#BookReview The Proper Proposal (A Regency Romance) by Sophy Hester

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The Proper Proposal by Sophy Hester

Lately, I have been on a string of historical romance-esque series (both novels and television) – The Other Boelyn Girl, Downton Abbey, Reign, The Crown… The list truly goes on. For whatever reason, this type of media has been calling out to me and how could I say no? There are so many fantastic versions of historical fiction/nonfiction literature and television/movies out there!!

So, when I received The Proper Proposal and it popped on my desk, it was very hard to not immediately grab onto the book (despite being super busy and knowingly should not be reading but instead doing work… but like any bookworm, I became a dog when they see a squirrel).

This book was rather easy to read, and that’s not an insult. It’s a book that’s easily to follow along and becomes instantly addicting. I had a very hard time putting it down because I really wanted to finish it all in one sitting – it was that great!!

This book is beautiful in the sense that it’s style is written like the era it is from. I loved seeing big words and references to other works outside of the novel – it’s such a nice change! So many books bore me with texting lingo and simple language. I applaud Sophy for expanding the types of words used in this novel. There’s nothing more irritating than a historical novel using current language throughout the entire book. It was so refreshing and so beautiful, that it deserves a great review just for that content alone.

There isn’t much I’d change about this novel. If anything, I’d just beg Sophy to continue writing more books (whether it be in this genre or others, I think she’s fantastic and needs more books out in the open!). The novel is not to short and not to long – just long enough that it’s rewarding, but short enough to finish in one sitting. The characters are lovable, even if their romance seems “rushed” (in their time it wouldn’t be, but readers today may find that a tad bit interesting). I also enjoyed that there were a few storylines to follow, but our main characters of Louise and John were the main focus. This book doesn’t veer to off to throw the reader off course.

Overall, this book deserves five out of five stars. I was hooked, I didn’t want to put it down and I found it adorable. I love a good historical romance that doesn’t bore me to tears! This book did quite the opposite!! More readers and bookstores need to pick up on this author – Sophy Hester deserves so much more recognition. This book was fantastic!!!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW

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To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year lunch is a love letter to all who have a family – blood bond or not.

Diane Keyes has done one miraculous job I had never expected to see in my life – she wrote a novel collecting Wendy’s, family, love, and warm, happy feelings all in one. This book truly hits all the right notes for me – it’s sweet, inspiring, heart melting and everything I needed in my life today. It’s a book that celebrates family – whether it be by blood or through experiences. And I can’t recommend this book enough!

This small but mighty book is a non-fiction recount of how a family came together for lunch once at week at Wendy’s. Diane highlights some of the rough and tough times that will make your heart clench up, but she also delivers some beautiful, motivating stories as well. Your heart won’t be able to take the extravagant roller coaster Diane makes in this book!

One lesson I learned from this book: Family is powerful.
Blood does not always define the family, and Diane shows this. She not only shows her strong bond with her genetically related family, but the friendships and bonds you can make with others. These simple lunches (that seem like such a silly but genius idea) really highlight how one small change (like meeting up with friends once a week) can really affect you!

I truly appreciate Diane’s hard work. You can tell this story is coming from the heart! Not only does it give a historical background, but it gives you an emotional one too. I am totally inspired by this novel, and I recommend everyone who wants a little splash of happiness and empathy in their life to pick this up.

Five out of five stars.

Quick Book Review: Queen of America by T.J. Slee

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Picture via Goodreads.

Book Review
Book Title: Queen of America  (Freya Eriksdottir #1)
Author: T.J. Slee
Date Read: September 26th – November 4th, 2016
Date Reviewed: November 4th, 2016

Background: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads for an honest review.

Quick Synopsis: This book is all about female vikings, which is a nice change from seeing all men vikings all the time. Freya goes out on a mission and is determined to finish it. You follow her struggles and the adventures that vikings have. It’s a great read following strong female characters that are also vikings.

Evaluation: This book was a good read, but I felt that the style did not match with me. This book is truly beautifully written and I love the strong female characters, the exciting plot and the incredible adventures, but I just didn’t like the writing style. It felt too slow for me, but that’s because I really like to read fast paced books. Yet, this book isn’t slow by any means – TJ keeps up an amazing pace. I just found it didn’t fit well with me as a reader. Other readers will definitely like this book! It gets all my praises and awards, but as a reader I just know the types of writing styles I like to read and TJ’s writing style doesn’t match with me personally.

That being said, it’s time to get into the juicy parts of this book. You follow Freya as she goes on an adventure, but you also meet her brother Leif. Her story was truly inspiring and compelling, which had me continue and finish this book.

For people interested in viking history but want a more interesting read than a history textbook, I would definitely suggest picking this book up. It’s a great fiction read that keeps you hooked and gives you some insight into their culture.

There are definitely characters I would have loved to see more of, but other than that there’s not much else to improve on in this set of stories. It’s truly a great read and I suggest readers pick it up!

4 out of 5 stars.

Manga March Book Review: Hamlet (No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novel) by Neil Babra

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Photo via Goodreads.

