Tuesday, January 26, 2010

City of Masks

I recently finished reading City of Masks by Mary Hoffman. It is the first in her Stravaganza series and it definitely drew me in. It was really easy to relate to the main characters, Arianna, a young girl who lives in the lagoons of Bellezza, which is the 16th century Venice of an alternate world, and Luciano, a young boy from present day London, England who has cancer. I can't say too much without giving it away, but the plot really draws you in and the character development throughout the book is absorbing, especially because the series is meant for children and young teens. You really feel like you're walking the streets of Bellezza and steering the mandola (as they call gondolas in this alternate world) right along with the characters. The book draws on the natural beauty of Venice and you can see it in every aspect of Bellezza. I would recommend this book to anyone with a love for Italy or just a good story.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Betrayal of the Blood Lily

Okay, so I finished The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig today. I must say that it surpassed my expectations. I was really looking forward to reading it, but at the same time I was kind of hesitant because of how different from the previous books it was - completely different setting, the main character already being married. But it was really good. The character development was more pronounced in this novel than the previous, for both Penelope and Captain Reid. Once I started, I could barely put the book down, which is slightly detrimental to the whole going to class and doing homework and working thing that I'm apparently expected to do as a college student. No one seems to take into account that I would rather be reading. More's the pity. Ha. Thus I have read this novel over the dragging pace of three days. It was brutal to have to pause to do practical things like class. But anyway, I would definitely recommend this book as well as the rest of the Pink Carnation series. Unlike some series where the quality of the books steadily declines the more that are written, I have found that each installment in the Pink Carnation series meets, indeed surpasses, expectations, not a small feat when there are already six books out. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Reading Challenges

Okay, so I've recently picked up a few reading challenges. I'm not sure if I'll have time to finish them all, but I figure that it's worth a shot. I'll try to write at least something about each book I read and if it relates to a challenge, then I will put a label on it for whichever challenge(s) it applies to. I'm really hoping I can finish them because I would generally rather read then do schoolwork. (Not that that helps my gpa much.) So, anyway, I have a list of books I am currently reading on the right side of this page. When I finish them, they will be labeled accordingly.