Another book I received in a subscription box is “The Disappearances” by Emily Bain Murphy. I always do my best to try to use the clues the companies give to guess the books that will be included, but I was absolutely surprised by this choice! I was very delighted with the surprise, and I was so excited when I found out it was set in the 1940’s! I have been reading too much contemporary fiction recently and got really burnt out, and this was just the change I needed.
First, a synopsis from Amazon…
Every seven years something disappears in the remote town of Sterling: people’s reflections, the stars in the sky, the ability to dream. Aila realises that her mother may be to blame for the curse. But some mysteries are buried very deep and some secrets want to stay hidden – and one young woman’s desire to uncover the truth may not be enough to save Sterling from the past.
A beautifully told story of love, loss and finding the truth – no matter how difficult that may be.
So, the official synopsis doesn’t provide much information, so I’ll clue you in to the set-up for the series:
The year is 1942, and Aila’s mother has just died. She and her younger brother Miles are being sent to live with her mother’s best friend in a small town so their father can go fight in the war. Before she leaves, she comes across a volume of Shakespeare that her mother had scribbled over, as well as a letter to a mysterious individual accompanied by a ring. When Aila and Miles arrive in Sterling, they realize that the town is very odd: people don’t have reflections, some things don’t get wet when it rains, they can’t see the stars, they cease to dream, and all the color seems to leave their paints and crayons when they try to use them. The whole town believes that these Disappearances are linked to Aila’s mother, and she and her brother are ostracized. Continue reading
So, I finally visited my local library and picked up a book — The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black! I was so stoked they had it. When I first read the synopsis, it sounded super intriguing — how can you not love a story with a boy in a glass coffin, knights, princes, faeries, and curses?
I have to say, though, that this book was NOT what I thought it was!!!
First, a synopsis from Amazon:
Near the little town of Fairfold, in the darkest part of the forest, lies a glass casket. Inside the casket lies a sleeping faerie prince that none can rouse. He’s the most fascinating thing Hazel and her brother Ben have ever seen. They dream of waking him – but what happens when dreams come true? In the darkest part of the forest, you must be careful what you wish for…
Pretty straightforward, yeah?
I think because of the whole faerie prince and glass casket thing, it immediately put me in mind of some medieval-type setting. You know the ones — women wearing laced bodices, drawing water from a well — that type of story.
It’s not. Continue reading
Oh my gosh I loved this book. I loved the drama, I loved the mythology, I loved the struggle of belief. I loved the intrigue, I loved the romance, and I loved the setting. I loved the internal dialogue, though sometimes I wanted to shake Twylla. I loved everything about this book, and I can’t wait to read the sequel.
First, I should let you read a synopsis from Amazon:
Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court. She’s the executioner. As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company. But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen. However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favour of a doomed love? Continue reading
Oh my gosh, I am a bad blogger. Well, it’s not my fault. I’ve had so much to do over the past week! I had an interview I needed to prepare for (I got the job!!!), I presented at my first conference (and did really well!), and my mother-in-law’s birthday is coming up. I’ve had to spend the week combing chocolate cake recipes to find one that I could easily substitute different ingredients for because she’s vegan. It’s just all the little things that you get caught up in! However, I have managed to finish about four books in the past week — so that’s a plus! I just need to write reviews for all of them.
So, on to my choice for this week’s Waiting on Wednesday!
It’s The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins!
First, a synopsis from Amazon:
Wendy Higgins, the author of the New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series, reimagines a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with The Great Hunt, a dramatic, romance-filled fantasy with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.
When a monstrous beast attacks in Eurona, desperate measures must be taken. The king sends a proclamation to the best and bravest hunters: whoever kills the creature will win the hand of his daughter Princess Aerity as a reward. The princess recognizes her duty but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger—she was meant to marry for love—until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. And while there’s no denying the fiery chemistry between them, Princess Aerity feels that Paxton’s mysteriousness is foreboding, maybe even dangerous.
Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He is determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the secrets he’s buried begin to surface against his wishes.
Today I will be reviewing The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a book that I have always lusted after reading but didn’t have the opportunity to until my mother-in-law was cleaning out a cabinet and saw it and said “Oh, I think you’d like this!” I was so excited that I finally had the chance to read it! I vaguely knew that it was about two rival magicians, and there was a circus, but not much else.
Before you dive in, I must let you know: the narrative is non-linear and concerns several different characters. For two chapters you may read about Marco, another chapter will throw you fifteen years ahead and will concern Bailey, then you will travel back and read about Celia for another three, then a clockmaker for another one, so you must pay attention to the chapter headings! Don’t be like me and have to skip back a few chapters just to reorient yourself. Though, don’t let this deter you! All of the characters are easily recognizable.
So, this book. This book is beautifully crafted! It is like a giant chess game. Each chapter is a piece moving, and you begin to see how the previous moves effect the final outcome. Though this book concerns Celia and Marco and the magic competition they are in, the real main character is the circus itself. Continue reading