Monday, November 15, 2010

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

GENRE

Y.A. Historical Fiction (365 pgs.)


SYNOPSIS

Although Nefertiti is the dutiful daughter of a commoner, her inquisitive mind often gets her into situations that are far from ordinary, like recieving secret lessons from a scribe. And her striking beauty garners attention that she'd just as soon avoid, especially when it comes to her aunt, the manipulative Queen Tiye, who has set her sights on Nefertiti. The queen wants to use her niece as a pawn in her quest for power, and Nefertiti must leave her beloved family and enter a life filled with courtly intrigue and danger. But her spirit and mind will not rest as she continues to challenge herself and the boundaries of ancient Egyptian society. With control of a kingdom at stake and threats at every turn, Nefertiti is forced to make choices and stand up for her beliefs in ways she never imagined.


MY REVIEW

Esther Friesner has slowly but surely become one of my favorite YA Historical Fiction authors. And once again, she delivers the goods in this story of yet another famous female historical figure.

I was really enchanted by Nefertiti's character in this novel. She's not just another cookie-cutter YA Historical Fiction female protagonist... she has flaws, which make her extremely believeable and likeable as a person. Esther Friesner gives a soul, a voice to the famous historical name, and I love how she does that. Now, when I read another boring passage about Nefertiti in a history book, I can think of Esther Friesner's Nefertiti, and a whole new person comes to life on the pages in front of me.

Ms. Friesner also succeeds in writing a killer plot! Wow! There are twists and turns, lots of court intrigue, and deceptions that literally had my jaw dropping. I really enjoyed having an exciting plot... I mean come on, what reader doesn't?

All of Friesner's characters are extremely well-written, as usual. She gives a unique voice to each of them. From Nefertiti's manipulative Aunt Tiye, to the deceitful Prince Thutmose, to the kind and loving Amenophis, each character has a voice, and an important role to play in the story. Esther Friesner does not cut corners here.

But the one thing I love most about Esther Friesner's writing is the historical accuracy. My goodness, it doesn't get any better than this. By far one of the best novels I've read from a historical stand point. The settings are lush and beautiful. I am in ancient Egypt. Esther Friesner also does a great job at helping the reader to understand the complicated Ancient Egyptian religious system. I actually didn't fully understand it up until I read this book. But wow, the descriptions and history are spot on.

Ancient Egypt has always fascinated me from when I was a small child. This is the ultimate historical fiction novel for Ancient Egypt lovers. The history is truly amazing. Once again, Esther Friesner delivers a powerful historical fiction novel jamp packed with a great female protagonist, believeable characters, dramatic plot twists, and amazing setting. A truly great read!


MY RATING

4.5****/*



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (15)

Happy Monday everyone! Sorry for the lack of posting... someone seemed to have pushed the overload button on my schoolwork. Anywho, hope you all have a great week!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

Currently I'm Reading:

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson




Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Haul: Borders

Hello all! I apologize for not posting anything recently... I'm hoping this new haul I picked up today will quickly make amends. I've decided to go on somewhat of a hardcover fast, the reason being that 1. They take up too much space that I just don't have anymore, and 2. They're just more expensive. I was delighted today to find paperback selections in 3 of my favorite genres: YA Historical Fiction, Fairytale Retelling, and Adult Historical Fiction. So here is today's paperback haul, and a sneak peak of each. Enjoy!


The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (Fairytale Retelling)

Set in the fictional medieval German town of Hagenheim, this historical romance covers the eight-month period before Lord Hamlin, the duke's eldest son, weds his betrothed, Lady Salomea, who's being kept in hiding from the evil Moncore, a conjurer determined to control her with demonic possession. But Hamlin's first meeting with the young beauty, Rose (the woodcutter's daughter, training with the castle healer), reveals that they are a match made in heaven; their shared moral rectitude and devotion to duty place many obstacles in their path before Rose's true identity can be revealed.


Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner (YA Historical Fiction)

Although Nefertiti is the dutiful daughter of a commoner, her inquisitive mind often gets her into situations that are far from ordinary, like receiving secret lessons from a scribe. And her striking beauty garners attention that she'd just as soon avoid, especially when it's her aunt, the manipulative Queen Tiye, who has set her sights on Nefertiti. The queen wants to use her niece as a pawn in her quest for power, so Nefertiti must leave her beloved family and enter a life filled with courtly intrigue and danger. But her spirit and mind will not rest as she continues to challenge herself and the boundaries of ancient Egyptian society. With control of a kingdom at stake and threats at every turn, Nefertiti is forced to make choices and stand up for her beliefs in ways she never imagined.


The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick (Historical Fiction)

Married to a king incompetent both on the throne and in bed, Emma does not love her husband. But she does love England. Even as her husband fails, Emma vows to protect her people-no matter what. For five decades, through love and loss, prosperity and exile, Emma fights for England, becoming the only woman to have been anointed, crowned, and reigning queen to two different kings, the mother of two more, and the great aunt of William the Conqueror.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (7)

It's finally the weekend, which means time for another hop! Hosted by the lovely Crazy-For-Books.

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This week's question comes from Crazy-For-Books:

What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter what the cost?

Okay, sorry to be unoriginal here, but it would have to be a library. And not just any library... I'm talkin' Beauty and the Beast status, every-book-ever-published library. Complete with many comfy chairs, a huge fireplace, and of course BOOKS. I say this because I am constantly running out of room to store my books; my room is very small, and I've already added an extra 3 bookshelves, which I've already filled up.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Greetings and happy Tuesday. I'm pleased to share with you today a small teaser from my new book, the first Jane Austen sequel ever created, Old Friends and New Fancies. Enjoy!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teasers:

"'Oh, no, Miss Crawford, you must appear,' said Darcy. 'We are all too bad, with our jokes about her [Lady Catherine], for really she means to be very kind. But we have got into shocking ways since my wife married into the family.'

