CITY OF BONES//HIATUS//I’M TERRIBLE

First off, let me apologize for being a terrible blogger and leaving you all with no me time for… what was it… two weeks? (I seem to do that a lot, don’t I?) And here I am, about to take another week-long hiatus as I go to the beach. I know, I know, how can I live with myself, indulging when all my desperate fans are out there clamoring for more? I suppose, as Evil Queen, I must do SOMETHING to retain my status… Anyway, I won’t be back to post until the 24th, so find something to keep yourselves occupied until then. Like this!

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time a young girl was wandering her kindle store because she doesn’t have a drivers license and couldn’t get herself to a real bookstore with real books and her next book on her TBR was taking FOREVER to ship and she was DESPERATE. And as she was wandering this virtual haven, she stumbled upon (for about the billionth time) Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. Now. This girl had, in the past, been wary about these books simply because she was/is a major book snob and didn’t/doesn’t like the covers but as I mentioned before, she was DESPERATE, and so she bought City of Bones, the first in the series.

And OH MY GOODNESS.

As you’ve probably figured out (because you all are smart lovelies, and you have good brains) I am the girl. And I was so completely, totally, and overwhelmingly wrong that there aren’t enough strong words to describe my wrongness. Even though I still think the covers are kind of cheesy and maybe a little trashy, we should all remember that age old adage, DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER.

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Neither did I, Simon

The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young adult fiction/fantasy

Heat Level: Here’s the thing. There are a few real nice kisses which, in and of themselves aren’t bad at all, BUT. *spoiler alert* It turns out that two of the kissers are siblings, which is devestating because I really, really ship them. Now, I am not known for being a particularly compliant person so I sort of absolutely refuse to believe that they’re actually related (I mean come on; why would Cassandra Clare work so hard to give them such good romantic tension just to resolve it with incest? Please.) because multiple people on multiple occasions have remarked upon how little they look like each other AND in book two there’s that whole Seelie Court scene… Anyway. If the reality that you will no doubt ship incest is too much for you to handle, then this series isn’t for you.

Violence (on a scale of 0-5): I’d give this book a solid three. There are some demon slaughters that take place but since demons don’t bleed actual blood and sort of just thrash around until they disappear into black cloud puffs, it isn’t that bad. There’s some human blood, too, but it isn’t as gory as some things I’ve read. Certainly nowhere near Six of Crows.

Language: Since I am a Bad Blogger I finished this book a few days ago and have actually read the second and 3/4 of the third since then─I can’t exactly remember which scenes go with which book, but overall, the language was mild. A few colorful phrases here and there, but nothing too shocking.

Age Range: 13 years old and up.

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That’s Jace. He’s sort of gorgeous. 

Clary Fray believes that she is simply an ordinary New York City teenager residing in an apartment with her artsy single mom, hanging out with her bookish best friend, Simon, and drawing whenever she can. That is, until her mother disappears and Clary witnesses a murder committed by three tattooed teenagers* while out with Simon─a murder that no one else can see. Things only spiral from there when she learns that what she saw wasn’t a murder but was in fact a group of Shadowhunters killing a demon─a race blessed with the blood of the angel Raziel charged with ridding the world of said demons─by the names of Jace Wayland, Alec, and Isabelle Lightwood… and she absolutely should NOT be able to see them. How on earth did Clary─an ordinary mundane just like her mother─develop the Sight so suddenly? The Shadowhunters would most definitely like to know.

*Alliteration, anyone?

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book, although I wonder if I would have enjoyed it just a tad less had I not gone into it with such low expectations… I’ll go ahead and start with the things that frustrated me.

  • I’m going to say it right now; if any of you are die-hard Clary Fray fans, please know that I am in no way aiming to offend you. This is simply my own opinion, and it wasn’t even enough of a problem to take away from my enjoyment of the book. I still think Cassandra Clare is a brilliant author, I’m just trying for honesty here. That being said… Clary sort of got on my nerves. I mean, I understand her ignorance, as she has grown up with absolutely no idea that she was a Shadowhunter, but she still seemed to make some SPECTACULARLY stupid decisions. And maybe I’m being overly picky; maybe she’ll get better as the series progresses. I’ll just have to wait and see.
  • Jace, too, got on my nerves. It’s just a bit difficult to see his appeal. (Other than his extreme physical attributes, of course.) All of these people are supposed to be in love with him─I mean, we all know Alec can do better than that─but, to me at least, he just seems kinda like a giant jerk. Again, it’s probable─possibly even likely─that he gets better in later books. I didn’t HATE him, either. I just… wasn’t attracted to him.
  • Throughout the book there were these ginormous, ten-page-long information dumps that literally had me beating my KINDLE OFF OF MY HEAD. Or at least wanting to. I understand the need for background information but I thought that it could have been given more sporadically and with less plot-stopping length.

