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The Game of Hope

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  251 ratings  ·  79 reviews
For Napoleon's stepdaughter, nothing is simple -- especially love.

Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is engrossed in her studies at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, most of whom suffered tragic losses during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution. She loves to play and compose music, read and paint, and daydream about Christophe, her brother's dashing fell
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Penguin Teen
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ash hc I'd say it's perfect for 11-13? I'm almost 16 and I liked it but thought I'd have liked it more when I was 11 or 12

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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  251 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 stars to the story of Napoleon’s stepdaughter, Hortense! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I am a huge Sandra Gulland fan. Her Josephine B. (Bonaparte) trilogy books are some of my favorite historical fiction works. I was thrilled that she would be taking on Josephine’s daughter’s story in The Game of Hope.

Hortense’s story is classified as young adult but is suitable for adults, too. Beginning four short years after the Terror of the French Revolution, Hortense is enrolled in a boarding school. She is talented with mu
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
As much as I love historical fiction, this novel did not hit the mark for me.

It was an okay read but nothing more beyond that. The story barely graded on events going on at the time and instead mainly focused on the character of Hortense. This is understandable as she is the main character and the novel is marketed being about her story.

However, I found she was somewhat of a boring and bland character. Adding on to that, she did not come across as being a teenager and seemed to be more relatabl
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
What does the future hold for the timid daughter of a beautiful woman; the step-child of a ruthless man?

When the story opens in 1798, Hortense de Beauharnais, whose father was guillotined during the last days of the Terror in France, is 15. Josephine, her notorious mother, is married to Napoleon Bonaparte, who is in Egypt leading the French army, and Hortense lives at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, nursing her talents, her sorrows and her secrets passions.

Sandra Gulland returns to th
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The Game of Hope” by Sandra Gulland combines two of my favorite genres: Young Adult and Historical fiction! It is a coming of age story of Hortense de Beauharnais, the stepdaughter of Napoleon. I feel like her story will resonate with a lot of readers.

It’s fascinating to see the events surrounding Napoleon Bonaparte and his leadership, as well as the aftermath of the French Revolution, through the eyes of his teenage stepdaughter. I love how Ms. Gulland portrays the family and their relationshi
Sarah Marie
The Game of Hope by Sandra Gulland

DNF @ page 133 - 2 stars

The Game of Hope is a YA historical fiction novel that follows Hortense de Beauharnais, Napoleon's step-daughter. Honestly, I have no clue what the plot of this novel is because the 133 pages I read were a hodgepodge of girl drama, sordid family dealings, and music. It was all very boring and I'm quite sad because I thought this was going to be a novel I would love. I do enjoy historical fiction re-imaginings and I had high expectations f

Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent novel by Sandra Gulland. Some very apt words from Net Galley:
"Sandra Gulland demonstrates a masterful grasp that she has on history in her book The Game of Hope .... Gulland ... has no problem displaying her understanding of post-revolution France and therefore invites her readers into a well-developed universe of Hortense de Beauharnais.
This book is well written for younger audiences of teenage girls, connecting them to the past with common issues that all preteen girls face
Roberta Rich
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Game of Hope by Sandra Gulland

One of the pleasures of reading historical novels is that the best ones bring alive the past in a way no history book can. Game of Hope is such a book.
Hortense Beauharnais, age 15, is the daughter of Josephine Bonaparte and step-daughter of Napoleon.
Hortense is a student at a lovely girls’ boarding school outside of Paris, near her mother’s estate Malmaison. A serious, bookish, musical girl, rather prim, plain and straight laced in a school that encourages scholar
This is my second novel by Sandra Gulland and her first venture into YA, fitting as Hortense is a young adult herself.

This is the first time reading anything about Hortense and I quite enjoyed it. To get glimpses of the final years of the Revolution, though the eyes of the young, added that extra emotional element, it wasn't hard to feel empathy for what they went through. The scars left were not always the physical ones. Hortense didn’t ask to be stepdaughter of the famous Bonaparte but that w
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I was excited to win this book in a Goodreads Giveaway (thank you Penguin Random House Canada!). I do enjoy this period of French history, and the novel's premise is a fascinating one; Hortense, a teenage girl, has lost her father to the guillotine as part of 'The Terror'. Several years after his death, her mother remarries. But she doesn't marry just anyone! Oh no, she marries General Napoleon Bonaparte, the rising star of the French military!

