#stayathomeandread The Blackbird Girls!!

The Blackbird Girls  by Ann Blankman

Published by    Viking Books for Young Readers on March 10, 2020

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure, Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: audiobook

Source: BEA/LIBARY

2019 challenge:

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I would give this book 5 for a review.

Summary!!!

On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work–Chernobyl–has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who’ve always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina’s estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother’s secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they’ve wished for: a best friend. But how far would you go to save your best friend’s life? Would you risk your own?

Told in alternating perspectives among three girls–Valentina and Oksana in 1986 and Rifka in 1941–this story shows that hatred, intolerance, and oppression are no match for the power of true friendship.

My Thoughts:

I simply loved this book. Again this book tackled a time period that I was not the familar with. I thought this was such a good read that not only opened my mind about time period chernoable power plant explosion and follows two young girls who fathers were works at that power plant. I loved the duel POV and also the focus on friendship, predjuices, finding your own family and hints of adventure that keep you guessing, I love books that are focused on found family and this book really made me emotional and found it prefect listen!

#STAYATHOMEANDREAD Words On Fire (Arc)

Words on Fire by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Published by   Scholastic Press on October 1, 2019

Genres: Young Adult , Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: arc

Source: BEA

2020 challenge: 2019 READ

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I would give this book 4.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

Danger is never far from Audra’s family farm in Lithuania. She always avoids the occupying Russian Cossack soldiers, who insist that everyone must become Russian — they have banned Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language. But Audra knows her parents are involved in something secret and perilous.

In June 1893, when Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audra’s parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. But escape means abandoning her parents to a terrible fate.

As Audra embarks on a journey to deliver the mysterious package, she faces unimaginable risks, and soon she becomes caught up in a growing resistance movement. Can joining the underground network of book smugglers give Audra a chance to rescue her parents?

My Thoughts:

I found this book to be such a gem. I loved how this book tackled a time period that i was unaware of. I like how this book focused on a quiet resistance and really found that to be charming and so much fun to read about. I also liked how the main character drew so dramatically from the start of this read. I also found this book to handle so many unique topics including book smuggling, found family and also so many interesting twists that caught me off guard. I really love how books became a character in this read and loved the focus on them as tool in this revolution. I thought this was clear standalone that def tugged at my heartstrings at the end. Will def read more by this author in the future.

Gilded Wolves (Non-Spoiler Review)

The Gilded Wolves  by Roshani Chokshi

Published by   Wednesday Books on January 15, 2019

Genres: Young Adult , Adventure, Historical Fiction

Pages: 386

Format: Hardback

Source: Owl Crate

2019 challenge: Owl Crate

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I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes The Gilded Wolves, a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change–one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them. 

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. 

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood. 

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

I thought this was such a fun sequel in this series. I really did like the plot and where the story went in this book. I also really loved how this book was set in paris. I did vist there in the past and the descriptions were so real, like i was there. I think I still want a little bit more out of this world in general. But I thought the pacing of this book was super good. I also like the new group of characters we met and at the heart of this book is always the friendship between cassidy and jacob and some heartfelt moments occurred. I am so excited to read more in this series and find out the new setting!

Reviews!!

I overall really did enjoy the world building of this story. I also really did like all the characters and felt super connected to them all. I enjoyed. I really did like how this world was mix of both historical fiction and also some magic elements. The pacing and plot of this book was just not as strong as I wanted and i got super lost in the details of this read. I always give first books in a series a bit of leeway and I found this book struggle to follow the plot at points. But I am def still intrigued to read more books in this series! 

The Beautiful (Non-Spoiler Review) (Arc Review)

The Beautiful  by Renee Ahdieh

Published by  G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on October 8, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, fantsay, Historical Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: ARC

Source: Publisher

2019 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain.

When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair–the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks–Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose–one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.

At once a sultry romance and a decadent, thrilling mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet.

My Thoughts:

I was immediately captured by this world form page one. I really loved the setting and found the characters to be super compelling. I also liked how this world was build and the mystery was super engaging. I wish this book had a bit more action throughout the novel. I think this def a slow burn novel and really did like the development of the characters. I think this was a great starter novel and I am super excited to see where book 2 goes.

Hunting Prince Dracula

Hunting Prince Dracula  by Kerri Maniscalco

Published by jimmy patterson on September 4, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Pages: 480

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2019 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

In this New York Times bestselling thrillerbizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life? FEATURES BONUS CONTENT EXCLUSIVE TO THIS PAPERBACK EDITION!
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend. 
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed diving back into this world. I really loved not only the new setting and the mystery that was developed in this novel. I thought the end of the novel was a tad rushed and not as tighly constructed as at the previous book. I really enjoyed the new dynamics between Audry and Thomas. I really thought their relationship was so unique in this novel. I did miss some of the side characters we met in book one. I am really excited to dive into future books from this season!

Cinderella Dress (Non-Spoiler Review)

Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton

Published by  Amaretto Press on June 19, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, historical fiction

Pages: 318

Format: paperback

Source: personally bought

2019 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

An unexpected inheritance… Kate Allen is about to find out her family has a unique relationship with a fairy tale. On the home front in 1944, Kate wants to do her part for the war effort. She’d prefer filling in for the window dressers at the New York department store where she works, but her mother insists on sending her to audition for roles she never gets. When relatives arrive from war-torn Poland with a mysterious steamer trunk and an even more mysterious story, her life is about to get complicated. Kate’s aunt, who is suffering from dementia, tries to convince Kate she is next in line to be the keeper of the wardrobe for Cinderella’s family–the real Cinderella. If the family secret is true, this might be the most important role Kate has ever auditioned for. Will she get to the truth before it’s forgotten? The debut novel from Shonna Slayton, Cinderella’s Dress, is a new addition to the great fairy-tale tradition of Cameron Dokey, Shannon Hale, and Melanie Dickerson.

My Thoughts:

This has been the first historical fiction read I read in awhile and I really enjoyed it. I found this book to the prefect mix between historical fiction and also some magic elements. I really loved the formate of this book but struggled to know how much time had pass in general. I also liked the cast dynamics and found it to a quick read. I also liked how this book showed a young girl life and it was compelling read. I really am excited to dive into the sequel!

The underground Railroad: non-spoiler review

Black Star Renegades by Michael Moreci

Reviewed by Sarah

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Published by Anchor; Reprint edition on January 30, 2016

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Audio book

Source: Library

amazon   barnes and noble  goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!

One of the Best books of the Year: The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, HuffPost, Esquire, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman’s will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.

My Thoughts:

I listened to this book on audio. The book was very good. It showed the brutality of slavery and how it was to be a slave in the south. The main character goes through so many hardships through this book. All i wanted was for Cora (MC) to be free and happy but of course that wasn’t realistic to the times. I liked this book and it definitely made me think more about slavery, racism, just the way people treat each other. I am happy that there were people who were sympathetic  to Cora and her along the way. I would record this book to people who are interested in slavery from a slaves perspective. Just a warning that there is a lot of graphic violence and rape in the book