Book Review
Book Title: Hamlet
Book Author: William Shakespeare
Adapter/Illustrator: Neil Babra

Introduction: I love Shakespeare, and Hamlet has always been my favourite of all of his plays and sonnets so when I saw this little manga on sale at a location book shop I had to pick it up and read it. I read it about 3  years ago, but I finally found it again on my bookshelf and decided to read it again and review it.

Review:

This adaption is truly an adaption – it’s not identical to the original, but it’s great for younger readers wanting to get into Shakespeare. The typical Shakespeare form is not used, but that makes it easier for read for those not fluent in his verses.

This task of adapting the famous Hamlet into a shorter, simpler work would have been hard but Neil Babra makes it look so easy. The story is shortened into a perfect, young reader-friendly adaption. The famous lines are still in there, but they are so much easier to understand and read. The book is not dumbed down by any means, so readers do not have to worry – this book is a timeless, incredible adaption that should definitely be introduced to young readers.

The artwork is fantastic and matches perfectly with the story. The wordplay that Shakespeare uses is often seen within the pages of this book in illustrated form, which can make any true Shakespeare fan get a true chuckle out of this work.

Overall, this book was fantastic. The facial expressions, the artwork, the rewording, and the narrative are all fantastic.

Five out of five stars.

Quick Book Review: Mount of Hope:A Victorian Tale of Young Love by Jamie Michele

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Photo via Goodreads.

Mount of Hope was a wonderful historical, romance read!

This novel is set in the 19th century in England and follows the main characters Alfred and Julia, who are adoptive siblings. Julia is considered an ugly duckling and far from the wonder child Alfred is, especially since Julia was adopted when her parents passed. The young woman has feelings for her adoptive sibling that are very obvious, but Alfred seems a little oblivious to it all. Meanwhile, Alfred is falling for a beautiful young woman named Amelia, who might be more deceptive than she seems at first glance.

Overall, this novel was cute. It took a while for me to get into the plot, since it starts out rather slow. It is a great novel to read though! The language is beautiful and it is obvious that Jamie Michele translated it from the original copy of the book.

Alongside the slow speed, I did find the novel to have many cliches. Perhaps the cliches are very obvious since this is an older novel, but I guessed most of what would happen. Despite these two problems, this book is an incredible novel!

I would definitely suggest this to people interested in: Romance, historical novels, historical romances, and someone who just wants a short, quick read.

I give this book a three out of five stars, due to the slow pace and the cliches that were easily guessed throughout the novel.

I received this novel for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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Photo via Goodreads.

I never liked stories about History, but this novel definitely made me gain a new respect for War stories.

The Nightingale follows a set of two sisters throughout World War 2, and it a thrilling, addicting read. Vianne Mauriac’s husband has set off to war and she must deal with the aftermath of his absence. Soldiers from Germany are invading France, which means anyone who is labelled a Jew will be in trouble in the near future. Vianne must deal with soldiers staying in her home, friends disappearing, orphaned children, and situations no woman would ever want to face.

Meanwhile Vianne’s sister Isabelle is doing the opposite of Vianne, she’s getting involved. Vianne is trying to stay quiet if she decides to help, but Isabelle is being loud and proud. Isabelle will help people, and is determined to no matter what.

The story has many different arcs and plot intertwined in one. Vianne’s love story with her husband, Isabelle’s love story, Vianne and Isabelle’s rough relationship with their father, the War itself, the life of Jewish people during the war, the life of those who are friends with Jewish people, and many other little side plots that create an epic, war-time drama.

I found this book to be very believable. The entire novel is written in an excellent style and gets better as you read. At first it seemed a little boring, but after a few chapters I was hooked an addicted. The novel shares the feelings of the characters during this rough time, and nothing seems out of place.

As someone who didn’t have a great appreciation for History, I definitely respect anyone who lived or lost during the wars now. While this might be a fictional novel, it gives many examples of what happened to people during the war time. Kristin Hannah did an excellent job showcasing the War in a fictional novel and making it highly believable.

I would suggest this book to anyone who likes: Historical fiction, dramatic novels, novels with a mere splash of romance, war stories, and realistic novels.

Five out of five stars! A truly amazing read that transports you to World War ll in France.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti

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Photo via Goodreads.

I usually do not read this kind of book, but I must say it wow-ed me on so many levels. It started out to slow for my liking, but after about three chapters I was highly addicted and I wanted to know the life story of Ichmad Hamid. This book follws the life of Ichmad Hamid from when he was a child to when he begins an elderly man. You learn of the bright mind that Ichmad has and how he tries to get a better life for his family because of his gifted mind. I learned quite a bit about culture from this book, and I learned an even greater amount of knowledge on racism and hatred. This book centrals around a main concept (at least what I got as the main theme) of family. No matter what happened in this book Ichmad cared greatly about his family and always focused on that. When Ichmad went through school, he made sure to consider his family before every move. Ichmad made sure to think of his family when he started to develop farther in his love life as well.

I only had two problems with this book, and one was what was centered around Nora. She did go along well with the theme of family, but her storyline did break my heart quite a bit.

My second problem was that the book just seemed to end. I didn’t really see a resolution of any form happen, it felt as if the author ran out of words she was allowed to use and ended it. If some form of slowing down or conclusion would have happened, it could have been a much better book.

Either way, I believe it deserves 5 out of 5 stars for the beautiful message it sends.

Side note: I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads.