10 July 2011

In My Mailbox #79 + Harry Potter Friday parody!

It's been a while since my last IMM so here are the goodies I've received lately!
  • WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW? by Claudia Carroll - Massively excited about this one!!! I love Carroll's previous book (although I have since heard it's been heavily plagiarised) so I'm really looking forward to her newest too! Thanks, Harper Collins UK!
  • ALWAYS ON MY MIND by Colette Caddle - I've been wanting to read this ever since it came out in hardcover, but I wanted to wait for the paperback. I was a bit sad the cover was changed, but now I quite like this one too. Thanks, Simon & Schuster UK!
  • CALIFORNIA DREAMERS by Belinda Jones - I was quite disappointed by this cover (it has nothng on her previous cover!!), but I like the story and I can't wait to read the book! Thanks, Hodder!
  • LOVE ALWAYS by Harriet Evans - Sounds intriguing! I was waiting for the paperback! Also not super impressed with the cover (her previous ones were much better IMHO), but oh well, it's nice enough.
  • THE SHADOWS by Jacqueline West - I really like the sound of this one. I think I saw the trailer somewhere and just got in on a whim. Haunted Victorian mansions? Yes, please!
  • LIESL & PO by Lauren Oliver - Squeeee! I saw that a lot of others bloggers got an ARC and I never thought I'd be one of them so imagine my surprise when I open an unexpected package and inside I find *this book* along with the cut out theatre! Amazing! Made my day! I mean, it's Lauren Oliver! Thank you, Hodder!
On a slightly unrelated note, who's excited about the final Harry Potter film? I know I am! I was a bit disappointed by part 1, but I still can't wait to see the final installment, although I will undoubtedly bawl my eyes out about it all ending ... But like DanRad said, the story lives on. I can't wait to re-read the whole series at some point - if you've read it, then you know how incredibly amazing the books are! Long live Queen Rowling!
Speaking of amazing, have you seen the Harry Potter Friday parody by The Hillywood Show? I must've watched it about 20 times (seriously) in the past week and it cracks me up each & every time, it's just SO spot on! See for yourself! :)

6 July 2011

Review: MY LAST DUCHESS by Daisy Goodwin ****

Beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, the wealthiest debutante in America, is spirited away from the glamour and comfort of her Park Avenue mansion and suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, mistress of Lulworth Castle, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. As Cora is soon to discover, nothing in this strange new world is quite as it seems. Her handsome new husband is withdrawn and secretive; the English social scene is stuffed with pitfalls and traps; and there are increasingly dangerous forces at work, people who wish she'd never met Ivo in the first place.

THE AMERICAN HEIRESS is a dazzling debut novel from Daisy Goodwin, whose brilliant new voice is reminiscent of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Kate Morton.

The other day I was just in the mood to read something lovely and historical, which I haven't done in quite a while and I really missed it. I don't know why, but I just felt drawn to this book - maybe it was the cover, or simply the promise of getting lost in the 1890s, which is my absolute favourite historical period to read about ...

I really loved the book at first. The amazing ridiculousness of the Gilded Age simply blew me away, as always, haha. I really warmed up to Cora (the richest girl in the world!) and was really excited about the prospect of her journey to England, meeting her husband etc. Overall, I absolutely adored the whole atmosphere of the book, but I just thought the story itself was a bit ... boring? Don't get me wrong, it was beautifully written, but I just felt nothing was happening. I was waiting for a huge mystery or a big scandal to happen, but nothing. Well, there was this thing towards the end, but it was far less exciting than I expected it to be.

Oh and don't even get me started on the ending, which I thought was left far too open. I really wanted to know what happened to all the characters and then all I got was ... a rushed mess with loose strings. I don't think there's enough material for a sequel, but surely this can't be the end? How did T react? And what happened to B&J? I just felt there were pages missing and ultimately I was left unsatisfied.

All in all, I loved loved LOVED getting lost in the lifestyles of the rich and the famous of the late 19th century. So delightful! The atmosphere was magical, the language was magnificent and the characters were lovely, but I just wished there was more to the story; nonetheless, I enjoyed reading it immensly.

overall rating:
plot: 3/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5