Review – Enchantée by Gita Trelease

 

 

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Title: Enchantée

Author: Gita Trelease

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Rating: 4/5

     Gita Trelease’s debut novel Enchantée was exactly like the title, enchanting and delightful. This is a very unique story. It is young adult, fantasy, and historical fiction. I enjoyed Trelease’s story telling immensely.

     This story takes place in Paris in 1789. Camille Darbonne must take care of her brother and sister after her parents death. They contracted smallpox along with her younger sister who has been left weakened by the disease. Times are hard for the Durbonne children. Camille must use magic that allows her to turn metal scraps into coins in order to feed and house her family. Her brother has taken to drinking, gambling, and putting his sisters at risk. It all falls to Camille to make sure they survive.

 

    She discovers a form of darker magic  that allows her to transform herself into  ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ in order to gain entry to Versailles among the aristocrats to use her powers at the gambling table. The aristocrats are analogous to the magicians who benefit at the expense of the lower class. For magic, one must pay a high price. Who will pay the highest price? Lazare and Camille are a symbol of hope, change, and the blurring of class lines. The country is teetering on the edge of  Revolution as Camille is being tempted by the allure of the aristocracy and la magie. 

 

    The writing is beautiful. I loved the setting and could really feel the time and place. The slow build of the romance was perfect. Our female character is strong, resilient, and independent. This book will be published February 5, 2019.  Do yourself a favor and add this to your TBR list for early next year!

 

   Thank you Netgalley and Flatiron Books for my free eARC copy of this book. This is an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What’s On My Bookshelf Tag

Happy Saturday, book friends! I was tagged by Jess and Teagan at Fiction No Chaser . Go check out their blog if you haven’t yet because it’s fantastic!

RULES:

  • Link back to me so I can see everyone’s answers! (Delightful Narratives)
  • Also link back to the person who tagged you!
  • Name one book for each category; try not to repeat books to make this more fun!
  • Tag at least 5 people

A LIBRARY BOOK

I went to the library this week and came home with a nice, little bookstack. I picked up The Death of Mrs. Westaway, Beartown (my current read), The Burned Page, Dear Mrs. Bird, I Am I Am I Am, and Fruit of the Drunken Tree

A BOOK I GOT AS A GIFT

Red Rising

A CHILDHOOD BOOK

Dear American Series

A MAGICAL BOOK

Throne of Glass – I’m just obsessed with Sarah J. Maas!!!

A ROMANTIC BOOK

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – A love that defies societal norms. A little Shakespearean with a hate that spans the ages (Romeo and Juliet)

A STEAMY BOOK

A Court of Mist and Fury – Oh definitely! This entire series really! 

AN OLD BOOK

A 1950’s set of Sherlock Holmes books that were my husband’s grandmother’s.

A BOOK THAT MAKES ME HAPPY/LAUGH

Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? – I just love Mindy Kaling!

A BOOK THAT MADE ME EMOTIONAL

Currently Beartown!

A BOOK WITH AN ENDING I DISLIKE

Allegiant, for sure. I stopped reading and didn’t even finish the last little bit. I was so mad.

A BOOK I WISH HAD ILLUSTRATIONS

The Hush, Hush Series.

A BOOK OR GENRE I LOVE TO READ WHEN IT’S RAINING

I don’t really have a preference. It’s just nice to be stuck inside reading sometimes. Sitting on the sofa with a warm blanket and drinking some hot chocolate.

NOMINATIONS

As always, no obligation on tags EVER! Just have fun.

Review – The Shadow of the Wind

 

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Title: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Publisher: Penguin Books

Source: I purchased for a read along

Links: Goodreads , Amazon

Rating: 4/5

   The Shadow of the Wind was equally dark and beautiful. The prose was eloquent and witty. I feel like it takes immense talent to write a story that is both disturbing and comical. This story is set in Barcelona in the year 1945. Daniel’s father owns a bookstore and he has a deep love of stories and words. He happens upon a book, The Shadow of The Wind by Julian Carax. This is a very rare book and not much is known about its author. It becomes Daniel’s ambition to learn more about the author and his writing. While he is trying to learn more, he ends up in the midst of a darker, dangerous plot. Someone has been destroying all of Carax’s work.

   This story has several elements. It’s a story about the love of reading and writing. There’s a mystery with several twists and turns. Also, there is a love story and a city that is in a severe state of turmoil post-war. There are characters that are deeply troubled and circumstances that absolutely break your heart.

