Sunday, April 28, 2013

Re-Read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Summary from Goodreads:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the "most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author's works," and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as "irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."

5 Stars

Read April 2013

Regency Historical Fiction, Own on Nook

My Review:
So many covers!  I like to put a picture of the book I am reviewing with the review.  Sometimes I don't put the exact cover, but I try to. This time I read the Illustrated edition which is the first cover displayed.  I really enjoy C.E. Brock's illustrations.  The other covers are just fun covers and there are MANY more!

As much as I love this book, I must admit that I love the A&E movie just as much.  To some I am sure this is blasphemy.  Unfortunately, I have seen the movie so many times that I hear actors from the movie saying the lines as I read them in the book.  Sometimes, this is good, especially if I like the way the actor plays the role.  Sometimes this is bad, if I don't like the way the actor plays the role.  I find myself changing the "voice in my head" to suit what I like.

Somethings I love about this story:
Jane, Elizabeth, Mrs. Bennet (it's a love/hate relationship for me), Bingley and Darcy.
I love the banter between Darcy and Elizabeth.
I love the Regency era, the balls, the dinners, the social rules.

I recommend the book and movie to anyone.  Not everyone will like it, but I love it!

Warnings: Premarital sex mentioned (in a very nondescript way)

I would let my 15 year old read this book.  

I would recommend my 15 year old read this book.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cover Reveal of Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

One of my favorite books last year was Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson.  She is in the editing stages of another book called Blackmoore.  Here is a link to her blog with the exciting reveal and a synopsis of the story.  I am looking forward to this next book!

Julianne Donaldson's Blog

Saturday, April 20, 2013

This Time Forever by Rachel Ann Nunes

This Time Forever by Rachel Ann Nunes

Summary from Goodreads:
Mickelle Hansen never realized marriage could be so challenging. Her husband's epilepsy has caused him to become cynical and verbally abusive, but with love in her heart and strength from her Heavenly Father, Mickelle is determined to make her marriage work. Then the worst happens. Can she ever pick up the shattered pieces of her life? 

Meanwhile, Rebekka Massoni arrives in America to work for handsome widower Damon Wolfe, leaving all her hopes and dreams back in her beloved France. She has loved and idolized Marc Perrault since she was five years old, but he can offer only her friendship in return. 

Can Rebekka forget Marc and learn to love another man? Both Damon and Samuel Bjornenburg, successful CEO of Corban International, hope to win a place in her heart, but Damon's daughter doesn't like Rebekka, and Samuel doesn't share her faith. To make matters worse, Rebekka's heart is still breaking over Marc. Suddenly she must make the most important decision of her entire life. Will it be the right one? 

Join Mickelle and Rebekka as they search for love and self-discovery. This tender story of heartbreak, healing, and faith is one you will not soon forget.

3 Stars

Read April 2013

LDS Romantic Fiction, Free e-book from Amazon

My Review:
I liked this book.  I appreciated that every marriage in the book wasn't perfect.  I also appreciated that it showed that not all LDS people are kind and open to others.  I tend to put a generalization on LDS people that we are "nicer" than other people.  Well, that is not true.  LDS people are individuals.  Some are kind.  Some are not.  All have flaws.  I am glad to read a book where I am reminded about that.

Warnings: Emotional abuse

I would let my 15 year old read this book.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The List by Melanie Jacobson

The List by Melanie Jacobson

Summary from Goodreads:
Ashley Barrett doesn't want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn't care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college -- the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that's why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals -- from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi -- she'll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master's degree). But when Matt decides he doesn't like the "leaving" part, Ashley's carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down —- or might set her free?

3.5 Stars

Read April 2013

LDS Romantic Fiction, Inter-Library Loan

My Review:

Having just read "Going Vintage" by Lindsey Leavitt where there was also a "list", I was a little hesitant about this book.  I had read good things about Melanie Jacobson and decided to go for it.  As much as I enjoyed both books, I wouldn't recommend reading them this close together.

This was a fun, quick read.  It is a clean, LDS romantic fiction.  It captures the young single adult life that many have experienced.  I liked that as much as some parts were predictable, others were not.  I was happy to see that Melanie Jacobson wrote some twists.  

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old read this book.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall

The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall
An Amish Vines and Orchards Book 2

Summary from Amazon (Goodreads didn't have a description, imagine that!):
The tornado that devastated Kings’ Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community—and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?
On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.
Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.
Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: can the three faithfully follow God’s leading and build a new home and orchard in Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?

4 Stars

Read April 2013

Adult Fiction, Library Book

My Review:
This is the second book I have read by Cindy Woodsmall, the first one being the first book in this series.  

This book series fascinates me.  I like learning about the Amish culture.  And, this series has a "paranormal" aspect to it.  Don't be afraid though, it's not sci-fi paranormal.  It's more of the seeing visions/hearing voices kind of paranormal.  There is mystery in this book.

There is also a lot of angst.  This book has more angst in it than the first book.  There is more emotional conflict between the characters.  The secret keeping causes conflict as well.

And, like any good "middle" book, this book ends with new questions and some of the previous issues unresolved.  Now I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment to see what happens to these fascinating people.

Warnings: I can't think of anything specifically, but they are adults (most of them) dealing with work, bullying, and relationship issues.

I would let my 15 year old read this, but it is definitely an adult book.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Guest Review on Bookshop Talk!

I had the privilege of doing a guest review on Bookshop Talk!  

Check it out here. Palace Beautiful

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Summary from Goodreads:
When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn't cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

5 Stars

Read April 2013

Young Adult/Teen, Library Book

My Review:
Lindsey Leavitt has once again proven to me that cute, fun reads can also have depth.  

From the premise and the cover, I figured this would be a book I would like.  It has a quirky girl trying to figure out who she is, teen romance-both good and bad, and the fun style of the early 1960's.

I have to admit that as a teenager, I wished that I could have been a teen in the 1950's when my mom was a teen.  I thought poodle skirts, bobby socks, and the big poofy dresses would be so much fun.  I liked the idea of soda fountains and sock hops and a young Elvis Presley.  I thought it would be such a great time to grow up, much like Mallory feels about 1962.

What I love about this book and Lindsey Leavitt's stories (I've only read 2) is that within this fun backdrop the characters are dealing with real difficulties that many of us face day to day.  From the description one would think that Mallory's major challenge in this book is a boyfriend who cheats.  However, that is what starts this story, not what it is really about.  

For fun, Lindsey Leavitt has lists at the beginning of each chapter.  Loved the lists!  Loved the characters. Loved the setting of Orange, CA.  I am not from CA, however, my parents grew up in Southern California and my husband is from Orange County (he was in the Orange Stake at church growing up) and I have visited and heard about Southern California my entire life.  It was fun to read about some places that I have actually been (although I realize that many people actually live there and will identify with the setting more, it was still fun for me.).

This was a great read that I would recommend to my teens.

Warnings: talk of premarital sex, child out of wedlock (only talk)

I would let my 15 year old read this book.