Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Penny Heart by Martine Bailey

This was a total cover grab from the library. I saw the colours of the cover and then the title and upon reading the back, I was determined to read this book.

The Penny Heart is about the lives of two women in1850's England. One was to be put to death for a minor crime and the other was simply to get out from under her father's rule and begin a life of her own. Mary, the woman who was almost hanged but spared death and instead sent away to "the ends of the earth" vowed to return to England and seek revenge on the man who testified and sent her away. Grace is the woman who marries the man that sent Mary to the gallows. I won't say more, but it's a really intricate story.

I liked this book but at the same time, it was a little long for me. It took me a lot longer than some books to get through it, and although I am happy I finished it, it felt very long. There were so many details in the stories of these women and what transpires, that I think at times perhaps it was a little bit more complicated than it needed to be.

There were a lot of interesting and captivating moments, including during the last 50 or so pages. By the end I was glued to the page, and I knew that this kind of thing was coming and I knew that it would be worth the wait to read till the end.

The thing is I found myself feeling for both of these women although I knew that there was vengeance and deceit going on. Grace was often so naive and and silly at times, but yet, I still worried for her. This book was very well written.

Recommendation: I don't know if this book is for the casual reader. This story is long and detailed, and probably should only be read by those prepared to go the distance with it. the story is worth the wait though.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

I grabbed this during a sale thing at Chapters because I haven't read as much of Neil Gaiman's work as I would like.

This is a fairly small, fairly short book. I read about half of it at the hair salon while I was waiting for my fiancĂ©e to get a hair cut. 

I think I might have read it too fast though because I got the sense there were like 10 different layers to this book that just floated by above my head. 

It was such an interesting story that I was rushing through it rather quickly and I think that might not have helped. I definitely need to re-read this!

I really enjoy being told a story by Neil Gaiman, and I am grabbing up his other works (as I always do, when I can get a deal) and adding them to my library. After all, I adored both the book and the movie version of Stardust (my review on that one is here).

I didn't know what to expect from this book. The synopsis on the back tells you very little. It's about a man who returns back to where he grew up for a funeral. He begins to reminisce about a girl he knew when he was 7 and the pond behind her house that she used to call an ocean. I don't want to give anything away, so I urge you to grab up this book and read it for yourself. Simply keep an open mind. That way you can be swept along for the journey and just float away into another world. I 

Recommendation: Neil Gaiman's work is a thing of beauty. Read it. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood

This one is the second book in the Phryne Fisher mysteries and it introduces some of the characters that we have come to know and love from reading and watching the show.

This one focuses on the death of a family man (who it's believed was murdered by his son) and, you guessed it, aeroplanes. The side mystery involves a young girl who goes missing, and when someone is in need to help, Phryne comes to the rescue. 

Mr. and Mrs. Butler are introduced and Phryne takes up residence in her Australian home, at 221B of course, a nod to the famous detective himself. Everything begins to come together for the fabulous female investigator. She has her household under control, Dot is by her side, and a new mystery or two to solve.

Something I loved right from the beginning with these books is that Phryne is always Phryne. She doesn't change much at all. She retains the same principles and acts exactly how you would expect her to in every situation. It's like reading about a good friend.

I had little to complain about when it comes to this novel. I know sometimes I might find myself irritated a little by the romance or the seemingly easy way the mysteries are solved but this one didn't get under my skin. It was lovely and I enjoyed it as usual! 

Recommendation: I love these books. I can see how they aren't for everyone, but you know, I love a strong woman who does what she wants (while solving mysteries with her lovable band of helpers, of course!)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

This book was the first in a new series. Right off the bat, can we just take a moment and stare at that cover!? Who would have thought a mostly white cover would be so stunning! It's a gorgeous book!

I snapped this up at the library because of the cover and because I had seen it mentioned by a couple of you lovely readers out there in the bookstagram community. This is a fantasy type of story in another world filled with magic.

Ever the Hunted is about a girl named Britta who, after the murder of her father, is trying to survive in a world where she has no rights and cannot inherit property. She gets caught for poaching to survive and is dragged in before the King to trade her life for the life of the person who supposedly killed her father. She must help track him down in order to earn a home of her own and escape death for poaching. Her father was the King's bounty hunter and because of the target they are hunting, they believe she is the perfect skilled hunter to bring him in. That boy? Her father's former apprentice and the boy she used to love who broke her heart. She goes on this journey to figure out who really killed her father, no matter who did it, uncover secrets, and to save the kingdom.

This book was like some other books of this type, but yet, it wasn't. It had the girl who was different, setting out on her own, getting caught up in the race to save the world and the ones she loves, while coming to terms with who she really is and what she can do. Still though, it was delightful to read.

At times it was a little heavy on the romance and the self discovery, but it was really full of twists and turns. It was the world that was created and the magic that was woven through it that really kept me glued to the page. I just went with it, fell into the story, and just enjoyed it for what it was. I didn't get hyper critical or picked it apart. It was a great story.

Reading this felt like such a great escape. That's something I totally look for in the books I read. I was taken out of my life with this book and put into a totally different place and taken along for the ride. I really did enjoy this book and I will be keeping my eye out for the next one! I really, really want to know what happens next!

Recommendation: If you love magic, other worlds, and the search for the truth (and romance) than you will definitely enjoy this book!