Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Childrens, 304 pages
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.
I really liked Scarlet but let me just say, I absolutely loved Lady Thief. It. Has. All. The. Feels. Political intrigue, action, love, loyalty, secrets...this book really has it all. The stakes are even higher in this book, I just couldn't put it down. The scenes between Robin and Scarlet are so sweet yet so heartbreaking. And nothing goes right for the gang. Not at all. Scarlet is such a fierce heroine and she and Robin are so perfect for each other. And that ending...gah! Was not expecting it at all (well, I was expecting something, but just not that). Highly recommend.
A Mad, Wicked Folly
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller
Publisher: Viking Juvenile, 448 pages
Publication Date: January 23, 2014
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?
What a fantastic historical novel, I'm so glad I read this book. The author definitely did her research, it showed in the descriptions of the clothing, the dialogue, and the details of the suffrage movement. I found myself completely immersed in that time and world. Vicky is an engaging and spirited heroine, although I have to say, she was a bit selfish in the beginning. I guess what bothered me the most was that she was willing to marry someone so she would be free to pursue her art, but given the times, I guess it's understandable that she didn't consider just striking out on her own (even though she did meet people who were doing just that). But Vicky does grow and her character progresses and matures throughout the course of the novel, which I really enjoyed. And let me just say, loved the romance between Vicky and Will. It wasn't insta-love, it was slow burning and realistic and some of the scenes...quite swoony. Definitely read this one!
Author: Bethany Hagen
Publisher: Dial, 384 pages
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.
I have mixed feelings about this book. My biggest complaints are with the world-building and the characters. There are clear classes, with the gentry are at the top (and land-owners are at the absolute top) living on big estates having parties while most of the rest of the world is poor and suffering with the lowest class (the Rootless) being used and abused. And somehow it's all tied to nuclear technology and a war with China. What? I just didn't get it. And then you have Madeline, who is supposed to take over the family estate and so she doesn't get to go to college. She meets David and feels an instant attraction, but then he acts so weird and treats her pretty horribly and even though reasons are revealed later for why he does what he does, I just never liked him and I couldn't understand why she was letting him get away with behaving like such a jerk. And so even though I knew I was supposed to be rooting for their relationship, I just wasn't. This may be one of those novels that would have benefited from a dual POV. There's a secret underground rebellion...and parties...and romance. I did like that the characters are complex and even the mean girl is not all she appears to be, but what ended up happening was that I just didn't like anyone.
Posted by: Pam