I got a free book from NetGalley in order to provide an honest review.
This book kept me reading late at night and also made me wake up early in the moI got a free book from NetGalley in order to provide an honest review.
This book kept me reading late at night and also made me wake up early in the mornings so I could read a bit more before starting my day. If you like historical fiction with a bit of a paranormal twist, this is the book for you. Based on the real life of a famous medium at the beginning of the 20th century, Michael Schmicker creates this enticing tale about the life of Alessandra Poverelli, a medium who hosts a seance in Naples. When her spiritualistic deeds and news of her being able of making tables levitate reach scientific circles, psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi will go to check by himself whether she is a fraud. What he witnesses in Naples will change his life and the course of scientific development forever. Spirits, Camorra members, naïve young men, inquisitors, and an English scientific who will chase Alessandra relentlessly make of this book a page-turner.
Told in first person by Tomaso, a photographer and later editor of a newspaper who lived with Alessandra throughout all her adventures, it achieves to get an intimate tone without losing the informative journalistic style so apparent in some of the chapters. All the characters are very well depicted and developed, giving more realism to the story. Twists, unexpected events, and evil characters contribute to making you turn page after page of this amazing book.
I only found a couple of editorial mistakes, but overall it is an incredibly well crafted book. Really interesting....more
I got a free ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book is an absolute delight. It doesn't matter that I am in my thirI got a free ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book is an absolute delight. It doesn't matter that I am in my thirties and this book is intended for middle grade students. This is the kind of book that can talk both to kids and adults. It is ageless. And it will touch your heart. I must confess this book made me cry at times. Because of that, I would suggest that this book should be read by kids with adult supervision, so they can ask questions and understand better some topics developed along this book. Also, this book takes place in 1972, so things have changed since then. Kids may have lots of questions about that period if they read this book.
Naomi "Chirp" Orenstein is a girl who loves bird-watching. Hence her nickname. Being an eleven-years-old girl is not easy sometimes, but when your family starts falling apart, the task of being a kid seems quite a difficult one. The Orensteins seem to be a happy Jewish family, with a psychiatrist father and a dancer mother, but things are not always what they seem. When they discover that Naomi's mother has a disease, everything changes and nothing will ever be the same. Together with her best friend, Joey, Chirp will discover the world of birds and humans can be really different.
The writing of this book is flawless and the compelling storytelling will make you turn the pages until you have finished the book. You will laugh with Chirp, you will cry with her, and you will see things under a different prism thanks to the lovely bird images and comparisons appearing along the book. The development of the characters is really interesting and it adds to the enjoyment and pleasure of reading this gem of a book.
Highly recommended for spending a nice reading day with your children, or to enjoy it yourself while listening to the birds singing. I only regret not having read this book earlier....more
I got a free ARC copy of this book from the First to Read program by Penguin Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
This historical novel offers a neI got a free ARC copy of this book from the First to Read program by Penguin Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
This historical novel offers a new view of one of those lost years in the life of William Shakespeare, interwoven with the historical account of the prosecution of Catholicism during the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th century. Katharine De L'Isle is a widow who goes to live with her family at Lufanwall Hall after her husband's death. There, she spends her days helping to educate the children and being a spinster among the many women in the house. She lives a very normal and quiet life, enjoying reading books, until the priest of the house appears murdered. His death leads to the suspicions that maybe their home is being watched, provoking the autoexile of Sir Edward, the head of Lufanwall, for fear of being prosecuted and executed for his Catholic faith. At the same time, a new schoolmaster appears in the house: a poet and actor called William Shakespeare. His appearance will cause havoc in Katharine's world and emotions. After becoming his tutor and editor somehow, Katharine will discover that Will is a very complex person, learning that actions and words can be deceitful.
This story, which mixes historical and fictitious characters, is well written, although it is confusing at the beginning and I never could fully understand how the many (MANY) people in the Hall were related to each other. I would suggest some kind of genealogical tree at the beginning of the book, perhaps? That would help. Really, it is very confusing. Also, some parts dealing with the writing of the poem 'Venus and Adonis' are a bit boring and I felt like skipping them. Apart from that, I really enjoyed this story of intrigue, love, deceit, and secrets, all of that surrounded by Shakespeare's poetry and words. The plot is interesting and the characters are well developed.
This book shows some aspects of Shakespeare that aren't the typical ones you read in your textbooks or any other reference book. We all know that Shakespeare wasn't a saint, but this book can be a bit shocking for those people who are absolute and adoring fans of the playwright. I liked his relationship with Katharine, because thanks to that we see the development of that character. I truly enjoyed that a woman was, in this book, Shakespeare's editor.
Highly recommended if you like historical novels with a high charge of history data. Also if you are a fan of William Shakespeare....more
I read this story when it was included in an anthology previously, and at the time I thought it deserved two stars. And that was me being generous. AfI read this story when it was included in an anthology previously, and at the time I thought it deserved two stars. And that was me being generous. After following Lindsay Avalon's writing career, I am glad to see her writing has improved immensely and this story is so much better than the original version (which read as a very poorly edited first draft) that now it is when it deserves five stars. If you think this is your typical story with twins, being one good and the other evil, think twice. Selkies and other elements make of this story a gripping read, with an interesting plot development, an excellent pace, and the right dose of thrill to make you keep on reading. Will Lyulf survive to the curse of having an evil twin? Will Himesh be successful with his cruel plans? Will Nerissa be forever trapped in between worlds? What happened to her skin? In order to answer those questions, you will need to read the story. You are in for a treat....more
I got an ARC of this book via the First to Read program by Penguin Books. This is my most honest review.
I have to say that I couldn't finish this bookI got an ARC of this book via the First to Read program by Penguin Books. This is my most honest review.
I have to say that I couldn't finish this book. I tried. I swear I tried. But it is so bad that I ended up skipping to different parts of the book trying to find a part of the book that would make me go on reading. I didn't succeed. Please, authors of YA novels, try to find some kind of story that hasn't been written to death already. Teenager with special abilities, the Earth or any other place or planet is in danger, and it happens that the only one who can save the day is that said teenager. Sounds familiar? Of course. Almost every single YA book in the sci-fi slash fantasy slash paranormal genre deals with the same topic. And it is tiring. And non-original. And it makes me want to scream and decide not to read any other YA novel in my life.
The pace of the book is slow, the plot is boring, and the characters are incredibly flat. All in all, the book was a torture to go through from the start, and that's why I had to stop reading after reading a third of it....more
I got a free ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
As a lover and fan of magic realism, I have to say that I loved this book. The conceptI got a free ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
As a lover and fan of magic realism, I have to say that I loved this book. The concept of a magical dress shop where your dreams can become true is a wonderful one and I just loved it. Also, the relation between the different characters is a very well developed one, and I am a sucker for novels in which letters have a huge importance.
Etta is the owner of a very special dress shop, where she discovers people's dreams and needs and helps them to fulfil them with her very special red thread. Etta wants her cold granddaughter Cora to be happy, but she hasn't managed to feel any warmth towards people since her parents died in mysterious circumstances. When Etta discovers that Walt, the young man who owns the bookstore across the street, is in love with Cora since they were kids, she will try to help. However, her help will bring unexpected events and consequences. Will Cora be able to love? Will Walt achieve his dream? What happened to Cora's parents? Will Etta find her own happiness after fifty years?
Set in the incredibly beautiful cities of Cambridge and Oxford, this story will keep you turning the pages. It is magical like that. The characters are interesting, the plot has been well thought and planned, and you will just want to know what will happen to Cora and Walt, as well as discover what happened when Cora was just a kid. Will the mysteries get solved? You will have to read this gem of a book.