Welcome to The Romantic Scholar, a book review blog. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy your stay.

After an eight month long hiatus, I am back. And I could not be more excited about it.

***My comments are located at the top of my posts***

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Overall Rating:

Cover Art:
I love the cover. It's very delicate, just like the way Gemma portrays herself. But it also has an air of secrecy. The life Gemma leads. I think it is a well done cover for the book, and the entire series.

Age Recommendation:
I'd recommend late middle school early high school for this book. It's not so much risque, but because of the themes, you should be aware before you read it. It is not a light read either. So a strong young adult reader should be fine.

Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy -- spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify -- visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain.

The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes them to. To the girls' great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.

But all is not well in the realms -- or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's foe -- Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . .

This sumptuous companion to A Great and Terrible Beauty teems with Victorian thrills and chills that play out against the rich backdrop of 1895 London, a place of shadows and light . . . where inside great beauty can lie a rebel angel.

My Thoughts:
This book was for the most part a page turner just like it's prequel. But there was a rather large section in which I had to force myself to move forward. It was beautifully written just as the previous book was and I quite enjoyed it.

This book answers many questions left from it's predecessor while creating it's own for the next book to answer. It's a book filled with romance, mystery, passion, sorrow, and pain. All the angst of a teenager. Except there is magic.

Gemma is once again on the hunt to find the temple to seal the magic she released in the first book. She is joined by her old friends and makes some new ones. This tale of a journey of a young girl to fulfill her purpose in life and to understand who she is is one any girl can relate to and is quite a joy to read. I was on edge while reading for the majority of the book. There was a lot of gasping and "NO!"s along with the occasional "Oh my gosh!".

I would definitely recommend this book to any reader looking for a journey to venture on. And I would strongly suggest that if you get stuck on a part like I did, KEEP PUSHING, it is well worth it. So many unexpected twists and turns await you in this wonderful book.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us byBreaking the Spine.

My Waiting on Wednesday is:

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth: Book Cover

Release date: 2/2/10

When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.
When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different—dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy—her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on.
Told in alternating viewpoints, In a Heartbeat tells the emotional and compelling story of two girls sharing one heart.

Summary is from the product description listed on amazon.

My Thoughts:
I can't wait to read this! It just sounds like it will be such a heartwarming book. I can't wait until February!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday is brought to us by Should Be Reading. This weeks teaser is from Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

"'You'll be next,' a voice whispers. It's an angry hisslike tone that nearly makes me drop the receiver.

'Who is this?' I insist. I look toward my window. The curtains are parted, the blind is rolled to the top.
I spring from my bed to tug the blind down.
'You'll end up like her,' the voice continues; it's followed by a weird crackling sound.
'Who is this?' I repeat.
But the line is dead." (92)

Hope I didn't spoil anything! :)

1) Grab your current read.
2) Open to a random page.
3) Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
5) Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Overall Rating:

Age Recommendation:
I would recommend this book to any young adult girl who loves to laugh. There is some crude humor in it but nothing extreme.

Cover Art:
Again, I absolutely love the cover. It truly matches the randomness and humor of the book and Georgia's life.

Time to gird the loins and pucker up.

Blimey O'Reilly's trousers! When Georgia embraced being the girlfriend of a Rock Legend/Luurve God, she thought that was the end of her lovenosity woes. As usual, Georgia is the last to know what she is talking about. Now there's the small matter of a snogging accident involving her matey-type mate Dave the Laugh and some toasted newts in her undercrackers. Can Georgia lock up her red bottom and throw away the key?

My Review:
The second to last book in the series. I can't believe it's almost over. And once again, I am completely blown away by the writings of Louise Rennison. She really is quite a genius.

The complications of Georgia's love life continue. Whether or not she'll be able to go see her beau in Pizza-a-go-go-land, or whether or not the relationship will even work out. Or is he really the one she should be with? In this installment of the Georgia Nicholson Confessions, we get even more tangled up in her crazy life than before. There are issues with friends, boys, and of course family.

As crazy as the series is, it's very easy to relate to a lot of what is going on in Georgia's life. I really like that you can read this book, or series rather, and feel like you're not the only one who has difficulties with friends, boys, and family. Plus, reading about Georgia's issues can sometimes make you feel better about your own. It gives you something to smile about no matter what mood you're in.

This is really an all around feel-good book that is guaranteed to bring you major laughter and brighten any day. I would definitely read it again and again and I would recommend it to every girl I know. This series is just one of those that has to be read. I can't wait to read the next one to see how it all ends.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Aimee Friedman is the author of the recent release of Sea Change which is on sale now.

Romantic Scholar To start, would you mind giving a brief summary of Sea Change?

Aimee Friedman Miranda Merchant, sixteen and levelheaded, is spending the summer on a small, mist-shrouded island off the coast of Georgia. The island's history is full of legend and lore, particularly regarding people who come from the sea and live on land as humans. Miranda dismisses these legends as the stuff of fairy-tales...until she meets Leo. A green-eyed, handsome, mysterious local boy, Leo challenges everything Miranda thinks she knows about boys, love, friendship...and reality.

RS What inspired you to write such a different genre from your other books?

AF I'd had the idea for Sea Change for a long time. I love The Little Mermaid story, and I love the movie "Splash," and I'd always wanted to write a story where the roles were reversed: it's the boy who comes from the sea and the girl who is the human in love with him. So this idea was percolating while I wrote some of my other books, and then, when all the YA supernatural romance novels started to explode, my editor felt it was the right time for me to publish my "merman" story. It was fun and challenging and exciting to depart a little bit from the very realistic YA fiction I'd been writing.

RS Miranda is such an independent and unique character. Is she based off of you or someone you know?

