Saturday, November 2, 2019

Book Tour and Giveaway: Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker

Title: Music Boxes
Author:  Tonja Drecker
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press LLC
Publication Date: March 5th 2019
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy 
I only desire your talent...

Twelve-year-old Lindsey McKay's biggest dream is to be a famous ballerina. But after moving to New York, she ends up at the Community Center with a teacher who’s a burly bear in tights.

When she meets Madame DestinĂ©e, the teacher of a top dance school who offers her classes for free, Lindsey can't believe her luck. In exchange, she must perform in the school’s exclusive midnight shows, ones sure to make her a star. But something’s not right...

One by one, the other dancers disappear. Each time they do, a music box with a figurine just like the missing ballerina joins Madame DestinĂ©e’s growing collection. If Lindsey doesn’t discover the truth about the dance school, she might end up a tiny figurine herself.

**Music Boxes was recommended by The Barnes & Noble Kids Blog as one of the 5 Spooky New Middle Grade Books for Campfire Chills!!**

**Now available in audiobook!!**

Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker seemed like the perfect chilling read for right around Halloween. A creepy middle grade mystery? Sign me up! Music Boxes lived up to my expectations for sure!

Twelve year old Lindsey has just moved from Nebraska to New York City in order for her younger sister to attend Julliard. In Nebraska, she was part of a fantastic ballet school. In New York, she only gets to dance at the drab community center. When a world renowned ballerina offers to give her free ballet lessons in exchange for dancing in her secret midnight shows, Lindsey can't believe her luck. She's tired of living in her younger sister's talented shadow, so she quickly obliges. However, Lindsey soon realizes that  dancers given private lessons are going missing. What's even more worrying is after they disappear, a music box appears with a little ballet figure that looks like the missing dancer. Is there something sinister about Lindsey's new ballet teacher, or can everything be put down to a coincidence?

The plot for Music Boxes reminded me of a Goosebumps book which is saying a lot because I loved the whole Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. I was quickly absorbed in the story from the very first page. Believe me when I say my eyes devoured this novel. Although somewhat predictable for adults, its target audience of middle schoolers will enjoy the many plot twists peppered throughout the book. If the pacing was perfect for me, I believe it will also keep younger readers interested. One of my favorite things about the world of Music Boxes was the dance school and how magical it really was. Another good thing about Music Boxes is there aren't any cliff hanger endings. All loose ends are tied up by the end of the story.

Ballet dancers will really enjoy Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker as there are quite a few ballet terms in it. I had no idea what they meant, but it didn't distract from the story. It would have been nice to have a glossary of ballet terms or some kind of description for those of us who aren't dancers. Plus, the whole story mainly takes place in a ballet school. However, I think non dancers will really enjoy the story too as it has elements that anyone can relate to such as friendship, family, and doing the right thing.

For a middle grade novel, I felt that all the characters felt really alive. Although I would have liked some more back story for a few more of the dancers from Madame Destinee's school, I felt like the most important characters in the novel had enough back story. Lindsey feels like a character that most young girls will be able to connect with whether they are interested in ballet or not. With her conflicting feelings of listening to her parents and wanting to do what she loves, it's easy to see why Lindsey is a relatable character. Lindsey is also very brave and comes across as just a nice girl in general. Bridget, Lindsey's 8 year old sister, was my favorite character. She's a very talented violinist and the reason Lindsey and her family moved to New York City. Even though the family seemed more focused on Bridget, Bridget never came across as having an over-inflated ego or like she was better than Lindsay. I loved how sweet Bridget was and how she wanted what was best for Lindsey. Madame Destinee was an interesting character for sure. I never trusted her from the get go, but it was easy to see why a young child would especially when she's offering them their chance to shine at doing something they really love. I also loved Broussard because I love dogs!

Trigger warnings for Music Boxes include kidnapping, witches, minor violence, and death (although done in a non-scary way).

All in all, Music Boxes is a fantastic story full of intrigue and mystery that readers of all ages will enjoy. The plot is creepy in a good way, and the characters are written superbly! I would definitely recommend Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker to everyone aged 10+. Yes, the target audience is probably 10 - 13 year olds, but I really think everyone would enjoy it. It's written that well!
(A special thank you to Silver Dagger Book Tours for providing me with an eBook of Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)
After finishing her BA in International Studies at the University of Denver, Tonja Drecker spent many years in Europe devouring chocolate, cheese and wine while investigating the birth places of myths, legends and mysterious tales.

Currently residing somewhere in the back woods of the Ozarks, she writes away while tending to chickens, cows and her family of six. Her stories have been published in several collections and magazines including In the Shadow of the Eagle's Eye in REAL GIRLS DON'T RUST (Spencer Hill Press, 2013), A GLOWWORM (Black and White Publishing Company, 2017) and Meringue, Murder and Marzipan in FULL DARK (Obsidian Books, 2017) . She's an avid book reader, professional children's book reviewer, outdoor addict and always in search of a new adventure (based in reality, the imagination, or otherwise).

Win a music box with swag or a $20 Amazon gift card!
Follow the tour HERE for special excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


  1. This book sounds like a page turner. I am looking forward to reading.

  2. Both of my nieces take dance, and have preformed in ballet recitals. I like the synopsis.

  3. What do you think of the book or the cover?
    the mirror effect is amazing and i love the vibrant colors

  4. Wow! Thank you so much for your kind words. I'll be smiling all day...and probably longer. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And thanks so much for helping shout-out Music Boxes to the world :)

    1. You are very welcome! Music Boxes is one of my favorite MG reads <3

  5. Great cover art! Sounds like an exciting story!

  6. Sounds very interesting. I'm looking forward to reading.

  7. I love the cover and the storyline .

  8. The book sounds awesome and a bit spooky too! I love it!

  9. The book looks and sounds interesting