Thursday, January 30, 2014

Xpresso Book Tours Blog Tour for The Secret of Isobel Key by Jen McConnel!!

Hey there everyone! Today I'm taking part in the Blog Tour for The Secret of Isobel Key by Jen McConnel, organized by Xpresso Book Tours!

I will be sharing my review, so click HERE for the full tour schedule! But before that, let's get you some more information about the book & author, shall we?

The Secret of Isobel Key by Jen McConnel

Published by: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication date: December 19th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, New Adult

Lou is in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. Fresh out of college, she’s unemployed and unsure of herself. But when she gets the chance to escape to Scotland with her best friend, it could be the answer to her quest for self-discovery. The trip is not at all what she expected, especially when her tour guide turns out to be the dreamy historian Brian, and together they embark on a hunt for information about Isobel Key, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.

They set out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but Lou isn’t prepared for the knowledge that awaits her. She must face her own demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past. Flashing between the seventeenth century and modern day Scotland, The Secret of Isobel Key is a mystery that will please readers of all ages.

Goodreads | AmazonBarnes & Noble

About the author:

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.  She is the author of The Secret of Isobel Key (NA 2013) and Daughter of Chaos (YA 2014).

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

My Review

The Secret of Isobel Key really intrigued me because of its focus on Scotland and the witch trials there. And despite our rocky beginning, I'm quite glad that I read this book.

The narrative alternates between the present time and the story of Louisa and her trip with her best friend Tammy to Scotland, and the 17th century and the story of Isobel Key, midwife and accused of witchcraft.

I have to say at first I really disliked Lou, she seemed a wee bit too much of a pushover for me. Too worried, too unsure of herself, and she can't even tell her best friend when she disagrees with her? And Tammy, the best friend, just seemed too oblivious to care about what her allegedly best friend really feels like? But, once Lou finds something she really cares about, she finally starts coming out of her shell and turns into a much more interesting character. Having the cute and adorable Scotsman, Brian the red-haired lad, around seemed also good motivation for Lou to stop being so sillily shy, blushing every 5 seconds!

The best part of the narrative in my opinion was the one about Isobel Key, I feel like the author would do a fantastic job writing historical fiction! Everything seemed so relatable, so real, so well researched!

The mix of both stories was not exactly a shock, but was explained well enough, and for once I was very satisfied with the ending. A reasonable one, showing Lou having a proper head on her shoulders, but I would have loved an epilogue with a bit more of a HEA too!

All in all, despite our rocky beginning, deserving of 3 to 3.5 stars!


  1. This sounds really good I'm really intrigued about the Isobel Key storyline. I'm glad Lou grew as a character, too. Glad you liked it, Pili! I like HEA as much as the next but sometimes I don't mind a good memorable non-hea ending, too. I guess I'd have to see what this one is all about!

    1. I was quite a change of ending, open enough and not entirely unhappy either!
      Thanks Giselle!

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me today! I'm glad that, despite the rocky start, you ended up enjoying ISOBEL! :)

    1. Thanks Jen! I so hope you'll write more historical fiction, I loved the past storyline with Isobel!

  3. It's great to get your thoughts on this, Pili! I've been curious about it, and I'm glad to see that it mostly worked for you despite the rocky start. It's a shame about Lou, but it's good to hear she slowly becomes a more interesting character. I really like the premise for this story, especially with it set in Scotland. Great review! :)

    1. The Scotland setting and the part where we follow Isobel on the 17th century were fantastic!
      Thank you, Sam!

  4. I LOVED this book! Great setting and story line.


¡Muchas gracias por vuestros comentarios, leerlos me alegra el día!/ Thanks a lot for all your comments, reading them brightens my day!!