I am completely crazy when it comes to books: there are books I read in under six hours and then books that take me months to finish. Starcrossed took months. I had read Bunce’s fairy tale retelling A Curse Dark as Gold and loved it, so was eager to get a taste of the author’s other works. In the end I loved Starcrossed but it wasn’t until I read 46% of the book on my Kindle that I realized I might feel that way. It was very difficult for me to connect with our protagonist in the early pages, as I just don’t think the way Digger does. Part of me wondered if I really was going to read 300 pages of a teenager eyeing jewelry to steal. Don’t worry, I didn’t. Starcrossed shines as an adventure/mystery that has enough twists and turns to keep the craftiest reader on their toes. There is no romance in this volume (no promises regarding the sequel) but that is not unexpected given the muted nature of the romance in A Curse Dark as Gold. Although I have my fingers crossed for some fuzzier feelings in the second book. :)
These covers are beautiful! This is marketed as a middle grade fantasy about a young girl who can shift pain from one person to another.
Yet another old favorite. I read this series out of order when I first started, falling in love with the witch Morwen as a protagonist rather than Princess Cimorene. After I went back and stared from the beginning I came to love all the characters of course, but Morwen will always be my favorite… along with her cats!
Another favorite series from my younger years. I read the books as published with the covers on top, but I’m rather fond of these later releases as well. A definite reread in the near future.
Some books from Tu Books that I am interested in reading. LOVE love love the cover of Hammer of Wiches! It’s beautiful. Also, I am positive I have read one of Bruchac’s books before but for the life of me I cannot remember which one… oh! Just remembered (with a helpful Google search)! It’s The Winter People. A lovely read if I recall correctly. Hammer of Witches is Mlawski’s first publication and I haven’t read anything by Sandler before, but I am excited to meet them as authors in their writing!
ADULT. Quinn brings us a solid bodice ripper. This story is a bit of Austen, a bit cliché, and a bit erotica. The conversations between our two leads were a laugh and they both felt like well fleshed out characters. However, the transition from Ibbotson’s elaborate and intimate portrayals of non-primary characters to Quinn’s more traditionally flat representations was a bit disappointing. Nonetheless, The Duke & I is fun for those who know and embrace overdone plots that are oldies but goodies. It isn’t good for those looking for straight-up erotica, or who prefer not to dally with adult romance novels.
Another Eva Ibbotson read. I did not like this one as much as The Morning Gift. Both books feature a romance that comes a bit out of left field but with The Secret Countess it was even more jarring. On one page Anna is a servant well acquainted with all residents except Rupert and on the next page their love shines so bright that everyone in the room can see it… except that I as the reader couldn’t. That Rupert forgives and proposes to Anna moments after hearing her family is once again rich was particularly frustrating. I understand that practicality meant Rupert had to find a solution to his financial woes but I wanted to entertain the idea that he would forsake it for Anna beyond a brief thought that he does not follow through on. Ah well. Romance issues aside—which are hefty considering this is essentially a historical romance—it is a tightly written period novel that brings you right into the thick of things with Ibbotson’s immersive prose. Recommended for those not picky with overnight romances, fans of Ibbotson, or 19th century European history buffs. I found the brief scenes between Anna and her brother, as well as Anna and Olive, particularly enjoyable.
I cannot recall how I came across this book but I thought myself unfamiliar with the author. It turns out Ibbotson has written one of my very favorite books: Which Witch? and The Morning Gift has risen up in the ranks to join it. A sweet, immersive read that brings you to Europe during the rise of Hitler and into the heart of a girl who is becoming a woman. This book was a delight to read. …However, it does have the cheesiest tag line ever and the conclusion feels rushed.
I flew through the reading of Cinder but Scarlet took a bit more effort. For those of you looking for a full circle conclusion to Cinder’s story, you’ll probably have to wait until the forth book is released in 2015. I know I’m on that list! Scarlet was an exciting continuation and I was happy to get some more answers about who Cinder is and how she came to be where she is. Cinder remains my protagonist of choice but Scarlet and Wolf were great additions. Highly recommended.
ADULT. Another adult romance for me last evening. Annie’s Song tackles a lot of scenarios that would deter some readers: rape, child abuse, and a wedding that takes place without the wife’s consent. In any other story these topics would steer me away from reading, but Anderson handles them with a good amount of delicacy. There is explicit material in this story but it is far from a bodice ripper. I would recommend it for those with a love for slow-burning romances between two people only just getting to know each other but not for those looking for a knock your socks off story that defies all others. As another reviewer mentioned, the representation of Annie’s lipreading abilities is far fetched at best and ridiculous at worst.
This was one of my favorite series as a young teen, On Fortune’s Wheel sticking out as one of my favorite stories ever. I’ve been eager to return and think I’ll approach the series with new eyes as an adult sometime soon. It will be interesting to read things in order for once!
This book is amazing. I put off reading it for the longest time. I had thought the protagonist was a robot and I just wasn’t confident that I could relate with a non-human protagonist. Now, it turns out Cinder (how I picture her, how the author pictured her) is a lot of things but she is not a robot and she is certainly relatable. This story is inventive, different, and captivating. I loved reading it. The only caveat is that it ends on a cliffhanger of sorts but luckily for all you readers out there the sequel Scarlet is available to read! P.S. The budding romance of this story is my favorite yet of the books I’ve read in 2013. P.P.S. Kudos for showing a stepmother who experiences regret but stays in character nonetheless. P.P.P.S. This might be my favorite Cinderella retelling.
Just finished this today after reading it over the last week or so. I cannot remember much about the previous two books in this trilogy, particularly the second, but I liked this one just fine. I was very fond of Oliver. The first half of the book was much more exciting to me than the latter half, and I wish the author had maintained the suspense about the identity of Oliver for at least another chapter or so. The romance was dreadfully rushed, but at least the characters seemed to acknowledge that. If I remember my thoughts about the first two books right, this series seems to settle into a comfortable limbo: I would read it again but not overly recommend to those without much spare time.
I thought I would post this up as a recent favorite and in honor of the last day one can enter to win Haskell’s new book Handbook for Dragon Slayers on Goodreads here! I entered yesterday and I’m pretty excited at the prospect of getting an early look. Both The Princess Curse and HfDS are middle grade books but they’re sure to capture a young adult’s interest as well. (Read my blog post about TPC here.)
ADULT. I tend not to read too many bodice rippers—this book certainly qualifies as one—as it is hard enough finding a realistically paced romance in books not centered around that romance. This book does not fulfill my desire for well-paced romance by any means, but it was intriguing and the details regarding the setting and history were well placed, those historical tidbits hinting at something akin to an interesting plot. It is a quick read to take on if it peaks your genre interests (historical, romance, Romeo-Juliet dynamics, etc.) but otherwise I’d say pass. I’m not the only one reading though, so check out some of the thoughts on Goodreads! Also, kudos to the author for putting some strong women that aren’t warriors into focus.