Libba Bray’s The Sweet Far Thing (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #3)


Jorie’s Store – The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, Book 3)

Title and Author(s):  The Sweet Far Things (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #3)
Release Date:
 Dec 26, 2007
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780375890604
Pages: 819
Source: Harris County Public Library’s Digital Media Collection | Overdrive

Reasons for Reading: Hey, I wanted to find out how it all ended for Gemma Doyle and her friends!

Spoiler Alert: Readers must read A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels before reading this review.

Summary: As sixteen-year old Gemma Doyle prepares for her London debut in 1896, she also copes with harsh realities: her mother’s murder the previous summer, her father’s addiction to laudanum, and her magical powers in the Realms being solely hers. Many both worlds will do anything for Gemma’s magic. Compounding the issue is the absence of  her reluctant friend, former Rakshana brotherhood member Kartik. In this otherworldly coming of age saga, Gemma must figure out who she is and her place in it all before all Hell breaks loose.

One Thing I Learned from reading Libba Bray’s The Sweet Far ThingI didn’t think that “nice girls” became actresses at the time. I thought this attitude was quite progressive for Victorian London.

What I Liked: They’re kids and they’re trying to figure out who they are. They are also trying to find their place in the world.

What I Disliked: Did this book really need to be 819 pages? Couldn’t this been expanded to a quartet? After page 700, this became work for me to read. That’s not good.

Song: The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army 

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Libba Bray’s Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #2)


Jorie’s Store – Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)

Title and Author(s):  Rebel Angels (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #2)
Release Date:
 August 23, 2005
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
ISBN: 0385730292
Pages: 560
Source: Harris County Public Library’s Digital Media Collection | Overdrive

Reasons for Reading: Well, I finished A Great and Terrible Beauty and I wanted to know what happened next to Gemma and her friends.

Spoiler Alert: Readers must read A Great and Terrible Beauty before reading this review.

Summary: It’s Christmas 1895 and Gemma can’t wait to going to London, having fun with friends Felicity and Ann,  filling her dance card at holiday balls, and spending time with her family. Setting the fact that her father is unwell and her grandma is consumed with worry, Gemma manages to enjoy her time. Simon Middleton, Lord Denby, is dazzled by Gemma and begins to pursue her. However, Gemma is also pursued by three ghostly girls. They can only be from the realms. So, Gemma takes Felicity and Ann to the magical realms. They are reunited with Pippa in the realms but all is not well. Kartik has returned, ordering Gemma to find the Temple in the realms and to bind the magic. Now, Gemma must face all of her fears – the apparitions, her father’s opium addiction, and her late mother’s foe – Circe.

One Thing I Learned from reading Libba Bray’s Rebel AngelsI didn’t know that the infamous Bedlam Hospital hosted balls for its patients.

What I Liked: Gemma was definitely a teenager. She was trying to figure out who she was and how she fit into the real world and the realms. I liked how she ultimately chooses the right thing.

What I Disliked: This book seemed like work. I enjoyed reading the first book but this one wasn’t as fascinating to me. Also, I didn’t care much for the book beginning with Kartik’s voice. These books are referred to as the Gemma Doyle Trilogy for a reason, right?

Song: Loreena McKennitt – Mystic Dream

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Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #1)


Jorie’s Store – A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)

(Written 17 February 2013)

Title and Author(s):  A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy #1)
Release Date:
 December 09, 2003
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780375890499
Pages: 432
Source: Harris County Public Library’s Digital Media Collection | Overdrive

Reasons for Reading: When I installed the Overdrive Digital Media App on my Nook Tablet, I quickly sought available fiction. When I saw Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty listed as available, I checked out the book and downloaded it sans USB cable. It felt good, too!

Summary: Life seems a bore for teenaged Gemma Doyle. Her parents won’t let her be part of London society but keep her in India. Then, on 21 June 1895, Gemma’s sixteenth birthday, a scary creature scares her mother and her mother commits suicide. So, Gemma is shipped off to Spence Academy for Young Ladies, outside of London. Gemma suffers loneliness, guilt, and ominous visions. She doesn’t immediately make friends and seems to have a young Indian man stalking her. Soon, Gemma gains three friends – fearless Felicity Worthington, beautiful Pippa Cross, and talented Ann Bradshaw. She also learns that coming to Spence, the visions, and the talisman her mother left her are all connected.

A Great and Terrible Beauty begins the three-part saga which follows Gemma and her friends into a story about destiny, power, friendship, and duty.

One Thing I Learned from reading Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible BeautyThe British subjects abroad didn’t have to regularly attend church.

What I Liked: Bray knew Gemma Doyle well. She expressed herself in a believable way. I knew a teenager narrated the story. Gemma also defended and brought her roommate – scholarship student Ann Bradshaw into an inner circle at Spence.

What I Disliked: Sometimes, the words seemed anachronistic. I wondered if Gemma or her friends would truly say certain things in 1895.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Loreena McKennitt – The Mummers’ Dance Official video – YouTube

Setting: Bombay India, London UK, England

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Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things Series


The Bright Young Things Saga by Anna Godbersen | Harris County Public Library Online Catalog

The Bright Young Things Saga by Anna Godbersen | Harris County Public Library Online Catalog

Title and Author(s): Bright Young Things; Beautiful Days; and The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen
Release Date: October 12, 2010; September 20, 2011; November 27, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 006196266X; 0061962686; 0061962708
Pages: 400; 368; 384
Source: Library

Reasons for Reading:  When I finished The Luxe Series, I wanted to read more Anna Godbersen. Upon hearing of a new saga set in the 1920s, I quickly requested the first book – Bright Young Things from the library.

