Friday, October 31

Book Blog Walkers & Happy Halloween!

This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog
This is my first week with this challenge. I've been wanting to do this for a while now...but...I just never did. Plus, I do a lot of walking at my job, so I was being a baby. Even though it is almost the end of 2014, I shall jump on board (because they say you can join whenever). I don't have anything recorded for Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, because I decided to join on Tuesday. I am a bad cookie. Next week will be a full week. 

Tuesday: 2.5 mile walk/jog
Wednesday: 1 hour walk (about 2 miles, I forgot to turn on my step counter) 
Thursday: 30 min of Zumba and 1 mile walk
Friday: 30 min of Zumba - Buns, Abs, and Thighs workout (that kicks my butt every time) and 1 mile walk
Conclusion: I feel I did a good job even though I started late for this week. I really should do that Zumba - Buns, Abs, and Thighs one a couple times a week, but it kicks my booty and its hard. Not gunna lie, but I can feel it. I can't wait for school to be over, because it is hard to fit in a whole bunch of exercise with 40 hours at work and then full time in college, but I will make sure I try and do it everyday! 



Happy Halloween everyone! Since I started this challenge, I shall try and be a good kid and not eat a lot of candy at work. ;D Here's a pic of my Book Club all dressed up for Halloween (not everyone could show):
(From left to right) Jess as Poison Ivy, Aly as a witch, me as a Naughty Maid, Jasmine as a cat, Reece as a Magician's Assistant, and Tyler (the one having an awesome pose) as a cat. 

Thursday, October 30

TV Movie Review: North & South

Length: 235 mins (four episodes) 
Released: 2004 (only one season)
Genre: Historical Romance & Drama
Rating:  NA (I would say PG)

Where I Got It: Netflix

North and South is a four part adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's love story of Margaret Hale, a middle class southerner who is forced to move to the northern town of Milton."


Daniela Denby-Ashe - Margaret Hale
Richard Armitage - John Thornton
Tim Pigott-Smith - Richard Hale
Sinead Cusack - Hannah Thornton
Brendan Coyle - Nicholas Higgins
Anna Maxwell Martin - Bessy Higgins
Jo Joyner - Fanny Thornton
Pauline Quirke - Dixon
Kay Lyon - Mary Higgins
Lesley Manville - Maria Hale

I've been wanting to watch this mini-series for a while now, but I never finished the book so long ago, so I felt bad. I really need to give the book a second chance and I will...thanks to this adaptation.

Sooooooooo good. I loved the cast and I loved the story. I honestly watched all four episodes in one day, because I needed to know what would happen next. I especially loved Mr. Thornton...even though he was a butt sometimes - I may be biased because I adore Richard Armitage. I did want to punch Margaret though, because she was a pain and wouldn't be honest with Mr. Thornton. Just tell him the truth! GAH! It's so obvious he will believe you and not betray you, because not only does he love you, but he loves your father so that family secret matters not to him. Why can't people just be honest? I get not telling everyone your family secret, but I think the man you love and who loves you deserves the truth.

Okay, I did feel bad for Margaret, because she had a nice simple life in southern England with the trees and the house in nature and her father decides to move them to the North for no real reason. The reason - once he tells - is stupid and not really worth the move. Perhaps, in the book they explain it more. We shall see. 

I am certainly glad that it took a while for the two to get together; it made the first kiss and acceptance of proposal worth the wait. There was a lot they had to work out and prove to each other, before they could get together. 

Honestly, I am glad they divided this into 4 parts, because they could add more story-line and explain more. Each character also got a good amount of spotlight. The revolt and the people involved got the spotlight it deserved and I'm glad they didn't cut out the dirty truth of the time period. People were being taken advantage of and not getting enough money. Even though they stood up and demanded more, Mr. Thornton was a man of his time period and refused to pay them. Like every romance-y story, he does have a change of heart, but it takes a big event...I will not say what happens, but it does change his heart and see Margaret's point of view. 

