Spotlight Friday (94)

Hey everyone!  It’s Friday once again!  And if you’re anywhere close to the Midwest or East Coast, you’re getting hammered with snow right now.  Sucks, right?  Maybe these new books will help you feel better temporarily…until you have to shovel out.

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Release Date: January 23, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads)Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

What’s To Like: I absolutely love the idea of this novel.  It’s a historical fiction set just at that turn of social protocol from the stuffy rules and manners of the Victorian age to the slowly shifting women’s rights movement.  Women were starting to dream of things they never had and actually started going for them despite the risks.  And I already admire Vicky for that.  She sounds like she has a strong personality, which I like.  It also has dresses and boys, what else could I want from this book?

My review of A Mad, Wicked Folly.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads)Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

What’s To Like: EVERYTHING.  Oh my gosh, how do I explain my love for a book I’ve never read?  First of all, it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which I LOVE.  I also really like how strong Nyx appears to be.  She does sound a lot like Katsa from Graceling, which I’m excited about.  I mean, I love Belle, but if Belle had some really awesome fighting skills, that would be even cooler.  I’m just gonna go swoon in the corner over this book now.  (Probably a weird thing for me to say…)

My review of Cruel Beauty

Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell

Release Date: February 4, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads)When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out—even visiting the Grey Man.

Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls.

Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself?

What’s To Like: This feels almost like American mythology, which is pretty neat.  I’m really interested to see how this story plays out.  It’s certainly a different tone than the previous two books I’ve shown here already.  I don’t know why, but I’m usually really drawn to books where people are sad and struggling.  Maybe it’s partly because I like to see how they overcome it.  This Grey Man seems to be an odd fellow.  I wonder why he has to collect 1,000 souls…


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