June 15, 2015

Quick Lit (June 2015)

Popping in to post a few book reviews that have been languishing in note form for ages. 

This is just a highlight of what I've been reading since my last book review post. In fact 3 of these books came out in April just before my birthday and I ran right out to buy them on release day. Happily, they were all as good as I expected. 

You can always find me on Goodreads if you'd like to see everything I've been reading lately. And I promise to be around here a little more often as well :) 

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

The long anticipated sequel to Garden Spells, Allen brings us back to the Waverly sisters 10 years later. The always unusual Waverley family is even more unusual during the lead up to the first frost of the season and this year is no different. Claire wrestles with a new kitchen venture, Sidney is balancing her own worries while watching her daughter navigate high school as a Waverley. Allen weaves a gorgeous blend of magic and small town life, and this is a worthy sequel to the original tale. If you haven't read Garden Spells though, start with that one before this as it truly is a sequel. (I won a copy of this through a Goodreads giveaway, but my review is my own. I would definately purchased my own copy if I hadn't won that one.)

Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

St. James is one of my favorite authors right now, perhaps because the books she writes are like nothing else I've read. All her books are set just after World War I in England and are a blend of ghost story and mystery. Ellie Winter, the heroine of The Other Side of Midnight is a pyschic who is thrown back into a world she thought she left behind when  her former best friend and rival, Gloria Sutter, is murdered. Feeling both a duty to the dead and a fear that she might be next, Ellie searches for the killer.
The reader is transported to 1920s London by St. James' amazing sense of place (rivaled only by the first few Maisie Dobbs books I would argue) and the supernatural elements never feel ridiculous or jarring to the story. The interplay between skeptics and believers within the book itself add a grounding touch. If you are interested in the time period or historical mysteries this is one to check out-even if you don't think you like "ghost" stories. 

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
This would be my hands down recommendation for a summer beach read. Bex is an American exchange student at Oxford University where she quickly gets pulled in to the social circle of Prince Nicolas. It's William and Kate re-imagined, but it is never silly. Funny, moving, thought provoking (you will have ALL THE FEELINGS about paparazzi after reading it). I will be shocked if I make it through the summer with out re-reading this one. 

Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley
This was the book I HAD to have on release day! This is a time slip novel, where there is action in both the present day and 17th century France, with two romantic storylines to resolve. The connection between the two is a diary that is written by Mary Dundas, the historical heroine and is decoded by Sara, the modern day one. The historical story covers another aspect of the Jacobite rebellion that Kearsley had not written about before, and she slips several Easter Eggs in for long-time readers of her books. An interesting twist to the modern story was that Sara had Asperger's. I felt like Kearsley did a good job of showing it as an aspect of Sara's character but not feeling like that's all her character was.

So what's am I reading now? I'm almost done with Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil by James Runcie and I'm listening to the audiobook of Medal for Murder by Frances Brody on my commute to work. 

Now it's your turn-what are you reading? If you need inspiration check out the rest of the Quick Lit posts at MMD

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