Sunday, November 3, 2013

Review: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

Katie Alender- Scholastic Press

The details:  296 pages, 2 sittings to read. I received the ARC of this book at ALA Annual 2013.

Summary: (From Goodreads) Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.

Review: I recieved this book at ALA, and I was ECSTATIC. I had been looking forward to this one, and it looked sooo promising. Well, let me tell you, it lived up to my expectations. However, my expectations of this book were more for use in my middle grade school than for myself. 

I trully enjoyed this book. I liked the story line, and the 'mystery'. The mystery is a bit underwhelming and easy to guess early on, but the interest was still there. Katie Alender did a good job at creating an easy to read, well flowing book that has just enough mystery to keep any reluctant reader engrossed. 

I loved reading about the catacombs and Versailles, and the descriptions of Paris seemed to come from a true love of the area. However, I was disappointed in the relationships and character development. It's obvious that Collette is pretending and masking who she is, to be friends with the popular girls. She admits she doesn't want to not be seen 'with' them, although she always ditches them. She doesn't fully come across as somone who isn't vapid and shallow, although we are supposed to sympathize with her. She has her bitchy mean-girl moments, and while the book pushes the idea of 'being nice is doing something without wanting something in return' she STILL does things so that she can have the life she wants. It's annoying, how fake this character seems throughout the book. It's also annoying how the book plays up a 'love triangle' when there really is nothing of the sort. (Scholastic Book trailer, I'm look at you!) The love story of the book is pretty minimal, so it can trully interest those looking for an action packed historical fiction. (Ok, again, reluctant middle school readers here.)

However, I also fully enjoyed the book, so if you haven't picked this one up yet, you really should. You shouldn't be disappointedA.
  Rating: Personal 4 stars. For my students: 5 stars. I would recommend this book to my students, especially to some of my reluctant female readers.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

HO HO HO Holiday Read a Thon!

Baby it's cold outside... which means THE HOLIDAYS ARE NEAR!

There is something to be said about holiday cheer. Warm-fuzzies, Gingerbread Lattes, sappy lifetime movies... You must be a scrooge to not to enjoy the season!  Curling with with a (usually) romantic holiday read to end the night is one of my holiday must-haves. With that being said, it is a no-brainer that I am joining The Bawdy Book Blog and The Caffeinated Book Reviewer's HO HO HO Holiday read-a-thon.

This read-a-thon runs November 7th-November 11th, and features holiday-themed reads. (Duh!) If you would like to join and experience holiday warm-fuzzies, please follow this link!

Now, to dig through my Holiday Stash! Hmmm.... with a few days left, here is my tentative plan, based off of my current NETGALLEY shelf:

Are you joining? What books would you like to read this holiday season? Let me know below!