The Trouble with Toads Book Review and Blog Tour Giveaway

Hi, all. Sher here with a book that was great fun to read. The Trouble with Toads by Danyelle Leafty kept me entertained and happy while I walked. If you haven’t ever tried a reading walk, be careful, but you really have most of your vision free to watch what’s going on around you. And this is a perfect book for a day outside. Just don’t go in the dark woods.

trouble with toads tour
The Trouble with Toads

Once upon a time a young girl wanted revenge. But first, she wanted to be beautiful.

Twelve-year-old Bettony has read enough stories that begin with ‘Once upon a time’ to know what happens to the ugly stepsisters at the end, and she’s determined to escape that fate by any means necessary—even by magic.

Unfortunately, when it comes to magic, there is no place for regret, refunds, or exchanges. Even if you accidentally turn your older sister into a toad.

If Bettony wants her Happily Ever After to end well, she’s going to have to find a way to turn her sister back into a person before their mother finds out she’s been dabbling with magic and grounds her for life.

Tracking down the family magic turns out to be surprisingly easy. Now, if only it came with directions . . .

trouble with toads

THE TROUBLE WITH TOADS (45,000 words) is the first book in a new upper MG series The Secret Stepsister Society. The second book will be released Summer 2013.

Now it’s time for my book review. So let’s go!

The Trouble With Toads (The Secret Stepsister Society, #1)The Trouble With Toads by Danyelle Leafty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The trouble with toads was a very fun book to read. Although it never really said who the narrator was, most of the time that point of view provided a nice aspect to the storytelling. To say that 12-year-old Bettony gets into trouble when she turns her older sister into a toad is putting it mildly. Things go from bad to worse in no time. But in Bettony’s view, having a helpful and beautiful stepsister is worse.

Of course a lot of magic is involved. Maybe the magic isn’t bad, but in Bettony’s hands the results are disastrous. And grandmother can’t help fix the magical mess. So two girls and one unhappy toad are on their own. Needless to say, misadventures follow. The cleanup makes more messes, and the fairy godmother doesn’t help.

Right up until the end, I thought the story was going to turn out fine. It didn’t. Oh, no, not another sequel! Other than some errors, not so many as to be distracting, and a few overlong narrator sections, everything worked right up until the non-ending. Leafty had my heart except for the incomplete arc. Four stars, and hurry up and write that next book!

View all my reviews

Author Danyelle Leafty

danyelleDanyelle Leafty writes upper MG and YA fantasy, and is the author of THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA series. Danyelle has always loved fairy tales, and prefers stories where someone gets eaten, or at the very least, transmogrified. Much of her inspiration has come from fairy tales, because as G.K. Chesterton so aptly states, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She also collects books, and one day hopes to make a house out of them. She enjoys learning languages, fiddling with her harp, and perfecting the fine art of mothering. (It’s a lot like trying to herd chickens during a lightning storm while a goat stampede is going on.)

One of her heroes is Albert Einstein, particularly for the following quote: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The most important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/28/13

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $25 US.

So, before you go, if you haven’t checked out a few of the previous giveaways, please do. I’m late doing critiques for my SCBWI critique group, so you’ll have to scroll down to find them. Thanks for visiting. Until next time, happy hunting and happy reading!

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. I read through the first two chapters on Amazon. The narrator seemed rather distant, which I think works well when the author is trying to be funny. I thought you might have been happier with a closer POV.

    • Hey, Ken, I love humor too, so I actually like it when there’s a real narrator POV that’s funny. It’s when there’s no identifiable storyteller that a distant POV bothers me. Even then, it’s head-hopping that really pulls me out of the story. This book had one or two minor slips. The humor more than made up for those. Surprise!

  2. What a great cover! The story sounds like lots of fun. I enjoyed your review and I hope to check this one out. Sorry it didn’t end in quite the way you were hoping it would. 🙂

    • Hey, Jess, that could would have made me read if the title hadn’t. And the minor disappointment at the non-ending will end soon, I hope. I think the next comes out July. We’ll see. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I think any little sister who has ever dealt with a mean big sister might enjoy reading something like this. =)

    • Hi, Cynthia, you are right. I had flashes from childhood. Trouble is, I’m a little sister and a big sister, LOL! I hope I didn’t fall into the mean category. And I hope all my sisters think well of me now.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. From the moment I first saw this book I knew I wanted to read it. I highlighted it on Monday, too! It’s such a fun story. 🙂

    • Funny, I ended up commenting on another post, but I felt the same way. I even rescue toads from the street and put them in my yard near the hollow bricks I keep for their houses. Let’s just say toads are a lot cuter than mosquitoes. And this book is way cute!

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