1. Saw the gorgeous cover. 2. Read the blurb. 'Korean War', 'Asian heritage' 3. Saw the tag historical-fiction. 4. OMG BARBARA STUBER!!! I remember absol...more1. Saw the gorgeous cover. 2. Read the blurb. 'Korean War', 'Asian heritage' 3. Saw the tag historical-fiction. 4. OMG BARBARA STUBER!!! I remember absolutely adoring her debut novel 'Crossing the Tracks'. This one is without a doubt on my to-preorder list. :D(less)
Roald Dahl will ALWAYS have a place in my heart and mind. He was an intrinsic part of my childhood and far greater than I'd known back then. I'd love...moreRoald Dahl will ALWAYS have a place in my heart and mind. He was an intrinsic part of my childhood and far greater than I'd known back then. I'd love to read some of his adult works someday...(less)
The FitzOsbornes in Exile is an inspired follow-up to A Brief History of Montmaray. The FitzOsbornes now have to deal with court life in England--especially the girls, Sophie and Veronica, as they make their debut into Society--all the while planning to take back their home and establish their nation in their royal status. Cooper's characters develop realistically and with great charm, in all their quirks. The plot thickens in all its historically detailed glory, paving the way for an intense and dramatic conclusion to the trilogy.
I just love this book, and I feel sorry for myself because I have left this review sitting for too long and now have to bumble my way through it. So bear with me, guys.
It's a strange comfort, re-visiting characters you'd grown to love, and learning that they've changed--though admittedly, for the better. In this case I'm referring to Sophie. She has matured a great amount since the series of unfortunate events at Montmaray. They are now in England and are to adapt to a new life of luxury and glamour. Sophie, unsurprisingly, does much better at establishing herself in Society than the academic and outspoken Veronica. The gang deal with the frivolity that is court life, when at the back of their minds they are still thinking about the approaching war. They plan to reach out to the International League (?), in hopes that they will assist in driving the Germans out of their land.
Sophie is just the best scribe/narrator/spectator. She has matured greatly since she and her family lived in Montmaray, which is evident in her behaviour near the end of this book. She obviously loves her food. Seriously, reading this (and A Brief History of Montmaray) had me salivating. Some of the food just sounds so delectable. I don't mind at all, reading about delicious food. But anyway, she retells everything that happens in her life through the eyes of a young lady on the cusp of womanhood. The writing is accessible and has a lot of heart. Or maybe I just love epistolary novels, especially one with such an established voice.
The romance aspects in their lives is very subtle. Toby and Simon deal with their futures. Cooper explores the difficult situation they are in; despite their feelings for one another, they are each expected by society to court a young woman of acceptable social standing. Sophie is still sifting through her feelings for Simon, and there may be someone to help her with that. Veronica's intellectual pen-pal may be interested in more than just discussion of political affairs . . . I enjoyed every arc concerning these characters. I especially enjoyed the development of Veronica's "relationship".
I will always love these characters. I haven't mentioned Henry yet, so here we go. I remember in particular one scene where she makes a really brash comment (added in the quotes section). She's gone through multiple governesses. She hates riding side-saddle. She loves playing with the dog. All of which are "unbecoming". But why should she care? I think she's great. All of these characters defy against the norm of society in their own ways; Henry is definitely the most outward.
Among the seriousness of their situation, there is a lot of fun and hilarity that takes place. Henry! Veronica and Simon's bickering. Simon and Sophie against the train wall. When Sophie is teased about her supposed love call with Rupert. When they mess with Aunt Charlotte, which they did more than a few times. I caught myself giggling many times throughout!
I don't think Cooper's series is for everyone. Many people are put off by historical fiction (though I would love it if more people gave the genre a try!), and as far as YA historical fiction goes, this one is challenging at times. Michelle Cooper is really into her research, and it shows. Every minute detail has obviously been considered thoughtfully before it made it to print. Especially in regards to the political side of things, I can't say I understood every little thing that was discussed. But I just love that there are YA historical authors who take the time and really care about historical accuracy in their fictional works.
By the end of The Fitzosbornes in Exile, things are uneasy. We know that big things are coming. I cannot wait to get around to reading the last book, The FitzsOsbornes at War. I hope my expectations are met and there isn't more tragedy that my little heart can handle.(less)
I can easily see why this book is a classic. I wouldn't even know how to phrase everything I have to say about this book, but I will say...more5/5 (Classics)
I can easily see why this book is a classic. I wouldn't even know how to phrase everything I have to say about this book, but I will say that I can see myself re-reading this one every year. It's a coming-of-age story, but (much like To Kill A Mockingbird for example) there is not just a focus on the children. We gain insight into the lives of their parents and their teachers and the other kids and neighbours of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. So much so that while the main focus may be on Francie Nolan, our attention never wavers on that symbolism of the tree and of the struggle of this poor district.
I knew nothing about this book going in, and so I won't really say what happens in the book. The most enjoyable aspects, I thought, was getting to know all of the characters and trying to understand them more. Along with that, there were some really exciting things that happened, like when Francie first falls in love, or when a creeper finds his way into their tenement building.
