The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea
Before my trip to Iceland I came across a write-up about this book and its upcoming release. 1600’s Iceland and odd things happening; it sounded like a perfect Iceland souvenir to pick up while I was there. I did end up finding it in Reykjavik and since Iceland is so expensive the darn thing cost me $40. I was really disappointed by this book. I think if every part that has the main character, Rosa, in it were to be carved out and replaced with a better character, or one that made any sense at all, it would be a much better book. Good parts: the setting; the way villagers and villages interacted with each other; the mystery of what happened to Rosa’s husband’s (Jon) first wife; Jon’s story; the “forbidden” love story. It was peculiar to me that Jon’s parts were in first person and Rosa’s were in third. Rosa’s actions and reasoning made no sense to me and she came off as a weak person and character. Perhaps if we also had her in first person I could have made more of a connection her.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I’ve always shied away from excessively large books. They seemed unnecessary, wordy, and filled with flowery descriptions. I’ve also always wanted a book with more day-to-day in it, especially if it takes place in another time or place. Outlander is that book, and the day-to-day is what makes it so long. I thought surely by the end of it I would have a long list of scenes that could have been left out, but I can’t think of anything that shouldn’t be in these pages. This is a wonderful story of adventure, botany, healing, love, and Scotland. I wanted to read this because I love the show so much and I’m so glad that I did. After I tackle the TBR pile I already have I hope to read more.
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon
Oddly enough, this was the first of the Outlander books that I read. I fell in love with the show last year and started this book and the first book, Outlander, this month. Most of the stories were a little difficult to get into but once I did I enjoyed them all. My favorite was “A Fugitive Green.”
Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir
Cheshire Crossing is a great mash up with Wendy, Dorothy, and Alice exploring each other’s worlds and villains. It’s an adventure story, and while this book is a quick read but I feel like an excellent job is done setting up the possibility for many stories to stem from this one. It’s not for children as there are some adult topics but I would think it’d be great for YA and up. I recommend this book.
The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross
I saw this book at the Penguin Random House booth at ECCC and once I showed an interest in it I was told that it i the the story of Beauty and the Beast from the Beast’s perspective. How has this not been done before?! In keeping with my comic con theme of not walking away from anything BATB, I bought it.
Honestly, it took me a few chapters to get into the book. I was never uninterested in reading it, but upon starting it I was filled with dread of having to read a book from the POV of this horrible, selfish, beastly creature. Duh, he’s cursed because he’s a horrible person, so the author did a great job of conveying this.
Much of the story is the same one we are all familiar with but with small differences; liberties taken to make the book the author’s own. Everything fits in beautifully with the classic tale.
Once I hit the halfway point I knew there was no stopping until I finished it, staying up into the wee hours of the morning to do so. This enchanting book captivated me with romance and the ways in which Isabeau and her two sisters made the best of their circumstances, finding a way to bring happiness into their lives. I can’t wait to read more from this author.
At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
I was so happy to find this book when looking for something to buy from Armchair Books in Whistler, BC. Maddie, her husband Ellis, and their friend Hank head to Scotland to prove the existence of the Loch Ness monster after a falling out with Maddie’s in-laws. Maddie has led both a sheltered and challenging life thus far and this trip puts everything into perspective for her. With the help of her new Scottish friends, she begins to decide what kind of person she wants to be, what kind of life she wants to live, and starts making difficult decisions to get her where she wants to be. I loved the Scottish setting and the vibrancy of the characters who work in the Inn. If you like Scotland and a good love story, you may like this book.