Love Inspired Series: Noah’s Sweetheart by Rebecca Kertz
There seems to be a fascination with the Amish lately, especially in romance novels. Is it the bonnets and modest clothing they wear? Or is it the fact that in our modern age of computers, tablets and smartphones, there’s actually people who still live like the 19th century never ended? I’m actually close to Lancaster County myself and have known about the Amish most of my life. For those who are unfamiliar, Wikipedia is your friend. Anyway, I’m not a romance novel fan but I’ve looking for something different and after all one of the purposes of this blog was to open my mind to different genres outside of my comfort zone.
Enough of my personal views though.
Happiness, PA seems to be based on a real life town in Lancaster called Intercourse. Yes….Intercourse. The plot is basically typical romance novel fodder: girl meets guy after buggy crash, hits it off, only to find out that he’s engaged to her cousin. Romantic shenanigans ensue and love conquers all of course.
The Infernal Devices Cassandra Clare
Here’s an interesting tidbit that I didn’t know: the author of this series was once a Harry Potter fanfic writer. Never knew thi until a few years ago but that’s for another post and another blog.
The Infernal Devices is a trilogy that is the prequel to City of Bones, which is a movie coming out this summer. Personally, I couldn’t get into City of Bones due to its ‘Twilight’ness which is why I enjoyed these books more. I’m a sucker for steampunk and history, and Clare does a good job with detailing the history if that time. At least Clare’s works don’t make me facepalm like Meyer and the 50 Shades of Graylady does.
The story of the novels takes place in late nineteenth century London when an American teenager arrives to meet her brother in what was supposed to be a simple visit but turns into a nightmare of demons, vampires, monsters and a mysterious group called the Shadowhunters. Supernatural shenigans ensue and since this a YA novel, a love triangle is born. Fortunately for this series, all three main characters are very, very likable. My favorite was Will who is as sexy as he sounds(but you didn’t hear that here. ).
Book score: 9( for the entire series, 8 for this volume)
Alice in the Country of Clover: Chesire Cat Waltz. Quinrose
This is from the same group of authors who wrote My Fanatic Rabbit; only this time, the Chesire Cat character(who’s a punked and tattooed young man in this version.)Since this is based off a Japanese PC game, expect different routes to take place.
Alice winds up in Wonderland(Clover) and winds exploring things with Boris the Cat while staying with the Mad Hatter and his crew. Throughout the volumes she wavers on the feelings for Boris until volume four when their relationship goes on another level. Over the series(a fifth volume is scheduled to be published in July), Alice meets various characters throughout her journey: the White Rabbit who loves her to the point of stalking her and works for the Queen of Hearts; a mysterious man who can walk in and out of dreams(and is another potential love interest); the March Hare who’s a hit an for the Mad Hatter, who’s the John Gotti of this world.
I like this series for what they are: sheer, unadulterated fluff with a little sex appeal on the side. I’ve always like the Alice in Wonderland story, even as a little kid and I appreciate the darker aspects of this series. Just a warning for the parents: there’s a good reason why this is rated 16+, especially in the fourth volume, which was a surprise even to me. I actually like Boris and Alice though since they’re not so much cookie-cutter as other characters are. So if you’re in the mood for a pick-me-up, this is for you.
Book score: 6.5
I had read this back in the 90s after reading bits and pieces in another book(which name escapes me at the moment) and decided to pick this up recently.
I never really read Hemingway; wasn’t really into his stuff but I did like this book quite a lot. It’s basically all about Hemingway’s time working in the 1920s and his various encounters with certain literary figures of the day like Stein, Ford Maddox Brown and Ezra Pound among them. Of course there are also some tidbits about that other Twenties master, Fitzgerald, whom Hemingway was friends with. Fitzgerald was an asshole when he was drunk and a little jealous of his rival’s talent and a jealous wife who hated Hem. There’s also Hemingway’s life with his wife Hadley(I have no idea of what wife this was, as I’ve known that Hemingway was married quite a few times). After reading this, I suddenly had an urge to go to a cafe near me, order some cafe au lait and write in a fancy journal. I also want to go to Paris and engage myself into bookstores. In the edition I read, there were also pictures of the author and his adorable family(his son was adorable!) and of Paris in that innocent time in Paris between the Wars.
I’m sure that there are better Hemingway students out there, so please forgive me for not analyzing into detail. This is a fascinating snapshot of an author at the beginning of his legendary career and of an innocent time.
IIf You Ask Me(And of Course You Will). Betty White
So in my trinity of reading old entertainers biographies I’ve finally come across the other load. This book. This is the most recent book that the Golden Girl wrote; mostly essays about her past, life with her late husband(who is the man behind Candid Camera and all about her work in animal welfare throughout the years. There’s also some little tidbits in there about her tv work but this isn’t that type of book.
I grew up watching White so that alone was enough for me to pay to own this book. I want to an all around awesome old lady like Ms. White when I grow up.
Book score: 8
I Feel Bad About My Neckby Nora Ephron
I’ve been wanting to read this for some time now. I’ve been a fan of Ephron’s movies and was truly saddened by her death this past year. So I finally found this at the local library today and it was worth the wait.
This is mostly essays ranging on getting older and the effects it brings (hence the title), food, her love of New York and glimpses of her own personal life with both of her husbands. I think my favorite essay here was the one called Moving on where she talks about how she had fallen in love with this apartment years ago and lived there for a decade before New York laws and high as hell rents force the tenants like Ephron to move out.
This is a good quick read; I pretty much got thru this in one day. But then again, I like reading biographies anyway.
Book score: 7
Etiquette & Espionage Gail Carriger
Fourteen year old Sophronica is an utter pain in the arse to her family; she’s curious about things that she shouldn’t be, prefers being comfortable to corsets and is a total tomboy to a tee. These are big sins are in nineteenth century England where one is expected to be a lady at times. So Mom decides to send her to finishing school in the hopes that Sophronica matures. Only unknown to mother, this school not only teaches the finer arts of etiquette, but also how to cause diversions, poisons, fighting and other unladylike things. Every student is trained as a potential spy.
This is the start of a new series aimed at younger readers set in the same universe as the author’s previous series, The Parasol Protectorate. The whole Victorian age meets steampunk with a dash of the supernatural reminds me a lot of another recent favorite of mine, Cassandra Clare’s Clockworkseries; though the only hint of romance comes from Sophronica’s friendship with a ‘sootie’. Maybe romance will come in later volumes…
Here we are in April and along with The Diviners I have a couple of picks for favorite books of the year so far. As one of the blurbs said, E&E really is like a steampunk version of Harry Potter, with a touch of a feminine side. I’m sure the claws are probably already out to obtain the rights to make a movie out of this. Hopefully no one screws this up.