On the recommendation of a close friend/family I picked up this book. Overall I really enjoyed it. The story moved right along, though at times I thou...moreOn the recommendation of a close friend/family I picked up this book. Overall I really enjoyed it. The story moved right along, though at times I thought it moved along TOO well. The main character Ellie, is fiesty, opinionated, and overall a great lead female. The rest of the characters are quite as clearly drawn but are very entertaining. It filled my want for interesting but light reading. I'll certainly check out more books by Cabot. The premise is a pretty far fetched but for me that's the point of good books, to make you ask "what if?"(less)
So I think that whoever knows me knows this is my favorite book of all time. I read this book probably at least once a year. I also collect different...moreSo I think that whoever knows me knows this is my favorite book of all time. I read this book probably at least once a year. I also collect different editions. Every time a read this book I find something different in it.
Scarlett lives up to her reputation as a spoiled woman who learns her lessons, but they don't come easy. But she's not just spoiled, she's also a woman a bit out of sync with her time. She and Melanie portray two very different examples of strong women.
This is a story that grabbed me when I was a young girl and as I grow it keeps it's hold and reveals new secrets. A truly great book. (less)
I am a fan of Alison Weir's non-fiction histories so I was excited to note she had delved into fiction. Her writing is well researched and the plot mo...moreI am a fan of Alison Weir's non-fiction histories so I was excited to note she had delved into fiction. Her writing is well researched and the plot moves along quite well. I enjoyed seeing a different side of Elizabeth. In this she comes off as highly intelligent, spoiled, manipulative, and frightened. Seeing Elizabeth as a child and looking at her rearing is a great look at the world's most famous Queen outside of the present Elizabeth. Often Elizabeth I is depicted heroically as the greatest queen to ever live and champion of the reformation. In a lot of my more recent reading it seems to be vogue to depict her as otherwise. I don't mind as it humanizes the legend.
I read this before I read Innocent Traitor and I must say I preferred Innocent Traitor. Often Elizabeth came off as annoying and highly unsympathetic. (less)
I read this book after reading The Lady Elizabeth which was Weir's second novel. I enjoyed this first effort much more. According to family legend we...moreI read this book after reading The Lady Elizabeth which was Weir's second novel. I enjoyed this first effort much more. According to family legend we are descended from the Dudleys of Lady Jane Grey fame (at least I think so, the actual family legend is that we are related to her). This is an unsubstantiated (I believe) claim though but enough to pique my interest. In many accounts Lady Jane is weak and easily manipulated or she is a cunning traitor and willing participant. Here she is strong and clearly manipulated by her family and those around her. She's a character that's easy to feel sympathy for. She'd love nothing more to be left alone to work on her studies and her faith but instead is forced to accept a crown that she never wanted and ends up losing her head and being branded a traitor.
The switching back and forth of voices in the novel is well done and the tone changes appropriately. It was a brisk and interesting read. I really enjoyed it.
Reading these Weir novels has made me want to pick up more of her non-fiction offerings. (less)
**spoiler alert** Apparently young adult fiction is taking the place of romance novels for me when I just need something I can read in a matter of hou...more**spoiler alert** Apparently young adult fiction is taking the place of romance novels for me when I just need something I can read in a matter of hours. Since a cousin turned me on to Meg Cabot I've been picking my way through her catalog.
Jinx, born Jean, is a girl plagued by bad luck. She's the clean cut girl from the midwest who is sent to live with her upscale relatives in NYC when she runs into trouble. She's the goody two-shoes to her cousins teenage rebel. She is also the new girl, the orchestra geek, the perfect daughter and many other archetypes. Of course the local hunk and all around nice guy falls for her. In order to find her life she has to embrace her fears and her destiny.
Overall this was an interesting story. The characters were pretty well drawn though some details just seemed a little frivolous. It was reminiscent of The Craft in a lot of ways. Just a bit lighter. It deals a lot with witchcraft however though magic is what gets the girls in trouble unlike the craft it does highlight the positive side and the spiritual aspects of it. Rather than sending the message that witchcraft/wicca is bad and evil it shoes both sides of the story and how when properly done it is just as viable as other faiths.
What makes the story is Cabot's snappy dialogue and topical, well used references. It was a good story and one that only took about 4 hours to digest. I enjoy that Cabot's heroines are smart, aren't magazine pretty, and have minds of their own. They are who they are and make no apologies for that. (less)
While I did like this book I found the switching back and forth of voices to be a bit annoying. This may be because it was the 2nd book in a row that...moreWhile I did like this book I found the switching back and forth of voices to be a bit annoying. This may be because it was the 2nd book in a row that I'd read employing this device.
