Sign up for our 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge and tackle your ever growing pile of books!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The River of Versailles by Sally Christie {Book Blog Tour & Book Review }

02_The Rivals of VersailleThe Rivals of Versailles (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy #2) by Sally Christie

Publication Date: April 5, 2016 Atria Books eBook & Paperback; 448 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction Add to GR Button     And you thought sisters were a thing to fear! In this compelling follow-up to Sally Christie’s clever and absorbing debut, we meet none other than the Marquise de Pompadour, one of the greatest beauties of her generation and the first bourgeois mistress ever to grace the hallowed halls of Versailles. The year is 1745 and Louis XV’s bed is once again empty. Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a beautiful girl from the middle classes. As a child, a fortune teller had mapped out Jeanne’s destiny: she would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the King’s arms. All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeoise interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivals—including a lustful lady-in-waiting, a precocious 14-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sisters—she helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them, war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution. Enigmatic beauty, social climber, actress, trendsetter, patron of the arts, spendthrift, whoremonger, friend, lover, foe: history books say many things about the famous Marquise de Pompadour. Alongside Catherine the Great of Russia and Maria Theresa of Austria, she is considered one of the three most powerful women of the 18th century, and one of the most influential royal mistresses of all time. In The Rivals of Versailles, Christie gets to the heart of Pompadour’s legendary relationship with Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” king. Pompadour was not only his mistress, but his confidante and influential political adviser for close to twenty years. Full of historical insight, decadence, wit and scandal, The Rivals of Versailles is about one woman’s trials and triumphs, her love for a king, and her role in shaping a nation.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Kobo

"The Rivals of Versailles" continues the story of "The Sisters of Versailles", picking up where the first book in the trilogy left off. In this book, we are introduced to Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a young town girl who was told in her childhood by a gypsy that she would one day become the mistress of the king. The rest of her childhood is spent preparing her for this moment, which indeed, does finally arrive. Though his court hates her, and laughs at her, in time she becomes his most trusted advisor, confidante and most famous mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour.

Like the first book in this series "The Sister's of Versailles",The Rivals of Versailles is filled with letters They act as a little flavor and backstory, and give glimpses of the Marquise during long stretches of her life being told by other women - or girls, more likely. There are also Entr'Actes, windows to the Marquise (then Duchesse) while the others have their stories with the King told. They also serve to place the events of the novel among important events in history where it wouldn't fit to have one of the girls mention the events themselves, given how ignorant Marie-Anne is.

The middle of the novel is told by lesser mistresses of Henry XV, all of whom seek to banish the Marquise and take her spot as chief mistress. Rosalie (Charlotte Rosalie de Choiseul-Beaupré), Morphise (Marie-Louise O'Murphy), and Marie-Anne de Mailly de Coislin all tell their stories sandwiched between the beginning and end of the Marquise's life.

For me, this novel was far better than the first. Sally Christie really put herself to work making these girls seem alive; what's more is these women cannot lean on each other as the de Mailly sisters could for humor in the first novel. They all stand alone, distinct and wonderful. Rosalie as a particularly lecherous girl, Marie-Louise as a steadfast girl in the face of child prostitution, and Marie-Anne as a poor pawn, an empty-headed girl used to advance the desires of others. All of their acts end in a similar fashion - and I won't say what, but you might guess. Each of them, too, shows a different facet of the aging King, and the wit and power of the Marquise de Pompadour, whose entire life and livelihood revolves around Louis XV.

I have just fallen in love with the writing style of Sally and the way she makes her characters come alive. The research she must have done and the time spent to put these historical characters together just amazes me. It is such an amazing story and one that I have not heard has been done before. Great read for any historical reader such as myself!

The Mistresses of Versailles Series

About the Author04_Sally Christie_Author

I'm a life-long history buff - and I mean life-long. One of the first adult books I read was Antonia Fraser's masterful Mary, Queen of Scots. Wow! That book just blew my little ten year old mind: something about the way it brought the past right back to life, made it live again on the page. I date my obsession with history to that time, but I'd been writing ("writing") ever since I was able to hold a pencil. If you'd told my 12-year old self that I'd not be a writer when I grew up, I would have laughed you out of the tree house. With a few detours along the way, to work overseas in consulting and development, as well as to go to business school, I've finally come full circle to where I think I should be. I currently live in Toronto and when I'm not writing, I'm playing lots of tennis; doing random historical research (old census records are my favorite); playing Scrabble, and squirrel-watching (the room where I write has French doors leading out to a deck; I avidly follow, and feed, a scruffy gang). For more information please visit Sally Christie's website. You can also find her on Goodreads and Pinterest.

Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, May 1 Review at A Book Drunkard Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Monday, May 2 Review at Caroline Wilson Writes Tuesday, May 3 Interview at The Maiden's Court Wednesday, May 4 Review at To Read or Not to Read Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway at History Undressed Thursday, May 5 Review at Bookish Friday, May 6 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective Monday, May 9 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Guest Post at Tuesday, May 10 Review at Ageless Pages Reviews Wednesday, May 11 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Thursday, May 12 Review at The Lit Bitch Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Friday, May 13 Review at Sunday, May 15 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession 04_The Rivals of Versailles_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Book Review: This Is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication.Date  January 5th 2016
Published By:  Sourcebooks Fire
AuthorMarieke Nijkamp

This is Where it Ends on Goodreads
My review copy:Bought
Where to get:;jsessionid=53428FAEB8E6DD59318D5431649F40B8.prodny_store01-atgap01?ean=9781492622468&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20IncM000004

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

We're more than our mistakes. We're more than what people expect of us.
You can't always keep your loved ones with you. You can't always settle your life in one place. The world was made to change. But as long as you cherish the memories and make new ones along on the way, no matter where you are, you'll always be at home.
I didn't need to die for him to kill me.
You can do far more than you ever imagined.
I never realized that courage was so terrifying.

     I bought this book after watching one of Jesse The Reader's YouTube videos (the one in which he talks about the upcoming releases he's most excited for). I thought it sounded amazing and right up my alley, and so I clicked over to Amazon right away and ordered it without any hesitation. I have no regrets, guys. This book was really good. It was gripping, quietly powerful, very thought-provoking and eye-opening, and most of all, it was so very relevant in so many different ways.

    Told from multiple points of view (four, to be more specific) over the span of 54 minutes, it's essentially a heartbeat-by-heartbeat account of a shooting that takes place at a high school. A shooting that no one saw coming, though many should have. It's a story of death and sacrifice, pain, bravery and loss. And it's pretty intense.

   Through the eyes of four teenagers - some inside the assembly hall, some on the outside but with links to people inside - we witness the horrific events quickly unfold. Most of the students are gathered inside the gym/auditorium where yet another school assembly is taking place. A handful of students - most from the track team - are on the outside. When the assembly is finished, the students try to leave, but they find all the doors locked. They quickly realize that something is wrong and that they are trapped. But they don't know just how bad the situation is until someone comes through one of the doors near the stage and takes out a gun...

    This was a very fast paced novel and I literally breezed through it in one sitting. I remember holding my breath and just racing through to find out who will survive, who will fall and how the story will end. It was definitely a very engaging and stimulating reading experience, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

    I came away from reading this book feeling cold and numb. This book made me worried. It made me think about my own kid few years from now and how she might end up in a wrong place, at a wrong time, just like the kids in that auditorium. And it seriously terrified me.

    As much as I enjoyed the story, though, I think it was lacking the emotional punch. I was invested in the story for sure, but not in the characters. And it's really no wonder, This is Where It Ends is a pretty short book, and it's told in a way that feels more like a newspaper article or an episode of 20/20, and not a moving contemporary novel. And you know what? That's fine. Not every novel has to leave you in tears. Not every novel has to make you weep for the lost and feel for the survived. This was still a fantastic book that made me think about the dangers lurking around the corner and the importance of good support systems. It was an illuminating and powerful read, and I am so glad I got a chance to experience it.

Goodreads Instagram Twitter

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Blog Tour: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Title: The Square Root of Summer
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Series: Standalone
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound
This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.

This Is Who I Am Now

In February, I answered the below questions to see how they would change from then to now. Let's see how much my life has changed (or in some cases, stayed the same) over the last four months!

What Brings You The Most Joy In Life?
  • February 2016: My family and friends! Of course my dog, Bentley.
  • May 2016: Well this has certainly not changed! Although the doughnut I had for breakfast this morning was super delightful.

What Are You Reading?
  • February 2016: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, but really I’m mostly listening to Hamilton.
  • May 2016: Finishing up The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski. 84% of the way done and THE FEELS!

What Is Something You’re Really Looking Forward To?
  • February 2016: I get to meet Rainbow Rowell tomorrow!
  • May 2016: The future. Oh, and the Chipotle I'm going to have for dinner.

What Is One Thing That’s Worrying You?
  • February 2016: Winter isn’t over yet, which means there’s still a chance of snow.
  • May 2016: Nothing in particular. Maybe whether or not A Court of Mist and Fury will be at my house when I get home or the post office will hold on to it for a few days.

What Is Something That You Always Have With You?
  • February 2016: My phone. I know how that sounds, but I’ve got book apps (Kindle and OverDrive) and all my music, so it keeps me entertained.
  • May 2016: Same ^

What Is Something That You Wish You Could Change?
  • February 2016: My inability to currently see Hamilton live.
  • May 2016: That I could have another doughnut without consequences. They're five feet away and I have no self control.

Join in on social media with #SquareRootofSummer and #thisiswhoIamnow. Also, check out a special blog post featuring the items/photos submitted to as part of the physical time capsule portion of the blog tour.

About the Author

Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance fashion journalist and author of THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER (coming May 2016). Her first-ever professional writing credit was for Just Seventeen magazine, and she's been YA obsessed ever since. She likes burritos, cats, Gwyneth Paltrow and young adult fiction, which she plans to write more of, though she's also considering a PhD in Dawson’s Creek.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...