Review: Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 2 comments
Mad Miss Mimic, by Sarah Henstra
Publication: May 5, 2015, by Penguin Canada
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical, Romance
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

London, 1872. Seventeen-year-old heiress Leonora Somerville is preparing to be presented to society -- again. She's strikingly beautiful and going to be very rich, but Leo has a problem money can't solve. A curious speech disorder causes her to stutter but also allows her to imitate other people's voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her "Mad Miss Mimic" behind her back...and watch as Leo unintentionally scares off one potential husband after another. London in 1872 is also a city gripped by opium fever. Leo's brother-in-law Dr. Dewhurst and his new business partner Francis Thornfax are frontrunners in the race to patent an injectable formula of the drug. Friendly, forthright, and as a bonus devastatingly handsome, Thornfax seems immune to the gossip about Leo's "madness." But their courtship is endangered from the start. The mysterious Black Glove opium gang is setting off explosions across the city. The street urchins Dr. Dewhurst treats are dying of overdose. And then there is Tom Rampling, the working-class boy Leo can't seem to get off her mind.
As the violence closes in around her Leo must find the links between the Black Glove's attacks, Tom's criminal past, the doctor's dangerous cure, and Thornfax's political ambitions. But first she must find her voice.

My Thoughts: 

Mad Miss Mimic sounds awfully similar to another historical romance I devoured and adored last year, A Mad Wicked Folly, and I was actually hoping for this one's outcome to be quite similar, too! In the end, I saw it as a definite historical book that dealt with politics in Victorian England, finding your love interest and finding yourself, especially from Leo's perspective, who stuttered when she spoke. 

Cheers to Canadian authors! As Canada Day is tomorrow, I feel like this was a perfect debut to celebrate our authors, who are always there to standby their literature through our country's name. Mad Miss Mimic is a debut novel that I only had just discovered, and I'm very proud to say that I've enjoyed yet another historical novel, as that's usually the genre that I find it difficult to enjoy... or even find a good book out of the bunch that stands before me. I don't have much to say but positive things, so let's actually get started!
"How had he come to Hastings? And where did he go at the end of each day when his work at surgery was done? Tom was right: I knew nothing. And I found that, yes, I was curious—very curious indeed."

What I mentioned above is basically what this novel holds. It has a great premise that must've taken so much time to organize and make perfect. Henstra even noted in her Author's Note that she went to numerous libraries around Toronto to learn more about stuttering and all of the facts which came into Leo's character. The fact that many people in her life made fun of her for the way she spoke was awful, and this is a big part of the book that many people don't even realize. She's just an ordinary girl who's rich and has a disability which doesn't even affect her at all, basically. What is there to say? She's such an intelligent young woman who proved readers and her people wrong of her capability. Confident characters who have power and are able to do extraordinary things are actually the rulers.

The beginning scenes especially are what captivated me: Leo's sister did make some kind of sisterly relationship minimize and go to a minimum. Usually—usually, YA literature is filled with relationships that help readers relate, and are barely formed out of jealousy and hunger for power as well as bloodlust, but what Leo had with her servants or her sister is just plain sad. I can't even admit that I'm able to empathize at all, since times back then are all about wealth and what we have over everyone. These scenes, especially where Leo met her love interest (I won't spoil the name, I promise!) are what developed the whole story wonderfully.

I love the font!
Throughout the plot, I found that it was kind of boring at times, but it wasn't a big deal for me. I enjoyed the book throughout and that was a small disruption that sent a perfect rating down, but whatever, I guess. You can't always enjoy every single thing that a book has to give out, and that was mine. But really, the characters are what made me smile, especially Leo. Who doesn't want an imaginative girl filled with so many dreams and wishes to fulfill? That's our perfect example right here. 

