alice

Alice in Wonderland Tag/Tea Party Blog Tag

10:28 AM

Like they always do, the Notebook Sisters have brought us another delicious tag that I had to participate in. Hope you enjoy! And go check out their take on the tag here and the rules and linky thing here (you only have a little over a day to join in :P).


The Questions:
1. Just Alice: What book cover(s) has made you super curious?


This cover is just so vivid and colorful and unique that it's practically irresistible. LOOK AT IT. 

This. *muffled screech* I could look at this all day. The colors are so intense. But, what makes it even more curiosity-inducing is that bubble around the city and the cracked, dry ground outside. 


I'll probably mention colors a lot. Those are what catch my eye first, like contrast or blending. And the clock imbedded in the cobblestone (I love cobblestone) is glowing and ugh. No resistance here. 

The amazing painted cover coupled with the title just grabbed at me so hard that I bought this one. I was crossing my fingers that the story would live up to the cover! Now I need the second book because WOAH, honey. That cover. 
Wait. "Super curious" is code for so-gorgeously-pretty-that-you-want-to-buy-them-just-because, right?

2. Mad Hatter: List the craziest character(s) you've ever read.

Hmm, this is hard. Unlike some people, not every book I read has a psychotic human. ;) *cough* Cait *cough* I'm literally looking blankly around my room trying to come up with something.

Okay, 1) Warner from Shatter Me, basically he was such a combination of desperate and infatuated and cruel-ness that hm yeah *backs away slowly*. 2) Barrington Whelk [aka crazy young teacher guy from The Raven Boys. Yeah, I didn't remember him by name either]. What to say? Whelk was the definition of not-right-in-the-head. His whole thought process just sickened me. Bad Whelk. 3) Soren, the dude in Under the Never Sky that somehow had a tan when nobody else did. He was just brutish. And viciously cruel for the sake of being cruel.

I think it's obvious I'm thinking about crazy like lunatic-crazy.

3. Red Queen, Off With Your Head! What book have you felt like beheading?

Oh my gosh-- Crater and Crescent by Homer Hickam. The premise was good and even interesting but I couldn't stand most of the characters. I think I'm starting to breathe hard just thinking about it.

4. White Rabbit: What books or series have been insanely popular but you've been "late" to pick them up?

Countless. I mean, seriously, I'm not very good at keeping up with the hype. I haven't read the Twilight series or Harry Potter series. I haven't read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series yet (but I have the first book in my room waiting), the Grisha series (Shadow & Bone, etc.)...hm, let me think.

Splintered series by A. G. Howard, anything by John Green, anything by Rainbow Rowell, etc. etc. I could go on, at the risk of making a few people angry. ;)

5. Caterpillar: What's the most confusing book you've read?

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott. Nothing made sense, nothing connected. I even checked to see if I had mistakenly borrowed a sequel and not the first book. It was that bad. I DNF'd it.

6. Dormouse: What was the last book that sent you to sleep?

Valley of Dreams by Lauraine Snelling. There was a lot of description and the majority of the book described a long trip across the lands of America by wagon. It might have been interesting if I liked the characters more or if something had happened, but nothing did. No. The food descriptions were good though. 

7. Cheshire Cat: Book that made you laugh and smile?

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. Because Jace is hilarious. Let me give you a sampling:
~~~~~
"Medium clever," Simon acknowledged. "Like a cross between George Clooney in Ocean's Eleven and those MythBsusters guys, but, you know, better looking."

"I'm always so glad I have no idea what you're vacantly chattering about," said Jace. "It fills me with a sense of peace and well-being."
~~~~~
"Alec keeps sending me annoying photos. Lots of captions like 'Wish you were here, except not really'."

8. Knave of Hearts: Most recent character who stole your heart?

As in, sort of like romantically? Or..like kindred spirits? Or someone I was deeply empathetic with? I'm making this too complicated aren't I. Okay.

Jem and Will from The Infernal Devices (everybody in that series needs a gigantic hug, seriously). NO. DO NOT TELL ME TO PICK WHICH ONE I WANT TO GO WITH TESSA. NO.

Update: I just finished reading The Clockwork Princess. My heart cannot go on.

9. Jabberwocky: Best villain you've read this year?

Romeo from Juliet Immortal. I think he's the best I've read this year because it was extremely hard to tell whether he was all evil or if he had a little good in him. I hated him. But then I also empathized and felt sorry for him. It was extremely annoying.

