Cover Image: The Secret of White Stone Gate

The Secret of White Stone Gate

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The Secret of White Stone Gate is the second book in a series. I have read the first book and would recommend reading it before The Secret of White Stone Gate in order to fully appreciate the sequel.  The mystery in the second book is just as good as the first..
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I didn't realise this was the second book in a series when I read it, but I didn't feel too lost. I liked the setting, the charters and the mystery
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I received The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane when it was published last year and absolutely adored it, so when I received this one, I was so excited to read it in the hopes that it would be just as good as the first. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed! 

One of my favorite things about this series is the realistic portrayal of friendships. The kind of friendships where friends lay their heads on each others' shoulders out of habit, where they admit they would be lost without each other, which is one so similar to how I am with my best friends even now that we're adults. 

I still love Emmy, Lola, and Jack, and I was so happy to jump back into their world! Larraby was still as annoying as ever, as was Brynn. And don't even get me started on Lucy. *eye-roll* Oliver was an absolute sweetheart (Jack's family is quickly growing on me), and I loved him throughout this entire book! Sam was such a fun addition, and while he was a very good part of the story, at times it did kind of feel like he was only added to be a love interest, so I'm hoping he gets some character development in the next book. Emmy's mother was really frustrating once again; she tries to control her daughter's life when she has no idea what her daughter or her new life is like.

The plot was still a bit predictable in some parts, however, there were a couple of times when I was caught off guard and I love when that happens! I will also admit that Emmy made me a little mad with her "what could the adults possibly do to help" mentality. While I can see where she was coming from, especially with the level of corruption the Order has caused, she has adults whom she knows to be trustworthy and she still refused to ask them for help, and it almost caused a lot of problems for her and her loved ones. 

All-in-all, this book made me angry, sad, and most of all, so happy that I smiled and laughed out loud more than once. I highly recommend this series and I'm so excited for the next installment!
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This book was just as good as the first one! I loved it and bought it for my library. I love following Emmy’s adventures.  The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane is continually on hold in my library because I keep talking about it. This book will be in hot demand as well.
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This is the second book in the Black Hollow Lane series which follows a young girl named Emmy who is shipped off to a boarding school to England by her mother. 

You can read my full review of that book on my blog here: click me

We're back at Wellsworth Boarding School for year 2 of Emmy's studies and even more dangerous adventures!!


Once again, this reminded me a lot of Harry Potter but with not so much of the magic and charm. There's even some Dursley-ish characters thrown in but they're so one dimensional and all yap and no bite that it just made me roll my eyes.

The plot is...odd. It's all over the place really and I found my eyes glaze over while reading it. It's a fast read but I didn't find it all too enjoyable and this entire business with The Order is just wearing thin on me.

I still loathe Emmy's mother with my entire heart by the way.

I feel that perhaps this series just isn't for me and that's okay. Not every book is a right fit but I'm glad I gave it another try.


Thanks very much to the publisher and Netgalley for this copy of my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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The Secret of The White Stone Gate is a great page-turning follow up to The Mystery at Black Hollow Lane. It is populated  by interesting and well-written characters.  If you liked the first one I don't think you'll be disappointed by this sequel. I will definitely continue with this series.
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Set in a mysterious old boarding school in England, The Secret of White Stone Gate is the second in the Black Hollow Lane series from Julia Nobel. All of the wonderful characters from the first book with a few additions have returned to Wellsworth for the new term. We still find Emmy attempting to hide the truth about her father from the Order, but once again they will stop at nothing to find the truth. 

The setting and the relationships between the characters are truly the selling points for this series. Emmy, Jack, and Lola are loyal best friends who would move heaven and earth for each other. The "bad guys" are perfectly written, as well. Jonas literally makes my skin crawl. The setting of the old boarding school is fantastic. There really shouldn't be any other kind than old and gothic. It simply wouldn't be right.

