Monthly Archives: March 2014

REVIEW {35} This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

THIS LULLABY

SERIES: Stand Alone

AUTHOR: Sarah Dessen

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: March 8th 2004 by Speak

EDITION: Paperback; 345 pages

ACQUISION: Purchased

CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, 4 Star Rating, Speak, Review, Sarah Dessen

RATING: 4.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.07/5.00



WHAT IT’S ABOUT: She’s got it all figured out.

Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy’s got a whole set of rules.
Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.
But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don’t seem to apply anymore.
Could it be that she’s starting to understand what all those love songs are about?

MY THOUGHTS: There is something about a Sarah Dessen novel that just keeps me coming back for more! I don’t read very much contemporary romance, but when I do get in the mood for a good love story, I find myself reaching for a Sarah Dessen novel because her characters are so real, so flawed and imperfect, that you can’t help but love them!

I instantly loved Remy’s character, and was completely smitten with Dexter! I will admit that I was annoyed with how long it took Remy to realize that Dexter is completely amaze-balls, but she did, eventually, and everything was right in the world again!


I could definitely relate to the whole band scene too, and loved how passionate the boys in Truth Squad are about their music – doing whatever was needed to make money to succeed. 
Another great element is Remy’s group of friends. They really remind me of the girls on the Carrie Diaries. I wish I had a group of friends like these when I was in high school!
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary romance and just an all around feel good story without a perfect heroine thrown at you. I’m a Dessen fan for life!

SIMILAR READS: Bloom by Elizabeth Scott | When it Happens by Susane Colasanti | Second Helpings (Jessica Darling #2) by Megan McCafferty | The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti | It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) by Jenny Han | Going too Far by Jennifer Echols
Happy Reading!

Laura
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REVIEW {40} A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

A Mad, Wicked Folly
SERIESStandalone
AUTHOR: Sharon Biggs Waller
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: January 23rd 2014
EDITION: Hardcover, 448 pages
ACQUISITION: Borrowed | Library
CATEGORIES: Young adult, Review, 5 Stars, Historical Fiction, Romance, Art, Feminism, Coming of Age, Cultural
RATING: 5.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.96/5.00

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist – a nearly impossible dream for a girl.

After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art, her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse – or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

MY THOUGHTS: Considering historical fiction is one of my top genres to read, and I was an art major in college, I didn’t think there could be anything to make me dislike this story – and guess what? I was right, because I adored this book! Like wanted to hug it to my chest and dance around my room with it, loved it!

Let’s talk about how amazing Vicky’s character is. She is so strong willed and dream driven that nothing – and no one – will stop her from getting what she wants! At the beginning of the book Vicky did what she was passionate about, but was still held back by her station in life, thanks to her wealthy upbringing. Once she’s kicked out of her school in France and moves back to London, Vicky finds herself living the life she’s always wanted – except she’s doing it in secret.

I am not very knowledgeable about the suffragette movement, so that was an aspect of the book that I quite enjoyed. To see how these women fought and endured for their freedom – the freedom we as women still benefit from today – is quite incredible. And to have Vicky become a part of that world makes me see her as an even stronger character than I had already come to see her as.

Another wonderful character is Sophie Cumberbunch, Vicky’s lady maid. She is living a similar “Hidden” life like Vicky is forced to – keeping her involvement in the WSPU a secret so that she may gain employment with families such as the Darlings. It is Sophie who really helps Vicky become the person she wants to be. She dresses her in art-centered clothing to bring out Vicky’s passion for art. She helps her sneak out to WSPU events and also art events under the guise of charity work. Luckily Sophie gets her happily ever after at the end, because she really deserves it!!
The romance that blossoms between Vicky and Will is so real and believable. It wasn’t a passing fancy, no matter how hard Vicky tries to convince herself that she doesn’t love him, and can make herself love her fiance, Edmund. It’s sad that at this time in history, this is probably how a lot of young women felt. 
This book is a wonderful read, and I would recommend it really, to anyone!! The only thing I noticed that kind of upset me, is that it seemed to end a little abruptly. I wasn’t ready to end my adventures with Vicky yet! But we get a nice ending with sufficient closure, so there really isn’t much for me to complain about there.

Happy Reading!
Laura

REVIEW {37} The Diviners by Libba Bray

THE DIVINERS
SERIES: The Diviners #1 | OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Lair of Dreams #2 (Releases August 5th 2014)
AUTHOR: Libba Bray
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: September 18th 2012 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
EDITION: Hardcover, 578 pages
ACQUISITION: Own
CATEGORIES: Young adult, Review, 4 Stars, Libba Bray, The Diviners, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, Horror, Supernatural, Ghosts
RATING: 4.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 3.98/5.00
WHAT THE COVER SAYS: Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.


As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

MY THOUGHTS: Horror is not a genre that I typically read, and when this book came out, it was the setting – 1920’s New York City – that drew me in. Whatever I expected this book to be, it wasn’t. Immediately I was absorbed in Evie’s story from her small town life in Zenith, Ohio to her adventures in New York City and new friends Mabel, Theta, and Henry, while appeasing her guardian, uncle Will, and his assistant Jericho.
What I didn’t expect, were the multiple story lines. We followed Evie as well as Memphis Campbell, and even got other little side stories of the murders. There were tons of characters, but it was pretty easy to keep everyone and everything straight.
I am not the type to really read books that delve into the horror of murders. This book doesn’t spare too many gory details. 
I enjoyed the writing style, but felt the book was overly long. While it didn’t feel like it dragged too bad, I did find myself rushing through pages at some points.
The romance of the book doesn’t even occur until the end, and I didn’t feel it was very believable. Throughout the whole book Evie didn’t have any feelings whatsoever about Jericho, and even wondered what Mabel saw in him. But then suddenly she’s daydreaming about his sweaty muscles and kisses on her lips.

Overall, I will definitely be picking up the sequel because I am curious and interested enough and invested in the characters to see where the future takes them.

SIMILAR READS: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron | The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | Ask the Passengers by A.S. King | Fathomless by Jackson Pearce | Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride | Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama | Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys | The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan | Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Happy Reading!
Laura