The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

I LOVE Philippa Greggory’s books.  After I had read The Other Boleyn Girl, I have religiously read all the other books.  This book though seemed to …. drag just a tad in the middle.  There were a lot of details, was wordy, and didn’t have the typical romance the Ms Gregory usually writes about.  So what I’m trying to say is I have totally mixed feelings here.

Title: The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins’ War #3)

Author: Philippa Gregory

Summary (by Goodreads):

Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her house-hold for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou’s close friend and a Lancaster supporter – until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.

My take:

Like I mentioned above, it seemed to lag a little in the middle and didn’t quite have the spark of romance that is normally woven through Philippa Gregory’s other books.  There was SO much written in this book and so many details that I felt like I was going crazy sometimes trying to remember who people were and where people were supposed to be from time to time.  Don’t get me wrong…it was a good book!  It was just a bit much to handle after reading fluffy YA fiction books!

Jacquetta is a woman that is said to be from the line of Melusina (a mermaid who made herself human, fell in love, married a man, but still turned into a mermaid once a month).  In a time when there were witch hunts and women were accused of seducing kings, Jacquetta’s “visions” and “card reading” abilities are a blessing and a curse.

Philippa Gregory mentions at the end of the book that there’s not a lot historically written about Jacquetta, but throughout her studies, Jacquetta’s name kept popping up here and there.  Much of this book is fiction, written by stringing the story together from points and events where Philippa sees Jacquetta’s name turn up.  It makes for an interesting read after you know that little tid bit of knowledge!  So….you’re welcome!

Jacquetta is first married to an elderly duke who soon thereafter dies and she then marries her second husband for love.  She is penalized for marrying below what she once was and ends up paying a hefty fine to the court in the process.  She ends up having 11 children by her second husband! I kinda lost count…I think it’s 11.  She befriends the new queen and it becomes and up and down roller coaster ride.  This woman did a lot in her lifetime!!

Although this book is 3rd in the series, I don’t feel like you would absolutely have to read the other two before-hand.  Jacquetta’s daughter is the woman in the first book The White Queen and a woman woven throughout this 3rd book is the main player for the second book The Red Queen.  Did you catch all that??? 

Overall it was good…not a 5 or 4 star…more like a 3.5 star maybe?  She has another 2 or 3 slotted for the series to come out over the next few years.  I will read every one of them!

~Myst

 

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Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

So I kinda judged the book by it’s cover a little bit.  I was thinking, great….”here’s another spoiled rich girl who’s a princess and thinks she deserves something”.  It turned out to be a fluffy mystery book.  I can explain the “fluffy” comment below.

Title: Aurelia (Aurelia #1)

Author: Anne Osterlund

Summary (by Goodreads):

An impressive debut, equal parts commercial appeal and literary prowess.

Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king’s former royal spy and one of Aurelia’s oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line, her life, her kingdom, her heart, Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

My take:

The reason why I said “fluffy” up above is because it was a light read.  Smooth, no bumps, figured out who the culprit was half way through, but still enjoyed the read.  I do have the second book Exile from the library and will probably read it since there were good reviews on it.  Otherwise, I could have probably left this book by itself since there’s no cliff hanger.

Aurelia is a naive princess who has no idea that she has had multiple assassination plots on her life. Why are all princesses seemingly naive in books?  Her father had remarried after his first wife left him long ago and the new stepmother means that there is a step daughter involved.  In the beginning you somewhat get a “Cinderella” impression from the stepmother as she seems very cold and removed from Aurelia.  Stepmothers….why are they all mean in books too?

The king has sent a letter to have a spy back in the palace to figure out just who is trying to kill Aurelia and a small romance bud appears between our princess and our spy. Just a romance bud….nothing more. *sigh   As Robert swears to find who is behind the plot, all his leads bring him back to royalty…but which one?  The Queen or a foreign King that has been visiting for far too long?

Like I mentioned earlier, the book was good.  Light and easy read.   I was halfway through before we did our traveling for Thanksgiving and since everyone was tired, I finished it on the way back.  My sister in law didn’t seem surprised I had gotten it read within and hour and a half.  I tend to read WAY too fast.  

