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review 2017-07-22 15:39
"The Life She Was Given", by Ellen Marie Wiseman
The Life She Was Given - Ellen Marie Wiseman

Set in the 20th century, this very emotional tale weaves together the stories of two women. Alternately we follow Lilly Blackwood, a young albino girl who has been kept in a secret attic room most of her life till one day her mom sold her to a traveling circus freak show. Once there we are in the circus world, with all the good and bad. We jump two decades later, with Julia Blackwood returning to the family farm where she will soon discover the attic’s dark secrets ….

The story is very touching as we slowly discover the disturbing and frightening things done to Lilly and the kind of life she had hidden away in an attic for years and how she must have felt to be sold by someone she loved to an unscrupulous man running a circus. Undeniably Ms. Wiseman did extensive research to recreate the circus life, its slang, performers and their superstitions, animals training and shows, their behaviours including noises and most of all, how the freak shows was run and how important and lucrative this sideshow was, not forgetting the presence of fraudulent medium star performer who was the highlight in many ways. In graphic scenes, the story also explores how the circus animals were treated or mistreated. 

The story overlaps with Julia taking over her family’s horse business and slowly the secret that binds the two lies at the heart of the tragedy…..Moving between Lilly’s and Julia stories the authors has portrayed two extraordinary and very different women with exceptional life filled with family secrets, tragedy, hope and joy. Their stories displayed a mix of emotions that can possibly drain some readers. Both characters are compelling as well as the myriad of vivid secondary players even the evil ones. All roles were played perfectly.

This engrossing tale is written in short chapters using contemporary language and keeps a steady pace throughout. “The Life She Was Given” is a page tuner almost impossible to put down.

I received this review copy from the publisher via Netgalleys .

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review 2017-07-21 13:30
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Rose Society - Marie Lu

I knew this series would be dark based off of the first book, but wow this series went farther with that than I originally expected it to. Honestly, I'm so glad this book went there. It stands out from the numerous young adult books that feature characters with special powers.

 

The main character, Adelina, is not the typical main character you'd expect. She fully embraces darkness and feeds off of others fear. She revels in the deaths that she causes and her ambition drivers her further to being a villain. It's incredible to read about because it's such a unique story and Marie Lu artfully depicts Adeline's ambition, as well as her madness. 

 

Adelina is not the only stand out character in this book. Due to events at the end of the last book, a new set of characters becomes the main cast of the story, aside from Raffaele and Teren. Teren is very clearly crazy and dangerous and I really liked the direction his character went in. It was believable, but also chilling, especially when it's clear that his mind isn't all there. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about Raffaele though. His chapters seemed the slowest, but honestly he seems like the only one in this series with his head screwed on right.

 

The main reason that I wasn't blown away by this book was because it didn't shock or wow me in any way. I enjoyed the characters and the story, but the plot played out almost exactly as I expected it would. I was hoping that this ending would surprise me like the last one did, but I had predicted how it would end before even picking up the book.

 

The romance in the book didn't overwhelm the plot, but there is somewhat of a love triangle. There also seems to be a bit of insta love with Magiano and Adelina. Honestly, I don't know why someone full of joy would be attracted to Adelina in any way, but somehow that happened. There wasn't really a build up to the attraction and I'm kind of confused by it. I quite like Magiano, but he deserves better than Adelina, especially because she still pines for Enzo.

 

As much as I enjoy the characters and where the story has gone, I was looking for a little more from this book. The beginning was fairly slow and consisted mainly of planning and setting up for the action at the end of the book. If you can get through the slower part, then the end definitely makes up for it with plenty of action.

 

Overall, I did enjoy this book though and I will be picking up the next book. However, my need for The Midnight Star is less than the need I had to read The Rose Society. I'm not sure if it's because I feel like I know how the series will end or if it's because this book didn't end nearly as dramatically as The Young Elites.

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text 2017-07-17 12:48
11th July 2017
Legend - Marie Lu

Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time. 

 

Marie Lu

 

Happy birthday, Marie Lu! The young adult author of the Legend series has a "special love" for dystopian fiction, which may or may not have something to do with her being born in the year 1984.

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review 2017-07-17 00:58
Her Mad Hatter (Kingdom #1) by Marie Hall
Her Mad Hatter - Marie Hall
Dannika isn't like all of the other fairy godmothers because she's a fairy godmother to the badboys.  Dannika has no patience for princesses who are awaiting their Prince Charmings and think that all they need to do is "bat lashes, wiggle bottom, ad mauseam". You'll never catch Dannika saying," bippity-boppity-boo", or turning mice into footmen.  No, Dannika is going to take care of all the bad boys who have just been misunderstood. Dannika takes her duties seriously but an urgency is added to her mission when she learns that if she doesn't find true love for her terrible five that a bad fate awaits them within the year. Taking stock of the situation, Dannika decides that first up to bat will be none other than the Madhatter.  Unfortunately, because Dannika has brought him many women named Alice over the years, the Madhatter isn't exactly open to love anymore, certain that there's no one out there for him.  
 
This is another book in which the idea behind the story was excellent but the execution let it all down.  I love the idea of Wonderland being created from the mind of the Madhatter. The idea that fairy godmother would turn her back on princesses who she deems to be simpering twits in order to focus on fairy tale characters who have a bad reputation and are more in need of a happy ending is fun.  In fact, I'd argue that Hall's take on Dannika is absolutely brilliant.
 
I went into Her Mad Hatter knowing full and well that it's a paranormal romance book but I decided to give it a chance based on the concept.  I thought that most certainly there would be romance but that there would be a lot more meat to the story than Hall provided. If you're going to twist a fairy tale world, other than having elements of the fairy tale like the white rabbit, tea with the Madhatter, or any upside down house, something new and substantive should be added to the narrative to make it worth the time for the reader. And no, having the Hatter fall in love with Alice is not enough.
 
Perhaps what's most irritating about Her Mad Hatter, is the fact that it's clearly fanfic.  It's not even reallyAlice in Wonderland fanfic but Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland fanfic. It's impossible to doubt for a a moment that Hall has a thing for Johnny Depp and I know this because Depp is mentioned several times and it's clearly his version of the Hatter that Hall has a thing for. 
 
Now perhaps if it were Chocolat Johnny Depp, I cold get behind Hall's obsession.
I'm old enough to remember Depp on 21 Jump Street and having his picture on the inside of my locker but that doesn't mean that all of these years later I want to Depp fanfic masquerading as a reboot of Alice in Wonderland.  Dear Hall, the world didn't need to know that you want to fuck Johnny Depp or that you imagine his cum tastes like cream, which even having not tasted it, I know it does not. Just No.  
 
 
 
 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/06/her-mad-hatter-kingdom-1-by-marie-hall.html
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review 2017-07-15 02:15
Beauty & the Beast
Beauty and the Beast-Treasury of Illustrated Classics Storybook Collection - Marie Leprince De Beaumont,Marcel Laverdet,Kathleen Rizzi

Click here for my thoughts on Beauty & the Beast

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