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It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy andFor more reviews, you can go to indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com
It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Welcome indeed. Floating in the sky, Sophronia’s finishing school is not your ordinary school. Not even the founder is aware!! I’m more than slightly jealous of the things they get taught, get up to, and the like. It sounds like so much fun. Who knew I would like Steampunk. I avoided it. But, now, I’m in love. Maybe it’s just Carriger’s writing. Oh man, the details! The clothes. The school that flies!!! Did I mention that? And the cute werewolf, a vampire teacher, Soapies (never heard of them before. They sound so interesting). Then the secret mission. It’s all so intriguing. I couldn’t put the book down. Once I really got into it, around page thirty or so, I was hooked. I finished it in a day.
Sophronia has become perhaps one of my new favorite heroines in literature. She is spunky, cunning, sarcastic, smart, and knows how to get in and out of trouble. I want to be her best friend. Now. I loved all the characters, actually. They were written really well. Each character arc was well thought out and developed. Even the minor characters seemed well developed. I could sense their personalities immediately. Sidheag and Dimity were two of my favorites. I can’t choose who I like more. It depends on what the situation is. Both of them are really different. Sidheag is not the girly girl Dimity is by any means. I liked her roughness. Whereas with Dimity, I liked that she wasn’t this rough finisher. She was more delicate, but very truthful and direct. She makes a great companion.
I liked this novel because although it had Steampunk elements in it, it wasn’t overtly Steampunk that would steer me away from it, or overwhelm me. Especially for my first foray into the genre. It was just so good. I can’t think of many negatives this novel has. The writing was pretty spot on. The plot was solid. The characters were strong. I can’t recommend this enough. START THIS SERIES! I am already on book two although I should be reading something else for something else. I just can’t help myself....more
William Shakespeare was once a mediocre tutor who "fell in love".
This is the man we never knew.
This novel has marketed itself with the tagline "WilliaWilliam Shakespeare was once a mediocre tutor who "fell in love".
This is the man we never knew.
This novel has marketed itself with the tagline "William Shakespeare like we have never known before." Something around those lines. I find it funny, and yes, a little fitting. The Shakespeare in this book is a pre famous Shakespeare, who goes to a woman to fix his sonnets. He's still cocky, but not as so. He was an interesting and fun character to read. There was a realness to him; a weakness and a crack that was nice to see. But, this isn't his story. Oh no, this is Katherine's- widow and the one he falls in love with. Told through Katherine's perspective, you get to see Shakespeare in this different light.
Katherine was an excellent heroine and lover for Shakespeare. She was strong, witty, and smart. She could hold her own in any intellectual conversation, and many times she did. She easily won Shakespeare's heart from the very beginning when she tried to kick him out of the house, not knowing he was the new tutor for the children living in the house. It was a very funny scene. She continued to challenge him throughout; from questioning his education to critiquing his sonnets until they were perfect. She was a force to be reckoned with.
I really enjoyed their relationship. They had really funny banter. Yes, there was the romance. But, I found myself liking the challenges and banter more. I think Chapin did a great job at crafting a realistic relationship between these two characters. I enjoyed reading the novel. There was some sub plots, including a religious one that involved Queen Elizabeth killing the Catholic Priests and some household affairs, but I didn't pay much mind to those. It was all Katherine and William for me.
Although this wasn't a four star book for me, mostly because of the sub plots, I would still recommend it. I think if you are a big fan of either historical fiction or Shakespeare, or both like I am, you will enjoy this book. You may even like the sub plots! Who knows. I just may be picky. Either way, this book should be on your radar for sure. ...more
I really enjoyed reading this novel. It was fresh, provocative, and alluring. I was sucked in. I have to admit, not immediately, it took about fifty oI really enjoyed reading this novel. It was fresh, provocative, and alluring. I was sucked in. I have to admit, not immediately, it took about fifty or so pages, but once she arrived in Paris and really entered the scene, I was hooked. Having read a book by Rose before, I thought I knew what to expect. She has a way of setting the scene before you to get you ready for the madness and surprises to come. She did that and much more. I enjoyed this novel more than I did the previous novel I read of hers.
There was something about this book that you don't want to put down. Having read it in two major sittings, I really did enjoy it. The setting was perfectly erotic, but not too much so. Once Sandrine started to discover that part of the night, I started to enjoy the novel more. There was a darkness, but a lightness to it as well. The sensuousness of the novel was becoming.
I adored the Grandmother, and most of the characters in fact. I had some problems with Sandrine in the beginning, but they were slight. It was more of not understanding her situation well. I found her whiny, but honestly if I had a husband like hers, I'd probably behave like that tenfold. Once she really let herself go, though, I loved her. There was a freshness to her. She was becoming her she truly was meant to be.
I will definitely continue reading the series if not for the atmosphere alone. I loved how Rose painted that world. It pulled me under, what can I say? I hope you give this book a try. Remember, it's just the beginning pages that are a little slow. Once she meets a man named Julien Duplessi, it's fast reading. ...more
Kiki is based on Kiki de M I am a window made of paper,
a fragile silhouette that goes up in flames
with the merest touch of light.
-untitled from “Alice”
Kiki is based on Kiki de Montparnasse, born as Alice Ernestine Prin. A woman of many talents and surrealist photographer Man Ray’s mistress, Kiki tells her life in parts. Divided up in four sections, the collection begins with “Alice” with rather short, untitled poems about Alice becoming Kiki; the marvelous nights spent drinking, dancing, performing; her sexual awakening and awareness. It is perhaps one of my favorite sections of the collection. The next part titled “Tales of Montparnasse” is one long poem about just that. Fitzgerald and Hemingway make an appearance, of course, as do many others. I didn’t find myself connecting to this one as much. The third section is entitled Opium (After Cocteau). The shortest long poem in the collection, it is by far my favorite in the entire collection. It is about opium use, but there is a beautiful juxtaposition that takes place within the poem that made me instantly fall in love with it.
I remove my mask.
I lie prone on the ground,
a flower’s stem impaled in my chest.
There is something in those two lines is slightly disturbing, but when I picture the flower’s stem, I can’t help but think about the rest of the flower. The whole poem has very strong imagery that challenges each of your senses. It’s the one section not to be missed. The most unique section, and the last, is a call and response to William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch with Kiki as the speaker. The most interesting section by far, I read it very quickly, compelled to keep reading. The responses were very fascinating, and passages chosen from the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed this collection. It was very sensual, explicit with curse words in “Alice”, with imagery that both challenges the senses and brings a reality to the life of Kiki. I think she would be proud of this piece of work.
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All it takes is a “chance” meeting and serenade to ignite a love affair so fierce and passionate, it would inspire many forbidden tales of love centurAll it takes is a “chance” meeting and serenade to ignite a love affair so fierce and passionate, it would inspire many forbidden tales of love centuries to come.
The Sharp Hook of Love tells the thought-provoking, captivating, heartbreaking, and intensely passionate story of world renowned eleventh century French philosopher Petrus “Pierre” Abelard and his student, Heliose d’ Argenteuil. Told achingly through Heloise’s point of view, the love affair begins slowly, until it morphs into a love so tragic it can’t be true. While erotic, passionate, and full of lust, something ever more devastating awaits the forbidden lovers.
Each chapter beginning contains a brief passage from the lovers’ letters. While I enjoyed reading them, most of them were written by Heloise. I had a small problem with this mainly because I felt the reader is already getting one side of the story, why not have at least the chapter epigraphs be alternating, so the reader can get a full sense of the relationship. I did savory each one, though. All so achingly beautiful. Matched the chapters perfectly. I just wish I could have read Abelard’s love letters, or just letters more.
Jones does a meticulous and wonderful job at incorporating parts of their letters into the narrative itself; which I found held me as a reader more. The voice of Heloise kept me interested; often taking me along with her. I felt her love, her pain, and her sorrows. Her journey from a young woman to where she ends in the story was written in such a cohesive way. I didn’t feel lost as the years skipped around a bit; I followed her through. What Jones accomplished, was making me want to be there for Heloise. Chastise her a little bit. Hold her when Abelard scorns her. Be there for her as no one really was for her. Not many authors can successfully do that in a novel, let alone a historical fiction one. I was completely moved.
