Strolling in Storyland

Welcome to a world where imagination runs free

“Legend” by Marie Lu

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

“What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.”

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Wow, wow, wow!! I loved this book from start to finish! It completely blew me away!

The cover: the cover is absolutely gorgeous, puts you straight into a dramatic atmosphere.

The story: What I loved most about this story is the pacing. It’s fast, it’s precise and not one word is superfluous. 

It’s a two point of view story which perfectly suits the narrative because it allows the reader to see how similar Day and June are although everything seems to separate them.

About June: she’s a great female heroine. I disliked her a little at one part of the story because her actions hurt Day. I know, I know, she was acting out of revenge, and it is perfectly understandable. But still, I hold a mild grudge. Other than that, she’s one of the coolest female characters I’ve read about. 

Kaede is also a kick-ass character although she doesn’t appear often in this novel. I’m assuming she’ll play a more important role in the sequel, “Prodigy”.

As for Day! Aie, Aie, Aie: he’s a mixture of funny, sweet, kick-ass, intelligent , loyal and also thought-provoking. Definitely someone I want to read more about!

The dystopian premise is described just enough for the reader to feel the oppressive atmosphere. But was is interesting is that the author introduces the Patriots and Colonies, but doesn’t give too much detail in an already action-packed book. Why is this interesting? Because I’m sure those key elements will be properly developed in Prodigy. I feel like it might’ve been rushed in the first novel.  I guess “Legend” is sort of a 300-page teaser for its own sequel.

And it works because I’m dying to get my hands on Prodigy!

Of course there is romance: not so much that you want to gag, but just enough to get that warm, fuzzy feeling. So sweeeeet!

However, I don’t know if it’s just me, but for now, I don’t really get the whole governmental scheme with the viruses, what the endgame is. But I guess this will be further discussed in the sequel.

Anyway, if you didn’t know already: I loved, loved, loved this book which is why my rating is:

 

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“Wander Dust” by Michelle Warren

ImageSynopsis:

“Ever since her sixteenth birthday, strange things keep happening to Seraphina Parrish.

The Lady in Black… burns Sera’s memories.

Unexplainable Premonitions… catapult her to other cities.

The Grungy Gang… wants to kill her.

And a beautiful, mysterious boy… stalks her.

But when Sera moves to Chicago, and her aunt reveals their family connection to a centuries old, secret society, she is immediately thrust into an unbelievable fantasy world, leading her on a quest to unravel the mysteries that plague her. In the end, their meanings crash into an epic struggle of loyalty and betrayal, and she’ll be forced to choose between the boy who has stolen her heart and the thing she desires most.”

Review:

I thought this book was a very entertaining read. Seraphina is a strong and smart heroine one can easily get attached to. Her love interest, Max Bishop, is absolutely perfect except for one blatant flaw: his choice in women.Yes, he’s in a relationship with Perpetua. Why, you ask? I absolutely don’t know! She’s not that nice, and she’s definitely nothing compared to Sera.

Although the beginning was a little slow, the moment Sera’s shoes hit the Chicago pavements, you’re in for an adventurous ride. Between the Washington Square Academy, the Wandering mythology the author wonderfully develops, and the enemies Sera encounters, by the end of the book the reader is left breathless and wanting more.

Which is why I gave this book:

3, 5 stars

 

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Rock editorial services featured my book!

http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=6d9b9aee3df836c9734c54628&id=fd5f37c693&e=a9d74ab8e3

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Once Upon a Tag

Hi everyone!

My new short story “Once Upon a Tag” is out! It’ll be free tomorrow April 25th on Amazon!

“When David, a young French painter, unexpectedly meets Rita, an
infamous Parisian street artist, his convictions are shaken to the core
during a night he is unlikely to ever forget.”

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-short-story-ebook/dp/B00CHQC53K/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_1_HERF

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5 reasons why Rossini’s Cinderella is better than the Walt Disney Princess

 

 

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When Rossini’s opera La Cenerentola (Cinderella in italian) was first performed, way back in the nineteenth century, Cinderella was already a famous fairy tale thanks in part to our distinguished  French author, Charles Perrault.

Today, everybody knows Walt Disney’s Cinderella, but apart from opera lovers, Rossini’s Cinderella has fallen into a deep pit of  dark oblivion. 

Two weeks ago, I was lucky to see a beautiful performance of Rossini’s Cenerentola at the Opera Garnier in Paris (one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world, I might add). And I can assure you that there are at least 5 reasons why Rossini’s Cinderella beats   Disney Princess Cinderella fair and square.

