Monday, July 30, 2012

Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden

Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden

Historical Romance (clean)

Read July 2012

4 Stars

My Review:
This is a clean historical romance set in Regency England.  I love this period of time in history, a la Jane Austen.  The story moves well, has romantic tension, and a lovable heroine.

Warnings: None

I would let my 14 year old daughter read this book.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams

Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams

YA, Historical

Read July 2012

5 Stars

My Review:
I loved this book.  Loved it!
Here are some of the reason I love this book.
1. The main character, Sadie, moves from Houston to Salt Lake City.  I have lived in both of these cities and I can relate to both of the locations that the author writes about (especially missing the Blue Bell Ice Cream).
2. Sadie is 13 in 1985.  I was 13 in 1985!  I totally get the 80's.
3. Sadie just moved and I just moved.  So I get the upheaval of everything, leaving everything behind, and yet still excited for the possibilities of the future.
4. Sadie has a likable voice.  I loved seeing inside her head.
5. I would call this book wholesome.  However, it isn't boring.  There is plenty of adventure and getting in trouble, it just isn't the drugs/jail time kinda trouble.
6. I like history.  For good portions of the book Sadie is reading a journal kept by a 13 year old girl from 60+ years before.  It is heart wrenching at times, but also fascinating to read about a girl's experience from the past.
7.Sarah Williams has created a book that my daughters and I can understand and enjoy (and it has a happy ending, I like happy endings)

Warnings: None

I would let my 14 year old as well as my 11 year old read this book.  I have recommended it to them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor, by Stephanie Barron

Mystery, Historical Fiction

Read July 2012

3 Stars

My Review:
Stephanie Barron has written a series of mysteries that involve the beloved Jane Austen.  Jane is in the wrong place at the wrong time (or the right place at the right time) to be embroiled in a murder mystery.  The whole idea reminds me of Jessica Fletcher of Cabot Cove, Maine who seemed to encounter a murder mystery every Sunday night on CBS.    Jane's insight and goodness and perseverance, lead to the solving of this particular set of murders.

I love Jane Austen's stories.  I like her stories more than I like reading the books, as I admit that there are times when it is hard to wade through her writing.  But I endure some of the more difficult parts of reading her books because I love the stories, the wit in her writing and her characters. I have found myself at times reading sequels to her books or companions to her books in an effort to continue the joy I find in her stories.

In this book, the story was interesting, the characters engaging, but the writing...not so much.  I kept wanting the story to end.  That is not a good sign.  I felt there were too many twists and turns, too many suspects, too many questions.  About 200 pages in (of a 300 page book), I was ready to find out who did it.  I am not sure if it is the time in my life, perhaps I would enjoy the writing more at another time.

The character of Jane Austen was witty and devoted.  I liked her.  However, I didn't really think of her as Jane Austen herself.  She became a character in the story like any of the other characters without so much being THE Jane Austen.  At times I even thought of her more as Elizabeth Bennet than Jane Austen.

I give this book 3 stars because it is an interesting murder mystery.  I liked the characters, I liked the story.  I just wish it wasn't so verbose, that the author got to the point a little sooner.

Warnings: It is a murder mystery, there is death and lying.  There is some rakish behavior mentioned, girls pregnant out of wedlock, and other sinister behavior (again, it is a murder mystery).

I would let my 14 year old daughter read this, but I am guessing she would be bored before she got too far in to it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Move

"They" say that moving is one of the most challenging events in life.  It is included with giving birth, death, starting a new job.  Well, this last month has been a challenging one.  After 12 years of training, my husband, Michael, is starting his career as an anesthesiologist.  We have moved 2 states over into a townhouse.  Our daughters are starting new schools in a few weeks and we have been trying to get them involved with summer activities to ease the transition.  We are all very excited for this next step in life, but this process is a challenging one.

When I have a chance, I try to read to escape the stress.  I have read 2 books this last month, but have not been able to blog about them.  I haven't even been on the computer much.  I've been trying to keep up with email on my phone, and a little Facebook too.  Because things are so hectic, I'm not going to do a full review, just ratings.  Hopefully I will get back into the reviews soon.

In June I read The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead.  It is the 2nd book in the Bloodlines series that is a sequel to the Vampire Academy series.
4 Stars

I would let my 14 year old read this book.  The Vampire Academy is more grown up, I would say 16 and up.  But this series is a little more tame.

This first week in Colorado I read A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.

4 Stars

I would let my 14 year old read this book.  However, there are some scenes of sexuality and drunkenness.