Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Title: The Time Traveler's Wife
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Publish Date: 7/5/2004
ISBN: 9780965818674
List Price: $11.17 (Paperback)
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Jacket Synopsis:

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

My Comments:

I thought this was a great time traveler's love story. A really great concept to entwine time travel and love. There are so many books out there with the same premise, but this love story was unique in that they didn't use their knowledge of the future for personal gain. They fought for each other through good and bad times. It was a heart wrenching, but heart warming story all the same. The book has a different ending than the movie and found it just as loving and great. I really liked the layout of the book where you switch time and see each of Henry's and Clare's viewpoint. Each one is first person view. It took a little to get used to but once I understood the pattern it became a great read. This was another book I couldn't put down. I could not wait to share with friends! I love Niffenegger's writing style and I am eager to read her new book A Fearful Symmetry.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Undead and Unappreciated (Betsy Taylor Series #3) by MaryJanice Davidson

Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Publish Date: July 5, 2005
ISBN: 9780425204337
List Price: $7.99 (Paperback)
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jacket Synopsis:
Fans can't get enough of author MaryJanice Davidson and her topsy-turvy world of the undead with its newly-crowned queen, Betsy Taylor. Now, Betsy continues her reluctant reign while being bedeviled by family secrets...

Most women would love to live as royalty, but Betsy has found that being vampire queen has more problems than perks, except for always being awake for Midnight Madness sales. It may be easy to find blood (yuck) in the dark of night, but try finding a strawberry smoothie. And employees at her nightclub Scratch have been giving her nothing but grief since she killed their former boss. Some people...

But Betsy's "life" takes an interesting turn at a shower for her wicked stepmother, who lets it slip that Betsy has a long-lost half sister. Now twenty years old, this woman just so happens to be the devil's daughter - and destined to rule the world...

My Comments:
Another hilarious adventure of Queen Betsy of the Vampires... I love this series... This is the book she finds out about her long lost (half) sister, who happens to be the daughter of the Devil, but finds that her sister is the #1 Goody-Goody to rebel against her Mother from Hell (lol). She also learns that her step mother is pregnant with a (half) brother and causes her to think of all the human things she is missing out on like being a Mom. However, soon enough more vampire crises emerge and beckon her to save the world again, with help!! Love it!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Author: Philippa Gregory
Publish Date: January 1, 2008
ISBN: 9781476735481
List Price: $10.57 (Paperback)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jacket Synopsis:
Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

With The White Queen, Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and storyteller to a new era in history and begins what is sure to be another bestselling classic series from this beloved author.

My Comments:
Let me first state that I very much enjoy Philippa Gregory's writing style. It is smooth, vivid, and logically laid out. This book is from the perspective of Elizabeth Woodville, her story of the White Queen of York during the time of the War of the Roses and ends with the inevitable Lancaster resurgence by the Tudor's. This story is mostly non-fiction where historical records are available to lay out the story, where there is no record or required personal insight, the author does a good job of piecing in fictional bridges to fill the holes in the historical records. She does propose several logical outcomes to certain situations that were not recorded to let the reader pause to question what they think may have happened, but in those parts of the book the author tries not to give a definitive answer where there are no facts.

Elizabeth's Mother was always a source of advice and comfort. Her initial advice to Elizabeth is "...give your husband a son and heir, protect the poor and innocent, and further the hopes of your family. Any ninny with a honest heart, a scheming family, and an open purse can do that." In this portrayal of Elizabeth, she appears to want to be an honest and fair queen. References like these show how strong women could be during a time when women could not rule and perceived to not maintain any form of power.

Page 183 - Anthony's response, a foreshadowing of future events? "All the York Family are a bloodthirsty lot, born and raised on the battlefield. Let us hope that when we finally have peace, they don't kill each other out of sheer habit."

Page 340 - "I am alone in a world of master conspirators." A statement made by Elizabeth as she tries to protect her sons from what she perceives as their York uncle Richard's attempt to steal the throne for himself. However, the book and the miniseries, leave question as to Richard's true goal for the throne. Whether it was to truly crown the Prince Edward to begin with, but with Elizabeth's defensive moves, did they cause Richard to doubt the intentions of the Rivers family. So much attention is given the the notion of witchcraft, it leaves much to the imagination of the reader.

The book does well overall to identify the major characters to these historical events and outline the many plots that were devised to gain advantage in every situation by every family who could remotely vie for the throne. An amazing historical time, but a brutal & horrible time to live, I am sure. This is 1 of 4 in the series of books called the "Cousin's War".

I am off to read the Red Queen, from the perspective of Margaret Beaufort, the last Lancaster family to have strong contention for the thrown with her son Henry be Henry the VII?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Undead and Unemployed (Betsy Taylor Series #2) by MaryJanice Davidson

Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Publish Date: August 3, 2004
ISBN: 9780425197486
List Price: $7.99 (Paperback)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jacket Synopsis:
Nothing can make Betsy Taylor give up her shoe fetish - even dying and rising as the new Queen of the Vampires. Being royally undead isn't all it's cracked up to be - there are still bills to be paid. And Betsy is determined to live as normally as possible, even if it means getting a job. A "feet" she accomplishes with panache, landing her dream job selling designer shoes at Macy's.

Things couldn't be better - except for her new friends, who keep pestering her while she's on the clock. As if she has time to socialize when there are deliciously sinful shoes to try on - and buy at a discount. It seems that vampires are being murdered in St. Paul, and they're all clamoring for Betsy to do something about it. The worse part is she's going to have to enlist the help of the one vamp who makes her blood boil: the oh-so-sexy Sinclair. Now, she's really treading on dangerous ground - high heels and all...

My Comments:
I totally love this series. Betsy has got to be the most sassy and hilarious character I have read in a long time. She knows she isn't the smartest, but her quips and come-backs are to die for hilarious! In this book, Betsy is now queen of the vampires and has a hard time adjusting to her new "dead life". She sees to it that she maintains a normal life like she would have if she were living. She is desperate to have a job, but unfortunately it is difficult to find a good night job when you are a vampire. So... she stumbles upon a shoe clerks job at Macy's, which by the way is her dream job. She is so into designer shoes like we are into breathing. In the midst of all this she is being stalked by a vampire killer... someone who wants to usurp the thrown?? Hmmm... As Eric and her new entourage of vamps seek to worship her...she wants no part. She just wants to be normal. Sorry Betsy, normal is no more. She is no drama queen and won't put up with it either. However, she continues to encounter some unnatural situations, ie. ghosts, vamp hierarchies! This series is too good to pass up. If you like a strong main character, comedy, romance, and disaster... this series is for you!! On to book 3...