She never gave up.
Romance and just about all of the awesome stuff that we try to discover in YA historical fiction is all packed in this book. Whether you're looking for romance, mystery or great characters, it has it all and I'm so excited to see Henstra's other work, because everyone wants it in their lives. Brace yourself, this is a fast paced read that's super rad, and will only take you a matter of time to go through. By the way, it's nothing like a pure Victorian magical read either, it's just its own concept and premise packed for readers in an enjoyable matter. Enjoy, my friends, you won't let this one go!

Favourite historical reads? I prefer the awesome ones with uniqueness in premise!

Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Monday, 29 June 2015 2 comments
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1), by Sabaa Tahir
Publication: April 28, 2015, by Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian
Pages: 446
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Thoughts:

Since midway through last year, An Ember in the Ashes probably was the only fantasy book that intrigued me so much that I'd pay $100 for a copy at the moment. (Maybe not.) The cover is so gorgeous and you can't deny that, but it's absolutely more than just the beauty on the outside. I apologize for my cheesy saying, by the way. And after finally reading it a little less than 2 months after its initial release, I am so impressed. Now, we're going to get a sequel NEXT YEAR!

I'm one of those people who hates hype. John Green, my favourite author, is all over Tumblr and the hype is certainly on him, and I can't stand it. This book is hyped up in the book fandom atmosphere, and I do admit that I was a little hesitant before picking it up. Fantasy taken place in a Romanesque world? That may actually go either one way or another, I feared. Thankfully this went to my standards and I highly recommend it for lovers of all fantasy, whether it's Sarah J. Maas or Rae Carson. Everyone will love this, whether you're a contemporary romance reader or a pure fantasy chick. 

"But why am I counting the days? The days don't matter. I'm in hell. A hell I've made myself, because I am evil. As evil as my mother. As evil as any Mask who spends a lifetime relishing the blood and tears of his victims."

Compared to many books because of the issues that it speaks of, politics and world building is a major subject that readers often focus on in their reviews of this book, and I agree with their sayings. This world is brutal, period. If you only enjoy happy settings that doesn't include racism, sexism and slavery, then I'd suggest leaving because this ultimately has it all. Of course, I find myself standing against these issues, but the message that our four main characters: Laia, Elias, Helene and Commandant all share have to do with this and their viewpoints on each. Some are complete idiots and think it's fair (COUGHcommandantCOUGH) while others are trying to fight against it and for survival.

What can they do? Look at the social classes, for example.

That's what Tahir is trying to prove. Although we have two perspectives, there are similar and distinct views onto those characters: a slave and a soldier. Yes, there is magic and fantasied objects and events that occur, though that has nothing to do with an ember in the ashes, and by that phrase, I do not mean the title. You know how some books have such useless titles that do not describe the book at all or vaguely? That's the total opposite situation of this, because I cannot imagine a better way to state Laia's standing in all of this. She's constantly victimized of her social status and Tahir's research is very much needed in this subject. I love the author's story of the inspiration for this novel, as she's always been a huge fan of fantasy and the fact that issues are effecting many people in this world. A lot of this sounds like the horrendous situations like child slavery and child soldiers that we hear of frequently. INSPIRATION IS MAGIC, as I continuously believe and never will stop doing so.

As for social statuses, there are a few but the Martial rule the setting. In this case, we meet Laia and her grandparents and brother, who she lives with after being orphaned. When her brother gets arrested for treason unexpectedly, Laia decides to go out and find him. Then she meets the rebels behind her family's history who actually knew her parents, and she exchanges a deal with them: they'll find her brother while Laia will go to Blackcliff Academy, a military academy, to spy on the Commandant and her doings, a ruler, basically. Then she meets Elias, the son of the Commandant and...

