#34 A Guest Review of A Pemberley Medley by Abigail Reynolds

My newest guest review for Austenprose was on Abigail Reynolds’ A Pemberley Medley, a compilation of 5 Pride and Prejudice what-if short stories.  I discuss my thoughts on my favorite of the medley, “Intermezzo”, and my thoughts on the book as a whole!

For Austen fans interested in dipping their toes into the fan fiction world this is a great place to start.  Reynolds was one of the first Austen fan fiction authors I read.  It’s obvious from the amount of JAFF that I read that it’s a genre I love.  I credit Reynolds for being a huge reason why I fell in love with the genre.

A direct link to my review is here

This is my sixteenth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

#16 A Guest Review of Dreaming of Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly

Dreaming of Mr. DarcyMy newest review went live on the Austenprose blog yesterday!  Dreaming of Mr. Darcy is book two in the Austen Addicts trilogy by Victoria Connelly.  It follows Kay Ashton as she opens up her own bed and breakfast in Lyme Regis!  Her B&B is suddenly overtaken with guests when a production company hits town to film  Persuasion.  Kay’s life is thrown for a loop by the handsome lead actor playing Captain Wentworth and the screenwriter named Adam.  Who will she end up with? What secrets are the cast and crew all hiding?

If you enjoy good clean contemporary romances, then this one is for you!  You can read my full review here

#10 A Guest Review of Compulsively Mr. Darcy by Nina Benneton

I was recently given the opportunity to read and review Compulsively Mr. Darcy by Nina Benneton for the Austenprose blog!  I was eager to get my hands on this novel simply because of its creative plot.  Benneton takes the more extreme characteristics that Jane Austen gave Darcy and matches them with modern day psychiatric disorders.

In Compulsively Mr. Darcy, Darcy suffers from OCD and anxiety, making daily life difficult for him. When Dr. Elizabeth Bennet is thrown into his life he falls head over heels in love with her, but circumstances seem against them from the beginning.  Elizabeth misinterprets his relationship with Bingley, and mistakenly thinks they’re gay.  Will they be able to overcome their misconceptions of each other to find love?

For a direct link to my review, click here.

#4 A Guest Review of A Crimson Warning (Lady Emily Series #6) by Tasha Alexander

A Crimson Warning (Lady Emily Series #6)For those of you who have been sticking with my Lady Emily reviews, today marks my last one! (Well, for now at least….)  On Saturday, my review for the sixth and most recently published novel in the series, A Crimson Warning, was posted on the Austenprose blog!

Lady Emily and her husband Colin are back from their adventures abroad, and have finally come home for the season.  Everything seems to be fine until slashes of crimson paint begin appearing on the front doors of society’s biggest players.  When one of them is murdered Colin is given the case.  As always, Lady Emily finds some way to make herself useful and begins her own investigations, hoping to be of some help to Colin.  Will they figure out who is responsible for these heinous crimes before another person is murdered?

For those who would like to read my reviews in order click the links below:

  1. And Only To Deceive
  2. A Poisoned Season
  3. A Fatal Waltz
  4. Tears of Pearl
  5. Dangerous to Know
  6. A Crimson Warning

PS – Aren’t these covers amazing!?

This is my fourth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

#90 A Guest Review of Epic Fail by Claire Lazebnik

Epic FailMy newest guest review for the Austenprose blog was posted today!  Review is for a new young adult novel called Epic Fail by Claire Lazebnik.  Epic Fail is a contemporary take on the events of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Epic Fail follows Elise Benton and her sister as they begin a new school year at Coral Tree, a prep school in Los Angeles where their mother is the new principal.  Elise is thrust into a forced friendship with Derek Edwards, the school heart-throb, after her sister and Derek’s best friend begin dating.  Will the two of them ever be able to become friends, or will other people come between them and split them further apart?

For my full review, click here!

#69 A Guest Review of Expectations of Happiness by Rebecca Ann Collins

For those of you that enjoy Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, may I please direct you to my latest guest review on the Austenprose blog?   Critically acclaimed author Rebecca Ann Collins brings her wealth of the knowledge of the Victorian era to life in her newest novel Expectations of Happiness.

Picking up seven years after the events of  S&S, we find a happily married Edward and Elinor, a sad and bored Marianne Brandon (formerly Dashwood), a traveling Colonel Brandon, and an educated Margaret Dashwood.  We are thrust into the lives of the characters just as Willoughby seems to rear his ugly head.  With Colonel Brandon away, will he try to get close to Marianne again, or will Marianne reflect on her youth and realize how badly he used her?

For a direct link to my review click here

This is my second completed review for the Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge

This is my thirtieth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

#63 A Guest Review of Mr. Darcy’s Bite by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Another day, another review!  My newest guest review for the Austenprose blog was posted today; It’s on Mary Lydon Simonsen’s newest book, Mr. Darcy’s Bite.  The novel takes us on a paranormal journey with Elizabeth, Darcy, and werewolves. 