Aside from those things, though, I quite enjoyed this book (and have been enjoying the rest of the series so far) especially the remaining characters.

  • Simon: Simon is my little geeky dorky nerdy baby. It took me approximately two pages to fall in love with him, and he delivered some of the sassiest one-liners. (“Jesus!” Luke exclaimed.
    “Actually, it’s just me,” said Simon. “Although I’ve been told the resemblance is startling.” THAT SASS.) And even though I find his obsessive puppy love of Clary the tiniest bit annoying, I still think he’s sweet.
  • Malec: I HAVE FOUND MY NEW OTP GUYS. There isn’t much Malec─Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood’s ship name─in this first book, but what little bit there was, I was EATING IT UP. THEY ARE ADORABLE.giphy3
  • Magnus Bane: Magnus by himself is almost as perfect as Malec. Magnus Bane is a warlock─the High Warlock of Brooklyn, to be exact─who is somewhere around 400 years old and freaking FABULOUS. He styles his long, fabulous black hair with glitter gel, and he has fabulous CAT EYES, and basically his favorite color is glitter. And he throws parties for his cat, Chairman Meow, that I fully support. This guy is basically a unicorn personified, and he’s my spirit animal. 8d7f4babc23166363b8c16f81f32d510
  • Luke: I would just like to congratulate Cassandra Clare for including a parental figure in her YA series that isn’t a complete and total idiot like so many others. *slow hand claps all around* Not only isn’t Luke an idiot, but he also isn’t a terrible person, or nonexistent, and I actually enjoyed him quite a lot. Can I get an amen?
  • Alec and Izzy Lightwood: We didn’t get as much of the Lightwood siblings as I would have liked in City of Bones, but what we did see, I loved. Izzy was an inspiration; fierce, intelligent, beautiful, and not afraid to go out and take what she wants. We didn’t get much Sizzy, either─Simon and Izzy─but I sensed something there… And as for Alec─well. He was a study in emotions, I thought, and one of the more interesting characters. Very clearly in love with Jace, and yet just as clearly resentful of that love; he holds a grudge against Clary and yet still he helps her on her various ventures and missions. And then he meets Magnus…

All in all, I enjoyed City of Bones, and am properly ashamed that I judged it so harshly. So go out and read it to make up for my failure as a human being. Here’s a link to Cassandra Clare’s website that says in what order all of her books should be read, as the various series all interconnect. I hope it helps! Now scoot!

Read on, lovelies!

Eden.

 

Crooked Kingdom A.K.A. The Reason I’m a Sad Ball of Tears in the Corner

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Image Via Giphy

So, I finished this book a day ago but since I a) have zero time and, b) was* emotionally unstable, I put it off until today. Even so, this post will probably consist more of me randomly babbling than any actual useful information. Sorry.**

*Still am

**Not sorry

Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young adult/fantasy/fiction

Heat Level: So the romances were more developed in this book than in Six of Crows─as one would expect, being a sequel and all─but they still were most definitely not the center of the story line. All in all, I’d say it has about the same amount as Six of Crows (which I reviewed here).

Violence (on a scale of 0-5): Five. Just as unnecessarily graphic as SoC, although not more so. The graphicness─yes, you grammar person in the back, I’m aware that that’s not a word─of this duology─that is a word, I looked it up, so HA─is absolutely the only complaint that I have. Everything else is just so wonderfully subtle and gorgeous and perfect and… but this paragraph is about violence, so I should shut up now. In case you couldn’t make head nor tales of that, these books are a bit too descriptive in their gory details for my taste, so if that bothers you, this isn’t the duology for you.

