I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone of what I read. So for 2017 I’m trying to read books that I normally wouldn’t gravitate too and that is what has lead me to adding Flame in the Mist. The book is described as Mulan meets Throne of Glass and the setting of the book takes place in Japan, I figure that I’ve never read anything like that before so why not add Flame in the Mist to my ever growing list (Hey that rhymed!).
Plus I’m a sucker for a pretty covers and this book’s cover is stunning. The flaming bird on the front would make me pick this up alone without needing to read the summary first. Of course I’ll have to wait a few more weeks for this book as it doesn’t come out until May 16, 2017, but I’m sure it will be worth it.
“To those who are here, those who are gone, and those who are lost.” — Kristen Hannah, Winter Garden
Title: Winter Garden
Author: Kristin Hannah
Published: February 2, 2010
Reading Format: Kindle book
Meredith and Nina Whitson have always had a very cold relationship with there mother Anya. The girls only warm connection with their mother came in the form of the Russian fairy tales Anya would tell them as children. When their beloved father passes, his last request to Nina is for her to have her mother retell the fairy tales to the girls. As Anya reluctantly begins to tell the tales again her daughters learn more about her past than they ever have before and what seemed like an impossible relationship between mother and daughters starts to form.
One of Kristen Hannah’s other works is my all time favorite books, The Nightingale. I love Kristen’s writing and how she expands upon the different relationships the characters have with one another. While Winter Garden did not surpass my love for The Nightingale I still found this book to be a good read.
The setting of Winter Garden . I will say the book has a slow start to the actual fairy tale parts that Anya tells to her daughters. Because this does take awhile I felt that the end of Anya’s fairy tale was rushed and too much of the first 100 to 200 pages are devoted to the build up of the stories without actually devoting a lot of time to tell them. Other than that Winter Garden was a good book. I learned some stuff about Russian history I’ve never known about and its made me want to look into other historical fiction set in Russia.
Winter Garden is also a very emotional read. Much like Kristen Hannah’s other books, the author really plays with the readers heart strings with Anya’s story. At times the characters themselves can be a bit irritating, at least that’s how they made me feel. This was especially true with Meredith’s need to control everything while also claiming to do it because she want’s to make everyone happy. In truth when I think about the story line that takes place in “present time” (story takes place in the year 2000 in Washington State and also in Leningrad, Russia during World War II), I could have actually done without it completely and had it focus only on the Leningrad parts. Even with that said I’d still recommend Winter Garden, if you like World War II history but would like a mix of family drama then you should read this book.
Rating: 3.85 stars out of 5
I don’t know why I’m drawn to this book but when it showed up as a recommendation on Goodreads I instantly added it to my Want to Read list. As you may or may not know, Meg Cabot is the author of this book wrote The Princess Diaries. I’ve never read The Princess Diaries but I’ve seen the movie at least 5,000 times (minor exaggeration) and I’ve always intended to read it eventually.
In fact most books that have been featured on my TBR Thursday post are books I’d like to read eventually, maybe I should call it the Eventually Thursday post instead. Or the I’m-really-good-at-procrastination Thursday.
Anyways I guess what I’m trying to say is the only reason All American Girl is on my TBR List is because I really like The Princess Diaries and I honestly have no other reason outside of that. Also I’m pretty sure this book will prove to be way to young for me and I might hate it, but I’m also under the impression I may never read it. Either way this is my TBR pick this week.
“Her skin was as white as snow, her lips as red as blood, and her long hair as black as ebony.” — C.J. Redwine, The Shadow Queen
Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: C.J. Redwine
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Published: February 16th, 2016
Reading Format: Audio book
A retelling of Snow White were Snow White is a fugitive with magic named Lorelai. Her seven dwarfs come in the form of her brother, a former royal guard, and a Gyrfalcon named Sasha. And her huntsman/prince is a dragon king that both loves her and wants to kill her. Plus Lorelai is the only one who can stop the evil queen from destroying the kingdom of Ravenspire that rightfully belongs to Lorelai.
By my summary of the book you may be able to tell that The Shadow Queen isn’t exactly like the fairy tale of Snow White. Mostly the book takes parts of Snow White but the author, C.J. Redwine, made the story her own with Lorelai. I also listened to this book through Audible and the narrator is what really sold my liking for The Shadow Queen. I truly felt like I was being told an old fairy tale by a great storyteller.
My favorite twist in this retelling is Kol. Kol’s character is both prince charming and the huntsman; he is also the new king of a neighboring land where the people there are both human and dragon. Kol comes to Ravenspire to get help from the evil queen, Irina, where he makes a deal with her that if he brings Irina Lorelai’s heart, that the queen will then save his kingdom from the Ogres. Of course the predictably of the quest in this part of the story is that Kol does not bring Irina back the heart of Lorelai and thus Irina forces Kol into a pact to kill Lorelai that he cannot remove himself from. The perfect twist to that plot line is that because Kol is human who can turn into a dragon, he possess both hearts of man and dragon. Once Irina removes Kol’s human heart we as the reader get to see the internal struggle he has to control his dragon heart.
I thought The Shadow Queen was a great retelling for Snow White. I usually stay away from retellings, as I can often find them predictable and lack surprise elements in the story line but I was not disappointed with C.J. Redwine’s version. I just recently got the second book in the series The Wish Granter, a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, and I’ve been holding off on it to read other books but I’d like to get to it sooner rather than later.
Star Rating: 4.75/5 stars
So with the new year I haven’t been very active on my blog, and while I can give a laundry list of reasons why I’m going to first quickly apologize for my absence and promise to do better. Also I may just copy this post for the future because I’m sure that I’ll more than likely go AWOL on occasion. As of right now I plan to post more regularly and have been reading as much as possible lately to insure that I have something to offer all of you who read my blog.
And speaking of my readers I wanted to say thanks! I have over 30 followers for The Book of Meghan and I never imagined I would have a readership outside of myself and a few family members. So thank you for following and I hope you continue to do so.