In the end, I am now super excited to give the book a second chance. This was a great adaptation and made me in love with the story. It is not a simple romance, but there are personal issues and society issues that keep them apart for a while. They do come together, but they earned it. They both had to change to be able to love each other fully. I am glad they showed the truth of the time period; there was good, but also people had to suffer and not get paid enough for their work. I recommend this to those that love historical fiction and romance. It is a good story. I stamp this with 5 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Mr Thornton (even though he was butt at the beginning), Margaret (even though she deserved a slap for being dumb), Betsy, and Nicholas
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Fanny and Hannah 
Re-watch?: Yes. It was good.   

Wednesday, October 29

Book Review: Song of the Nile

Author: Stephanie Dray
Title: Song of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter #2)
Genre: Historical Fiction & Fantasy
Pages: 398
First Published: October 4th, 2011
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land.

The magic of Isis flowing through her veins is what makes her indispensable to the emperor. Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra's daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power. She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother's throne be more than she's willing to pay?"

This is the second book in the series about Cleopatra's daughter, Selene. I read the first one an age ago and I kept putting this off. Not because I wanted too, but other books came in the way and also, my old library never had the book. When I moved to Waterford the library here had it, so I snatched it up as soon as I found it. :D

I wanted to punch Selene and Juba in the face! I felt bad for both, but both were thick-headed idiots. Again...WHY CAN'T PEOPLE JUST BE HONEST WITH EACH OTHER! My goodness. Selene's ambition for Egypt and hatred that Juba had a tiny role to play in her parent's downfall made her hate him and not give him a chance. It also didn't help she was in love with her brother, Helios, so whenever she felt any love for Juba she felt like she was betraying Helios. A little creepy being in love with your brother, but in Ancient Egyptian culture it wasn't abnormal to marry your brother, but she was obsessed and it was a wee bit creepy to me. While Juba, since she made a scene at the wedding by dressing a little skanky and announcing she was Queen of Egypt, resented her. Plus, he thought she was Augustus' mistress, so he was bitter because he loved her. Just a hot mess of a marriage that could be easily resolved if they had a therapist and a nice chat. Sighs.  I do wish that Juba had more spotlight.

I wanted to stab Augustus myself...creepy, perverted man. >____>


This wasn't as good as the first one, but it was interesting and intriguing. Nothing would happen for page and then BOOM! Huge event! Then nothing and nothing and then BOOM! You never knew when the BOOM would happen, so it kept you reading, because you knew something was on the horizon and you wanted to know what it was going to be. I do love the magic intertwined with the story just like the first book, but this time there seemed to be more magic going on. Stephanie Dray did a wonderful job mixing it in with the story; there was one scene that seemed a wee bit cheesy, but the rest was wonderfully done. There was one part, near the end, that confused me and I am not quite sure what happened. I read the scene a couple of times, but I couldn't get understand how Augustus and Selene seen two different things happen. I know they were hallucinating, but...was Helios really there? Mmmmmmmmm....

I wish I could say more, but I don't want to really ruin anything more. I am excited for the third book though...I hope it gives a nice conclusion to Selene's life. 

In the end, this was okay. It wasn't as good as the first book. Selene and Juba needed a good kick in the head and all the drama between the two of them was totally unneeded. I am glad it ended the way it did, it made me smile. There were a few dry spots, a cheesy spot, and a spot where I was confused, but the rest of the book was good. I recommend that you read the first book first, because there is a lot of backstory you need to understand what the heck is going on in this one. For those that love Historical Fiction, give this series a go. :) You won't be disappointed. Out of five stars, I stamp this one with 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Chyrssa, Julie, Lady Octavia, and Juba (at some points)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Agrippa, Selene, Augustus (creepy old man), and Augustus' wife (>____>)    

Thursday, October 23

Movie Review: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Length: 1 hr and 55 mins
Released: 1975
Genre: Drama and Mystery
Rating: PG
Directed By: Peter Weir

Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

(Again, I shall type up my own summary) A story about the girls and teacher who went missing in the Australian wilderness during a school outing. One girl comes back, but the rest are yet to be found. 

