November 13, 2017

Abbreviations #38 | A Wilder Rose, Wildest Dreams + And Then There Were None

A Wilder Rose book cover
A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: March 17, 2015
Source: Purchased Kindle e-book

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that I grew up with and still love the Little House series. (I love it so much that I collaborated with my friend Hannah to host Little House Lit!) I haven’t read a lot of literature about the books outside of the series; A Wilder Rose is the first. This novel is a fictional reimagining that tackles the story of Rose Wilder Lane, Almanzo and Laura’s daughter, who is a traveler, a writer and her mother’s collaborator on the Little House series. The novel centers around Rose as an adult, and specifically chronicles the ups and downs of Rose’s career and her relationship with her mother. Personally, I thought it was interesting to learn more about Rose, and to see how her own journey and relationship with writing developed over the course of her life. The writing style was a little dry for my tastes, but it was tempered by the way that I already knew Rose and her mother from the other books, so it didn’t bother me as much as it would have otherwise. While I wouldn’t rush to recommend this one, I do think that if you’re as fascinated with the Little House series as I am, this might be a book you’d be interested in checking out.

Wildest Dreams book cover
Wildest Dreams by Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland #1
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: August 15, 2011
Source: Purchased Kindle e-book
Buy the Book: Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Amazon

I'll be the first to admit that the premise of Wildest Dreams is a little zany. Seoafin "Finnie" Wilde seeks adventure, a legacy left to her by her parents, and she's about to embark on her greatest adventure yet: a visit to a parallel universe where she'll switch places with her 'twin' in that universe for a year. It's only upon her arrival that Finnie discovers her twin was withholding information, specifically related to the fact that Finnie was to be wed to Frey Drakkar. There's essentially a ton more that happens (including political maneuverings and funny bits), but this is the basic premise of the novel. Now, on the one hand, I enjoyed the fantasy universe Finnie is transported to a whole lot and lapped up all the descriptions of places and clothing and people and food. I also enjoyed Finnie herself, as she's headstrong and sassy and badass when called for. I even enjoyed the plot, despite the fact that it was predictable. But, on the other hand, this story fell flat in terms of the writing (too many time jumps) and the romance (which I couldn't get behind because I was not at all happy with how Frey treated Finnie at times). So, I guess it boils down to two questions. Would I recommend this? I honestly can't say yes, which is rather unfortunate. Will I continue reading the series? Maybe. Since the main couple changes in every novel, and there is a character I would love to read about, I might, but only time will really tell.

And Then There Were None book cover
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 17, 2009 (or. November 1939)
Source: Purchased the Kindle e-book

I finally read my first Agatha Christie novel! If you’ve been a long-time reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m not much of a mystery reader. But Christie is a classic mystery writer, and a combination of a Doctor Who episode and the fact that mysteries fit in with my current fall vibe just cemented my desire to finally pick up one of her story. And Then There Were None is the story of ten strangers who are invited to be weekend guests on a private island off the coast of Devon, ten strangers who, one by one, find themselves falling victim to a murderer. Terrible synopsis, I’m aware, but you get the general idea I’m sure. Anyway, this novel was a pleasant surprise. The story is compelling, with a vibe that teeters between terror and suspicion (as expected), and it is a very quick read. My only personal reservations center around the adjustment I had to make to Christie’s style of storytelling, and the fact that I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters. All in all, I thought it was a solid mystery read! I’m pleased to have finally read my first Christie, and I definitely look forward to reading more.


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