Books

Book 587: Longbourn – Jo Baker

I can’t believe I’ve had this on my shelf for as long as I have. It’s been almost TWO YEARS since I bought it. TWO YEARS! I’m not sure I would go so far as to say this is THE pinnacle of Jane Austen fan-fiction, but it’s pretty close.

I say this for a couple of reasons the primary being that Baker didn’t deviate too far from Austen’s characters, she stayed true to them and only played with the background characters (they’re less than minor) and filled in their back stories. The secondary reason I say this is because it received reviews in the major publications and was fairly mainstream for Austen fan-fiction/inspired fiction. I mean sure you’ve got the major adaptations like Bridget Jones’s Diary and Clueless, but those are both modern adaptations.

Continue reading “Book 587: Longbourn – Jo Baker”

Advertisements
Books

Book 584: The Eagle of the Ninth (The Roman Britain Trilogy #1) – Rosemary Sutcliff

I picked this up on our July trip to the UK. Multiple places along Hadrian’s Wall sold it as a souvenir and I thought why not?I wanted something that wasn’t a usual souvenir and the cover of the omnibus version I have (Goodreads link) kept catching my eye, and so I bought it, along with way too many other books that visit.

I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect with a historical fiction young adult series originally published in the 1950s. How different from today’s young adult literature would it be? The closest in publication that I’ve read were L’Engle’s Time Quintet and O’Keefe Family books comprising the Kairos series.

Continue reading “Book 584: The Eagle of the Ninth (The Roman Britain Trilogy #1) – Rosemary Sutcliff”

Books

Book 583: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts #2) – J.K. Rowling

Of course I was going to read this. It actually arrived in my mailbox the same day we saw the film (the first time :-D). If I’m honest, I’m impressed I only saw it twice AND it took me this long to read it. There was a lot to take in and with so much dialogue, reading this sooner would’ve helped A LOT.

With this being a screenplay, I can totally cop-out and say read this review of the film: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald’: Beasts? Check. Crimes? Check. Fantastic? Not Quite., from NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour blog because Glen Weldon NAILS it.

I’m not planning to go into the major spoilers of the franchise so you should be okay to read as long as you don’t highlight the closing line of the book, but if you don’t want to know ANYTHING, then don’t read this! You’ve been warned.

Continue reading “Book 583: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Fantastic Beasts #2) – J.K. Rowling”

Books

Book 573: The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories – Susanna Clarke

Susanna Clarke is one of those others where readers have to ask what in the hell is she doing that she can’t publish another wonderful book like her masterpiece Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? She’s in the same line of George R.R. Martin (for pretty much the whole world) and Jamie O’Neill for me. Each of these authors have written works that have profound affects on individuals/societies and then sort of wander off and do other things or seem to disappear completely in O’Neill’s case.

Continue reading “Book 573: The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories – Susanna Clarke”

Books

Book 567: Mary B – Katherine Chen

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one. I’m always open for a bit of Austen fan-fiction so when someone from the publisher reached out to me about this one I figured why not?*

I’m not one of those who is obsessed with any particular character of Jane Austen’s like the author. I love the broad strokes of her stories and the general caricatures and stereotypes she works in across all her work. So when the fan-fiction gets super specific, like this one, I’m never quite sure what will come out of it. Will I enjoy this authors take on the character? Will they stay true to not only Austen’s works but the generally accepted views of the character? Will it be enjoyable and readable?

Continue reading “Book 567: Mary B – Katherine Chen”

Books

Book 561: Romancing Miss Brontë – Juliet Gael

I feel like I may have read this before, but if I did it was in my first year of blogging when I missed a few books in my reviews. Who knows, maybe I’m just so familiar with the Brontë’s story that it’s just become known to me.

Overall, I enjoyed this read and felt Gael did a great job embodying all of the Brontës, but I’m not sure how accurate the title was. It’s a little misleading in that I feel like more of the book should’ve come from Arthur Bell Nicholls’ perspective rather than from third person omniscient (I think)/Charlotte. Maybe a better title would’ve been The Romance of Miss Brontë or The Brief Romances of Miss Brontë, something that takes the emphasis from who the narrator would be. But blah, I’m sure this is just me. I had an issue with the last title I read too 😀 Continue reading “Book 561: Romancing Miss Brontë – Juliet Gael”

Books

Book 557: The Brontë Plot – Katherine Reay

The Brontë Plot cover artThe downside with reading so many romance novels by the same author back-to-back is you quickly discover their strengths and weaknesses. As I read each of Reay’s works, they became less and less memorable even as I was reading them.

If I have to tie it down to the most basic its character development closely followed by pacing. I’m not one to need a “two months later” directional at every instance, but in Reay’s case it would’ve helped a lot. Toward the beginning of the novel the meet cute and the timing was so off I found myself having to re-read multiple sections to see if I’d missed the introduction or some major indicator of time having passed. (I hadn’t.)

Continue reading “Book 557: The Brontë Plot – Katherine Reay”