Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a historical fiction read I LOVED and a YA fantasy/horror/Norse mythology sequel I highly enjoyed as well.

Title: The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba
(The Perez Family #4)
Author: Chanel Cleeton

Genre: Historical Fiction
First published: May 4th 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Finished reading: October 23rd 2022
Pages: 384

“Sometimes when you hold something too close, you forget that it needs to fly.”


I’ve absolutely loved my time with the first three The Perez Family books, and I’m still not sure why it took me this long to pick up most anticipated 2021 release The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba… There is just something about the way Chanel Cleeton weaves together her stories that draws you straight in, mixing fascinating characters with historical facts and a healthy dose of romance. This time around, the story has less romance than usual, and is considerably more heavy on the historical details with the focus on the Spanish oppression in Cuba, the war and the newspaper scene in New York. I personally didn’t mind this shift in content, because the historical details were fascinating and I learned so much about the late 19th century situation in Cuba. The story is told with the help of three different POVs all featuring strong and intriguing women. Multiple storylines can be tricky if they have different settings, as I tend to prefer one over the other, but in The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba they were well balanced and I liked how the three stories were woved together in the end. The writing was just as wonderful as I’ve become used to, and this book has once again shown why I consider Chanel Cleeton to be one of my favorite historical fiction authors.

Title: The Crooked Mask
(The Twisted Tree #2)
Author: Rachel Burge

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Horror
First published: September 17th 2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Finished reading: October 24th 2022
Pages: 204

“Sometimes the truth is complicated.”


I read The Twisted for Halloween three years ago, and somehow I never realized that it was actually part of a series until recently. I immediately added The Crooked Mask to this year’s Halloween TBR, and I had high expectations for it because I loved the mix of Norse mythology and paranormal horror/fantasy in the first book. And I have to say that this sequel didn’t disappoint! This time around the story is mostly set at a circus, and the descriptions of that circus definitely enhanced the creepy atmosphere. Add the abundance of Norse mythology elements and references, and this story was another hit for me. I especially liked the idea of the circus acting out different Norse myths, and how this element was developed in general. Martha’s gift itself is still fascinating as well, and it was interesting to see her use it during the story. I do have to say that the mystery around Nina’s death was a bit too obvious, but that might have been just me. And even though I did guess the truth early on, I still enjoyed watching the story unfold. Things will get pretty dark and creepy as things start to escalate, and especially those scenes set during the Ragnarok performance are extremely atmospheric. The ending left me wanting for more though! I do hope we will get another book…

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