Language: I mean… well… they’re street thieves and thugs, right? So they’re allowed to have dirty mouths, right? RIGHT? Dear gosh, I feel like an over doting mother making excuses for her heathen children that she thinks are little angel babies. My angel babies need a good washing out of their mouths with a bar of soap à la A Christmas Story, ok? Don’t judge.

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Image Via Google

“But Eden,” you ask, sounding really annoyed/angry/DONE WITH ME, “why are you sobbing in a corner? You haven’t explained that very well.”

First of all, you should know by now that I don’t explain things very well. Second of all, I am sobbing in a corner because it wAS SO SAD. ONE OF THEM DIES. Of course I can’t tell you which one dies because I took an oath not to reveal any spoilers on my blog*, but suffice it to say that it was one of the saddest things that has ever happened to me in the history of my reading life (although definitely not THE saddest. I will never forget Lupin and Tonks) and I might need intensive therapy to get over it. Seriously. Ask my family. I just wandered around the house clutching The Raven Boys─the next thing on my TBR─and sighing mellowdramatically, too afraid to start it for the fear that it might be devastating, too.**

*No I didn’t. I lie too much.

**I still haven’t started it. I’m reading V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic right now, and it’s fabulous.

But even though Crooked Kingdom caused me immense emotional and mental trauma, it, along with SoC, is still on my best books of 2017 list.* You know that feeling when you read a sequel and it’s just… just… meh? Like maybe it’s a gazillion times thicker than it’s predecessor, or it just rehashes the same themes as book #1, or, for some reason, the characters that you originally loved now are the most annoying/infuriating/just not fun people in the bookaverse** and you inexplicably start rooting for the antagonist? Well, I am proud to say that not a single one of those things happened in CK. The six main character’s backstories were delved even deeper into, and I was happy to see the addition of Wylan’s voice to the narration. Kaz is still my beautiful little messed up sort of scary angel baby, Inej is still too pure for this world, and GUESS WHAT. THERE WERE NO STUPID LOVE TRIANGLES AND ALL OF MY SHIPS SAILED. Do you have any idea how absolutely and completely and incandescently OVERJOYED this makes me?

*That list doesn’t really exist except for in my mind, but if it did, I think I would rename it Best Books That I Have Read In 2017, ‘cuz CK was published in 2016. Just so you know.

**Made that word up too.

I was so so SO SO SO SO SO happy with how all of the relationships turned out; each of them were explored to the extent that it seemed right for those characters feelings to be explored, and there wasn’t anything… uncomfortable, if you know what I mean.

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Yes, Kaz said that. And yes, I had to put down my book and take deep breaths and stare into the middle distance until I calmed down.

I don’t need your pity.

“Have any of you wondered what I did with all the cash Pekka Rollins gave us?”
“Guns?” asked Jesper.
“Ships?” queried Inej.
“Bombs?” suggested Wylan.
“Political bribes?” offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. “This is where you tell us how awful we are,” she whispered.”

The dialogue in this book was just so funny. Maybe I didn’t notice it in SoC, but I think that the humor was really expanded on in CK, and it provided a nice distraction for all the not-so-nice things going on. Also, did anyone else notice the Hamilton referance in that last quote, because I sure did and I freaked out.

Well, I think it’s safe to say that this post has completely derailed. I’d like to thank you all for sitting here and listeneing to me. Maybe now I won’t need as much therapy.*

*I will.

Read on, lovelies!

Eden (because I currently lack a signoff and I have 0 skill with technology)

Six of Crows

GUYS. OH MY GOSH GUYS. GUYS. GUUYYYSSSSS.

This book… I don’t have the words. But I’m gonna try anyway.

Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young adult/young adult fantasy/fiction

Heat Level: The actual romance is minimal and definitely not the center of this story line, but there are a great many mentions of brothels and a little bit of sexual innuendo.

Violence (on a scale of 0-5): Five. Remember when I talked about those books that left you feeling like you had stumbled into the middle of a massacre and watched your best friends die? This was one. But… not in a bad way─if that’s possible. There were a few detailed scenes that I honestly could have done without, but I suppose I understand the need for that in order to develop the characters and provide motive and all that jazz. And when Kaz did that thing for Inej─well, that certainly helped me understand his feelings. But still.