(P.S - I am going to try really hard to get back on my weekly schedule of posting a Movie of the Week. I may also include TV series)


Rachel Roberts - Mrs. Appleyard
Vivean Gray - Miss McCraw
Helen Morse - Mlle. de Poitiers
Kirsty Child - Miss Lumley
Tony Llewellyn-Jones - Tom
Jackie Weaver - Minnie
Anne Lambert - Miranda

I completely forgot to finish this review up. Oooh, it has been a while since I watched the film, so I shall try and remember all that I wanted to say...

This was a creepy movie. Not only that a whole group of girls and a teacher go missing creepy, but creepy in general too. The cast they picked did a wonderful job, because everyone acts creepy! Everyone acted like they were guilty of something; which everyone is guilty of something. It may not have to do with the missing girls, but everyone has their secrets. All this creepiness was made even more creepy, because this was made in the 1970s and the film-makers used the old tactics of horror films a few points.

It was creepy, but a good creepy. I really must find a different word, but the word fits this movie well. What do I mean a "good creepy"? Well, it made you want to keep watching and see what happens. Even though no real answers come about and if you know about the case there has never been an answer, but you feel like the answer is right there in front of you the whole time! So many theories are out there and the film-makers did a good job touching base with the majority of them. It's a film that makes you think even though it is creepy.

I do remember a side-line story that didn't seem needed in this. It seemed unnecessary and a stretch and it annoyed me. Oh yes...the ending also bugged me. I can't say what happens, but it bugged me for many reasons. 

In the end, this was a creepy movie. The actors they picked did a great job! There were a couple spots that seemed slow and/or unnecessary and the ending bugged me, but I did enjoy this movie. It really makes you think. Boyfriend and I had talked for a few minutes about what we thought happened to the girls. It is SO crazy that they literally vanished and no bodies ever where found. Creepy. Out of five stars, I stamp this movie with....4.

Favorite Character(s): No one really
Not-so Favorite Character(s): The headmistress (what an idiot and arrogant woman)
Re-watch?: Actually, I wouldn't mind a re-watch. 

Tuesday, October 21

Book/Novella Reviews: Away in a Manger & Bunny and Biscuits

Author: Lauren Willig
Title: The Mischief of the Mistletoe - Away in a Manger (Pink Series #7.1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: July 2011
Where I Got It: Lauren Willig's website (freebie)

"A little novella about what happened after the quick Christmas marriage between Turnip and Arabella."

Such a cute little novella about Turnip and Arabella's quick Christmas wedding. Poor Turnip...can't even have a proper wedding night. Darn snow storms! But alas, that is what happens when you get married in the middle of the winter. I know, because I was born December 28th in the middle of winter, so snow tends to ruin many events. Sighs.

I'm glad Lauren Willig gave Turnip and Arabella not only a book, but a novella as well. They were such an odd couple, but they make one of the cutest couples out of all her books. Turnip is well...special and funny. I am certainly glad he got  a HEA. Bless Arabella, because I don't think I would be able to marry him. Be my best friend? Heck yes! hahaha

In the end, this was cute and sweet and made me long for Christmas for half a second. After that half of second, I regret wishing for winter, because I hate winter. I recommend this for those that like the series and like Turnip. I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Turnip and Arabella
Not-so Favorite Character(s): The Snow Monster (okay, there is no such character in this book, but I do hate snow and snow storms)

(OK, there is no cover for this Novella, so I found this picture and it seemed to sum it up nicely)

Author: Lauren Willig
Title: Bunny and Biscuits (Pink Series #6.1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: February 14th, 2012
Where I Got It: Lauren Willig's website (freebie)

"A little Novella set on the night before Valentine's Day. Penelope is about to be married to Freddy and Charlotte is broken-hearted over declining the Duke's proposal of marriage. There is also a spy running about. All this is distracting Henrietta while Miles is trying to set up a romantic night." 

