The Golden Prince by Rebecca Dean

Title: The Golden Prince

Author: Rebeca Dean

Publisher: Broadway Books 2010

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Rating: 2/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Mount TBR; Read Your Shelf

It’s 1912, and seventeen-year-old Prince Edward, England’s Golden Prince of Wales, is feeling the burden of his position. As heir to the greatest throne in the world, he hates the constrictions and superficial demands of his royal life. His father, King George, is a harsh disciplinarian, and his mother, Queen Mary, is reserved and cold. Other than his siblings, he has no friends and despairs at his isolation and loneliness.

However, when unexpected circumstances bring him to Snowberry Manor, home of the four Houghton sisters, his life suddenly seems more interesting. As he secretly spends more time with Lily, the youngest of the girls, he finds himself falling hopelessly in love.

Ugh. So my overwhelming emotion while reading this book was boredom. I was completely bored. I didn’t care about any of the characters or the storyline. The constant switching between narrators annoyed me. David annoyed me. All the Houghton sisters annoyed me. I was just annoyed and bored throughout the entire book.

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

Title: The Wordy Shipmates

Author: Sarah Vowell

Publisher: Riverhead Books 2009

Genre: History

Pages: 272

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Perpetual (Nonfiction Adventure); Mount TBR

To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Sarah Vowell investigates what that means-and what it should mean. What she discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoebuckles- and-corn reputation might suggest-a highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty people, whose story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom dramas, and bloody vengeance.

Finally finished this book in the early morning hours. I always love a good history book where I learn something. Thankfully Vowell dives deep into the Puritans to get a good look at the people, their lives, and their beliefs. I enjoyed reading the back and forth between John Winthrop and all of his adversaries. I knew some about Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, but this book expanded my knowledge. My only issue with the book is Vowell’s deviations into current times. Those passages felt a little too long for how short this book is overall. I wanted more time in Puritan New England and less time in the 20th century…

Hamilton The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Title: Hamilton The Revolution

Author: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Publisher: Grand Central 2016

Genre: Nonfiction – Theater

Pages: 288

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsguar –  Bestseller from 2016; I Love Libraries

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–traces its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.

Finally got this from the library! And it was so worth the wait! For three days, I was completely engrossed in this book. Reading and rereading the libretto and essays. I loved catching the little nuances in the lines of the songs. Things I never noticed just listening to the cast recording. And it was great to hear the story of how the show came together over many years and many different iterations. My favorite essay was the one discussing the staging and progression of the four songs in Act II dealing with Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds. Fascinating! My stagecraft background definitely came into play while reading that essay. Such a great book for fans of the show.

 

Pretty Deadly Vol. 2

Title: Pretty Deadly Volume 2

Author: Kelly DeConnick, Emma Rios

Publisher: Image 2016

Genre: Graphic Novel

Pages: 152

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

Sarah Fields is dying and her children strike a bargain with the Immortals: give them one month, until the moon is full again, to find her son. The boy is far away, in the trenches of France, stalked by the Reapers of Vengeance and Cruelty. Collects PRETTY DEADLY #6-10

I think I liked the second volume more than the first. I think the storyline was better with the appearance of Fear and War and Grace. I loved how they bookended the volume with Sarah’s death. It was a nice connector. Still really liking the storyline and not loving the art…

Pretty Deadly Vol. 1

Title: Pretty Deadly Volume 1

Author: Kelly DeConnick, Emma Rios

Publisher: Image 2014

Genre: Graphic Novel

Pages: 120

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and EMMA RÍOS (Dr. Strange, Osborn) present the collected opening arc of their surprise-hit series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her origin story is a tale of retribution as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage.

This volume was highly anticipated series for me. Unfortunately, while good, this didn’t completely blow me away like I hoped. I was intrigued by the story and characters. I’m still intrigued by the story line. I was sucked in by the idea that Death had a daughter and there is an epic struggle for the position of Death and probably other things. I loved the character of Sissy and Alice is fascinating. What I didn’t love was the art… The cels felt way too messy and unclear. I don’t like the idea that I have to stare at a cel for many many moments before figuring out what is going on. I think I will be continuing the story but I have my reservations.