10. Down the Rabbit Hole: What's the latest book/series/author that's completely swallowed your interest?

I've gotten back into the shadowhunter world which means all things Cassandra Clare. Woop! I love the characters. And the world. And the shadowhunter gear. Basically everything.
  

An American Girl in Italy

Book Blitz: An American Girl in Italy

9:52 AM

 

 Links to the book:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22292279-an-american-girl-in-italyhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JO2Y7YKhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-american-girl-in-italy-aubrie-dionne/1119438601?ean=9780007594443&itm=1&usri=9780007594443


An American Girl in Italy by Aubrie Dionne
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Genre: Contemporary Romance

An Italian paradise is the last thing she wants… but the one thing she needs!

Surely any girl would kill for the chance to tour Italy’s most famous cities for the summer? To experience the warmth of the Tuscan sun, the culinary delights of the pizzerias and caffés and to stroll along the cobbled streets of the City of Love itself…
Any girl apart from ambitious oboist Carly Davis that is! For her, the Easthampton Civic Symphony’s latest European tour is one massive inconvenience. She can’t even put her smartphone down long enough to snap a picture of the Coliseum.
Only, there’s one Italian attraction that Carly hadn’t quite expected to be a part of the tourist route…

Tour guide Michelangelo is as dark and delicious as Carly’s morning espresso. And when she needs a few lessons in the language of love to land her an important gig, he’s a more than capable tutor.

But with her promising career back in Boston, can Carly really afford to lose her heart in Italy?
 



 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2964057https://twitter.com/authoraubriehttp://authoraubrie.blogspot.com/

beach

Seashells and Oceanside

5:55 PM

Sooo, I got back home last night from a tiny vacation with my family. It was awesome. I had so much fun and I can't wait to go back sometime.

But you want details, don't you?

Of course, you do.

Me and my family went on a two half-day, one night trip to Florida. We hadn't taken a vacation in quite a while and so it was really refreshing and relaxing. And despite my good intentions, I didn't read one page of The Clockwork Prince like I planned to. It happens every time. For some reason, I just don't read on vacations. There's too much to take in and explore!

We left early in the morning (around 5:40, I'd say) and drove for around seven to eight hours to Panama City Beach, Florida....which is the actual name of the city and not a beach. As soon as we got there, we changed into our swimsuits in the Burger King restrooms and headed out to the beach.

It was beautiful.

I've been to the beach in Delaware, which is northeastern America, and the ocean there is dark blue-green and maybe a little brown. In Panama City Beach, the water was sparkling blue and the sand looked like white sugar.



The sand was burning though and, also, I cannot walk good on sand in flip-flops. For me, either I walk normally and flip sand all up my leg and on my shorts or I walk very slowly and weirdly and make almost no progress. #Truth

So my dad, my sister, and I went out into the water and splashed around. I ducked underneath the water (because my dad and sister forced me to) and tried to swim. I'm a passable swimmer at best in a calm, still swimming pool. I didn't really get anywhere in the ocean.




And the water was extremely salty! If I didn't shut my eyes tight enough, they stung really badly after I was back above water. The water was cold but not freezing and the sun was shining really brightly. 

The beach was filled with those colorful beach umbrellas and people lying out on towels, with beachfront skyscrapers silhouetted against the sky.


We played in the water for ages, then we packed up and headed for our hotel room. It was extremely uncomfortable waiting to change out of cold, sandy clothes. Eugh. :P

After cleaning up, we all headed out for a good supper somewhere and settled on a Thai restaurant called Oishi. My mom had a little difficulty pronouncing the words as she ordered for all of us. I might have laughed. Just a little. But my noodle dish was amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Then we drove around downtown at night time. It was so fun looking at all the shops and just listening to people talking and zooming around on scooters. The whole atmosphere in the town was breezy and relaxed.

After that small drive, we went back to our hotel and settled in. And oh. my. gosh. The pillows. They were heaven.

The next morning, we all ate breakfast in varying quantities from the continental breakfast at the hotel. Then we stopped by a spot on the public city beach and collected tons of shells. I'm a sucker for shells. I swear I have a couple pounds worth sitting in my room now.

Proof.
 My muscles were screaming though from the other day of swimming and walking on sand. A little while passed, then we jumped back into our car and headed down the coast, checking out a beach here and there. Then we headed back home, taking a long, looong seven hour trip back home.