'On the contrary, I think I have educated you all admirably.'"

--pg. 32, Old Friends and New Fancies by Sybil G. Brinton



Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (14)

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you've had a great start to your week.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Currently I'm Reading:

Old Friends and New Fancies by Sybil G. Brinton




Friday, October 22, 2010

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

GENRE

YA Historical Fiction (321 pgs.)

SYNOPSIS

An orphan, young Lady Catherine rises to become one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite maids of honor--until her romance with the dashing adventurer Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a fit of jealousy, the queen banishes Cate to the fledgling colony on Roanoke Island.
Sustained by the hope that Sir Walter will soon join her, Cate learns to face the unexpected hardships and dangers of the New World. Torn by conflict and mistrust, and with their numbers dwindling, the colonists are forced to rely on Manteo, a mysterious Croatoan Indian, for their survival. Manteo, who calls Cate his Moon Maiden...
But is Manteo truly a friend, or will he betray the English to their enemies? And Sir Walter in England--has he forgotten his beloved, or will he come to claim her? As the months pass without rescue, Cate turns her gaze from the past and considers the possibility of a new love. Then one day a ship arrives--and Cate must make an agonizing choice.

MY REVIEW

Lisa Klein, in my opinion, is one of the best YA authors out there. I love her historical fiction books, because she always puts a new twist on famous events, stories, and legends. However, this book seemed to be one exception.

I really wanted to fall in love with this book, but I just couldn't. When I first picked it up, I was so excited to read it! My history-geek brain was drooling... this is one of my favorite time periods in history, and written by such a brilliant author. But this one sort of fell short.

Cate, our heroine, I could never really connect/sympathize with. She just never really fascinated me. She didn't grab my attention. Sure, she was brave and adventurous, willing to befriend the Indians, which I think is great, but she came off as rather flat to me, emotional wise.

I think the best-written character in this book was a tie between Sir Walter Ralegh/Manteo. Both had complex challenges and problems to face, but overcame them. Both showed devotion to the ones they loved. Both fought hard to keep the fledgling colony alive. I really admired these two, for all they sacrificed.

I also didn't like the way Lisa Kelin portrayed Queen Elizabeth I in this book, but I think that's just bias on my part. Court life back then was a lot more treacherous than I think we see it today. Royalty was fickle; even the ones who seemed "perfect" had their faults.

The middle-back half of the book was hard to get through. Bascially, the Indians, led by the war-hungry Wanchese, and the colonists go back and forth in what seems like an endless tug of war. It actually became quite annoying after a while. No one could decide who to trust, people kept attacking other people, opinions were divided... no one could agree on anything. I was so relieved when SPOLIER Manteo finally killed Wanchese END SPOILER. After that, the plot healed itself.

The romance between Sir Walter and Cate was hard to grasp. It was a little unrealistic when Cate was at the colony and she was longing after Sir Walter... he never told her that he loved her, ever. And yet, she was expecting him to come to her rescue. Just a bit fanciful, in my humble opinion.

I did like the ending of the book, however. SPOILER The fact that Cate ends up with Manteo instead of the perfect Mr. Ralegh was very refreshing. END SPOILER That ended the book on a good note for me.

Another plus side was the historical detail. Ms. Klein gets an A+ in that category! It is perfectly researched and really gives you a picture of how hard life was for those unfortunate colonists. And to my delight, she includes an Author's Note in the back to explain the history behind her story, which I always love and appreciate.

All in all, this book was a bit of a letdown. Not one of Lisa Klein's greatest. If you want to see Lisa Klein at her best, I strongly recommend Ophelia. Now that was a great book.

MY RATING

3.5***/*



Book Blogger Hop (6)

It's the weekend, which means time for another hop! Hosted by the lovely Crazy-For-Books.

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This week's question comes from Becky who blogs at Becky's Barmy Book Blog:

Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?

My go-to spot to read is always my room, therefore my bed. I get really OCD sometimes about distractions when I read, as I want to really experience the book and let it take me where it will. If I'm ever home alone, maybe the sofa, but it's usually my room.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, on Her Way to Botany Bay by L.A. Meyer

GENRE

Y.A. Historical Fiction (552 pgs.)

SYNOPSIS

Jacky Faber's longtime dream has come true: she is the owner of the Lorelei Lee, a large brigantine that can carry passengers across the Atlantic in legal trade. The owner of Faber Shipping Worldwide, she is newly rich from her exploits diving for Spanish gold and absolved of past sins against the Crown. Yet when she docks in London to take on her crew, she discovers that her enemies Flashby and Bliffil have spread lies about her--and she is immediately arrested and sentenced to life in the newly formed penal colony in Australia.
Adding insult to injury, the Lorelei Lee has been commandeered to carry 250 female convicts (including several of the founding mothers of Australia--and the occupants of more than one brothel) to populate New South Wales. Never one to wallow in a bad situation, Jacky rallies her convict sisters to make the best of their position. That they do, for a voyage filled with wild escapades and brushes with danger.
As the Lorelei Lee journeys to New South Wales, Jacky meets up with friends and foes from her past, is captured by the fanes female Chinese pirate Cheng Shih, reclaims her beloved Lorelei Lee--and eventually sails into Jaimy's arms. Well, maybe.

MY REVIEW

To start things off, I have to say that this is the best YA historical fiction series I have ever read. L.A. Meyer is a fantastic author, and I have a tremendous ammount of respect for him.

And by the by, if you are new to the series, please start with Book 1 (Bloody Jack)!! If you start with this book, you will be completely and utterly lost. These characters have been developing over the course of a now 8-book series.

Good ol' Jacky Faber, you have been like a best friend to me, truly. Her character is by far the best written female heroine. Sure, she's a bit rough around the edges (hey, she used to be a street urchin for crying out loud), but she truly sparkles. She has such a sense of humor, and an unquenchable thirst for danger and adventure. She is not afraid to tell it like it is, and when she wants something, she goes to get it, whatever the cost. So thank you, L.A. Meyer, for inventing the most dynamic character and sharing her story with me. I really am thankful that you did.

Speaking of characters, L.A. Meyer is the man who knows how to write them. Every single character is special in their own right, every character has some part to play in the story, and I love that. It draws me into the story all the more. And believe me, there are so many characters in this book you'll be able to sympathize with someone!

This book was so refreshing! Jacky is finally back to her old adventures. I think Mr. Meyer kind of strayed from that in books 6 & 7, and now he's back on the high road. It's a classic pirate's tale, and Jacky always finds a way to weasel herself out of danger.

Don't even get me started on the historical accuracy. It's impeccable. Mr. Meyer being a veteran of the U.S. navy helps out so much, because when it comes to sailing and the ocean, he knows what he's talking about. Especially in this installment, with the history of Austrailia and such. So much detail about history goes into each one of his books, and I truly thank him for that as well. He does his research, and it's quite obvious!

This book is jam packed with action and adventure! I could hardly put this book down; it just kept going and going! It's a true pirate's story. Jacky's journey never ends, and I think that's one of the beauties of this book. Jacky's journey will just keep going on and on forever. I know that sounds a bit cheesy, but I believe it.

I would reccomend this series to anyone without a second's hesitation. It is truly the best series I've ever read (have I stressed that enough?), and this installment goes back to the pirate roots of Jacky Faber that I know and love. And, to my great excitement, there's still more books to come!

MY RATING

5*****



Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (13)

Happy Monday everyone! Just wanted to let you all know that this week is going to be very busy for me, so I might be a little "dead." I apologize in advance.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:


Currently I'm Reading:




Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (5)

It's the weekend, which means time for another hop! Hosted by the lovely Crazy-For-Books.

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This week's question comes from Christina who blogs at The Paper Back Princesses:

When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?

When I have the unfortunate chance of picking up a book that doesn't exactly go over well with me (which only happens to me every once in a blue moon, thank goodness), I always try and stick it out till the end. That is, unless I have a huge pile to get through, but I usually don't. I like to give the book a fair chance.



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (3)

Greetings and happy Tuesday. I'm pleased to share with you today a small teaser from my new book, The Wake of the Lorelei Lee. Enjoy!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teasers:

"So anyway, here I am with this fine ship all outfitted and ready to go, awaiting word from my darling Jaimy, back in London, that my name has been cleared of all charges against it and that I am back in the good graces of the King, upon which word I shall immediately set sail for Merrie Olde England and--finally!--marriage to Leutenant James Emerson Fletcher. Hooray!"

--pg. 10, The Wake of the Lorelei Lee by L.A. Meyer



Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Haul: Borders

I am happy to report the findings today of two new novels to add to my library. I can't wait to dive into these two... I bow down to both of these authors. They have been on my wishlist for so long! Here's a sneak peak...

The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, on Her Way to Botany Bay by L.A. Meyer (Y.A. Historical Fiction)

Jacky Faber, rich from her exploits diving for Spanish gold, has purchased the Lorelei Lee to carry passengers across the Atlantic. Believing she has been absolved of past sins against the Crown, Jacky docks in London to take on her crew, but is instead arrested and sentenced to life in the newly formed penal colony in Australia.
To add insult to injury, the Lorelei Lee is confiscated to carry Jacky and more than 200 female convicts to populate New South Wales. Not one to give in to self pity, Jacky rallies her sisters to "better" their position--resulting in wild escapades, brushes with danger, and much hilarity. Will Jacky find herself a founding mother of New South Wales, Australia? Not if she has anything to do about it!


Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

Lady Catherine is one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite court maidens—until her forbidden romance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a bitter twist of irony, the jealous queen banishes Cate to Ralegh's colony of Roanoke, in the New World. Ralegh pledges to come for Cate, but as the months stretch out, Cate begins to doubt his promise and his love. Instead it is Manteo, a Croatoan Indian, whom the colonists—and Cate—increasingly turn to. Yet just as Cate's longings for England and Ralegh fade and she discovers a new love in Manteo, Ralegh will finally set sail for the New World.
Seamlessly weaving together fact with fiction, Lisa Klein's newest historical drama is an engrossing tale of adventure and forbidden love—kindled by one of the most famous mysteries in American history: the fate of the settlers at Roanoke, who disappeared without a trace forty years before the Pilgrims would set foot in Plymouth.



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (12)

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all have a great start to your week. And more importantly happy Columbus Day!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:


Currently I'm Reading:




Saturday, October 9, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (4)

Time for another hop! Hosted by the lovely Crazy-For-Books.

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This week's question comes from Suko who blogs at Suko's Notebook:

What's your favorite beverage while reading or blogging, if any? Is it tea, coffee, water, a glass of wine, or something else?

Well, considering that I am not over 21, wine is definitely out of the question. I ususally don't drink anything while I'm reading/blogging. I guess if I'm in the right mood and I want to feel super booky and romantic, I'll make myself a cup of tea and be fancy. But that's on rare occasions.




