I was super-excited for Melody Lockhart to write a new series! This time about faeries/boarding school/magic. It reminded me of Glitterwings Academy by Titania Woods (and also many others as the story continued). Since two books are out now I thought I would just combine them. My blog is a bit full, had to move another review to April just to get this one in around the release date. And so I thought to also combine the reviews as otherwise I would have had to find two spaces.
Oakleaf Academy: First Day at Fairy School: In this book we go to a fun boarding school with smallfolk. The first book is all about Poppy and how she is getting used to magic. She has always lived with her dad in human library. And while her bookish knowledge on smallfolk and magic and powers is pretty huge, her own experience is zero. This is the first time she is seeing so many smallfolk and the first time she will really make friends. I was really rooting for Poppy and I loved how kind and friendly she was, I definitely wouldn’t have been that kind with such a grumpy roommate. XD I loved seeing her really love the tests + help out her friends. I loved seeing her cheer for her friends (and classmates). I did get a bit tired of her stress on being new to it all and worrying about the magic. GIRL, as the people at school said, it will come when it needs to come.
I loved reading about the other girls, like Lily and Jessamy. Loved getting to know them, see what powers they got, and more.
The tests were just oodles of fun and I wish I could have participated in them. I wonder what power I would get.
I just wasn’t happy with the power that Poppy got. It felt too convenient.
I really loved the illustrations in the book, of course by the wonderful Roberta Tedeschi! I loved seeing all the various fairies/smallfolk.
Oh, and something that could be better is the feeling of time. At times we would read how a test would be the next week, but then the next sentence is about that test. It was really confusing and had me re-reading at times. I also really missed reading about lessons. It was just friendship and tests and one or two times lessons. I just didn’t feel like a whole semester went by. If anything it felt like mere days.
Plus, I would have liked to get a better feel of how big the school was and how many smallfolk were there. For most of the time I thought Poppy’s class consisted of maybe 7-8 smallfolk and her school maybe having 20. But then there were times when we read about much more students. So that was a tad confusing.
All in all, despite it feeling like YET another book with these tropes + some issues, I really enjoyed it and flew through it.
This one is going to be chaotic. It is the 6th of Feb here and I am all dead from my bday (and the Friday before that) so my review for this book may be chaotic as I will be writing/editing as I read. Plus, again, tired. XD
I really loved that we started with an introduction + cute illustrations on the girls!
And then it is time to get started, I liked that in this book Ivy is the MC. Will Jessamy or Azalea be next up? That would be fun, though I am still not 100% liking Azalea so that may be a pass for me, but it all depends on this book! Back to Ivy, we see how she is doing now that she has discovered her spark. We see how she loves music and has quite a voice. And how she is asked to be part of a big performance celebrated Sugar Plum fairy. I was so proud of her. But my proudness and happiness did disappear a bit as she kept doubting herself and also let Holly just walk over her. I just wanted her to speak up. But I guess, just like Poppy in the first book, that is impossible. Why talk when you can just mope all the time. At 33% I was just hoping that things would get better because I was definitely not in the mood for it. Plus, I hoped that Ivy would also be a bit kinder to people who wanted to be fairies and just wanted to be girly. She was just so much that trope: “I am not like other girls.” And I am not a fan of that one.
I am glad that the whole thing mentioned in the blurb actually came around! Around 34% Ivy meets a mysterious being in the library and I was eager to get more of it! I did like that she talked to her friends about her experience (and also later ones), I thought for sure that, just like her feelings and such, she would keep it bottled up. But no! I was so happy that she involved her friends and I loved seeing the girls try to figure out the mystery of what the boggart is doing + the meaning of the map it let go.
It was such a fun surprise to see BOOKWORMS caring for the library! That was such a fun touch~
As I said in my review for the previous book I did miss the lessons, A LOT, but in this one we get to see some! Since we follow Ivy we see a lot of Ariel lessons. From catching stardust to more. And I love that we find out that Ariel magic comes with music/dancing as well! So perfect for our Ivy who loves music (though please no more guitar unless you had some more practice). I did feel for her, but what did she expect to magically be able to do it in one go? Yes, it was magical all her classmates seem to be able to do it, a bit too magical if you ask me I would have rather seen more also not able to do it, but that doesn’t mean you should doubt yourself. If anything, just talk to someone. I am also happy that next to Ivy’s lessons we heard about the lessons of the other roommates/friends! That was fun! But of course, like the previous book there is something else to being Ariel and I was both enjoying it and shaking my head as it was just a tad too magical for me. Instead of having her focus on that, of course that one works better. sighs I know this is a kids book, but kids are not dumb. I am glad however that after that lesson she did talk to someone. FINALLY.
I did both like and not like the similarities in the two teachers and Ivy and her sister. For one I liked as it told Ivy it was OK to have your differences, but on the other hand it was once again quite magical.
I did love the girls quest for the treasure! These 4 are just such fun friends and I loved that they are all eager for some adventure! The adventure was exciting, and I loved seeing the girls use magic that they had learned thanks to the lessons.
I did love all the revelations that came out! From Sugarplum to boggarts there is a lot that comes out and while at times I was like, I KNEW IT, I did enjoy it. It was great and I hope that we can now see more boggarts around. I also liked Sugarplum Fairy day and how it all was a way more fun than how it sounded in the beginning. XD
The illustrations are still a lot of fun!
All in all, despite some magical conveniences and moments, I had a lot of fun and will continue on with the series! I just cannot resist a boarding school story, especially one with magic!