Tuesday, March 26, 2013


EdenbrookeEdenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I really didn't know very much about this book before I read it. I just knew that people whose book tastes are similar to mine raved about it and that was good enough for me. It's a Regency romance akin to Georgette Heyer, but with a little more modern feel.

While I won't share any of the storyline, this book is just absolutely delightful. It makes me happy just to think about it. If you are a sucker for a clean romance, this is your book. You may have to purchase it, but it's worth it.

Also reviewed by: Bloggin' 'bout Books ~ I Am A Reader, Not a Writer ~ It's All About Books ~ Girl Who Loves to Read ~ Gerbera Daisy Diaries ~ The Bluestocking Society ~ Books, Belles, and Beaux ~ Good Clean Reads ~ Your link here?
Source: Gift

The Only True Genius in the Family

The Only True Genius in the FamilyThe Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie Nash

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Claire is a middle-aged woman who is a food photographer. Her father is a legendary landscape photographer and he has just passed away, causing her deal with a lot of things in her past that she would rather not. As a result, her own career hits some major stumbling blocks.

Meanwhile, Claire's daughter is graduating from art school where she has been enjoyed fantastic success as a painter. Claire is jealous of her daughter, even while feeling very proud of everything she has accomplished.

This is a book about family relationships and how we identify ourselves within the various familial roles and responsibilities we have. I wanted to like Claire, but when she tossed her camera into the ocean, I lost a lot of respect for her. In the end, I really liked Claire's husband the best.

This is a good book to spend a rainy afternoon with. It was a nice change of pace from what I have been reading lately. It would also make a good book club discussion.

Also reviewed by: At Home With Books ~ Your link here?
Source: Purchased

Friday, March 22, 2013

Elegy for Eddie - TLC Book Tour

Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

On the library stacks: Adult Mystery Fiction
Awards: Agatha Award Nominee for Best Historical Novel (2012)
Series: Maisie Dobbs #9

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the back cover:
Early April 1933. To the costermongers of Covent Garden—sellers of fruits and vegetables on the London streets—Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a near-magical gift for working with horses. So who would want to kill him . . . and why?

Maisie Dobbs's father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, and she remembers Eddie fondly. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death. Maisie's search for answers on the working-class streets of Lambeth leads her to unexpected places and people: to a callous press baron; to a has been politician named Winston Churchill; and, most surprisingly, to Douglas Partridge, the husband of her dearest friend, Priscilla. As Maisie uncovers lies and manipulation on a national scale, she must decide whether to risk everything to see justice done.
I adore Maisie Dobbs. Even though this particular installment wasn't my favorite (and I really don't recommend starting in the middle) I still love this series.

Winspear is really adept and incorporating historical elements into her novels. Where this book fell a little short for me is that it seemed like a transition novel for Maisie personally and so the mystery element was not as satisfying. However, when you have a series that has been going on as long as this one, it's to be expected. By the way, I am a huge fan of these new book covers.

I am anxiously looking forward to reading the next installment that just came out this week. For more information on her new novel, Leaving Everything Most Loved, check out Winspear's website and Facebook page. You can also check out her discussion on Blog Talk Radio from earlier this week.

Also reviewed by: Axe for the Frozen Sea ~ Bermudaonion's Weblog ~ A Work in Progress ~ Thoughts of Joy ~ Your link here?

Source: I received this book from the publisher as part of the TLC Book Tour.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

On the library stacks: YA Classic/Adult Fiction
AR Reading Level: 6.8
Award: National Book Award

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't reread books very often. The last time I read this novel I was in high school. I loved it then, and I am happy to say that this book definitely stood the test of time for me.

Our nameless narrator is a traveling companion to an old American woman in Monte Carlo when she meets the handsome owner of Manderley, Maxim de Winter. Maxim's wife, Rebecca, died tragically a year before and Maxim just hasn't been the same. When No-Name says she is leaving for America, Max proposes and after a quick wedding and honeymoon, they return to his estate in Southern England.