Friday, October 8, 2010

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

GENRE

Classic Literature / Fiction (194 pgs.)


SYNOPSIS

Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for astute social observation and sparkling prose to The Picture of Dorian Gray, his dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged—petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral—while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying, enchanting, obsessing, even corrupting readers for more than a hundred years.
Taking the reader in and out of London drawing rooms, to the heights of aestheticism, and to the depths of decadence, The Picture of Dorian Gray is not only a melodrama about moral corruption. Laced with bon mots and vivid depictions of upper-class refinement, it is also a fascinating look at the milieu of Wilde’s fin-de-siècle world and a manifesto of the creed “Art for Art’s Sake.”


MY REVIEW

I have always wanted to read this book. I had heard from many others that this was a great classic fiction read, and being the classic fiction afficionado that I am, I just had to try it.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, to put it frankly, is one huge mind game. This philosophy in here will literally blow your mind. The way our main antagonist, Lord Henry Wotton thinks--how he views the world--is absolutely astounding. This heavy philosophical factor was both a good and bad thing... on one hand, it makes the reader really think, really presents them with a new perspective. But on the other hand, during some passages, I actually had to stop and comprehend what I was reading, which got a bit tedious at some points. But I really enjoyed that element of the book.

I loved Lord Henry Wotton's character. He's the kind of man who you should be best friends with, and whom you should never be enemies with. His witty quips and his philosophies about life are amazing. In some ways, by bringing out your "bad self," he makes you show your true character, your true colors. And I quite enjoyed that about him.

Poor Dorian Gray. If that's not a tortured soul, I don't know what is. He starts off a perfectly, well, perfect human being, but thanks to the corruption of Lord Henry, he becomes a dark, twisted being who drives people to suicide on more than one account and is capable of murder. His hunt for eternal perfection, eternal youth ends up killing him in the end. Such a tragic man, but such a dynamic character at the same time. He stands for so much in this story.

I loved the fact that just because this novel is set in Victorian England doesn't mean its tea parties and balls all of the time. Oscar Wilde did an outstanding job with writing the scenery in this novel. It's really reflective of Dorian Gray's character. In the beginning, when Dorian was still "pure," the sceneries are lush, romantic, typical Victorian-esque settings. But when Dorian turns darker, so does the world around him. London becomes a dark place... it becomes less of the prim and proper, and more seedy taverns and opium dens. I really admired Wilde's writing of the setting... it just brought everything together.

The ending is so epic! It couldn't have ended better in my opinion. This is one of those times where I have to say, "you just have to read it for yourself."

Overall, Dorian Gray was quite a twisted story. Don't go into reading this book thinking it's a typical classic Victorian novel... it is far from that. The dialogue is mind bending, the scenery fantastic, and the characters incredibly dynamic. If you are a classic literature lover, this is a must read! In fact, it's a must read for everyone!


MY RATING

5*****




Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (11)

Alas, the start of another week. But happy Monday anyways!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher

Currently I'm Reading:




Friday, September 17, 2010

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher

GENRE

Y.A. Historical Fiction (349 pgs.)


SYNOPSIS

When Ruby Jacinski meets bad boy Paulie Suelze at a dance, it's not just their perfect kiss that has Ruby spinning when the night is over. Paulie gives Ruby and idea--one that just might rescue her from dull factory work. Jobs are scarce in 1940s Chicago, but Paulie tells Ruby about a place where she can work as a taxi dancer--a girl paid ten cents a dance to lead lonely men around the floor. It's an intoxicating world of dance halls, fancy dresses, and jazz--and Ruby thinks she's finally found a way out of the tenements. But it's not all romance and glamour, and soon Ruby is in over her head. Her regular patrons want more than just a dance, she's struggling to keep her job a secret from her family, and Paulie has stolen her heart... even though she's still not sure she has his.



MY REVIEW

When I first stumbled upon this book at Borders, I knew I was going to take it home right that minute. Key word: 1940s. I live and breath the 1940s! I love the music, the fashion, the life... basically everything. So just off the bat I have to say kudos to Christine Fletcher for thinking outside the box and writing a Y.A. novel about the 1940s.

Our main character Ruby is more of a diamond in the rough type. She's decent and good on the inside, but the situations she finds herself in and the choices she makes aren't all that great. For example, her boy Paulie is introduced to us as a bad guy. When Paulie shows up, everyone knows who's boss. He's been kicked out of the army and is just a pretty sketchy figure in general. But still, Ruby hangs on to him. Even then she has the nerve to act surprised when SPOILER she finds out that Paulie has shot someone, stole his moeny and his car? END SPOILER Really? I could've seen that coming a mile away. But I guess that's the beauty of being 16 and "in love"... lessons must be learned.

The character I really, REALLY liked was Peggy DeGroot. Even just from Peggy's description:

"She looked about twenty, with the most perfect waves in her reddish brown hair... She had a crooked tooth in front, pushing a little ahead of the others. Freckles and clear hazel eyes.

'Ruby Jacinski.' I shook her hand. 'I love your nails.'

They were long and rounded, painted carmine red with the moons left bare" (38-39).

When I was reading that I thought to myself, "That's me." It was like Christine Fletcher was describing me. Even down to the freckles and the nails! Even that coincidence aside, Peggy is the most admirable character in this novel. She isn't afraid to tell it like it is, and she puts her heart into everything she does.

The history in this book was absolutely fantastic! Christine Fletcher did such an amazing job with researching every little detail about Chicago in the 40s. The only problem is I wish I was there!