When the story opens, Napoleon is away in Egypt on c
The Lit Bitch
It’s been forever since I read a YA novel. I kind of go through phases with YA novels. Sometimes I end up reading like 5 or 6 at a time, and then I don’t read any for like months.

Currently I’m in the ‘I haven’t read any YA for months’ phase. So when this book came up for review, I was about to pass until I read the summary. I love Napoleon and the French Revolution and when I saw that this book was about Napoleon’s step daughter, Hortense, I was excited to read it….YA or not.

So I think what was
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
★★★✬☆ The Game of Hope opens in 1798. France is in shambles four years after Robespierre was executed. Our narrator is in a boarding school full of nobility who fear that The Terror Robespierre wreaked could happen again. I will admit to my ignorance of this time period, but Sandra Gulland navigated this potential gap in her reader's knowledge by providing a very brief historical note at the beginning of the novel to give them the required information.
“You grew up in a violent time,” she said
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
The Game of Hope is a historical fiction novel for Teens that focuses on the life of Hortense de Beauharnais, Napoleon Bonaparte's 15-year-old stepdaughter. The story is set in 1798 in France, not long after the horrors during the Reign of Terror.

This was a quiet, slowly paced book that focuses on Hortense's life. It's a coming-of-age story of a girl struggling to deal with the after effects of The Terror and her unique family life, while still dealing with the normal struggles of teenage girls
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
1 sentence summary: Gilmore Girls-esque storyline set in post-Revolution France.

Full Review:
I was a beta reader and also received an ARC of the US edition. I love Sandra Gulland’s Josphine B. Trilogy, and although Game of Hope is geared towards a younger audience, I still enjoyed it. This is her first YA novel, so don’t go into it expecting it to be exactly the same as her other novels.

Hortense, Napoleon Bonaparte’s stepdaughter, has to navigate the society that her mother’s recent remarriage
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was just another solid page turner from Gulland.
Katie Harder-schauer
I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program. This is my honest review.

I wanted to like this book. I usually really enjoy historical fiction, but this book fell flat for me. I kind of feel like reading this book would be like reading Rob Kardashian's memoir if he was only famous because his mother married Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner. And I may have been more forgiving of the book if I'd remembered while reading it that it was based on Hortense's actual autobiography, bu
The Game of Hope focuses on the teen years of Napoleon’s step-daughter, Hortense. While Napoleon and her mother are away, Hortense attends a boarding school whose mistress once served Marie Antoinette. Hortense has to deal with friendship, rumors about her mother’s love affair, accepting her father’s death, and accepting Napoleon as her step-father. Most of all, Hortense wonders what her future will be and what role she will play in the emerging of the Napoleonic era.

I really thought this book
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Game of Hope is the historical fiction and young adult book that is set in the late eighteenth century in Paris, France. Hortense attends boarding school after the terrors of French Revolution. Then her life has changed when her mother is married to Napoleon Bonaparte.

This is an interesting story. I do not know that it is based on true events, but that is a new fact to me. I am in intermediate level of French, so I recognize some words that are included in the book. I like the cover because
Jun 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
The second time very recently that I have been looking forward to a new book by an author that I quite like. Gulland wrote the Josephine B trilogy that I re-read almost every summer. It's just a happy place for me. So I was looking forward to The Game of Hope, whose story is from Josephine's daughter Hortense's perspective. I had high hopes, looking for her view on The Terror, the Revolution, the rise of Napoleon. But I actually couldn't finish it. I felt as though I was reading a YA novel, and ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this unique, believable, and well-researched story!
Katrin von Martin
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The Game of Hope” by Sandra Gulland is a novel that stands out among other YA offerings. The cover, with its soft colours and depiction of a pretty young woman in regency attire, combined with the tagline about love make it look for all the world like a sappy, mushy romance story – so, the type of thing that I normally stay far, far away from. But there’s something else in the tagline that draws attention: the stepdaughter of Napoleon. Oh? I was intrigued. France’s post Reign of Terror years a ...more
Maria I.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is all I'll be thinking about for the next three months. Where to begin...

