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An #AudiobookMonth (#JIAM) Review | “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” by Phil Geoffrey Bond, narrated by Jenn Lee

Posted Thursday, 3 June, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working with the author, narrator & the Audiobook Empire (of which Audiobookworm Promotions is affliated) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I’ve decided to re-focus a few things on Jorie Loves A Story this Summer – starting with #AudiobookMonth this June! I haven’t had the chance to focus on my audiobook reviews which are on my backlogue list nor have I had the chance to properly showcase my ACLs via LibroFM. There is so much wicked good audio out there I’d like to start representing my own interests in this world of audio plays, narrative story and audio performances to help raise a signal flare of readerly joy for all of us who have come under the spell of audiobook narrators and performers.

To kick things off this month, I’ve started with my first selection entitled “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” which clocking in at fifty minutes, I knew was both a short story and a wonderful beginning to my efforts this month to listen harder to the stories and to dive deeper into the audiobooks I’ve selected to listen too. Fifty minutes might not seem like enough space and time to articulate the emotional depth of a story but as you will soon see in my review, it is not only long enough but the breadth of space within this story is a mark of literary gold. Bond surely knew what he was doing when he crafted the life of Mrs Parsons and the narrator, Jenn Lee brilliantly brought Mrs Parson’s to life in her narration.

This #AudiobookMonth, you’ll be seeing a few carry-overs from #WyrdAndWonder wherein I’ll be spending time soaking into fantastical worlds of enlightenment, whilst you’ll also see me exploring narrative Non-Fiction, short story and a hodgepodge of genres thereafter. Some will be selections I’ve personally earmarked to read and listen too (via my local and/or regional libraries – CloudLibrary & OverDrive) – others will be more backlogue titles from NetGalley or LibroFM; whilst others might be from my personal shelves on Audible. Whichever way the audiobooks were brought into my life – this month is one month I shall look forward to endeavouring to share my journey into the heart of the stories themselves whilst discussing how and why the narrators left the impressions they did as I listened to them narrate the stories.

Without further, adieu, I give you my reactions to The Fall of Mrs Parsons!

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An #AudiobookMonth (#JIAM) Review | “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” by Phil Geoffrey Bond, narrated by Jenn LeeThe Fall of Mrs Parsons
by Phil Geoffrey Bond
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Jenn Lee

Mrs. Parsons lives a quiet life in a small cottage in the woods on the outskirts of town, having woken next to her husband Lloyd, and has gone about with her normal routine every day for the past 50+ years. But on this most extraordinary day, she will venture out into the world, reclaiming her place in it and, in so doing so, rediscover herself.

In this lush, romantic short tale from Phil Geoffrey Bond, the simple life is revealed as not so simple at all.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Introspective Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Women's Studies


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B092DRBPKX

Published by Audiobook Empire

on 15th April, 2021

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 50 minutes (unabridged)

Converse via: #WomensFiction, #Literary or #audiobook, #loveaudiobooks and #audioreads
as well as #AudiobookwormPromotions OR #TheAudiobookEmpire
+ #AudiobookMonth & #JIAM

About Phil Geoffrey Bond

Phil Geoffrey Bond

PHIL GEOFFREY BOND is an award-winning author, best known for his collection of short pieces, All the Sad Young Men, and the celebrated picture book, My Friend, the Cat, based on the popular stage show.

Often mixing dramatic prose with live theatre, his original pieces My Queer Youth, The Disney Diaries, My Friend, the Cat, My Roaring Twenties and Small Town Confessions have been embraced by a wide range of off-Broadway audiences. As a playwright, Phil has developed work at The Sundance Theatre Lab (The Citadel), and many regional theatres throughout the states. A fixture on the NYC nightlife scene, he is a seven-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets), two-time Bistro and one-time Nightlife Award-winner.

Currently, he is the writer/producer/host of Sondheim Unplugged, now enjoying it's 6th year at Manhattan nightspot Feinstein's/54 Below. 2016 will see the release of his debut novel, The Last Year at Low Tide (Chess Books). In 1993, he was awarded the Presidential Medallion from President Clinton on behalf of his work as a young playwright.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #AudiobookMonth
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Posted Thursday, 3 June, 2021 by jorielov in #AudiobookMonth, #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Indie Author, Introspective Literary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Widows & Widowers, Women of a Certain Age, Women's Fiction

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Spotlight & Discussion | “The Other Times of Caroline Tangent” by Ivan D. Wainewright

Posted Thursday, 27 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Many of us who participate in Wyrd And Wonder have a secondary passion which is Science Fiction – hence why a lot of us cross-participate in @SciFiMonth! Today I am featuring a story which isn’t entirely a fantastical story per se in the context of how it was written as it is much more of a Speculative Fiction narrative as it moves through a time travelling narrative. For me, time travel is one of those niche areas of SpecFic which can either work wonderfully or fall a bit flat for my own curiosities.