Then the juicy parts. Oh, the eroticism that was there! My, for the eleventh century, they knew how to express themselves. There is a significant amount of love making going on in this book; this is not the book for you if you cringe and want to pass pages– you will miss something if you do. I enjoyed how passionate the lovers were; but, not just that, I loved how it translated to the page. It wasn’t x-rated in the way that every detail was written. There was no, he moved her this way, then that way. Yes, it was descriptive. It was erotic, passionate, and very realistic. Was it realistic for that century? That I don’t know. There are two or three scenes in where I felt the love making was more modern. I won’t go into details. I will say this though, it was not overly explicit, it was not just thrown in there at random times, nor was it always pretty. There was one scene that upset me, which I won’t spoil for you. A part of me hopes it was out of character, but after some outside research of the lovers, it does fit, which makes me sad.
This love story is tragic. I remember the tales of Tristan and Isolde; Romeo and Juliet. All the fallen lovers. The lovers who tried so hard to be together. Their stories, their made up stories are nothing compared to this true romance. I cried at the end. It was hard not to. Abelard says something to Heloise (that I will wish was true!) and my heart melted. There’s so much beauty and love in this story, yet the pain and, yes, brutality that occurs, somewhat taints it. It’s truly beautiful, no matter how devastating. I truly loved this novel. I hope that all the feelings were true. Pick this book up. You won’t regret it. It’s a love story that should be known and forever remembered. It’s a great example or discourse on what love was like back then, who was allowed to love, what the cost was, and what the reward was. Jones tackles the topic of societal norms and expectations of that era, without deterring from the lovers’ story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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Imagine this: it's your junior year in High School. Academics are getting harder. College is getting closer. Friends are becoming options other than fImagine this: it's your junior year in High School. Academics are getting harder. College is getting closer. Friends are becoming options other than friends. Your life is changing right before your eyes, but there's a problem. You sleep through it. Literally.
Meet Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley, best friends since they were six years old. Althea is the whip-smart, sarcastic, artistic one, whereas Oliver is the studious, scientific one. What used to be an easy friendship has turned harder. Oliver has been sleeping through life, quite literally. Going to sleep for weeks at a time, forgetting everything in between. Althea has been clinging to him for so long, that she has developed feelings. True to a lot of opposite sex friendships, the friendship gets tested. Can it be repaired?
Although I never felt I got a total handle on Oliver, I loved Althea. She was smart, quick witted, and someone I could see myself befriending in High School. Their relationship was very relatable, albeit Oliver's condition. I found myself instantly drawn in. I liked how they balanced each other well, but were their own person as well. Their journey was a good one. It felt real and true. I won't spoil the end, but I was very happy with it! There wasn't a single thing I didn't like about this book. All of the characters, main and side, were developed in a way that was realistic, and still current in today's time.
The plot developed nicely, never leaving you hanging. I liked the way it took me. I think if you are to gain anything from this book, it would be about identity, and what it means to be yourself. Yes, there was a love story. What I liked, though, was although the love story was a main focus, the concept of identity, and the characters actually going through a sort of major crisis took center stage; allowing the novel to be more universal rather than just about finding love, wanting love and so forth. I do like teen romances, but I enjoy when there is added depth to them, such as finding yourself within the romance like Moracho does with her two characters.
I would highly recommend this novel. More and more, I am finding myself impressed with this year's debut authors. Moracho is no different. This reads like a second novel, not a first. It is excellent. Not a novel to be missed by any means. If you are a fan of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Jennifer E. Smith, this novel is for you.
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What do you do after your husband cheats, your marriage is in shambles, and you have the immediate chance tPosted at indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com
What do you do after your husband cheats, your marriage is in shambles, and you have the immediate chance to go to Paris for work without him? You go.
