Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Summary from Goodreads:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Read 2014

4 Stars

Library Book

My Review:
This 3rd book in the Lunar Chronicles continues the story very well.  I am not really a "sci-fi" gal, but I like this series.  The setting is fascinating.  Marissa Meyer has created a world I'm interested in and want to know more about.  

I look forward to the next book WINTER due out in November 2015.  Here is a summary from Goodreads:
Here is the stunning conclusion to the national bestselling Lunar Chronicles, inspired by Snow White.

When Princess Winter was thirteen, the rumor around the Lunar court was that her glamour would soon be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. In a fit of jealousy, Levana disfigured Winter. Four years later, Winter has sworn off the use of her glamour altogether. Despite her scars, Winter’s natural beauty, her grace, and her gentleness are winning admiration from the Lunar people that no amount of mind-control could achieve.

Winter despises her stepmother, but has never dreamed of standing up to her. That is, until she realizes that she may be the only one with the power to confront the queen. 

Can Cinder, Prince Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Princess Winter, and the palace guard Jacin find their happily ever afters? Fans will LOVE this amazing conclusion to the series.

Warnings: None that I can remember

I would let my 16 year old read this book.  In fact, I've recommended the series to my 13 year old.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Regency Collection

A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Regency Collection by Anna Elliott, Sarah M. Eden, Carla Kelly, Josi S. Kilpack, Annette Lyon and Heather B. Moore

Summary from Heather B. Moore:
In THE WEDDING GIFT by Anna Elliott, you'll revisit the famous romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy... all in classic Regency language and style. I feel a little sigh coming on.

In THE DREAM OF A GLORIOUS SEASON, Sarah M. Eden delivers a refreshing take on the younger sister who isn't allowed a Season and how the man who she's secretly in love with refuses to let her feel left out.

2-time Rita award winner Carla Kelly will make you gasp, then smile, then sigh, as she delivers a realistic portrayal of a Royal Navy battle and the unexpected romance that blooms, in THE MENDER.

In BEGIN AGAIN, Josi S. Kilpack (award-winning suspense author), debuts her first Regency story, presenting a second chance at love when Ross Martin shows up again in Regina's life. (Josi has a full-length Regency novel coming in May 2015: A HEART REVEALED.)

Annette Lyon's THE AFFAIR AT WILDEMOORE will make you rethink the early months of your marriage and rekindle those flames of endearing love.

And... my contribution is my first attempt at writing in this era. THE DUKE'S BROTHER tells the story of two, very unlikely people, who are both willing to put their hearts ahead of traditional conventions.

Read January 2015

5 Stars

E-book copy from author for an honest review

My Review:
Regency historical fiction is probably my favorite era to read.  In my early 20's I fell in love with Jane Austen's stories.  I love that time period in England and reading about the cultural conventions.

This collection of Regency stories continues my love for this era.  These stories talk about the social boundaries, the cultural climate, and the romance that develops and rekindles through stolen glances and gentle touches.  Ahh...I really do love these stories.  

One of the things I like about the A Timeless Romance Anthologies is that it introduces me to authors I may not otherwise read.  Plus, I know that when I read these collections they will be clean romances with a satisfying conclusion.

Warnings: In The Mender there is some description of battle wounds.

I would let my 16 year old read this collection of stories.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Summary from Amazon:
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in post colonial Africa.

Read 2014

4 Stars

Library hard copy book and audio book

My Review:
I like happy books.  I read to escape.  

Our local book club was reading The Poisonwood Bible and I knew it would be a hard book for me to read.  I was really interested in trying to read this book for book club even though I rarely go.  I wanted to see if I could read a book that wasn't my typical escapist book.  I decided I might have more luck getting in to the story if I listened to it on CD.  I was right.  I recommend the audio book even if you are going to read a hard copy (which I read some from the hard copy book as well).  I liked getting the pronunciations and patterns of speech from the audio book.  

I studied some Anthropology in college and one of the terms that is often used is ethnocentric.  The Merriam-Webster definition of this word is "having or based on the idea that your own group or culture is better or more important than others."  This story gives a prime example of someone who is ethnocentric, Nathan Price.  His family is ethnocentric as well, but I feel that they adapted better than their father/husband.

The story followed an American family who traveled to Africa as missionaries.  The father came in trying to convert the people in the village to Christianity and western traditions with no thought to how they were living in their own culture.  I wanted to strangle the father.  I wanted to slap the mother for not being a better advocate for her children when they were put in danger by the father's actions as well as being in the new environment.  I had a lot of frustrations with these parents.

This book was told from the female family members' points of view.  At first it was a bit confusing to me, but listening to the CD audio book helped me get to know these characters as individuals.  Hearing each of their points of view helped me get to know the many secondary characters as well.  The characters and their relationships were very important in this book.  As much as this was a story about a missionary family in Africa during revolutionary times, it was really about relationships and how individual decisions affect those relationships.  

When my father was in his early 20's in the 1960's, he lived in South Africa.  He was a missionary for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I don't know much about his time there.  Unfortunately, he passed away last year.  When I read this book I wished he were there to talk to about that time in his life.  I wonder if he was aware of the revolution going on in the Belgian Congo.  I wonder if it affected him in South Africa at all.

This was a hard book for me to get through.  It is hard for me to read about people having struggles.  I want everything to work out well for people and the reality is that happily ever afters are extremely uncommon.  This book is thought provoking and covers an interesting time in history.  While reading it I looked up more information on the subject.  Any book that gets me interested in finding out more is a success in my opinion.

Warnings:  Death, physical/emotional hardship, mature topics like civil unrest, imprisonment for beliefs

I would let my 16 year old read this book.  It is hard to get through in my opinion, but I think she has read books in school that are just as difficult in subject matter as well as the way they are written.