“An Appetite For Violets” by Martine Bailey

When I picked up “An Appetite For Violets” off the library shelf, I was in a bit of a hurry. I quickly scanned the jacket and thought it may be interesting since I liked historical fiction, so I signed it out.

By the time I finished reading the novel, which only took me 5 days, I admit that I liked the main character’s spunky attitude and was eager to see how the story ended. However, there are nearly 400 pages in this book, and about half of them are unnecessary. They don’t influence the reader’s thoughts, impact the action, or really do anything but distract from the story line. I found myself skimming over these parts to get on with the action when I’d rather savor every word. Additionally, the first few chapters were difficult to follow, with the use of the character’s 1770’s dialects and verbiage, though the readability does get better as the main character becomes more “educated”.

A quick summary: Biddy Leigh is the main character, an English servant under-cook who is elected to accompany her mistress on a journey to Italy. This opens up a new world for Biddy, and doing as her mistress bids starts to find her in a heap of trouble.

As far as a recommendation, I think that only  history buffs who like historical fluff would be interested, or people like me who are just looking for something to take their mind off of reality. Yes, there are some exciting bits, but for the most part the novel is simple in it’s story line and predictable in it’s outcome.

“Sisterhood Everlasting” by Ann Brashares

Are you guys ready to go down memory lane with your 13 year old self? Get ready, because that is exactly what this book will do to you. I was doing a lap around my local Goodwill the other day, and just happened to browse the bookshelves when “Sisterhood Everlasting” caught my eye. I read the “Traveling Pants” series as a teen and thought I’d check the inside cover to remind myself what happens in this book, when I realized I hadn’t read this one. Surprise! In 2011, Brashares apparently decided to give her fans a little gift- the knowledge of what happened to the Sisterhood ten years later. I bought the $2.00 book and took it home, my inner teen squealing in excitement.

As I read, I was reintroduced to the adult versions of Carmen, Lena, Bridget, and Tibby. Carmen is an actress and engaged, living the life of luxury as she always dreamed. Lena is still a shy, quiet artist and teaching at her alma mater. Bridget is still the free spirit she’s always been, living with long-time boyfriend Eric in California. And film producer Tibby and boyfriend Brian moved to Australia. After two years of being apart, Tibby arranges a reunion with the sisterhood in Santorini, Greece.

There, in Santorini, is where I knew I couldn’t stop reading. 50 pages in of the 350, I was turning the pages as fast as my eyes and hands could move. I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book, but I’ll tell you I didn’t see Brashares’ turn of events coming. I won’t spoil everything, but I cried many times throughout this novel. As with all the “Traveling Pants” books, I knew that friendship, sisterhood, and love were going to be strong themes, and I expected some of the story lines to be semi-predictable. But the way that Brashares unfolds the story, the reader isn’t guessing what while happen next, but rather experiencing it as the character does. It was really enjoyable to connect with the protagonists on that emotional level.

Overall, I will definitely re-read, and recommend to anyone who has read the series- because this truly is the necessary wrap up. I have to give fair warning that the ending is a little soft… in the way that makes this a definite work of fiction and not realistic. But again, worth the read. AND, rumor has it, for those fans of the movies, there may be a movie of this book! *teenager squeal* I’m eager to see if it actually happens, and with all the revamps of movies/series/sequels these days, I feel like there is a strong possibility. So jump on the fan wagon now, just in case!

 

 

 

“My Life is a Little Hectic” by thelexingtonbookie

Hi everybody! So, as you can see, I am considerably failing at my resolution to keep reading, but I’m trying to at least write a little something so that you know I haven’t forgotten about you!

So, you all know that as of mid-June I finally (FINALLY) closed on my first house, and I’ve been working like a mad woman to make it my home this past month. It took me about two weeks to get everything out of my apartment and into some pile at the house. Then, it’s taken me the past two weeks to shift it from one room to it’s semi-determinant location.It was a tiny bit of hell for a lot of heaven, due to the fact that I did about 90% of the moving myself (thanks Josette for the other 10%, you’re the best!) and I did all in Kentucky’s lovely June humidity. Needless to say, I’m glad that part is over.

This of course coincided with Independence Day weekend here (#merica) so I actually got to have my first guests stay in the house, my best friend from college and her fiance (shout-out to Miko and TyTy! Yes, I call him that to his face.) We had a blast running around from distillery to distillery, trying bourbons and brews across the Bluegrass, while catching show after show of firework displays. However, this left very little time for work around the house, and no time whatsoever for quiet reading.

I did attempt to get some reading in this weekend while I was house sitting for another couple, but honestly, I was way more into the TV because this place has cable- a luxury that I have yet to have in over 3 years!

So between all this excitement, my regular job, my fun farm “job”, petsitting, having company over, and just pure exhaustion, I’m admittedly doing a horrible job at keeping up the reading resolution. The rest of this month isn’t looking promising either- but hopefully by August, the dust will settle and I’ll be getting back on the bandwagon. So hang in there with me folks, I’m doing the best I can, and I’m determined to make a strong comeback soon.

Thanks for sticking by me,

thelexbookie 🙂