Archive for November, 2009

Cordina’s Crown Jewel

[openbook booknumber=”0373244487″]

[rating:2/5]

Her Royal Highness, Camilla de Cordina, also known as Cordina’s Crown Jewel, had been pushed to the breaking point. The eldest princess of her generation, and an incredible beauty just like her mother, she is hounded by the press, talked about, speculated about, and splashed across magazine covers and television screens with scandalizing lies and untrue tid bits about her life, both in and out of the bedroom. She is sick of all of it. She also feels that she has no passions, no drive or purpose in life aside from the duties and work she does as a princess, leaving her feeling empty inside.

So, to get away for a few weeks from all of this mayhem that has pushed her too far – and to try and find herself and what she can be when she is not a princess – she disappears in a rental car one night after a benefit thinking she will only be gone for a little while. That is until her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and she is picked up by a tough prickly character named Delaney, an archaeologist who, very begrudgingly, accepts what he thinks is a rich woman in trouble into his home. It isn’t long before she is working her way into his heart, but he still wants to know: just who is she?

Read More »

Year of the Historical

My first challenge for the new year, the Year of the Historical challenge, is going to be a great excuse to continue in my new found love of historical novels, romance and otherwise. Aside from my fiction tag, historical is my next largest! I was a little worried about how many I would have to buy for the challenge, because I have honestly read all the ones I own, but I recently came into possession of a small smattering that will get me through the first few months so I feel confident signing up for this challenge.

For me historical fiction takes the need to escape into a well written story to the next level. Because the background and setting, the dialog and characters, are all just so foreign and are all at the same time temptingly true. This really was, at least in a way making liberal use of literary license, how people lived during this time, what was happening to them, how they felt about it. It’s like reading a history book and novel all in one and that dual nature is something I really enjoy.

Read More »

School Books

I can’t help thinking about reading in school and having that thought automatically lead to how much time I wasted waiting to grow up to be in a grade where I could actually get something out of my reading. I wanted to really grow in it, but no one had the time to provide that for me. My school, and I guess most schools, were designed to cater to kids at their grade’s reading level or below it, maybe even a little above it. But, with me, all bets were off and after several frustrating years of boredom they finally would just take a more advanced book off a shelf and stick me in a corner with it like I was a naughty child that needed to be punished because I loved to read.

I learned how to read before I went to school, by second grade I was reading chapter books – like The Bobbsey Twins, The Boxcar Children, and Nancy Drew. By the time I was in fourth grade I was bored out of my skull by what the class was reading and a special more advanced reading class was made. The class promptly flopped because parents wanted their children to be in the advanced class too and so we were stuck with slow, stuttering readers all over again before we had even reached Christmas. By the time I was in the fifth grade I was reading at college level, by the time I was in the sixth I was such a voracious reader that, when stacked up against the entire rest of the sixth grade, I still had them beat by three (Newbery Award winning) books that school year, and that included a three month forced vacation from January to March. To say the least, I was bored throughout most of elementary school, and I really wish I could have been challenged more.

Read More »

A Family for Luke

[openbook booknumber=”0373813902″]

[rating:3/5]

The victim of a bad upbringing, Luke has always wanted a family he could rely on. His mother was often absent from his life, and before CPS finally removed him from her care, he ended up feeling rejected and abandoned more often than not. His foster father was loving and caring and introduced him to the concepts of love, acceptance, forgiveness and a real family. His foster father’s death a few years ago left Luke feeling abandoned and rejected all over again and so he leaves the church and immerses himself in work, that is until he meets with widow Janie and her three children. Janie has problems of her own in her life. She is struggling to be the superwoman that does everything: mother, small business owner, home maker and, most importantly, financially independent in the wake of her husband’s massive debts. He sees in her a realization of all his dreams of a perfect family come true when he needs it most, she sees in him a distraction and an upset to her already chaotic and far from perfect life at a time when she needs it least. What follows is a novel about forgiveness, family, and faith.

This is a very strongly Christian novel. There are strong themes about what to do with, and how to approach, a life with God. There are prayers and bible verses quoted throughout and several discussions by the main characters about faith, church, and God. All of the events in the book are viewed through this lense and some of the topics are a little controversial, especially for a christian novel, though the wording was always very discrete. The topics covered, in no particular order, included child abuse and neglect, pre-marital sex, children out of wedlock, divorce, teen pregnancy, abortion, foster care and adoption, alcoholism, underage drinking, drug abuse, gambling, spousal abuse, and domestic violence.

Read More »

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

[openbook booknumber=”1594743347″]

[rating:2/5]

In what should come as no surprise to anyone, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a novel about Pride and Prejudice… and zombies. Fully living up to its publisher’s title, Quirk Classics, this novel contains the far fetched, the hard to believe, and the down right insane antics of Jane Austen’s signature characters plunked down in a world over run by brain eating, flesh rotting, and by no means bright “unmentionables” whose presence change a classic into “something people would actually want to read”.

Also, this book is illustrated! I enjoyed the art in it, even if some of the costumes depicted weren’t completely true to the era, they were far more fitting for the level of fighting that was going on in the book.

Now, I will admit right off that, aside from the occasional dalliances with Resident Evil and I Am Legend, I had no experience with zombie titles before this. I imagine that this novel was supposed to pantomime the zombie horror genre just as much as it was pantomiming this classic novel. The creatures were far fetched at best, and England’s reaction was, to say the least, not precisely consistent with the era in which it was supposed to take place.

Read More »