Myst~

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

What if Romeo and Juliet didn’t really happen like Shakespeare wrote it?  What if Romeo had been convinced to murder Juliet in order for him to be immortal?  What if he was tricked and what if Juliet didn’t really die?  Talk about questions and what if’s!!!

Title: Juliet Immortal (Juliet Immortal #1)

Author: Stacey Jay

Summary (by Goodreads):

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.”
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn’t anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she’s fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she’s forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

My take:

So, in the book, Romeo has murdered Juliet.  BUT she comes back from the mists of a “limbo” of sorts in order to help soulmates find one another and fall in love.  Romeo has paid the price for being immortal and comes back to fight Juliet everytime…by trying to convince one of the soulmates to murder the other.

Juliet has been brought to live in a girl named “Ariel”…Ariel had recently tried to kill herself and a boy in the car by jerking the wheel out of his hands and throwing them into a ditch.   So Juliet comes back to figure out who the soulmates are that need a little “help” to get together and sets to work.  This time, things are different…it’s not like how it’s always been when she helps soulmates.

Romeo is spouting out crazy ideas about how to stop the cycle and become human again and Juliet starts falling in love with someone who she most definitely should NOT be falling in love with.  Does she follow her heart or delve into dark magic to become human?

I read this book pretty quickly.  It wasn’t a kick-butt book, it wasn’t this “I couldn’t have lived without reading this”, but it was a cute little fluffy book that wasn’t too long or too short.  I’m sure the author would want to kill me for saying that…

It is a good idea for a book.  I’m kinda upset that the author is wanting to do a follow up book to the first.  I may not read it because she had made Romeo out to be SO horrible and inhumane that I really don’t want to read Romeo Redeemed.  I’m sure he can be “redeemed”, but with everything he had done…I really kinda don’t want to see him saved.   Does that make me a bad person? …he is a character in a book and not a real person.

So, if you’re looking for an “in-betweener” book…this was a pretty good little story.  Love, hurt, betrayal, and sacrifice.  It has it all.

~Myst

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Talk about running through this book.  Picked it up yesterday from the library and was anxious all through work to read it!!!   I won’t lie though, this book made me mad.  I was so frustrated and so emotionally mad at the characters.  I haven’t had that in a while!

Title: Crescendo (Hush, hush #2)

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Summary (by Goodreads):

Nora Grey’s life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn’t pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He’s more elusive than ever and even worse, he’s started spending time with Nora’s arch-enemy, Marcie Millar. 

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott’s totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him – despite her lingering feeling that he’s hiding something. 

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she trusts.

My take:

So, like I said above.  I was SO mad at Nora and Patch.  Nora couldn’t get answers to questions and got all stupid on Patch.  *sigh  It’s characters like her that give females a bad rap.

The story takes a little bit of a twist as Nora and Patch go through a rough spot.  Patch still isn’t quite ready to let on exactly what is going on with him in his world and Nora can’t stand…not knowing.  As she starts to over analyze their relationship, Nora makes one bad decision after another.

The Nephilim are back in full force, Vee is just as quirky, Patch is just as distant, and there’s a new boy in town…Scotty (aka: Scotty the Potty or Scotty the Hottie…depending on who you are talking to).   Don’t even get me started on Marcie!  She takes bullying to a WHOLE new level.  Some of the things she says and does made me want to hurl the book across the room and run around a parking lot to blow off steam.  I got waaaaay too involved in these characters for some reason.

Overall, it’s a good book.  I don’t think it’s as good as the first, but all characters are flawed I guess.  I just couldn’t stand the backstabbing and all the “back and forth” in the book.  It had some good moments though!  I kinda guessed the outcome by the middle of the book too…which I hate it when that happens.  I’m really not doing a good job trying to convince people to read it, am I? 

I guess this is just a good forewarning of what to expect in the book, because from the first chapter….it’s ALL a big emotional roller coaster!