No, they don't fall in love. What basically intrigued me to read this book from the start was that there's no romance. At least, there isn't instalove or kissing or any of that. A girl or a guy can dream and fawn over an attractive person (like Elias did in the beginning of Helene), but I'd say that this wasn't Tahir's goal to satisfy readers. Instead, they gain a friendship that they can actually agree upon things with. Although Elias is his mother's son, the magical thing is that he stands against everything that she believes in and all that she does to her slaves. He immediately can recognize who Laia is but she doesn't say anything, all for the part that his mother annoys him. Friendship? I'd call that a sibling-like relationship. It's adorable, but not in the lovey-dovey way that we'd all expect. I'm actually not hoping for anything to brew in the sequel. *takes a deep breath*

"Tomorrow you must make a choice. Between deserting and doing your duty. Between running from your destiny and facing it. If you desert, the Augurs will not stop you. You will escape. You will leave the Empire. You will live. But you will find no solace in doing so. Your enemies will hurt you. Shadows will bloom in your heart, and you will become everything you hate—evil, merciless, cruel."

Sabaa's writing is unlike any other author's, I HAVE TO SAY AND FANGIRL ABOUT. She's obviously talented, and the way she bonds her characters with readers illustrates that she put tons of hard work into making them just like us, only living in a crashing world that ours can eventually turn into. She's so imaginative, and I bet that after even spending an hour with the fabulous writer, we'll all sound so brilliant quoting her. She knows what she's doing, and I'd like to give her a huge hug for writing such a beautiful novel. I can't get enough of it, and my mind is jumping all over the place as I think of theories onto what'll come next.

The only downer is the pacing, but let's just forget about that. I won't mention anything about the pacing because I don't want to spoil my positive mood, but let's just say that it got too slow at times, showing all of the details without readers having to even guess what it means or what's yet to come. It just ended up being such a racing novel that I had to grip on my seat. (No joke.) 

At the same time, this isn't your average, typical straight-forward fantasy story that has hints of dystopia where you can't depict what the author's message is. Tahir's imaginative characters and building, such as the Masks and weapons used, is so descriptive and unique that I can't get a hold of anything else quite better. This absolutely has to do with the Roman Empire and I love that about the setting. We get to see hints of history that actually is the future, which has us guessing on what we will become. History always repeats itself, is another theme, especially by looking onto the slavery conveyed. It's such a dark novel that splits readers onto the good side or the bad, and we fall in love with all of the characters... even Commandant. (Rosamund Pike would be a good her, now that I think about it.) 

This book was horribly disgusting and brutal. But in that sense, you do know what I mean. It's NOT BAD AT ALL (I'd die if someone thought that's what I meant) and it actually shattered my heart so many times that I'm going to take some time off of my life and find an ember in the ashes. Yes, I'm that inspired. Tahir's viewpoint on fantasy is so much bigger and better than what your typical fantasy novel consists of, and I'm sure that we all end up seeing this as a comfortable read that doesn't make us barf because of guts and all of that. I'm sure that I'll be dreaming about Elias tonight, he makes me giggle.

SOOOO... What do y'all think of surprise news of contracts with authors? Sabaa just announced that THIS AWESOME BOOK will get a sequel next year! I'M DYING OF HAPPINESS RN JUST SAYING.

Stacking the Shelves #46: June 28

Sunday, 28 June 2015 4 comments

This Week's Headlines:

Hey y'all! It's officially summer vacation after Wednesday being the last day where I got to see my final exam grades! I did fabulous in all of my subjects, I must say. All of that hard work and studying definitely paid off! I love those moments when we realize that we've finally been doing something great in our lives.

I'm actually planning on starting a new row of posts called: My Bookish Summer Includes... where I will be talking about one goal for my summer or something that I'm planning to do with my blog, my reading, or just in general! I'm really looking forward for my editing and photography skills to shine in this segment. 

Some other things that I'm planning on doing? Waiting for my report card by the mail, bumping my Netgalley/Edelweiss ratio up (everyone needs to work on this!), read, fix my blog using some tweaks and new formatting and traveling! Woot!

My Book Haul:


So as you've most likely read in my Romeo and Juliet review a few weeks ago, I am in love with Shakespeare's writing. I was planning to buy a copy of another one of his plays, and when I was shopping at this cool home store, I found an unique copy of Macbeth in the aisles, the last copy available! And it was only $13. OMG. That's truly a bargain, and it's so beautiful that I'm probably going to keep it in my room forever, even after I finish reading it. 

