A story to inspire every young girl, to make her laugh and cry, and appreciate that most real-life fairytales do not have a happy ending.
I picked up t...moreA story to inspire every young girl, to make her laugh and cry, and appreciate that most real-life fairytales do not have a happy ending.
I picked up this book with nostalgia. When I was young, third grade and spending a third of my time in the local children's library (the other two halves divided between school, and ballet and playtime) I went through the lovely collections of Bulgarian translations to the best novels for kids in the world - The Eternal Children’s Novels. There were some great books in there, tales that have stayed with me to this day and I've come back to; now I'm searching my favourites and buying them, making them a great addition to my personal library, addition which brings sweet memories.
Going back to the subject, one of the books I read was The Dark Tower, a lovely and heart-wrenching tale of the French princess locked away during the Great Revolution. I read it many times and was eager to read another of Sharon Stewart's works - Princess Anastasia. I kept asking about it, but an addition never came to our library, and I couldn't find it in any store.
Recently, 12 lovely books from the abovementioned series for children were re-published (among them Frances Burnett'sA Little Princess, Louisa May Alcott'sLittle Women, Gaby Schuster'sPrincess Sissi and Jean Webster'sDaddy-Long-Legs, all of which I already own). When I saw Princess Anastasia I bought it immediately with childlike glee - for some time I was third grade again and easily swept by the magic of a book that brought back my younger, imaginative side.
I took my time reading it, feeling an uncharacteristically big yearning for modern teen romance, and still read it in a couple of weeks, savouring every page and every chapter. The second half I read in one day, actually, having to pack for travelling but unwilling to put it down. The story was not through Anastasia’s eyes, but from another lovely character who leads the reader through danger and abuse, to romantic withdrawal from life in fairytales, and right into a real fairytale which turns bitter more often than not, but is all the sweeter for it. This book made me realise, through its historically-based characters, that all who have grown without any kind of true love, no matter rich or poor, turn into monsters. Love makes us human. The story was full of people who, in poverty and lack of affection, had turned into monsters. Nowadays we see the same, but in rich, spoiled, uncared for people. Also, there was a very wise remark about anger and how it turned a crowd into an unstoppable force, as water, but as mindless as pigs.
The heroes were very funny, unique and endearing. The anti-heroes were scary and cold, mindless fanatics or ingenious devils. And the fiction was so well interwoven with real-life facts that at one point you stop thinking of the novel as a non-real-life book. I loved the bits I've heard on documentaries, like how the princesses had sewn in their jewellery into their clothing to hide it 'in plain sight'. And the part about Alexei's illness...
The Dark Tower brought me to tears when I was a child, and Princess Anastasia made my eyes water, so many years later.
It was a real magical experience, reading this novel, and I’m certainly going to be reading it and the rest of the books I have mentioned above to my young cousins – these are books that teach a young girl to dream and fight, to be brave and honest, to follow her heart; but also reveal how all of us are equal, and how a modern girl’s life is much more fairytale-like than any princess’s ever could have been. And maybe, one day, I will read them to my children, make them laugh and dream and learn, so that when they grow up they will know why these stories are called classics. (less)
Heartbreaking and yet exquisitely tender. The second installment to the Shiver series is darker, sassier and more challenging in its essence. The Shiv...moreHeartbreaking and yet exquisitely tender. The second installment to the Shiver series is darker, sassier and more challenging in its essence. The Shiver fans would not be disappointed.
Though I love Sam and Grace, in this book a new intriguing character is intoduced - one Cole St. Clair, who brings insolence and crudeness to the story in the beginning, but develops quite interestingly as the reading progresses. For one thing, the burning intensity between him and Isabel is one very amusing new addition to the story of the wolves from Mercy falls.
I took my time reading this book, because I cannot easily handle so much bad stuff happening to the characters all the time, but I loved every minute of it. Maggie Stiefvater's writing style is more poetry than prose and it transported me into cold winters while I was dying from all the hot summer days. It's fantastic!
If you loved 9 Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, then its sequel would definitely take a place within your favorites, too.
When I read that the sec...moreIf you loved 9 Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, then its sequel would definitely take a place within your favorites, too.
When I read that the second book from the series was going to be about the calm and romantic Nicholas St. John and not about his firecracker of a sister Juliana – I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed. I thought that, him being so gentle and kind and all things lovable would make the novel somewhat boring.
Was I ever wrong.
It turned out that he was a man, harboring so many secrets that only a woman with an equal number could match him. Lo and behold – the beautiful, intelligent and kind-hearted Lady Isabel. A daughter to an earl, Nicholas is perplexed by her oddities in the form of reading bills, wearing men’s clothing and working on a roof.
But they are a perfect match even more due to the fact that they both suffer from the fear of loving, caused by the ruined marriages of both their parents. And while battling wits and struggling to hide their secrets, they must learn to trust each other, or else more than their own lives would be in ruin.
The second book in the series proves a bit darker, deeper in meaning, but still with the humorous and sarcastic tongue of its predecessor. I especially enjoyed the hilarious articles from the Pearls & Pelisses magazine which advised the chits from the ton on how to “land a lord”. The irony and sarcasm underlining them was delicious. It reminded me of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and her Lady Whistledown.
The book left me thirsting for the third installment in the St. John siblings series which is bound to be an enticing read. (less)
Wonderful as always, but it's obvious J.Q.'s writing skills have developed with every book. As her first published novel, Splendid is intriguing and a...moreWonderful as always, but it's obvious J.Q.'s writing skills have developed with every book. As her first published novel, Splendid is intriguing and amusing, but the language is not as good or as authentic as in her later books.
Still, I had great fun reading it and would recommend this novel to all Julia Quinn fans.(less)
Beautiful, hilarious and endearing! A timeless classic that has the easy going page-turner plot of a modern relaxing read alongside the emotional and...moreBeautiful, hilarious and endearing! A timeless classic that has the easy going page-turner plot of a modern relaxing read alongside the emotional and philosophical depth of the most renowned jewels of literature.
A read for both young and old, that will induce you with new awareness for the beauty of life and those little, everyday happy moments, while laughing at all the oddities of people and their tempers.(less)
Really, really sad. Compared to the rest of the books in the series, at least. With numerous angst-filled moments and recollections, and situations tw...moreReally, really sad. Compared to the rest of the books in the series, at least. With numerous angst-filled moments and recollections, and situations twisted the wrong way. Very intense and full of humour and sarcasm, as always - Richelle Mead's writing style is superb in those aspects, but I was led to expect by one of her interviews that it would have more happy and less agonising moments than the previous four books. It was not so.
Not that it had the major battles and life loss of the preceding books (neither was the book without such moments - they were just not as big), but the emotion levels were always on the rollercoaster and confusion reigned all over when the situations forced an incredible mix of contadicting emotions to press upon Rose, and even on the rest of the main characters.
Very dynamic and unpredictable when it comes to the plot itself. Though this is not my favourite book of the series, I think Spirit Bound has built a very nice ground on which Richelle Mead could construct the end of the series - there had been hinting at events that will happen and yet the prediction of a resolve to the story remains unfathomable.
Spirit Bound left me thirsting for the next book - the final of the series, even more than I'd had after reading the preceding four novels.
A great prequel to the Sword of Truth series. I'd liked to have read some more and different moments from before Wizard's First Rule, but this was pre...moreA great prequel to the Sword of Truth series. I'd liked to have read some more and different moments from before Wizard's First Rule, but this was pretty amazing, too. Liked the young Zed, and Abi and the Mother Confessor, and the rest - all the characters were amazing, as is characteristical for Goodkind. A really nice read for all his fans.(less)
A classic in fantasy, it is said that this book, as well as all the other works by Tolkien, is a definite must-read. I love the movies based on the tr...moreA classic in fantasy, it is said that this book, as well as all the other works by Tolkien, is a definite must-read. I love the movies based on the trilogy and have watched them more times than I can remember, so I bought the whole set of books and started the first one eagerly.
I was a little disappointed, though. The book had a slow beginning, but I persevered. Yet when I passed the hundreth page, nothing much had really happened and I had a hard time reading on. It was only when Frodo and his hobbit friends came to the Prancing Pony inn that the events began moving faster.
What impressed me most was the constant ballads and how well they were rhymed, how fitting was their meaning with the story as a whole. The language is beautiful, especially when describing the surroundings, and some of the chapters are fully engrossing.
By the end of the Fellowship I decided to find the time and read the rest of the trilogy after all.(less)
To start from the start - I craved this book ever since I finished Catching Fire; hell, ever since The Hunger Games. I was frustrat...moreThat was... an end.
To start from the start - I craved this book ever since I finished Catching Fire; hell, ever since The Hunger Games. I was frustrated because it arrived a month later than it should have. But when it did and I bit into it, I found that... I couldn't stomach it. And so the half-year reading began.
I don't know exactly why it was so hard for me to finish this one. Maybe it was because of how heady the messages inside the plot were, but I doubt it. After all, I practically ate up the first two books from the trilogy, then read them all over again and they are by no definition light; I still think of them, especially of The Hunger Games. So why the block?
My theory is that the final book was too heady. Not like the previous two where the characters, especially Katniss and Peeta, were charged with strength, hope and at least a bit of optimism. In Mockingjay there was no hope - only despair, fear, pessimism and lunacy. And there was no bright Peeta to lighten it up. The only tension relief was in Finnick's playful words. It was way too much for me apparently.
Not saying the messages weren't brilliant - just the opposite, actually. I think this is a trilogy which not only the younger generation should read. All humankind need to pay heed to the warnings in these books. They are a masterpiece in that respect. Should be added to mandatory Literature or Philosophy school classes.
Other than that, though, my impression of the book was a sharp reality factor - there is no doubt of just how plausible the plot is. Especially because of the fact all that was good either died, or was twisted into insanity in a world where the darkest human side rules. What I loved...? I guess I loved Peeta at the end - that was the only thing that stopped me from hating the book (as entertainment, not meaning) completely. He retained some part of good, going through hell and back; as for Katniss - she was too empty to survive, but with his help she moved on; it was like he was the only thing that managed to kindle any kind of flame inside her after all the death and loss.
All in all, I'm glad to have finished this one and not abandoned it completely. It was good to resolve the trilogy. And though I might never return to Mockingjay I will return, time and again, to The Hunger Games.(less)