The Last Runaway by Tracey Chevalier

The reader in me waded into this book and the current of the story swept me off my feet and down the stream. My poor conscience was left running down the shore alone.  After the final page the reader dragged herself out onto shore and sat dripping, foolishly grinning as she stared off into the distance. But before too long my conscience showed up and assaulted the reader in me. “What was that?” “You seriously liked that person?” “Weren’t you annoyed by that person?” “Didn’t you think?”

But the reader in me only shrugged and with a little half smile said, “That lady can write.”

Would I recommend it? Yes.

Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass

I love historical fiction but often I feel like I read a different spin on the same time and place over and over and…

Mind you, I’m not complaining, I still love it.

But a book written about post WWII soviet controlled Germany, from a German view point ? That was something entirely new.

Would I recommend it? This is a young adult novel and, as most young adult novels do, it contains a main character of an age that is full of angst, invincibility and self importance.  He is crafted so well that I could imagine sitting in a room and talking to him – except I wouldn’t want to.  However, he is so perfect in his irritating-ness that I’m still planning on shoving this book at all my friends and family that I know enjoy a young adult novel because it was really that good.

 

 

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

For the first time ever I was given a copy of a book to review by it’s author. (Actually what happened was Rosie Amber put out a call for volunteer book reviewers and I stuck my virtual hand in the air and said “Me! Me! Pick me!”  – and then the author gave me a copy.)

But when I got the book, I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. Cowboy and Englishwoman romance- it could be awesome, it could be terrible. I’ve exchanged words with a few authors via book reviews before but never before I read the book. What if I hated it? What would I say? What had I agreed to?

Nothing for it, I took a breath, dove in and on the second page surprised myself by snorting out loud in laughter. Worries banished I settled in, ignored everyone I was on vacation with and spent the remainder of the afternoon giggling, snorting and laughing as I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

Would I recommend it? Had you told me that someone could successfully combine Louis L’Amour and Janet Evanovich I would have rolled my eyes. I would have been so, so wrong.

Is the ending a bit too perfect? Yes.

Did it stop my enjoyment of it? Not even a little bit.Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1

The Witches Daughter by Paula Brackston

There are times when it’s funny, (if inappropriate) to joke that your two year old is possessed by demons.

While reading this book is not one of them.The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston

Of course John didn’t know I was reading a book full of witches and magic and demonic powers and other scary stuff.  And Jane was having an odd and terrible night. And it’s not John’s fault he can make a harmless comment and then fall asleep 2.7 seconds later.

But it wasn’t funny.

Would I recommend it? I only like to give a recommendation if I think anyone and everyone would like it and should read it. In this case I enjoyed it, but I don’t know that I would give it to someone who doesn’t enjoy a book of magic and history and witches but, if that’s your thing, go find it!

The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini

Probably, this is one of those times where I really should have read the dust jacket before I read the book.

But, since I hate spoiling the story, I glanced at the synopsis, read the first page, thought, “I like the Civil War,” and dove right in.  Had I read a bit more I might have realized I was reading about an actual historical figure which would have been good to know.  Apparently my book selection method only works most of the time…

Would I recommend it? I’m glad that I read it, but I don’t feel that I can unequivocally say you should too. I was, however, fascinated to find that Elizabeth Van Lew was a real person, something that also explains the serious amount historical facts the book contained. It’s possible if you dove in thinking “fictionalized biography” rather than “novel” you’d enjoy it much more. Or, it’s possible that I should read, just a bit, about a book before I start in myself!

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

I laughed out loud – lots. 

Then I sat and wondered if I was a bad person.

I’m not a bad person.

But this is just the sort of ridiculous book full of just the kind of dry, dark humor that I like.

Would I recommend it? I want to say yes, yes yes!

But I’m afraid that it may take a certain sort to love this book like I did.

So, perhaps you should find the book and a grain of salt, give it a try and let me know what you think.

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

At the very high risk of exposing the extent of my book nerdiness to the world I will tell you that when I discovered this book at the library I was so excited I got goosebumps. Then I quickly grabbed it off the shelf before anyone else could get it, ran to check it out and happily skipped home with it under my arm. (Figuratively speaking of course. I travel with three young girls in a truck with a bum starter but we don’t need to get into that.)

Would I recommend it? Yes.

You could read The Lady of the Rivers, The Red Queen , The White Queen and The Kingmakers Daughter* first if you wanted to be all proper in your historical timeline but it’s not necessary. Of course you’ll love this book so much that you’ll want to read them all when you are done anyway so you might as well start at the beginning!

*I read The Kingmakers Daughter as well and, unsurprisingly, I also loved it!

The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot

I’m not sure if it’s the elaborate feasts and celebrations, the crazy dresses, the scandalous going-ons, the hands off approach of raising children or the treasonous intrigue but whatever it is I love a good historical fiction full of kings and queens.

Would I recommend it? Even with it’s alternating view points between the two sisters I don’t think it’s quite as good as say something by Phillipa Gregory. But, if you have run out of Gregory’s works this one fits the bill!