For Review:

Now that I notice it, these two pretties look so mysterious that I'm shaking. Thank you so much to Penguin Random House and Sourcebooks! 

Posts You May Have Missed:

  • I recently reviewed Eric Walters's Say You Will, which is the perfect book to get older high school students in the prom-ish mood. Or, for that sake, ANYONE in the mood!
  • I couldn't believe it when I found out that Meg Cabot would be releasing a new book in the Princess Diaries series. Royal Wedding was fabulous, though a little slow-paced!
  • I also reviewed the first adult book by Judy Blume for me, In the Unlikely Event. This wasn't as good and heart-warming as her other novels, but was a nice, sweet read to keep me going.
  • This week's WoW post was all about Richelle Mead's newest, Soundless! Hear the story about how I missed my chance to grab a copy of it at BEA!
  • None of the Above was one of the most anticipated 2015 reads for me, and it's the perfect read to get in the pride mood for y'all. It's a definite favourite!
  • Want a super sappy sad read? The Last Time We Say Goodbye is all you need for the rest of your life, trust me.

How was your week? Any new additions? I want to hear all about them!

Review: Say You Will by Eric Walters

Saturday, 27 June 2015 2 comments
Say You Will, by Eric Walters
Publication: May 19, 2015, by Doubleday Canada
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

A funny, heartfelt novel about one high school boy's quest for a prom date, perfectly time for the surge in realistic YA. Sam is not exactly what you'd call a regular guy: while his IQ is stratospheric, his social skills don't quite rank as high, and his dating history: well, there's no history to speak of . . . yet. But Sam has set out to finally fit in. He's resolved to get some answers wrong in class; to stop getting perfect marks on his assignments; to get to know some people other than Ian and Brooke, his two closest (okay, only) friends--and find himself a prom date. And the prom is on everyone's mind: Sam's school has become swept up by promposals--in other words, very elaborate, very public scenes in which someone is asked to the prom. Sam thinks he might have found the inspiration he needs to ask the girl dreams out for a perfect night at the prom--as well as the unforgettable way to do it. 

My Thoughts:

Eric Walters remains one of the coolest authors out there, especially since he's Canadian (WOOO) but mostly because he writes in different genres. He skips between some fantasy, mostly contemporary, some dystopian and even tweaks of romance, like Say You Will had in store for readers. I believe that any reader, young or old, is able to find something they like about his novels, and they will never forget about that quick read that stole their hearts and left them obsessed. This was a pure example.

Looking at my borrowed copy of the novel right now, I smile. It's 192 pages long, and actually turned out to be one of the quickest reads of the year for me. I love short books, but of course, yet again, the amount of reviews that I need to write pile up eventually, haha. Walters writes about the wonders of high school, along with some issues that teenagers go through, like: anxiety, prom, peer pressure and the pressure and need to do well in school. Especially since he has experience and even taught at an elementary school, he writes this exactly like from the perspective of a teenage boy, like one of my friends who I know in school.


This all begins with the craze of prom being right around the corner, though in this case, Sam is a junior and most likely still has one more year afterwards to go to prom again. In my school, WE ONLY GO WHEN WE'RE SENIORS. WHAAAAT!? (Some Canadian school boards do stuff differently, I guess.) Sam is a guy whose never had his first kiss, watches the girl of his dreams like someone else, and has a high IQ. He's the kind of guy who doesn't like to brag and show off of his talents, so he even pretends to not know the answer when writing a test. And then... he wants to prompose to the girl of his dreams in an unforgettable fucking way. Seriously. 

If I spoil the way Sam asks his crush out, you'll die. The whole book would be spoiled for you. It's amazing on how Walters created an easy-going story that actually was incorporated with so much depth that boys and girls will love. YOU KNOW BOYS, IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO IMPRESS A CHICK FOR PROM, READ THIS BOOK. It's mutual advice, written by a man who surely knows what he's doing. Imagine if this story actually occurred! *dies* This would hit the news, I'm sure of it.

