Juniper Leaves: The Otherworldly Tale of a Lonesome Magical Girl

Juniper Leaves: The Otherworldly Tale of a Lonesome Magical Girl

Kinky-haired blerd Juniper Bray used to believe in magic, until she lost her best friend: her grandmother. Now this 15-year-old shy girl is going on her dad's research trip to a farm hundreds of miles away to stay with a family she barely knows and the opposite of a best friend, her new arch nemesis, Bree McKinney. Little does she know the next few months Juniper will disc...

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Title:Juniper Leaves: The Otherworldly Tale of a Lonesome Magical Girl
Author:Jaz Joyner
Rating:

Juniper Leaves: The Otherworldly Tale of a Lonesome Magical Girl Reviews

  • Bina

    Juniper Leaves is a fantastic coming-of-age story starring a queer Black girl who is literally magic! Juniper is both utterly relatable and someone to look up to. When she and her cousin Bree enter another realm, the girls are set on a journey that will require them to work together and believe in themselves. For that other world is under threat and it is up to Juniper, like her grandmother before her, to save them with powers she didn't know she had.

    Apart from the girls’ reluctant friendship I

    Juniper Leaves is a fantastic coming-of-age story starring a queer Black girl who is literally magic! Juniper is both utterly relatable and someone to look up to. When she and her cousin Bree enter another realm, the girls are set on a journey that will require them to work together and believe in themselves. For that other world is under threat and it is up to Juniper, like her grandmother before her, to save them with powers she didn't know she had.

    Apart from the girls’ reluctant friendship I also really enjoyed the family members, from her smart, nerdy father and aunt studying plants for curing illness, to the food her uncle dished up and the McKinney’s bookshelf. And the annoying younger brother, oh I can relate! It was cute to see Juniper come out of her shell and crush on a girl called Sen. I also appreciate that the love interest Sen is Japanese-American.

    My only complaint is that the book is too short, and I never say that. It’s fantastic to read of queer Black girls thriving, we need more books like this one.

    -

    Read the full review at my blog WOCreads:

  • Bdc

    Juniper Leaves is incredible!! it made me laugh, cry, and think. Jaz Joyner has produced a masterpiece. one of those rare pieces of writing that you connect with on so many levels - that makes you relive the most magical moments of childhood, remember fondly the grandmothers who were best friends, and reminds you that we must work together to save the world.

  • Adrien Julious

    This story was amazing. For so long I’ve been looking for a story where a black girl gets to be magical and fight otherworldly creatures and this is it. My only criticism is that the book needs to be edited again. It had just enough grammatical errors to drive a constant reader bonkers.

  • K

    3.75 stars. This book was really cute. Juniper is a very likeable character, and it was great to see her blossom into a young adult after the passing of her grandma. It was also so cute to see her discover her sexuality, and form new friendships. I rarely read fantasy, but I enjoyed the fantasy aspect of the book.

    My only complaint is that the Kindle edition (not sure about paperback), has an extreme amount of typos. Words are missing, some tense is wrong, words are repeated, there are random le

    3.75 stars. This book was really cute. Juniper is a very likeable character, and it was great to see her blossom into a young adult after the passing of her grandma. It was also so cute to see her discover her sexuality, and form new friendships. I rarely read fantasy, but I enjoyed the fantasy aspect of the book.

    My only complaint is that the Kindle edition (not sure about paperback), has an extreme amount of typos. Words are missing, some tense is wrong, words are repeated, there are random letters. I'm willing to bet there were around 20-25. These typos distracted me alot. I think that with some refining and editing, this book would be amazing. It's on par with the other young adult I've read recently, and I look forward to more of Jaz Joyner's work.

  • Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)

    Juniper Leaves follows the story of a young teenage black girl who embarks on a magical adventure. Her family is still reeling from the loss of her grandmother, especially Juniper since her grandma meant a lot to her and was her best friend. They spent a lot of time together so Juniper feels a heavy absence in her life.

    Juniper and her cousin Bree are led on an adventure of lush fantasy. Through their first visit to Canatis the two discover a world where fairies, unicorns, and even Loch Ness mons

    Juniper Leaves follows the story of a young teenage black girl who embarks on a magical adventure. Her family is still reeling from the loss of her grandmother, especially Juniper since her grandma meant a lot to her and was her best friend. They spent a lot of time together so Juniper feels a heavy absence in her life.

    Juniper and her cousin Bree are led on an adventure of lush fantasy. Through their first visit to Canatis the two discover a world where fairies, unicorns, and even Loch Ness monster exists. They find out they have special gifts that allow them to travel beyond earth’s realm and communicate with all sorts of creatures. It’s hard for them to wrap their heads around it, but its their duty to save earth. The more Bree and Juniper learn more about the world of Canatis the more danger comes to them and the people they love. Both girls not only become physically stronger, but grow in their powers as well. They learn to put their differences aside and look out for one another since they are family. The impending war brings a lot of action to the story making it lively.

    This was a fun fantasy read! Joyner does a great job of world building and creating a lush fantasy world full of strange creatures and beautiful landscapes. The detail made the reader feel as if they too were in the story. Canatis reminded of some of my favorite fantasy world like Narnia! I also loved Bree and Juniper and how they came to bond over the course of the story. They started out disliking each other because of their rocky first meeting but came to really care for one another. I also enjoyed Juniper’s journey of self-discovery. She went through some tricky obstacles in order to become more comfortable with who she was and her sexuality.

    If you're looking for a diverse fantasy, I recommend checking out Juniper Leaves!

    FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  • Sarah

    Review originally written for

    So, I saw this recommended a few weeks ago on Twitter and just loved the name. I then saw the cover and adored it and since I was looking for a new Kindle Unlimited book it seemed perfect!

    Juniper is an adorable “blerd” (black nerd) who is dealing with the recent loss of her grandmother. Her and her cousin, Breen, discover that they have magic powers and need to protect the Earth from enemies from a different plane of reality. The plot itself isn’t that compli

    Review originally written for

    So, I saw this recommended a few weeks ago on Twitter and just loved the name. I then saw the cover and adored it and since I was looking for a new Kindle Unlimited book it seemed perfect!

    Juniper is an adorable “blerd” (black nerd) who is dealing with the recent loss of her grandmother. Her and her cousin, Breen, discover that they have magic powers and need to protect the Earth from enemies from a different plane of reality. The plot itself isn’t that complicated, it’s a rather standard “chosen one gets powers and saves the world” but well, something doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. I enjoyed the worldbuilding and the magic system, although not super fleshed out, was fun. It’s nice to have a light, fun story every now and then and this was definitely that.

    What I was not such a big fan of though were the characters. That’s a lie, they’re actually all great but at the start, Juniper and Bree do not get on for what seems really ridiculous reasons. Juniper thinks Bree is awful and is incredibly rude to her and it just…doesn’t make sense. Thankfully once we get past this to where they start bonding, it’s much better. I think the fact that it’s in the first person didn’t help this part because we see Juniper’s thoughts and instead of helping us understand her reasoning, it just made me more annoyed at how she was treating Bree just because they’re not very similar.

    As is obvious by the fact that Juniper is described as a “blerd”, the main character in this is Black. Not only that, but most of the other characters are her family and so are all also black. There’s also a f/f relationship that occurs later on in the book and so if you’re looking for something nice and diverse, this is definitely something to add to your TBR!

    If you’re looking to read more books by black authors for Black History Month then I’d definitely recommend this as a nice light read. It’s good for those that enjoy Fantasy set in our world and I saw it recommended for those who enjoy “magical girl” stories.

  • Natty

    Excellent characters, they are the best part of the story. I felt there could have been a bit more to the story in terms of the world building for the non-Earth places but the characters really are brilliant. I really enjoyed the book overall and look forward to reading more from Jaz in the future as I think they have a truly unique voice and a talent for character development.

  • Potassium

    I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book.

    One the one hand - yay! The protagonist is a nerdy black girl! I loved how smart June was - especially the "really? you're choosing the most stereotypical form of teenage rebellion? Okayyyyy...." Haha. I loved it. I also loved her crush on/relationship with Sen. So cute and happy. It's the perfect description of a teenage crush.

    On the other hand - I really hated the plot. It was so stereotypical and boring. I felt like June: Really? You're choos

    I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book.

    One the one hand - yay! The protagonist is a nerdy black girl! I loved how smart June was - especially the "really? you're choosing the most stereotypical form of teenage rebellion? Okayyyyy...." Haha. I loved it. I also loved her crush on/relationship with Sen. So cute and happy. It's the perfect description of a teenage crush.

    On the other hand - I really hated the plot. It was so stereotypical and boring. I felt like June: Really? You're choosing the most stereotypical of fantasy plots ever? Okaaaay. Yes we finally have black girls doing cool stuff! Oh... but it's the same old same old story.

    Also, I hated that in order to come of age, June had to stop being so freakin nerdy and become cool like everyone else. Why? Why can't we let nerds be nerds and be proud of who they are?

    Finally, I read the Kindle edition and it is full of weird typos and other problems. Come on, Amazon. Get it together!

  • Bogi Takács

    Review soonish IY"H! Probably at least two weeks because I have posts scheduled further ahead than usual. But one of them is a video in which I also wave this book around, so you will see the book before that, too. :)

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