And that dear blogglings was my vacation. How many of you are out of school? What have you done or are planning to do this summer?

It's been ten days since my last post here, so I decided that not only would I post today but I'll also (probably) post the Notebook Sisters' tag and a book blitz on the two following days. After that, there might be another small break in blogging while I wrap up the school year and get all my college papers sorted out.

I'll be going to SOAR for my college which is sort of like freshman orientation (and it's required) in about a week or so. Would any of you like to read a post on that?

I'm missing blogging regularly, and I can't wait for this summer. Woop!

Oh! I got new glasses too :)

legolas

The Cast of The Desolation of Smaug (More or Less)

6:47 PM

Hey, peoples! I'm technically on a blogging break for a few weeks, but I thought I'd post a little something on here since it's the weekend and I don't want you to get bored. :P

Much love and chocolate (but not too much, I need some for myself).

From The Desolation of Smaug
And is it just me or does "Smaug" sound like "smog" in a heavy southern (american) accent? *grins*

hiatus

More Vlogs and Goodbye (for two weeks)

8:12 PM

I had loads of fun doing The Raven Boys vlog last time and I would love your feedback on it right here, if you don't mind.

This is just so I can get a feel for how many people are actually benefiting or enjoying the vlogs I might do in the future. No pressure ;)


Here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GHF9HZJ

Thanks! Have some dessert..




I'm making myself hungry. *salivates* I'd better stop before I try to eat these delicious things off my screen.

Also, I've decided to put Life of a Random on a very short hiatus. I need to pull back because my school year's winding down and I need to buckle down and do some intense studying. I say "short" because I should be back to posting regularly by the beginning of June or so.

I'm really sorry but I need to concentrate on school (unfortunately). I'll still pop up around the blogosphere and comment on your blogs and I might post a couple posts here.

DON'T FORGET ME. If you do, I will come to your house and spray paint skulls on your door (which would be way more threatening if I actually had that skill).

xoxoxo

gifs

Nominated for the Liebster Blog Award (Twice!)

11:01 PM

Did I ever tell you I have awesome blogger friends? I do.

Last Saturday, two people made me extremely very happy. *jumps up and down excitedly* S.R. McKade and Unikke Lyfe both nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award on the same day!!

!!!!


Guys, you are both awesome people. Thank you SO much.


Because I'm combining two Liebsters, I've decided to mix the rules for both (since they were different). I won't have eleven facts (I'll have six) but I will answer all twenty-two questions. I will then nominate eleven people and give them questions.


(I know, I know. I am an awesome user of GIFs.)

The 6 Facts:
1. I got my driver's license really late according to American standards (which is sixteen). I got mine a few days ago, and I'm eighteen. (Don't worry, it's not because I'm an awful driver. Not really anyway ;) )
2. I hoard collect maps. Besides them being really cool, I don't know...I just love maps. And atlases. 
3. I've never read the Twilight series, Harry Potter series, or The Fault in Our Stars. Hehe, sorry. 
4. I'm homeschooled, and I've pretty much taught myself since ninth grade. Because I'm awesome. ;)
5. I like silver better than gold. 


 6. Sometimes I write poems. But only ones that have rhythm and rhyme. (Or at least. I hope they do.)  

Unikke's 11 Questions:
1. How are you feeling today?
Good, I guess. :) I'm having a hard time concentrating on stuff because it's all hot and humid. (Super excited that I got two Liebsters :D)

2. If you could live in any world (fictional), which would it be? Why?
A lot of fictional worlds are beautiful but not...ideal...to actually live in. Narnia is beautiful though and so is Neverland in the movie...um, Neverland (starring Charlie Rowe).
 
3. Who's your favorite music artist/singer?
That's an extremely difficult question. I love EVERYBODY. XD Erm..one of my favorite singers is Ellie Goulding (Her voice is so beautiful. Go listen to her music. Now.) and Lindsey Stirling is an amazing violinist.

4. What's your dream?
My dream is to get a degree in Graphic Design and eventually work for a publishing company making book covers, while doing side jobs and working on some of my books at the same time. (And taste-testing for a chocolate factory obviously.)

5. What's your favorite book? Why?
I don't really have a favorite book because I love so many for so many different reasons. But one of my favorites is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I love the characters! I also love the Scottish mythology incorporated into the storyline.

6. Do you have any regrets?
Well, for small regrets, I would say I wish I had done more activities in high school (I'm about to graduate). Like joined an art club or a choir or something. 