Language: Soooo… yeah, there’s quite a bit. I mean obviously I’m not going to give you any examples, but you get the idea. It was very creatively used, though; it always made me laugh.

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Image via Google

Kaz Brekker, thief, is hired by Jan Van Eck to Break into the Ice Court─a military stronghold that is the most notorious in the world. He is charged with kidnapping a hostage that they have there by the name of Bol Yu-Bayur who holds the secret of creating the dangerous drug, jurda paraam that, if unleashed, would wreak havoc upon Grisha and non-Grisha alike. In order to complete this dangerous heist, Kaz must recruit a crew that is desperate enough for money─for if they succeed there is plenty of money to be had─to undertake this suicide mission. And so he does, finding six of the most dangerous outcasts, thieves, and thugs that Ketterdam has to offer.

These are some of the most wicked, nasty, sarcastic, rude, and completely lovable characters that I have ever read. Six of Crows is written in third person so that we’re provided insight into each of the characters thoughts, although sometimes that still doesn’t tell us anything, and while most of the time I’m dubious of this format, in this case, it worked. It wasn’t confusing─at least no more confusing than it would be had it been written from only one character’s perspective, with the intricacy of the plot─and I was able to understand each of them better because of it. I especially loved the diversity of this cast; out of the six main characters, two of them weren’t caucasian, and I’m fairly sure that at least two of them weren’t completely heterosexual, either. There is Kaz Brekker, thief, and the most I-am-Kaz-and-I-don’t-feel-anything character EVER; Inej Ghafa, ex-acrobat-turned-killer dubbed the Wraith by Kaz; Jesper Fahey, sharpshooter, sarcastic, crafty, and unable to resist any challenge; Nina Zenik, Heartrender, beautiful and she knows it; Wylan Van Eck, son of Jan Van Eck, young, naive, and unintentionally useful; and Matthais Helvar, guarded and pious Fjerdan who ALSO literally fights the most obvious feelings for tHE WHoLe DArN boOK. What is it with these boys and emotions? Pull it together, Dregs.

“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”

And here we have a Slytherin, Gryffindoor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff─sorry. I let my fangirl take over for a moment too long.

So if you can’t tell already, I loooved this book. It was dark, and descriptive, and beautiful; Kaz is the most extra person ever except where it comes to admitting that he loves things other than money (I mean come on; who breaks his leg, doesn’t set it right, and then has a magical-bone-breaking-crow-headed cane made for him just so he can look cool? And has a different haircut for the same reasons? And refuses to ever take his dark, mysterious, card-magic-assisting gloves off? And wears the fanciest suits ever to make the good ol’ boys jealous?) but I still love him; and the world building was FLAWLESS. I saw each and every country, city, town, heck even the OCEAN as if it were truly there before my eyes.

“Greed is your god, Kaz.”
He almost laughed at that. “No, Inej. Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever.”

I most definitely recommend this book, and I can’t wait to read the sequel, Crooked Kingdom! Leigh Bardugo is extremely talented to have taken on such an ambitious endeavor and succeeded─almost as talented as her characters─and while I’ve heard mixed reviews of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I think I’ll go ahead and try those, too!

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.’”

Read on, lovelies!

Eden

The Goodreads Tag!

So, I was tagged by the wonderful Grace @The Girl Upstairs! Thanks Grace! ❤

 

The Goodreads Tag!

What was the last book you marked as ‘Read’?

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, which I reviewed here. This was a wonderful book; I highly recommend it!

What are you currently reading?

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. My mother and I are both reading Wuthering Heights for a book club that we want to do, and so far it’s good, if a bit hard to get in to. Thirteen Chairs is fabulous─spine tingling and chilly and not something that you would want to read at night! Then, of course, there is good ol’ Harry Potter; this is probably my fiftieth re-read of those ABSOLUTELY AMAZING books.

What was the last book you marked as ‘To Read’?

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The Red Notebook by Antione Laurain. I have no idea how this is─I was just wandering the pages of Goodreads and found it.

Do you use the star system?

Absolutely I do! Although I have to admit that I tend to over-rate things: for instance, sometimes I’m so caught up in the thrall of a good book that when I go to rate it on Goodreads I give it five stars when maybe it should have only been a three or a four.😂

Are you doing the 2017 Reading Challenge?