1) In Rossini’s version, Cinderella is said to be not only beautiful, but intelligent

Was Rossini more of a feminist than 20th century Disney producers? Perhaps, perhaps.

At any rate, in Rossini’s opera, it is mentioned several times that Cinderella is intelligent, and that is one of the qualities the Prince appreciates. Of course he loves her also for her beauty and graciousness, but I do think that this point must be underlined. 

And I must add, that the first time the Prince sees Cinderella and falls in love with her isn’t at the ball. When he sees her for the first time, she is dressed in rags as a neglected servant in her home, but he nevertheless falls in love with her. As for her, little does she know that the handsome man she just met is in fact the Prince.

Which brings me to point n°2.

2) The Prince is active in his pursuit of happiness

Rossini’s Prince Charming isn’t so charming at first. Let me explain.

He is cunning and has a plan to find the perfect bride. He asks his valet, Dandini, to take his place while they go from house to house to invite every fair lady of the kingdom. That way the real Prince can see how women behave towards him when they think he is a mere, destitute valet.

Isn’t he smart?

I daresay say he is. Especially when you see how the two stepsisters snub  him mercilessly, and shamefully try to  seduce  Dandini (the fake “Prince”) at any cost,  while Cinderella is charmed by the handsome “valet”who wins her heart in an instant.

3) Cinderella makes a point of choosing whom she wants to marry

When Cinderella manages to go to the ball and arrives late, but exquisitely dressed, everybody is struck by her beauty including the fake Prince and the real one. But of course nobody recognizes her.

Dandini tells her, still acting his part as the fake Prince, that he would love to make her his bride.

But lo and behold, Cinderella answers that she is in love with his valet (who is in fact the real Prince) and that she cares nothing for titles, fame and fortune. She just wants the man she  loves. She then dares the valet to find her, the real her and tells him that if he still loves her when he sees her again (in her rags, but he doesn’t know that yet), she’ll agree to marry him.

See? Isn’t she  a determined, strong-willed woman who knows what she wants? Isn’t she a better role model than the Disney version who just happens to lose her glass slipper, and waits patiently for her Prince to find her?

4) The opera is altogether much more amusing than the movie

It is important to remember that La Cenerentola belongs to the comic opera genre, and as such will have you laughing from start to finish.

 Forget the evil stepmother! In Rossini’s opera she is replaced by a grotesque stepfather whose main thoughts are inextricably related to eating and drinking.

The evil stepsisters are so funny, I completely and wholeheartedly “fell in love” with them and their shameless, exaggerated, dim-witted, flirtatious manners. All for the wrong man, too.

Which brings me to Dandini, who is a really outstanding character. At first he is hesitant to use his “promotion” to his advantage, but he quickly loses all qualms and seduces the two stepsisters in the most scandalously, humoristic ways.

5) The music is breathtaking

How can I speak about an opera without mentioning La Cenerentola‘s beautiful libretto? 

All I can say is that Cinderella’s convincing mezzo-soprano arias will win you over, and  Disney’s “A dream is a wish your heart makes” will sound like intolerable clatter.

 

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Oxford Whispers Review

ImageMadison LeBon tried to run away from her voodoo heritage and her life in Louisiana, but to no avail. Her heritage catches up with her in Oxford through a mysterious XIXth century painting by William Shakespeare Burton.The historical and artistic aspects of this novel were thorough, solid, and what I appreciated the most.


The story was an enjoyable read with many twists. The main character is likeable, but not very confident, which is perhaps why I preferred Pippa,even though her friendship with Madison suffers later on in the book owing to their similar taste in men. At least in one man in particular: the rich and handsome Rupert Vance.

At first, I didn’t have a too good opinion of Rupert, but he proved to be quite reliable as the story progressed. On the other hand, I thought Jackson who was pretty likeable at the beginning gradually got more and more annoying.

The only drawback for me was perhaps how often the narrator expressed how much Madison is physically attracted to Rupert (every time they touch or he if he’s standing next to her, etc etc). Also, I hope Madison’s voodoo heritage and abilities will be dealt with in depth in the next installment of the series.

Otherwise, this book should be recommended to all who enjoy a delightful English setting with a voodooistic twist.

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And the winner is…

 

ImageCONGRATULATIONS to the following winners of the Winter Giveaway!

Emma Rachelle Moody won a free copy of A French Girl in New York;

Gale Garrett won a 10$ Amazon gift card.

You will be receiving an email from me in the next couple of days.

Thank you all for participating!

 

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