Book Review – Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Book Review - Maid of Secretsjpg

Maid of Secrets Cover

Maid of Secrets

Author: Jennifer McGowan

Publication: May 7th, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Format: Kindle Edition, 416 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Espionage

Read: December 2015

Jennifer McGowanGoodreads

 

 

4 Stars

Synopsis
Orphan Meg Fellowes makes her living picking pockets—until she steals from the wrong nobleman. Instead of rotting in prison like she expected, she’s whisked away to the court of Queen Elizabeth and pressed into royal service, where she joins four other remarkable girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors.
Meg’s natural abilities as a spy prove useful in this time of unrest. The Spanish Court is visiting, and with them come devious plots and hidden political motives. As threats to the kingdom begin to mount, Meg can’t deny her growing attraction to one of the dashing Spanish courtiers. But it’s hard to trust her heart in a place where royal formalities and masked balls hide the truth: Not everyone is who they appear to be. With danger lurking around every corner, can she stay alive—and protect the crown?

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This is basically like a giant court drama. There’s mystery and betrayal and secrets and action and death of course. It feels just like you’re reading about time way back when. It doesn’t feel like a work of fiction, it feels like this is the story they won’t tell you in your history books. There’s a lot of things going on but they don’t overwhelm you. I just really enjoyed it.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It was very entertaining and easy to read. It was descriptive and detailed. Generally very simple, and one of the things that bothered me is that at times it felt too modern. Like the way the main character thought or how everyone spoke, sometimes felt a little bit too close to how we talk today. Which I am 100% was not the case back in the time of Queen Elizabeth. But overall, it kept me engaged and interested in the story.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I loved the characters in this book. Meg, our main character, is smart and cunning. She’s sly and is used to sneaking about and listening to different conversations. She’s loyal and determined and strong. It’s hard for her to get used to her new life but once she gets the hang of it, she dives in quickly. I liked her strength and personality and the way she carried herself. Then we have Rafe, who I’m not going to talk about a lot. He’s very mysterious and sneaky. There are moments when you see his honesty and protectiveness but he has an agenda and you don’t really know what it is ever. He’s smart and strong and super swoony cause he’s Spanish so just imagine that accent though. Meg also belongs to a group of girls that are absolutely amazing. They’re all very unique and have specific talents that help them in their job as the Maids of Honor. I’m very happy that the next books are all about the other girls and from their POVs.

Emotionally

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Book Traveling Thursdays Jan. 28th – Some Books Stay With Us Forever

BTT Jan 28

Hello everyone!

It’s Book Traveling Thursday time again! This is a weekly meme created by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch. You can find all of the information you’ll need to participate on the Goodreads page.

This week’s topic is some books stay with us forever!! Choose a book you want to re-read in 2016.  I have picked a lot of books that I want to re-read this year, mostly because I want to finish a lot of unfinished series and I have to re-read the books I’ve read so so long ago. But in the end I picked a book I am super duper excited to read again.

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Jan. 27th – Disappointing Eye Candy

T5W Jan 27

Hello everyone!

I’m here to do the last Top 5 Wednesday of the month!

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey (YouTube, Goodreads) and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Top 5 Most Disappointing Eye Candy. Basically books that were beautiful but the inside, the story was not good. Awful you could say. The good part is that I didn’t have a lot of options when it came to this list and the bad part is even with that I did manage to fill my list. Or is that a good thing as well? I’m not sure.

SO let’s get started!

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#RYBSAT Round 7 Wrap Up

RYBSAT Round 7 Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

I am here today to share the books I managed to read in round 7 of the Read Your Bookshelf A Thon. This is the second time I participated in this readathon, the first being round 5. I really enjoy it because it gives me a chance to read some books that aren’t necessarily on the very top of my TBR list.

Unfortunately, this readathon didn’t go as I planned. The week it was running was one of the hardest and longest weeks I’ve ever had and I spent two days not reading anything. I skipped a book and everything which is something I never do, but either way I did manage to read a few.

Here are the books I read:

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ARC Review – Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Book Review - Burning Midnight

Burning Midnight Cover

Burning Midnight

Author: Will McIntosh

Expected Publication: February 2nd, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: e-ARC, 214 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction

Read: January 2016

Will McIntoshGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Delacorte Press and Random House Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3 and a half Stars

Synopsis
Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.
When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.
There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
First off I have to say that this book was definitely not what I imagined it was going to be. There was some action and it was generally kind of creepy, especially toward the end. There was mystery and traveling. There were parts that were boring and it kind of dragged but overall it was enjoyable.

Writing – 3 out of 5 stars
It was simple and very descriptive. It took some time for it to absorb me and really catch my attention but that may have been the combination with the plot as well. It was very slow paced which I don’t usually mind but in this book it was a bit annoying. Because of it, the writing felt dull and it kind of lacked that extra umph to suck you into the story.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
Unfortunately this was one of those books where I would’ve rather had a different narrator than there was. The main character, Sully, is a boy who was cheated by a big time millionaire and is kind of obsessed with the fact and all the bad things that happened to him afterward. He’s desperate to make money and while sweet and helpful to the general plot, he was kind of dull. He fell flat to me. I never really connected with him and his motivations. It was more like alright kid, let’s see where you go. He was super easy going and chill most of the time which is a contrast to his story. Hunter, the female protagonist, was so amazing! I would’ve loved to have seen this story from her point of view. She’s stubborn and determined. She is such a survivor in life and so so strong. She’s just as desperate as Sully but because of her personality it comes off in a different way. I probably would’ve loved this book if she would’ve been the one to tell the story.

Emotionally

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Freadom Speaks About Book Covers

Freadom Speaks about Book Covers

Hello everyone!

Today I am introducing a new feature to my blog. It’s called Freadom Speaks (shoutout to Abby and Gervan for helping me come up with the name) and this is the feature where I will be sharing all types of discussions whether bookish, blogging or life related.

I am actually quite nervous to start this because I feel like a ramble when I have something to discuss and it usually doesn’t end up being coherent so please bare with me as I get my feet wet.

This first discussion is pretty much a cop out. Like I said, I’m very nervous so I’m recycling an old topic, the first that I used when I first created my “Let’s Talk About” discussion series on my Booktube channel. At some point I’m sure I’ll find something intellectual or deep to discuss with you, but for now I’m going to be talking about book covers and the things that usually show up on the covers that become my favorites. You’ll see what I mean as you read.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Traveling Thursdays Jan. 21st – Everyone Loves Movies!

BTT Jan 21

Hello everyone!

It’s time for another Book Traveling Thursday! This is a weekly meme created by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch. You can find all of the information you’ll need to participate on the Goodreads page.

This week’s topic is Everyone Loves Movies! Choose a movie that is going to be adapted in 2016. If would have been a topic last year I would’ve easily said Mockingjay Part 2. But alas, it’s for this year and unfortunately I haven’t really read any of the books becoming movies this year so I’m not anticipating any of them. In the end, I picked a book I’ve read that I had no idea was becoming a movie until I went looking on Goodreads.

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Jan. 20th – Favorite Buzz Words

T5W Jan 20

Hello everyone!

I am back today with this week’s Top 5 Wednesday!

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey (YouTube, Goodreads) and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Top 5 Favorite Buzz Words. If you don’t know what buzz words are, they are words that if you find in a blurb for a book, you would immediately want to read that book and you’ll add to your TBR or even buy it right away. It took me a few days to think about this but I’ve picked five specific words that make me want to jump on a book right away!

SO let’s get started!

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The Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

the-vesatile-blogger-award

Hello everyone!

I am back today to share another award that a lovely blogger nominated me for. Thanks so much to Giovanna @ BookComaBlog AGAIN for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award. I really appreciate all the support!

Here are the rules:

  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
  3. Share 7 different facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
  5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Book Review - Strands of Bronze and Gold

Strands of Bronze and Gold Cover

Strands of Bronze and Gold

Author: Jane Nickerson

Publication: March 12th, 2013

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Retelling

Read: December 2015

Jane NickersonGoodreads

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram has been sheltered by her doting family all her life, until the day her father dies. It’s 1855, and with no money and few options, she goes to live with her guardian, the mysterious Bernard de Cressac, at the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey in Mississippi.
Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if thread by thread, a silken net is woven around her. And when she begins glimpsing the ghosts of his former wives (all with hair as red as her own) in the forgotten corners and dark hallways of the Abbey, Sophie knows she’s in de Cressac’s trap.
With enchanting romance, chilling suspense, and dashes of the supernatural, Strands of Bronze and Gold is a compulsively readable debut.

Critically
Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This whole book just dragged on forever for me. It felt too long right from the beginning, there were pages given to huge descriptions of where they were living and I was just not for it.  There were some exciting moments but those were few and far in between the creepy stuff and the generally boring stuff. It was just not for me.
Writing Style – 2 out of 5 stars
I think this was the biggest problem for me. Ignoring the slowness of the plot could’ve been easy if the writing had hooked me right in but it didn’t. There was too much description and it was a little bit disjointed. I’d be reading about something and there would be a random sentence talking about something else right in the middle of the paragraph. It was simple but in the negative way where it feels like it lacked substance and excitement. It was just boring and it made it really hard for me to get through the book.
Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
Another point where I just wasn’t connecting. Our main character Sophie annoyed me right off the bat. Her father has just died and she’s shipped off miles away and all she’s thinking about is how rich her godfather is going to be and how much she’s going to hate his wife. She’s self-centered and naive about life, specially in  Mississippi at the time of slaves. There were some moments where I liked her but the majority of the time she was just stupid to be honest. There were so many huge warning signs flashing at her the whole time and she still had no clue and was just very passive and submissive. Bernard was just plain crazy. He’s a very charming man but incredibly manipulative which are the signs of a sociopath, if you didn’t know. It was an obvious thing though, not only for me but for everyone else, except for Sophie. I just wanted to shake her and yell at her. If she would’ve been just a bit more proactive and the book would’ve been shorter, I might’ve liked it more but that was not the case.

Emotionally

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