Showing posts from November, 2012

Palace of Mirrors

Palace of Mirrors Margaret Peterson Haddix Simon & Schuster
After reading the author’s prequel to this, Just Ella, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this one. However, I was glad I did, because despite its flaws, it was a MUCH more enjoyable read. First off, the plot was really original, and I liked it. Cecilia lives as a simple peasant girl, but she’s always know that that she’s really the princess: to escape the enemies who murdered her parents, a decoy, Desmia, sits on the throne in wait for Cecilia to take it back. But when she feels she’s been discovered, Cecilia and her best friend Harper embark on a journey to the capital city so she can take her rightful place as princess. However, it seems Desmia has a different version of the story…and isn’t eager to leave what she believes is her rightful place.

The plot really threw me for a loop, because one twist was really unexpected! Even so, once everything started to "click" in my mind, I understood what was going on be…

Every Perfect Gift

Every Perfect Gift Dorothy Love Thomas Nelson
Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart. Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl. Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country. When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She's equally intrigued with him but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and vio…

Just Ella

Just Ella Margaret Peterson Haddix Simon & Schuster
So what first attracted me to this book was the fact that it was a retelling of Cinderella that didn’t have magic in it. Good sign, right? Well….yes and no. There were things I liked about this book, but there were more things about it that I disliked.

What I liked: Definitely the no magic. I also liked the fact that it did question the whole love-at-first-sight deal with Ella and the prince- Ella realizes she never loved him, she was just attracted to him. I also liked the "real" hero of the story. He was SO much better than Prince Charming!

What I didn’t like? Well, first off, Ella isn’t the sweet, close-to-perfect heroine of Disney recollections. She’s spunky, and certainly doesn’t treat her stepmother with any respect. Now, I can’t really blame her for that (who can?) but it really made me feel a little sad- not because she was "spunky"- but because she didn’t have the self-sacrificing, turn-the-other-chee…

All Things New

All Things New Lynn Austin Bethany House
I always get really excited about Lynn Austin books, so when I got this book for review, I happily skipped to my Christmas list, crossed All Things New off, and thankfully landed on my bed with a thud! and began to read.

All Things New is set during the tumultuous times of the Reconstruction. It focuses on three women: Proper plantation owner’s wife Eugenia, who’s lost everything in the War; her daughter, Josephine, and their freed slave, Lizzie.

This book was not, strictly speaking, a "happy" book. It was set in a time in the aftermath of destruction and strife, and yet there is still a glimmer of hope that not only keeps the characters going, but keeps the reader turning pages, too.

Out of the three women, I probably enjoyed Josephine’s story the most, but the other two women’s stories were interesting as well. I admit that sometimes this book was hard to read, because of the bitterness so many of the characters had and the struggles…

At Every Turn

At Every Turn Anne Mateer Bethany House
Because I really enjoyed Anne Mateer’s last book, Wings of a Dream, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one.

At Every Turn begins with spunky Alyce Bensen impetuously pledging $3,000 to help with mission work in Africa. She’s certain her wealthy father will agree to give her the money- after all, even if he isn’t a Christian like herself, he never minded giving to her mother’s various charities. But when he astounds her with his firm "no" she decides there’s got be some way for her to earn enough money for the mission. When an outrageous idea comes to her –participating in an auto race- to earn money, she jumps at it with the help of her father’s mechanic, Webster. But as her lies and deception pile on top of each other, she becomes unsure of who to trust or what to do!

Some of this book did seem a teeny bit farfetched, and a few things wrapped into tidy bows a leetle too well, but that didn’t make At Every Turn any less fun to re…