April is struggling. She is on the verge of drowning in a marriage where she avoids having the talk. She just avoids. And avoids. Maybe it’ll go away, the truth. But, it won’t. When her boss sends her to Paris on a last minute assignment, she thinks this is the perfect escape. Again, she avoids. What she finds is bigger than anyone ever expected. How she handles things starts to change as she becomes enthralled by the dead Marthe de Florian’s life lessons. What does she learn? That, you will have to read the book to find out.
The dual perspectives were great. There wasn’t one I preferred over the other, which is surprising for me because I normally can choose pretty easily. I found both women to be completely three dimensional. They both had their flaws, faults, and amazing attributes. Marthe was brilliant, ballsy, and brave. April was a more modern, albeit a little more conservative version of her. Both women were entertaining. Marthe more so at times with her vulgar language and adult escapades. It was the twist revolving around Marthe that I really loved. I won’t say what it was, but man I loved it. It was really surprising, but made sense. I was caught off guard. And, to think it is actually true blew my mind even more. So, maybe I did like Marthe more. Her life was definitely more interesting. Boldini never painted April.
April had her pluses, though, too. She had a somewhat creepy Frenchman after her, sort of. She had her marriage problems. She was more of a today’s woman. It doesn’t make her less interesting. But, when you find out Marthe’s origins, she becomes ever more interesting. Sorry, April. But, April has got sass! She really stands up for herself. I was impressed with how she transforms herself throughout the book.
This was a phenomenal debut. It was entertaining while informative, the characters were extremely well written and developed, the transition between story lines were seamless, and it leaves you wanting more. I can’t recommend this enough. It was such an engrossing read that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to pass this up. Next time you are thinking of buying a book, look into this one. You won’t regret it....more
What lengths would you go to make your life stay the same? How would you feel if the person you love most in the world stops smiling?
For eleven year oWhat lengths would you go to make your life stay the same? How would you feel if the person you love most in the world stops smiling?
For eleven year old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein, her mother is everything to her. When her dancer mother gets a devastating diagnosis that stops her from dancing and smiling, Chirp doesn’t know what to do. Soon after, her mother spirals into a depression. Nest tells Chirp’s sometimes heartbreaking journey as she trudges through life during this time with adventure, escape, and self-discovery. It isn’t all bad, but it isn’t all good, either.
This novel deals with some very adult issues at the heart of this middle grade novel. The character may be a middle schooler, may behave like one, but the situations are anything but. I had a slight problem with that. I usually don’t read middle grade novels, so I am not sure if this is an usual occurrence. But, may did it take an adult turn. Too adult, I would say. It made me very uncomfortable reading it. As it is a spoiler, I am not at liberty to reveal it, but it made me dislike the book. I loved Chirp. She developed a nice relationship with the boy next. They had a cute conversation towards the end of the novel that I loved. However, this was not enough to give this novel a better rating. What took place towards the later middle/end was too heavy for me. Not heavy for me as an adult, but heavy as me reading a middle grade novel. It isn’t something that I personally believe should take place for this age group. I don’t think they can handle it, grasp it, and it takes away from the rest of the novel because of that.
It was a big shocker for me. If this was a Young Adult novel, I don’t think the event, if you can call it that, that occurred, would have taken me so off guard, but since this is for a younger audience it did. I don’t think it needed to happen to get the author’s point across. Yes, what happened completely at the end was a great character development exercise, but could have been reached without what took place because of it.
Although I did not find this novel extremely heartwarming, I definitely can see where a reader can. This is, at its core, a middle grade novel, but too much of it is adult for me. But, if there wasn’t that one thing, this would have been a great debut for me. Like I mention before, the characters were great. The plot, for the majority of it, was pretty decent. It evoked the right emotions. It showed how powerful friendships could be. It was poignant, honest, and positive.
I am torn on recommending this book. There were some great positives about this book. But, the negatives were so negative. I really feel strongly about what took place that makes it too inappropriate for its age group. I can’t seem to get past that. But, at the end, it was uplifting. There was a positive message. I would say, look at the back. Think about it. It’s heavy. It’s mostly about mental illness; and, the affects it has on our loved ones. If that’s hard for you, I’d say pass. It gets emotional, just so you know.
