Posted in Must read, Recenzie, review

Review The other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn /Piatkus Books

The Other Miss Bridgerton

by Julia Quinn

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (20 Nov. 2018)
  • Language: English

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Synopsis: She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

 

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The thing with Julia Quinn’s books (at least the Rokesby books) is that nothing really happens, there’s really no great action or drama, it’s just two people really getting to know each other, and it’s lighthearted pure entertainment. It’s so much fun! This entire series, the characters are so good and intelligent and just pure fun, you just have to love them!

The story of well-born Poppy being kidnapped by a handsome, aristocratic, charming, privateer/spy, with a heart of gold and a French chef to cook all of his meals was, of course, utterly unrealistic. However, I don’t mind (and even) like improbable romance plots as long as the writing and chemistry are there and spoiler alert, they definitely were. Poppy and Andrew were incredibly well-matched and their verbal sparring was great fun to read.

The romance was fun, the adventure was well-played, and the Bridgerton name carries on as one of the best literary families to read. But I think that what I loved most about this book was that I can really see the changing tide of the romance novel inside of this historical romance’s pages. At the beginning of romance novels, it was 100% female submission (the “bodice rippers,” if you will). Then it became strong women, but stronger men (the woman who had to learn to accept that she did not always know best because, actually, the “alpha” hero did). But now, there’s a tide towards true feminism – equality.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and it’s a great read for you all out there who want an easy and fluffy time.

The other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn will be released on November 20 by Piatkus Books and you can buy your copy with a click HERE  

Posted in New, Recenzie, review

Review Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman/ Walker Books

Dry
by Neal Shusterman
Jarrod Shusterman
Synopsis: The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a war zone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

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Every time I pick up one of Neal Shusterman’s books I’m simply amazed by how intense and thought-provoking it is and this book was no exception. I have the manuscript version (with very clear warnings not to post, share, or copy) and I don’t know how much the small stuff will have changed once the novel is released, but at the core, this story is about survival and human nature.
Alyssa and her family are a typical suburban family. They have a few water bottles in the fridge, some Gatorade, but they certainly did not stock up for a national emergency. Her parents, little brother, Uncle, and dog all need water and there isn’t enough to last a day.
Alyssa is a typical teenager, who is mostly worried about her homework and college when everything starts to go to hell. She has a fierce love for her family and will do anything for them. I really liked her little brother Garrett, he was also a kid with a good heart.
Kelton comes from a family that is survivalists, they are prepared for the worst. But they were not really prepared for what their neighbors will do to survive.
The story was beautifully written, although I’ll admit that I never really bonded with any of the characters. And, speaking of characters…there are a LOT of them. While I loved the snapshots of other people affected by the crisis, it did make it harder to deeply bond with anyone. Although I have to say that the ending made all of it worthwhile. Seeing how everything happened…yes, please! As for the ending, well, I didn’t love it. I mean, much of it was fine, but certain people…Ugh. Not gonna say more.
As I stated before this is a very plot-driven story that is very hard to put down. The story is very topical and very realistic. I don’t want to say much about it, because it is something that you just need to experience for yourself. There are very real passages about how society will break down and what it is like to die of dehydration. I always like to think that society will behave better in the face of catastrophe, but I think I know that it will really come down to chaos and everyone out to save themselves.

Posted in Fără categorie, Recenzie, review

Review Damsel by Elana K Arnold /Harper360 UK

Damsel

By Elana K. Arnold

Review

Synopsis: The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

 

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

 

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.

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Damsel is a brilliantly reimagined traditional fairy tale story of brave price who rescues a damsel in distress, over and over again. Behind the usual tropes of the fairy tale, we get layers of dark and uncomfortable truths, that if you are willing you can not even notice. Which is the beauty of this book, that gives you the story that disguises as a simple fairy tale, but is nothing but a fairytale.

Fantasy is designed to whisk you away to magical realms of spectacular beauty. Oh, how we long to go to these places ourselves…usually. You will sometimes get that rather gritty, overly realistic fairy tale romp that leaves you thinking, “Visit Westeros? Emm… Pass.” The world of Damsel is much the same. The whole story is an uncomfortable journey that follows a naive ‘Damsel’, Ama, as she slowly navigates a centuries-old tradition upheld by a purely patriarchal kingdom. The good news is that you’re supposed to be uncomfortable. The focus of this narrative lies not in the world, but in Ama’s role as a Damsel and her interactions with those around her. It’s an examination of a corrosive relationship, of a woman caught in a kingdom that’s conspired to rob her of her will and freedom. As the reader, you are forced to suffer along with her but also rise with her when the time comes. This was an interesting retelling of a classic happily-ever-after where the rescued Damsel is finally given a brain and a voice of her own.

Arnold’s writing is not graphic, despite some of the other reviews I’ve read—it is evocative, with prose that’s careful to attend to many different senses, which can sometimes feel more intense than if it were descriptively graphic. Whatever Ama feels, the reader feels. And in this book that means a sense of foreboding, a creeping dread, the absolute knowledge of your own powerlessness.

Finally, while this is being shelved as YA, I would advise caution to younger readers due to the content and nature of the novel. There are darkly fantastic tales and then there is simply dark tales.

Posted in Must read, Musthave, New, Recenzie, review

Review The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby / Harper360 UK

The Other Side of Lost
By Jessi Kirby
Synopsis: Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in-love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir trail. Mari and her late cousin, Bri, were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.
 
With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.
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I really enjoyed this, plus I am now desperate to go on a decent hike somewhere gorgeous.
It is a lighthearted and easy read, even while touching on grief and feelings of inadequacy. Mari is not always 100% likable, but she is trying which I liked. And I like that we see her doubts about her life before, and see her grow through the book in an effort to change how she thinks and reprioritize. I was a little let down at the end as we don’t really get to see that change take effect, but I liked the journey.
I really loved the progression of the story and the way in which Mari learned to carry her grief and figure out whom she really was, what kind of person she wanted to be, and what she wanted to contribute to society. She also meets some really fun trail friends along the way who are immediately accepting of her and in the end help her work out her issues. Everyone has something different they’re going through, but together, they are one giant support group learning to face their problems and push through them effectively.
But with this story, in particular, there were so many little anecdotes and life lessons almost that stuck with me and I think will stick with me for a long time. The aspect of loss and grief with Bri’s death and Mari (who I have decided to pronounce Mar-E vs. Mary) honoring her legacy really drew me in and made me shed more than a few tears. I also liked the aspect of being a social media influencer, as I work in media and know a bit about that side of things. For one, it seems absolutely exhausting, having to live every moment of your life thinking about what the next picture or video or caption is going to be.
I can’t think of any aspect of the book that I didn’t enjoy, as I stayed up late into the night reading until forcing myself to set it down and finish the next day. I definitely don’t think it’s a question whether or not I’ll be rereading it. It’s more of a matter or not if but when, as well as if I can stop myself from rereading it in less than a week from finishing it the first time.
A big Thank You to Harper360UK for sending me a copy.