What I’ve Been Reading Lately

 

As I said in this post, I got a lot of reading done during my unintentional blog break due to hurting my right wrist. So much so that I have quite the backlog of things to talk about but don’t feel like trying to squeeze in a bunch of individual posts about! So let’s get to some of these:

 

My Brilliant Friend series

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

About In A Sentence (ish): It’s about the ever changing friendship between Lila and Elena as they grow up in Naples, Italy in the 195o’s. (That’s totally simplifying it but there’s so much!!)

Thoughts: One of the ugliest covers I’ve ever seen. Truly. When I went to go read this I hadn’t heard much about it — it was a pick for a book club a new friend invited me to join! I went to get it from the library and there were like 140 something holds for it and I’m like WUT — I have NEVER heard of this book and it came out years ago. Come to find out it has become super popular recently! Anyways, this one was sooo slow to start and it was hard to follow at times — because it jumps around from stories from the girls’ childhoods and there are A LOT of people referenced and sometimes not a lot is actually happening. But then slowly I realized I was SOOO immersed in their story and couldn’t put it down…it just happened without me realizing how much I was falling in love with the story and these girls. The writing is incredible and her ability to construct these characters just impressed me so much. Their friendship is complicated (the competitiveness, the way they would come and go with each other at periods of time, the loyalty) and kind of toxic but I found myself fascinated by it and fascinated by where it will go.  I was fascinated (and saddened often) by all the dynamics working in their poverty-filled neighborhood in 1950’s Naples — which was a GREAT setting by the way! I definitely plan on getting to the next one because this one ends when they are 16 and I know A LOT is going to happen throughout the years…especially based on HOW the novel started. It’s honestly just such a smart book about A LOT of things, not solely a friendship, and I wish I could properly talk about it. It’s just such a masterpiece of a book that it’s so hard to explain what exactly makes it so great because it’s a lot of things!

 

Rating:

RATING-loved-it

[Keep Reading]

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn | Book Review

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn | Book ReviewThe Duke & I by Julia Quinn
Published by Avon on June 2006
Genres: Adult Historical Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

 

 

 

 

Young Daphne Bridgerton is on her way to becoming an old spinster in her high society circles because she’s not yet married. Her mother is hellbent on finding her a husband but she doesn’t fancy the few suitors she’s had. Simon Bassett, a Duke and an old friend of Daphne’s brother, comes to town and is instantly fawned over by all the society mother’s and their daughters. Both are jaded with the process and come up with a plan that benefits them both — to get into a faux-courtship. It’s a win-win for both of them so Simon can hopefully get a breather from the mom’s wanting him to marry their daughters and will make Daphne more desirable to the men because the Duke is pursuing her and she’ll have more suitors to choose from. As the two get to know each other, Daphne may not be faking her feelings towards the Duke even though he’s made his intentions clear but wants to try to convince him that perhaps they really are the real deal.

My first historical romance and I LOVED IT! I read it as part of my Courting the Adult Romance challenge and I’m so, so happy you guys picked it for me. The Duke and I was so charming and I cannot wait to read more from the Bridgerton family. It was everything I loved about Pride & Prejudice but without more dense language of the time. I don’t think I swooned as hard as I did for during P&P, because I mean Mr. Darcey, but I was smitten. I just love books set in the Regency era — all that prim and proper etiquette, the extravagant balls and high society, the social norms, etc. but desire is still there. LOVE the tension that ensues.

In my general thoughts about my foray into the romance genre, I noted that this one wasn’t as steamy as the Lucky Harbor book (my first read) and honestly I went through more than half the book before there was even so much as a kiss. I love steamy and sexy but I LOVED the tension that just smothered you because of the more modest times in The Duke and I. I think if you are looking for a romance novel filled with super sexy times — this isn’t it. This one is just utterly romantic complete with moments that make your heart pitter patter and swoon in the midst of the obvious tension. There’s sex, yes, but it’s not overwhelming at all.

The Bridgerton family and the sibling dynamics were the kind that you read and remember forever. You feel like you are cozying up with old friends and your heart feels at home. It kind of reminded me of slipping in with the March family from Little Women or a family like that — except some awesome brothers thrown in there. I loved the relationships within the family and how they fiercely loved each other and how they all had their unique individual characteristics that really jumped out at me — rather than just being cardboard siblings. This excites me since the rest of the series focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling!

The most delightful surprise about this novel was how FUNNY it was. I don’t often laugh out loud at books but I actually did with this one. It’s so witty and peppered with humor and it just made it such a feel good read. One of the parts that made me snort laugh unattractively is the first sex scene. OH MY GOODNESS.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn was so utterly charming and romantic. If you loved Pride & Prejudice or love the Regency era, I highly recommend this if you want an absolutely fun romance novel. There’s so much about this novel that I loved and it made me smile and laugh SO MUCH — the romance, this quirky family, the humor Julia Quinn infuses and that Regency feel. It’s more on the side of swoony rather than steamy though there is a little bit of sex but not at all graphic. Cannot WAIT to read more from this series. I’m restraining myself so I don’t binge read it all.

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What were your overall feelings about it? Did you expect it to be so funny?? I totally didn’t. If you’ve read the series, which book is your favorite? I’m so excited to read more from this family! What other historical romances do you recommend now that I think I am in love?!

four-stars
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