Sandra Gulland has done it again, drawing me in to the Napoleonic Age and making me fall in love with the colourful personalities of the era all over. Gulland has tackled the period before in her magnificent trilogy focusing on the life of Josephine Bonaparte, the mother of our heroine, Hortense. In this novel, teen-aged Hortense de Beauharnais takes center stage. Gulland renders her with charm, humour, and compl
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hist-fic, ya-na
The Game of Hope is a coming-of-age story that simultaneously keeps the reader rooted in the post-Revolutionary era and serves as a reminder that growing up is complicated no matter when you live. As Napoleon Bonaparte's stepdaughter, Hortense de Beauharnais witnesses endless changes around her, but she has no say in any of what occurs, putting her in a unique position of being both in the center and on the fringes of France's increasingly important family.

Ms. Gulland is a pro at avoiding a pit
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.75. Slow and windy, with not a lot to keep you engaged. I also was unsure of the plot for pretty much the entire book. I felt like the afterward held all the answers... was I supposed to care that she played the piano at the end of the book? It didn’t feel like a culmination, it felt like the author had to pause and decided to share the rest of the story by debriefing everyone instead of continuing to write the book.

I know little history about the Terror, or France during the revolution and N
I enjoyed this book - but I do have to say I was slightly disappointed by it. I picked it up to read because I absolutely love Sandra Gulland’s series on Joséphine Bonaparte, so a series on her daughter (the step-daughter of Napoleon) immediately spiked my interest. My favourite part of the book was the afterward which went into an explanation of fact vs fiction in the matter of this book - it’s always interesting to gain an understanding of why historical fiction authors makes the decisions the ...more
Damaris Tonner
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Sandra Gulland demonstrates a masterful grasp that she has on history in her book The Game of Hope. While some authors struggle to convince their audience that they are educated in history and to fully immerse their readers in their story, Gulland has no problem displaying her understanding of post-revolution France and therefore invites her readers into a well developed universe of Hortense de Beauharnais.

This book is well written for younger audiences of teenage girls, connecting them to the
Irene O'Hare
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got this book for free through Penguin's First to Read program. I absolutely loved this look into the life of Hortense de Beauharnais, step-daughter of Napoleon, who I'm surprised I hadn't heard of before. I had learned a lot about Napoleonic France in school but mostly from the perspective of England and America and in relation to Napoleon as a general and emperor but I knew next to nothing about day to day life in France or about the women in his life. Hortense and her mother, Josephine, are ...more
Lisa H
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was given an ARC to review.

I very nearly judged this book by it's cover. And the cover I have is not even the final one. Shame on me. It came to me with several other ARCs and honestly if I had not read the author bio I might have set this one aside and missed out on this engrossing read. I really enjoyed Gulland's series on Josephine Bonaparte so I decided to give this one a try.

And I'm so glad I did. I very much identified with Hortense and found the characters engaging. I would say it would
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Sandra Gulland has yet to disappoint. It's an interesting YA-take on the aftermath of the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon - from a woman who was both stepdaughter to the Emperor and daughter of a man executed on the guillotine. What I love, besides the historical detail and wonderful characterization, is the matter-of-fact way this story treats the facts of life - menstruation, sex, etc. Good luck, Hortense. You're going to need it.
Emily (emilykatereads)
The Game of Hope follows Hortense, stepdaughter of Napoleon, during his rise to power. This novel gives a look into the family's life and Hortense's life at school with her friends. We get a great look at France in 1800.

What this book did best was its historical accuracy. There was great detail, and obviously there's liberties taken to create the novel, but overall it remains quite true and keeps many facts accurate to history. Along with its accuracy, it was well-written and had many enjoyable
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"The Game of Hope" is the story of Hortense, who is mostly concerned with managing her friendships and getting through school. This is made a lot more difficult by her stepfather, Napoleon Bonaparte. Hortense goes to school with his sister, which makes having her own life even more difficult than it would be. Her every move is watched. While Hortense's mother, Josephine, is utterly devoted to Napoleon, Hortense regrets him taking the place of her beloved father. This was a great take on a story ...more
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I'm the author of the JOSEPHINE B. TRILOGY, the internationally best-selling novels based on the life of Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleon's wife. The Trilogy has been published in 17 countries.

The Trilogy was followed by MISTRESS OF THE SUN and then THE SHADOW QUEEN, a "sister" novel. Both novels are set in the Court of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

THE GAME OF HOPE, a Young Adult novel about Josephine B