The pacing was absolutely perfect. Why do we need an everlasting super-long story with nothing much occurring? That would've been such nonsense and the planning process wouldn't even take half as long. I saw the whole plot as just something short, sweet and simple to satisfy readers. And hey, I know I was superbly satisfied from start to finish. 5/5 for sure, as well as the plot. Walters' writing never disappoints, and I continuously find myself seeing so much depth in his words that I just can't let go of what I'm reading. Is this a sign from the bookish heavens that I deserve more of his writing and a trip to his wonderful mind again and again? I'm pretty sure that you're thinking of a plain "YES" in your heads right now. Let's hope that I'm correct instead of making a fool out of myself.

It's nothing like THAT.

Although this was pitch perfect (no, not the movie reference) all throughout, the characters are who stunned me. Everyone seemed to be too perfect. Sam had that perfect reputation where he was so smart and has social anxiety at the same time although people do speak to him. I liked him, but I certainly cannot admit that he's better than Walters' other protagonists. He seemed a little too stuck-up and confident for my liking. And then Brooke and her friends? They all seemed bitc*y to be honest. There wasn't any character who had a mean reputation or wasn't your average person. Walters added too much significance into every character and it actually grew to a disliking of some. That was a pure weakness.

AND BOY DID I ADORE THE ENDING! That was the perfect finish. It didn't leave us with suspense or take readers into a blast into the future where we see Sam and his lover at prom—no, we don't need that. From the start, readers had been anticipating the perfect promposal which the author had in mind especially from the summary, and we all knew that it would occur then. This isn't supposed to be unpredictable, it's all irony anyways. We're the readers, the audience, and we know what's going to happen but some of the characters don't. That's the best part, and what I know I won't forget about.

Just like how everyone deserves quiet and quality time in their lives, people deserve an easy, good read. This is the case, actually, and I know that many in the future will just pick this up for an hour or two and enjoy, devour and have a good time, trying to imagine what it's like to be a teenager again, finding a date and your first kiss, a huge milestone. This would be a huge milestone for me, anyway. First—fall in love with the cover, and then move on to the book, despite the lack of interesting characters.

Who's your favourite Canadian author, if you have one?

Review: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

Friday, 26 June 2015 2 comments

Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries #11), by Meg Cabot
Publication: June 2, 2015, by William Morrow and Company
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 435
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding—but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.
For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.
But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother's leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone—especially herself—that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

My Thoughts: 

After discovering that this book is going to be a real, legit thing, I panicked like an old fan of Meg Cabot's books would. True story. Royal Wedding is the book that we've all been anticipating and waiting for, although we may have not seen it coming until a week before. Inside all of our hearts, I bet that we all knew that this was coming. And now? I WANT A SEQUEL. You hear that, William Morrow and Company? We're all obsessed, I'm telling you!

Royal Wedding turned out to be that perfect read where everything was going as planned. In terms of the plot, I mean. I'd surely not even classify it as an adult read, when it was just as cute and fluffy as the other ten previous books in the series that we've all known to come and love. My heart clenched every two seconds as Michael would do something cute or while they were on vacation, and I just really enjoyed it throughout. For me, I definitely wouldn't have switched my thoughts or experience to any other way, even to have a superb 5 star rating. This was definitely awesome the way it was, and I'm so excited to see other reactions in the coming months of others who previously adored Cabot's work! 

"The frustrating thing about being in love with Michael Moscovitz is that it's impossible to stay angry with him, especially when he's got his hand wrapped around the back of your neck and he's resting his forehead against yours and that clean Michael smell of his is filling your senses."

That's honestly what they are.

I guess that I'm the type to try to see different views on romance when reading an extra-long series. I actually didn't even read all eleven books in the series (maybe around 8?) and Cabot just does a splendid job reminding readers who is who and what the storyline is based upon. We don't have our usual confusion that I especially have when I was reading Pretty Little Liars (sixteen crazy novels long) and I was so proud of the way this turned out. The plot is simple, too. 