The only thing that could've been better about this book was the writing. I felt like I really had to get into Ruby's character in order to sympathize with her. Also, some plot events in the novel seemed too good to be true... it seemed like some stuff that happened in the book wouldn't happen in real life. But I guess that's fiction for you.

All in all, a good read, especially for someone like me who adores the 40s!



MY RATING

4****



Follow Friday (4)

Happy Friday everyone! The weekend is finally here, and it couldn't have come a moment too soon.


To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host {
Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list
Follow our Featured Bloggers -
http://baileysbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!



Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (10)

Happy Monday everyone! It just so happens to be my tenth "It's Monday!"

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Currently I'm Reading:

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Haul: Borders

Greetings and happy Sunday everyone! I had the fortunate chance to stop by Borders today. No, I didn't come back with a huge haul, but it's enough to make me happy... for now. Here's a sneak peak at my two new titles...


Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher (Genre: Y.A. Historical Fiction)

With her mother ill, it's up to fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski to support her family. But in the 1940s, the only opportunities open to a Polish-American girl from Chicago's poor Yards is a job in one of the meat-packing plants. Through a chance meeting with a local tough, Ruby lands a job as a taxi dancer—a girl paid ten cents to dance with any man—and soon becomes an expert in the art of "fishing" as she works her patrons for meals, clothes, even jewelry. Drawn ever deeper into the world of dance halls, jazz, and the mob, Ruby gradually realizes that the only one who can save her is herself.


The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Genre: Fiction / Classic Literature)

A dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged—petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral—while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying, enchanting, obsessing, even corrupting readers for more than a hundred years. Taking the reader in and out of London drawing rooms, to the heights of aestheticism, and to the depths of decadence, The Picture of Dorian Gray is not only a melodrama about moral corruption.



Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday is for Fairytales (4)

Friday is for Fairytales is a meme hosted by Irena at This Miss Loves to Read. Every Friday, you can choose a fairytale you love, or simply find interesting or haunting, and review it or simply say why you like it so much, or why it has captured your attention. Instead of a fairytale, you can choose a favourite fairytale character and describe him/her and tell us why you like them, or you can simply share an experience connected to a fairytale. Fairytales can be old and modern, written by a known author or anonymous, written down or passed on orally, short or in novel form (like re-writings of fairytales), international or typical for your country alone. In this case, present your country’s fairytale and we can all become acquainted with a new fairytale. So, make a post every Friday that is connected to the world of fairytales, be it a review, a character description or your own fairytale experience. Let’s celebrate fairytales and share our love for them.


MY POST IS ABOUT: Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault

Sleeping Beauty, for me, represents all that a classic fairy tale should be. You've got the good side, and you've got the powerful evil side. You've got a beautiful, lovely princess, and you've got a handsome prince charming. Plus, a clever story to boot. What else could you ask for?

Sleeping Beauty, I have come to discover, is not your typical fairy tale princess. I mean, she's no Belle or anything, but she faces alot of challenges of her own. How would you feel if you knew that on your 16th birthday you were cursed to either fall asleep for a hundred years or die? I think the Disney version of this movie REALLY emphasizes all of the distress that Sleeping Beauty goes through, which is quite a lot.

There's nothing like a handsome prince charming fighting dragons and evil witches to come and rescue you. I think that this story is so romantic. The Prince and Sleeping Beauty are destined to be together, and no magic, evil or good, can get in the way of that.

This has been one of my favorites since I was a small child. I always used to love to pretend that I was Sleeping Beauty, lying peacefully sleeping, just waiting for my prince charming to come and sweep me off my feet.



Book Blogger Hop (3)

Time for another hop!! Hosted by the wonderful Crazy-For-Books.

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!
This week's question/topic comes from:

Post a link to a favorite post or book review you have written in the past 3 months.

I decided to post a link to a review that I wrote actually just two days ago. This book review was for The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. This was one of my favorites/the most special because this book was such a journey for me, and to finish and review it was really an accomplishment.




Follow Friday (3)

Happy Friday everyone!! It's the weekend finally!! For those who are back in school like me... I hope it's not kicking your butt too much yet. :)


To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list
Follow our Featured Bloggers - http://readingangel002.blogspot.com/
Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

GENRE

Fiction/Fantasy/Arthurian Legend (876 pgs.)


SYNOPSIS

The Arthurian legend is well-known by many, but in The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley approaches it in an entirely new way: from the perspective of the women involved in the story. We hear of Arthur's conception and birth from his mother, the courageous Igraine, and there are several scenes told from Guinevere's point of view, but the most intriguing and dominant character in the book is Morgaine, Igraine's first child, whose destiny lies not with the Christian future of England but on the enchanted isle of Avalon.

This hauntingly beautiful book spins a legend of the closing days of Avalon's rule, as paganism and worship of the Goddess give way to Christianity and its male God. Morgaine's tales of a life lived between the worlds of faerie and humanity, as she watches all the things she loves fade away into the mists, is tragic and moving, and will stay with the reader long after the tale closes.


MY REVIEW

Drumroll please! I am very pleased to announce that I have finally FINISHED the Mists of Avalon!! Now, onto the review.

I am so devotedly passionate about Arthurian legend. It has become so much a part of me over the past few years. It holds and will always hold a special place in my heart.

My Aunt was kind enough to let me borrow this book from her. I was a bit stunned by its sheer size at first (876 pgs and the smallest print I've seen), but I take a sick delight in long novels... the more the merrier, right? I couldn't wait to dive into this one, being the Arthurian junkie that I am, but boy, I did not know what I was getting myself into.

