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Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

61-uqwzzxtlI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I love stories set during the Regency period, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read Love, Lies and Spies. This young adult novel was written by Cindy Anstey.

Juliana Telford is a young woman of Quality about to embark on her first Season in London. She is very excited about this; she is not interested in finding a husband- no, our Miss Telford has some ulterior motives. She hopes to get her research about lady beetles published, so London is the perfect place to be to achieve this goal. Juliana encounters Mr. Spencer Northam at the beginning of the book, and continues to encounter him once the Season begins in London. Spencer is secretly working with the War Department; he knows that communiqués have been exchanged, and he needs to figure out who is behind these treasonous activities. Mr. Northam has also declared that matrimony is not for him, but it is difficult to concentrate when in close proximity to such a beautiful young woman. Continue reading

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My Mad Fat Diary: A Memoir by Rae Earl

51g4kphei4lI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love books set in England, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read My Mad Fat Diary by Rae Earl. I usually prefer material set in the 19th century, and I am choosing to ignore the fact that a book set in 1989 is almost thirty years in the past, and might be conceivably classified as “historical”.

This book was originally published a few years ago in England, and Rae has kindly included a glossary at the beginning for the American publication. The original English slang remains unchanged, so a glossary is very handy for readers who might not be as familiar with the slang words from England. Continue reading

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Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff

51wa5tvta3lI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My oldest daughter is almost nine years old, so I have recruited her to help me with the middle grade ARCs that I receive from Netgalley. She is a voracious reader, but she tends to gravitate towards comics and graphic novels rather than novels. Reading together gives her the opportunity to expand her repertoire, and I get some great feedback from the target demographic.

We just finished reading Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood. This is Liesl Shurtliff’s third novel featuring fairytale characters. Red’s grandmother is feeling ill, and a basket of goodies is not enough to restore her to good health. Red’s grandmother happens to be a witch, but she is too sick to prepare a potion for herself.   Red sets out to gather the ingredients for a restorative draught, but it proves to be a more difficult job than she anticipated. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a pesky girl named Goldie insists on tagging along, and Red can’t shake the feeling that they are being followed! Continue reading

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Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker

41zdzi3puplI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My oldest daughter is almost nine years old, and she is an avid reader. She and I have read all of Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine books, so we were very excited about the opportunity to read Pennypacker’s latest book: Waylon! One Awesome Thing.

Waylon is not a sequel to the Clementine books, but they are definitely a spinoff. Waylon lives in Clementine’s world; the two children attend the same school, and they are both in the fourth grade. They are not close friends, but Waylon has a couple of interactions with her over the course of the book.

If you are not familiar with the Clementine books, that’s okay; you don’t have to have read them before reading Waylon. Waylon is a fourth grade boy who lives in Boston with his parents and sister. Waylon is a very intelligent boy, and he loves science. Continue reading

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Just Like Me by Nancy Cavanaugh

51arpbju1wlI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My oldest daughter is almost nine years old, so I have recruited her to help me with the middle grade ARCs that I receive from Netgalley. She is a voracious reader, but she tends to gravitate towards comics and graphic novels rather than novels. Reading together gives her the opportunity to expand her repertoire, and I get some great feedback from the target demographic.

We recently read Just Like Me by Nancy Cavanaugh. The story begins with narrator Julia on the bus to sleepaway camp with Avery and Becca, her “Chinese sisters”. The girls were all adopted at the same time from the same orphanage. Avery and Becca live close to each other, get together all the time, and have embraced their Chinese heritage. Julia has been struggling with her identity, and sees herself as half Irish, half Italian like her parents- and half Chinese too. Continue reading

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Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

81dkz-evqllI have been a fan of Julia Quinn’s historical romances for almost fifteen years. I missed a few of her books when my children were young, but I have been enjoying some of the books I missed in recent months as I eagerly waited for her latest release.

Julia Quinn is probably best known for her Bridgerton series, eight books devoted to one Regency-era family of siblings. Each book featured one of the siblings’ love story, and there was something infectiously delightful about the family. Maybe it was their brutal games of croquet- including the infamous Mallet of Death. Maybe it was their strong bond, or perhaps it was their sense of humor.

The Bridgerton series ended in 2006, and Quinn went on to publish a new book every year, and finally, after ten years, we are revisiting the Bridgerton family.   Because of Miss Bridgerton shifts from the Regency era to the Georgian, and explores the relationship between Miss Billie Bridgerton and her aristocratic neighbor George Rokesby, Lord Kennard. Continue reading

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The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

51mm2qbulslI had been looking forward to The Dark Days Club from the moment that I first heard about it several months before its release. I had a copy from the library, but when I found out that if I bought the Kindle edition, I could add the Audible edition for only $4.50 or so. Sold!

The Dark Days Club is the first entry in a Regency-set YA series by Alison Goodman. Lady Helen Wrexhall is preparing for her presentation at court. Lady Helen lives with her aunt and uncle. Her parents are dead, and Lady Helen doesn’t know much about the accident that led to their death, other than that it was Very Scandalous and should never be discussed. Ever. Continue reading