Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: The Other Queen

Title The Other Queen
By Philippa Gregory
Genre Historical Fiction
Pages 438

First sentence Every woman should marry for her own advantage since her husband will represent her, visible as her front door, for the rest of his life.

Synopsis
Queen Mary of Scots, not to be confused with Mary Catherine and Henry VIII's daughter, has been fighting for her throne nearly her whole life. Accused of planning the death of her husband and marrying his murderer she is now at the whim of her cousin Queen Elizabeth. Held captive by an Earl and his wife she must plan and hope for escape while trying to win over her captives.


What it has going for it?
Oh boy. How do I even begin to write my feelings for this one? I like Gregory's books. I like how she brings England's History to life in a readable and captivating way. Her books often have a steamy romance to cling to amidst the history and, call me sucker for romance, but I like it. This book however has no romance and is as much about Bess of Hardwick, Mary's captor, and her husband George, than it is about Mary. But I digress. The good thing about this one is Gregory's capacity to take a neutral look at both women and let you form your own opinion about them. While very different from Gregory's other books it still kept me reading, even if it did go a little slower than I like.

What's lacking?
Forgive me but I thought this book was supposed to be about Queen Mary and so I expected to be sympathetic to her. What actually happened was there were two other characters vying for sympathy and Queen Mary, who I wanted to like, was freakishly annoying. Now don't get me wrong, I thought she was treated completely unfairly by Queen Elizabeth but the way Gregory wrote her...I really didn't care that she got what she did. And then, because of the three different characters, there's no one to really root for, no hero or heroine. I can see why Gregory wrote it the way she did  but I would have preferred one character to sympathize with rather than three I couldn't stand.

Favorite moment
I'm not sure I had one.

Yea or Nay?
Meh, it was OK but I just didn't like any of the characters enough. You have to at least like one, right?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Out of the Easy

Title Out of the Easy
By Ruta Sepetys
Genre YA Contemporary
Pages 346

First Sentance My mother's a prostitute.

Synopsis
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.   She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test. (from Goodreads)


What it has going for it
Phew! This book tugged at my emotions in every way possible. I loved, I laughed, I cried, I raged. I read this one for book club and had no idea what it was about and when I read the first sentence in the book it was like being slapped across the face, but once I got used to the idea of the main character's, Josie, life I was completely entrenched in the story. I'd have to say the best thing about this one is the characters and I'm a plot girl myself but the characters in this one were just so real and colorful and they made the book. They really did. The plot was nothing to sneeze at either. It held me captivated from page one. Hey, the book even kept me reading while I was sick as a dog with a fever, cough, yucky achy-ness, and I never can read when I'm that sick.

What's lacking
Honestly, I was so upset with Josie's mothers and the things she did that for awhile, after finishing the book, I wasn't sure I liked it.  The content could be a big turn off for people and though I was too sick to go to book club, I heard there were those who were very unhappy with it. It's hard to read, I'm not going to lie, but keep in mind this is a YA book and there wasn't, in my opinion, anything too risque.

Favorite moment
When Cokie gives Josie the money.

Yea or Nay?
I honestly think the characters and plot were worth the read.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review:Alice In Wonderland

Title Alice in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
Genre Classic
Pages 119

First Sentence Alice was getting very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and having nothing do.




Synopsis
Chasing a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat down a rabbit hole is just the beginning of a wild adventure for Alice.





What it has going for it
Um, it's a classic? The writing isn't terrible. The Chershire Cat. That's about all I can think of.

What's Lacking
Seriously...What was Carroll thinking? I guess one might see a touch of symbolism or at least just enjoy the wild imagination of a little girl. Maybe back in the day kids adored this one. It's not a classic with that many re-tellings and movies based off it for nothing but wow. I just thought it was one bad fever dream that, when it wasn't boring the pants off me, was kinda sorta scaring me. I only read it because I wanted the original before I started on the re-telling, Splintered. Let's hope it's better than this!

Favorite moment
I've always been fond of the Cheshire Cat.

Yea or Nay?
Honestly, I can't see any reason why you'd need to read this one. Just skip it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review:The Breakaway

Title: The Breakaway (the breakaway 1)
By: Michelle D. Argyle
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 303

First sentence: The kidnapper looking down at Naomi held a book of poetry to his chest.

Synopsis
An only child raised by nannies with parents that are absent at best and a boyfriend that's possessive and abusive, Naomi is not your normal teenager. When she stumbles upon the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up kidnapped her only way out might be to pretend to be falling for one of her captors. But what if her false feelings aren't so false and suddenly life seems better with her captors than it did at home?

What it had going for it
I'm all for a great kidnapping story. Throw in a touch of Stockholm's syndrome and a swoon worthy kidnapper with green eyes and you've got me hooked. I enjoyed this one enough to spend an entire morning in bed ignoring my duties, life showering etc to finish it. The way it starts with Naomi already in captivity and then slowly reveals her sad past with flashbacks was a great way to tell the story. I liked the glimpse we got into Karen's, Naomi's mom, life after her daughter was kidnapped. Although subtle and not quite enough for me I did like the growth we saw in all the characters. I like when a book ends with the characters having grown and changed. Hopefully for the better.

What's lacking
As much as I wanted to love this one and be caught up in the drama and suspense I was to be disappointed. There was one, count it, one time it was suspenseful. While I understood why Naomi was the way she was it drive me absolutely crazy how docile and compliment she was. She tries to escape once. Grrr! And it was a half assed attempt to. I also thought her change at the end wasn't that much of a change. I would hope her year in captivity and her soul searching would have been a little more life altering. Oh well.

Favorite moment
On Naomi's birthday when Jesse kissed her. Steamy!

Yea or nay? 
Yeah I guess but be prepared to be annoyed with Naomi.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Off To A Great Start!

My goal to read and blog more this year started pretty good. I went shopping the very first day of the month. Check out my buys.


Got some ebooks too.


I'm excited to get started. Any books I should get to asap?