~Myst

Hunger Games Trailer and vacation

Good news:

The OFFICIAL trailer for Hunger Games came out today!!!  🙂

Bad” News:

So I went on vacation last week…a friend got married in Estes Park, CO (got married on 11.11.11) and it was absolutely beautiful!!!  The scenery was fabulous, the winds were gusty, and the altitude pressure made it hard to breathe!  A Texas girl got all caught up on the whole “mountain” thing!  I can’t look out my windows and see mountains everyday ya know.

So I apologize, but my book reading has slowed waaaaaaay down because of the vacation.  I will hopefully have a review for you on Wednesday!!

~Myst

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This was a weird book.  It completely changed the ideas of angels and demons to make them into a race all their own on another plane on earth.  I just finished the book and I have been staring at the wall for a few moments just to gather myself.  What just happened??

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author:Laini Taylor

Summary(by Goodreads):

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My take:

It took me a little bit to “get into” the book.  The first half or so of this book was a good baseline for the book.  That also means though that (to me at least) it “drudged” just a bit.

Karou is a very abnormal teenage girl.  She runs errands to all parts of the world for half-animal / half-human creatures.  One minute, she’s in Prague and the next…Paris…then it’s Marrakesh.  She has blue hair that actually grows out of her head.   She’s just one freaky teenager!

While out on one of her errands, she meets an angel.  Wings, powerful, handsome, ….angel.  From there her story starts to pick up as she slowly learns about herself, where she came from, and who exactly she has been working for.

The creativity of this book was phenomenal.  So much so, it was hard to keep up with at times.  The author would talk about creatures with human bodies but with horns on their heads (I had to stop picturing Narnia people) or snake-hair (like Medusa).  Plus the fact that when I think of angels…I think of heaven and God…but this author has almost a completely different background and premise for angels.

It’s definitely it’s own genre.  There’s no book out there that I can really say is like it.  It’s got action, fantasy, myth, romance, mystery….but it’s just so different.  I’m literally pulling my hair out here trying to explain it.

The first half had me wondering if I was going to like it…the second half has me wanting more.  Did I mention yet that there’s a sequel that won’t come out until next September?  The book doesn’t leave you crazy hanging on something…it just has that suspense feel with an uncharacteristic ya fiction ending.  Do I have your attention now?  Good!  Read it!

Myst~

"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love... It did not end well."

Hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

I’ve got those “good book butterflies”.  I am literally pining for the second book.  I’m on the freaking waiting list at the library for it.  *sigh  I shouldn’t have read this book yet…I don’t know if I can handle waiting for the second book.

Title: Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1)

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Summary (by Goodreads):

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My take:

It had SUCH a good BAD boy in the book.  You know what I mean?  He’s so downright bad, so it means he’s just oh so good?  *claps hands…it’s been a while since I’ve invested a few hours with a bad boy!….that sounds wrong.

I really liked the idea of the book.  Fallen angels, Nephilim, The Book of Enoch, forbidden love…. a good recipe for a good book.  Include some scary moments and a near murder attempt and viola! you have Hush, Hush.

It starts out with Nora and her best friend Vee having to change their seat assignments in biology class.  Nora ends up being placed next to the new guy to the school who only goes by “Patch” who is now her new biology partner.  He seems to know everything about her and is downright rude while also making horrible sexual innuendos.  She soon finds that wherever she goes, he somehow shows up.  She starts thinking he’s stalking her but in the mean time….starts to fall for him.  Good girl + bad boy = a good story!

Crazy things start happening and Nora starts thinking she’s losing her mind.  One moment things are haywire and it’s like she blinks and the next minute everything is normal.

When Patch finally “lets her in” to see exactly what his intentions are with her…everything seems to come together and then explode at the same time!  Be warned…the last few chapters will make you unavailable to the people around you…you will not let go of the book, they won’t be able to pry it from your hands.

The second book  (Crescendo) was published last year, the third book (Silence) was published this year, and the fourth is due next year.  I had the second book in my car waiting to be read, but when I picked it up…it was in Spanish.  *pity party with silent tears  So I took it back to the library and put myself back on the waiting list.

~Myst

PS – if you happen to fall for a guy who has a vindictive revenge seeking angel girlfriend….be veeeeeeery careful.