Alex & Eliza

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Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz

Genre: Romance/Historical Fiction

# of Pages: 358

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Do I recommend this book?

Yes, but would honestly probably only recommend it to people who enjoy historical fiction and romance. If you want to read this book just because you love Hamilton the musical, you may be really disappointed by the end of this book, like I was.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 7

Pace: 7

Plot development: 6

Characters: 7

Enjoyability: 6

Ease of Reading: 9

Summary from Goodreads:

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

So I’m not gonna lie, I only picked up this book because I love Hamilton, the musical. I went into this book with super high expectations, expecting this really touching story about Eliza and how she dealt with being Hamilton’s wife. Instead, this book was only about Eliza and Hamilton’s story before they got married. The book didn’t mention anything regarding Philip and his death, or Maria Reynolds, or Burr, or any of that stuff that is core of the musical.

Basically, this book just wasn’t about what I wanted, so I didn’t really like it. I also didn’t like the way any of the characters were portrayed. I didn’t like Alex, Eliza, Peggy, or Angelica. None of them were portrayed the way I imagined them.

The only thing I did like was seeing some of the interactions between Alex and Eliza. There were very cute parts of their love story that I didn’t know.

Overall, I think the reason I didn’t like this book was because my expectations were too high.

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

# of Pages: 391

Genre: Historical Fiction

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Do I recommend this book?

Yes! To anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 10

Pace: 10

Plot development: 10

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This was a avery good, eye-opening book. I learned so much about World War II that I didn’t know before. It also really helped me understand the horror of war. This book was told about people on both the American and German side, yet the deaths of any of them was tragic, no matter what side they were on.

I loved the connections between the four characters in this book. The way they all came to meet each other was really cool.

Ruta Sepetys’ writing is also incredible. It was really poetic, and enhanced the story in a really nice way.

I’m glad I read this book. 🙂

And I Darken

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And I Darken by Kiersten White.

Summary from Goodreads: No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Opinion: So I was really excited to read this, and I’m not gonna lie, I was disappointed after reading it. Lada was so violent and inhuman it was hard to connect to her, which didn’t bother me because that’s just how Vlad the Impaler was, but I made it difficult to like her at all. I didn’t like how slow this book read for me. I was really only interested for the last 50 pages. And there was so much info, and so many character I couldn’t keep track of them all. It was just kind of boring, and I though this book would be much more exciting. I’m really sad that I didn’t like this, but it just happens sometimes. :/

3.5 out of 5 stars

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.

Summary from Goodreads: Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.
But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Opinion: This book had a rather slow start, and after it finally started to get good, it was too short. This was a very eye opening book. I didn’t realize how naïve and blind some of the german citizens were. The ending in this book was also very sad. So overall, I would say to read this book for the learning and eye opening experience. This isn’t a book you would want to read to enjoy yourself.

4 out of 5 stars

The Yoga of Max’s Discontent

  
The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan Bajaj. So I was sent this book for an honest review in return. Before I get into major detail, let me just say that this book was a lot better than I expected. I wasn’t really sure what to expect anyway though, cause this book is very different than the books I usually read. 

Here’s a summary for you guys: “Max Pzoras is the poster child for the American Dream. The child of Greek immigrants who grew up in a dangerous New York housing project, he triumphed over his upbringing and became a successful Wall Street analyst. Yet on the frigid December night he’s involved in a violent street scuffle, Max begins to confront questions about suffering and mortality that have dogged him since his mother’s death.

His search takes him to the farthest reaches of India, where he encounters a mysterious night market, almost freezes to death on a hike up the Himalayas, and finds himself in an ashram in a drought-stricken village in South India. As Max seeks answers to questions that have bedeviled him—can yogis walk on water and live for 200 years without aging? Can a flesh-and-blood man ever achieve nirvana?—he struggles to overcome his skepticism and the pull of family tugging him home. In an ultimate bid for answers, he embarks on a dangerous solitary meditation in a freezing Himalayan cave, where his physical and spiritual endurance is put to its most extreme test.”

My opinion: so first of all, it was very ironic that I was asked to read this because I’m learning about different world religions right now in school, and I’m on a chapter about New Spirituality. And this book talked a lot about rituals and stuff that that a New Spiritualist would do. So that made a lot of the things easier to understand. I will say though that some parts of this got a little confusing and required a lot of focus. This book also talked about a lot of things that I really am not fully interested in, mainly just because I’m a teenage girl. However, I knew going into this book that it may not exactly be my “cup of tea”, but like I said before this book was a lot better and more interesting than I originally thought it was going to be. I liked a lot of the characters, and it had a very good ending. 

4 out of 5 stars. 

The Marvels

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The Marvels by Brian Selznick. This is Brian Selznick’s third book. It is not part of a series, but it is however similar to his first two books. All of Brian Selznick’s books are big, and they seem intimidating at first, but once you open them, you will soon discover that most of the pages are pictures. But Brian’s pictures don’t go along with the story, they tell the story.

This book started with the first 400 pages as pictures telling a story. Further into the book, there is actual writing, and the words tell a different story about a young boy who goes to look for his Uncle. The boy is very curious about his past, and it has to do with the story the first 400 pages of pictures told.

This book is a nice, light read. It doesn’t take a lot of concentration, since most of it is pictures. Brian Selznick’s books are beautiful. I fell in love with this book as soon as a I saw it. I definitely recommend it to anyone.

5 out of 5 stars.

 

 

Fever 1973

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Fever 1973 by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book was about a girl living in the time period when Yellow Fever was dangerous. She has to leave town with her grandfather after her mother gets sick.

I didn’t really want to read this book, because I was judging it by it’s cover. This is something I learned you NEVER do, because some of the best books I’ve read had weird covers. But my mom convinced me to read it, and I ended up liking it.

5 out of 5 stars