Miles and Hen are the couple that really made me addicted to this series, because I accidentally read their book first - which was suppose to be the second book of the series. I am so glad that Lauren Willig decided to give them a little novella. I did read somewhere that Lauren wants to extend this and make it bigger. I do hope so! It would be amazing. This is a nice little outline of a possibly greater story. 

Poor Miles....all he wants to do is have a nice little romantic night with his love, but she has been so distracted by the chaos of her friend's love-lives that she has been pushing him away. Totally get it, but he had this whole thing set up for days now. Luckily, she realizes she has been taking him for granted lately. 

This is an excellent set-up for the next book of the series, which revolves around Penelope and her adventures in India. I really need to re-read that book. Maybe I'll like her better. Who knows? In the end, this was cute and sweet. I wish that Lauren will extend on this story. It can be sooooooooooo much better. Again, I recommend this for those that like historical romance and the series. In the end, I shall stamp this with 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Miles and Hen
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Penelope and Freddy

Sunday, October 19

Book Review: Pandemia

Author: Jonathan Rand (& Christopher Knight)
Title: Pandemia
Genre: SciFi, Dystopia, and Contemporary
Pages: 370
First Published: May 2006
Where I Got It: Borrowed from the library

"The world was warned.
The last great flu epidemic near the beginning of the previous century killed millions upon millions of people. Now, a new super-flu has infected humans and wreaked havoc in every country of the world in a matter of days."

This isn't typically a genre I read, but this was picked for the October book in my Book Club, so onward I go. 

Honestly, it wasn't too bad for a dystopia. The beginning skipped around a little bit and I didn't like it, but the timeline does smooth out after a few chapters. Which...brings me to my next point...I disliked how short the chapters were. Each chapter was only about 3 pages long. I understand why the authors did this, but it just made the story seem choppy sometimes. 

Besides for all of the that the story was a fun ride. I especially loved the fact that it was set in Michigan and I knew all the places they were talking about. It made the story more personal for me. However, I do question how long it took to get to Otter Lake from Saline. I don't think the authors did their research before writing the book. Otter Lake is only 2 hours away from Saline and is not by Gaylord...unless there is another Otter Lake, but I doubt it. Hmmmm *shrugs* But Boyfriend is from Otter Lake, so it was kind of cool to imagine the town being completely empty. 

Anyways...the characters were interesting. A little predictable, but I'm glad there were only four main characters. It allowed for the reader to get connected with the characters, but not get bored with them. There is a lot of time and "slow" parts where nothing happens, so having a few characters helped, but there wasn't too many characters that it was overwhelming. I am glad they included an epilogue, but I didn't really like what happened. It seemed to HEA and "simple". 

In the end, this wasn't at all bad for a dystopia. I don't usually care for that genre, but I liked this book. It wasn't over-the-top and it seemed like if the bird flu where to conquer the world that would be how it is. I didn't really care for the short chapters and the beginning, but the rest was fun. I'm not sure if there is another Otter Lake up north (I was trying to look it up and found nothing), so I am left to assume they either were mistaken or they made it up or it exists but isn't on the map. *shrugs* Oh well. I am pretending they went to the Otter Lake I know. haha. I would recommend this to people who like dystopia type books or who are looking for something different on their reading shelf. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4 stars. It is more like 3.5 stars, but i rounded. 

Favorite Character(s): Sierra and Eddie
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Kevin (he bugged me)

Saturday, October 18

Book Review: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

Author: Lauren Willig
Title: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation series #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Action, and drama
Pages: 428
First Published: 2004
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Amazon)

"Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon's invasion.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation's identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?"
This is my third time reading this book and I feel like I can read it a million times over again. Why did I decide to read this again? Well, one it had been a couple years and I had to choose something for my turn in the book club I am in. The one book I wanted to read is a hard book to find, so I decided to pick this one. :)
I just simply love Lauren Willig's writing style. She does use 3rd POV, but she uses it splendidly and I feel so connected to the characters. She brings both the late 1990s and the 1800s to life. She also does a good job weaving the two different timelines together. It never seems choppy or out of place. 

