The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Waiting on Wednesday #51: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory July 27, 2016

eb176-newwow

Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

28251813

Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Tudor Court #2)

By: Philippa Gregory

Coming: 9 August 2016

Publisher: Touchstone

Summary:

As sisters they share an everlasting bond; As queens they can break each other’s hearts.

“There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.”

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

Why I’m excited:

I love Philippa Gregory’s books. The Cousin’s War series is one of my favourites. I have also enjoyed The Tudor Court series too. I’m very excited to see more of Katherine of Aragon. She’s a fascinating ruler. I’m interested in seeing Margaret Tudor come into play. I recently binge rewatched Reign and I always miss my beloved Scotland.

Why I need you to be excited:

Reign is hugely popular right now, but Philippa Gregory presents a better historical look at the time period. Reign is a guilty pleasure of mine. It kills me how inaccurate it is, but I can’t quit it. I love to jump into the Tudor era and Philippa Gregory is a fantastic author.

Advertisements
 

*ARC Review* Perfect Lies by Kiersten White July 14, 2014

***I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to HarperTeen!***   

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Pub date: 18 February 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal
Format: ARC provided by the publisher
Status: Book two of the Mind Games duology

Summary:
Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie’s visions of the future can’t show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia’s first love, Fia knows he’s hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other – but that may not be enough to save them.

 

My thoughts:
I received an ARC of Perfect Lies with an ARC of Taken from HarperCollins. I was excited because it sounded like a great read, plus it was a short book. 

Right off, I liked Perfect Lies more than Mind Games. Not sure why, it just felt a little more put together even though it also felt more chaotic. I will say I don’t feel like things were wrapped up at the end.

Annie really blossomed in Perfect Lies and I loved it. I loved watching her realise she didn’t have to rely on Fia to function. I enjoyed her interaction with Cole. Their development in Perfect Lies was the best of the characters.

Fia really frustrated me. Her stream of consciousness was a whole bunch of crazy. It felt like the closer we got to THE event, the more unhinged she became. Her interactions with James were just off. With perfect instincts, I think she failed on that one. Ugh. I did love her interactions with Pixie, but much like Pixie, I found Fia to be very overwhelming. 

The action and pace felt much more intense than Mind Games and one detail really kept you wondering until about 3/4 through the book. I was relieved how that played out, which really kinda surprised me.

The world building  continued to be nonexistent and it actually did bother me a bit this time around because the actions that were taken made no sense to me because we never saw what the world was like.

 The snark was just as good, if not better though. I love me some snark! It just wasn’t enough to boost over the things that were lacking.

 I did enjoy reading this duology, and Kiersten’s style has intrigued me enough  to check out some of her other works. I still recommend this duology because it’s a quick read and provides enough enjoyment to be worth the time. I’m undecided if I’ll reread this in the future. Maybe if I need quick reads to fill the time.

About the author:

Hi! I’m the New York Times best-selling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally. I also give the most awkward hugs in the world. You should probably opt for one of my books over one of my hugs, but then again, maybe you like awkward hugs.

As for me, I like writing flirting scenes, and fighting scenes, and sometimes I write scenes that fall somewhere in between the two, but only if I can’t avoid it.

 

*Review* Mind Games by Kiersten White July 13, 2014

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 3 1/4 stars
Pub date: 19 February 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins, HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal
Format: hardcover, personal copy, signed
Status: Book one of the Mind Games duology

Summary:
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

 

My thoughts:

I was nervous going into Mind Games. I ordered it to go along with my ARC of Perfect Lies that came as a surprise from Harper. I’d been excited about Mind Games and Perfect Lies and took a leap of faith when I asked Mary to get them personalised during the Dark Days tour. I was supposed to go, but things fell through and I wasn’t able to go.

I didn’t enjoy Mind Games as much as I’d hoped, but enough to be happy I got it personalised.

It was nice to have a relatively short read. It took me longer than expected to read because life interfered and it almost forced me to put it down because a super stressful week did not jive with such a dark book. Thankfully, I woke up in a better mindset the night after I had decided to put Mind Games down and I knocked it out during the kids’ naptime.

I enjoyed Annie’s POV much more than Fia’s. Both as a stream of consciousness felt rather chaotic, especially with jumping between past and present as well as between sisters. Close attention HAD to be paid to chapter endings/beginnings. I got confused a few times when I got careless with reading.

Orphaned and taken in to an elite school, the girls are already a bit unstable. Annie is blind, plus sees visions. Fia has been in charge of watching out for her older sister since the accident that stole Annie’s sight. The school continues to destroy Fia. To make matters worse, James enters the scene.

From the beginning, things go from bad to worse for the girls. Fia is forced to commit murder and Annie is held hostage to ensure Fia cooperates.

