Book Review

When Mean Girls meet Robin Hood: Pretty Crooked…

Before I get started on my review, here is the link for my I love reading giveaway 🙂

Disclaimer: This review is based on the version of the book Pretty Crooked which I received as ARC through NetGalley. I am happy I discovered this website and I have decided to review the books I have the chance to read when I give them at least 3 stars on Goodreads. I gave Pretty Crooked 3 stars so here we go 🙂

After reading The Fault in Our Stars, I needed something which would not make me cry. Thanks to NetGalley, Pretty Crooked was waiting on my Kindle. I love Robin Hood stories so I thought this could be a match…

Summary from Goodreads: High school sophomore Willa and her artist mother move to Arizona where Willa starts attending an elite prep school after her mother finally sells some paintings, and Willa attempts to even things out by stealing from the rich students and giving to the poor ones.

I really enjoyed Willa´s voice. She was funny, witty and yes, she does steal but she does have the best intentions at heart. Honestly, I didn´t spend too much time thinking about the possible moral implications because, well, if you´ve got a story of Robin Hood, you have somebody who steals. That´s how it works.

It would be like changing the ending of a fairy tale…It reminds me of a Desperate Housewives episode when Lynette argues with another mom on Little Red Riding Hood who wanted to change the ending because the wolf is too scary.

Anyways,,,:-)

Willa is not on a big quest, she definitely has flaws and some of her actions may be questionable.

It reminded me of Mean Girls. Cady not able to stand up to their little group because she liked being in the middle of attention. Well, Willa is a little bit like her and when she wants to make it right, while still not losing her status, she turns into “Robin Hood”. Of course, there´s more to the story than Willa trying to get back at the mean rich kids, she also meets a guy at school who makes her heart beat faster. It´s a cute romance, even though he does not end up on my list of book crushes (but I have high expectations on this, I mean Etienne St-Clair from Anna and The French Kiss is hard to compete with). The issues with her mother, with whom she got along just fine before, grow stronger throughout the book and I wonder what the sequel will entail on this front.

Pretty crooked is a fun and light read.

Sometimes fun and light is exactly what I need 🙂 

How about you?

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reading, revising

My January books :D

Yesterday, I posted a letter “Dear Book, it´s not you it´s me” in which I tried to explain to this wonderful novel that this was not the right time for us to become involved. I just figured out why. The book I was trying to read (and only got a few pages in) was in French. I love reading in my mother tongue as it helps me to remember the way the words flow, their melody, their strength and their passion.

However, I am currently revising my first draft – and I write in English. Reading in one language while my brain keeps on calling me back to my manuscript which is in another language just does not work right at the moment. The funny thing is that it does not bother me when I write.

And I did do plenty of reading this month in English. Really, I enjoyed 15 books (see my Goodread shelf for more info): 13 young adult novels and 2 were thrillers 😀

I commute and I took a short writing break after finishing my first draft. Plenty of time. Some of those books took my breath away. Out of 15, it´s difficult to pick only one book and I won´t 🙂 but I will name the ones that sticked with me for a long long time after I put them down.

The Hunger Games trilogy, Divergent, Anna and The French Kiss, The Statistical Probabability of Love at First Sight…

What do all of these books have in common despite being so different?

I felt with the characters on many levels, the voices were amazing and the emotions jumped out of the pages right into my heart 🙂

Which book(s) did you read this month that you simply could not put down?

reading

How I fell in love with a Bronze Horseman…

Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are.  Ask: What do believe in? What do you hope for? What do you love?”

When I first bought a book by Paullina Simons, I was strolling through the sales rack of Barnes and Nobles (I was a student at the time and trying by any way possible to appease my thirst for novels). I saw The Bronze Horseman, read the little blurb, it was about love and war and family and did I mention love? I went home with it and never regretted that decision once. It is one of those epic love stories which stay with you long after you turned off the lights.

The Bronze Horseman: From the author of the international bestseller Tully comes an epic tale of passion, betrayal, and survival in World War II Russia. Leningrad, 1941: The European war seems far away in this city of fallen grandeur, where splendid palaces and stately boulevards speak of a different age, when the city was known as St. Petersburg. Now two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanov, live in a cramped apartment, sharing one room with their brother and parents. Such are the harsh realities of Stalin’s Russia, but when Hitler invades the country, the siege of its cities makes the previous severe conditions seem luxurious. Against this backdrop of danger and uncertainty, Tatiana meets Alexander, an officer in the Red Army whose self-confidence sets him apart from most Russian men and helps to conceal a mysterious and troubled past. (Picture and summary from Goodreads.com)

I fell hard for this book and for its characters. I mean, Alexander, is one of the most attractive character I got to know. Maybe I am bias because my husband´s family comes originally from Russia (yes we are international) and some of the nicknames used are ones I hear from times to times. The numerous references to Puschkin and her love for literature probably helped as well.

Diving into the story, we are transported in a time of terror but through which hope emerges. Tatiana is strong and stubborn. She grows up fast because she has to, her relationship with her grandparents and her sister shine through the book. It is not an easy situation and yes the moral may not come unhurt but the passion and its denyal are there. She holds her ground against him, she tries to stay true to her values and herself, growing up too fast in a changing world.

Of course, nothing can always be perfect and sometimes, I did feel like history was simplified and that there was a strong US vs Russia type of situation: Russian men bad, American men good (a little stereotypical but luckily the love of Tatiana for her grandfather and the honor, respect and good nature of some Russian soldiers do save the situation from times to times). There may be other things one could maybe complain about, but honestly I did not care because I jumped into the story head first.

Why? Because I rooted for Tatiana and Alexander, because one can feel like you are at home with her when she is starting to cook blinis for him and her family…

The Bronze Horseman is followed by Tatiana and Alexander and The Summer Garden. While I enjoyed Tatiana and Alexander, I was not able to immerse myself in the story as I did with The Bronze Horseman. The Summer Garden is different but it teaches us that even the most powerful of love can take awhile to heal the scars and the importance of not drifting apart. It took my breath away, in a different manner than The Bronze Horseman.

Oh and if you end up falling in love with The Bronze Horseman as much as I did, you can even get the recipes from the books (food plays such an important role in it). I have to admit, I only did one dish so far. My husband keeps on telling me the ones I want to make take too long and that his mom can cook them for us (she does and it is indeed yummy…). One day though, I will make piroshki.

Now I´m hungry, off to eat…but before I do a little question for you: is there an epic love story you could not put down and read several times? Or what, according to you, makes a story a beautiful love story? Feel free to let me know if you hate love stories 🙂