Book Traveling Thursdays

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Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. To Find out more, join the Goodreads group.

Topic: All of us have read Classics at some point of our life. Choose your favorite Classic.

My favourite classic novel hands down is Persuasion by Jane Austen. I became obsessed with Jane Austen after watching BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, but the first Austen novel I ever read was Persuasion. The story of love lost and second chances really spoke to me and it has been one of my favourite novels ever since.

Eight years before the the story begins, Anne Elliot was happily engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a naval officer. However, the engagement is broken when she is persuaded by Lady Russell (a family friend) that Wentworth was not a good match for her. When Wentworth returns as a rich captain, Anne is forced to address her feelings of regret and guilt for the pain she caused.

Persuasion has many of the same themes as Austen’s other works, but I find it to be her most serious and stripped back piece of work. This was probably because it was written while she was very ill and ended up being released after her death in 1818.

Original Book Cover 

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Favourite Book Covers:

1. Barnes and Noble leather bound edition from 2012.

2. Random House UK Vintage Austen edition from 2008.

3. Penguin English Library edition from 2012.

Least Favourite Book Covers:

1.  Toby Press edition from 2004.

2. Penguin Classics Deluxe edition from 2011.

3. Penguin English Library edition.

Thursday Quotables

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Thursday Quotables
 is a weekly meme hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.

After finally finishing the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi, I have recently finished the first novella, Destroy Me, which gives the reader a glimpse into the mind of Warner. It is set in between the first and second novel and so far is really well done. Actually, it’s refreshing not to have a story told by Juliette who sometimes was a bit too much for me.

“People seldom realize that they tell lies with their lips and truths with their eyes all the time.”

 

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

22840421This week I am waiting on My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. I like anything based on the Tudor period and just by looking at the cover I know it’s going to be good. Also, there are rumours of fantasy/magical stuff happening? Okay! I’m intrigued…but June 7th seems so far away.

Synopsis: Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

Top Ten Tuesday

Untitled.001Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The topic this week is: Ten of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads. While skimming through my Goodreads history I quickly realized my list is dominated by Celaena and co.

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Anyway, here are my most recent 5 star reviews:

  1. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
  2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
  4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  5. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
  6. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  7. Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan & Niko Henrichon
  8. Folktales from Ravka: Little Knife, The Too-Clever Fox, The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo
  9. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  10. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Have you read any of these books? What rating did you give them?

Bookish Bingo – Update 2

bookish-bingo1-1024x261From March to May, Bekka from Pretty Deadly Reviews is hosting a round of Bookish Bingo. The whole point is to get as many bingos as possible. The more bingos, the more giveaway entries. All types of books (fiction, non-fiction, novellas) count, but you can only have one square per book.

My Progress:
Woohoo! Three more squares to check off on the bingo sheet.

  • Criminals: Civil Blood is the second short story in the Best Left in the Shadows series by Mark Gelineau and Joe King. The story is less than 100 pages and I need more. Four months isn’t that long of a wait right?
  • Green Cover: I recently finished Defy by Sara B. Larson. Its cover features a decorative dagger on top of a leafy green background. I quite enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the sequel soon.
  • Retelling: Retellings seem to be all the rage now! A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating is a retelling of The Swan Princess fairytale. It’s a super cute book and a quick read. I highly recommend it 🙂

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Review | Defy by Sara B. Larson


17406847Defy by Sara B. Larson
Release date: January 7th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon

Goodreads | Amazon

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can’t prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she’s sworn to protect?

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First thoughts? MULAN! Yes, the comparisons between the movie and this book are bound to happen. A young girl disguises herself as a man to become a soldier during a war. But this book has so much more going on! Besides a tough heroine, it has magic, evil sorcerers,  a mysterious prince and a kingdom at the brink of collapsing.

The story is about Alexa (or Alex) who watches as her parents are murdered by a sorcerers. To save her from a life as prostitute, her quick thinking twin brother cuts of her hair and helps her pretend to be a boy. Excellent with a sword, Alexa and her brother become members of the prince’s personal guard and must protect him from assassins. I really liked Alexa. She’s tough but still feminine. It’s also completely believable that she could pass off as a male guard because of her skills with a sword. Her father had trained her alongside her brother. There were also magical elements involved, but I won’t go into that. You need to read the book!

Now, there was a love triangle. I usually avoid love triangles at all costs, but it was so obvious who she was going to chose that I didn’t mind. The other love interest was there, he sulked, but it wasn’t the main focus of the story. That said, it didn’t have to be in the novel at all. It didn’t really add or takeaway from the story at all. It was just…there. What I really did like was Damien, the male lead. I completely disliked him at the beginning of the book. Too stuck up and rude for my liking, but poof! I suddenly found myself liking A LOT! I don’t want to give things away, but he’s one of those characters that are not what they seem. He’s full of secrets and surprises.

So, I loved the book! It was a fast paced read that I stayed up all night to finish. The plot was pretty predicable, a battle between good vs. evil, but you forgot about that because the world and characters draw you in. It’s a fun escape and an adventure I can’t wait to continue in the sequel, Ignite.

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ARC Review | The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

25855582The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie
Release date: April 5th, 2016
Publisher: Atria Books
Length: 448 pages
Genres: Historical fiction
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I write this before her blood is even cold. She is dead, suddenly, from a high fever. The King is inconsolable, but the way is now clear.

The way is now clear.

The year is 1745. Marie-Anne, the youngest of the infamous Nesle sisters and King Louis XV’s most beloved mistress, is gone, making room for the next Royal Favorite.

Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a stunningly beautiful girl from the middle classes. Fifteen years prior, a fortune teller had mapped out young Jeanne’s destiny: she would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the King’s arms.

All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeois interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivals—including a lustful lady-in-waiting; a precocious fourteen-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sisters—she helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them, war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution.

Enigmatic beauty, social climber, actress, trendsetter, patron of the arts, spendthrift, whoremonger, friend, lover, foe. History books may say many things about the famous Marquise de Pompadour, but one thing is clear: for almost twenty years, she ruled France and the King’s heart.

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This is the second book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy. I have not read the first novel, but I am going to hurry and purchase the first one because I thoroughly enjoyed this book. That said, it is not a continuation of the first and can be enjoyed as a standalone.

The book’s main focus is on Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson (better known to history as the Marquise de Pompadour) and her rise within the French court. I have always found her to be a fascinating figure as she was more than the king’s mistress, she was a woman who was highly educated and an excellent politician. Even when she was no longer in a position to have children, she easily move into the role as an advisor, demonstrating her strong and important relationship with King Louis XV.

While the novel mostly focused on the Marquise de Pompadour, other perspectives were also present. These perspectives came from the king’s other mistresses or rivals to the Marquise’s position within the court. To be honest, I could have done without reading about these perspectives. They were long, tedious and did not hold my interest. These women lacked sympathetic characteristics and I could not connect with them like I had with the Marquise. For example, Rosalie (the king’s first mistress after he ended his sexual relationship with the Marquise) was bitter, vindictive and crass. However, having the perspectives of these women did provide the reader with a well rounded view of the the Marquise, which I appreciated.

While some of the characters were not likeable, the writing style and attention to detail kept me reading. The author obviously spent a lot of time researching these women and 1700s France. The characters and locations were vivid and engaging. Reading The Rivals of Versailles was like being transported in time. It’s an excellent read and one that I would highly recommend to those that enjoy historical fiction.

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