Mia and Michael have been together for a really long time, but Mia fears that they're still not ready to get married and have a family... yet. But then Michael takes her on an exotic trip, and he ends up proposing, and of course the rumours begin. She can't fake it all when everything is a hundred percent real, and she's actually never been happier. A few years after the end of the tenth book, Mia is as happy and as strong in character as she was back then and is ready for more surprises and shocks in her life. *smacks forehead*

When thinking about strong heroines, Mia is one of them. I've always liked her, to be honest, and seeing her as a grown-up when the beginning of this series started off with her being my age is extraordinary. She's changed so much, yet so little. Being royalty is so fucking hard, but reading from the viewpoint of an ordinary woman who seriously is lost in her world, too is interesting. Cabot adds tweaks and hints of experiences from our modern day society to thoroughly explain Mia's story and where it'll go from here. Royal twins? That's ought to be something gorgeous, and I'm hoping that we'll go from a newly-wedded woman to a mother. She'll be fabulous, and I bet that readers hadn't seen that coming for sure. It's just one of the utterly crazy shocks that authors like to give readers to scare them with those wicked heart jumps of ours. At least, in my situation this always occurs, hmmph. 


When picking this up at my local library, I felt like a mother holding her child. You know, I might've had hearts in my eyes. I didn't even end up putting the book in my bag, just holding it all the way home. (But that might've occurred because there wasn't any room left in the bag, either. Anyways.) Throughout my reading experience, I felt jittery and happy, and it overall was just a positive read. We're not in the mood for some life-threatening plot twist where someone dies. And that's another reason why it's pure chick-lit, something that truly brightens my mood up always. This definitely has to do with why my feels were all over the place. Damn.

Although it was slow-paced, again, it was enjoyable. That's the only negative thing I have to mention, but it's seen that it's not an issue for any other reviewer as I scroll down its Goodreads page. I feel that because of the title, I may have just been waiting for the wedding day and the preparations right from the start, so honestly, you shouldn't get fooled. There's a lot of time and build-up before the main climax and point is revealed, and it's actually a pretty big novel when you think about it. 

This story wouldn't have gone anywhere if it wasn't for the attraction between Mia and Michael. Although they had their ups and downs (like all relationships do), they were such a strong power couple and beat the stereotypes and obvious stuff of one person being royalty. Nothing, not one peep in their romance was about Mia being an heir to the throne and all of that—they're just a girl who's going to be a mother of two and a guy who likes science. Nerds, if you'd like to call it that. It's like a William and Kate story, and that couple was even mentioned, too. HOW MORE REAL CAN THIS POSSIBLY GET? Not too much further, my mind tells me.

I see this as the actual, best guide for a girl and how to do things. It includes: a kickass heroine, so much believable events, plot twists and jump scares and twins. Sorry for mentioning that, it might be a spoiler. Cabot knows the way to grab a key to a girl's heart, and it's with her sweet, sassy writing that seems like it's all of her personality. It's totally understandable that she didn't want to leave the world of the series that we are all obsessed with, HOW COULD SHE? And actually, how could she not write a sequel to this? We all need some continuation now that she began with Mia's adulthood. This wedding will eventually be broadcasted on television, I swear. (And I wish.)

Okay. Okay. Okay. So what are some other books that eventually had some adult continuation? OR.... IS MEG CABOT THE FIRST TO EVER DO THIS? OMG.

Review: In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Thursday, 25 June 2015 0 comments
In the Unlikely Event, by Judy Blume
Publication: June 2, 2015, by Knopf
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 397
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

In her highly anticipated new novel, Judy Blume, the New York Times # 1 best-selling author of Summer Sisters and of young adult classics such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, creates a richly textured and moving story of three generations of families, friends and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by unexpected events.
In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.
In the Unlikely Event is vintage Judy Blume, with all the hallmarks of Judy Blume’s unparalleled storytelling, and full of memorable characters who cope with loss, remember the good times and, finally, wonder at the joy that keeps them going.

