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review 2018-02-03 00:00
Sawbones - Melissa Lenhardt I just found another book and author to add to my favorites list. I'd give it 10 stars if I could- it was that good! I was expecting a light read but this 1871 western frontier story is so much more then that. Be prepared for one hell of a roller coaster ride with some very dark, intense moments. If you like the wild west or have an interest in medicine, then you need to move this book to the top of your TBR!
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-10-01 11:21
My Third Franken-Date was All About Frankenstein’s Twin Daughters. P.S. You Would Not Want Either of Them Mad at You!
Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters - Suzanne Weyn


What I Liked:


The book tried its best to stay true to the classic that it inspired it. There was a similar Gothic feeling to the story that I felt while reading Frankenstein. It was still there in the practicality with which one of the twins decides to hack a dead body and use the pieces from it. She wanted to replace the nerve-dead parts that were slowly killing her boyfriend with those pieces. The calm demeanor that she showed was reminiscent of her father's i.e. Dr. Frankenstein.


The premise that this story is set upon is completely possible. There was a huge span of time when Victor was absent from home. He was spending his hours trying to reanimate the dead but why couldn't he also have fallen in love and married during that time? Nevertheless, from what I have read of him, the girl would probably  have to don an apron and prance around in his lab, if she was to make that happen.


I loved how the crazy twin's craziness started to come across in the story. As I read the part where she went loco just because her sister wouldn't attend a party, I started to think, why is she acting like an insane person? Who drags their sister to a party while she is kicking and screaming? That's crazy! Turns out, it was lol


The author researched the scientific experts of that time and included them in the story. Their efforts paid off! And, I came across a name, Sushruta. An Indian surgeon who, "was repairing facial injuries incurred in battles in 600 B.C." Consider me hooked! Here's what a Google search yielded:


"Though he practiced during the 5th century B.C., many of his contributions to medicine and surgery preceded similar discoveries in the Western world. Sushruta devotes a complete volume of his experiences to ophthalmologic diseases. In the Uttar Tantrum, Sushruta enumerates a sophisticated classification of eye diseases complete with signs, symptoms, prognosis, and medical/surgical interventions. In particular, Sushruta describes what may have been the first extracapsular cataract surgery using a sharply pointed instrument with a handle fashioned into a trough."


Sounds like Sushruta was really something!


Words that Stayed With Me:




I loved how self-deprecating she sounded, disregarding beauty as a worthy talent!


What I didn't Like:


I could not differentiate between the twins. They might have been separate people but I had to take the author's word for it. They seemed alike. This brings me to my next issue, which is an issue that many YAs face. The female lead has to be beautiful and yet not know how beautiful she is. In this case, there were two leads. How would a book follow this trope in such a case, you ask? Easily. One of the twins was beautiful while the other was interested in science. Any guesses which one was prettier? Yeah, it wouldn't have bugged me since I have gotten used to this in YA books. But the twins were IDENTICAL!! Identical, I tell you!


How the author treated the monster from the classic. If you are going to base a book on a legend like that, you need to treat them with respect. You can't just use them in a scene and not tell what happened to the monster! It attacks the girls one night, trying to nab them, and then runs away scared when their grandfather brings out his shotgun? Does it seem like the intelligent and shrewd creature from the classic? Say, it does run away but why does it not come back? In the original, he was determined, if nothing else.


One of Victor's diaries mention him saying, "It's Alive!", when the monster woke up. The character from the book never uttered those words but the character in the movie did. A noticeable mistake that the author should not have made when they put so much effort into research.



Now for the Pretties


Giselle's Plaid Skirt.jpg


Giselle's Plaid Skirt with Black Velvet Top Ensemble




 Ingrid's Sapphire Gown


The book is quite different from many YA novels out there. It does not contain any love triangles and the female leads know how to get things done without boys! Give it a try, if you like such stories.


This was my third Franken-Date.



More about Project Frankenstein.


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review 2016-04-09 06:02
Sawbones by Melissa Lenhardt
Sawbones - Melissa Lenhardt

It's a gripping read. Post US Civil War Texas, massacres, a feminist female doctor accused of murder on the run, kidnapping, rape, it's all there.


Here's the blurb:


When Dr. Catherine Bennett is wrongfully accused of murder, she knows her fate likely lies with a noose unless she can disappear. Fleeing with a bounty on her head, she escapes with her maid to the uncharted territories of Colorado to build a new life with a new name. Although the story of the murderess in New York is common gossip, Catherine’s false identity serves her well as she fills in as a temporary army doctor. And in a land unknown, so large yet so small, a female doctor can only hide for so lonyyyy


The story is told in the first person, and the author tries to capture the tone of voice an educated woman might have in the early 1870's US. It's seemed a bit odd, but I got used to it. The feminist theme is very strong, which I like.

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review 2016-03-31 01:29
Sawbones - Melissa Lenhardt

Sawbones, the latest novel by Melissa Lenhardt (which is also the first novel in the new Laura Elliston series), catches you from the cover, and keeps you hooked straight through to the last page.


Content Warning: Graphic violence and rape.


This novel begins with our heroine in a bit of a sticky wicket. Dr Catherine Bennett is one of the few female Doctors in New York, and in order to keep up with new surgical advances, she must resort to...less than savory methods of acquiring her cadavers. After a long night of dissection, followed by an semi-successful attack on her person, Dr. Bennett is returning home when she is interrupted by a long time friend. She discovers that one of her patients has been murdered, and she has been accused of the crime.


On the run to the West Coast, and under an assumed name of Laura Elliston, the wagon train she is in is attacked by Indians. Dr Elliston's best friend and maid Maureen is brutally murdered, and the rest of the party is either abducted or murdered.


Taking refuge at the Military outpost where she's been asked to help by General Sherman, the Doctor finds out that the frontier is smaller, and more dangerous than she imagined. The notoriety of being a female Doctor, the danger of falling in love with a man who knew her in her former life, and the ever present threat of Indian raids all take a toll on Dr Elliston.


Then, just when she thinks that she might have a chance at safety and peace, her world is upended again by someone who was supposed to be dead, someone her beloved William buried himself.


Kidnapped by another band of Indians, brutally raped and beaten, Laura is "rescued" by the man who has been following her at the Fort. The man who William buried during the War, his brother. Brutally beaten again, and used as bait to lure William out, Laura must make one of the most difficult decisions of her life. One that will echo throughout what may very well be the sudden end of her life.


I enjoyed Sawbones, there were a few scenes that really made me cringe, especially the rape. It wasn't quite bad enough to make me stop reading the book, as it was pretty well expected due to the time period. But it is still very much there, just as a warning.


Would I recommend Sawbones? Yes. It was a well written book, and it fits into a number of categories. Western, romance, historical fiction, historical romance, strong female protagonist, and adventure. It was a good read, and I've already pre-ordered the next book in the series. Just in case.



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