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elizabethvail54

AnimeJune's Obsessions

I love books, I love book blogging, and I hate GoodReads. Check out my blog at http://gossamerobsessions.blogspot.ca.

Currently reading

The Goblin Emperor
Katherine Addison

FULL Review of "Empire of Ivory," by Naomi Novik

Empire of Ivory - Naomi Novik

"Labor Day," by Joyce Maynard

Labor Day - Joyce Maynard

The Plot: A boy named Henry lives in depressing near-isolation with his unstable, depressed mother until they come across an escaped convict named Frank, who asks if he can hide out in their house until the search for him blows over. Amazingly, Henry's mother agrees - and an immediate, powerful love affair develops between her and Frank, while Frank takes a paternal interest in Henry that his own father has never demonstrated. Sadly, nothing gold can stay.

 

The Good:

  • Decent writing
  • Interesting plot
  • Good pacing

 

The Bad:

  • The relationship between Frank and Adele (Henry's mum) is kind of creepy - especially when they describe how often and how clearly Henry can hear them going at it through the walls.
  • Adele is also a really incompetent parent. Her neediness and depression have basically isolated her son as well as herself from the outside world and I spent most of the book pitying Henry. Perhaps that's not fair (his father and his father's family live in town so he could have gone to live with them at any time), and mental illness sucks, but the whole book is really about Adele's selfishness. She never really does anything for Henry or for Henry's sake - it's all about who's able to step in and take care of her. 

"Fly by Night," by Frances Hardinge

Fly by Night - Frances Hardinge

The Plot: In a politically-fractured landscape ruled by tyrannical guilds and unions, even the written word is controlled - if it doesn't have the stamp of the Stationers' Guild on it, it gets thrown in the fire (and those who've read it thrown in prison). As a result, our impetuous, ambitious heroine Mosca Mye steals, borrows, and hordes words in a world where people fear reading. When she helps rescue a silver-tongued rascal named Eponymous Clent from her village's stocks, she follows him to increase her vocabulary and also to have an adventure of her own.

 

The Good:

  • Awesomely-detailed and original worldbuilding
  • Gorgeous writing
  • Complex and morally ambiguous child heroine

 

The Bad:

  • Kind of slow-moving, plot-wise
  • Plot is very complex - and while that isn't exactly a bad thing it did slow down my reading experience
  • Couldn't really connect with the material the longer the book went on.

"All I Ever Needed," by Jo Goodman

All I Ever Needed - Jo Goodman

The Plot: Our hero is a diplomat member of the Compass Club - a Dude-Group of Dudes all named after geographical directions. When his crazy ex-mistress spreads a rumour that he's engaged to some random chick, he approaches said Random Chick to set things right. Of course, our Random Chick is contractually obligated to be Super Mysterious About Everything because she's a Jo Goodman Heroine with a Big Secret, but this only makes her more attractive to the hero, who pursues her relentlessly. Also, opium is involved.

 

Romance Convention Checklist:

  • 1 DudeGroup (the Compass Club)
  • 2 Evil Guardians
  • 1 Inconveniently Deceased Parent
  • 1 Surprise! Pregnancy
  • 1 Evil Ex Mistress

 

The Good:

  • Clever dialogue
  • Great period detail and use of historical context

 

The Bad:

  • Oh my God just get to the point already!
  • Slowest. Pacing. Ever. 
  • A novella's worth of plot in 400 freakin' pages of prevarication and opaque references.

 

"Enchanted," by Alethea Kontis

Enchanted - Alethea Kontis

"The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls," by Anton Disclafani

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls - Anton DiSclafani

The Plot: 15-year-old Thea Atwell is sent away from her beloved childhood home to the Yonahlossee Riding Camp of the title - a summer camp for wealthy Southern debutantes and a year-round school for troubled wealthy Southern debutantes. The "terrible sin" for which she was sent away is unravelled throughout the novel in flashbacks. Also, there are horses.

 

The Good:

  • Horses!
  • Good period description
  • Lovely writing
  • Solid pacing

 

The Bad:

  • Terrible Parents
  • Cousin Lovin'
  • Sex with a teacher (come ON, Thea)
  • Not terribly interesting

"Whose Body?" by Dorothy L. Sayers

Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1) - Dorothy L. Sayers

The Plot:

Debonair aristocrat Lord Peter Wimsey, second son of the Duke of Denver, is intrigued when an architect acquaintance of his mother's discovers a naked anonymous corpse in his bathtub. Criminology is an entertaining hobby of Lord Peter's, so with the help of his skills, his detective BFF Mr. Parker, and his loyal manservant Bunter, he strives to identify the dead man, discover how the corpse came to take his unfortunate bath, and whether this has anything to do with the recent disappearance of a wealthy Jewish financier. 

 

The Good:

  • Lord Peter Wimsey is ridiculously awesome. 
  • Lord Peter's SECRET CRIME-SOLVING GADGETS, involving a walking-stick fitted with a compass, a sword, and measuring instruments; and a flashlight hidden inside a matchbox.
  • The details and wit of the period
  • A very twisty mystery

 

The Bad:

  • Anti-semitic language, in the classic, well-meaning, privileged "some of my best friends are Jewish / he's not at all a bad sort for a Hebrew" way. An unfortunate product of this novel's time. 
  • The perpetrator's long-winded confession takes a lot of wind out of the novel's ending

"Plain Kate" by Erin Bow

Plain Kate - Erin Bow

A very disappointing read. Dull, depressing, and gratuitously violent by turns, this book really wants to hammer it home that being a woman sucks - by showing us all the horrible things that people did to women Back in the Day, because of Witchcraft. Thanks for that. I really needed the reminder.

ReRead Rollout: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  - J.K. Rowling

ReRead Rollout: "Welcome to Temptation," by Jennifer Crusie

Welcome to Temptation (Dempseys #1) - Jennifer Crusie

ReRead Rollout: "Sing the Four Quarters," by Tanya Huff

Sing the Four Quarters - Tanya Huff

Re-Read Rollout: "Gentlemen and Players," by Joanne Harris

Gentlemen and Players - Joanne Harris

DNF Review: "The Assassin's Curse," by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse - Cassandra Rose Clarke

Re-Read Rollout: "Anne of Avonlea," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Avonlea  - L.M. Montgomery

"A Christmas Bride/Christmas Bride," by Mary Balogh

A Christmas Bride / Christmas Beau - Mary Balogh

"Someone Else's Love Story," by Joshilyn Jackson

Someone Else's Love Story - Joshilyn Jackson