August Wrap-Up 2019

August was my weakest reading month ever! I was so busy and exhausted but you’re not here to read my excuses. I ended up reading three books that adds up to 1,346 pages.

Texas, post civil war America, Ruby is growing up in this frontier of a state. She has recently become a woman, she starts to make decisions of her own and one of those being applying to art school in Philadelphia. To her surprise, she actually gets in and gets to leave Texas, her family, and her love, Bismarck. Not only does Ruby learn about the arts at college but she learns about herself and the world that is changing right in front of her eyes.

The first thirty-five percent of this book dragged on and on, plot points were happening but I just felt very bored and found myself thinking of other things than the words in front of me. The romances in this book has no real foundation, but the characters, the way they interacted and spoke made it seem like they did. I feel like they from meeting and then straight to the bedroom. The main thing that made up for that was Suanne Schafer’s writing style, I am shocked that this was her debut novel, the writing was beautiful and very detailed! The other thing that I liked about A Different Kind Of Fire was Ruby’s character arc, I think character arcs are so important! This ended up being a 3.75/5 stars for me.

Jane Eyre starts her life by having both parents fall a sickness and later death, before her first memory. She sent away to live with the only family that she knows, the Reeds. Her uncle dies while she is young and as she grows older her aunt hates her alongside her cousin. Jane has never known love her family doesn’t love her who else is there to do so? She falls ill,one night she tells the doctor all of her struggles he suggest her going to any other family she has,all Janes knows is that they are poor. Then it is brought to her attention that she can receive an education.

Education is a way out for Jane. She learns languages, arts, and even friendship. Jane stays at the boarding school for eight years, never seeing the Reeds. Once it comes time for her to leave she goes to an estate she’s never been to, to become a governess to a young girl from France. At Thornfield hall, Jane discovers love and that life does have meaning after all.

Brontë’s writing style was truly beautiful, That is something that I love about classics, you can tell that the writer is really knew what they were doing and putting their heart into it instead of just trying to make a quick buck. The writing was very atmospheric and I could easily make out the scenes in my head, that is something that I’m always happy about. I did like the romance in Jane Eyre I think the pairing did love each other even through all the twist and turns throughout life. My two complaints are I didn’t really care for the plot and the writing was really dragged out this book could have been 300 pages shorter.

Jane Eyre Book Review

August TBR 2019

August Wrap-Up 2019

Jane Eyre Book Review

Jane Eyre starts her life by having both parents fall to sickness and later death before her first memory. She is sent away to live with the only family that she knows, the Reeds. Her uncle dies while she is young and as she grows older her aunt and cousin hate her. Jane has never known love, her family doesn’t love her, who else is there to do so? She falls ill one night, she tells the doctor all of her struggles. He suggests her going to any other family she has, all Jane knows is that they are poor. Then it is brought to her attention that she can receive an education.

Education is the way out for Jane. She learns languages, arts, and even friendship. Jane stays at her boarding school for eight years, never seeing the Reeds. Once it comes time for her to leave she goes to an estate she’s never been to, to become a governess to a young girl from France. At Thornfield Hall, Jane discovers love and that life does have meaning after all.

“I am not an angel, I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.”– Jane Eyre

For starters, I did the audiobook for Jane Eyre and then followed along in my physical copy of the book. This book took me twice the amount of days than I had originally hoped for. I don’t think the novel is something difficult to read but it was so long and dragged on and on. I also found bits and pieces unrealistic, I’m not going to say which ones as they are spoilers.

Brontë’s writing style was truly beautiful, that is something I love about classics, you can tell that the writers really knew what they were doing and putting their heart into it instead of just trying to make a quick buck. The writing was very atmospheric and I could easily make out the scenes in my head, that is something that I’m always happy about. I did like the romance in Jane Eyre, I think the pairing did love each other even through all the twists and turns throughout life.

Overall, I feel strange writing a review for a book that has been with us since the mid-1800s. I know people love this book but it just didn’t do it for me. If a book is hundreds of pages longer than it needs to be I find myself getting bored and not wanting to read. The plot didn’t really seem important to me, it wasn’t something extravagant that caught my eye. Yes, I did not expect some of the plot twists and those were fun but it just wasn’t my favorite book, or classic, for that matter, that I’ve read.

August TBR 2019

In August, I went back to randomly selecting my books from my TBR, to be read, jar. I chose one book that I want to read without going in the jar, I will continuing doing this every month. This month I plan on participating in the Disney-a-thon, I am on team simba!