I shall be honest....I'm not the biggest fan of Eloise's story, but I am biased because I love Historical Fiction WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more then contemporary/modern. Plus I'm not a big fan of Collin in this book, he gets better by the second book. This one though...ugh...he is a big ol' British snotball. At least Eloise doesn't let him scare her, because dammit she has a paper to do! 

Ugh Amy. Okay....she's not baaaaaaaaaad, but she does get frustrating at times. Her head is too far in the clouds to be a good spy. It's not her fault that she is a dreamer, because she was pulled from the busy city of Paris to sheepville when she was a child, so her mind wondered. Another frustrating thing is that she is thick...very thick. How on Earth did you NOT realize that Richard is the Purple Gentian? Honestly. I get after the first meeting you're not going to realize it, but after the third...maybe fourth? Really? Honestly? Sighs and see? She would make a horrid spy. 

I love Jane and Miss Gwen. :3 I can't wait for Jane's book! Her's is the finale of the series and I'm giddy as all heck for that book - even though I shall weep since it is the last book.

Okay, I could honestly ramble on and on about how much I enjoy this book and this series, so I shall stop now. The first book is really good, but I find the second and third are my favorite. Since I don't have reviews for the majority of the series, I might make it a goal to read them throughout maybe this year and next year.  

In the end, I really like this book. It's a great way to kickoff a fantastic series! I recommend this to anyone who likes Historical Fiction mixed with contemporary and spies. :D Out of five stars, I shall keep this at 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Richard (the first read through I didn't like him much, but with this time and the last I'm starting to really like him), Miss Gwen, Jane, and Geoff
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Amy (she just is frustrating and thick), Colin (but he does get better), George (ugh, snake), and Pauline (>____>)

Tuesday, October 14

Book Review: The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood

Author: Gary Blackwood
Title: The Year of the Hangman
Genre: What-if, YA, and Historical Fiction
Pages: 272
First Published: 2004
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Book Fair at school)

"In 1776, the rebellion of the American colonies against British rule was crushed.  Now, in 1777-the year of the hangman-George Washington is awaiting execution, Benjamin Franklin's banned rebel newspaper, Liberty Tree, has gone underground, and young ne'er-do-well Creighton Brown, a fifteen-year-old Brit, has just arrived in the colonies.  Having been shipped off against his will, with nothing but a distance for English authorities, Creighton befriends Franklin, and lands a job with his print shop.  But the English general expects the spoiled yet loyal Creighton to spy on Franklin.  As battles unfold and falsehoods are exposed, Creighton must decide where his loyalties lie...a choice that could determine the fate of a nation."

I bought this book years ago, but I could not get through it. There were many reasons why, but I never got rid of it. Why? Because I wanted another go at it. I love giving books second chances. If I didn't have this protocol I would have never read the LOTR books and been addicted as I am now. 

Well, I am glad I went back and tried this again.

Anyways, one reason I had not liked the book was because I didn't care about Creighton...I wanted the POV to be someone who actually mattered during the war. Creighton is a fictional character and that made me mad. I still wish that the POV was someone who mattered in the war, but I accepted that in this what-if world this character did make a difference in what happens. He is stuck in the middle and his loyalties will determine the future. I did not like Creighton, but he did prove himself later on.

Things happened quickly and it annoyed me, but it oddly worked sometimes. I hated how quickly the Americans trusted Creighton. He was a horrible liar. Maybe Franklin knew and was trying manipulate Creighton on switching sides. I don't know, but I can totally see Franklin doing something like that. 

Anyways. This was a pretty good what-if story. The ending was sudden and left me in the dark. I wish that the author gave more of what happens to the characters and to the fate of the cause. I would recommend this to those that like YA and like a decent what-if story about the American Revolution.  The story was interesting and the character were interesting. I'm glad that in this world Benedict Arnold got some spotlight. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 2 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Peter and Franklin
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Creighton

Wednesday, October 8

Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie

Author: Mitch Albom
Title: Tuesdays with Morrie
Genre: Non-fiction, classics, inspirational
Pages: 194
First Published: 1997
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Bought at Salvation Army)

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly 20 years ago. Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying of ALS - or motor neurone disease - Morrie visited Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final class: lessons in how to live. This is a chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world."

