Tuesday, June 18, 2013

SR--Bewitching by Alex Flinn

Kendra is an interesting witch who has been "helping" people for centuries.  She is now in the 21st century, and she has made friends with Emma just in time to help her with her new step-sister, Lisette.  Lisette seems like a perfectly nice girl, but looks can be deceiving which Emma soon finds out.  Kendra wants to help Emma, but she is afraid that her good intentions will not end up well.
This story begins with Kendra finding out that she is a witch when everyone in her family except for her little brother dies from the plague and she is untouched.  She knows something is odd when she prays particularly hard for her brother one night, and the next day he is miraculously cured.  Kendra realizes that she and her brother must run, so they do into the forest where they meet another witch who has a gingerbread house.  Hmmm...does that story sound familiar?  Hansel and Gretel, maybe??
Anyway, it would seem as though these stories are not related, but Flinn actually weaves them together well. She combines facets of fairy tales with bits of history from the Plague to the Titanic where Kendra was not successful with her magical attempts.  Kendra was the witch in Flinn's retelling of Beauty and the Beast in Beastly.  I loved it when I read it years ago--I'll post about it in a day or so.  She alludes to that story throughout the book as well.

This book took some time for me to get into.  I loved the story with Lisette and Emma, but some of the other parts dragged a bit for me.  Still, I enjoyed it.  And, it was a GOOD Read!
Check out the book trailer here.

SR--Rebel Spirits by Lois Ruby

Sixteen year old Lori cannot believe that her parents have purchased a bed and breakfast and moving to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  What could possibly be fascinating about that place--Lori wonders.  Until she gets there...and finds that she has the gift to converse with the dead.  When they arrive, she notices a shadow in her bedroom window, and she sees it again in the screen when she is skyping with her brother.  Pretty soon, Nathaniel--a Civil War soldier--reveals his identity to her.  He also reveals that he needs her help in figuring out who murdered him in 1863.  How can Lori possibly figure out who committed this murder so long ago--if indeed it was a murder?  Find out in Rebel Spirits by Lois Ruby.
I love this type of book.  It has history--Civil War, no less.  It has a mystery with bad guys.  And, it does have romance as well.  Did I mention that Nathaniel is gorgeous?  Oh, and there is also a cute guy who works for her parents.  Which guy will she choose?  I know that sounds crazy because one is a ghost and one is living, but it works somehow.
This is definitely a GOOD read.cover_image

Away too long and an announcement

Well, I thought I would keep up with this more regularly, but alas...  I have been reading, but it takes extra time to write about my reading even if it is pitiful entries as those I have thus far.
So...I have enlisted some help to get more titles out there.  There will be a guest blogger who will share some titles that he has read.  The good thing about having him post is that he will read some titles that I have little interest in reading and writing about.  Therefore, we get more titles in front of the public--which I am always in favor of doing.  That being said...we should have titles enough to have caught up for the days that I was delayed in writing and then some...Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

SR--Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

Althea has the burden of maintaining her family's estate, specifically Crawley Castle, with little money.  In this time period, her only option is to find a rich husband.  Her options are slim until Lord Boring comes to stay with his aunt and uncle.  He is attractive, charming, and attentive.  However, his cousin and business manager accompanies him on all of his visits to see her.  Althea does not know what to do because she is not sure how she is going to win Lord Boring's heart with the bothersome Mr. Fredericks always in the way.  Of course, there are the two stepsisters who are interested in Lord Boring as well.
This short novel is reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice with simpler language.  It is my favorite kind of fiction--historical romance.  I saw how the story was going to end in the second chapter, but I still liked reading it.  If you like a sweet romantic book--give this one a try.

Definitely--a good read here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

SR--Revenge of a Not So Pretty Girl by Carolita Blythe

Faye is a fourteen year old girl who believes that she is ugly on the outside and on the inside.  She begins hanging out with some bad girls who convince her that they should get revenge on all of the rich, pretty girls by stealing from them.  This starts her on a dark path that leads to stealing from an elderly woman and almost ended up in murder.  Faye cannot get rid of her guilt, so she visits the woman, Evelyn Rider, to see if she is okay.  When she discovers that Evelyn is not dead, she should feel like she is off the hook, but something still nags at her.
Meanwhile, Faye's father reveals that he is moving to Florida with his new love, and this news sends her mother into a rage.  Faye then feels as though home is not a great place, so she invents an excuse to spend time with Evelyn.  At first, Evelyn is resistant--imagine that, but over time these two develop a relationship that Faye has been missing.  As it turns out, Evelyn had been missing that relationship as well.
At first, I did not like this book AT ALL.  I did not like Faye at first because I just could not figure out why she thought that robbing an old woman was a good idea.  What really bugged me was that she rationalized her behavior.  Then, she grew on me.  The more time she spent with Evelyn--the more I grew to like her character.  Blythe did a great job of developing this relationship.  I had a great relationship with my grandmother, and in so many ways it has shaped me into the person that I am today.  I have to admit that I have a real soft spot for books that promote inter-generational relationships--especially when they are not blood related.  In so many ways, I believe that our society would be so much better if these two generations spent more time together listening to each other.  Both could learn from the other--just my two cents on the subject.

So...this is definitely a good read.  The book trailer above dramatizes the scene where Faye and her "friends" steal from Evelyn.