First of all, this book takes you on a journey. I spent 3 months of my life devoted to the reading of this single book. It is a saga, a legend, a journey through history. When reading this book, you have to be willing to let it take you wherever it will...

Marion Bradley, rest her soul, has written something so epic, so special I can hardly believe it. The pure detail that went into this book is really amazing, let alone the historical accuracy. Almost every single aspect of the Arthurian legends are present here in some way; she included everything (I mean everything!).

The characters... wow. Such a broad, diverse spectrum! From the chaste and beautiful Gwenhwyfar to the deeply devoted and passionate Morgaine, to the evil and scheming Queen Morgause... I think Ms. Bradley could have written individual books on each of these characters! But each one captures your attention and your heart, and really pulls you into the legend. I cared about these characters so much!

Speaking of characters, there is the matter of Lancelot and Guinevere (in my opinion, the greatest love story of all time). Ms. Bradley handled this side of the legends beautifully. Of course, Lance and Gwen didn't get the ending that I think they deserve (when do they ever do?), but Bradley wrote their story so well I found myself in tears at the end.

I had mixed feelings about Morgaine, on whom much of this book is based upon. Her devotion to the Godess and the rule of Avalon was a conflict for me, since this ended up partly bringing on the downfall of Camelot in the end. But I think that the ending truly makes up for that fact, when Morgaine realizes that all religions and people were one, and that "her work was done" (876).

The only downfall to this book was religion. Ms. Bradley shapes most of the story around it, and it can be a bit tedious at times. The themes she presented about religion were really swe-inspiring, but it seemed like at some points it was a constant back and forth about religion. I just wished maybe she could have focused more on the actual legends and the characters that the religious and theologous aspect of it. But it was a small downfall that I tried no to pay to much attention to, and I think the ending COMPLETELY makes up for all of my doubts.

This book is a tremendous addition to the library of Arthurian legend. If you are a fanatic like me, you MUST read this book! I probably didn't even do it justice in my review. Take the journey, read the legend!


MY RATING

5*****



Appropriateness Factors:

Just a small warning... this is an adult fiction book, and being so, there are a few sex scenes in this book. Take it for what it's worth.




Monday, September 6, 2010

I Am Rembrandt's Daughter by Lynn Cullen

GENRE

Y.A. Historical Fiction (292 pgs.)


SYNOPSIS

Rembrandt van Rijn was once the most admires and respected artist in Amsterdam. But as Rembrandt teeters on the brink of madness, only his daughter, Cornelia, cares enough to stay by his side--though she too is haunted by secrets and scandal.

With her mother dead of the plague and her brother newly married, Cornelia is left without a friend or confidante. But she steals happiness from her growing relationship with Carel, the wealthy son of a shipping magnate, and the dark and brooding Neel, her father's last remaining pupil. Carel's passion for the arts stirs something in Cornelia, but Neel's devotion to her father touches her. With two suitors who are unfazed by her family's drama, Cornelia must find the path to her heart.


MY REVIEW

Cornelia van Rijn, the daughter of one of the world's most renown painters, is a homey sort of gal with a big heart and huge dreams. She has a father who sometimes embarrasses her, dreams of marrying the handsome, rich merchant down the street, but ends up falling for the her best friend, the man she's truly loved all along. Almost just like me... well, about 400 years later.

This book is really beautifully written. Sometimes the prose is plain and unadorned, which I think reflects on the meticulous and pristine Dutch culture of that time period. But when Cornelia visits her sister-in-law (who is quite wealthy), as a reader you can really feel Cornelia is out of her element, with 'silk this' and 'china that', 'gold this' and 'silver that'. I love how Lynn Cullen uses the culture and society to really influence her writing and make the history more "liveable" to the readers. You really sense the dramatic change between scenes with the middle class and the upper crust.

I also loved the fact that at certain places in the book, Lynn Cullen inserts a small chapter recounting Cornelia's past, and each of these flash back chapters are accompanied by one of Rembrandt's famous paintings. This kind of relates the story behind each of his paintings, and I thought that was really awesome, not just for the cool back-story, but for the art history as well.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book was that Cornelia didn't end up with her "dream suitor" in the end (a.k.a the rich, handsome merchant). I thought it was downright refreshing for the heroine NOT to end up with her "prince charming." Well, I kind of take that back. She DID end up with her prince charming, it's just not the prince charming she was expecting. It was the prince charming that was with her all along, and she didn't even know it. I think that that is even more romantic for me. :)

Getting inside of Rembrandt's head in this book is really interesting. Books that revolve around famous artists are always interesting for me. Art is such a dynamic subject and such a reflection of culture that I always enjoy a book about it (especially a historical fiction book about it).

All in all, this is a tremendous read. I love Cornelia's strong-hearted character and the way Lynn Cullen steeped this book in 17th century Dutch culture. Super good!! Love the art history as well. A great read!!


MY RATING

4.5****/*



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (9)

Happy Monday!! Just wanted to start off by apologizing for going completely AWOL for a week. Unfortunately, school has once again taken the top spot on my priorities list, however much I want to fight it. But today I'm going to fix that with a new review!! Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.

P.S. I have like 30 pages left of Mists!! I will have it DONE (finally) sometime this week, I promise!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Currently I'm Reading:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley



Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (9)

Happy Monday everyone!! Unfortunately, there's nothing new on my reading list... yes, I'm still climbing the mountain that is Mists of Avalon. But I'm delighted to let you know I'm SO CLOSE to finishing!! In the meantime, I have some new reviews I'll be posting ASAP! Thanks for being patient with me. :)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Currently, I'm Reading:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (3)

Time for another hop!! Hosted by the lovely Crazy-for-Books.

