Review Rendezvous: 8/12/17


The Step-Spinsters by Madina Papadopoulos
Book stats:
Genre(s): Fantasy, romance, young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 238
Publish date: August 15th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

SpinstersOnce upon a time, in a land far, far away…

…(actually, in Medieval France, to be exact) there lived Cinderella’s stepsisters, Fredegonde the tall and Javotte the small. They wake up the morning after the legendary ball to learn that they each still have a chance to be the bride—all they have to do is make their feet fit into that tricky slipper. Alas, these two damsels under stress never quite seem to fit in anywhere. But that doesn’t stop them from wishing and hoping as they set upon a quest for grooms and grandeur of their own.

This one is quite interesting, as instead of focusing on Cinderella, like most fairytale retellings do, you get to see her step-sister’s point of view. The novel begins the morning after that fateful ball, and after the magic has worn off, you’ll see that things are not always what they seem. Cinderella’s sisters and mother are struggling to keep their house. Because they are women, they cannot inherit property, and one of the daughters must marry before the end of the month if they are to keep their land.

Of course, once Cinderella is plucked from obscurity and brought to the castle, she no longer cares for her family’s plight, which leaves them in quite the desperate situation. We also realize that the prince isn’t quite a princely as he would seem, and duke is a conniving old man, and a troubadour may not be all he’s crack up to be.

I loved the fact that we got more of a realistic setting here, as it is based in Normandy in the medieval times. There’s so many different conflicting storylines here, but at the same time Papadopoulos manages to weave them together very well. There’s also the question of if true love really exists, or if people only get married to further their own interests.

I quite loved this book, the only thing that occasionally tripped me up were the french words sprinkled throughout. However, I believe that you could reasonably understand what they are referring to from context. All in all, quite the lovely retelling, I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the medieval period or fairytale retellings.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Cinder

A cute romance featuring a version of the Cinderella story.

cinder

It’s Cinderella, but as a cyborg in SPACE!

The Selection

Beautiful dresses, political intrigue, and a rags-to-riches story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Review Rendezvous: 7/22/17


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, fantasy, paranormal, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 332
Publish date: January 2nd, 2007
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

 

VALissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…

I picked up this particular book while I was in Orlando as a WDW intern. Originally, I had picked it up because I wanted something to read on the bus rides to work and it seemed interesting enough. Boy was I underselling it. Normally, I’m not the type to go for vampire novels, and while I wasn’t particularly hooked after the first one, I continued on with the series and by the end, it had become one of my favorites.

The thing that I love reading the most in this series is the growth of the main protagonist, Rose. When you meet her in the beginning, she’s rash, stupid, selfish, and rebellious, mostly without justification. She does care very much for her best friend and does things with good intentions, but they usually blow up in her face.

Without spoiling information about the series, I can’t explain much about how Rose grows up in the later novels. There’s a big theme of duty and sacrifice as well, which is an interesting sub-plot. I accidentally spoiled myself to the ending of one of the side issues, although I’m not too worried about spoilers so it’s fine.

There is a movie adaptation of this first book, and while it is interesting and well-produced, it’s not entirely true to the source material. Of course, that goes for most book to movie adaptations nowadays, so I suppose slight inaccuracy can be overlooked in some instances.

All in all, yet another amazing series that I have stumbled across. Makes me lad that I picked up the first book to begin with. There is also a second series, the Bloodlines series, that I just recently finished. I’ll post a separate review of it on a different day, but that one was almost as good as this series, so it’s well worth the read!

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Flash Review: The Crown by Keira Cass


Okay friends, I hate going all unorganized and not posting an real review yet, but I just finished The Crown five minutes ago and I’m still reeling. The final installment in the much-loved Selection series just hit stores today, and by today I mean two hours ago. I pre-ordered the Kindle version, and was about to fall asleep when my phone dinged to tell me it’d been delivered. So, naturally, I had to read it.

I will admit, Eadlyn was quite a bit on the whiney side when she first started out, but the character development is marvelous. In this book, you see how much she’s grown and what she really has to deal with as a queen-in-training.

Also, there’s the matter of the Selection. So much drama going on there, I’m not even going to poke it with a stick. And it doesn’t help that someone from the outside actually ends up forcing Eadlyn’s hand. She also makes such a stunning choice, I had to reread a few times. I was so afraid she was going to make the wrong one, because she was about to up until the last few moments of the book. Gah, everything is just so beautiful!

Well, there’s my thoughts on the book right now. Official review to come soon!


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Review Rendezvous: 9/13/14


Finally getting back to this blog after a bit of a sporadic period. I can’t promise I’m back to posting every week just yet, but I will most certainly be working on that.

Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne
Book stats:
Genre(s): Romance
Medium: eBook
Number of pages: 240
Publish date: October 28th, 2013

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund… or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating “them.” And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

Switched to an eBook on my Kindle this time, which is an interesting change from real pages. Although, it’s mostly because now that I’m at college without a car I don’t really have access to the library haha. But, back to the book.

This one features another interesting plot line, the whole “makeover meant to convince someone” idea. I have to say, the first thing that popped out to me was the reference to film in the blurb, because I’m a film major and what can I say? Anyways, I have to say that Layne does quite a good job of contrasting exactly how different these two characters are. They definitely come across as people who shouldn’t be in the same room, much less dating one another. I was a bit wary about how easily Stephanie agreed to move into Ethan’s house, but also given the situation and the choice she was facing (deadbeat boyfriend or the rich kid, since she couldn’t stay on campus during construction), I can see how she made the decision.

There’s also a tragic backstory thrown into the mix, which kind of gives an explanation for the way Stephanie is. It’s not overdone, which is definitely a good thing, as those kinds of pasts can easily be too melodramatic or cheesy.

Really, the only thing I disliked about the book was the fact that there was some less than savory language in it. But, it’s easy enough to skip the language and rather focus on the story itself. This one is technically the beginning of a series, but from what I’ve read it’s more of a series that’s not really connected at all, as the next one features two different leads. But I might still look into it sometime.

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 6/14/14


Gah! I don’t think I even realized that I missed a post last weekend! Sorry about that folks, you’ll be getting another review soon as well since I neglected to post one last weekend. For this one, I thought that I’d get into a book that you all may or may not have heard of… 🙂

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Book stats:
Genre(s): Dystopian, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 487
Publish date: February 28th, 2012

Divergent

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

So, if you haven’t heard of Divergent before now, I’d be surprised. It’s taken off a lot in the world of YA fiction. The movie just came out this past March and actually did a fair job of sticking to the book. But we’re not here for cinema are we?

We start out meeting Beatrice, a girl who doesn’t exactly fit in with her family and the people around her. They’re supposed to be selfless and serve others, but Beatrice has issues with that. This leads her up to her test and subsequent choosing ceremony of sorts where she must decide which group of people, called a faction, she’s going to stay with for the rest of her life.

Honestly, Tris’ (she gets renamed after picking her faction) character was actually a pretty good one, well developed and more than your token heroine who ends up needing saving. She’s only sixteen and yet she’s making this life-changing choice, that’s gotta be tough and she struggles through it well, emerging better on the other side of her efforts. Of course, they don’t end there because there’s a whole two other books.

There is a love interest in the books, Tris’ instructor at her new faction, a guy named Four. And yes, that’s just a nickname, he’s not actually named Four. Originally Tris sucks, but through his help and with her own stubborn determination, she actually improves a lot. The character development she shows not only over the course of the first book but over all three is one of the main reasons that I happen to like this series.

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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