Summary: Beginning with a prologue voiced in the first person, this narrator recalls the last summer of the Roaring Twenties. The narrator mentions three young ladies – one who became famous, one who got married, and one who died. Then, the saga leads the reader to two best friends. Orphaned Cordelia Grey leaves a boy at the alter with her best friend, Letty Larkspur (Letitia Haubstadt), and escaped their boring life in small town Ohio for the glitter of New York in the summer of 1929. Cordelia wants to reunite with her bootlegger father, Darius Grey, while Letty wants to see her name in lights. When they arrive in New York, Cordelia serendipitously meets her father, her brother – Charlie Grey, and Charlie’s sweetheart – Astrid Donal.  These three teen beauties strive to make their marks in New York is one dazzling summer.

One Thing I Learned from reading Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things Series

What I Liked : I like the styles from the 1920s – the fashion, the architecture, the art, the music, etc. Also, unlike the main characters of Godbersen’s The Luxe series, these girls appeared kind and caring – no frenemy in the bunch. Lastly, these girls definitely possessed the maturity of teenagers.

What I Disliked: While Godbersen started telling an interesting story, I found myself bored and tempted to scan pages early on in my reading of the third book, The Lucky Ones. Astrid, in particular, didn’t appeal to me. I found her absolutely insipid and I nearly skipped the Astrid-centric chapters. On the other hand, her stepsister Billie didn’t have enough scenes in the saga.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: “Yes, Sir! That’s My Baby!” (Lee Morse, 1925)

Setting: Ohio, New York City, Long Island New York

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Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer’s Between the Lines


Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer | LibraryThing

Picoult, J., & Leer, S. . (2012). Between the lines. New York: Simon Pulse/Emily Bestler Books/Atria. 9781451635751

Reasons for Reading: I attended the American Library Association Annual Conference last summer where I saw authors Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. This mother and daughter team wrote a book called Between the Lines which sounded very different from any other Picoult book I knew. When I returned to Houston, my mom and I requested this book from HCPL.

Summary: Quiet high school loner Delilah would rather read than contend with her fellow students. This is how she becomes immersed in the fairy tale “Between the Lines.” Delilah falls in love with the valiant hero, Prince Oliver. It’s as though he’s real!

Then, Prince Oliver DOES speak to Delilah. He’s a teenage actor confined to a storybook. More than anything, Prince Oliver wants to escape and live in the very real world of living, breathing love  – Delilah.  

So, these two work together so they can exist in the same world.

 What I Liked: The concept was awesomely original! I liked reading the pieces of “Between the Lines” as well as the perspectives of Delilah and Prince Oliver.  I appreciated the collaboration of the authors as well as the characters within the book. Lastly, the illustrations were beautiful.

What I Disliked: Without spoiling the end, I felt it was a little rushed. On the whole, I was satisfied with the conclusion but I found it bittersweet.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah” – YouTube

Places : United States

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Top Ten Books I Read Because Of Another Blogger


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Click here to see the upcoming topics!

September 13: Top Ten Books I Read Because Of Another Blogger (In honor of BBAW!)

(These are books that were recommended by friends, family, colleagues, and library patrons as well as bloggers.

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – (The Broke and the Bookish)

2. The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen – (Colleague)

3. Beth Revis’ Across the Universe series – (Colleague)

4. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – (Colleagues)

5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – (Friend)

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – (Family)

7. The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier – (Friend)

8. The Shack by William P. Young – (Family)

9. The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich –  (Friend)

10. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen – (Neal Wyatt/ Library Journal)   

Top Ten Books I’d Like to See Made Into Movies | Top Ten Tuesday


 

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND fill out Mr. Linky  . I
If you can’t come up with ten, don’t worry about it—post as many as you can!

1. Katherine by Anya Seton – I think I mention this book in all my Top Ten Tuesday posts, which indicates how much I enjoyed it. This would make for a gorgeous period piece that would have everything – passion, love, war, history, intrigue. . . I could go on for days.

2. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein – Okay, I’m really curious as to who they’d cast for Valentine Michael Smith and Jubal Harshaw. Also, Heinlein needs to come to the silver screen.

3. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – Another period piece so the costuming and the sets would be fantastic. On top of that, there’s a good story to be told. I imagine it would land on the Hallmark station but what the heck?  

4. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – They’ve promised this oddball book whose author scoffed at being an Oprah Book Club selection would be made into a film. Viewers would be able to identify with these characters just as well as readers have.

5. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – Rumor has it that this book will be made into an HBO miniseries. The screenplay seems to be there already and I can’t hardly wait.

6. The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld – This might have to be an animated feature due to all the quirky physiques described. Yet, I’ve been awaiting this for years.

7. The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen – Have you noticed I’ve got a thing for period pieces? This would be cool; a guilded age version of Gossip Girl on the big screen. The key would be casting the perfect Diana Holland who lept off each and every page of the quartet.

8. Bright Young Things Series by Anna Godbersen – I loath to use the phrase “my aesthetic” (which makes viewing Project Runway somewhat painful) but I’m a fan of Art Deco. I didn’t enjoy the movie The Great Gatsby much but I loved the costumes and the setting. I should’ve muted it and enjoyed the film that way. BYT would be awesome, though.

9. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – This enjoyable book had me laughing at least once a paragraph. I imagine it being akin to the Numbers.  

10. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – Even my least favorite Kingsolver book would make for a good film. The script is ready for it’s closeup.