While I was never completely bored at any one moment of this book, there was a lot of description of which I was grateful. At first I didn't understand the point of telling us every little detail of their apartments and their lives, but I felt like by the end of it I was able to understand a little bit. Smith portrays every aspect of their lives, including their homes, which did have a slight impact on their upbringing (one example I can think of is the piano that the last tenant left because it was too expensive to have hauled off).
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was just such a delight to read. It would be impossible for me to say all my thoughts here, but that doesn't matter. It made me feel warm. This book is like a hug, I guess, in the same way that Francie felt like her books became her friends. Now that I've closed the book I feel like I've left something big behind, but at least there's comfort in knowing that all I have to do is pick it up and read again. From the beginning, from, "Serene..."
- Gilmore Girls - To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) - A Brief History of Montmaray (Michelle Cooper) - The Diary of Anne Frank - I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith)*
* Haven't read yet, but it definitely has a similar vibe to it.
"Dear God," she prayed, "let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry . . . have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere- be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honourable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream so that not one little peace of living is ever lost." (413)(less)
More Chaol action needed, please. The Dorian ship has sunk. :P Hopefully we see some characters we met in the novellas...? So excited!!! :DDDD
Edit: I...moreMore Chaol action needed, please. The Dorian ship has sunk. :P Hopefully we see some characters we met in the novellas...? So excited!!! :DDDD
Edit: I have a terrible feeling that this book will be like Crossed (Ally Condie... though I still haven't read it because I'm SCARED to), in that nothing significant will happen. And that the love triangle will take over everything else. I hope I'm horribly wrong.
By the Wyrd, this book just... kicked ass. Maas writes suspense SO WELL! I haven't written a review in so long. :/ After I finish my two assignments due 1/09 and 2/09 I'll get right into this.
I love that we are given much further insight on the characters, particularly Celaena. She's definitely one of the most well-rounded anti-hero[in]es around. I feel like we see more of her vulnerabilities and softer side; she is an assassin, but she's also a girl. She's also alone... etc.
The love triangle is so very twisted, but it's one I can deal with. I'm still with Chaol. Especially after....
We learn more about Wyrdology. Wyrdgates, wyrdkeys. And the deal with magic disappearing. Highly interesting stuff!
I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to review this without spoiling anything. I'll worry about that next week. I can't wait for more news on Book #3! (And I'll be treating myself to short stories The Assassin and '...The Princess' + '...The Captain'. ;))(less)
Made it to page 13, according to Adobe Digital Editions. I'm feeling incredibly partial to paper books right at this moment. Hopefully I can nab a fin...moreMade it to page 13, according to Adobe Digital Editions. I'm feeling incredibly partial to paper books right at this moment. Hopefully I can nab a finished copy of this book soon, as I really enjoy this series. :3(less)
I was practically fuming with anger by the end. There's so much packed in this novella, but it was so good...more4.5/5
Wow. I could not stop reading this one!
I was practically fuming with anger by the end. There's so much packed in this novella, but it was so good! I feel like anything more I say will be riddled with spoilers of some kind. One thing I will say though, is that I implore you to read these novellas before you tackle 'Throne of Glass'. Now that I've read these novellas, I feel like it would be somehow wrong not to. Of course, I'll have to get back to you on that, after I've read TOG.(less)
The tension builds in the third prequel to 'Throne of Glass'! Celaena has returned from The Red Desert, triumphant over having gained the approva...more3.5/5
The tension builds in the third prequel to 'Throne of Glass'! Celaena has returned from The Red Desert, triumphant over having gained the approval of the Master of the Silent Assassins. Arobynn, the King of the Assassins in Adarlan, atones for beating her and Sam and throwing her out to the desert by showering her with gifts.
The biggest one of all is a nicely-paying job of dispatchment. A woman, sick of her ex-husband's slovenly ways and underworldly activity, hires Celaena to deal out the deed. It's a dangerous mission, but if someone's gotta do it, it might as well be the best assassin out there.
This is definitely my least favourite of the four (surely I'll like the fourth more!), but even so I feel that each of these should be read so as to gain an overall background on Celaena's past. I'm not even considering reading 'Throne of Glass' until I've finished these.
So, why am I declaring this my least favourite?
1) The shame of a woman's promiscuity. Particularly in regards to Lysandra, a courtesan. She's always flaunting about in her tight, revealing clothes and acting all snide and catty towards Celaena. I'm not entirely sure if we'll see more of these characters in the future - if not, then I can say Maas just created characters to freaking annoy the hell out of me. But whatever, that's cool.
2) The 'twist' could be seen from pages and pages away. I'm surprised that Celaena didn't connect all the dots before it was spelled out for her. I kind of like how the story ends though - I think there's a good build-up for the next prequel and thereafter.
3) A romance blossoms in this one. Sweet though it may be, the first romantic encounter is just too fast. The guy says 'I love you... but blah blah' and then the girl pounces and it's her first kiss and then they're all over each other, just making out like pros. But hey, this is fantasy...
4) Everyone is a jerkhead in this one! I just wanted to kill them all. :P But still, I enjoyed reading it and like I said I like where this sets up for the next prequel - the last one before 'Throne of Glass'.
* A positive: I really like Maas' writing style. And we hear of the glass castle!
** Another positive: The romance blossoms.
*** Could I be any more tired? And now, with that said, I'm off to fall asleep to FRIENDS.(less)