My Thoughts: 

Judy Blume is one of the most masterful writers out there, literally. Since I was in the third grade, I've been reading and devouring her novels, crying, bawling and wanting more each time. I've almost actually read all of her books, and as I made my way towards the first adult novel of hers from my view, I was very much excited, but nervous at the same time. It's always awkward to start off a new genre with an author who you've read YA from! At least, that's what I always have believed...

In the Unlikely Event was pretty great because of the fact that it's based on real, true events that occurred in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey. The funny thing is that I've actually been (and stayed) in Elizabeth after heading to New York this year, and reading about the horrible events that ruined the lives of many and their families is just heartbreaking since I can picture Newark Airport, and the amount of flights coming in and out from the safest airport in America. If you have experience with some kind of situation in a novel, then you're thousands of times more likely to feel the pain and feels more. 

This actually turned out to be one of those cheesy adult stories. I've been there, done that, and feel that the concept and what it held was so disappointing. Contemporaries are usually my kind of thing, and reading about the reenactment of a historical event that actually hit the lives of many people usually interests me. And what was this about? Different perspectives of the events of the plane crashes that were trying to get to Newark but ended up crashing within each other in an area. This features many different characters who are all, in one way or another, impacted continuously by this. And when one occurred, you don't expect anything else to happen but just loss and tragedy, though it kept occurring and my mind literally blew. 

I saw the plot to actually be pretty adult-like in the matter of nothing cute occurring. Y'all know what I mean? Blume focuses on what readers will feel, which is excellent, but the depth of the characters and information of the event(s) didn't seem to be present, and I would've loved that. Reading about plane crashes and events like this has tons of research needed to be added, and I apologize, but we don't need a memoir here. It seemed like Blume only looked at what people saw, but not the facts. If it's actually based on a true story (and she got to live it), then why hadn't there have been more facts? These characters are fictional, anyways. 

Seeing why people enjoyed this is the main focus that I'd like to look upon here. It is pure realism, and I find that there was nothing that seemed too fictional or fake in this sense as well. I guess at the time of reading, I wasn't in the mood for something too sweet in the sense of character-development only, but many have enjoyed the wonders of relationships that it held. But what was the point of having more than ten different characters who are all dealing with the same issue? I guess Blume enjoys looking at different people, young and old, and telling readers their stories, since they all see life at a different perspective. I'd definitely give the characters a 5 star, but it was a little too exaggerated in that sense, too. Where was the balance? WHY CAN'T THE MESSAGE BE CRYSTAL CLEAR?

Message, por favor? 

And at the same time, this was a great novel. It's something that you're honestly going to have to find the right time for. You can't read it while you're staying on vacation (or at least I can't) or else you'll imagine planes crashing. But if you put a lot of thought into the story, it's not only about the planes crashing, it's the likelihood of something this shi*ty to occur in your life. Some characters didn't even realize what kind of huge deal this placed on their lives. Now I'm just getting too philosophical, I feel, by the way. Every reader will find something special about this novel in one way or another. Find yours, if you ever decide to give this a chance. 

It's a quick read, too! Yes, it's 397 pages of a small perpendicular font and long pages, but time flew by as I read. It also was for the fact that I had to return it back to the library, but let's forget about that. It's fast-paced but slow and sweet at the same time. Everyone has been anticipating for a book like this to hit the world in this modern-day era, just saying. 

This actually felt like a sunrise. You know, it's been a really long time since Blume released something, and readers, like myself, have been left in the dark, the night. We've all been anticipating this for years and years, something new to give us a different insight on life and fate, and that's the actual sunrise. Although I hadn't been so impressed and obsessed to give it a perfect rating, it was quite enjoyable and definitely recommended if you'd like something more sappy than informationally-filled. But what do you possibly expect from an author who deals with a lot of romance in all of her novels? And I must say, there's a lot of humour here as well.