Tuesday, February 25, 2014

GUEST REVIEW: The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Anderson

Allison, our Outreach/Programs Supervisor here at BCPL is back with another guest review! This time, she's got me hooked. I think I'm going to have to read this book (and its prequel) for myself!  –Tracy

Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Genre: Alternatie History/Speculative Fiction
Audience: Adult/Young Adult Crossover
Series: Boleyn Trilogy #2

Summary: What if Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII had a son who’d grown up to be king? With his regency period over, King Henry IX is sitting the throne of England trying to maneuver palace intrigue, war on the horizon, passion, and secrecy. His legitimacy still doubted, tensions are at a heightened state with the Catholics, and he is betrothed to the young princess of France. But he is still enchanted with his childhood love, Minuette, and the court is beginning to take note. Even more scandalous is the fact that Minuette is in love with another—Henry IX’s best friend. Will the secrets of the court change the course of an empire?

First Line: “You will not tell me what I can and cannot do with my own son!”

Allison’s Review:
Rarely do I find a book that I read cover to cover in basically one sitting. Rarely do I find a book that while completely fiction, mirrors actual historical events in a way to keep me interested. Rarely do a find a quick-paced storyline that is also detailed. And rarely do I find a book in which the author has been able to take such artistic license with history in order to write their fiction yet stay so true to many aspects of real-world historical events. This book—and in fact both books in this series published thus far—have managed to accomplish all of this!

If we were to imagine a living male heir of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, William Tudor (King Henry IX) is that heir. Watching him come of age, with a mixture of the personalities and characteristics of both his parents, is mesmerizing. And the political intrigue (of which I am not usually a fan) is captivating. The love triangle surrounding Minuette is thought-provoking. Sinister plots abound. Henry IX’s sister Elizabeth is a beloved royal princess who’s to be married off in a diplomatic bargain, yet the character we know as Elizabeth I is evident.

Most enjoyable for me in this storyline is the constant mystery and intrigue that sends you catapulting between one imagined outcome and another. And, the teaser chapter from the next installment in the trilogy, The Boleyn Reckoning, leaves me asking the question: Can the release date of July 15th get here already?

Monday, February 10, 2014

2014 Hub Reading Challenge: Are You In?

So the 2014 Hub Reading Challenge officially began a week ago today. Last year, my pledge to read twenty-five of the eligible titles went unfulfilled. It was, in fact, a dismal failure as I only managed to complete nine eligible titles within the given time frame.

But that's not going to stop me from giving it another try. Of course, the challenge may be even more challenging this year, as I have lots of distractions right now between work, school, family, and my never-ending house search. But I go into this year's challenge determined. At the very least, I have to do better than last year, right?

So now I have to vowed read (or listen to) at least 25 of the 77 challenge-eligible titles before 11:59 pm on Sunday, June 22nd. Eligible titles include 2014 winners and honor books of the six YALSA awards, Top Ten titles from YALSA’s 2014 selected lists, the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award teen honoree, and 2013 Stonewall Book Award honorees. A complete list of eligible titles can be found here.

I've already read 15 of the eligible titles, so that leaves me with 62 to choose from (unless I wish to reread a title). First up is a book I've been intending to read for ages anyway: Markus Zusak's The Book Thief.

So, YALSA Hub, challenge accepted! Who's willing to join me? Let the reading begin!
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