For big regrets, probably not learning to stand up for what I believe sooner.

7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
First, I have to visit the whole world ;) then I can tell you. Hehe, but from what I've seen Ireland is gorgeous and, of course, Arizona of the USA. <3 Or maybe New Zealand.
 
8. Do you prefer the real world or the one in your head?
It depends. Sometimes the real world is too much and I prefer my own (which would probably be one of my stories) or a book's. 

9. Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist?
I'd say an optimist with a pinch or two of realist. *grins*

10. Do your family support your dreams?
Yeah, mostly. My dad supports my dreams (as long as I'm responsible) and my mom supports my dreams as long as I can get a good job to support myself with but I understand that she just wants me to do well. (Nope, I am not always this calm about it.)

11. Choose: You get your happily ever after, and your family lives in pain forever. Or you live in pain, and your family never does. Why?
I live in pain, and my family never does-- Because, I love them. And I think it would bring me more pain and regret seeing them in pain then it would for me to be in pain myself. But I also hope that if it came down to it, I would do the same for people I didn't know. :)

S. R.'s 11 Questions:
1. What made you start your blog?
I actually had a blog before Life of a Random (No, I'm not telling you where it is. Not even for chocolate). I started a new one because I just wanted to start all over, maybe go in a new direction. In the beginning, I just wanted a place to talk about...stuff. To ramble and say what I was thinking. Then I started going in the "book blog" direction. 
 
2. What's your favorite book/author and why?
Ahh, another impossible question. S.R., you know that no bookworm in the entire universe can answer this ;) Once again, though, one of my favorites is The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. The main character is kick-butt and the book has a steampunk setting. Yes. STEAMPUNK.

3. Do you listen to music and if yes, what's your preference?
Yes! I mostly listen to pop (for singers) and for just music I listen to a lot of Celtic and violin music, or movie soundtracks.
 
4. How does listening to music make you feel?
It depends on the music, my mood, and the situation. That's what I love about music. :D

5. What's your pet peeve?
Ugh, like when a marker or pencil squeaks when someone's writing? *shivers* I can't stand it! I'm making myself shiver right now just imagining it. 

I also hate it when people think I'm automatically smart (like school smart) because I'm half-Asian. 

 
6. I'm an eclectic reader. What about you, are you picky or will you try anything that looks interesting?
I'll try anything that looks interesting (and it doesn't include horror very often). If I read in one genre too long, I tend to get bored. 
 
7. Are you a "Wakey, wakey, sunshine, it's morning" person or a "Go away, pulling-covers-over-head it's still early" one?
Haha, I'm definitely not a morning person. If I could sleep in every day, I would. And if someone tries to wake me up too early for no cause, (besides me killing them) they will get things thrown at them. Repeatedly.

8. What language do you wish you were fluent in?
Chinese, German, and something obscure and beautiful and old. Ooh, wait. Maybe Gaelic (isn't that the native language of Ireland?). 
 
9. If there's one country you could visit, which one would it be?
I'm not sure. Somewhere with breathtaking mountain ranges, topped in snow. (This may or may not have something to do with it being hot where I live right now.)

10. Do you like the sound of rain and if so, how does it make you feel?
I like the sound of light rain. It makes me feel peaceful. Hard rain, on the other hand, sort of gives me the blues. And it makes mud. >.< 
 
11. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you wanna be and why?
The bookstore or library! There's nothing that makes me happier than slow browsing books old or new. *le sigh* Although, I'm feeling lazy so it would be nice if I could somehow go there without actually moving
 
 




note: I like giving Liebster Blog Awards to blogs that I've at least visited and also really enjoyed.

Engie @Musings From Neville's Navel
MV @The Magic Violinist
(I probably should have researched more. too big) Hawwa @It Was Lovely Reading You
Ella @Once Upon a Bookish Time
 Ella @The Filipina Booknote
(too big. oops.) Cait & Mime @The Notebook Sisters
Griffin & Snowflake (er...Selia?) @Griffin & Snowflake
Maiya @Wispy and Willowy
Inna @Paper Raindrops

1. Do you like animation movies? What's your favorite?
2. Which nationality of food do you like best?
3. If you had to do one chore for the rest of your life, what would it be?
4. Favorite genre of book?
5. Who's your favorite Narnian character?
6. If you had to pick one, which would you rather a book had: romance or action?
7. Do you take selfies?
8. Do you like writing discussion posts or reviews better?
9. What's usually your first thought in the morning?
10. You can change anything about yourself that you want. What do you change?
11. Do you prefer hot weather or cold weather?