I am starting out August with a classic, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. In high school, I did watch some of the movie in my English class but we did not read the Victorian set novel.

Jane Eyre was orphaned and sent to live with an aunt who had no love for her and found her difficult to handle. Jane didn’t want to live with the only family she had, getting an education was one way out of this. We follow Jane to her boarding school and then later in life when she falls in love.

Secret For A Nightingale was published in 1987, so it is no new release. It is actually a funny story how I cam across this book. I was looking through Etsy, not looking to purchase anything, and I saw this novel and another by the same author, the cover stood out to me. Little did I know I have some Tudor era books by the same author just under a different alias!

Susanna is a young girl growing up in British run India. She had a talent at being a nurse and helping heal those around her. Susanna gets swept off her feet and married. When returning to England, she settles down as a proper wife, forgetting about her own dreams. She uncovers that her husband isn’t exactly what she thought he was.

I’ve heard that Elin Hilderbrand is the summer author. This was the book that I chose on my own to read this month, I figured I needed a summery read to end out the season. As some of you probably know, I read The Girls by Emma Cline last month which is also set in the Summer of ‘69, I have been loving the sixties setting and want to discover more books set in that decade.

The Levin family spend their summers at their grandmother’s home in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The last summer of the decade is no different, except not all of the siblings will be able to make it. The eldest daughter is pregnant and stuck in Boston, the middle daughter is spending her summer like many Americans, protesting, and the one son of the family has been sent to fight in Vietnam. Jessie is left with her grandmother, who she isn’t close with for the summer.

It may come as a shock to some that I have not read the widely popular book, The Book Thief. It has been on my TBR forever, and I will finally be getting to it this month! Markus Zusak’s other work, A Bridge Of Clay, was my favorite book of 2018. I can’t wait to read Zusak’s more popular book.

Set in 1939 Germany, we are told the story of Liesel from death. Liesel is a girl who discovers one book and leads her down the rabbit hole for a love of reading. She begins to take books from anywhere she can, including Nazi book burnings. The war changes her life forever and opens and closes doors for her every where.

My Sunday read this month will be Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets. I am continuing my Harry Potter reread, I won’t be giving a summary since it is such a well known book.


August TBR

Disney-a-Thon

June Wrap-up 2019

 

IMG_6292

In the month of June, I finished six books, three being novels and the other three being graphic novels. I participated in one read-a-thon, that being Sims-a-thon, all my books were for challenges in that, which I finished with a total of twenty-nine points. In June, I read a total of 1,261 pages. (I don’t give ratings to graphic novels, so these ratings will be for the actual novels.)

IT by Stephen King – 3/5 stars, e-book and audiobook.

IT by Stephen King Review

Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott – 3/5 stars, physical book.

Da Vinci’s Tiger Book Review
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood – 3/5 stars, physical book.

A Sky Painted Gold Book Review

A pretty average reading month.

June Reading Wrap-Up Video

A Sky Painted Gold Book Review

IMG_6239.jpg

“If you live in a sleepy little village, I have found that you have to adept at creating your own drama.”- A Sky Painted Gold, Chapter Two, Page 30.

Louise, ‘Lou’, has always been fascinated by an old Georgian mansion that was set on an island, right outside of her small Cornish village. So fascinated, that she has even snuck there when the tide was low. The house belongs to the Cardew family, they haven’t visited the estate in many years after the father of the family had passed away.

The Cardew siblings, Robert and Caitlin, are often talked about in the London press, and plastered in the magazines. The magazines, that Lou and her sister, Alice, enjoy reading. The Cardews want to get out of the limelight and the stressful city life for the summer. This takes the two siblings and their whole array of friends to the old Cardew estate in Cornwall. Lou comes across one of their parties one night when she is sneaking around the house. She becomes swept away in all the glitz and glam of their party lifestyle in the roaring summer of 1929.

“Then, finally, when I can’t watch any more, I fall asleep underneath a sky painted gold.” -A Sky Painted Gold, Chapter Nine, Page 142.

Laura Wood’s first young adult book is a three-star read for me. This book is a good summer read, and I encourage you to read it this time of the year. We all know that I love an English setting, so this one did it for me in that regard! I don’t think that I have read a book, other than The Great Gatsby, that is set in the 1920s, I think it is an interesting time period and I don’t know much about what was happening in England at this time. The parties in this book were very atmospheric, I wish that I could witness something so grand!

