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review 2017-11-13 17:57
SQUEE!!
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1) - Philip Pullman

Trying not to be a fangirl, but wow. This was so good. Not going to lie, I missed Lyra and Will. We do get baby Lyra though, so at least she's in the story. Just not talking and being her Silvertongue self yet. Seeing younger versions of Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter though was interesting. Since I know what comes, it gave me a good deal of pleasure of seeing Mrs. Coulter wrong footed. We follow two young people, Malcolm and Alice who do what they can to keep baby Lyra safe.

 

Philip Pullman offers these tantalizing details: “I’ve always wanted to tell the story of how Lyra came to be living at Jordan College, and in thinking about it, I discovered a long story that began when she was a baby and will end when she’s grown up. This volume and the next will cover two parts of Lyra’s life: starting at the beginning of her story and returning to her twenty years later. As for the third and final part, my lips are sealed.

 

Look all I am saying is that I want Lyra and Will together. That's it. If I end up sobbing like a child again like I did when I finished "The Subtle Knife" Pullman and I are going to have some imaginary words.

 

We have two new young adult characters to follow. No they are not Lyra and Will. But I actually think I may have fallen more in love with them than the latter. We have Malcolm and Alice who end up being drawn to baby Lyra.


I think that both characters were very well developed. Though some pieces reminded me of "The Subtle Knife". We have another sexual awakening of sorts. You see a young boy and girl drawn together and willing to fight for each other after having an adventure. 


We also get to see familiar characters in this one. I already mentioned Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter, but there are some others I don't want to spoil about. 

 

I do think that there were a lot of characters to keep track of, but I didn't mind. Pullman writes them all quite well and they move in/out to the story. I do wish though we hadn't jumped between Malcolm and his goings on and another adult character as much (no spoilers). That took something out of the book for me. I know that Pullman is trying to set up the people for investigating dust and those who did not want to, but as I said, I think most readers are going to read "His Dark Materials" prior to this one, so you don't have to go into it as much. 

 

Volume 1 was really good. Though it starts off slow, the flow gets better and better and you will have your heart in your throat for most of the story. I was so worried about Malcolm and Alice until the very end. And even then I am worried, cause i don't recall these characters in "His Dark Materials" or if they are referenced I am too dumb to not have caught it when I did a quick skim read of the three books a few days ago.


The plot of "The Book of Dust" is about a young boy, Malcolm, and innkeeper's son (I got a great hoot at connecting that with Jesus/inn/etc. who finds out that a baby is living with a group of nuns nearby. Malcolm becomes instantly enthralled with the baby (called Lyra) and her tragic story that most people are not supposed to know about (though everyone does). That would have to be the funniest part of this book to me. People keep mentioning secrets here and there, but it did feel like most of the characters knew about things that they should not have. I think that may have made for a more interesting book if things were slowly revealed. But I bet Pullman figured most of us have read "His Dark Materials" so it's not like it's going to be a shocking reveal to us.

 

The world building in "The Book of Dust" was really good. We get to see an earlier Brytain that has some similarities to our world, but does not. There is a terrible story about a man called St. Alexander that was appalling. And I swear reminded me of someone else historical, but was too busy/lazy to look it up. How this man and his actions trickles down to a secret group of children that reports on teachers, parents, etc. gives more power to the Consistorial Court of Discipline was appalling to see. I can see at times why Lord Asriel was hell-bent on breaking the hold the Church had on the world that "His Dark Materials" inhabitants. 

 

The ending was very good and links up nicely with the story we were told about how Lyra comes to be at Jordan College. Now can't wait for part two where we find Lyra supposedly 20 years later after the events of this story. I already read "Lyra's Oxford" to just get a nice taste of Lyra and Pan when she's 15. I wish it had been longer.

 

 Image result for his dark materials gif

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text 2017-11-11 23:31
Reading progress update: I've read 35%.
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1) - Philip Pullman

Happy to be back in this world. 

