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Search tags: Historical-fiction
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review 2018-02-19 09:08
{ARC} Book Review: An Unsuitable Heir by K.J. Charles

In 2016, I discovered one of the most brilliant LGBTQ series there is, the Captive Prince by C.S Pacat. Since then, I’ve been looking for the next book that will make the same impact and though I’ve come across unforgettable ones, nothing could still compare to Captive Prince but I’m not one to easily give up. So in my search, I found The Unsuitable Heir in Netgalley and after reading the premise, I thought, this is it.

 

But one chapter into the story, I was bored as hell and gotten confused with the characters.  Essentially, this is not a bad book but I could not feel any sympathy for the main character who struggled outing his sexuality considering the time period. I could not care  about the impending doom our characters have to face because of a loose killer. I could not care about the budding romance between the two male protagonists because they’re bland as fuck. I could not care about the supporting characters and their dilemma.  I could not care about the setting which in another author’s (I’m sorry okay?) hands might have been lovely. I. Just. Could. Not. Bring. Myself. To. Care. About. This. Book.

 

So all in all, I’d be wasting both our time if I make this review any longer.

Source: waywardkitsune.com/2018/02/arc-book-review-unsuitable-heir-k-j-charles
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review 2018-02-18 02:55
The Second Winter by Craig Larsen
The Second Winter - Craig Larsen

Many thanks to the author, who provided a complimentary copy of the book via the publisher. I wrote half of my senior thesis on women’s relational bonds during the Holocaust, and this time period has always interested me. “The Second Winter” provides a different perspective, one with which I was mostly unfamiliar. Rather than focusing on concentration camp experiences or the lives of soldiers, Craig Larsen draws forth various ordinary characters whose lives slowly coalesce throughout the narrative, forming a compelling tapestry of fate and fortune. As such, this novel has a far-reaching scope, reminding me of Vasily Grossman’s “Life and Fate”. Each character’s actions and decisions produce a ripple effect that inevitably has an influence on many others, demonstrating that in either peace or wartime, in occupied or freed territory, no one exists in a vacuum.

Gritty realism characterizes “The Second Winter”. Larsen pulls no punches, and this is not a happily-ever-after tale. Much of the story unfolds in Denmark during WWII, with forays into East and West Berlin a few decades thereafter, and the impact of German occupation and poverty features prominently throughout the storyline. Hardworking people who find themselves with no good prospects are forced into the territory of moral ambiguity, as Larsen adroitly emphasizes. Polina, the primary character, is a young Polish Jew forced into prostitution, and her interactions with both Germans and Danes imbue the tale with a unique viewpoint without being salacious. The commonplace routine of daily life belies the complexities of relationships and motives that make this a notable book worthy of a thoughtful read.

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text 2018-02-17 10:04
Reading progress update: I've read 734 out of 858 pages.
Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry

[Source]

 

Yeah, I´m a sobbing mess. Again.

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review 2018-02-16 16:31
Gator wrestling princesses
Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters - Shannon Hale

Another excellent entry taking things in an entirely new direction. I praised book 2 for taking (necessary and deserved) revolution and pushing back at all that anger, putting the emphasis on finding connection points and persuading enemies, instead of trying to destroy them. But The Forgotten Sisters pivots to show that sometimes standing up to wrong does mean getting a little savage.

 

Miri comes full circle as the new royal tutor when she's sent to the swamplands days before her pending betrothal to run the next princess academy for three sisters who are too busy hunting caimans and frogs to learn to read. War is on the horizon, and a political marriage is needed. If Miri succeeds, she can buy back her village and the mine from the king before he sells it to finance the war. If she fails, all the gains her family and friends have made disappear and the country may be overrun. But the secrets on all sides have the potential to change the game entirely.

 

Entertaining and with surprising heart, as always. Good for middle-grade readers and up.

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review 2018-02-16 13:26
A short, clean, and sweet romance, with a great setting and characters you’ll love.
Phoebe's Promise (Oregon Sky Series Book 1) - Kay P. Dawson

This is a sweet novella, a clean romance, and what’s more, it’s FREE. I was intrigued by the historical setting (as I had read about the Oregon Trail years back) and by the description of the book. I wondered how the girl pretending to be a boy would work out in such circumstances. The novella moves at a good pace and has all the elements fans of the genre would expect: a man a and woman destined for each other who try to resist the evident attraction between them (it’s complicated), a love rival (well, two, one each), setbacks, misunderstandings, past difficulties that get in the way, and family matters (that at times help and at others hinder the path of true love). The setting works well for the novella, and we get a good sample of the difficulties of the Trail and how hard it must have been for the pioneers, although the amount of detail would not satisfy a keen reader of historical novels. The characters are likeable and relatable, and although it is a short book (it includes two chapters of the next book in the series as well, so it is shorter than it seems), we get to care for them and want to see them settled and happy, especially after the hard times they have to live through. Both of the main characters, Phoebe and Colton, carry a weight of guilt because they feel they have not protected their families as they should and although they might play tough and pretend to be hard, they have hearts of gold and are loyal to a fault. Although Phoebe is hard-working and determined, she does not subvert the boundaries of her gender, and at times is in need of rescue (although she does a fair amount of rescuing herself, mostly emotionally). Colton is not a flawless hero, but rises up to the challenge, and beyond, when is needed. The author is particularly skilled at managing to make readers connect emotionally with the characters and the events, without going over the top pulling at our heartstrings. There are sad moments, but there are also joyful and light moments and, overall, this is an uplifting read. An easy read, with likeable characters, a romantic couple we root for from the beginning, and an interesting background. Although it is not full of surprises, it will satisfy fans of the genre. I became fond of the characters and enjoyed the sample of the next novel, so I might visit again.

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