My main complaint about A Sky Painted Gold, is that I felt like nothing really happened until the last three chapters. Yes, the party scenes where fabulous and I do enjoy a good slow burn romance, but I feel like there was no real plot here. I do think Louise was a bit annoying and naïve, but we must remember she is only seventeen and this is her first time getting to see what life is really like outside of her village. Some things about the main character were a bit repetitive, such as Lou constantly worrying about never finding love or comparing herself to Alice. Two plot points I found rather predictable, but they were still entertaining!

“People are just people, Lou. Wherever you go.”- A Sky Painted Gold, Chapter Six, Page 80.

Overall, I do think this was an enjoyable read but don’t go into this thinking you’re going to get a great plot. Towards the end of, A Sky Painted Gold, I felt like it was almost like a 1920s version of the movie Almost Famous, my favorite movie, I won’t get too much into that because I feel like it could be a bit of a spoiler.

 

Da Vinci’s Tiger Book Review

img_6037.jpg

“It will make you, and all of us, immortal, my dear.”

  Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott tells the tale behind an early work of Leonardo Da Vinci. A short and young adult, historical fiction novel that takes us through a time in Renaissance Florence, when the Medici were the most powerful house and one if not the richest family in the world.

Ginevra de’ Benci is a young and beautiful woman in Florentine society. Her family is allies to the Medici and she has married a man, twice her age, for a political gain to her family. She is a pawn in a game like many women of noble blood were at this time. Florence is looking to strength its ties with Venice and Milan, two of the other city-states in Italy. A Venetian ambassador has come to the city at the request of Lorenzo de’ Medici, il magnifico. In Florence, it is common for a man of power to have a platonic lover, like Lorenzo has Lucrezia and Giuliano has Simonetta, the Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo has set his eyes on our main character Ginevra.

He wants to have a piece of art done of her to bring home with him to Venice. This is where Da Vinci comes in. Da Vinci is commissioned to do the painting of young, Ginevra de’ Benci. The discussions that she has with Leonardo really opens Ginevra’s eyes to many of the problems in their medieval world. Her view on life is changed forever.

300px-Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_Ginevra_de'_Benci_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Ginevra de’ Benci by Leonardo Da Vinci.

  I was excited to dive into this book. If you did not know, I LOVE the Medici family and this time in world history. Sadly, this book let me down. Right off the bat when I saw that it was in first person perspective, I became hesitant, I prefer third person, but I will still read the book. There are some instances where onomatopoeias are used and I am not a huge fan of those, just describe the noisy. Words were drawn out at least every other chapter, one example is on page ninety-six in chapter nine, “Hmmmm.” Good Reads labels this book as a romance, don’t read it if that is what you are looking for. It is barely touched on and one thing that annoyed me would be they would talk about when they went to dinner the Medici villa, I think it would be better if the writer wrote out the dinner than just mentioned it two weeks later.

My main complaint about Da Vinci’s Tiger is the characters!! I feel like there was no character development whatsoever. They just felt rather flat and I would have liked to know them more. I think Leonardo was the most interesting character but then again, is it possible to make Leonardo Da Vinci sound boring. I like Sancha as well, she was one of Ginevra’s maids.

Time for what I liked about this novel. I absolutely loved the Tuscan setting. I wish that more books would take place in Florence and around the families that lived there, the Italian peninsula was just so interesting at this time. Elliott was very descriptive and made this book feel so atmospheric, the way she described the art, the fashion, and architecture of Florence was truly beautiful. The way that she described Venice as well, I want to read a book that is set there now, if you have a suggestion, tell me in the comments!

the-medici-mary-hollingsworth34684622.jpg9780195176094

     It is obvious that L.M. Elliott did her homework for this book. I have three suggestions of nonfiction books that might make for an interesting read if you would like to read them alongside Da Vinci’s Tiger.
1. The Medici by Mary Hollingsworth
2. Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
3. April Blood by Lauro Martines

 

All the Books that I Want to Read in June

61469273_1044530455732275_6490354595447963648_n.jpg

Today I will be sharing with all of you, my June TBR, this month I will be participating in the Sim-a-Thon, reading challenges. All these books will be helping me complete the challenge in this read-a-thon, if you would like to know more about this, click the link at the end of this post.

24951755.jpg

Da Vinci’s Tiger tells the story of the girl in the painting. Ginevra Da’ Benci, was one of Leonardo da Vinci’s muses. This book takes place in renaissance Florence, a city filled with the arts thanks to the Medici family. We really venture into what inspired this painting by one of the most intriguing men throughout history.

32194575

With this one, I don’t think I need to do a lot of explaining. This is the graphic novel for episodes I-III of the Star Wars Saga. Unpopular opinion but I love the prequels, they are my favorite movies in the whole series.