I had intended to read The Time Traveller’s Wife ahead of the film adaptation but in the end opted to see the film in lieu of reading the novel. It was one of those soul-crushing films and stories which nearly did me in whilst watching it – similar to how my soul crumbled into oblivion at the end of The Notebook. Some stories grip you so wholly whole you feel as if pieces of you have been left behind in the wake of them. Time travelling stories take a lot out of me as there is such a lot of drama and life being lived inside them that sometimes they can become a bit soul consuming. Not that I mind, as that is part of what I enjoy about them but I have to temper how oft I enter into those worlds and lives as well.

As I love focusing on Indie Fantasy storytellers myself every #WyrdAndWonder – I was thankful I would have a chance to showcase this author during our 4th Year. The reason I love Indie Speculative Fiction is because the writers of those stories are happily giving me wicked good stories to ruminate over and enticingly intriguing worlds to explore.

Sometimes the lines between the fantastical and the science fictional can blend and merge and crossover into each other. As I haven’t read the full story within this novel and have only the chapter sampler to go by – I am not sure if it merges into some elements of Fantasy vs Science Fiction or if it holds true to its niche of being a time travelling story start to finish.

Either which way this story travels into its own journey, the concept of it is what was most alluring to feature during Wyrd And Wonder as isn’t it a bit of a wonderment how time travelling can exist and how despite the challenges therein, we still speculate on how it can happen and of course, of the consequences if the threads of time are altered by our own interferences? I wonder if that is also explored — as it had been in The Time Traveller’s Wife. Along with the concept of course of how limited are you as you travel? Which is one reason I enjoyed the adventures of Dr Samuel Beckett throughout the years of Quantum Leap.

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A #WyrdAndWonder Book Spotlight & Discussion | “The Other Times of Caroline Tangent” by Ivan D. WainewrightThe Other Times of Caroline Tangent
by Ivan D. Wainewright
Source: Author via Storytellers on Tour

If you could travel back in time to see any concert, who would you go to see?

Caroline Tangent’s husband, Jon has invented a time machine so they can visit iconic gigs in history: Woodstock, David Bowie, Edith Piaf in 1930’s Paris – an inexhaustible bucket-list. But they can’t tell anyone they’re doing so; Caroline’s life as an artist in North London goes on with her friends and family, and their concerts remain a secret.

As their trips to the past continue, they begin to realise how Jon’s invention could change a devastating moment from their own past. And for Caroline, it’s clear that she and Jon don’t want the same outcome.

Until, on a trip to 1978, one of them does something unthinkable which will change both their lives forever.

For fans of Matt Haig, Audrey Niffenegger, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 – or anyone who likes time travel or music!

Please note the CW: Miscarriage, Abortion, Death/Dying, Racism, Sexism, Violence, Disease

Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781838367008

on 17th May, 2021

Format: Chapter Sampler | Online

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Converse via: #SpeculativeFiction or #SpecFic and #TimeTravel
as well as #storytellersontour & #WyrdAndWonder as #JorieReads

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Thursday, 27 May, 2021 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Storytellers on Tour, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #WyrdAndWonder Audiobook Review | “Magical Neighbours” (a #KidsLit audio story about gnomes and the fey!) by Mary Ellen Spencer, narrated by Rosemary Benson

Posted Thursday, 27 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Magical Neighbours” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working with the author on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

*waves* It is time to reveal my second audiobook story I’ve listened to this #WyrdAndWonder which involves *gnomes!* Remember, earlier in the month when I shared my audio review for The One Great Gnome? You might have caught the *excitement!* I had in listening to select Middle Grade Fantasy stories this Wyrd And Wonder in audiobook – as prior to this lovely, I was truly smitten with the world within The Marvelwood Magicians!

One of my most earnest requests for audiobooks across the board are to have cast & narrator lists – wherein if there is more than one narrator, each voice a narrator represents needs to be given to a listener whilst a cast listing is wicked helpful for dyslexic listeners such as myself who struggle to sort out how a name is properly spelt in the stories we’re listening too. Guess what!? This particular author must’ve have known how helpful a PDF character disclosure would be – as she’s included one with this audiobook!

Not only are there hand-crafted gnome and fairy doors throughout the PDF file but there is also artwork representing the characters themselves as well as how their names are spelt! They each have their own unique personality and the one who graces the cover of Magical Neighbours is known as Hoedown, which I could only conclude before hearing the story was due to her gardening obsession!?

What a brilliant treat to find!! I wish all audiobooks came with a PDF file to accompany the stories wherein each story we listen to would disclose the names of the characters like Magical Neighbours has given us! And, of course, for harder to spell/hear names for settings in stories, that would be most ideal as well.

Let’s find out my reactions to this super short story which has such a big heart!

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A #WyrdAndWonder Audiobook Review | “Magical Neighbours” (a #KidsLit audio story about gnomes and the fey!) by Mary Ellen Spencer, narrated by Rosemary BensonMagical Neighbours
by Mary Ellen Spencer
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Rosemary Benson

The sudden appearance of a portly gnome on a humdrum, ordinary day definitely threw me for a loop. When this gnome began to speak to me about building him a home in our neighborhood, I know my eyes were as big as saucers, but I tried to appear casual. And I even managed to answer graciously, “Sure, I’d be glad to.” Then other gnomes who wanted to live in my neck of the woods showed up. Fairies, too! They all became part of my world. And their world became part of mine. Life’s been astonishing ever since.

Maybe you’ve never met anyone who lives beyond fairy doors. Well, I’d like you to meet my new neighbors. They’re really quite wonderful in their own magical way. Knock on their doors and have a chat. Make friends with fairies and garden gnomes. Come spend some time with us!

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Middle Grade Fantasy


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B0932B15V8

Published by One Night Stand Studios

on 21st April, 2021

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 40 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: One Night Stand Studios

Converse via: #Fantasy, #KidsLit and #MGLit or #MiddleGrade
as well as #AudiobookwormPromotions OR #TheAudiobookEmpire
+ #MagicalNeighbours & #WyrdAndWonder

About Mary Ellen Spencer

Mary Ellen Spencer

Mary Ellen Spencer lives in a forested neighborhood near Harrods Creek in Kentucky with her cute husband Hank and her trusty dog Annie. She likes to make things—fairy doors and birdhouses from gourds, men of the forest carved from stone, and woodspirits carved into cedar. She enjoys growing things—like trees and hostas and oak leaf hydrangeas. And sometimes stories spill out.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Thursday, 27 May, 2021 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Children's Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Juvenile Fiction, Middle Grade Novel, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #WyrdAndWonder #MGFantasy Book Review | “The Princess and the Pirate” (Rahana Trilogy: Book Two) by Felicity Banks

Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Gifted Book By: This novel “The Princess and the Pirate” was part of a gifted #bookhaul of mine from my Mum and Dad for #WyrdAndWonder, Year 4! They happily surprised me with a lovely bundle of books I featured last Wyrd And Wonder celebrating the Indie Publisher Odyssey Books! This kicks-off my readings of those novels as I was overjoyed I can read all the lovely stories I had either showcased and/or featured but wasn’t able to read during our Year 3 Wyrd And Wonder.

Thereby, I was gifted a copy of “The Princess and the Pirate” by my parents and I was not obligated to post an honest review on its behalf. I am sharing my thoughts on behalf of this novel for my own edification and a continued journey of sharing my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note: I received the Press Materials last year from the publisher and had asked if I could re-use them if and when I was able to read and/or review the stories I was featuring during Wyrd And Wonder Year 3 (2020); and thankfully was given permission to do so which is why I am using them during my readings this 4th Year of Wyrd And Wonder.

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Why I am in love with this series & couldn’t wait to read the next story:

I immediately took an interest in Dance – she was a brave young girl who understood the history of her island but also the growing tension of why her father worried about her safety and the safety of their community here. Even in the opening paragraphs there is a bit of urgency in the tone of how Banks started her story – where Dance can sense the heightened fear in the caller’s voice – the person intending to speak with her father and the voice which was drawing her to catch her breath.

I loved how art was introduced straight-away – a small bit of insight into the heart of her people – of how on this island (Luar) art was as sacred as the trees. And, trees apparently were quite revered because you can sense this yourself as Dance speaks about the art which comes from the raw materials of the trees. Trees for me have held such a high impression on my person since I first started staring after trees along highways and byways; whilst pausing whenever I was close to them in person and happily feeling museful about their lives. Especially the cycle of how other species laid claim to their boughs and branches; how connected they were to our source of life (ie. oxygen) and how throughout the ages of time, trees are resolute, proud and awe-inspiring just to be nearby. I could then imagine – any bit of art carved from a tree has a life spirit of its own etched out of the raw wood and drawing a new energy from the carver’s tools, hands and vision for what the art being created would represent.