Poor young and fragile No-Name is thrust into a life she has never known. She has power to direct the affairs of an entire estate, must make social calls and deal with Maxim's family, and pervading everything is the ghost of Rebecca. She is everywhere. It's her house, her servants, her beach, her dogs.  Everyone loved her and No-Name can never match up. She's not even sure if her husband will ever love her like he loved Rebecca.

For me the power of this book lies in the rich descriptive writing. I can imagine everything down to the minute details. I feel No-Name's anguish as I walk with her through the beautiful house, exploring the grounds. I hate manipulating Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper, in spite of No-Name's spinelessness. And I love the mystery element too. I can't recommend this one highly enough.

Also reviewed by: The Bluestocking Society ~ Book Nut ~ Good Clean Reads ~ The Boston Bibliophile ~ Your link here?
Source: Purchased

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1)The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

On the library stacks: Children's Fiction
AR Reading Level: 7.0
Series: Book 1 of 14 (Oz)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think most people reading this blog are probably pretty familiar with the story of The Wizard of Oz. I'm ashamed to say I never read it as a child, even though I watched the movie a zillion times. In a weird twist of fate, I have never shown my children the movie (burnout maybe?) but at least one of them has read the book.

Honestly, the most upsetting thing about reading this book was finding out that Baum wrote that Dorothy's slippers were silver, not ruby. I really can't get over that. Ruby slippers make Dorothy's ensemble complete.

This book is certainly imaginative and I like the message that the power to change our lives already rests within our control. The tin man and his back story were my favorite parts of the novel.  I did find it simplistic and plodding at times though. I'm glad I read it, but this book won't be a lasting favorite.

Also reviewed by: Capricious Reader ~ Puss Reboots ~ Rebecca Reads ~ The Book Nest ~ Your link here?
Source: Free Kindle download

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Girl at Sea

Girl at SeaGirl at Sea by Maureen Johnson

On the library stacks: YA Fiction
AR Reading Level: 4.4

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really liked the Scarlett series and the Little Blue Envelope series. This is my first try at one of Johnson's stand-alone novels, and I was really disappointed.

Clio is a 17-year old who is really annoyed she has to spend the summer on a yacht off the coast of Italy with her dad. Instead, she wishes she was working in the art store in Philadelphia with her latest crush. Clio can't believe that her dad has brought his girlfriend and her daughter along, but at least nerdy Aidan is something cute to look at on the boat. Things get crazy when Clio realizes that they are on a real-life Dive! adventure, similar to the board game she and her dad created years ago.

This book was just too silly for me. I couldn't decide what I was supposed to take seriously...the divorce, the tattoo, the money problems, the girlfriend, the business partner's health issues, the kidnapping. None of it was believable and Clio just came off as bratty to me. It was only Aidan that kept me reading.

Also reviewed by: Book Nut ~ Your link here?
Source: Purchased

Saturday, March 2, 2013

If I Stay

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)If I Stay by Gayle Forman

On the library stacks: YA Fiction
AR Reading Level: 5.3
Series: Book 1 of 2 (If I Stay)

Awards: Publishers Weekly Best Book, An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award, Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee, TAYSHAS High School Reading List, Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction, ALA Teens' Top Ten, Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee, Florida Teens Read Nominee, Delaware Blue Hen Award, Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee, NAIBA Book of the Year for Children's Literature

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Between all the awards and all the reviews, you can see I am definitely late hopping on this bandwagon. I heard so much about this book before I read it, I wasn't sure if I would like it. But I surprised myself by really enjoying it. I actually read it in a day.

Publisher's blurb:
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.
I didn't cry like I thought I would, but I did feel very wrapped up in the story. I will definitely read the next in the series.

Also reviewed by: Capricious Reader ~ The Bluestocking Society ~ Literary Grand Rounds ~ The Book Nest ~ At Home With Books ~ Savvy Verse & Wit ~ My Own Little Corner of the World ~ It's All About Books ~ So Many Books, So Little Time ~ Alison McCarty
Source: Purchased