For being under 240 pages, a lot of action goes down and the ending does leave you curious for more. The writing style is not one I cared for. The stream of consciousness of a lot of mental ramblings was overwhelming at times. Too much crazy from Fia. WAY TOO MUCH CRAZY.

While a lot happens in a short amount of time, there is minimal world building. We don’t know anything about the outside world or even really anything about the school where they live. Not too thrilled with that, but this is so character driven that I’ll let it slide. If this was more than a duology, it would be a major issue.

As such a short book, I can recommend it. It’s a fast read (don’t take my logged time as a testament to that since I went days without reading). I’m interested enough to continue on to book two. If it was more than a duology, I don’t know if I would commit, but two short books, I can get behind this story.

About the author:

Hi! I’m the New York Times best-selling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally. I also give the most awkward hugs in the world. You should probably opt for one of my books over one of my hugs, but then again, maybe you like awkward hugs.

As for me, I like writing flirting scenes, and fighting scenes, and sometimes I write scenes that fall somewhere in between the two, but only if I can’t avoid it

 

*Review* Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols June 9, 2014

***I was given a signed copy to celebrate the paperback release in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Jennifer!***   

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 16 July 2013
Publisher: MTV books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: paperback, personal copy, signed & provided by the author
Status: standalone

Summary:
From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

 

My thoughts:

To celebrate the release of the paperback edition, Jennifer gave away a few signed copies in exchange for honest reviews. I was lucky enough to get a copy. Luck would have it that it arrived right after I finished Biggest Flirts. In the mood for some more contemporary, I jumped right in. Take not that back to back contemporaries is extremely uncommon and should speak VOLUMES about Jennifer’s talent.

I was immediately sucked into the wonderfulness that is Nashvegas (Nashville to all those uncool cats). I LOVE Nashville. Love, love, LOVE. You don’t even understand how much I love Nashville. Jennifer made me so freaking homesick for Middle Tennessee. Every page made my heartache for Nashville. I also enjoyed every page. Just remember that. By the way, I spent the first 18 years of my life in East Tennessee. I only spent 3 1/2 ish years in Middle Tennessee. I. Love. Middle. Tennessee. I BLEED MTSU blue. I freaking LOVE the Nashville Predators. LOVE NASHVILLE. (Have I gotten my love of Middle Tennessee across yet? lol)

Ah, music. I love books with musicians. Like I said in my Biggest Flirts review, I’m a musician and I married a musician. I could easily relate to Bailey on that level. I wasn’t forced into the business or forced to give it up like her though. I could never imagine doing that to my children. Even though as a parent, I wasn’t thirlled with the sneaking into bars/going behind her parents’ back, but my hear sang for joy when she played. And the non parent part supported her in her ventures to do whatever it took to find herself.

I can totally relate to Bailey’s punk style rebellion. That was my freshman year of college. Punk style clothes, dorm room, and music. I did it to push a few boundaries and to see if I could get away with it. I did. Haha.

I was blown away by Sam. Of course, I was into the musician side of him. I just – wow. I felt like he could walk off the page at any moment. The commitment issues because of his parents? I get that. His passion to go after what he wants? Yes, please! He did have his moments when I could’ve choked him, but that made him more realistic for me. It made him human. His flaws made him believable.

They are supported by a great cast of secondary characters. I really liked Bailey’s grandpa. Pulling the parental card on the parentals was great. I loved Ace. He was the perfect addition to the dynamic of the group. Everyone needs that friend that keeps everyone grounded. I didn’t like Charlotte, but I believe that’s the point.

Just like Biggest Flirts, I fell in love with the world Jennifer created. It was great to be back in Nashville even if it was only in my imagination. I still won’t say I’m a contemporary fan, but I will say I’m quickly becoming a Jennifer Echols fan! I totally recommend this to contemporary and non contemporary fans alike! This was such a quick and enjoyable read! I’m so glad Jennifer gave me a chance to read and review it.

Playlist: (I couldn’t get these songs out of my head while I read!)

Dirty Little Secret” – All American Rejects

I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift

Remember When” – Alan Jackson

Whiskey Lullaby” – Alison Krauss & Brad Paisley

My Best Friend’s Girl“- The Cars

Pompeii” – Bastille

Light Up the Sky” – The Afters

Somewhere I Belong” – Linkin Park

Overprotected” – Britney Spears

Five Feet High & Rising“- Johnny Cash

Done” – The Band Perry

Broken” – Lifehouse

Best Day of My Life” – American Authors

Somewhere Only We Know” – Keane

Dancing Away with My Heart” – Lady Antebellum

Cocaine Blues” – Johnny Cash

About the author:

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

GIVEAWAY!!! Check out my twitter account @armywife2310 for a swag giveaway! (:

 

 
%d bloggers like this: