2} and I recommend it for ages 10 and up.

Have a lovely rest of your day!


4 thoughts on “Two Mini Book Reviews {Emma // The Secret Cellar}

  1. […] Jane Austen is one of the most well-known “classics” author and for good reason. The two of her works that I have read have both blown me away. Emma, in particular, made me laugh quite a bit. With its memorable characters and entertaining plot, I urge you to give it a try {especially if you are new to Austen’s works}! {review} […]


  2. […] I have adored many classics over the past few years, but I went with the always witty and forerunner in romance for this valentine: Jane Austen. Having just re-read Pride and Prejudice for my English class, I am reminded of what an amazing author Austen is; her social commentary, subtle humor, and spot-on romance all give reason for her long-lasting reputation. Sense and Sensibility is up next for me! {review} […]


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