Like Philippa's other books the writing was descriptive and easy to follow. The tension didn't hold well though so at times I found myself losing interest. It has made me much more curious about Mary Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwicke in general though.
Over all it was a good read and the treatment of Elizabeth in this book was interesting compared to the treatment of her in Gregory's other novels, especially in comparison to Mary. After a while though the character of Mary became gratingly annoying. Not that that is Gregory's fault, but she just didn't seem to evolve much through the story.(less)
After anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book at my local library, then giving up and ordering it on inter-library loan I finally got to read this...moreAfter anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book at my local library, then giving up and ordering it on inter-library loan I finally got to read this book. It was worth the wait.
You have to admire a man who has not only read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (the subject of his first novel The Know-It-All) but one that undertakes such a massive undertaking. While it isn't as outrightly hilarious as I was anticipating but it was an interesting, engaging, and entertaining read. Jacob's descriptions of his decisions, actions, and thoughts are easy to follow. He has obviously done his research and done it well. His quest leads him to distant places and explores a variety of topics from dietary laws, to impurity laws, to polygamy. I enjoyed going along for the ride.
It's not preachy or set to convert anyone (including himself) it's an intellectual and spiritual exercise undertaken to explore what is arguably the most influential text in human existence.
I recommend it for anyone interested in religion or just wants a entertaining read.
I admit it, I saw the movie first. And I'm a fan. I like Anne Hathaway and I'm a sucker for Julie Andrews (she's just fabulous). It's a great little f...moreI admit it, I saw the movie first. And I'm a fan. I like Anne Hathaway and I'm a sucker for Julie Andrews (she's just fabulous). It's a great little feel good movie that I watch whenever I catch it. That being said it did throw me for a little loop when I started reading the book. There are subtle changes, which are to be expected with location costs and such.
Mia is a great character. She's smart and witty and doesn't really realize she's smart and witty. She's also compassionate and has integrity. All in all I think she's a great role model.
I think I preferred the treatment of her grandmother in the movie rather than the book. In the book she comes off as a comic character rather than a loving but product of her raising.
A lot has been said about the make-over scene in the movie, that Mia's curls are flattened into the Hollywood ideal of beauty (which equals straight hair). This is nothing compared to in the book where Mia's (not quite curly, not quite straight) hair is chopped off and dyed BLONDE. Cabot's description of her hair makes it sound like the poor girl got a mullet.
It also gave me a good chuckle to see all the culture references that are going to have girls in the future saying to themselves "Who the heck is Captain Picard?" Maybe it will inspire another generation of Next Generation fans.
Overall I did like the book and am looking forward to seeing Mia grow and mature. (less)
I picked this book up because of the long standing rumor that Anne Bonny buried treasure on an island in Casco Bay (Maine). It's a story I've related...moreI picked this book up because of the long standing rumor that Anne Bonny buried treasure on an island in Casco Bay (Maine). It's a story I've related (as legend) so I figured a read about her would give that legend better context. Well nothing was mentioned about the trip North so I guess I'll have to do more research.
This was a very interesting and engaging read. The story of the two most famous female pirates and their VERY different journeys of how they ended up outlaws was very engaging. It's not your typical swashbuckling romanticizing of pirates but rather their story as whole people and what motivated them. It was engaging and well researched. Each character clearly had their own voice which was essential as the tale was told from their various points of view. It's a great snapshot of the decline of the great days of privateers and pirates.
Mary Read and Anne Bonny lived lives well outside the norm for women of their time. They embraced adventure at every turn and as such led "short and merry" lives. (less)
Such a wonderful book. I used to read this to my nephew all the time. It was his favorite book. Now it is one I buy for all new additions in my family...moreSuch a wonderful book. I used to read this to my nephew all the time. It was his favorite book. Now it is one I buy for all new additions in my family. Just my little way of educating young environmentalists (they also get One Fish Two Fish, my favorite book ever). We all must "speak for the trees."(less)
I'm pretty sure I have this book committed to memory. It is my favorite Dr. Suess book of all time. I even named all the characters in it after family...moreI'm pretty sure I have this book committed to memory. It is my favorite Dr. Suess book of all time. I even named all the characters in it after family members. I love love love this book and I make sure no child in my family is without it. It's a great exploration of silly things and diversity.