The Lady’s Maid by Dilly Court

Title: The Lady’s Maid Book Cover of The Lady's Maid by Dilly Court
Author: Dilly Court
Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult)
Publisher: Arrow
Publication Date: October 15, 2012
Hardcover: 480 pages

Where’d Lindsay Get It: Netgalley

Synopsis (From Goodreads): In the quiet of a warm summer’s evening, two young mothers are forced to give up their babies. Whilst Kate grows up knowing only poverty and servitude, Josie’s world is one of privilege and luxury.

Despite the differences in their circumstances, Kate and Josie have been friends since childhood. But their past binds them together in ways they must never know.

Until a chance meeting forces Kate and Josie to confront the truth of that night nearly twenty years before – a truth that turns both worlds upside down and threatens to destroy their friendship forever…

Lindsay’s Thoughts: So here’s the deal, Downton Abbey is over for the season and I’m having severe withdrawals. LOVE it! So when I was given the suggestion to check out Dilly Court’s books I jumped on the chance.

First off, Josie is a brat! Like she should have spent half the book at the whipping post, not terrorizing all of those around her. I cannot for the life of me figure out WHY Kate forgave her so many times, I guess that’s life. I just never could like her character throughout the whole book until maybe the last five pages and even then she was still acting sort of bratty. Oh well, she was necessary.

Kate was a lovable character who seemed to really care for people and spew happiness and positivity wherever she went. Even if her heart was in utter turmoil she was always eager to make sure everyone was taken care of and comfortable before herself. I found myself occasionally wanting to take her aside and tell her to forget all these ungrateful people around her.

Overall, the book takes you on a journey looking at both sides of the coin in a world where servants basically did everything for the rich and the rich kept them close to their sides. And what happens when that coin gets flipped. While my Downton Abbey withdrawals did not completely subside, this did help tide me over until next season.

Rating: 4 of 5

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

TitleDivergentBook Cover of Divergent by Veronica Roth
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 25, 2011
Hardcover: 487 pages

Where’d I Get It: Purchased from Barnes & Noble

Synopsis (From Goodreads): In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

My Thoughts: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, Erudite – fun words, yeah? They’re the five factions that Beatrice Prior and all the other younglings her age get to choose from – they’re the groups of people who will either remain family, become family, or become, basically, enemies. This book… I just don’t know. First of all, the kid’s name makes it seem like the author is trying ever so terribly hard to make sure she’s not just another Jennifer or Kate. Super duper, whatever, but it’s grating. That, obviously, is personal preference and doesn’t really tell you whether or not the book was good. Was it? Well, sure. It was “good” but it wasn’t “great”. The story was fast paced, perhaps, or at the very least it kept moving smoothly forward, which is always nice.  Aside from that, though, this debut novel really didn’t tick many boxes for me. I feel like the plot was lacking in enough detail that I almost felt insulted by the oversimplification of things. An entire community of selfless people? Meh. An entire community of people focused solely enough on education and brilliance that it’s their ONLY outward personality trait? Hrm. Nothing really fits. Nothing makes sense, and because of that it doesn’t seem all that well thought out.

Aside from that, however, and since I’m writing this review after having read Insurgent and Allegiant, the story DOES get better as it goes along. So, read the book. Definitely check it out from the library first, though, then decide on whether or not it’s a must have in your personal library.

Rating: 3 of 5

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Top Ten Tuesday #1

 

Whoooooa! Hey, lovelies! It’s been ages, I know. Ages upon ages and days upon days, months upon months… years upon years. Goodness. Lots of things happened; I’ll do a blog post to update, but for now, to get me started… I’m going to do one of the Memes that I looooved to do “back in the day”. Woot! Look for a review, soon. Maybe tomorrow?

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s topic is:

Top Ten Books on my 2014 Spring TBR list

Well, I’ve been out of the game for a while, and I haven’t been reading a whole lot, so I have some oldies on here, and some new stuff, and just…well, here’s my list.

