Author: Gita Trelease
Published: February 5, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…
When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.
But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…
First off, let’s all take a moment to admire this cover! It makes my skin tingle!!! Definitely in my Top 5 fave covers of the year! I predict it goes pretty far in Series two at the end of the year for our Most Gorgeous Cover competition! Unfortunately, the cover is far better than the story. It has its good elements, but overall, I wasn’t impressed with the story. I’ve said before that I like more condensed scope that feels more intimate and manageable. However, if the situation calls for it, a wider scope works and works well. This book felt like it should have been far wider in scope than it was. For Camille, it never seemed to get farther than getting money so they can survive. I get it, that’s obviously a good goal, but in the middle of the French Revolution? I expected more to happen. She talked a good game about wanting equality and down with the nobles and all that, but she never DID anything. When you look at the story as a whole, it’s literally a tiff between teen nobles . . . And that’s pretty much it.
Yes, there was magic, but you never learn anything about it. The characters, while mostly likable, felt very static. I found myself pulling for the bad guy and looking for a twist that never happened. Most of the facets of the story felt like they didn’t fit in with each other. The balloon didn’t really fit with the revolution, the magic didn’t really fit with Versailles, the villain’s motivation seemed so shallow and flat compared to the times. I’m glad I read it, and I liked hearing about the fashion and life at Versailles, but I don’t think I’ll ever read it again. I also wouldn’t really recommend it to too many people. Maybe readers with a deeper imagination than I have would like it better.
Authors: James Patterson and Brendan DuBois
Published: December 13, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 3-13, 2019
Novel: 4 stars
Audiobook: 2.5 stars
Average: 3 stars
“Sir, the First Lady … has gone rogue.”
President Tucker is caught up in a media firestorm. The scandal of his affair has sent shockwaves through his re-election campaign, and threatens to derail everything he has worked for. To win the vote, he needs the First Lady to stand by his side.
But Grace Tucker has a mind of her own.
After years of compromise, unfulfilled promises, deception and betrayal, Grace refuses to give in to her husband’s demands. Escaping the city and her Secret Service agents, she is officially off the radar.
But did the First Lady run away? Or is she in far greater danger than anyone could have imagined?
The First Lady is collaboration between James Patterson and Brendan DuBois and it was well done! Patterson’s collaborations can be hit or miss and other than multiple narrator pronunciation errors in the audiobook, this one was a hit for me.
Just weeks before the election, the president is caught in an affair, which could ruin his re-election. And to make things worse: the first lady goes missing and keeping that quiet is easier said than done.
We also meet Special Agent Sally Grissom who heads up the Presidential Protective Detail. She is determined to find the first lady. We also see into Grissom’s life with is far from perfect.
I never lost interest in the story and I had no idea what was going to happen. There is a twist ending that I enjoyed. If you like political thrillers, then you should read this one, but stay away from the audiobook version.
The audiobook is where the biggest negative is: Yes, I did like the narrator’s voice and narration but she continuously mispronounced multiple words every time the word was said. I wish I had kept track of all the errors. I remember at least four words being mispronounced. The Potomac River was butchered, and the name of Button Gwinnett was ruined. I am originally from Gwinnett County so that mispronunciation bothered me. I don’t know how these errors were not caught in the editing of the audiobook. Maybe no one cared? Due to the extremity of errors I had to give the audiobook 2.5 stars.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel, but stay away from the audiobook![Top]
Author: Sarah Porter
Published: March 19, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
Seductive. Cruel. Bored.
Be wary of…
Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries ― until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.
First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price ― and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.
This cover thrills my soul so so much! I saw it at Barnes and Noble and it just flew into my hands, and I swear, I tried to put it back . . . But it just wouldn’t go back on the shelf! I haven’t been so excited to read a book based on the cover this much in a long, long time! Unfortunately, this is one of those times where “don’t judge a book by its cover” turns out to be true. I wanted so badly to love it, I just didn’t.
I felt so detached from the characters. They all had little things about them that I didn’t like. Believe it or not, Ksenia and Josh’s differences didn’t bother me. Fine, be who you are, I don’t care. I had a doll that worked perfectly for the Instagram pic, based on Ksenia’s androgynous look, so I’m good. What I didn’t like was that Ksenia would learn a lesson, she’d move forward and make progress, but then she’d slide right back and acted as if the lesson never happened and it got frustrating! Josh was just a spoiled idiot. Typical entitled, selfish, stupid teen who thinks he knows better than everyone else and refuses to admit that he’s wrong.
I preferred the evil fairies over Josh! Lexi, I didn’t mind except for all the little forced and political things the author kept trying to push. She did that subtle virtue signaling thing that wouldn’t have been bad if she hadn’t done it all the time! The story itself had some good elements, but what ruined it for me was that it was so anticlimactic! Just when progress was made and the anticipation had been built up, successfully I’ll admit, it just always fell flat! The ending was disappointing and unsatisfying.
One thing that I did enjoy was how well Porter built up the setting and atmosphere! All the elements of nowhere as opposed to real life where fascinating and I enjoyed her world building. Her physical characterization of the fairies and the changelings were vivid and imaginative. Overall, I was just disappointed. I wanted so badly to love this book, but I just liked elements. But, on a positive note, Never-Contented Things is at the top of the list for Most Gorgeous Cover this year!!!