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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mini Reviews 18

Hey, not only is this the last of the mini reviews (for a while), but it's the last of my 2014 book reviews! I'm only five months behind - yeah?


Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Summary:
When Elizabeth Darcy's sister Lydia shows up unannounced at Pemberley, the Darcy's quiet world is shattered.  Wickham and their friend Denny got into an argument and Denny is found dead.  Wickham is the chief suspect and that brings even more shame to the Darcy family name, as Mr. Darcy's brother-in-law.  Can Elizabeth and Darcy hold their position and their family together under such pressure?

My Thoughts:
This one suffered in comparison to the mini series.  I watched it first and then read the book and not only was the fun taken out of the mystery, since I knew who had done it, but I found it a lot less exciting and intense than the show.  I admit the mini series took some liberties that I laughed at, particularly with regard to Lizzy's role in the whole thing.  Still, it made the book seem a lot slower and more boring.  Plus, mystery still isn't my favorite genre of choice.  Meh.
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The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Summary:
Carthya is on the brink of war and Jaron is fighting to keep his throne.  But when an unexpected threat arises, he is about to risk all in order to keep what is his.  He is ready to make a desperate move to save the kingdom, the throne, and those he cares about. Will it be enough?

My Thoughts:
I really liked the start of the series, and I am satisfied by the ending and how everything turned out. I remember enjoying the action and the excitement of watching Jeron do crazy things for his throne and his love.  I love how Nielsen is able to plot twists that are fantastic and that I don't usually see coming, though a few of them I do.  But, to be honest, it's been a few months and I can't remember much of what happened.  So, I guess there's that against it.
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Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Summary:
Sophronia continues her training as a spy and this time is caught up in a conspiracy brooding in London.  As their floating school makes its way straight into the heart of the trouble, she and her friends must discover who is behind this plot before it's too late for them all.

My Thoughts:
Well, this series is fun to read when you just want a lark.  There are plenty of politics (of the supernatural variety) and intrigue going on to keep you reading.  Also, I really like Sophronia, despite her doing some really annoying things in the romance department.  I think I do read them for the characters and the silliness.  Definitely a nice break from serious stuff (not that I was reading serious stuff anyway.)
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In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story by David McCullough

Summary from goodreads:
Christmas Eve, 1941. Mere days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met at the White House. As war raged throughout the world, the two leaders delivered a powerful message of hope that still resonates today.
My Thoughts:
This is basically a transcript from a program McCullough did with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for a Christmas program (I did read this around Christmas - I was super proud of myself for doing some thematic reading, since I don't usually - too bad I didn't get a review posted until May).  But it was too short and I really wanted more details about the historical period.  There was an interesting address by PM Churchill that made me want to read a bio of him (now to figure out which of the 3 billion to read).
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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Summary:
An autobiography of the author written in verse, describes her childhood and youth and all that led her to writing stories and becoming the person she is today.

My Thoughts:
Love, love love it!  This was fantastic.  I know why this won the National Book Award (and other delightful shiny stickers). It is written so, so well (and I sometimes have a hard time with verse novels).  The story is amazing and I adored hearing more about the time period and the things Jacqueline dealt with.  Her family were awesome (well, most of them)!
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Chime by Franny Billingsley

Summary:
Briony is living with so many secrets and so much guilt, she can hardly breathe some days.  Determined never to let anyone know just what she's done, she leads a painful life of deception.  Until she begins to see that things might not have been as she thought.

My Thoughts:
This book was super weird and interesting and confusing.  I can't believe how long it took me to get to it (I got an ARC way back when).  I was sucked in from the first page!  The story was convoluted and I had no idea what was going on a lot of the time, but I have to admit I was wowed.  I loved how the end came about and how things just sort of clicked.  Intriguing, strange, and very gorgeously written!


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8 comments :

  1. I've wanted to check out the mini series of Death Comes To Pemberley. Maybe I'll just do that and skip the book. Chime has been on my list forever.

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    1. I quite enjoyed the mini series. I probably would have liked the book more if I'd read it first :)

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  2. I started Chime a long time ago and just never got into it. But since my tastes have changed a lot since then(and I'm better at sticking with things) I think I need to give it another shot!

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    1. Yeah, I can see not getting into it - it's pretty strange. But I was really sucked in, so if you get a chance, give it another go!

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  3. I love Jacqueline Woodson. BROWN GIRL DREAMING is one of my very favorites of hers because it's different, but still hits on themes she explores often in her fiction. She's an exceptional writer. Glad you enjoyed this one!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I definitely need to read more by her.

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  4. Hey I’m five months behind too! *high five* I loved Shadow Throne. I agree it had a lot of fun twists in it.

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