That's it from my end! Now it's up to you all. ;)
And once again, guys, this is an awesome time to tell me what your favorite small blogs are and if you want to show me yours but you're scared you'll sound stuck-up....don't worry about it! I promise I won't think you're stuck up. I LOVE discovering new blogs, so don't be shy. :)
 

Amber House

Review: Amber House

3:25 PM



Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Pages: 368
Source: library
Format: Hardcover

"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.


My brain actually hurts from the explosions it just went through. Oh, gee, guys. This book packs a punch. I can't even think right now (because I've just finished the book), which is why this is the only part of the review I'm gonna write now-- the intro.

LATER....

Okaaay. I've had some time to recover. I'm as ready as I'll ever be! I picked this up at the library, just because of its gorgeous cover. So pretty. *strokes* Then I read the blurb, and I was like. Hm. This sounds super creepy. I don't do super creepy.  Of course that made me a little tentative going in...

I really connected to the main character Sarah. She reminded me a little bit of myself and I just empathized with her almost instantly. Her dialogue and stream-of-consciousness were written very uniquely. The sentences were choppy, blunt, and straight-to-the-point. They were abrupt. And no, I'm not talking about something like Katniss's voice. She spoke matter of factly. I could almost see from the way that she spoke that she was used to being disappointed and hurt, and so she didn't want to put to much emotion into her words (I'm having a very hard time trying to put my thoughts into words here..grr).

Her relationship with her little brother Sammy was the most precious thing.  I have a little brother that's two years younger than Sammy...I understood her fierce protectiveness for him (I mean, hey, I was getting protective of him) and, at the same time, her treating him sort of like a peer. Sammy was so adorable, and the scenes with him and Sarah were so cute. You could tell that they loved each other so much.


Ah, yes. In the blurb it mentions a certain Jackson and Richard. Cue the bored yawn, right?


This is the what out of a billion love triangles I've read. Oh, no, she has to choose between two guys. The DILEMMA. *cough* Sarcasm *cough* That's what I thought at first. That's what my sister thought at first too, because when I read that part of the blurb to her, she sighed.

Fear not. The book wasn't about a girl trying to choose between two guys. It was so much more. It was learning to understand family even though it didn't feel worth it, it was seeing things through different people's eyes. The book was complicated. Not only did it dive into the bad relationship between Sarah and her mom, it showed the sweet moments between her and her brother. Reading this book makes you understand that almost everybody has been hurt and that lives sometimes intertwine in ways you wouldn't imagine.

This wasn't all about people either. Let's remember, this is set in a creepy house that's hundreds of years old. Things happen. I don't want to spill any spoilers, so I'll try to give you an idea of what the book's all about while being vague.

Sarah's the one getting visions of the past but she doesn't know her own abilities until she visits Amber House for the first time. She's creeped out but tentatively decides to embrace it. Most of the book follows her on her journey to find diamonds. What I say next, may be spoilerly so you were warned.   

In essence, this book explored the concept of time. Time wasn't sure, or solid. Time was a moving, living thing that was able to be manipulated. Traveled through over and over again.

Despite all my gushing, there were a couple things that I did not like about Amber House. I feel like it had way to much description going on, especially toward the beginning. For example, if Sarah was going down a hall, she would describe each and every room she passed by which made it a little tedious for me. This was the one major problem I found! There were some nautical terms I didn't understand, and there were scenes here and there where there was a teensy bit too much telling and not showing. But...

I STILL LOVED THIS BOOK. It was amazing, with a fresh concept and setting. The characters were diverse, unique, and three-dimensional. The ending was one of the best I've read so far this year and resulted in a huge, one-ton-of-rocks-falling-on-my-head hangover.


I recommend this to people who love fantasy, historical fiction, complicated characters, twisted stories, and mazes.

My Rating:

(Finally decided on 4.5 here despite the five on Goodreads because of the excessive, I felt, description.)

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. I have written it solely for the entertainment of the readers of this blog and myself.

blog chain

TCWT May Blog Chain

4:07 PM

Today I am joining the May blog chain that Teens Can Write Too! hosts once in every ten years monthly. ;) The awesome prompt is below. 

Prompt: "What kinds of published books would you like to see more of?"