  1. Tandem by Anna Jarzab
  2. The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi
  3. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
  4. Watermelon b yMarian Keyes
  5. The Ward by Jordana Frantel
  6. Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vince
  7. The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
  8. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
  9. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
  10. The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Yep. I know, it’s a weird assortment. There’s SO many more on that list, too, but it’s Top TEN Tuesday, not Top One Hundred Tuesday, so there we go.  Thanks for stopping by, guys, and I promise… reviews are BACK.

Lovelove,
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A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn

A Fistful of Collars by Spencer QuinnTitle: A Fistful of Collars
Author: Spencer Quinn
Genre: Adult, Mystery
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Hardcover: 322 pages

Where’d I Get It: NetGalley.com

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Everyone’s favorite detective team returns in a new adventure as canine narrator Chet and his human partner P.I. Bernie Little find that Hollywood has gone to the dogs. Hoping to bring some Tinseltown money to the Valley, the mayor lures a movie studio to town to shoot their next production, a big-budget Western in the classic tradition. The star is none other than ruggedly handsome—and notoriously badly behaved—Thad Perry. When the mayor decides that someone needs to keep an eye on Thad so that he doesn’t get into too much trouble, Bernie and Chet are handpicked for the job. The money is good but something smells fishy, and what should have been a simple matter of babysitting soon gets more complicated—especially when they discover that Thad has a mysterious connection to the Valley that nobody wants to talk about. What kind of secret could Thad have left behind when he went to Hollywood to seek fame and fortune? The only people who might know the answer have a bad habit of turning up dead before they can talk.

As Bernie’s relationship with his longtime girlfriend Suzie goes long-distance, and Chet’s late-night assignations appear to have resulted in an unexpected dividend, it’s all our two sleuths can do to keep Thad and his motley entourage of yes-men, handlers, and hangers-on in their sights. Worst of all, Thad is a self-proclaimed cat person, and his feline friend Brando has taken an instant dislike to Chet.

Like the winning books before it, this fifth book in the series combines a top-notch mystery with genuine humor and a perceptive take on the relationship between human and dog that will stay with you long after the case is solved.

Lindsay’s ThoughtsThis is the fifth book of the series, and my first time delving into the world of Bernie and Chet, and I was pleasantly surprised.  I’m a huge dog lover, just ask my three spoiled pooches, so I LOVED that the book was told from the viewpoint of Chet, the side kick to the Little Detective Agency.  I hope my dogs love me as much as Chet loves Bernie!

It was easy to delve into this book despite it being in the middle of a series, I feel like there was very little that was I missing from previous books.  The series just seems to be kind of like an episode of a television show, where you can pick up where you left off or start in the middle and not really miss anything, kind of like daytime television. Ha!

The story wasn’t exactly new or super exciting but the writing from Chet’s eyes definitely gave it a unique twist that kept me turning the page, wondering what Chet was going to do next!

Rating: 4 of 5

Top Ten Tuesday #15

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created & hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books…

On my Fall To Be Read List

Let’s see…

  1. Witch World by Christopher Pike - It’s new and it’s Christopher Pike. You all know I’m waiting on this one!
  2. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor – Yep, gotta have it.
  3. The Twelve by Justin Cronin – Bree, I hate you for having already read this!  I mean, I still love you, but there’s that seething violent jealously oozing from my pores… (Yeah, I want this.)
  4. Hidden by Sophie Joran – Blah blah. Not in love with the series, but…hey. Gotta finish it.
  5. Feedback by Robison Wells – Need to know what happens next!
  6. Promised by Caragh O’Brien – Ditto – can’t walk away til I know what happens.
  7. Flock by Wendy Delsol – I didn’t love the 1st book. I liked the 2nd book even less. But it’s like a train wreck, you know, I just can’t look away…
  8. Reached by Ally Condie – Yet another third in a series that I just have to read because I can’t NOT read the end of the series.
  9. The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks – This one I’m actually waiting on for my husband. It’s preordered.
  10. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling – Um, duh.
Leave me a comment with a link to your Top Ten list…I’ll pop by and have a look!  :)
Lovelove,

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop ImageWelcome to our stop of the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop!

We’re giving away $15 at BookDepository.com (for international folk) or Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com (for US folk).  You know the drill, fill out the Rafflecopter form and good luck to you!

To clarify: A book with a value up to $15 from BookDepository OR a gift card from Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com OR a book with a value up to $15 from one of those two.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Frozen by Mary Casanova

Frozen by Mary CasanovaTitle: Frozen
Author: Mary Casanova
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publication Date: September 1, 2012
Hardcover: 264 pages

Where’d Lindsay Get It: NetGalley.com

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn’t said a word in eleven years—ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.

Set during the roaring 1920s in the beautiful, wild area on Rainy Lake where Minnesota meets Canada, Frozen tells the remarkable story of Sadie Rose, whose mother died under strange circumstances the same night that Sadie Rose was found, unable to speak, in a snowbank. Sadie Rose doesn’t know her last name and has only fleeting memories of her mother—and the conflicting knowledge that her mother had worked in a brothel. Taken in as a foster child by a corrupt senator, Sadie Rose spends every summer along the shores of Rainy Lake, where her silence is both a prison and a sanctuary.

One day, Sadie Rose stumbles on a half dozen faded, scandalous photographs—pictures, she realizes, of her mother. They release a flood of puzzling memories, and these wisps of the past send her at last into the heart of her own life’s great mystery: who was her mother, and how did she die? Why did her mother work in a brothel—did she have a choice? What really happened that night when a five-year-old girl was found shivering in a snowbank, her voice and identity abruptly shattered?

Sadie Rose’s search for her personal truth is laid against a swirling historical drama—a time of prohibition and women winning the right to vote, political corruption, and a fevered fight over the area’s wilderness between a charismatic, unyielding, powerful industrialist and a quiet man battling to save the wide, wild forests and waters of northernmost Minnesota. Frozen is a suspenseful, moving testimonial to the haves and the have-nots, to the power of family and memory, and to the extraordinary strength of a young woman who has lost her voice in nearly every way—but is utterly determined to find it again.

Lindsay’s ThoughtsI’m not really sure what drew me to this book as I’m not much on historical books, but I just had to read it and I’m not disappointed that I did.  It was fairly interesting and kept my attention.  The description says that the book is suspenseful, not sure I would agree with that, or at least it’s not OH MY GOSH, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW?!?!? suspenseful at any rate.

I liked Sadie Rose although she is extremely naive in this book and her “adventure” could have been a bit more adventurous.  Some things that happened seemed to be no big deal when I think had I been in the situation, they would have been huge deals.

The writing was good, the scenery sounds stunning, and I now want to go visit Minnesota, or at least Canada.

Rating: 3 of 5

Plan B by Charnan Simon

Plan B by Charnan SimonTitle: Plan B
Author: Charnan Simon
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Darby Creek/Lerner Publishing Group, Inc
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
eBook: 108 pages

Where’d Lindsay Get It: From the publisher for Review

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Is this happily ever after? Lucy has her life planned out: she’ll graduate and then join her boyfriend, Luke, at college in Austin. She’ll become a Spanish teacher and of course they’ll get married. So there’s no reason to wait, right? They try to be careful. But then Lucy gets pregnant. Now, none of Lucy’s options are part of her picture-perfect plan. Together, she and Luke will have to make the most difficult decision of their lives.

Lindsay’s ThoughtsThis was a super short book, more of an outline to what could have been a decent read if the author had put some kind of spin at all on the whole “I’m a teen and I got pregnant routine.”  There was just no meat to this story at all, and the ending was a terrible excuse for a cliffhanger.

If you have a boring half hour, pick it up at the library.

Rating: 2 of 5