Longbourn by Jo Baker
Random House Canada
June 17, 2014
Source: Publisher (Finished copy)
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Longbourn is set in the Pride and Prejudice world but it focuses on one particular servant at the Bennet's house, Sarah. The Bennet's house is actually called Longbourn.. because back in the day houses were also given names… Anyways, I was very excited to pick this up because I love Pride and Prejudice and for me any extra time in that world is worth my reading time. I have to say that Longbourn is very slow. It took me two weeks to read it because I didn't feel compelled or had the urge to actually read big chunks of it at a time. I liked Sarah.. she works hard and has had a tough life. I also liked the relationship between all the servants and how the head servant actually treats Sarah and Polly like her children. That was very sweet. However what I didn't enjoy about this book is the way the Bennet family are depicted. Mr.Bennet is this man who has taken advantage of someone and has no love towards his wife. Elizabeth is sometimes thought of as someone who couldn't care less about Sarah and her well being. I just.. I love those characters so much and reading about them having an ugly side didn't sit well with me. I have to say that this isn't really a love story. Yes there's a man and there's a mystery behind who he is, and there is a romance between him and Sarah too, however we spend so much time, almost towards the end of the book, going back in time to find out his mystery.. however I believe we spend too much time in the past to the point that I grew restless. Overall I do think the novel was interesting and a different take on the story Pride and Prjeudice, but the slow pacing as well as the barely there dialogue made me take much longer than I really should reading this book. This is a three star rating and I recommend it to fans of historical fiction, as long as you don't mind a slow pace.
July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher (ARC)
Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson is pretty much a roller coaster with how I felt about this book. I feel if I divide the book in 50 chapter sections, each section would have a different rating. Overall I did give it four stars, but it also teeters towards a 3.5. Reckoning is about a girl who gets picked to be an Offering to the king, along with 29 other 16 year olds from the south, east, north and west. Everyone thinks being an Offering is a privilege and a ticket to luxury however they couldn't have been more wrong. The king that everyone would sacrifice their lives for is a drunken excuse of a man with a horrible mean streak. I'm saying he would let two offerings battle it to the death as a sort of entertainment to him. Puking so he can eat more of the luxurious food while all the country is on a strict ration plan. He disgusted me so much. The main protagonist, Silver, was very likable. I won't say I really connected with her but I think she was very smart and didn't settle. I was rooting for her to find a way out and liked how she wasn't selfish and only cared about herself. I have to say the twist towards the end of the book was crazy! Just such a fantastic twist from Wilkinson. Another thing worth mentioning is the relationships in this book. Some people that I personally thought would become Silver's enemies actually turned out into good friends later on. I like how people aren't evil or perfect (though the king is 100% EVIL!). The romance though, nothing worth mentioning since it isn't really prevalent in this book and I liked it like that. This is definitely a very fast paced book and while I had some issues with it, such as how realistic some situations and decisions were, I think it was a pretty solid first book in this dystopian trilogy. It didn't remind me of any books, except for the beginning of The Offering, but it took its own unique plot line and I am very excited for the next book!