Review & Giveaway: Juniper Leaves by Jaz Joyner

juniper leaves

How magical is this cover!? *swoons*


Fifteen year old Juniper Bray is a shy kinky-haired blerd off to spend the summer on a farm in North Carolina on her father’s research trip. Still reeling from the loss of her grandmother, her best friend, and immediately getting off on the wrong foot with her cool cousin Bree, Juniper is not looking forward to her stay. But magic returns to her in ways she never expected and Juniper ends up surprising herself the most.

GR  Juniper Leaves is a fantastic coming-of-age story starring a Black girl who is literally magic. Juniper is both utterly relatable and someone to look up to. When she and Bree fall through a vortex into the realm of Cantatis, home to fairies and unicorns, the girls are set on a journey that will require them to work together and believe in themselves. For Cantatis is under threat and it is up to Juniper, like her grandmother before her, to save them with her newly revealed powers.

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 Bree’s friend Sen, and while not at the center of the story, falling for a girl and coming into her own is an integral part of Juniper’s journey. 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. Juniper Leaves is out in print and e-book now! Get yourself a copy of this wonderful book and I think it would make a great holiday gift for the teens in your family. In fact, I’m giving away one print copy of Juniper Leaves! To enter the giveaway:

–> Update: We have a Winner! Congrats, Evelyn N. Alfred! 😊🎈 <–

  • follow my blog
  • leave a comment telling me why you’d like to win the book
  • don’t forget to leave your email/twitter/way to contact you
  • giveaway ends Dec 14th
  • I’ll send anywhere!


Disclaimer: I received a free e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


About the author:

Jaz Joyner is a black trans essayist, humorist and author residing in Brooklyn, NY. Their work has been featured in Teen Vogue, HuffPo, and others, and one of their essays is featured in the LGBT anthology Outside the XY: Queer, Black and Brown Masculinity​. Most recently Jaz has become a regular on the YouTube discussion show TheGrapevine. In 2016, Jaz started their passion project, a humor site called QUNTFRONT with the goal of uplifting QTPoC voices and calling out white supremacy in media.

11 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: Juniper Leaves by Jaz Joyner

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  1. Oh this sounds wonderful! I’d love to be entered! The book sounds great, and I love that the MC’s name is Juniper, a very excellent name for all excellent characters. I’m subscribed to you in Feedly and you can get me by email at readingtheend AT gmail DOT com.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Juniper really sounds like magic, Bina. And yaaay! You are back here. I am SO SO happy.

    I am entering the giveaway. I WANT the book because I can’t get such books in Chennai (India), and I am not sure when it will be even available here. So. Yes! Yes! Yes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all the synopsis is absolutely mindblowing. A girl is pure magic? How cool is that? But the best thing is that the author is trans and black. It is so difficult for people to get into the publishing industry when they are not white cisgender and heterosexual and I want to read this book for that reason alone. Supporting diverse authors and diverse books is a way to show the industry that we need more! I am also always searching for books especially SSF books that are diverse. Contemporaries are pretty easy to find (though still not enough) but it is pretty difficult to find diversity in SSF. You can find me on instagram or twitter with the username abookcalls.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like an interesting read. I’ve never seen a character being described as a blerd (black nerd) before. I’d like to add this to my collection because representation matters and I’m a huge fan of fantasy so the two together would be wonderful plus I can introduce this to my younger cousins who’d benefit to know we exist in fantasy genre too

    Liked by 1 person

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