Tell it to me again…

This month the book group I belong to read Fairy Tale Retellings. It’s really a great little book group on Facebook. It’s called Back of the Book Club if you want to check it out!

Here are the Fairy Tale Retellings I read this month!

Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor. The Percy Jackson is series is a favorite and I have to say I almost like Magnus Chase better, it’s a close call. This is the second book in this series involving Norse mythology. Riordan puts such a fun and unique twist on the Norse Gods from the  crude tv loving Thor to the power point obsessed Odin. My attention was captured throughout the book with the action pack plot and sassy characters. Riordan writes the best sassy characters!

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. This Nordic fairy tale was just adorable. I had never read this tale but instantly fell in love with it. Pika is a kind heroine who puts her family before herself even when some of them don’t deserve it. Going through the story she finds herself in an odd friendship that turns to love and a happily ever after like the best fairy tales do. This book is YA but it felt more juvenile than most YA books I’ve picked up lately. Overall great little read full of magic, adventure, and friendship.


Wild Orchid. This is one of the books in the Once Upon A Time series and while its a series they are all stand alone novels. This is the retelling of Mulan. I adore the Disney movie Mulan and was surprised I had never actually read any books based on her story. Wild Orchid was a lovely little novel and while I enjoyed the quick read I did find myself wanting more in the sense that I loved the story so I did’t want it to end. It had enough differences that kept you interested but stayed true to the original story as well.

Spirited. This was another Once Upon A Time novel. I find that I enjoy reading Native American fiction but that I haven’t read many. This was supposed to be a mix of Native American folklore and Beauty and the Beast retelling and I think it delivered nicely. While I obviously don’t think this book was very factual on many things it was an entertaining read. I enjoyed the slightly slow friendship that bloomed into love unknowingly until almost too late between the main characters. The ‘little people’ were by far my favorite though.

 

I do also enjoy a good Austen retelling from time to time. Have you read any good retellings lately? What are some of your favorites? Id love to hear from you!

 

Taylor

A Curious Beginning

“After all, I might not intend to use him for a plaything, but I could still appreciate looking through the toy-shop window.” –Veronica Speedwell

 

This quote just caught my fancy while reading. It really shows Veronica’s personality and spunk. I loved how promiscuous Veronica was, it was so refreshing because she was so very smart about it with all of her rules and stipulations. It’s so hard to find such a forthright and independent female character in this time period that doesn’t swoon at every instance or completely muck up most of an investigation. Then comes along Mr Stroker to make her reconsider a few of her affair stipulations. While she doesn’t break any of them in this book I do believe a time will come in the future for her and Mr. Stroker to get together, at least I hope so.

Overall I really did like this novel. There were some parts that seemed pretty obvious to me and the beginning was interesting but slow on the mystery part. I enjoyed that they were both Natural Historians but from different branches, so they had something in common but were different enough to be interesting. For me it was a career of that time period that I hadn’t read in a novel before so it really made the whole book all the more intriguing. There were a few points of back and forth with trust issues, pot calling kettle black, and holding back/leaving out information that’s important. Once Veronica and Stroker finally get on the same page they become a remarkable duo of adventure chasing sleuths.

While they did solve the mystery there are still many questions left and criminals on the loose. I’m interested in seeing what the next book holds, if it will continue on with the same bad guys as the main focus or if they will be introducing a completely new mystery to be solved. I guess I’ll just have to go read the next book to find out.

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Just a little shelfie. Do you have a favorite bookmark? When I was younger I was terrible about losing bookmarks so to this day I mostly use whatever is laying around such as an old dentist appointment card or the business card to my local tea shop. Occasionally I use small photos of my twins that I didn’t use while scrap-booking or these lovely handmade teacup and tea kettle bookmarks I was given as a gift. Thankfully I am getting better at not losing them.

March Wrap Up

March has been a good reading month overall. I’ve started a new series, had a couple rereads, and am making nice dent in my owned TBR pile.

I was introduced to the Kay Scarpetta series by a relative and absolutely loved this first book. The next few were good but now on books #9 and #10 I’m really starting to question if I want to continue this series. Point of Origin had an interesting murder mystery, at least until Carrie Grant started making an appearance again. I really thought we were done with that plot line. The ending was very lacking as well. I’ve come to believe if there isn’t a body they are most likely not dead. Black Notice was basically everybody is against Kay, everybody wants to ruin Kay, or maybe it was just that Kay was being stupid. Its all very bureaucratic, he said she said with very little criminal insight. Overall not impressed. I’ve already started reading The Last Precinct (#11) and its not looking up. It seems to be a continuation of Black Notice with just as much he said she said and everybody out to get Kay. Bleh.

On to better books! As you know if you’ve read my previous posts Time Travel was my book groups theme this month. I read Legend by Jude Deveraux, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren. You can follow the links for the first two books to get a more in depth review but overall I seriously enjoyed them both. Unfortunately Waterfall felt a little lacking after reading two such interesting books. I’m not sure if it was the YA aspect or if it was because it felt so short. Overall the book was good, plot and characters, but it just felt too juvenile for my preferences.

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe was a delectable fun read. You can see my full review here!

I am really excited for what books April will bring. My book group is planning to read fairytale and folklore retellings! So far I have picked Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, and Uprooted by Naomi Novik! There are a couple other ones I’m looking into reading but these are my top picks. I am also reading Blood Rights by Kristen Painter for a different book group and for my own pleasure I am hoping to read The Redbreast by Jo Nesbon. Ive heard such good things about this series, I’m really looking forward to it.

I’d love to hear what you’re reading this month!!

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Outlander

For the month of March my book group is reading Time Travel themed books. My second pick for this theme was Outlander (my first being Legend). It’s been on my TBR list for a little while now and I’ve put off watching the show in order to read the book first. I find a book like this so hard to review. I enjoyed this book so much, much more than expected, therefore I find myself nit picking small silly things.

There’s an opening quote about missing people that really piqued my interest. “Disappearances, after all, have explanations. Usually.” Seriously, the while quote really made me go into this thinking I might like it more than I originally thought. Originally I went into this book with a little apprehension that I wouldn’t like it or that it would get boring, 850 pages is a lot! Once I started though I could not put it down.

Gabaldon writes beautifully. Accents can be so tough but I feel that she writes them so that you get a feel for the language but not heavy enough to where you cant understand what the character is saying. The main and minor characters have such depth and are interesting without taking away from the main plot. The plot alone is amazing, she weaves this story connecting all of these people in a complicated but intriguing dynamic. Its such a detailed story and thankfully all of the details really add to it rather than bogging it down and making it boring. I can say I never felt bored while reading. There were a few times where it felt the characters where maybe getting a little to comfortable in the setting which was usually remedied but some conflict right around the corner.

The romance aspect was nice but maybe a little sappy even for me. This is me just being nit picky. As much as I like Jamie I find that I love him and Claire together more than anything which makes the story better (face it, at some point we’ve all shipped a main character with someone else or even ourselves so when the main couple are perfect for each other it makes me story better for me).

I really cant wait to see where this story goes. At the moment I have only checked the books out from my local library (Dragonfly in Amber coming soon!) but these book are definitely on my Wish List To Buy!

Have you read the series? Watched the show? Tell me your thoughts!

Whatever Bakes Your Cake

The Great British Bake Off is my crack. Seriously this is one of my absolute favorite tv shows. The ultimate downside is because I live in the US I have only been able to watch 3 out of 7 seasons. They’ve recently been added back to Netflix therefore the baking bug has bit me something fierce. I sit here re-watching Season 2 (which is actually Season 4) as I type while nibbling on this delicious Magic Vanilla Custard Cake. Not only does it drive me to actually bake but it also forces me to abandon my To Be Read books for a familiar sweet treat.

Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe is an adorable chick-lit romance packed with delicious goodies. Not only do you get a charming novel you also get recipes for the confections described in the book. Ill be honest and say I have not tried to actually make one of these recipes but I am determined to try one before I finish reading it this time. 

I remember really enjoying this read my first go around just a cute fun read with great friendships and a sweet romance. I am over half way through reading now and this time is a little different. The uncertainty Issy feels and hoops she jumps through to open her dream bakery bring to mind my dream to open a bookstore. I’ve done a lot of serious research and while it wont happen this year (or probably even the next) I WILL open my dream bookstore one day.

The friendships in this book are amazing. These women come from many different backgrounds but come together to form amazing bonds. Granted they all aren’t exactly friends in the beginning, its lovely to see the friendships form and grow.

Overall I love this book and highly recommend it for a fun delectable read!