Read this many years ago in High School. Well, technically our English teacher read this to us. But I randomly found this at the Salvation Army a month or so ago and I decided to re-read this. I like Mitch Albom and all his works. Not only does he write books, but he is also is a sports reporter. He writes articles and pops up on my favorite sports show "Mike and Mike in the Morning". 

I liked this. Its sad, but gives a positive look at life and even death. Poor Morrie. ALS is a horrible way to go, but Morrie stills remains positive and wants to spread his wisdom to the world and especially one of his favorite students Mitch. 

The wisdom and stories shared are wonderful and I liked them. However, it was very sporadic and in odd order sometimes. Sometimes the bits that were put out of order took away from the story and the wisdom shared. I did like how each meeting they discussed an item or two off Mitch's list:


The money and marriage discussions were my favorite. They are rarely discussed in other "dying" books. Marriage and love are important to living a good life. Money shouldn't rule your life, because if you live just for money then you suffer and are not complete. Such good discussions given. 

In the end, I did like this book. I just wish the order and narration was a little different. It took a way from the story. I do honestly believe everyone should read this. There is a lot discussed and it makes you think about how you live your own life. I recommend that everyone gives this a read. It may not be Book of the Year, but it worth a read. Out of five stars, I grant this 3 stars. 

Sunday, October 5

Book Review: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Author: Kate Forsyth
Title: Bitter Greens 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fairy-tale, Fantasy, YA, and Romance
Pages: 496
First Published: 2012
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Given to me by an author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

"French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens...

After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman"

Ooooooh, this was so much better then I thought it was going to be! I was a little worried, because this was a mixture of Historical Fiction and fairy-tale. The way the author blended the two was fantastic. The story revolves around Charlotte-Rose who is a writer and noble, but she has been banished to a convent for some offense she gave to the Sun King. Through her struggles another girl tells her the story of Rapunzel. This inspires Charlotte-Rose to continue writing. The story also focuses on the story of Margherita (aka Rapunzel) and even the witch gets to tell her tale.

I didn't really care much for Charlotte-Rose's back-story, I felt like it took away from the story a bit. However, I really did like Charlotte-Rose and I felt bad that she was forced to go to the convent. knows never to piss of the King. Especially the Sun King for he had an ego problem and a sex problem. Such a man-whore and a spoiled-brat. ANYWAYS, I really want to read Charlotte-Rose's work now! I had never heard of her. Is she real? *goes and researches* Haha! She is. Okay, I admit I did not know where the original story of Rapunzel came from. I knew the Brother's Grimm made a rendition of it and so did Disney. 

There is so much to talk about this book, but not enough time. I really, really liked it. It was a lot of fun and I was highly addicted! It was hard to put it down. I truly loved Kate Forsyth's voice. She brings such life to the characters and she sucks you into the time period. Even though half of this is "fairy-tale", it did not feel like a fairy-tale at all. I am really looking forward to reading more by this author. :) 

This review is a little short, but I don't know what else to say without giving away too much. I really liked this book! I simply flew through it! I loved Rapunzel's POV and story the best. I did like Charlotte-Rose and I really want to read some of her works someday! I'm surprised, but glad the author included the witch's story. It made her much more "likable"...wrong word....understandable is more the word. A beautiful book and a beautiful story. I was sitting on the edge of my seat...I had to know what was going to happen next! 

In the end, I highly recommend this those that like historical fiction and fairy-tales. The blend was done wonderfully. I did skim a little through Charlotte-Rose's backstory at some points; not because they were boring, but because I wanted to know what happened to her and Rapunzel. The story was wonderful and I love the writing style of the author! I can't wait to see what else she has to offer! Out of five stars I stamp this with 5. :)

Favorite Character(s):  Margherita (aka Rapunzel), the witch (she was rather interesting), Charlotte-Rose, and Lucio
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Michel (I wanted to punch him! What an ass!)