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This week's question comes from Books Are A Girls Best Friend!
Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

I do use a rating system for my book reviews. I feel that a rating system really reiterates what you personally thought about the book, just in case it was a bit unclear to readers in your review. Plus, I just think it's fun to do! My rating system is a simple 5***** rating system, with 5***** being the highest and 1* being the lowest.




Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday is for Fairytales (3)

Friday is for Fairytales is a meme hosted by Irena at This Miss Loves to Read. Every Friday, you can choose a fairytale you love, or simply find interesting or haunting, and review it or simply say why you like it so much, or why it has captured your attention. Instead of a fairytale, you can choose a favourite fairytale character and describe him/her and tell us why you like them, or you can simply share an experience connected to a fairytale. Fairytales can be old and modern, written by a known author or anonymous, written down or passed on orally, short or in novel form (like re-writings of fairytales), international or typical for your country alone. In this case, present your country’s fairytale and we can all become acquainted with a new fairytale. So, make a post every Friday that is connected to the world of fairytales, be it a review, a character description or your own fairytale experience. Let’s celebrate fairytales and share our love for them.

MY POST IS ABOUT: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I Loved, Loved, LOVED this fairytale when I was growing up. You really can't go wrong with Peter Pan. The cast of characters that Barrie wrote are so diverse, everyone can find something to love about this classic tale. Whether it's pirates, mermaids, or Indians, there's something for the kid inside you.

One of the things I love most about Peter Pan is the theme of a never-ending childhood, never having to grow up. I feel that as I'm growing up, you always kind of look back on the golden age of your childhood and wish for the good old days. Peter Pan reminds you of those times. It reminds you to make sure that you take time out to act like a kid and have fun every once in awhile, or else life is just not worth living. You've got to make sure you can escape to Never-Land every so often. :)

I can seriously remember watching the Disney version of Peter Pan at least once a day when I was a kid. It was that good. I loved the great villains, the mermaids, and of course, Peter himself. Such a classic tale. Peter Pan, put simply, makes me smile.



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award


Greetings everyone! I am so excited and very pleased to announced that Missy of Missy's Reads & Reviews has so kindly bestowed upon me the One Lovely Blog Award!! I am SO incredibly thankful, especially as a relatively new blogger, that I have recieved this award. It means so much to me!! All this hard work has payed off. :)

So, here's how the award works:
1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.


Here are my 15 recipients:



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (2)

Happy Tuesday everybody! Hope your week is going well. Sorry for being a bit stagnant on my reviews... Like I said in my post yesterday, I just started back at school. But I'm going to fix that!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



My Teasers:

'She drew herself up to her full height, and knew that for the first time in many years she spoke mantled in all the power and authority of a priestess of Avalon.
"Hear me, Arthur of Britain! As the force and power of Avalon set you on the throne, so the force and power of Avalon can bring you down into ruin!"'

--pg. 717. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley



Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (8)

Hello again and happy Monday!! Unfortunately for me, today was my first day back at school. Hopefully I won't be too busy! But anyway, there's nothing really new on my reading list at the moment...

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Currently I'm Reading:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley






Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (2)

Yet another hop!! Hosted by the lovely Crazy-for-Books.

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This week's question comes from Libraryscatbooks!
How many blogs do you follow?

I currently follow 34 blogs!! Wow! I didn't even realize how much that was! :)




Follow Friday (2)


To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host {
Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list
Follow our Featured Bloggers -
http://edgyinspirational.blogspot.com/
Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn

GENRE

Y.A. Historical Fiction (319 pgs.)


SYNOPSIS

Daughters of a famed clairvoyant, the five Taylor sisters begin the twentieth century desperately searching for a home. Their mother takes them to the small town of Spirit Vale, where she makes a living of talking to the dead. The future, however, is something even she cannot clearly see.

The Taylor sisters are not destined to stay in Spirit Vale for long. Mimi's fate is mingled with that of rich society, and threatened by a secret surrounding her birth. Jane becomes involved in a feat of scientific intrigue that has the potential to alter the course of history--and the course of her greatest love. The twins, Emma and Amelie, appear ready to follow in their mother's footsteps. And the youngest, Blythe, will stop at nothing to make her dreams of wealth and fame come true.

All of the sisters' destinies converge on board the Titanic. A transatlantic voyage that promises great wonders--including a surprise wedding--soon turns into a fight for survival. Not everyone will make it through... for neither love nor sisterhood can escape the threat of death.

Or can they?


MY REVIEW

"Ah, so it's about the Titanic," I thought when first picking up this book. And let me tell you, that one little 7-letter word carries a LOT of weight and expectations for a story.

First of all, I gotta give this book props on its originality. Definitley complete polar opposite from what I've read and seen about the Titanic. Don't start reading this book thinking it will be just like the movie... it's completely different in its own right, and I think that was refreshing.

I LOVED the historical accuracy in this book! A lot of the time, historical fiction authors like to drop people's names like they're nothing, but not so here!! Ms. Weyn is even researched enough to write a 10-page author's note at the end that is called "What's Real In Distant Waves?" that details everything historical about the book. I absolutely love it when authors include stuff like that... it just makes the story all the more believeable.

I also loved our heroine Jane, because her character was so down-to-earth. She has real embarassments, real emotional challenges that I can relate to, even though I'm living in a different century. I really loved how Ms. Weyn wrote her.

As I said before, I liked the fact that this book had originality, but I didn't like how it came to play out in the book. For one thing, it made the ending super anti-climatic. Let's just say it involves a time machine, and the main characters end up bypassing the actual sinking of the Titanic, which was super dissapointing. I mean, come on... you're going to write about the Titanic but have your characters magically time travel to after the sinking?

