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

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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
Paperback, 250 pages
Published November 28th 2017 by Black Pansy Books
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Average rating 3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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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
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, queer
Definitely more for a younger audience (think spiderwick chronicles and bridge to terabithia) but Juniper is such a likeable character whose voice is so strong throughout the book and I enjoyed this quick read!
ONYX Pages
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just, wow.

More here:
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Thistle & Verse
This was a cute, coming-of-age story of Blerd Juniper Bray. Juniper's very self-conscious, and sometimes she gets in her own way. The story's a bit light on the fantasy elements. They're introduced later in the story, and Juniper and Bree have to shuttle back and forth between Earth and Cantantis, so we don't get to understand the full breadth of the other world. Juniper has a crush on another girl, and it was sweet to watch her navigate that. She learns about being confident and staying true to ...more
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. :)
Marcus Kaye
Jun 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
Much too young for me. Appreciate a non-traumatic queer moment though.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing

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
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Tennessy Elledge
Everything about Jaz Joyner’s (they/them) first book is so my vibe! Everything except the execution. Juniper Leaves tells the story of a 15 year old nerdy and magic black girl exploring the forrest, forging a loyal friendship, experiencing uncomplicated queer desire, and discovering her power (magical and otherwise). I am very here for this! Honestly the book had me at the whimsical cover and subtitle “The otherworldly tale of a lonesome magical girl”. All the imagination is there, unfortunately ...more
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
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I loved it!

I could have done with a little more action at the end, it felt like the main battle just kind of happened in a moment and then fizzled out. Also, I would have loved a little more development of the characters magic as a whole, it felt like the whole 'training montage' we usually get when people discover they have powers, was missing here (and though I think we all laugh at the trope, I did kind of miss it). Everything was too faced paced in that part of the plot for me, because the
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked it, it had some good moments and was pleasant to read, but it just didn't do more for me.
I expected to like it more, I expected it to be more magical. Maybe like Ava Lavender. The title and the summary were so appealing, I thought it would transport me to a different place, but it fell a bit flat for me.
I loved the characters, Juniper was cute, Bree was funny, Sen was the perfect crush. I loved reading about characters that were different from your usual main characters (the protagonist
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Review originally written for my blog

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
Adrien Julious
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome Story

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.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ownvoices
This was a solid 3.5 stars. I loved June and Bree and their friendship. The “magical girl” aspect of the story felt rushed and the overall pacing of the novel was off. However, the characters, their growth, and the relationships won me over in the end.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
I really loved the concept and thought it started out strong and compelling, but it lost steam. Like others have said, the typos are pretty distracting. The romance was super cute though, and Juniper herself is a great character.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciate the character arcs in this book. I also enjoyed how the writer made the more typical teen experiences in the story just as interesting as the fantastical elements.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Unfortunately the wrong draft of this book was published, containing MANY grammar errors. The author sent me a new copy with the correct draft - great customer service!
rated it it was amazing
Aug 04, 2020
Ali Willis
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Amaka Adeze
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Mar 27, 2018
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Sabrina Haenze
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Jun 02, 2020
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Mar 13, 2018
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Jaz Joyner is a black trans humorist, essayist and author whose essays have been featured in Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, The Establishment and others. One of their works is included in the bklyn boihood anthology Outside the XY: Queer Black and Brown Masculinity. Joyner's first novel Juniper Leaves: The Otherworldly Tale of a Lonesome Magical Girl is Out NOW.

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