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Alice Franklin was one of the popular girls. She wore pencil skirts and fitted tops. She was pretty without trying very hard. She was wanted. That's what got her in trouble. It started at a party, where it always starts. Alice "has sex with two boys in one night" according to one of the recipients who texts his best friend. That slut. If it was just sex, she'd be a slut. But, weeks later the boy with the loud keyboard dies while sexting Alice in a car crash. Now, not only is she a slut, she is a slut who kills the superstar quarterback because she can't keep it in her pants. How could she! The Truth About Alice isn't her story, but the story of four people who think they know the truth; only one is right.
Alice doesn't get to defend herself in this unique take on he said/ she said. Told in alternating voices of the girl who threw the party, Alice's then best friend, the best friend of said dead guy, and a guy who wasn't there but may know something, this novel gives us a look at what bullying is really like. Each voice is different. The party thrower focuses more on herself rather than Alice. The best friend throws Alice completely under the bus because she doesn't want to be a loner like she was at her old school again. The best friend of dead guy is just idiotic, and the shy, wasn't even there guy, is the only great character; also, with the only narrative that has Alice speak albeit briefly and in little sentences.
You might not believe me, but I loved this book. Really loved this book. I thought Mathieu did an excellent job writing about High School bullying; and, how hurtful rumors can be. Alice is not the only person who has been slut shamed, whether or not the rumor was true. She went from looking pretty, being herself, to wearing pants and a hoodie zipped up, hiding her head. This isn't a rare thing, unfortunately; and, Mathieu captured it masterfully. The reader is taken through the whole journey of the development of the rumor to discovering the truth. It's a heart breaking story, with only a small happy ending.
Although I am well out of High School, and the politics of it, I can see this book as still being relevant. Kids are still cruel. People are being bullied all the time. I think this is a perfect novel to be taught in schools. See, kids, this is what happens. Do you want to be such and such? Do you see what he/she is doing to Alice? Having Alice not speak in this novel, although it sounds like it wouldn't work nor be beneficial in teaching a lesson, it does the opposite. Here's how: you meet Kurt. Kurt is not popular, a total nerd, and the only one who befriends Alice. Yes, he had a crush on her, but his narrative becomes so much more. It brings reality to all the other nonsense you read from the other three people.
At first, I was apprehensive when I found out Alice never gets a chance to defend herself against these rumors, but as I continued reading, I understood why. If you choose to read this book (please do!) you'll get it, too. Sometimes, these rumors have nothing to do with the victim. They just happen to be with the target. You need to understand the person who is the bully. It completely works. You don't feel sorry for these people, I sure didn't, but you get it. You understand where rumors start, develop, and take off full force. This approach is certainly a risk, it may not work in fiction all the time, but Mathieu did it well.
I highly recommend this book. I read it in one sitting; it's that good. You just want to find out the truth. You know one of them knows, but which one. You will be surprised at who and why. There are three good plot twists that I enjoyed. Little zingers I didn't see coming. The end was also very good. I loved it. I hope you read it. It's a book not to be missed, in my opinion. Plus, if you know someone in High School, or are in High School yourself, this will be a great novel for you, I promise!...more
Meg Lytton should be in the clear. She just narrowly escaped Marcus Dent, the renowned witch hunter who accused her of witch craft. She is in love witMeg Lytton should be in the clear. She just narrowly escaped Marcus Dent, the renowned witch hunter who accused her of witch craft. She is in love with a Spanish, novice Priest who loves her back. She has proven herself to be more powerful a witch than she ever thought she was. But, in 1555, Meg Lytton is not in the clear. No where near it. Still a maid to the Princess Elizabeth in a time of trouble, the Inquisition is now poking its nose in places it doesn’t belong. Meg’s secret betrothed can only do so much; their love is threatened every day on top of every other trial. Will they or won’t they get married? Then, there’s Marcus Dent. Is he truly back?
The sequel promises action, possible betrayal, and love. What it brings is another story. A majority of the novel is spent at court, with Queen Mary awaiting her child that never comes while her husband courts Lady/Princess Elizabeth. Not much happens, truthfully. The Inquisition rears its ugly head, but even that action is small. Not much seemed to occur. What does occur takes little space and is not fully developed. Lady/Princess Elizabeth is still a brat, trying to get Meg into more trouble, messing with darker arts.
