Book Review

Review: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

ADOW

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ [truthfully some unknown number between 3 & 4]
Audience: Adult, a tiny bit of language, a few love scenes, lots of kisses & make-outs, some violence
Length: 579 pages
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Viking Penguin
Release Date: February 2011
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

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I AM SO AT ODDS WITH THIS BOOK.

Okay y’all. The reason my star rating is “somewhere between 3 & 4” is because goodness gracious, I can’t decide what I feel about this book! Stay with me here. My thoughts may get scattered.

I definitely give points to the concept. I think it’s cool! It’s a different spin on Vampires, Witches and Daemons. Also, it spans such big time periods! I actually like that Matthew is 1500+ years old because there is so much to his background.

My issue stems from the fact that, generally speaking, I hate vampire books. I read (and enjoyed) the Twilight series, but after that I felt done. Since then, if I realize a book is about vampires it usually ends up on my DNF shelf with no remorse.

Matthew being a vampire didn’t ruin this book for me, but his dynamic occasionally bugged me. He felt too possessive, demanding, stubborn, stealthy, etc. Which then made Diana appear way too meek, submissive, and just an overall sense of: STAND UP FOR YOURSELF WOMAN.

While I felt their love story had truly good moments, the action of the book never heightened enough. I kept asking myself, was that all? Maybe that’s why I’m at odds. I kept reading expecting more, but never got it, yet enjoyed it, but also skimmed it, and this run-on sentence could just keep going. It was too long of a book, with a lot of side stuff that got in the way, so I sped-read through those bits to get to the heart of the novel.

I will pick-up the second book and reconvene here for a determination as to whether the third book is worth my time.

Book leans more towards adult, very very little language. Some kiss/make-out scenes. A few love scenes that are semi-descriptive. A bit of violence.

Book Review

Review: Arabella by Georgette Heyer

Arabella

 

Rating: ☆☆☆.75
Audience: YA/Adult, a kiss or two, no violence, no language
Length: 320 pages
Author: Georgette Heyer
Publisher: this version: Arrow Books Ltd.
Release Date: this version: October 7th, 2004 (originally published in 1949)
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

BOOK SUMMARY:

To Arabella Tallant, the eldest daughter of a penniless country clergyman, the invitation to stay with her London godmother was like the key to heaven, for in addition to living in the glamorous city, Arabella might even find a suitable husband there. Armed with beauty, virtue and a benevolent godmother, the impetuous but impoverished Arabella embarked on her first London season with her mother’s wish in mind: snare a rich husband.

Impetuosity is Arabella’s only fault. When fate cast her in the path of arrogant, socially prominent Robert Beaumaris, who accused her of being another petty female after his wealth, the proud, headstrong ingenue made a most startling claim — she was an heiress! Suddenly Arabella found herself the talk of the town and pursued by every amorous fortune hunter in London and some of the most eligible young men of the day.

But only one caught Arabella’s fancy: Mr Beaumaris, the handsome and dedicated bachelor. She should know better than to allow herself to be provoked by nonpareil Beau. That gentleman, however, although a most artful matrimonial dodger, badly underestimated his seemingly naive adversary… But would her deceitful charade destroy her one chance for true love…?

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OH, ULYSSES.

This book was simple and sweet. I enjoyed it on a Sunday afternoon and was swept into a Jane Austen-like aura of regency romance.

The characters were sassy and full of wit. While some of the phrases made me chuckle, I thought it was neat to be reading a book originally from so long ago! And with so many good reviews, clearly Heyer’s novels are long lasting.

My favorite portions by far were any interaction between Mr. Beaumaris and Ulysses (his dog). I found myself laughing each time and thought the inner dialogue was crafty!

The narrative can be a bit confusing as it switches between POV often, but I didn’t mind. The portions with her brother, on the other hand, I essentially skipped/skimmed over. While it played a small tidbit in the end, the sections were too long focusing on his trouble rather than Arabella.

An easy read, and a proper romance. No language, no violence, no love scenes.

Book Review

Grant by Ron Chernow

Grant

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA+, very little language, descriptions of war, racial violence
Length: 1,074 pages
Author: Ron Chernow
Publisher: Penguin Press
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

MORE THAN A “DRUNKARD”.

