Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.
Here’s what I added to the shelves:
Thoroughly Modern Charlotte by Beth Massey — from the author
“I am not romantic, you know; I never was.” This statement made by Charlotte Lucas in ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ expressed her opinion in one of the great disagreements between female friends in literature. Fast forward two hundred years — what choices do third millennium women who are ‘not romantic’ make with regard to marriage? Meet Charlotte Jane Otis, a 21st century renaissance woman. This modern miss is a native New Yorker, aspiring author, writer of fanfiction, gem stone aficionado, novice rock climber, lover of dancing, Occupy Wall Street arrestee, mince pie baker and Jane Austen scholar. Her current lover accused her of betraying her best friend, giving nothing to their relationship, attempting to manipulate him into marriage and possibly trading sexual favors for contracts. She has been running her family’s business and acquiring advanced degrees since barely out of teens. Tired of obligation and duty, she wants a new life. Ms Otis regrets so very much, but not her tattoo and piercing. WARNING: This is a sexually explicit novel and is in favor of reproductive rights for women. (publisher’s summary)
Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner — from NAL
PRESENT DAY, OXFORD, ENGLAND. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel MacFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war she has kept for decades…beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden — one that will test her convictions and her heart.
1940s, ENGLAND. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister, Julia, find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross-purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated and their lives are transformed… (publisher’s summary)
Unlovely by Celeste Conway — from F+W Media
**This YA novel isn’t my cup of tea, but I passed it on to my daughter.
Harley knows better than to fall for a girl from Ocean Watch, the summer ballet school up the hill. Bad things happen to boys who do. Everyone in town still remembers how Teddy Flynn “fell” to his death from the tower of the seaside house. And Harley’s own father still bears the scars of a long-ago love affair with one of those ballerinas. On top of that, there is bad blood between the town and the upscale school. Yet when the beautiful ballerina Cassandra is stranded in town during a storm, Harley shelters her on his boat. And so begins their summer romance. Harley, still reeling from the breakup with his childhood sweetheart, freefalls into his new relationship. A magical interlude begins, as bewitching as any ballet, with long nights by the sea and a familiar world seen through new eyes. All is not perfect, however. As the weeks go on, Cassandra becomes consumed with her upcoming role in the haunting ballet Giselle. Her relationship with the other girls at the ballet school seems strangely intense to Harley, and all of them are thrilled to be included in the inner circle lead by the darkly glamorous Madame Ravenska, who has come to Ocean Watch to stage the ballet. One day, Cassandra confides in Harley about what goes on at Madame’s candlelit soirées — a certain “game” they have started to play. What Harley hears is horrifying. Surely it’s just a fantasy from a drama-prone girl’s overheated imagination? Or…is it? (publisher’s summary)
Bullied Kids Speak Out by Jodee Blanco — from F+W Media
**This book isn’t my cup of tea, but it found a home with Serena
Have you ever felt alone, as if no one understands what you’re going through, and that no matter how hard you try, you’re scared things may never get better? Do you wish your classmates would give you a break? I felt that way often in school. I was bulled and excluded for the same reason maybe you or someone you know has been — simply for being different. There were days when all I wanted was to stay in my room. Back then, I would have given almost anything to meet the kids you’re going to meet here.
Autumn dreaded recess. Joshua was afraid to trust anyone at home or at school. Taylor had lots of friends until her BFF turned them all against her. Gabe’s online gaming world was turned upside down when other players started humiliating him. A teacher was bullying Brianna. Eric’s Asperger’s made him the butt of cruel jokes. The cool crowd beat up Tiffany and videotaped it for YouTube. Zach got punched and stomped on because of his weight. Trinity felt invisible. Aamina was harassed because of her family’s religious beliefs. Riley had to live with the soul-crushing weight of mental illness as well as the other students who jeered at her plight.
These are some of the brave teens who will be talking to you in this book. They — and others they inspired — found the courage to stand up to their bullies and reclaim their lives, and you’ll hear exactly how they did it.
You’re not alone anymore. (publisher’s summary)
One Word From You by Natalie C. Penna
Elisabeth ‘Beth’ Blake wasn’t born in the same circle as the other girls at Netherfield Academy, but her mother’s advantageous third marriage has allowed her to enjoy their world. Now she’s at the end of her education, and is looking forward to what lies beyond.
That is, if she can make it to the end of the term in one piece.
In a bid to bring in more students, the academy is going co-ed, and has brought in the boys early to test the waters. Among them are Charlie Brackenwood, a cheerful boy with a soft spot for Beth’s best friend, Jenny. His companion William Davies isn’t at all pleased with the situation, or with Beth for that matter.
While Beth tries to avoid interacting with the boys wherever possible, it seems fate is determined to throw them together.
Can time erase the tensions of their first impressions of one another?
Will Elisabeth’s heart be swayed by the arrival of a handsome student teacher?
The path to true love is never easy, particularly not for such stubborn hearts.
An adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, made accessible for lovers of modern young adult tales. (publisher’s summary)
Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer
Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family’s farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promises adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he’s the man she’s meant to marry.
While she waits for the end of the Great War and Arthur’s return, her mother’s sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, sure that her glamorous and exciting life is about to start.
But the Spanish flu epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt’s sickness, Arthur’s indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebekah discovers she must choose between her desire to escape the type of life she’s always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart. (publisher’s summary)
The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer
The Luck of the Weissensteiners is an epic saga set in wartime Eastern Europe. It follows the lives of two families — one Jewish, one Catholic — and their entwined survival amidst the backdrop of the second world war; first the fascist then the communist invasion and occupation of Slovakia, and the horror of the consequences of war. The reader is transported to a world of deception, fear, distrust and betrayal, alongside enduring love and family drama. Weissensteiners is a magnificent tale of human survival. (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
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