I will say that I was a little surprised that despite the drama and action in this novel, the plot involving the Order didn't seem to progress any. We ended the book with much the same knowledge that we started it. This seemed more about friendships and relationship drama than the previous book. This made it seem a little less polished and it ended up having less of an impact on me than the first one. A little disappointing, but not enough for the book to be a washout.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the advanced copy given in exchange for an honest review,
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Who can you trust?  This is the question posed in The Secret of White Stone Gate, the second in the series by Julia Noble.  The first chapters quickly  remind readers of what transpired in the first book, The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane, so it is easy to pick up the ongoing plot and life in the boarding school in England.  Emmy has returned to Wellsworth after a summer in Connecticut with her mother, ready to reconnect with her  close friends Lola and Jack who oppose the Order.  When Emmy finds a mysterious note from her father, and Lola is accused of a crime, and pressure mounts from the Order to reveal her father’s whereabouts, Emmy finds she must face the Order once again.  Although a enjoyable read, this book lacked the tension and complexity of the first book, but will appeal to middle readers with the focus on the friendship of the kids bonding together in an ethical battle.
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This is a great follow up to the first book in the series. 
I love the characters, they are very relatable and deal with mostly normal problems except for the whole secret society trying to kill and blackmail Emmy.
I figured our the plot fairly quickly but I think its a great mystery for upper elementary students.
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"In this exciting sequel to The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane, Emmy's adventures continue as she deals with a sinister organization, a missing father, and secrets she's not sure who to trust with.

After spending the summer at home in Connecticut, Emmy cannot wait to return to Wellsworth for the new school year and reunite with her best friends, Lola and Jack. Before she leaves Emmy receives a note from her father telling her to hide the remaining relics The Order of Black Hollow Lane are after - and to trust no one.

When Lola is framed for a serious crime she didn't commit, Emmy knows that she and her friends are not safe. The Order wants Emmy to give up her father's location...if she doesn't, those she loves will pay the price.

Emmy and Jack need to figure out a way to clear Lola's name without bending to the Order's sinister demands. And Emmy needs to figure out who she can trust with her secrets before it's too late."

Chills! And can we talk about cover love?
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The 2nd book continues a few months after the conclusion of book 1, The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane. I really enjoyed that book, it set the stage for this series with its many layers, interesting characters, and plot. While being familiar with most of the players there were a few new ones that added interest, intrigue and had me wondering if I could trust any of them.

That being said I didn’t find this one as captivating as the first one, I missed the many layers and a number of plot points reminding me too much of Harry Potter (which is a series I adore).

I’m not sure how many books are in this series, I will continue as I am curious about what will happen to Emmy and her friends.

My thanks to Sourcebooks (via NetGalley) for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Emmy is back for her second year of school at Wellsworth, and though the Order’s man who tried kill her last year is no longer on staff, the Order still has a definite presence at the school. And they are still determined to use Emmy to get at the medallions they are pretty sure are still in her dad’s possession. Emmy isn’t going to give in to their bullying to give them access to something so dangerous for the rest of the world. But then they start threatening the people she loves. They start by framing Lola for a crime and getting her expelled from Wellsworth. Emmy and Jack are positive the Order framed her, but getting proof and clearing Lola’s name is going to be tough. And the Order isn’t done with threatening Lola or others dear to Emmy unless she gives them what they want. Is there any hope of Emmy, Jack, and Lola winning this dangerous game? Or should Emmy just hand over the medallions to the Order for the good of her loved ones?

Julia Nobel has done a fantastic job of following up her thrilling first book with a second book that is just as engaging, intense, and exciting to read. There are a couple new kids at the school that add intrigue to the story as Emmy and gang don’t know who is trustworthy or not. I was at first worried that having Lola expelled would mean missing out on her interactions that often add some humor to the story. But I needn’t have worried. She still manages to be a major part of the book through texts, phone calls, and Emmy’s visits to her. The plotting and chess games with the Order take up a bigger portion of this book than the first, probably since we’ve already been introduced to what classes and school life are like. There aren’t as many scenes about classes or soccer or roommates in this book, though they do get occasional page time. I missed it a teensy itty bit, but the plot was so thrilling and the issues so complex that they made up for it. I had no clue how the group was going to get out of the fix they were in and the pages flew by as I pursued answers and solutions with them. The first book in this series is quite popular with our students, and they are absolutely going to LOVE this book too. I can’t wait to see their excited expressions when this hits our library shelves. Hand this series to readers looking for a thrilling contemporary fiction or exciting boarding school book with likable characters caught in one epic chess game of secrets. Highly recommended to anyone.

Notes on content [based on ARC]: Lola occasionally uses some moderate British swearing that won’t register with American readers. It also just states a character sometimes swears without saying what they said. No sexual content. The Order makes some nasty threats and a couple people are endangered (one push down some stairs, another person in a fist fight, another person jumps out of a moving car) but no one is seriously hurt.

