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review 2018-02-24 05:41
The Echoes of Love - Hannah Fielding

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

This is an odd book for me to rate because I found the first half of the book to be 2 stars, but the second half was 4 stars. My final rating for this is 3 stars, which is the average of the two.

 

On an unrelated note, when I first saw that one of the epigraphs was an excerpt from Burnt Norton I was really happy. I love that poem mainly because Lana Del Rey recites it for her interlude on her Honeymoon album and I love Lana Del Rey.

 

So the first half of the book was 2 things: slow and cringe worthy.

In regards to its slowness, I thought that it took way too long to get to Tuscany. It took nearly 150 pages for our main character, Venetia, to finally get there. I felt like the story didn’t actually start until she arrived. A lot of the first half of the book was Venetia being wishy washy towards Paolo. She would think to herself, I love Paolo. Then the next page she would be like, I don’t love Paolo. That continued regularly until about half way through and made the book go by so slowly. I got pretty annoyed with her because she could not make up her mind. A good portion of the first half could have been removed because it was all really repetitive.

 

As for the cringe worthy parts, there were two lines in particular that drove me nuts. The first line described Venetia as having “neither racial or social prejudices” (41). Like okay. That’s kind of an odd thing to say in a book. The second line was when Venetia asked the Chinese fortune teller, “How come you speak such perfect English” (98). As someone who is half Asian, I really have an issue with that. It just adds to the perpetual foreigner stereotype that gets attached to Asians. It wasn’t even a necessary question for the story. Another thing that had me cringing was how predatory the males were in the beginning. Count Umberto was so horrible and even Paolo was a bit too much with his constant demands.

 

But then the book moved to Tuscany and things got a whole lot better. Paolo and Venetia became less annoying. There were conflicts which finally got the story moving (I loved Allegra’s character. She was really interesting). The romance finally heated up. A lot of the time it reminded me of Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast, which isn’t surprising considering Beauty and the Beast (the original fairy tale version) is mentioned on page 304 and Jane Eyre is mentioned in the author’s Q and A at the end of the book. I could definitely see the inspiration and since I love both of those I did end up enjoying the second half.

 

As for the big reveal at the end, I had already figured it out by that point so I wasn’t super surprised by it.

 

Overall, this wasn’t the best romance due to its overly long beginning but the second half saved this book from becoming a disaster. I’m am curious to read more from Hannah Fielding because out of all her books on Goodreads this one has the lowest average rating of only 3.66. All her other books have an average rating of over 4. I’m hoping that this book was just a fluke and not representation of her writing as a whole.

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review 2018-02-23 23:05
Fever Pitch (Love Lessons Book 2) by Heidi Cullinan 4 Star Review
Fever Pitch: Love Lessons, Book 2 - Heidi Cullinan,Iggy Toma

Sometimes you have to play love by ear.

Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.

Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end. 

 

Review

 

So good! Heidi Cullinan is taking all my money.

 

Giles and Aaron are young and finding themselves. The stumble a great deal. Aaron very shy and lonely though on the outside he doesn't look it. Giles is very brave with everything but his heart.

 

They don't take enough risks with each other at first but as they grow into themselves they grown into friendship and a deep abiding love.

 

This is a really grand romance.

 

The whole cast is wonderful.

 

Great series. Great book.

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review 2018-02-23 20:37
I Love My Hair by Natasha Tarpley
I Love My Hair! - Natasha Tarpley

I really enjoyed reading I Love My Hair by Natasha Tarpley. This book serves a greater purpose than just a good story. It teaches young girls (and even boys) to love their hair (or any other characteristic) and its uniqueness. Specifically, this book tackles the long history of young, black girls disliking their hair because it is "different" from everyone else hair. This book highlights all the great things her hair can do and all the different ways she can wear it as well as the heritage and culture of her hair. I also love the use of positive similes and metaphors when comparing the main character's hair to objects. 

 

I would read this book to the class, pausing to discuss with students the ways her mom does her hair, the different styles she wears her hair in (and ask the student what their favorite hairstyles are), and feelings towards her hair (compared to the student's feeling towards their own hair), etc. After reading I would ask students to write a paragraph that connects the book to themselves or their own hair. I would ask them to use evidence from the text to support their connection.

 
Lexile Measure: 670L 
 
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text 2018-02-23 01:44
Reading progress update: I've read 74 out of 416 pages.
The Echoes of Love - Hannah Fielding
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review 2018-02-22 20:49
Fantastic Suspense!
Dangerous in Love (Aegis Group Alpha Tea... Dangerous in Love (Aegis Group Alpha Team Book 1) - Sidney Bristol

Dangerous In Love by Sidney Bristol is a phenomenal romantic suspense.  Ms. Bristol has delivered a well-written book and furnished it with outstanding, lovable characters.  Lacey is a free spirit backpacking and video blogging her adventure when she is kidnapped.  Shane is part of the Aegis Group and his team is tasked with the job of rescuing a married couple.  When they find Lacey with the couple, they rescue her also.  Shane and Lacey's story is packed with drama, action, humor, suspense and sexy bits.  I enjoyed every page of this fantastic book and look forward to reading more from Sidney Bristol in the future.  Dangerous In Love is book 1 of the Aegis Group Alpha Team Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

 

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