Last year I got to participate in a ridiculously fun blogger collaboration, Tracking Down Tunes, with a ridiculously awesome blogger, Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books. As 2016 came to a close, we were chatting about how much we wanted to do another feature together, and how this one should center around books somehow.
We came up with The Year of Recommended Reads to work on getting through some of the books that have been sitting on our TBR piles forever, as well as to have a reason to force each other to read books that we think the other would like! 😉
Without further ado, the book for this month was ….
Why I wanted to read this book:
For this month, this question is almost more of “Why I wanted Alexa to read this book:” and it’s a pretty simple answer: BECAUSE THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. But no, really – this was one of my absolute favorite books/series as a teenager, and I was actually pretty surprised that Alexa hadn’t yet read it; it seemed totally up her alley! One of the great things about this project is that while we are also trying to get through books that we both want to read, it also gives us an opportunity to get the other person to read a book that we really want them to read, haha!
A great deal is happening in London and the country this season.
For starters, there’s the witch who tried to poison Kate at the Royal College of Wizards. There’s also the man who seems to be spying on Cecelia. (Though he’s not doing a very good job of it–so just what are his intentions?) And then there’s Oliver. Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn’t bothered to tell anyone where he is.
Clearly, magic is a deadly and dangerous business. And the girls might be in fear for their lives . . . if only they weren’t having so much fun!
Thoughts Upon Finishing:
“JUST AS AMAZING AS I REMEMBER.”
“BOYS CAN BE SUCH IDIOTS.”
“OLIVER IS SUCH A DOLT. SO IS GEORGY.”
“BUT SERIOUSLY BOYS ARE IDIOTS.”
“I COULD ONLY HOPE TO HAVE HER COMPOSURE.”
“GET IT GIRL!”
To sum up: This book was everything I remembered, only I think I appreciated it a lot more as an adult. (But it’s also important to note that while this is my first full reread since I first read it, I’ve picked it up and read favorite bits and pieces a lot over the years.) I really loved that both of the female MCs are so independent and resourceful, even in the constraints of the Regency Era setting.
Probably my favorite thing about this novel is not necessarily anything about the book itself; rather, the story of how it came to be. The two authors, Patricia Wrede (MY FOREVER FAV) and Caroline Stevermer, started playing “The Letter Game,” in which they wrote letters back and forth, each creating a character and a setting and a basic plot. After a few letters back and forth, the two realized they had the beginnings of what could prove to be a really good novel on their hands, and set about to clean up plot lines and make sure they both came to a conclusion around the same time. I think it really shows in the story how much the authors were enjoying themselves, and it’s part of what makes it such a fun book to read!
UGH. Do I really have to choose?? I love all of them so much – Kate, Cecy, James, Thomas … they are all wonderful in their own ways. I think, if pressed, I would have to say Kate. She’s supposed to be “enjoying” her London Season and is thrown into all sort of hi-jinks and calamity – but she handles it with such poise! (Albeit a clumsy sort of poise, but who am I to judge? I ran into a door the other day.) Also, I know this isn’t really fair because we’re only supposed to be talking about the first book, but I really love how her character grows and changes in the second and third books (ESPECIALLY the third!).
I’m going to cheat a little bit here, because I don’t really think it’s fair to just choose one favorite scene when you really had two storylines playing out – so I’m going to choose one from Cecy’s story and one from Kate’s.
There was this one scene when she is attending to James, who has run afoul of a quite powerful enchantment, and I loved the way she took care of him almost as much as I loved his shocked reaction (and subsequent appreciation) for a woman that didn’t have her head full of fluff.
Kate and her reactions with the “Odious Marquis” were pitch perfect every single time, but I especially loved when they were pretending to be engaged at a ball while also throwing barbed remarks back and forth. <3
“In short, if we wish to see anything sensible done about the situation, we will clearly have to do it ourselves.”
“Cecy, I do think it is unfair. People in novels are fainting all the time, and I never can, no matter how badly I need to.”
“Men can be such provoking creatures. One would think the entire world and everything in it were made only for their enjoyment and approval.”
My Goodreads Updates:
Have you read this book? Did you love it as much as me??
Bonus Bookout Infographic: