Review: A Whisper of Curses by J. Elle

A Whisper of Curses by J. Elle

A Whisper of Curses (Park Row Magic Academy #2)
J. Elle
Bloomsbury
Published July 9, 2024

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About A Whisper of Curses

New York Times bestselling author J. Elle continues her magical middle grade series with our favorite witches from Park Row Magick Academy!

While the new Magick Academy is under construction, an invitation to Retreat Week arrives! Before the students leave Park Row, Kyana is grabbed by an Available and, even after she slips from the spirit’s grasp, can’t stop either laughing or crying. Ashley thinks whatever it is, Dr. Minzy, a famous teacher at the retreat, will know what to do. But when the portal to the retreat suddenly dissolves, trapping everyone, Ash Availables are involved. With Kyana acting weird and Russ live-casting everything to the MagickWorld, Ash must say something to the directors (even though she isn’t sure she’s right) or mind her business and trust that Dr. Minzy will fix it?

In this adventurous sequel to A Taste of Magic, can Ashely, Kyana, and Russ figure out what the spirits are up to and save the day?

A Whisper of Curses on Goodreads

My Review

I loved getting to visit this magic-infused world again. In the first book in the Park Row Magic Academy series, Kyana has only just discovered she’s a witch with access to a whole hidden world of magic. She enters a baking competition to try to help save her magic school.

Because baking and food featured so prominently in the first book, I expected to see some food or baking in the second book. There is some focus on food, but not baking, like in the first book. What’s really interesting is the way that different foods impact characters and events in the book. I thought the author’s use of them was pretty clever.

I also enjoyed the theme about leadership and what makes a good leader. Several characters position themselves as leaders, from a leading researcher to a camp director to Kyana’s role in student leadership at her magic school. As Kyana tries to figure out how to lead effectively, she learns surprising lessons about effective leadership from the people around her and her own experience.

The chapters alternate between Kyana and Ashley’s points of view. I liked getting to know both girls more and seeing what was happening in their minds as they tackled different problems and sometimes had different ideas about how to help each other.

On the whole, this is an excellent addition to a fun series. I’m excited to see where J. Elle takes the story and these characters next!

A Whisper of Curses on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Representation
Kyana is Black. Ashley is Latine. One minor character wears a hijab.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
None.

Romance/Sexual Content
None.

Spiritual Content
Characters can perform magic and travel through portals to other realms. Some characters are not human but magical individuals called Availables who have different abilities than humans.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Someone grabs and holds characters with the intent to harm them.

Drug Content
Potions and charms have the ability to impact people around them. For example, a sleep potion makes someone go to sleep.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use but help support this blog. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays with Greg Pattridge at Always in the Middle

Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

I’m sharing this post as a part of a weekly round-up of middle-grade posts called Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday. Check out other blogs posting about middle-grade books today on Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays at Always in the Middle with Greg Pattridge.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

12 Responses to Review: A Whisper of Curses by J. Elle

  1. I haven’t read either book in this series. Sounds like fun. Thanks for the review.

  2. Valinora Troy says:

    This sounds a great series, magic and food a good combination! Interesting theme on leadership. It’s a topic encountered a lot in business of course, but not so much outside of it. Food for thought, you might say! 🙂

  3. Ah! I loved *A Taste of Magic* and am so glad to hear this Econ’s book holds up!

  4. Carol Baldwin says:

    Intriguing title! I bet a lot of MG kids will love all the mystery and suspense!

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed book 2 so much. I have the audiobook on reserve at my library.

    • Kasey says:

      Thanks! I hope the hold comes through quickly. Sometimes I think those holds will take forever and then they’re available in a blink. 🙂

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed this sequel as much as I did. The characters and fantasy backdrop made this a perfect summertime read.

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