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A Brief History of Montmaray
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February 2016: World War II > A Brief History of Montmaray / Michelle Cooper - 2**

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6000 comments A Brief History of Montmaray – Michelle Cooper
2 **

From the book jacket: Sophie FitzOsborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray, along with her tomboy younger sister Henry, her beautiful, intellectual cousin Veronica, and her uncle, the completely ma King John. When Sophie receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, she decides to write about her day-to-day life on the island. But this is 1936, and the news that trickles in from the mainland reveals a world on the brink of war.


My reactions
I was bored, and finished only because it satisfied a challenge. I found Sophie’s musings repetitious (How often do I need to hear about how cranky Rebecca is? How handsome Simon is? How stubborn Henry is?). At first I was reminded of We Have Always Lived in the Castle but that quickly subsided. I didn’t find the underlying intrigue about Sophie’s brother and who will inherit the throne from Uncle John terribly interesting. We’re to believe they are completely isolated, with little or no modern conveniences (no electricity, no phone, no motorized boat), yet when they need help they hoist a flag and miraculously a passing ship sees it and comes to their aid.

One of my pet peeves is cliffhanger endings that “force” the reader to get the next book to find out what happens. And that is exactly what this book gives us.

I know this is a YA novel and I do cut the genre a little slack, so I’m still giving it two stars. Some of the scenes were quite suspenseful, and some of the interactions between characters not only advanced the story, but were plausible. I also liked that the young women were portrayed as strong, intelligent, resourceful and determined.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6543 comments Book Concierge wrote: "One of my pet peeves is cliffhanger endings that “force” the reader to get the next book to find out what happens. And that is exactly what this book gives us.
."


You and I totally share this pet peeve. And I don't care if the book is YA or not. Honestly, if you write well, this technique isn't even necessary. And if you don't, I'm not going to buy the next book just to find out something that I don't really care about anyway.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6000 comments Absolutely, Anita. I don't mind ambiguous endings ... in fact I rather like them. ("Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn!") But cliff-hangers, just irritate me no end.


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