Friday, April 20, 2018

Literary Friday: The Cruel Prince

Happy Friday, My Lovelies!  As our daughters have gotten older, I'm not reading as many YA novels.  The reason I've read so much YA is because I enjoyed discussing books with my girls, and that's what they were reading.  Now they're reading more "new adult" and sometimes I read along with them, but they're so busy with their studies it leaves little time for them to read for fun.

I read The Cruel Prince by Holly Black during the winter, but I keep forgetting to write about it here on the blog.  Both of our daughters love Holly Black, but each loved a different series, so I've read many of her books.   ;D    I enjoyed The Cruel Prince so much because it's so well-written, and it's understandable why Holly Black is one of the best YA writers.  The photo above is the first entry in my new reading journal, and as you can see from the date, I'm a wee bit behind on blogging about my reading, but I'll catch up, no worries!

According to Goodreads:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

My Review:

If you enjoy books about the fae, then you will love the kingdom Holly Black has built in this book.  I  also love that mortal Jude wants to be recognized at the High Court of Faeire for her skills in the hopes that she will be chosen as a knight.  She diligently trains, and she makes a few daring choices to get noticed by powerful members of The Court.  This is shocking to me especially in light of the circumstances of her parents' brutal murders.

As interesting as the characters are, the plot is what totally kept me entranced.  There are many plot points I was not expecting, and I read this book quickly over a couple of days.  If I hadn't had life interfere, I probably would've read it in one sitting.  Jude's relationship with Prince Cardan and how each views the other is interesting to say the least, and the book ends with many more questions than answers.  I'm already very impatient waiting for Book Two in what promises to be the best YA series I've ever read.  The Cruel Prince is Book One in The Folk of the Air series.

This is the beautiful cover of book two in the series, scheduled for release January 8, 2019.

Sidenote:  I'm trying to read more stand alone novels than series because the older I get the less patient I am in between installments!  ;D

Below is an IndieBound affiliate link for purchasing The Cruel Prince.

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Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What I'm Reading Wednesday: Love Walked In

Happy Wednesday, My Lovelies!  After a rainy and cold weekend, it's been a beautiful sunny week (although unseasonably cold).  Today I'm sharing the first book in a series by one of my favorite writers Marisa de los Santos:  Love Walked In.   I've already shared book two (Belong to Me) and book three (I'll Be Your Blue Sky) here on the blog, so I thought I should probably share the first book, too.

According to Goodreads:

When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. But little does she know that her newfound love is only the harbinger of greater changes to come. Meanwhile, across town, Clare Hobbs--eleven years old and abandoned by her erratic mother--goes looking for her lost father. She crosses paths with Cornelia while meeting with him at the café, and the two women form an improbable friendship that carries them through the unpredictable currents of love and life.

My Review:

Cornelia Brown is a thirty-one year old underachiever.  She's wicked smart, yet she quit graduate school before she'd completed a semester.  She's dreamy, a romantic, and has a great big heart.  Cornelia also loves classic movies, and when Cary Grant lookalike Martin Grace walks into her coffee shop she's immediately smitten.  But Martin's introduction into her life isn't the big story in this novel.  This story is more concerned with eleven year old Clare (whose mentally unstable mother is missing at Christmas) and Cornelia's friendship with Clare at the most vulnerable time in her young life.

In spite of Cornelia's slacker lifestyle, I love her character.  Sometimes she feels a wee bit overshadowed by her geneticist sister who happened to marry Teo, Cornelia's best childhood friend.  Teo travels to Philadelphia for a conference during Christmas while Cornelia is trying to help Clare find her way (and her mother).  They decide to spend Christmas with Cornelia's family in Delaware, and Clare is happy and content spending time with the Brown family.  Reality sets in as the holiday comes to a close and school is set to begin.  How can Cornelia continue to care for Clare without the school becoming suspicious, and should she or should she not contact the police?

Although this is a sweet story,  Marisa de los Santos does an admirable job depicting the devastating affects of bipolar disorder on individuals who suffer from the mental illness and their family members.  Santos sugarcoats nothing, yet she's also respectful and handles the plot point with dignity.  If you enjoy family drama with lovable, quirky characters, an interesting plot, and plenty of references to classic films, then you should enjoy Love Walked In.  

Below is an affiliate link to IndieBound for purchasing Love Walked In.

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Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My Happy List: Sweet Gifts, Gardening, and Instagram

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  I have so much to be happy about, but these are things that are holdovers from March.  Isn't it funny how sometimes life gets in the way of blogging?

We celebrated a really big anniversary in March.  Mr. Sketchy Reader did the sweetest thing:  He bought me my Wish List from the MacKenzie-Childs website.  I'd forgotten what I'd put on there, and he bought me two espresso cups and saucers in case a friend would like to partake with me.  ;P

I think that I now have all the flat rimmed dinner plates from the Taylor line.  I've wanted the piccadilly mug for a long time, and I love the little bunny planter.  

What I love so much about this is that my husband wanted me to have my wish list.  It isn't just about the "stuff" although I am thrilled with the presents.  I just thought he earned a lot of cuteness points for ordering my wish list items.  

One of the funniest things on my list is the wrought iron mug tree.  It's flippin' HUGE.  It holds twenty-four mugs.  I need to take a better photo of it.  The box it came in was very big, too.

I'm happy to announce that all the old Taylor patterns are back!!!  I swear when I opened my email and read it the heavenly chorus sang.  You can read more about this exciting announcement HERE.  

I've been playing with MacKenzie-Childs since we married, and I still enjoy it.  It makes me and my family happy!

Sweet Kris from Junk Chic Cottage sent me this adorable party favor because I won her giveaway, and it is the cutest thing!  I got it right at the end of Shelley's spring break, and she loved it, too.  She asked if Kris is a party planner, and I told her she probably could be!

Look at all the cuteness inside.

If you don't follow Kris's blog, you're missing out.  Visiting Junk Chic Cottage makes me happy because Kris makes everything beautiful.  She's a true talent!

The images below have been popular on my Instagram this past week.

In between storms, rain, and cold we've been gardening, and this column is at our back gate.
Springtime gardening makes me very happy!

This Instagram photo is for an April challenge, a book with the sky on the cover.

Instagram is making me very happy these days.  I've "met" some nice artists and bookstagrammers, and it seems to be the most positive of the social media platforms.

I'm shutting down my Facebook page and account later this week.  I posted last week that I would be doing this, and I'm getting off Facebook for several reasons. I might write a blog post about it, but I haven't quite decided yet whether it's really worth talking about here on the blog.  I would greatly appreciate it if you'd follow me on Instagram if you have an account, and I'll follow you back! The link is on my sidebar!

Finally, I'd like to thank all the TTT ladies for having my back last week.  Y'all are the reason I blog along with my other sweet bloggy friends.  I'm so grateful to y'all, for your friendship and kindness.  My blog friends make me happy!  It was also a treat to eat lunch with Jenna and Emily yesterday.  :D

What's making you happy this week?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill