Friday, July 17, 2020

Catching You Up on Books: Julyish edition

I'm going to refer to everything as "Julyish" because I have no concept of time and I don't know what is going on anymore. That's where I am at. I also have stacks of books to talk to you about so it is time we do another round up! 

The Princess Rules - Philippa Gregory

These three stories were originally published under the titles Princess FlorizellaPrincess Florizella and the Wolves and Princess Florizella and the Giant.

They were originally dedicated to her daughter but have been reimagined in this edition which she has dedicated to her grandchildren.

“Princess Florizella was friends with some of the princesses who had studied the Princess Rules, and behaved just as the Rules said they should. Florizella thought their hair was lovely: so golden and so very long. And their clothes were nice: so richly embroidered. And their shoes were delightful: so tiny and handmade in silk. But their days bored her to death…”

Instead, Princess Florizella rides her horse, Jellybean, all over the kingdom, having adventures of her own…

A few things about this book I really liked, and if you are looking for a good book for your upper elementary school child to read, this would be a good one to get into. It says ages 8-12 but honestly, Olivia would have gotten into this ages 7-11, so just a slight adjustment. Also great is that this is three stories in one big book (I say "big" like its huge, it's just over 250 pages or so) and is written easily so kids can read this on their own with little help from you but it can also be a great book you read together. I love the versatility of it. I loved that Princess Florizella isn't going to follow the "princess norms" just because she's supposed to, she's brave and adventurous. The modern message is something girls should be getting. I'm not saying princesses don't have their value, I'm just saying that not every girl will identify with that and this is a great option for them, too. The best part is when Florizella says a princess is just a prince with more "s's" and they can be for sass, scientific, spirit, and a few more I can't remember. But I loved that, so much so that I feel like having this put on a print for my younger daughter's wall. 

I absolutely loved this one and it has such a great message through all three stories. My younger daughters loved this book and we had a few talks on what they think girls can and can't do and it just had a lot of talking points which were so great. It would even be an interesting classroom read. I gave this one 5 stars because its one I'd recommend for a school but also gift to someone as well. 

Harper360 sent me a copy of this for review and I'm so glad because this was out of the ballpark for me. 
Seven Sons - Lili St. Germain
My father was most certainly NOT an innocent man. As the leader of the Gypsy Brothers MC, he was guilty of many things. But he died for a crime that he didn’t commit, framed by an enemy within who then stole his club and everything he had ever worked to protect.

Including my innocence.

When Dornan Ross framed my father, he set into motion a series of events that could never be undone. My father was murdered by Dornan Ross and his sons when I was fifteen years old.

Before my father died, Dornan Ross and his seven sons stole my innocence, branded my skin and in doing so, ensured that their lives would be prematurely cut short. That they would suffer.

I’ve just turned twenty-one, and I’m out for blood. I'm out for revenge.

But I didn't expect to fall for Jase, the youngest brother in the club.

I didn't expect that he would turn my world upside down, yank my heart out of my chest and ride away into the sunset with it.

Now, I'm faced with an impossible choice - Jase, or avenging my fathers death?

I have no memory of how I got this one but I put it on my July TBR because it was small and I'm trying to get through back list books in between review books and new releases. It's a delicate balance. Anyways, this is very short, only 112 pages, but it is spread out over seven novellas. I have no idea if you can get all of them in one book or not and I'm not even going to try because this was terrible. 

I didn't like Juliette/Sammi at all right from the gate. I felt terrible for her and her back story is horrific (trigger warning as well because she is violently raped so if that's an issue for you- run fast). Her "plan" is shaky at best and it seems like she is every victim in Law & Order SVU that wants revenge and we find them dead at the end of the episode, we've all seen that. The character development seems a little confusing (the cop turned tattooist, is it a big-brother relationship/maybe something more, for example), it felt like the author was trying to be more crude/tough than it was needed and it felt corny, and I don't know. It's hard to get into a romance when she's having sex with her rapist, which I guess explores the topic of having an orgasm during a rape which increases a victim's shame, but the way this is done just felt off. I can definitely say I'm not invested in the story or any of the characters enough to read anymore. One star. 
The Ghost Factory - Jenny McCartney
A powerful debut set in Belfast and London in the latter years of the twentieth century.

The Troubles turned Northern Ireland into a ghost factory: as the manufacturing industry withered, the death business boomed. In trying to come to terms with his father’s sudden death, and the attack on his harmless best friend Titch, Jacky is forced to face the bullies who still menace a city scarred by conflict. After he himself is attacked, he flees to London to build a new life. But even in the midst of a burgeoning love affair he hears the ghosts of his past echoing, pulling him back to Belfast, crying out for retribution and justice.

Written with verve and flair, and spiked with humour, The Ghost Factory marks the arrival of an auspicious new talent.

I have to tell you that when I started this one I wasn't really sure what to expect. I can definitely say it isn't really like anything else I've read but I also had a hard time putting it down. It feels like it is starting rather slow but it quickly becomes obvious that the author was really building up Jacky's character, which was pretty integral to the story. Oddly though, my biggest complaint is that the rest of the characters aren't really built up like Jacky, which was confusing in a way. Is it because the point of the entire book was Jacky and him alone? Are we not meant to really understand anyone else, just focus on Jacky? Also, the story does a good job describing the area at the time, describing The Troubles (but not too much, I could have taken a little more on that) and just understanding how that entire region changed, and what life was like at that time. It was an interesting historical fiction that did have humor in it and kept me hooked until the end, and what an ending it was. Truly. 

I really liked this one because it wasn't really like anything else I've read and if you've bad attention lately, I'm struggling with reading the same story in different books- The Ghost Factory is its own thing. If you want something different to challenge you- this is where it is going to be. Another winner from Harper360 who sent me this in the mail, I have to give this one a solid 4 star. 
You know I'm a fan of shopping so I'm going to include some links here, which are affiliate links, so if you click on them and then purchase I'll make a few cents at no cost to you. I also have to remind you that just because I loved or didn't like a book doesn't mean you'll feel the same, so if you read any of these, let me know what you thought of them!


Shooting Stars Mag said...

The Princess Rules sounds so cute! And I'm curious about The Ghost Factory. Intriguing!

And yes, time has no meaning these days. haha


Why Girls Are Weird said...

The Ghost Factory just sounds intriguing, I may need to check it out.