Guys, look how long this book was. Holy moly. I know I said this when I read Hamilton, but I am not reading anything this long until KOA this October. I stand by this statement.

This book was so good. Ron Chernow once again eloquently pieces together the life of a true American Hero.

Grant was such a good person. It was his downfall at many moments in his life as he trusted quickly and couldn’t believe someone would go behind his back. His inherent belief in other’s though, gave so much color to his life.

He worked hard to keep America together through the Civil War, and even harder when President. It was amazing learning all of the facts about his life. How he didn’t really even want to be President, but also didn’t want to say no. Julia, his wife, was someone who stuck by Grant’s side always, and helped him through his drinking issues.

It was surprising as well that he really wasn’t so much of an alcoholic as his enemies desperately tried to convey to the U.S. So many stories were mostly conjecture, while so many more stories told of how he often turned his wine glass over at dinner parties to ensure he wouldn’t have any. Ironically enough, cigars were his real downfall.

ALSO, MY DEAR FOLLOWERS, THE “S” IN HIS NAME DOESN’T STAND FOR ANYTHING. For real. Probably one of the most surprising facts in this entire book haha.

Great read for older ages who have the attention span for a long haul [that I totally almost gave in, which is why it’s taken me so long to post again]. A tiny bit of language, and descriptions of the many wars he was apart of and the violence he witnessed. Also, quite a bit of racial violence as Grant dealt with the KKK and post Civil-war Southern issues.

Book Review

Review: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Adult, no language, child violence/abuse/neglect, no love scenes
Length: 342 pages
Author: Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

TAKES A LOT OUT OF YOU.

Oh this book. Oh my heart. WHY ARE PEOPLE THE WAY THAT THEY ARE? It’s one thing to completely fictionalize something, but it’s another to know that it’s a historical fiction.

CRAP LIKE THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

Rill and her siblings are swept on the most horrible river of life. I was only moderately appeased by the end, because things yes, do end ‘well’, but then you remember once again all the trauma that they went through and it pulls on your heart strings again.

Be wary that this may be too much for some readers. Thankfully, things aren’t described in depth, but things are insinuated that makes you hug any small child you know tighter.

I enjoyed the perspective of Avery Stafford, but didn’t know if it was totally necessary. I felt it was more added to help give light to the shadows of the past which I do appreciate. There was just some bits that weren’t needed.

Better suited for someone a bit older, no language that I can recall. A lot of child abuse, neglect, and violence. No love scenes, a kiss.

Book Review

Review: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

AH

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Teen+, a tiny bit of language, descriptions of violence, talks of romance
Length: 818 pages
Author: Ron Chernow
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: this version: March 29th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

I REALLY READ ALL OF IT.

This hands-down has been the longest book I’ve read in a while. I probably won’t read another one like this til KOA (Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas — told y’all I was obsessed).

I am a closet history buff and when I need something new I find the latest history based book on an interesting subject, and what is more interesting than ALEXANDER HAMILTON Y’ALL.

Oh my goodness. I can’t believe how much drama was occurring in the 1700s. I kept laughing to myself that if they had the media we do now, who knows what other juicy details would come out.

I have new respect for the plight that AH went through. Man, he had so much to overcome. Chernow represents him [AH] so well. I also have a new found disrespect for Thomas Jefferson (he’s the worst).

*finds soapbox* ALSO, YOU KNOW WHO ELSE IS THE WORST? AARON BURR. *climbs back-off because I can’t even*

And for Eliza to battle 50 years without Alexander broke my heart. Guys, this was love. For all that AH messed up, he got marrying Eliza Schuyler right. Don’t worry, General Hamilton got a lot of other things right too.

My intrigue really fell upon the stories about him. The political bru-ha-ha was tough at times to read, but whenever I learned stories from his children, Eliza, etc. it was special.

I’m amazed how put together and thorough this biography is. Chernow is able to tell Hamilton’s story and not bore you to death. This is the kind of history I enjoy.

A few minor curse words (mostly the use of scoundrel). Vaguely details the affair. Descriptions of the violence seen from Revolutionary War to his duel with Aaron Burr.