   Zafón perfectly portrays a post-war world. There is tremendous chaos and people have seen or done some deplorable things. It may have permanently altered others; while  some characters demonstrate considerable resiliency. I feel like a great example of this would be Fermin’s character. He is definitely a shining light in this dark tale. He tries to find humor where he can despite his circumstances. War leaves no one untouched though. There will always be shadows left behind.

Where the Crawdads Sing Review

 

Where The Crawdads Sing

Book: Where the Crawdads Sing

Author: Delia Owens

Rating: 5/5

 

Delia Owens created a beautiful, breathtaking debut novel.  This is one of the most wonderfully crafted mysteries I’ve ever read. Meet Kya, also referred to as the Marsh Girl. You are brought alongside Kya as she grows from a young, timid, little girl into a woman shadowed by prejudice and hardship. This book flashes back and forth from past to present time setting. In this small North Carolina town, one of its other well known residents, Chase Andrews is found dead. Delia developed magnificent character foils. Where Kya is known for being the poor outcast; Chase is the star quarterback whose family is well off and has a prominent business within the community.

This book explores prejudice, racism, love, loss, and the human condition. Reading this story was an extremely visceral experience. I could feel the magnitude of Kya’s isolation. These characters are very well developed and the plot flows expertly.

The Invisible Library Review

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Book: The Invisible Library

Author: Genevieve Cogman

Rating: 4/5

      Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library is a fun, whimsical story following a librarian on a mission to collect books from different realities. The librarian, Irene, is given her first apprentice Kai. We follow them into this other world on a quest to retrieve a specific book for the library. They have to deal with several obstacles and they end up playing detective in order to find what they are looking for. This book is fast paced and I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read anything quite like this, so it was refreshing to read something that hasn’t been overdone. Cogman’s influences shine in this novel. Her love for books really brings the story to life. This is a great read about a character that also enjoys the reading life. It feels very meta. Cogman makes many references to beloved characters and authors, such as Sherlock Holmes. This one will make your literary heart happy.

This Is How It Always Is

If you haven’t read This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel then I highly suggest you run to the nearest library or bookstore. This story is about a family and their struggles with feeling unaccepted because they are different. Rosie and Penn meet, fall in love, and build a family together. They have 5 boys (they kept trying for a girl) and their youngest son Claude likes to wear dresses and wants to be a girl. They struggle with how to deal with everyone’s opinions and reactions to their family. They are open, loving, and completely supportive of whatever makes Claude happy. The real struggles stem from how everyone else will treat Claude. Within their story there is a deeper story that could help foster conversations about this topic and hopefully lead to some greater understanding in the community.

 

This book is doing great things. You truly feel the love this family has for one another. It really makes you question why we have to make it so much harder for the people around us. Why is it so hard to accept everyone for who they are even if it’s outside the boundaries of what you consider normal? Why does that threaten someone else? The beauty in the world comes from our differences. I went through so much heartache right alongside this family. It makes you realize we all have differences and struggles and we need to be more compassionate and more understanding. I sincerely hope you check this out. This book grew a little bit out of Frankel’s family being able to relate to her characters. It’s not based on her family’s story specifically, but she certainly drew a lot of inspiration from elements they can relate to.

Still Life Review

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Still Life by Louise Penny takes place in a charming, little town in the middle of nowhere called Three Pines. In this small town, everyone knows everyone and no one feels compelled to lock their doors. That is until one of the residents is found dead under suspicious circumstances. We follow along as Detective Gamache unravels the mystery and reveals various secrets throughout this idyllic community. Everyone has secrets and through this investigation we get to know the townspeople.

This was the perfect, cozy mystery to transition into fall reading.  Detective Gamache is likable and doesn’t come off as overly arrogant. His tactics allowed for the citizens of Three Pines to feel like they were apart of his investigations and allowed for them to be a bit more forthcoming with information. Penny’s writing creates some great imagery. How can you not enjoy her writing with lines like, “Gamache enjoyed watching Beauvoir indulge his flamboyant side, and this was about as flamboyant as Beauvoir got. A dramatic pause.” I don’t know, but something about that dramatic pause really had me visualizing their conversation. It added depth to that character. Her verbiage had me laughing at times. It was extremely descriptive. One of my other favorite lines being, “She consulted the yellowing rolodex in her head.” I love the way she describes this characters age to her readers without outright mentioning her age. I adored her writing style.

Is it just me or does anyone else bite hard on the red herrings? They get me every time. Hook, line, and sinker. I one hundred percent have myself convinced that I know what the ending will be and I am always wrong. Flat-out wrong. Oh well, even though I was wrong I love the surprise I get when the big reveal takes place.  If you enjoy this genre you will adore this book. It was a delightful read and I can’t wait to continue the series.