Dance lives on an island tucked away from the world – what makes this one dearly unique in my eyes as I haven’t come across a lot of snowbound or ice encased worlds, is the fact this particular island would be right at home in the Arctic Circle! It is beyond cold here – where the frozen ice hides their greatest enemy (ie. Heest monsters) and where if you were brave enough, you wouldn’t consider what their presence unde the ice was foretelling about your own fate and the fate of your community. Banks goes into a bit of detail about how this island was fashioned together – from materials they could repurpose and from purchases they had made long ago giving them a bit of bolster of privacy from prying eyes on the outside. It was their sincere hope to remain hidden which inspired how they lived and how they choose to thrive in one of the coldest locations I’ve had a chance to visit.

I positively LOVE finding illustrative art inside novels – The Monster Apprentice is delightfully inclusive of renderings of the scenes you’re reading about as you walk beside Dance! The very first illustration was featuring the ‘sky cows’ – having spent time on a ranch with breeding stock, I know how stubborn cows can be and how particular they are once they’ve settled on a place they want to roost. Cows are gentle giants and have kind hearts but there are moments where like most animals, they simply want to be left alone and left to their own devices. The imagery provided in this illustration and the depictions of the cows and Dance’s interaction with them in the text was quite a heap of hilarity! It was interesting to see how Dance chooses to interact with her world and how she constantly likes to bend the rules in order to do what she is tasked to accomplish!

Banks does a wonderful job of keeping this first installment beautifully connected on her characters and on the priming of our introduction to their ice and sea world. Things are not quite as you expect them to be here – there are hints of magic, of intrigue and of binding bargains which may in the end be worse than their initial acceptance. Each person here – young or old alike has to find their own individual truth and path; similar to life, everyone is working through their own headspace and has to find the courage to be a bit braver than they feel.

One of my favourite features of this novel are the Heest – mostly because Banks keeps us in the dark for most of the novel about their truer nature and how they operate as a species. There is far more to the Heest than what is presumed and that is the true beauty of their kind for me. I’d love t see how this trilogy continues to develop – especially if we can entreat more into the magical perimeters of the world and the concepts of how those magical extras operate within a place that is a rather harsh physical environment of both ice and sea.

As this first novel is setting up the foundation of the trilogy – we were treated only to a hinting of the magic in this world. The curators of the magic are known as quickensmiths and this was broached at the time when Dance had to face the pirates because of how the ship itself was moving through the water. I found it interesting how the dynamics of the world and of the magic within it were not completely disclosed because this was a very character-centred introduction. You get a few hints towards what is coming in future installments but not overly enough to lose your curiosity because this novel does lend itself to being curious about what will become disclosed!

-quoted from my review of The Monster Apprentice

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The Princess and the Pirate collage created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: jorielovesastory.com

The Princess and the Pirate
by Felicity Banks
Source: Gifted

Genres: Children's Literature, Middle Grade, Fantasy Fiction, Middle Grade Fantasy, Mythological Fantasy, Pirate Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1925652680

Also by this author: The Monster Apprentice

Published by Odyssey Books

on 1st June, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 126

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The Rahana Trilogy:

Felicity Banks invented the fantasy world of Rahana while living in Indonesia. She grew up reading stories set in Narnia and Middle Earth, and she wanted to invent a fantasy world that was just as beautiful but didn’t feel British, or white, or male.

In Rahana the weather is tropical and the people are visually similar to Indonesians. Magic is common, and makes physical strength irrelevant. There are millions of islands both small and large, and sailing technology is more advanced that the other sciences. Rahana is a thriving tropical world where people are born with a love of the high seas.

Naturally, the world is full of pirates.

The Monster Apprentice (book one)

The Princess & the Pirate (book two)

Waking Dead Mountain (book three)

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Published by: Odyssey Books (@OdysseyBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ThePrincessAndThePirate, #MGLit, #MGFantasy
as well as #pirates and #MiddleGrade; #IndieAuthor, #IndieFantasy

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About Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks is a Canberra author specialising in fantasy and interactive fiction, including her Antipodean Queen fantasy steampunk series, which is also published by Odyssey Books. All her interactive fiction is listed under “Felicity Banks” (visit site) and most of her interactive fiction can be read via an app.

She writes about all her various pirates tales (some appropriate for children, some definitely not) on her Facebook page as well as sharing stories and images that appeal to the not-so-secret pirate within all of us.

She met her husband at a pirate ball, and has two little pirates at home.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 by jorielov in #Unboxing BookMail, #WyrdAndWonder, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Death of a Sibling, Fantasy Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Juvenile Fiction, Life Shift, Middle Grade Novel, Mother-Daughter Relationships, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Twin Siblings