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: 7/29/17


Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Book stats:
Genre(s): Dystopian, young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 326
Publish date: April 26th, 2011
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

BumpedWhen a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Just in time for sci-fi and fantasy week on Goodreads! I think what intrigued me enough to read this was the stark contrast between McCafferty’s world and our own. In Bumped, teen girls are actually encouraged to become pregnant, because no one older can do so since the virus that swept through. The contrast between Melody and Harmony also seemed particularly interesting.

At first, I was slow getting into this book. I don’t know if it was because I was distracted or the book took a bit to get off the ground, but that’s how it was. Once I got into the middle, however, I was definitely more intrigued. I will be honest though, While I liked this first book, it was really the second in the series that endeared me to Melody, Harmony, and their world.

There is a lot of discussion on worldview and how where you’re raised shapes what you think. The girls wonder how life would be like had they each been in the other’s spot. Then of course there is the problem of mistaken identity just at the end of the book that hooks you in for the second story.

I enjoyed reading about the growth of the girls. At first they just blindly accept whatever they were taught, but slowly they begin to open their eyes and really see the world around them. In the second book they become even more rebellious, but I won’t spoil that for you, you’ll have to pick up the book yourself 🙂

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 3/29/16


Linked by Imogen Howson

Book stats:
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Young Adult
Medium: Hardcover
Number of pages: 368
Publish date: June 11th, 2013

LinkedElissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere.

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes.

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

It’s been a while since I read a space sci-fi that I actually finished. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not suited to the niche, but either way Howson’s portrayal of the twins and their struggle in this book is spot on. I’m always a fan of books that have a deeper meaning than just “oh, the heroine escapes death because she did something and falls in love”. The idea of the ‘spares’ being (spoiler alert) the batteries for Sekoia’s ships is terrifying, but it showcases just what humans can do if they’re pushed to the breaking point.

The conflict between the twins about Lin’s lack of humanity or regard for humanity also throws in a new component. Normally if there are two main characters, they somehow automatically trust and understand each other. But with Lissa and Lin, they don’t automatically agree on everything and the conflict shows just how human these ‘spares’ can be.

I will admit to being slightly frustrated with the random romance that seems thrown in at the last moment. I feel like Howson could’ve waited on that and made it a component in the next book, rather than establishing it now. There would be a better payoff once they finally got together, you know? But, such is life in YA. You must have a romance or no one will read it apparently.

Overall, I would definitely suggest reading this one. It was quite enjoyable, I even stopped surfing YouTube to read it haha.

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeart


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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: 6/15/14


And here is the other post that I did say I’d be giving you guys. Sorry again for the mishap, totally slipped my mind.

Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 352
Publish date: July 3, 2012

Ashes to AshesWhen Callie’s life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love – and break.

On the whole, paranormals don’t really interest me, certainly not as much as dystopians. But for some reason this one was begging to be read, so I gave it a chance. And you know what? It was actually pretty good.

We first meet our lovely protagonist Callie after she has just died. Talk about tragic. She thinks she’s going to the afterlife, but not quite. She has some other work to do before.

On the whole, Callie is an okay character. I’ll give her the fact that maybe she’s depressed and anguished over the fact that she’s dead and gone now, but that doesn’t mean that she has to blatantly disregard her guardian’s warnings. She definitely carried over that streak of teenage rebellion. Definitely don’t like it.

As for the plot, I haven’t read many paranormals so I don’t know if the idea is original, but either way it works out well and also lends itself to a sequel. I haven’t quite gotten around to that yet but I will.

One of my favorite parts is near the end where Walker throws in a twist that pieces together so many of the parts of the story that didn’t really make sense before. I’m definitely a fan of that, the authors who plan everything out and foreshadow and hint at exactly what they’re going to reveal. What is this secret you may ask? Well, you’ll have to read to find out 🙂

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeart


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