The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair
by: Jasper Fforde

Series: Thursday Next Series, Book 1

Challenges: TBR Challenge

Published: 2001

# of pages: 374

Quote: "'There is nothing for me after Jane leaves with that slimy and pathetic excuse for a vertebrate, St. John Rivers." -Rochester p. 331

This is a book I've been meaning to read for several months now. Jane Eyre is my favorite book of all time. I discovered it in high school and have read it 3 times now. It's been years since I've read it so I think I'll be reading it again someday soon, especially after reading The Eyre Affair.

This is a literature lover's dream book! Thursday Next is a woman living in 1980s England, but it isn't the 1980s or the England that we know. Time traveling, cloning, and vampires are just a few of the fantastic things that exist in Thursday's world. Another amazing aspect of her world is how popular literature is. Instead of TV everyone watches classic plays and reads classic books. People take literature very seriously, many of them even change their names to reflect their favorite poet or author! But because literature is such a big interest, it also creates interesting crimes.

Thursday works for a devision of the police called LiteraTec, which handles all literature related crimes such as forging, illegal revising, and thefts. When the original manuscript of Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit are stolen, she becomes involved and what follows is a crazy adventure. She takes part in every major event anyone of that time could wish to experience. She's like a futuristic Nancy Drew. She just can't seem to stay out of trouble.

While this isn't the most well-written novel, it is definitely worth reading. I'm assuming that if you are reading this blog you are a book lover, so I think you will enjoy The Eyre Affair. And if you are a Jane Eyre fan you will definitely enjoy seeing another side of Mr. Rochester and Bronte's novel. There is some bad language, but it isn't overwhelming, so I recommend this book to literature lovers and adults who are fans of sci-fi/fantasy.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
by: Susanna Clarke

Published: 2004

# of pages: 1,006

Quote: "'Soldiers, I am sorry to say, steal everything.' He thought for a moment and then added, 'Or at least ours do.'" -Lord Liverpool p. 366

I loved this book! After reading the first few pages I thought it would be a drag, or at least somewhat of a struggle to continue picking up to read. The footnotes threw me off, I thought the book was going to be like a boring textbook. It did take me awhile to finish, but not because I wanted to put the book down! It is long, but it didn't help that other things kept coming up that forced me to put the book away.

I think that Clarke did a brilliant job writing this book. It's witty, humorous, clever... I could go on and on. I loved the fact that she mixed history, fantasy, and fairytales together. It was a little confusing at first because I wasn't sure if this was a historical fiction or a fantasy and was somewhat baffled when I read about famous historical figures and magicians in the same paragraph, but I soon figured out that it is a mixture of both of these genres.

The story follows two magicians in England during the early 1800s. Once, magicians were everywhere and magic was strong in England, but it fizzled out until it was almost extinct except for a few "magicians" who studied the history of magic, but couldn't actually perform any. That is until Mr Norrell appears. He is very protective of his magical abilities and so it is a surprise when he allows Jonathan Strange to be his student. The two magicians do amazing things with magic, but their opinions about it widely differ and they start to drift apart. The story follows the magicians and their separate (and joined) quests to bring magic back to England.

I recommend this book to teens and adults who enjoy fantasy and historical fiction. It will probably help you enjoy this book more if you know the basics about the poet Byron's life (he is mentioned several times and I found her interpretation of his life very entertaining since I studied him in college) and some of the basics about the Napoleonic Wars. However, even if you don't know a lot about historical figures and events, you will still enjoy this.

I also saw on IMDB that they are going to be making a movie based off the novel! It doesn't say when it will be finished, but that's something to look forward to.


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Daylight by: Elizabeth Knox

Published: 2003

# of pages: 368

I like the idea of vampire stories, but I don't like most vampire books. With the exception of the Twilight sage, Sunshine by Robin McKinley, and Dracula, I have yet to read a vampire book that I really like. Unfortunately Daylight has joined the ranks of bad vampire books.

The story is about a man named Bad, a caver and policeman, who is caught up in a complicated web of relationships after he helps retrieve a body from the ocean that is floating below a cliff. All of the characters in this book are related in some way. It's actually neat how Knox ties them all together. I was fascinated by the characters of Father Daniel Octave, Ila, and Martine. Other than that, I didn't like many of the other characters. I think my favorite character was Martine even though she doesn't play a big part in the book. She was a good person and didn't fall into the disgusting habits that her friends were engaged in. That's another reason I liked Ila, he was trying to follow Martine's example. I did not like Dawn whatsoever. She had no self control and I felt like she was really selfish.