Another part of the originality thing was the spirit world element. Basically, the five sisters' lives revolve around their mother, who is a psychic, and that world of spiritualism. I wasn't able to really connect with the book here; it never really spoke to me. It was just a little far out there for me, especially for this "prim and proper" time period.

I also think that having the story time divided up between five sisters was a little overkill. I think Ms. Weyn would have been much better off if she would have stuck with maybe only two sisters, like Jane and Mimi. I don't know... maybe Jane Austen is the only one who can pull off a good five-sister story. :)

Anyway, this book was just so-so in the end. Definitley not really anything special. I wished it could have been a little... more. Cool for the originality factor, but it ended up being too much and, in my opinion, hurting the book in the end.


MY RATING

3***



Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday is for Fairytales (2)

Friday is for Fairytales is a meme hosted by Irena at This Miss Loves to Read. Every Friday, you can choose a fairytale you love, or simply find interesting or haunting, and review it or simply say why you like it so much, or why it has captured your attention. Instead of a fairytale, you can choose a favourite fairytale character and describe him/her and tell us why you like them, or you can simply share an experience connected to a fairytale. Fairytales can be old and modern, written by a known author or anonymous, written down or passed on orally, short or in novel form (like re-writings of fairytales), international or typical for your country alone. In this case, present your country’s fairytale and we can all become acquainted with a new fairytale. So, make a post every Friday that is connected to the world of fairytales, be it a review, a character description or your own fairytale experience. Let’s celebrate fairytales and share our love for them.


MY POST IS ABOUT: Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

Beauty and the Beast, next to The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, is my favorite fairytale of all time. I really love the theme of internal beauty that goes on in this tale. In a world that stresses outer beauty today, it's so refreshing to read a fairytale like this one; one that emphasizes the importance of looking inside for true beauty.

This fairytale is just simply beautiful. Belle, our heroine, is such a strong character, with an amazing heart. She turns what most people would consider a life-ending situation into a happy and fruitful one. She sees the best of things, and ultimately, that translates into how she ends up seeing the Beast, and ends up loving him, despite his appearance.

As far as the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast goes, it is my favorite Disney movie BY FAR. I LOVE how Disney translated this "tale as old as time" onto the screen. Every single time I watch the movie, I feel the power and the beauty of this wonderful fairytale. Belle is strong and has a mind of her own. She's not afraid to be different; she longs for a life outside the norm.

This fairytale is AMAZING, and will remain forever my favorite.

Art © Jackie Sullivan



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (1)

Happy Tuesday everyone! This is my very first Teaser Tuesday!!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teasers:

"They rode out of Meleagrant's castle two hours later, side by side, their hands reaching out between their horses to touch as they rode, and Gwenhwyfar no longer cared; she looked straight at Lancelet, her head held high with joy and gladness. This was her true love, and never again would she trouble herself to hide it from any man."

--pg. 519, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley



Monday, August 9, 2010

Queen's Own Fool by Jane Yolen & Robert Harris

GENRE

Y.A. Historical Fiction (390 pgs.)


SYNOPSIS

Now called La Jardiniére, a resourceful and clever jester to the queen's court, Nicola was a most unlikely person to end up "fool" and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots. But Nicola isn't an ordinary comedian tumbling and clowning before the court; her quick wit and sharp tongue are rare amongst the fawning nobles. As fate takes Mary from France to Scotland, and into confrontations with rebellious lords and devious advisors, Nicola remains deep in the queen's inner circle. But when the Scots start to turn on Queen Mary, Nicola struggles to find something--anything--that she, just a fool, can do to save her friend.


MY REVIEW

The Elizabethan/Tudor time period in English history is one of my favorites. I really, really tried to like this book just for that fact, and for Mary, Queen of Scots. But I really just couldn't.

This novel hardly merits the name of "Historical Fiction." It was very, VERY lax in that area. Besides the place names and the people, it was hardly historical at all. I don't know if the authors were just too lazy to do good research or what, but it showed, and not in a good way. No real sense of the "presence" of history whatsoever.

Mary, Queen of Scots, the person for whom I was so originally interested in this book, remains aloof and distant. I mean sure, Nicola is our main character, but it's Mary Queen of Scots!! Queen Elizabeth I's counterpart! In this book, she does alot of agreeing, shows some strength at times, but not as much as I would have liked her to. I almost think maybe this was due to an unreliable narrator?

Moving on to our heroine Nicola. She started off great... full of witty quips and lovely vivacity. But she definitley didn't age well. As the book moved on, she really lost all of her wit and charm, which I was sorry for.

This book is emotionally DRY. Imagine leaving a wet sponge out in the sun till it shriveled up. Dry and brittle. I really couldn't feel any sympathy for the characters, except maybe a little for Mary at the end. But wow. VERY little emotion in this novel.

This book is SO plainly written! Again, that just ties into the emotionless aspect of it I think. The only really interesting part is Nicola's dialogue at the beginning.

Many of the Scottish nobles were so similar that they confused me. I couldn't keep track of them. Nothing really unique about them. They all played the same part in the same story.

Like I said before, I really wanted to like this book. Here's hoping that some of you out there might be able to.


MY RATING

2.5**/*



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7)

Hello and happy Monday!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey in which we bloggers share what we have read in the past week, and what we're currently tearing through this week.

Last Week I Read:

The Queen's Own Fool by Jane Yolen & Robert Harris

Currently I'm Reading:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley





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