I love Regency Romance novels. It doesn’t bother me one little bit that there are more Dukes in these stories than people in my hometown, the stories are lovely and sometimes all I want to read is something lovely. So, when I saw My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris I had to read it.
My Lady’s Choosing is a Choose Your Own Adventure novel that stars you as a plucky, penniless, Regency-era London lady. You begin your adventure as a companion to your dragon Aunt and through a series of choices end up in a wide variety of situations and endings.
For those who don’t remember these books, Choose Your Own Adventure novels typically give you two avenues and your selection takes you to a certain page. This continues until the end of the chosen story-line. I loved them as a kid. A number of years ago I discovered that there were adult versions out there but I never really enjoyed them like I did the juvenile versions. Many of the adult choices were daunting and I kept dying or getting kidnapped. The adventure part was missing. I didn’t want to chose whether to take a job or go back to college – I was actually making those decisions already.
This is what makes My Lady’s Choosing so fun for me. Finally I get to participate in a Regency romance from inside the story. I get to decide whether to slap the gentleman caller or kiss him. One path had me taking a position as a companion to an older gentleman or choosing to teach orphans. I decided whether to help the insufferable Lord or travel to Egypt. All paths obviously included romance.
My one complaint is that I felt at times that the authors were overly mocking regency romances. I accept that this book as a parody but still, names were frequently too silly and the characters could be inconsistent in their historical accuracy. But, I let many of the details pass as the Choose Your Own Adventure stories of my childhood were riddled with similar issues.
If you enjoy historical romances this book is a fun way to participate in the story. I had a great time working my way through the book five times already and I know that there are several other paths I have not yet taken!
Tell me, please!
What do you think of Choose Your Own Adventure novels?
This book made me happy cry…three times. Now, maybe it is because the book reached directly into my geeky little heart and plucked at my fan-fiction loving heartstrings. Or, perhaps this delightful little re-telling of Cinderella was just swoon worthy enough to push my frazzled emotions over the edge. Either way, I love this book!
Geekerella by Ashley Poston is a modern re-telling of the classic Cinderella. Danielle is our princess, Darien the prince. Our Prince and Princess are trying to get to the Con – the ExcelsiCon that revolves around their favorite television show Starfield. Danielle’s Father created the wildly popular ExcelsiCon before he died and their shared love of Starfield is all that she has left of him that brings her comfort. Darien is a day time soap actor chosen to star as the lead in the movie re-make of Starfield. His love of Starfield is bringing him nothing but anxiety as he tries to simultaneously live his dream of inhabiting his favorite character and prove himself to the fans.
Geekerella has been well reviewed and many great points have been made about the deeply likable characters, the plot development and the lack of a truly horrible villain. But the unique aspect of this book that really spoke to me was the desire to belong. Cinderella has always been looking for family. The Prince has always been seeking a loving relationship. Danielle and Damien are trying to find these things in a modern world made more complicated by social media and technology.
Danielle has turned inward after the death of her Father. We saw that with Cinderella. But Cinderella had devoted servants (or vermin) to bring her comfort. Danielle has no one to rely on or even someone she feels she can ask for help. Watching her find the strength to put herself out into the real world was what brought me happy cry numero uno.
Darien is a teen heartthrob whose Dad would rather be his Agent and Manager than his Father. We see this everywhere in modern American – parents who want something other than to parent their children. That leaves Darien like our Prince – constantly on guard against user friends, crazy fans and people who want to profit from him. In the end, he is looking for someone who loves him. Just him.
This book really spoke to me about believing in yourself and finding the strength to fit into this chaotic world. There is a place we all belong if we are brave enough to try again and again to find it.
Tell me, please!
Have you read Geekerella? What are your thoughts?
On the first Friday of every month my local library has a $4.00 Bag of Books sale. Sometimes there is little to nothing of interest for sale. But, this time I hit the jackpot! I found a couple of books to add to some of my series collections, some non-fiction gems and two fantastically ridiculous looking YA books that were perfect for the FGR theme.