Darcy has been courting Elizabeth for months and still there is no sign of a marriage proposal.  He shows up at Longbourn one day begging Elizabeth to make the journey to Pemberley with him as he has a secret he needs to share.  If she doesn’t run from him after hearing this secret, then he’ll have a certain question he’d like to ask her.  Elizabeth is at first nervous about what he is hiding, but agrees to head to Pemberley.  What secrets are lurking there?  Will their love be strong enough to overcome Darcy’s deep secret?

Check out the rest of my review here!

Congratulations to, Mary on yet another fabulous book!

This is my twenty-seventh completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

#55 A Guest Review of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Head on over to the Austenprose blog for my newest guest review, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud!

The novel takes us on a wild romp with the men of Slurry, a rock band known for its crazy behind-the-scenes behavior almost as much as its music.  Fitzwilliam Darcy, literal rock god, heads up the group along with singer Charles Bingley and drummer Richard Fitzwilliam.  When their new opening act Long Bourne Suffering joins them for the last leg of their tour, everything they thought they knew about life, love, and music is suddenly thrown up in the air.

To check out my review, click here

This is my eighth completed review for the Chunkster Challenge

#53 A Guest Review of The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss

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I recently had the opportunity to review a historical fiction novel called The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss for the Austenprose blog!

The novel takes us on a magical ride through a pre-industrial revolution England.  Our heroine Lucy is thrown onto a path of self discovery after a man shows up at her door, vomiting pins, and begging her not to marry her fiancée.  A magical enchantment is found on his body and Lucy is thrown into a world where magic truly exists!

Continue reading my review over on the Austenprose blog here

This is my twenty-fourth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

Todd’s Review of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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The more I learn about the Hunger Games trilogy and the more I experience the fandom that surrounds the series (thanks Hunger Games Fireside Chat!), I keep hearing that many people think that Mockingjay is their least favorite book.  I agree that the novel has a ton of plot lines and feelings to wrap up, and that it has to bring to an end a story that is near and dear to the hearts of many readers.  I can see how this ending would be received with mixed feelings, and I respect the views of my fellow readers.  As for myself, I feel completely different.  I think it is the greatest book in the series, and with my reasoning explained below, I hope many people will begin to see it in a different light.

Mockingjay begins with Katniss in the custody of the rebels, having been rescued from her second forced stint in the Hunger Games.  A last-ditch attempt by Katniss, Peeta, and a few remaining tributes to save their lives from traps that the gamemakers placed in the arena blows up the protective force field that surrounds the arena. This allows the rebels to enter and pluck her out, while the Capitol appears and takes Peeta away right before their eyes.  Now safely in the hands of the rebels, Katniss eventually relents to be the figurehead of the rebellion, known to all as the “mockingjay”.  Unfortunately, the Capitol wages their own propaganda war against the rebels, physically and mentally torturing Peeta with tracker jacker venom to think that Katniss is his mortal enemy.  Already precarious in her mental state, this new revelation makes Katniss even more confused and angry.
In a daring raid, the rebels rescue Peeta from the Capitol, but upon his return his mental state is so deteriorated that he attempts to kill Katniss when they are reunited.  Meanwhile, the last of the outlying districts are taken by the rebels, and they begin planning to take the Capitol itself.  In a previous agreement, Katniss and President Coin (the president of District 13) agree to let Katniss kill President Snow personally.  Although she has made this promise, Snow declines to let Katniss anywhere near the center of the Capitol.  However, after a freak accident, Katniss and a small contingent of rebels find themselves close to the center of the city and therefore President Snow himself.  Will Katniss be able to kill the man who has brought so much pain to her life?  Will she ever be able to gain back Peeta’s trust and memory?  Will the rebels be able to take back control of Panem?
As I said previously, this is definitely my favorite book of the series.  I feel that Collins builds so many layers of conflict and emotion throughout the course of the previous two novels that are finally released in this work.  Along with the incredible action of the first two novels, there is also a great deal of inner conflict that Collins introduces through Katniss.  In this novel, I feel that all of this conflict comes to a head, and thus Katniss must deal with it instead of continuing to mentally battle with her emotions.  This made the novel move quickly for me, and along with the breakneck action that permeates the rest of the novel I found myself racing from page to page.  The last few chapters flew by as I felt like I was right next to Katniss and her rebel group as they infiltrated deep into the Capitol itself.  Additionally, along with all the attention that is paid to Katniss (and rightfully so as she is the main character), I was pleasantly surprised by how much page time was given to additional characters.  I really became invested in the well-being of Katniss’ fellow rebels, and Collins did an excellent job in making the revolution a living, breathing, entity that all of Panem could get behind.  Because at the end of the day, this series is about the overthrow of oppression, the power of individual freedom, and the notion that the rights of a privileged few should never matter over the rights of the masses.  Collins definitely drives these points home, and for that I heartily recommend not only this book but this entire series.
5 out of 5 stars
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic, Inc (2010)
Hardcover 390 pages