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review 2017-11-02 04:41
great book and great characters
Belle: An Amish Retelling of Beauty and the Beast (An Amish Fairytale) - Sarah Price

Belle lived with her father and two sisters on their farm. Belle loves to read romances and dreams of falling in love.  Belle’s father was a dreamer and inventor but he wasn’t successful and had used all family money and had to sell their farm. Adam had bought their farm who is a local recluse. Adam is badly scarred by a terrible childhood accident. The people of the community have come to call Adam the Beast and that's basically how he acts. But he has been scarred not only physically but  emotionally as well as spiritually. The people's reaction to his physical appearance only makes it worse. So now Adam is scarred, disfigured, and silent. But Belle goes to Adam and asks to become his housekeeper so her family can still stay in the house. Adam instead offers Belle marriage and if she has a son her family can keep their farm. Belle goes into the marriage intending to do all she can to make it work no matter what. Adam’s home was filthy and Belle immediately went to cleaning their home and making good meals for them to eat. Adam has had noone to talk to in years so he is silent when around Belle even though she talked to him. Belle does believe God has called her to marry Adam.
I loved this book. I loved the plot as well as the pace. I also loved that it wasn’t an insta-love relationship instead it slowly built between Belle and Adam. I also loved the way the author used a Beauty and the Beast style when writing this. I also liked how the author showed people can live in a religious community and fall and not act in a Christian charitable way. I choked up at times and chuckled at other times. This was a quick fun great romance read. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I highly recommend.

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text 2017-10-30 00:31
Books I Read in August and September 2017
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation - Damian Duffy,John Jennings,Octavia E. Butler
Breakfast in Bed (The Innkeepers) - Rochelle Alers
Surrender to Me (The Lawsons of Louisiana) - Donna Hill
Seeking Sarah: A Novel - ReShonda Tate Billingsley
To Wager Her Heart (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel) - Tamera Alexander
Pretty, Nasty, Lovely - Rosalind Noonan
Stay with Me: A novel - Adebayo Ayobami
The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett
Gravel Heart - Abdulrazak Gurnah
Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi

I will list the rating and to the side add commentary. 

 

 

5 Stars

 

 None

 

 

4 Stars

 

Breakfast in Bed by Rochelle Alers (solid read)

 

Seeking Sarah by Reshonda Tate Billingsley (solid read)

 

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander (fantastic story, pleasantly surprised)

 

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebeyo (unforgettable stand out read)

 

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy (Liked this, LOVE book) 

 

 

3 Stars

 

Surrender to Me by Donna Hill (solid read)

 

Pretty, Nast, Lovely by Rosalind Noonin (interesting story)

 

Gravel Heart by Abdulrazak Gurnah (good story)

 

 

2.5 Stars

 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett 

 

I've been thinking what to say about my displeasure with this book. It was an okay read for me. Such a hyped book that I did everything possible to get my hands on it for months; giveaways, egalleys and such. To only be disappointed. There's nothing new here for me. It definitely wasn't what I expected in terms of the storyline. Maybe it's my age. I've read a lot of books and many heavy hitters at a young age. It takes a lot to impress me in story and writing. However, both don't have to be great. I'll take a good story with subpar writing or a well written book with just okay plot. Many love this one. It just wasn't for me. Beautiful cover and great publicity with a new up and coming author, I do believe Ms. Bennett is definitely one to watch!

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-10 02:29
A Christmas Belle (Christmas Mail Order Angels) (Volume 4) - Anne Greene

A Christmas Belle by Anne Greene
Have read other works by the author and have enjoyed the reads. This one is also another enjoyable one.
Love cover with snow covered pinecones. Book starts out with Amanda and she's answered an ad to travel west and marry a man there.
Angel Vale is looking for many women to come and marry the men available there. There are some stipulations and some require you be Christian.
As the story goes along it follows Amanda and we learn how it came to be that she's decided to go there.
Story also follows Frank and he's a sheriff, building his own house and he has staked a gold claim. His circumstances change a bit as a baby is left at his steps claiming the male child is his.
He pays a Chinese laundry man to tend to the child so he can work with the many jobs he has. He hopes the women he has sent for will agree to marry him and tend to the baby.
Like learning of the way others live in the west and how much a part religion has. Can't believe the outcome of this book because there was problems with Amanda's first betrothed and she keeps comparing Frank and his origins.
Received this review copy from the author via Bookfun.org and this is my honest review. Love holiday reads.

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