I liked the first book in the series. I didn’t love it, but enjoyed it enough. This book fell completely flat for me. I didn’t like it one bit. At first, it started out okay. I thought I could get into it; but as page fifty hit, I stumbled. I found myself forcing myself to read it. I began hating the characters. Not liking the way the plot was going, or not going as it was so slow to move. Nothing seemed to happen. The major changes were given a few pages, if that. I was bored. Very, very bored. When things would occur to the main characters, I found myself not caring. I was tired of Meg constantly drawing out her love for her Priest. The will they or won’t they got on my nerves. Needless to say, I will not be continuing the series. I could barely find the energy to finish this one!
I wish I had a good recommendation for this book, but sadly I don’t....more
Makkai tells an original family saga in reverse in The Hundred Year House. From family suicide to mysterious deaths, and an old artist colony filled wMakkai tells an original family saga in reverse in The Hundred Year House. From family suicide to mysterious deaths, and an old artist colony filled with secrets, The Hundred Year House doesn't disappoint with the amount of secrets. In this family comes first drama, you learn what it means to be a Devohr.
There was plenty to take in, in this novel. There were the general plot lines of the characters: Doug and his struggle to write his book while hiding the fact that he's become a ghost writer for a popular teen series that is a little embarrassing; there's his wife, Zee who is doing her best to secure a spot for "jobless" Doug, by implicating a fellow professor for stuff he isn't doing. Then there is the couple living with them that are slightly minor. Plus, there's Gracie, the mom, who is blocking Doug from finding out about certain things that happened in the artist colony.
This novel was intriguing, while a little lackluster for me. I found myself reading it days in between. It didn't hold my attention as well as I had hoped it would. Although, it did get better in the end. The beginning was slow. Would this be a book I would recommend, no I don't think so. It took too long for me to feel invested. The characters weren't my favorite. The plot was a little interesting, though. I liked the ghost haunting the house, but that was not a sub plot that was fully developed, unfortunately....more
Portofino, Italy, 1943. A young woman steps off a boat in a scenic coastal village. Although she knows how to disappear in a crowd, Elodie is too terrified to slip by the German officers while carrying her poorly forged identity papers. She is frozen until a man she’s never met before claims to know her. In desperate need of shelter, Elodie follows him back to his home on the cliffs of Portofino.
Inspired by a true story the author was told by a friend's relative about being rescued by a stranger in the same situation as Elodie, The Garden of Letters tells the story of two opposites who must learn how to grow and rediscover themselves after separate losses as they are brought together under dire circumstances. It's an interesting plot. I must say I was intrigued from reading the synopsis. Unfortunately, this book did not hit the mark for me. It dragged on in parts. Was often boring, or just okay. I wasn't wowed or invested much in either of the three sub plots. I liked Elodie's sub plot the best; as well as finding her the most interesting, but not by much. Unfortunately, the two other sub plots took up much of the story that Elodie's wasn't enough to make me like the novel.
The sub plot I liked the least was actually when Elodie gets rescued. It takes up the least amount in the novel, but I found it lacking. The end wasn't very good. It tidied things up in a way I was dissatisfied with. The relationship between Elodie and the Doctor was quiet and soft. It seemed too neat. Too fitting for two strangers who just met and are forced to live together. I didn't find it very realistic.
The characters were decent, though. As much as I didn't like the novel, Richman did write okay characters. Elodie and her best friend were great characters. The Doctor was the only one I didn't like.
Now, the garden of letters. THERE WAS NO GARDEN!!!! This may be a spoiler (sorry!) but I was annoyed by this. It's a wall. The wife of the doctor pastes his letters onto their bedroom wall while he is serving in Africa. She makes it look like a Garden, kind of. But the book title is still a little misleading. For me, at least. Maybe I am too literal.
I won't recommend this novel. It just didn't do anything for me. I can't honestly stand behind it. It sounds good in theory; maybe it will work for some, but it didn't work for me.
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