AF In many ways, Miranda is like me, but also a much more rational, logical, calm version of me! Like Miranda, I went to the Bronx High School of Science, but I was never that great at science--I always preferred English, writing, history, languages. And unlike Miranda, I tended--and still tend--to be a little on the dramatic side. I gave Miranda all the "steady" qualities I often wish I had...but then of course all those qualities get turned upside down when she falls in love.

RS Do you find it easy to come up with your characters and storylines?

AF I almost always have lots of different, half-formed, little snippets and seeds of ideas brewing in my head, and it's just a matter of sitting down and tethering those ideas to a real narrative. Sometimes it's just a line or a phrase that I'd like to follow into a larger story, sometimes it's a "what-if?" scenario, sometimes it's a character. Often my characters are inspired by someone I've known or met at some point in my life, but the character I write is never quite like that real-life person. Like the little seedling ideas, the character inspirations are just jumping-off points. The process can be rich and rewarding, but it's certainly never easy.

RS Do you have any favorite characters?

AF In SEA CHANGE, I'd have to say my favorite character (aside from Miranda and Leo, of course) is Isadora. Though we never meet her, she's such a strong presence in the story that she's almost like a ghost. And of course there's her own romantic history, her fabulous clothes, her fierce spirit. I'd love to write a story just about Isadora herself..

RS Can we look forward to seeing a sequel to this story?

AF I do have a sequel in mind, but I'm working on something new right now, so I haven't had a chance to work on it. But stay tuned!

RS What inspired you to write?

AF I've written every since I can remember--probably ever since I COULD write. It's simply my favorite thing to do, the one thing in life I can't imagine NOT doing. I think I'm a born daydreamer, so writing, in many ways, is like daydreaming on paper. Only a little bit harder.

RS Do you have any favorite authors?

AF So many! My tastes are very varied, too. I love Charlotte Bronte, Meg Cabot, Michael Chabon, Emily Giffin, Tracy Chevalier...and on and on.

RS Are you looking forward to any upcoming releases?

AF SEA CHANGE will be out in paperback in June 2010--be on the look-out!

RS Are you working on anything new right now?

AF Yes, I'm working on something for younger readers, which has been a refreshing change of direction for me. I love to mix up the kind of writing I do to keep myself creatively energized!

RS Where is your favorite place to write?

AF A small cafe right near my house that has the best vanilla iced lattes, muffins, comfy seats, and--most importantly--lots of people around me, also working on their laptops. I pretty much need to be around other people who are being productive in order to be productive myself.

RS Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, what do you like to listen to?

AF I pretty much HAVE to listen to music while I write. It just keeps me going, and very often I give my books playlists, matching the tone of the music to the tone of the book, and vice-versa. For example, you can check out my SEA CHANGE playlist here: http://www.musical-menagerie.com/2009/09/author-playlist-sea-change-by-aimee.html

RS What are some of your favorite snacks or drinks that you like to have while writing?

AF I usually need a big iced latte by my side to kick-start me, but I feel more virtuous if I replace that latte with some fresh O.J. or just water. In terms of snacks, I crave sweets and chocolate and all kinds of "bad-for-you" food like crazy when I write, and I'll usually allow myself to indulge in M&Ms and pizza "for the sake of the book." It's truly a great excuse.

RS Is there something that you've always wanted someone to ask you in an interview?

AF The snack question is a great one! My friend recently asked me what the very first thing I ever wrote was called, and I thought this would be a good interview question! My very first "novel," that I wrote when I must have been about eight years old, was called "Spaghetti and Meatballs" and it was about two best friends who had a terrible fight. But no worries, it ended happily, of course.

RS Any last comments?

AF Please visit me at my website at www.aimeefriedmanbooks.com. Feel free to send me a message--I love to hear from my readers! And keep reading, writing, and daydreaming...

Thank you so much for being with us Aimee. It was such a pleasure to interview you, and meet you at the Decatur Book Festival.

Check out my review on Sea Change here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Overall Rating:
Age Recommendation:
I would recommend an age of 16 for this book. There are sexual themes and underage alcohol references and usage.
Cover Art:
I just love the cover for this book. It is so so so pretty and it completely ties in with the story. It is the main character and her mystery man. I like the intimate pose that they have in the cover, I think it really adds to the relationship that the two have.

After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, 16-year-old Miranda Merchant is happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island. There, Miranda finds a place with a mysterious, mystical history, and Leo, who challenges everything she thinks she knows about boys--and reality.
My Review:
First off, this book was absolutely AMAZING. I loved it. It is by far one of my most favorite books ever. It is such a sweet tale of romance and finding yourself. This is Aimee's first time writing in the fantasy genre, and for a first timer, well, I certainly couldn't tell. Her writing style is so solid, it seems as though she has been writing in this style all along.

You follow Miranda, a young teen, on a summer trip to an island vacation home. There she finds out about herself. Who she really is, and what in life really is important to her. She had been hurt, but the island had changed everything. She finds friendship, a new relationship with her mom, and the love of a very special person.

You really get to know Miranda, and it doesn't take the whole book. You learn so much about her. It's almost as if you are her. You feel the pain of her past and present. And the yearning to understanding the mystery guy who may be the only one who can help her find herself.

This book is a must read for any girl. The story of finding yourself and love is a story that any young girl (age 0-100 of course!) can relate to. Yes this book is written for YA, but it has no limits. This would also be a great read for a book club, especially a mother daughter book club. I was greatly impressed with this book and have fallen completely in love with it, and I have a feeling that many readers will feel the same way.

This book was so well written and it leaves off in a way that the story can be finished or that there might be a sequel. This is most definitely a book that I will read again and again, and I recommend it to everyone. It is such a fulfilling story that can warm anyone's heart. And I am so lucky to have gotten my copy signed at the Decatur Book Festival!

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