Tag: Historical Fiction

First Line Friday #43

This week’s First Line Friday is one I have owned for years, but have never read. This is like many I own… There are just too many books and never enough time! Anyone want to work for me so I can blog full-time? I’d love you forever…

I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.

A dazzling triumph from the bestselling author of The Virgin Suicides–the astonishing tale of a gene that passes down through three generations of a Greek-American family and flowers in the body of a teenage girl.

In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls’ school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them–along with Callie’s failure to develop–leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

The explanation for this shocking state of affairs takes us out of suburbia- back before the Detroit race riots of 1967, before the rise of the Motor City and Prohibition, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie’s grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set in motion the metamorphosis that will turn Callie into a being both mythical and perfectly real: a hermaphrodite.

Spanning eight decades–and one unusually awkward adolescence- Jeffrey Eugenides’s long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It marks the fulfillment of a huge talent, named one of America’s best young novelists by both Granta and The New Yorker.

Middlesex is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

Hunting Prince Dracula


Hunting Prince Dracula
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
418 Pages
Published: September 19, 2017

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

Description from Amazon:

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend. But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Kim’s Review:

I have been waiting for this book to be released for months! And I have to wait another year for the 3rd book . . . grrrrrrrrrr!!! Booknerd problems!!!

Ok! I love the characters in this series!! Audrey Rose is one of those badass chicks that fought the true feminism fight in a time when women were supposed to keep their mouths shut and their brains turned off. She’s smart, she’s beautiful, and she embraces her differences. I fell in love with her in Stalking Jack the Ripper and I was slightly disappointed with her emotional state in Hunting Prince Dracula, but considering the ending of the first book, I can also understand her fragility. But she pulls herself together and she solves the mystery . . . which caught me by surprise, let me tell you!

Then there’s Thomas Cresswell, deduction expert and dreamy scientist. I absolutely love the cute sexual tension and witty banter between the two. There really isn’t anything inappropriate other than typical teenage fantasies, so I would definitely count this safe for teens. Seeing those little things about Thomas that distract Audrey Rose was like watching my husband walk through a room! I loved it! All the flirting between Audrey Rose and Thomas was what I enjoyed most about this book. Not to say that the mystery wasn’t interesting, it was just a little slower than I had anticipated. I couldn’t put Stalking Jack the Ripper down, but Hunting Prince Dracula took me a little longer to get through. But, by the time I finished, the story had all come together, the details fell into place and I was happy.

This is an awesome book, part of an awesome series and I seriously can’t wait for the next book! I would recommend this book to anyone looking for historical fiction, a fun mystery, or a strong heroine. I think teens, even as young as middle school, would enjoy this book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Arsonist


Author: Stephanie Oakes
400 Pages
Published: August 22, 2017

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

Description from Amazon:
Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen. Pepper Al-Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school. And Ava Dreyman—the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall—is unlike anyone you’ve met before. When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life—and death—than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers. At turns heart-racing, hilarious, and heartbreaking, The Arsonistis an intricate tapestry—of love, loss, and the mysterious connections between us all.

Kim’s Review:
Wow! This book was amazing. A stimulating, historical mystery that kept me questioning right until the very end! Each of the three main characters are likeable, relatable, and intriguing. Molly, the weirdo, who wears her oddities like protective armor, could have strayed into annoying, but never did. I could relate to her “outcast” status at her school, yet she was abnormal in the fact that her father is on death row. Pepper, who is an immigrant from Kuwait, is all heart and funny sarcasm. I will say that his lack luster academic performance got to me a little, but considering his circumstances, it is understandable. The essays that he writes to get the credits needed for high school graduation are detailed and funny and really show off his personality . . . but suck academically! ? And Ava, the center of all the secrecy, is an inspiring, smart, survivalist. Seriously, by the time I got to the end of the book, my mouth was hanging open and my heart pounding! I have nothing negative to say. I loved this book! I recommend The Arsonist to anyone looking for a unique, historical conundrum. There was some language and teenage sexual jokes, so I would recommend it to slightly more mature teens.

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