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JustAnotherBelle

Just Another Belle

One day I'll be in the media field working to change gender stereotypes or I'll be writing about strong female characters. Preferably both. At the same time.  This girl has dreams.

Find me on wordpress: justanotherbelle.wordpress.com

Currently reading

And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None, just like the oreos I ate while reading it and the pages of this book

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

I love the new covers of these books. They're fantastically adorable & unassuming considering the type of thriller mysteries these books actually are.

 

This is my first Agatha Christie book.  I had read some pieces of her work in English class in high school, I believe but never the full story.  But I figured it was high time to start reading her work in earnest.  For Christmas, I got this & Murder on the Orient Express.

Did you hear about the BBC miniseries based on this book? It was released in honor of Agatha Christie's 125th birthday.  From what I understand, it's due out in the US sometime in 2016 on Lifetime.  I couldn't find much information on it but people seemed to enjoy it in the UK.

 

In any case, this was delightful and slightly creepy.  There was a lot of things going on because there was 10 separate characters to keep track of but it was pretty easily managed most of the time.

 

Story

  • What an awesome original story, first of all.
  • It was interesting reading about what guilt did to people. Without going into too much detail on each individual person, you got a sense of who they were and what they did (eventually).
  • I loved that, despite having many guesses, I never actually could guess who did it.  I had a pretty good idea of how it was accomplished but I just picked the wrong person.

This was an easy read and I would recommend it to any mystery lover.  After all, Agatha Christie is the queen of mysteries, a fact that I had known but not experienced first hand.

There's not much else to say about this.  I benefited from reading this without knowing much about it.  It's just something you have to experience first hand without much information.

 

Have you read any books by Agatha Christie? What are your favorites?

A Darker Shade of Magic, a Review & Love Letter to a Coat

A Darker Shade of Magic - Victoria Schwab

So, a lot of people shelve this a young adult, however, Victoria has said that the books published under V.E. Schwab were her adult books and those published under Victoria Schwab were young adult.  Just so there's no confusion.

 

Characters

  • I love how unapologetic Lila is. She's fierce and I love that about her.  It's completely refreshing.  There are so few soft spots with her and I think that's great.

 

  • Kell. I don't even know where to start with Kell.  I like his moral ambiguity, he doesn't always do the right thing but that doesn't mean he's not a good person.  I wish I could steal his coat.  How fantastic does that coat sound? I was in awe every time it was brought up. I think his coat should be a character unto itself.  Imagine the stories it could tell.
  • Rhy. Oh goodness.  I love that his character was the sidekick but I also really wanted an entire story from his point of view.

I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still.

Story

  • When I first read the description, I thought it was intriguing but I was a little confused.  Don't fear, it's very clearly and well-explained. 
  • The characters aren't cookie-cutter, there's more to them than meets the eye, there's a brief kiss scene but that doesn't mean there's romance (but that doesn't mean we can't ship it!), and the world building is incredible.
  • I want to know more about the traveller magic that Kell has.  I want to know more about everything. I want to travel the Londons (and beyond) while wearing Kell's coat. 

I'm not used to reading adult fantasy.  You can tell that this isn't written for a young adult audience, not because of it's content but because of the writing.  I can't pinpoint what it is exactly but the flow to the writing is different.  (It's not better, it's not a higher quality, don't even go there, it's just different.)  It's like that saying when a 20-something realizes they're an adult in a situation so they look around for an adultier adult.  This book is that adultier adult.  It has its shit together.

 

This book left off on a note that left me aching for the next adventure but at the same time, I was pretty content if this had been a standalone novel.  Thankfully, A Gathering of Shadows comes out soon so I can find out what trouble Lila got into and so I could drool over Kell's coat some more.

 

Have you read books by V.E. Schwab? Do you love her like I do? Also, if you're not following her on Twitter,  you should. 

I'm going to try to keep up with this challenge this year.  It's from Pop Sugar.

There seems to be a lot of good ideas with this challenge and I will hope to complete it!

Changeless, a book that drove me mad in the best way, by Gail Carriger

— feeling crazy
Changeless - Gail Carriger

It's the first book I've finished in 2016 and I'm quite happy this was it (that is, as long as the second book I finish is Blameless).  Look what you've done, Gail Carriger, I am in quite a state. 

 

"Ivy waved the wet handkerchief, as much as to say, words cannot possibly articulate my profound distress.  Then, because Ivy never settled for meaningful gestures when verbal embellishments could compound the effect, she said, "Words cannot possibly articulate my profound distress."

Alexia is vexed after her werewolf husband runs off to Scotland in pursuit of an urgent matter without telling her.  So she does what's entirely not expected of her and goes after him.  In a manner quite unexpected, she rides in a dirigible to Scotland with her sister, Felicity, her best friend, Ivy, her handmaiden, Angelique, and the claviger, Tunstell.  Unbeknownst to her, the intriguing & possibly untrustworthy Madame Lefoux.   The journey to Scotland becomes quite dangerous when Alexia's life is put at risk.  More than once.  Alexia could only get into more trouble once she reached ground, but with her trusty parasol in hand, she just may be able to handle it. 

As soon as I was done reading Soulless, I knew I needed to pick up Changeless as soon as I could. And I do mean immediately.  I considered some sort of evil that the end of the first book contained a bit from the first chapter of the next.  How conniving.

Naturally, I trekked to my nearest bookseller and hoped to find this installment. With luck, I was able to buy this & the 3rd book and was compelled to buy the 4th & 5th since they only had one copy of each.  I resisted buying the others, however. My heart & soul  protested but my wallet breathed a sigh of relief. 

“She reached inside the wide ruffle and pulled out a little vial.
“Poison?” asked Lady Maccon, tilting her head to one side.
“Certainly not. Something far more important: perfume. We cannot very well have you fighting crime unscented, now, can we?”
“Oh.” Alexia nodded gravely. After all, Madame Lefoux was French. “Certainly not.”

Story

Alexia is back and witty as ever. And what doesn't kill her, is making her stronger. Literally.

Ivy is as oblivious as ever and perfect for it.  I loved reading about the journey on the dirigible. They're fascinating. 

 

Scotland! Oh my Scotland, my favorite land.  How I love that this story took place there.  Though I would have killed for some more description of the castle/ scenery.  This book is just as ridiculous as the first, just in a different country and I loved it just as much.

 

“Alexia,” she hissed to her friend, “there are knees positively everywhere. What do I do?”

 

Characters

  • While the new cast of characters in Scotland are not as well formed or interesting as the Woolsey pack, there are some stand outs.  Lady Kingair is quite the match for Alexia.
  • I'm not entirely sure what to make of Madame Lefoux but I do enjoy reading scenes with her.  She makes things rather interesting.  It was fun seeing more of Felicity, though mostly vile as she is.  I bet she was an amusing character to write.

 

These books are a breath of fresh air and have forever endeared me to Gail Carriger's writing.

 

Oh, my lordy.  That ending.  I can't.  I'm so mad at that last perfect page! I need the next book ASAP. Of course, I should pace myself but I really don't want to do that.

Excuse me while I binge-read Blameless and ignore all other responsibilities.

 

Soulless, in which a book has stolen my heart & soul, by Gail Carriger

— feeling happy
Soulless - Gail Carriger, Gail Carriger

I just finished reading Soulless and I absolutely need to get the rest of the series.  I've been saying that all day but now I really mean it since I have no more of it to read. *makes grabby hands*

 

I had first come across this book when I was in high school. I thought it sounded interesting but didn't buy it since I probably didn't have any money.  Then I forgot about it. I know, how could I?! But never fear, the other day I was in Barnes & Noble and they had it listed in their bargain priced section. I immediately picked it up, whispered, "You're finally mine," and ignored concerned onlookers to purchase it. 

 

I started reading it and I couldn't help but giggle.  Out loud. In front of people.  

 

Alexia Tarabotti was perfect, witty, and entirely too amusing.  What a wonderful main character! She's intelligent, bossy, stubborn, witty, and gets herself into quite the scandalous situations.

 

Lord Maccon is an insufferable delight.  His interactions with Alexia soon became my favorite thing about the book and I hated whenever he left the page. 

 

Lord Akeldama and Professor Lyall were brilliant side characters. Lord Akeldama's scenes were among the ones I laughed most at. I loved the inflection in his voice and I must say, he may just be one of my favorite vampires. 

 

“A vampire, like a lady, never reveals his true age.”

 

I also adored every exchange that Alexia and Ivy Hisselpenny had about Ivy's hideous hats.

 

This book was ridiculous in the best possible way.  I loved the writing, the story, the setting, the characters- just all of it.  

 

 

All I have to say is that when I go out tomorrow, I better be coming home with Changeless (in the correct edition).  I'm looking at you, Barnes & Noble.