Monday, October 24, 2011

In My Mailbox

Apologies for not keeping this blog as updated as I had planned! I have been on a hiatus thanks to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). If you love to write and haven't heard of it or signed up yet, I suggest that you check it out! Basically, it's motivation to get your novel written! The goal is to write 50,000 words or more in the month of November. This will be my first year attempting it. I will occasionally be keeping up on my progress on my other blog, Slightly Strange Somethings.

This novel writing business will keep me pretty busy throughout the holidays. At the moment, I am reading Susannah Morrow by Megan Chance which I might have to put on hold since I FINALLY got a call from the library about The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore. I've been on the waiting list for a number of books for the past two months. I'm still 42nd in line for The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I only have a limited time to read it, though, and that might be difficult with all the time I am spending on planning my novel. On top of all the fiction I have in line to read, I am currently trying to make my way through four different non-fiction books on the 18th century for the novel that I plan to attempt to write. Anyways, things are and will be pretty hectic for the next two months, so please don't expect too much out of me!

Back to the topic at hand...


These are mostly ARC's, by the way, that I hopefully won't have to put off for too long.

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan  &  The Lost Angel by Javier Sierra

Burnout by Adrienne Mario Vrettos 
London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets by Peter Ackroyd


I am looking forward to having the free time to read the first two.
The second two are still on their way to my mailbox. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review 3 & 4: Bright Young Things & Beautiful Days

                                                                 Double Review Day


Goodreads synopsis: The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star…
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Timesbestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

My Goodreads reviewSet in the 'Roaring 20's', two friends, Letty and Cordelia, both from a small town in Ohio, take a train and escape to New York City. Letty, who sings, wants to become famous. Cordelia wants to find the father she never knew, who just happens to be a wealthy bootlegger. The two friends go their own ways after a small argument. Cordelia goes off to find her father and is accepted graciously into his fold. Letty finds a job but soon learns that dreams are hard to achieve, no matter how much talent you possess. 

I very much enjoy historical fiction, but this is not the type of historical fiction that I usually read. My interests in history lean more into any era BEFORE the 1900's. The 1920's were a time of short dresses, shorter hair-do's, and tons of ciggarette smoking, which does not quite appeal to me. Despite that the 1920's are not in my particular interests, Anna Godbersen is a good writer and entirely capable of capturing this era in words. Her descriptions and use of dialogue were worth reading and actually gave a strong sense of how people (particularly the rich) lived in that time. In my opinion though, there wasn't much of a plot until the last couple of chapters when things started to roll down hill for all of the characters. If I hadn't of received an ARC of the sequel, I mostly likely wouldn't have finished this book, let alone begin the sequel, Beautiful Days.

BEAUTIFUL DAYS by Anna Godbersen

Goodreads synopsisFor the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry.

After a month in New York, Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur are small-town girls no longer. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys’ lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan’s bustling metropolis. But Letty’s not content to be a mere socialite. She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams—no matter the cost.

Cordelia is still reeling from the death of her father at the hands of Thom Hale, the man she thought she loved. Now she is set to honor Darius Grey’s legacy . . . and take her revenge.
Promised to Cordelia’s half brother, Astrid is caught up in a world of dazzling jewels and glittering nights—and the sparkle is blinding. Charlie Grey is a gangster playing a dangerous game; and for Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty, the stakes could be deadly.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes the second book in an epic series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

My Goodreads review:  The well-dressed trio is back in Anna Godbersens 'Beautiful Days'. Cordelia becomes quite the business woman when she and her brother, Charlie, open their very own speakeasy (club). Letty takes a step towards stardom, and Astrids relationship with Charlie takes some wild rollercoaster dives before everything straightens itself out again. 

Anna Godbersen has captured my attention with her flawless writing. I may have thought that the last few chapters were a bit rushed but it was still delightful to read. When I finished the first book in the series, 'Bright Young Things', I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy the second, but I did and now I can't wait for 'The Lucky Ones' (the third book in the Bright Young Things saga) to hit the shelves. In fact, I enjoyed her writing style so much that I just might read her previous series, The Luxe.


Final Thoughts: I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy either of these books, and I said as much in my reviews, but by the end of the second I found myself hooked on Anna Godbersens beautiful writing and the story of the three female characters. I wasn't thrilled by the books, of course, but I was thoroughly entertained and contented with the time I spent on them. I would recommend them if you enjoy Young Adult, historical fiction, romance, and lots of clothing descriptions.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Books I Want to Reread

Once a week The Broke and the Bookish posts a "Top Ten Tuesday". I started this book after Tuesday and discovered the "Top Ten Tuesday" posts yesterday but I really wanted to try it and I have nothing to post about today since I just started Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen (book 2 in the Bright Young Things series) and I plan on reviewing them together. So I am going to pretend it is Tuesday. :)

  1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - I do believe that I will FOREVER reread these books. I couldn't count how many times I have read them already. It's been 12 years since I first picked them up and it will be countless years before my eyes and ears are gone. Even then I will have reread them so many times that I won't need anything but my imagination.
  2. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman - ('The Golden Compass', 'The Subtle Knife', and 'The Amber Spyglass') I bought the first book when I was in middle school without knowing what it was going to be about. I fell in love.  I've read The Golden Compass a number of times, but it's still been quite a while and I would love to fall back into those amazing worlds another time.
  3. Lives of the Mayfair Witches Trilogy by Anne Rice - ('The Witching Hour', 'Lasher', and 'Taltos') I really love Anne Rices descriptive writing style. Of all her books that I have read, this trilogy was the most captivating.
  4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - I haven't read this book since middle school and with the movie coming out soon, I've had it on my mind.
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - The first time I read this, it frustrated me to no end, I hated Cathy with a passion, and  I even threw it across the room a couple of times. After I finished it, I realized that I absolutely LOVE this book. Perhaps the emotion it unsurfaced in me has something to do with that. I want to reread it soon and find out if it still affects me the same.
  6. The Casteel Family Series by V.C. Andrews - (starts with 'Heaven') I read these books during very hard times in my teenage years. I was amazed by these books and read them until they fell apart. I am currently trying to get my hands on them again.
  7. The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman - My grandmother gave me this book to read in 2007 and I couldn't put it down. I only read it once but have considered it one of my favorite books ever since.
  8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - I read this only last year, but I know that I will come back to it again soon.
  9. The Giver by  Lois Lowry - It's been awhile and I can't quite remember it.
  10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - I would have listed A LOT more classics, but this is one that I want to read again the most.