The Complete Love Hurts by Kim Andersson

Title: The Complete Love Hurts

Author: Kim W. Andersson

Publisher: Dark Horse 2015

Genre: Comics

Pages: 240

Rating: 3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

In this massive tomb of romance comics with brutal, terrible twists, Swedish comics creator Kim W. Andersson–making his U.S. debut–delivers a shocking series of short stories about love gone horribly wrong! Featuring lovelorn supervillains, psychopathic online daters, murderous reality TV show stars, and heartbroken cowboys, samurais, and astronauts, Love Hurts showcases that no matter who you are or what you do, love can be one deadly bitch!

Hmmm… a mixed bag this collection was! There were some super fun stories mixed in with some disturbing stories. The fun stories often involved a horror element. The disturbing stories focused more on relationships and a few left a bad taste in my mouth. Don’t think I’ll be recommending this one to friends.

Monstress Volume 1

Title: Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening

Author: Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Publisher: Image 2016

Genre: Comics

Pages: 192

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: New to Me; Graphic Novel; I Love Libraries

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steampunk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both. Entertainment Weekly praised MONSTRESS as “one of Image Comics’ most imaginative and daring new series” and dubbed it the “Best New Original Series” in their year-end “Best Comics of 2015” list. Collects MONSTRESS #1-6

Picked this one up from the library after hearing great things from other bloggers. I was very impressed by the story and the art. The cells are all very dark, but each one has such detail. I loved the look of the world as well as the costumes on the characters. The intricate costumes are amazing. Very well drawn! As for the storyline, I loved the twist on history and mythology. It took me a minute to get my bearings on time and and place, but it’s not a negative. I just like to place all the stories I read in history. Maika is great main character with a mysterious past and motivations. I can’t wait to find Volume 2 and continue the story.

The Lunar Chronicles Stores – Part 2

Title: Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky (The Lunar Chronicles #2.5); After Sunshine Passes By; The Princess and the Guard; Something Old Something New

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Felwel andFriends 2016

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 39; 21; 61; 56

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fairytale Retelling

The enchantment continues. . . .
The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories – and secrets – that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With six stories – two of which have never before been published – and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

“Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky” — A cute little story featuring Thorne’s childhood. I loved reading about the expansion of a story Cress learned in her research.

“After Sunshine Passes By” — More insight into the history of the various characters. This time we get to learn more about Cress and her childhood. Sibyl Mira is as scary as ever in this story…

“The Princess and the Guard” — My favorite story of the entire book. I loved learning more about the relationship between Winter and Jacin. The story shows us the depth of their relationship and sheds some light onto where their character’s are at when we meet Jacin aboard Sibyl Mira’s ships. A great short story!

“Something Old Something New” — A nice epilogue story for the series. It was great seeing all the main characters again. Plus we get some development in their stories. My only disappointment was not enough Winter and Jacin in this story. They were my favorites!

The Lunar Chronicles

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Title: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel andFriends 2015

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 827

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fairytale Retelling; I Love Libraries

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

A fitting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles. While I really enjoyed the previous books, this one really caught my attention. I was drawn into the story on page one. Winter is hands down my favorite character of the entire series. I loved the chapters that were from her point of view. The other chapters were good, but Winter stole the show. I was on pins and needles waiting to see if Winter survived and if she and Jacin finally got together. I was riveted by the build up to the confrontation between CInder and Levana. Oh my it was so stressful! But it was such a great ending. While the last chapter was a bit rushed, I still really really enjoyed it.

The Lunar Chronicles

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

Title: Hark! A Vagrant

Author: Kate Beaton

Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly 2011

Genre: Graphic Novel

Pages: 166

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

Hark! A Vagrant is an uproarious romp through history and literature seen through the sharp, contemporary lens of New Yorker cartoonist and comics sensation Kate Beaton. No era or tome emerges unscathed as Beaton rightly skewers the Western world’s revolutionaries, leaders, sycophants, and suffragists while equally honing her wit on the hapless heroes, heroines, and villains of the best-loved fiction.

Oh my! History, literature, and jokes are wrapped into one? I am so into this volume of comics! Multiple times I found myself chucking out loud, much to the dismay of my husband. The panels about the suffragettes had me laughing out loud. I read this book cover to cover in about a day. It was great. I was sucked into every frame. Such a great collection of comics.