The first one is Queen of the Dead, A Ghost and the Goth Novel by Stacey Kade. The cover of this book was just too awesomely ridiculous to pass up. And the story did begin just like a made for TV movie. But then, slowly, layer upon layer the story became more complex and the characters more likable and realistic. At first, I couldn’t believe this was actually a series. But, by the end I was so glad there were more stories!
It helped too that this book was set in the small town of Decatur, Illinois near where I grew up. Isn’t it amazing the things you will forgive a story for if you lived in the town or visited it?
The story is about Alona who died in her gym uniform and Will who is a ghost talker. Alona goes from the most popular girl in high school to Will’s spirit guide. Will finally gets to spend time with the girl he has had a crush on since sixth grade. But, admiring people from a distance is different than waking up to them every morning as Will soon learns. And Alona finds out quickly that being popular is not the same as being liked.
Now, doesn’t this sound like every book we have ever read? Except, at almost the half way point the author really puts a new spin on the whole thing. Without giving any spoilers this suddenly had a unique storyline and I loved it!
This may not be a book that you buy multiple copies of to give to friends and family. But it is definitely akin to a middle of the day, cute ghostly romance with just a dash of mystery that you watch with a cup of hot apple cider. But I really loved it. And how hilarious is that cover!?!
Tell me, please!
Do you enjoy reading books set in your hometown?
It is hard to write about things that make me happy when there is so much senseless violence and devastation in world. I was in an utter tailspin after hearing the news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. My heart breaks for all those who were killed, their families and for the people who were hurt, scared or had a love one in any way involved.
For moments like these, I keep a shelf of books that bring me nothing but joy. They are all dog-earned and the spines are broken but they calm me down and keep my company on long nights when sadness is almost all consuming.
I have five Jennifer Crusie books on that shelf. I fell in love with her contemporary romances that combine a strong woman, a cute guy and a bit of mystery within their storylines. I love that her character’s happily-ever-after are varied and not so cookie cutter as requiring a marriage and children. Mostly, these books are well written escape. A much needed one at times like these.
So, today I recommend for you as a FrighteninglyGoodRead, Maybe This Time. This romance pits a divorced couple against a creepy old house with both figurative ghosts from their past coming back to visit and literal ghosts in the present popping up and causing chaos. Add in two delinquent children and an unfinished romance and this book cooks.
There are ways to help people. There are a million things that must and will be done. But, tonight, if you have trouble sleeping, books like these are always there for you. They can’t fix anything but they will graciously keep you company.
Tell me, please!
Do you have an author you rely on to take you away?
You know, when it rains it pours. I have been battling with that ridiculous cold that is going around and it is making it difficult for me to sleep at night. The only upside of insomnia is surplus time to read. Unfortunately, every book I picked up was uninspiring. Finally I took myself, sick and gross, to the library and packed my bag full of books. Full. I figured at least one of them should hold my attention.
In Me Before You I found a treasure. I have seen this book on bookstore shelves and picked it up because it looked familiar and I was getting tired. I sat down to read it last night and finished it this afternoon.
In this book Louisa Clark is living a simple life in her tiny village in England when she takes a new job as a caregiver to Will Traynor. Will has led a big and adventurous life but after an accident is struggling to acclimate to life as a person with quadrapalegia. Both Louisa and Will grew up in the same small town but with vastly different backgrounds and life goals their perspective on life and living are equally disparate. Louisa does not make any plans for her future and is content to dress uniquely and live an unchallenged life. Will has always looked for adventure and success and now he has a new plan, one that shocks his family and Louisa. This book is labelled as a romantic story and it is in the very truest sense because it is the story of how loving someone means allowing them to choose their happiness.
This book says right in the dust jacket that it is heartbreakingly romantic. If I had bothered to read the jacket before starting the book I probably would not have read the book. I do not like heartbreak. Well, more specifically, I do not like to cry. Sometimes, books are “heartbreaking” because the stupid characters make poor choices or have wretched conversation skills and that results in heartache (ahem, again, Nicholas Sparks). These books are contrived to make you feel something that always rings as slightly artificial to me. More rarely, books take us on a journey with a character that reflects the heartbreaking growth that is a part of life. These stories forever connect you with the characters and their experiences. Me Before You is firmly in the second category and I enjoyed it tremendously even though it made me teary.