39709339

First off, can we look at this cover? It’s beautiful!!! A Sky Painted Gold is set in Cornwall, in the 1920s, the setting and the cover is what really brought my interest to this story. Lou has always been fascinated by this old abandoned mansion in her village, one day a set of twins come and open it back up. Attending lavish parties and becoming more invested in these siblings, Lou has started forgetting about her original dreams and ambitions in life. Will she remember them?

32905343

The word ‘Kids’, in the title but an adult book, that’s ironic. Meddling Kids is said to be a Scooby Do like story, but I am getting more of IT by Stephen King vibes. The plot is that four kids in 1977 have had to solve a mystery but then Cantero skips ahead to 1990, the friends must come back together again and see if they really did solve the mystery from when they were children.

 

You can expect reviews for all these except the graphic novel throughout this month!

June TBR Video

Sims-a-Thon Announcement Video

Social Media

OwlCrate Unboxing

 

 

main-logo

Time for a bookish unboxing! This past week, June 1st, 2019 – June 7th, 2019, OwlCrate had their Summer Shop Sale where everything in the shop was 20% off!! Obviously, I had to go and grab some stuff.

I no longer have an OwlCrate subscription, I did three months with them. I did the three-month trial with several of the popular book subscription services to see which one my favorite was and that I would want a yearly subscription with. If you are interested in young adult, fantasy novels, I would highly recommend OwlCrate, they have also done the occasional historical fiction and contemporary. If you would like to start a subscription with them, I will leave a link to their website at the bottom of this post!

IMG_5997

Ink & Wonder Bookmarks.

    I went in knowing that I wanted to pick up some Game of Thrones related items, I did not care what they would be. The bookmark that you see on the right is a Stark one with one of my favorite quotes, “When the snow falls, and the white winds blow the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” Long live House Stark of Winterfell! Moving onto the second bookmark it has Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons with the powerful quote that states, “I am the blood of the dragon.” You must admit; the mother of dragons is iconic. I feel like everyone knows who the silver haired lady is. If you are wondering who these designs are made by it is the Ink & Wonder company, I will leave a link for them as well!

IMG_6001OwlCrate Pin Banner.

     Lastly, I made a bit of an error! I purchased two of the pin banners instead of just one! *Facepalm* My bad! It looks like the second one will come in handy though since I filled up the first one with all my pins! Do you collect pins? I try to get one every time the Olympics come around and for every MLB stadium that I attend a game at, obviously I am behind on that one. I hope you guys have a great day! Check back tomorrow for a brand-new post!

OwlCrate

Ink & Wonder

Unboxing Video

IT by Stephen King Review

IMG_5081
This is the strangest book that I have ever read but what else would I expect from my first Stephen King novel and my first read in the horror genre. I am not going to write a paragraph describing what this 1153-page story is about since it is a well-known story, in this review I will just be giving my thoughts.
IT by Stephen King is a great coming of age story about friendship, in my mind that is our main theme. This story has phenomenal characters and I loved the Losers, the main seven characters. I believe that the characters are what makes this story. I know that some have complained about derogatory terms being used throughout IT, we have to remember that this story takes place in the 1950s and later in the 1980s, the sad truth is that it was common for Americans to be racist and homophobic at these times, but I will say there is a trigger warning for those two things and abuse.

wallpapersden.com_it-2017-horror-movie-poster_950x1534.jpg
Movie poster for IT
(This is not my picture. It belongs to Warner Brothers Pictures.)

Now, after my praising of the plot and characters of IT, you are probably wondering why I gave this book a three out of five stars. (Three stars isn’t bad! It’s average.) Firstly, this story is 1153 pages when I think it would be good at 400 pages. It is too long! King gives us too many details at time, which can be good, he does great at getting a picture in the reader’s mind! There are too many lists and unnecessary details. I also did not like the formatting of this novel, how there are about ten subsections in a chapter, not a fan, just give us shorter chapters! However, I have since learned this is common in Stephen King’s works. IT is a great story and I loved it but it needed to be shortened down and possibly better formatting, but I do think the characters really do make up for this. Thank you for reading my review!

Hey Everyone!

It’s Izzy here! Welcome to my brand new blog. I am still getting into the hang of things on here but I wanted to have a place where I could put my book reviews, including pictures and links because I have yet to find out how to do that on Good Reads.

Here I will keep you up with all things reading, such as my monthly TBR (to be read), hauls of what books I have purchased, and then of course my reviews!

 

61764143_1045924132259574_6129386216539291648_n