The entire story is very vague and there isn't much dialogue. Knox narrates the dialogue. I personally don't like this method of writing. I like to hear things "firsthand" and decide for myself if a character is angry, sarcastic, mysterious, etc. I don't like being told all of that without any evidence. I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear, but I felt like it was hard to really get into the story and understand the characters because they don't have much of a personality, mainly because the reader doesn't "see" them speaking much.

However, I did like the idea of the story. I only wish it had been told a little better. I almost gave this 3 stars because I liked the way vampires and saints were placed side by side, but the narration and vague timeline gave the book an uncomfortable feel which outweighed the story's potential. Overall, I only recommend this book to vampire lovers and people who don't mind bad language and sex scenes. Also, I think people who appreciate and enjoy unconventional writing styles would also appreciate this book.

The 5-Minute Face

The 5-Minute Face by: Carmindy

Published: 2007

# of pages: 208

I feel so silly for reviewing a makeup book of all things! Ya'll will think I'm so girly, but the truth is I'm actually not. And that's why I need help...from Carmindy. Some of you may recognize her name from the TV show "What Not to Wear." She is always demonstrating her 5 minute face on the show and when I did a search for it online to find out more details I was happy to come across this book.

This is a great book for those who enjoy the beautification process and for those who don't. I hardly ever wear makeup, but one reason is because I used to feel like I didn't know how to put it on correctly. When I wore it I was constantly wondering if I looked ridiculous or if other people could see that I didn't know what I was doing. This book simplifies things and you can pick and choose what you want to do. She has a product guide for different skin types, she recommends colors for different shades of skin, and then gives a guide on what types of makeup to wear for different age groups. All of this complements her 5 minute face plan.

I still don't wear a whole lot of makeup unless it's a special occasion, but now I feel more confident when I do wear it. Also, I discovered an awesome product called mattifying gel that I love. So I just wanted to recommend this book because there may very well be women like me out there who could use some help. And who knows, you just may discover the perfect product that will make your life easier.

Coming Soon

I'm hoping to have a new layout soon! It's taking me awhile to figure out how to load the layout that I want, so I made a new blog just to experiment. But hopefully you will be seeing a new look sometime in the near future!

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Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn by: Stephenie Meyer

Series: The Twilight Saga, Book 4

Published: 2008

# of pages: 768

Series: Twilight Saga

I've been putting off discussing this book because I didn't review Twilight, New Moon, or Eclipse. However, these books are some of my all time favorites and since I read this one after starting my book blog, I'll go ahead and sort of review it. I don't want to give anything away for those of you who haven't read these books, so don't worry!

Anyway, I was just a little disappointed with Breaking Dawn. Part of it was because of where I am in my personal life, it definitely influenced my reaction to one of the biggest surprises in this book. So I can't say that it really wasn't as good as the others because my personal reaction was the main reason I didn't enjoy the book as much. However, there were many parts that I was pleased with and I overall think it was a good ending to Edward's and Bella's story. There wasn't as much intense "I can't put the book down" type of situations, but that actually fit with the mood of the book. Part of me was purposely dragging it out because I didn't want to finish it. I was sad when it was over and am just happy that now I'm looking forward to the movie (which is coming out on my birthday!).

My husband (who is also a big fan of these books...they aren't just for girls!) read that the cover is a symbol of Bella's transformation. Don't worry, I won't go into any more details, but Bella is a strong character. I've admired her throughout the series and love the way she handles all types of situations. My favorite part of these books is what great role models Bella and Edward are. They save themselves for the perfect person and even after they meet each other they keep their love pure. In a day and age when young teens are sleeping around and most people are confused about what love really is, these books can teach a lot of lessons about true love. Love is selfless and takes a lot of work. Sometimes it can hurt, but you have to be able to forgive each other. I feel that the Cullens are all great role models. They've lived for so long that they've had time to see all sides of humanity and choose to live the best way they can. They also have self control and set up boundaries for themselves, something that everyone can learn from.

I can't recommend these books enough to teens and adults, women and men alike. Even though the issue of sex comes up (it is not graphic at all), it is handled with great values. The language is very mild which makes these books appropriate for young adults as well as adults.

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Wife, mother, bookworm.
This is a place where you can read book reviews, discover links, and learn about the reading challenges in which I'm taking part.


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