Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March reading round-up

I so adored this book! As a former dancer, I have long loved Degas' paintings of the young ballet girls. This wonderfully written book paints the story of Marie van Goethem, the actual dancer who posed for Degas and is now immortalized in that famous bronze statue. But the story also paints the picture of what it was like to grow up, as a poor young girl in Paris in the late 1800s. The book is told from Marie and her elder sister's point of view and their voices and the struggles they face are captivating. The author used real stories and added her own stories as well. It really was a wonderful tale - if you love dance, Degas, or historical type fiction, I highly recommend!

Finally read this. In 2 days. Yes. Amazing. Powerful. Read it. Now. Go. Get the idea? This really is everything the hype makes it up to be, and more. I usually shy away from the "kid has cancer tug at the heart strings book" (i.e never read My Sister's Keeper), but this one intrigued me. One I immediately got the Shakespeare reference in the title and was curious about it being tied into the plot. The main character is Hazal, a cancer patient who describes herself as a "grenade" who meets Gus, another cancer kid. What follows is a tale of adventure and love that will make you laugh, cry, and just about tug at your heart strings more and make you want to go out and live life to the fullest. Ok, not really a summary, but it's too good to tell more about. Just. Read. It. (before the movie comes out in June!)

I saw this on an NPR "books you need to read" type site and immediatly knew, I had to read it. I love all things fantasy (when done well) and dragons (when done well). This is written as a memoir by the main character, Lady Trent. It's sent in a fictional Victorian society, in a fictional world, that seems to resemble true English Victorian society, but with dragons. Lady Trent recounts her childhood and how she developed her fascination with dragons and her subsequent life work studying them. It was a good read, well written, and very well thought out. I enjoyed the fantastical take on dragons and their study/history written from a "real" world view. If you know the Eragon books, this is nothing like those. This is real world, but with the idea that dragons are real creatures and need to be studied. It's also now a series, so I am excited to read more of Lady Trent's "memoirs."

Okay! Now to spice up this otherwise mundane "book review" post....a give-a-way! (my first, too!)

I somehow accidentally ordered 2 copies of "The Painted Girls" - since I am a loyal amazon user (aka book addict) they gave me a refund and said "keep the book" so I am sharing the literary wealth and passing it on to you!

So, how do you enter? Nothing too hard... enter from now until Sunday!

13 thoughts on the matter:

Nicki said... {Reply}

My son got turned on The Fault In Our Stars and is now on a John Green book run. Love when that happens. A fan of Degas paintings - might have to check this book out.

Thanks for the reviews.

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

I recently read The Fault In Our Stars too and loved it! I always like reading your reviews and get book ideas from you!

Dara @ Not In Jersey said... {Reply}

never knew you are a former dancer! thanks for the giveaway.

Taz + Belly said... {Reply}

Those first two are on my short list! Thanks for the recommendations :).

Kim Stevens said... {Reply}

I always love your book summaries, makes this girl who loves nature books want to read a novel! ;) My daughter on the other hand would love, The painted girls book, and I would love to have my very own dragon. You don't have one of those do you, haha! :)

jennifer said... {Reply}

I love to hear about new books, Thanks!

Sharon said... {Reply}

I agree -- Fault in Our Stars is a must-read. I put it down for a year when I got halfway through because my husband had 2 surgeries for cancer. I couldn't face this story. Then I picked it up and finished it in a couple of days this year. Wonderful, rich story. And I would love to win your giveaway. How fun!

Karen said... {Reply}

Loved The Fault In Our Stars, but I'm not sure I will be able to watch the movie. Besides....I have yet to see a movie that is as good as its book!

Buckeroomama said... {Reply}

Okay, now I am intrigued with "Fault in Our Stars"... You got me to read "Wonder," so I know this must be good, too. Thanks for sharing!

Kim Cunningham said... {Reply}

As a former ballet dancer I would love to read this! Thank you for the opportunity!

Christine E-E said... {Reply}

Oh, I loved the fault in our stars... Would love to read the painted girls. My daughters were dancers!

Jade @ Tasting Grace said... {Reply}

It's funny; every body loves The Fault in Our Stars, but actually I LOVED his other books and wasn't that thrilled with this one. I'm an odd duck I guess. My Sister's Keeper though? LOVED it. Wouldn't call it a tug-on-the-heart-strings kind of book though...more like a deep exploration of a really tough moral gray zone, which is why I liked it. Like I said, I'm an odd duck. :)

Cathy Marie Buchanan said... {Reply}

So nice to come upon your review. Much thanks.