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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The Secret of White Stone Gate was a fun middle grade book about three best friends at an English boarding school banding together to solve a mystery: who stole the charity money they helped raise. I liked all the characters. Emmy was a great main character and her friends, Lola and Jack are also well written. I did guess one of the plot twists but not both. But it was also slightly problematic for me as it had too many plot parallels to Harry Potter. Three best friends solving mysteries in an English boarding school with the help of their teachers. One teacher was the leader of the “bad kids”. But the kicker was, Emmy was to live with her mean aunt while not at school. Had Harry Potter never been written this might have been a little better for me but then maybe the author wouldn’t have had any ideas for her book.
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The Secret if the White Stone Gate is a great adventure book. The characters are engaging, especially Emmy ,and the story is interesting enough to keep me hooked and turning the page to know more, Hope to read the next book in the series soon.
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In The Secret of White Stone Gate, loyalties and friendships are tested as the Order of the Black Hollow Lane blackmail, threaten, and do whatever else they can think up with the goal of convincing Emmy to give them what they want – her father.

The end of the summer break is finally over and Emmy is excited to be heading back to school, with one exception. Her mother is now requiring her to check in with some family members who live in England – family members whose only concerned that Emmy might hurt their reputation. Thankfully, they aren’t the only new characters and this year we get to meet Jack’s younger brother, Oscar, and a new transfer student, Sam, (Emmy may or may not have a small crush on Sam).

One of my favorite parts of this series is how well you get the overall sense and feeling of being inside of a boarding school. The author uses the different personalities and their varying interests to give the boarding school a more complete, well-rounded feel that to be honest sometimes other boarding school books miss out on.

I’d love to say that the members of the Order of the Black Hollow Lane have seen the light and mended their evil ways, but sadly this is not the case. At least our trio of heroes are a little wiser in who to watch out for and in knowing what is going on. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel quite as cloak-and-dagger as the previous book, but there is a still enough going on to keep readers interest.

Rating: 4 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for the advanced reader copy and the opportunity to provide an honest review.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited when I got this book because I loved the first one so much. This book was soo good!! I read the entire book in one day and I loved it! These characters are all so compelling and fun; I was easily able to jump right back into the story. I loved the mystery in this book—such a great series! The pacing, plot, and characters were all great and I completely adored this book!

This was a strong second book in this middle grade series and I am excited for the next installment!

This review will be posted immediately on GoodReads and a shortened review can be found on my Instagram on 18 Feb 2020.
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I am really enjoying this series!  The characters are great and the mystery keeps you wanting to know more.  I look forward to the next book to see what happens to the Emmy and the others.
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In this sequel to The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane, Emmy flies back to England and her new friends at the Wellsworth boarding school for another semester of intrigue and mystery. Details needed from the first book are seamlessly woven into the early chapters, so the reader is smoothly launched into this new adventure.

The plot jumps into high gear as the secretive Order pressures Emmy to reveal her father’s location. Other than a cryptic note to “Trust no one”, Emmy’s had no recent communication from her dad and is clueless as to his whereabouts. Thirteen-year-old Emmy realizes she barely knows her father; she hasn't spent time with him since age three, and questions whether even he is trustworthy. So as the Order’s threats against Emmy’s friends and family escalate, she scrambles to decide who to trust with her secrets. 

Trust plays a central role in the story in many forms. Whether it’s cautiously given or firmly denied, rock solid or broken apart, the question of trust drives the plot’s twists and turns.  The climax is tense and fast paced and the ending is marvelous. Author Julia Nobel’s solidly-written, feisty, very believable characters of Emmy, Lola, Jack and new character Sam are ones a middle grade reader will enjoy.

Overall, The Secret of White Stone Gate is a fun read and the kind of novel a mystery-loving middle grade reader would gladly curl up with.

I received an advance e-arc of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, THE MYSTERY OF BLACK HOLLOW LANE, and I've been looking forward to reading the sequel. 

Emmy returns to Wellsworth for her second year, desperately hoping the drama from last year is over, but she learns very quickly that is not the case. Louisa is expelled from school for a crime that she did not commit, and the Emmy and Jack are determined to figure out who set her up and how to get her back. But it's difficult to know who to trust, and some friends are true, while others are not. Emmy quickly discovers that she is a pawn in a game she never agreed to play, but the stakes are high as the lives of her friends and family are at risk.

This is a good sequel for kids who enjoyed the first book, and leaves room for another book (books?) in the series to follow. I enjoyed the character development, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
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Julia Nobel has done it again! This book is an incredible addition to the series. The story is absolutely captivating. I  can't wait of more.
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