Book Review: Juniper Berry

Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky
Juniper Berry
by M.P. Kozlowsky (Author)Erwin Madrid (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Juniper Berry is the daughter of famous movie stars. As their fame grows, they become more and more distant from their daughter until she begins to suspect that something else is going on. Juniper befriends a scrawny neighbor boy whose parents are also acting strange. They follow their parents deep into the woods where they meet with a mystic creature who promises to make dreams a reality.

I loved this book! The plot is creepy without being too scary for me. I didn’t have nightmares after reading it, but I was deliciously chilled and freaked out while reading it. It has just the right amount of scary as Juniper uncovers the dark secret of her parents’ success. I especially enjoyed the mystic magic that the villain uses and the imaginative world-building.
I also loved how deep the writing is, delving into themes like family relationships, personal identity, ambition, and what makes living worthwhile. It’s all beautifully woven into the story as the characters struggle through their inner battles. I was interested to see many subtle contrasts and imagery in the writing that highlight the themes even more.

I really enjoyed the friendship between Juniper and the neighbor boy, Giles. They are both such misfits and I loved their weird dynamic! I adore stories about underdogs and people who don’t fit in, because we all feel that way at times. Both Juniper and Giles have fantastic character development, and their internal journey really fuels the plot. Both their outward actions and inward thoughts are linked in a way that pushes the story forward.

The illustrations are delightfully quirky and perfectly capture the characters and mood of the story. It added a whole extra level to the story to see the characters come to life in the artwork.

Can’t wait to read more from this author!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Juniper Berry

  1. This sounds so good. Reading scary middle grade books are the best – they’re creepy and scary, but not too much and you always know it will end ok. I also reallly, really like that cover – especially how the title is created used the tree branches.

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