Yes! My goal at this time is 100, but I’ve already read 85 so I’m sure I’ll be changing that soon.

Do you have a wishlist?

OF COURSE I DO! My family always gets annoyed with me when it comes time for holidays because the only things I ever ask for are books!😂 I have a HUGE weakness for bookstores, and it’s very rare that I leave one without two or more new books in my arms. Right now, some of the main things that I want are The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro (this is the sequel to A Study In Charlotte, a modern retelling of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I am completely obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, but more on that in another post) and The Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

Who are your favorite authors?

*Takes deep breath* Boy, oh boy. This is a hard one. You ready?

  • Jane Austen (I LOVE Pride and Prejudice, as Grace and Bella know).
  • Diana Wynn Jones
  • W.R. Gingell
  • Gail Carson Levine
  • Marissa Meyer
  • Sharon Cameron
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • K.M. Shea
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Sherwood Smith
  • Patricia C. Wrede

And I have to stop now because this is getting ridiculous.:D

Have you joined any groups?

Nope!

How many Goodreads Shelves do you have?

3: read, currently-reading, and to-read.

I tag:

Well, here’s the thing… I’m fairly new to the whole blogging scene, as you all know, so I don’t really know anyone that hasn’t been tagged already. However; I’d like to put it out there that if you’re reading this post, then I officially tag you! BAM! TAGGED EDEN STYLE!😂

Well alrighty then! Read on, lovelies!

Eden<3

The Graveyard Book

First off, I would like to wish all of you lovelies─and most especially your mothers─a happy mothers day! Make sure you hug all those lovely mums and/or mother figures in your life!

Now. Down to business.

The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman  (pronounced Gaym’n, for those of you who wondered).

Genre: Children’s Literature/fantasy.

Language: Perfectly clean.

Heat Level (on a scale of 0-5): 0.

Violence (on a scale of 0-5): 3, but it didn’t leave me feeling like a had just stumbled through a bloody war and watched all of my best friends die, like some books… you know the kind? I also wasn’t surprised by any of it, either. It is Gaiman, after all. And called the Graveyard Book.

Plot:

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This truly was an enchanting book. I’ve read many tales involving ghosts and ghouls and the like, but never something that personified them so well, showing them as more than simply scary things that go bump in the night. I laughed and, yes, even cried as I took this journey with Bod, watching him grow from an innocent orphaned baby to a curious child to an even more curious young man (“curiouser and curiouser!” Anybody? Anybody? Nobody. Hah! Two references!) I felt first his fear, and then his anger when he learned of the man who killed his whole family while he escaped, and, consequentially, the Convocation who was after him. I felt his love for Mr. and Mrs. Owens. I felt his mix of respect, fear, and love for his guardian Silas: Silas, whom I loved from the start.

I won’t go into much detail about the plot of the Graveyard Book, as I don’t want to give anything too big away. I respect everyone’s need for a spoiler-free existence, even if mine is anything but. (Darn Goodreads and that tantalizing little link that reads show spoilers am I right?) However I will drop a slight hint, and say that the use of Jacks literally made my jaw drop and my book go diving off of my lap and to my deck that I was sitting on.

Gaiman’s crisp, intelligent, funny, slightly sarcastic at times prose is wonderful for many reasons, one of the main ones being that I never feel as if I’m being written down to when I read his stuff. I’ve read adult novels of his and I’ve read children’s novels of his, and I can honestly say that the quality of writing was absolutely the same. I find it exhilarating when I find a book for children that doesn’t make me wander about the house speaking baby speak. Children can comprehend just as well as adults in my humble opinion, and I think this author really gets that.

I normally don’t read books with illustrations, but this was one of those exceptions. They were sparse, but when they were there they were eye-catching and encompassed whole pages at a time.

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I suppose what I mean to say is, this book might be advertised as children’s fiction, but that in no way means that people of all ages won’t enjoy it.

That’s all for today, lovelies! Read on!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

So it’s been more than a week─ eleven days, to be precise─ since my last post, but I trust that you will all forgive me due to your overwhelming capacity for… er… forgiveness… And the fact that my wi-fi has been nonexistent. And there you are, folks! Eden’s made a mess of the post already!