I almost forgot to post today. I swear. Phew. I mean the only reason I remembered is that I had signed up for comment updates on the TCWT post. So. Yeah. Sorry for almost forgetting :D


Books with Asian or Half-Asian main characters.
I haven't read all that many books with Asian or Half-Asian main characters and even when I asked other people for suggestions, I only added six or so books to my TBR list. I love reading about them because I'm half-Chinese, half-American and it's fun finding similarities in culture or family life.

Books with complicated clues that lead to discovering something (that's not a murder). 
Let me explain. This probably sounds like I'm describing a really good (common type of) mystery novel or something, but I'm not. I'm talking about books like the first two in the National Treasure series. Major and serious with a trail of complicated clues that seem to make no sense leading to an amazing finale. Like Encyclopedia Brown for YA fiction. I think it would be awesome!

Indie books with beautiful, well-made covers.
I don't know if this counts exactly for the prompt, but I would like to see self-published books have more professional, better designed covers. Because you can almost always tell if a book was not published by a regular publishing company and that stinks. 

Books without love triangles, or at least, maybe change it up a little and have two girls falling for one guy.
I am not a fan of love triangles. I don't like them at all, and I usually end up disliking the girl for leading one of the guys on. I'm sure there are some instances in great big universe where one girl can meet one guy and they fall in love. 

Sci-Fi with cyborgs, robots, etc.
More sci-fi YA fiction with all things robotic! I read Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer last year and I really enjoyed them. I love reading books that explore the concept of robots or non-human humans (if that makes sense) becoming like humans with all their rights and abilities to develop emotion, etc. 

That's all from me! Go check out the other stops on the blog chain (which are probably much more deep and creative than my post to be honest) and have fun. :)

Stops on the Blog Chain:
(Oh, yeah. This blog's awesome ;) ) May 10th – http://randomofalife.blogspot.com/
(Girl on fire-->) May 13th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/
(Interesting conversation about cakes..) May 15th – http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/
(Unikke's awesome!) May 21st – http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/
May 26th – TheUnsimpleMind – link to come
May 30th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ – We’ll announce the topic for June’s blog chain! (hopefully)

bethany house

Review: Death by the Book

2:38 PM



Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 317
Source: Bethany House
Format: Paperback

I did not go into this book expecting to like it. Let me explain...Usually, Christian fiction is churned out one after the other. Very similar plots, very similar characters, and very similar romances. But I loved this book because it wasn't like any other Christian fiction I've ever read! I liked it so much that I'm actually considering buying the first book since this is the second book in a series.

Death by the Book is a historical mystery. That said, it totally rocked the mystery. I didn't guess the villain/murderer. Not even close. I had my doubts about every single person except the right one. The author did an amazing job of pulling my suspicion one way and then pulling it another way. I also felt like the author was being too obvious about the suspects, but it turns out she was weaving a complicated web of "suspects" on purpose that I was oblivious too. The clues weren't obvious or stupid. I was kept guessing the entire book. And the ending. Agh. The ending.


Drew Farthering is the main character and throughout the book he's trying to solve murders. I wasn't too crazy about him for a small part of the book's first half. I thought that the way he reacted to the murder was callous and cold. And it was. He was thinking about getting a new mystery novel right after seeing a dead body.

So I was sort of thinking...





 But as I read more, I found out that in the previous book (which I didn't read) *spoilers* His dad and mom had been murdered  so he had a reason to shut out the murders and not get involved. After that, I liked the story more and more as I read on. Drew is drily sarcastic and confident. He was also very good at persuasive conversation which helped him in his investigations ;) His friend Nick made me snicker so many times. Nick added humor and animation to Drew's sophisticated suave. Some other people like Drew's fiance and her aunt were also nice additions to the cast. That said, I didn't extremely love the characters so much that I wanted to stuff chocolate in their faces and hug them for eternity. They were nice characters, even interesting or funny. But I didn't have an instant connection with them. 

The setting is fairly interesting too. It's set in the 1930s which is a decade or so before my grandmother was born so I have perspective. ;) One of the interesting things I liked (unique to the era) was learning more about etiquette as related to women. How women were supposed to be treated, how a bachelor had to have a hostess for parties (Yeah. I didn't know that either.). I don't know why it was necessary but it was interesting. :) 

I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries, historical fiction, the 1930s, and irritable aunts. 


My Rating:
🌟🌟🌟🌟


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

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