What I mean to say is, I’ve decided to try a new sort of formatting for my review-esque posts and would like your opinion on them. My gut says that you’ll like it better, since it involves a great deal more structure and sense while still including all of my endearing rambling (note the sarcasm) but I suppose that my gut could be wrong. What a positively scary thought. So, let me know below if this works better for you all!

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 

Author(s): Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Genre: Fiction/historical fiction

Language: Mild. There was the occasional use of a few swear words, but, in my opinion, nothing that would cause ones grandmother’s ears to bleed. I’m not a fan of reading things like that, and it was by no means enough to repel me from such a lovely book.

Heat Level (on a scale of 1-5): 1. This was an epistolary novel, meaning that it was written entirely in letters─for those of you at home that are wondering─so there wasn’t really a chance for much of that, anyway. There was a sweet, unassuming little romance that only really blossomed towards the very end, and wasn’t even realized mutually until the last few pages, so there weren’t even hugs or kisses. Very clean in that respect.

Violence (1-5): I’d give this one a solid 2. It was set in the aftermath of WWII, so there were a few brief descriptions of the horrifying things that happened in that time, but no unnecessary details that left one feeling traumatized.

Age Range: this is considered adult fiction, but I would say that anyone over 13 years old could read it, depending on maturity level and what their parents’ll allow.

Juliet Ashton is a thirty-two-year-old writer living in London, England in 1946. She spends her time writing light pieces for a women’s magazine, and wishes for something with more substance to write about. After going through a few ideas─ a book entitled English Foibles, about the Society to Protest the Glorification of the English Bunny, to name one─ she receives a letter from a man named Dawsey Addams, a Guernsey man, who possesses a book that she used to own and belongs to something created during the way called the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. She is intrigued, and the two strike up a correspondence, over the course of which Juliet learns that Guernsey was a German occupied island from 1939-1945, and that a group of friends had created the GL&PPS as a cover-up for a covert pig dinner, at which they were almost caught by a Nazi officer.

Juliet begins corresponding with several members of the GL&PPS and a few other inhabitant of Guernsey. Among them are some of the most dynamic characters that I have had the pleasure of reading, including but not limited to; Isola Pribby, eccentric, goat-and-parrot-owning, Pride and Prejudice loving woman who is so endearing and, in her own way, rather the hero of this tale; Sidney Stark, lovely, funny, and the quintessential best friend for Juliet; Mark Reynolds, who I was never quite sure if I liked or disliked, and, even though he wasn’t in very much of the book, whose character never faded; and, of course, Dawsey, who seems like one of the kindest, most thoughtful men in existence, and one that I would dearly love to meet. As I would all of these people─ even Adelaide Addison, if for no other reason than the way she was so vividly depicted through her two memorable letters.

Eventually, Juliet decides to take a trip to Guernsey─ a decision that would change both her life, and the lives of everyone whom she meets there. She stays in the house of Elizabeth McKenna, a witty, vibrant, vivacious woman whom the whole island loves and doesn’t know where she is, only that she was imprisoned for her crimes against the Nazi regime. Elizabeth’s five-year-old daughter, Kit, stays on at the cottage with Juliet, and the two form a reluctant but iron-strong bond that just melted my heart. One thing that I loved about this novel─while Kit was plenty adorable, she wasn’t perfect, and that spoke volumes about not only the creativity of the authors, but also their originality. Too often the characters of children are portrayed as these sweet, abandoned, misunderstood little angels, and that simply isn’t realistic. Kit was exactly as I think a child who had her life should be.

This is a charming, heartwarming novel. It’s happy without being fluffy, but at the same time serious when it needs to be, without being absolutely tragic. It left me with a satisfied feeling, only hindered because I wanted more! I want to know about what happens with Juliet, and Kit, and Dawsey, and Isola, and Zenobia the parrot, and Remy and Sidney─ but I suppose these things must be left to my imagination. There was by no means a cliffhanger ending; I’m just experiencing that common affliction that befalls one after they have read a particularly wonderful book… that feeling of loving the world that they’ve been immersed in for the past however many days, or even hours, so much that it seems almost a burden to come back to their own.

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Would I Recommend It? Yes, yes, a million times, yes! Do yourself a favor and read the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as soon as possible!

Keep reading!

Eden.

And so it begins…

Hello, everyone!

I thought that I would begin by sharing my thoughts on indie author K.M. Shea’s King Arthur and Her Knights series, as Ms. Shea is about to release the last book in this series hopefully within the next few weeks.

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These books- each only the length of a novella except for the last one which, according to K.M. Shea’s blog, will be about 75,000 words- follow the story of Britt Arthur’s, a college-aged American woman from the twenty-first century who gets sucked back in time when she touches a magical sword in a graveyard while on a British Book Sightseeing Tour with a few of her friends. She arrives in Camelot-age Britain, smack-dab into the presence of Sir Kay, who eventually becomes her reserved but fiercely loving stepbrother, Sir Ector, her jolly, doting stepfather, and Merlin, the misleadingly young wizard who is grumpy, obsessed with uniting Britain, and extremely reluctant to feel anything other than professional concern for Britt. He is quite possibly my favorite character. Britt is informed that the real Arthur has run off with a shepherdess and she has been chosen by the spell that Merlin cast upon the Sword in the Stone to become King Arthur. Subsequently, what follows are the adventures of Britt and the friends that she makes in Camelot.

Now, I have a dirty little secret to tell you all… (Drum roll please). I’ve never actually read the original King Arthur story, so I don’t know how faithful these books are to the legends, but I have been informed that K.M. Shea does an admirable job. I know, I know, this is probably the Greatest Mistake of My Life, but, well, there it is. I do intend to remedy that eventually, which redeems me a bit. Doesn’t it? Guys?…

Anyway, to continue on. I absolutely love these charming, lovely, books that both made me laugh out loud with each rereading- yes, I am an avid spokesperson of rereading- and feel great empathy for almost all of the characters. It may seem like a fluffy, trite storyline the way I’ve explained it here, and it’s true that it isn’t anything that will make you do a complete rethinking of your whole existence, but it isn’t entirely without morals and feelings. Britt is smart, funny, capable, and generally just loved by everyone. (Yeah, Merlin, even you.) At first she is reluctant to accept that her whole experience isn’t simply an elaborate prank or a dream, but eventually she comes to realise that it’s very real. She misses her family and friends dreadfully. Enough, even, that she develops a severe case of insomnia- I try to be sympathetic about this, but her nightly prowls make for some of the best scenes in the books- and this never really goes away, though, over the passage of time she seems to learn to cope with her loss better.

I could write a whole other post on the relationships in these books; the platonic ones as well as the very few romantic ones; but I think I shall have to just focus on Britt and Merlin’s special brand of camaraderie for today.

As I’ve already mentioned, Merlin is my favorite character in all of the King Arthur’s books, but as I ponder it, I think it’s less because of him on his own and more because of what Britt does to him. Together, their dialogue is some of the most entertaining of any of K.M. Shea’s characters.

“Keep that hairy mutt outside the great hall,” Merlin ordered as they made their way to the treasury door.

“No.”

“You are acting like a child.”

“I am a woman masquerading as a 15-year-old boy king who makes no decisions about his own kingdom. The least you will allow me to do is to make decisions regarding my pets.”

“Fine.”

The matter-of-fact way that Britt presents the way she feels to him, and the confused, annoyed, distraught way that Merlin tries to deny it all are written superbly- so superbly, in fact, that there were many times that I quite literally yelled at Merlin through the screen of my kindle that for such an intelligent man, he certainly was being stupid. However, by the last scene of Endeavor (yes, all of the book titles are words that start with the letter E. I really want to meet this author) I was… well, not satisfied, but temporarily satiated.

I really enjoyed all of the strong female influences as well. Nymue, Morgause, Morgan, and, of course, Britt herself. These ladies don’t take no for an answer, and I especially enjoyed their sheer hatred of chauvinistic pigs such as Lancelot and his cousins (yeah, ‘cuz in this version, Lancelot is a jerk. At least, I think…)

All, in all, the verdict. Read it. Read it all and love it. Now. Shoo.

Still here? Well then, I suppose I’ll say that I apologise for the 800 word post, and to reiterate that I will not live until I have the newly published Endings- the long-awaited series finale- in my hands.

Keep reading!