12 Days of Giveaways – Day 10 For the Young Adult Reader

In the grand scheme of literary history, the young adult genre is relatively new. When I was a young reader, there was no genre aimed at young adults. Adolescents moved to “adult” literary genres relatively quickly. Now, there is a rich and diverse world of books for not only young adults, but anyone who wants to see what this great genre has to offer. I’ve fallen in love with tons of young adult books, as you may have surmised if you’ve read my review of FangirlSee below to check out how you can win one of the two awesome packages we have up for grabs this time.

Young Adult Package 1:

troujlhThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

(Giveaway is a paperback ARC)

cpgChangeling by Philippa Gregory – Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.

(Giveaway is a hardcover)

Young Adult Package 2:

vdmVelveteen by Daniel Marks – Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal… and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules… or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

(Giveaway is a paperback ARC)

mtshmMary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan – There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?

(Giveaway is a paperback ARC)

Giveaway Instructions – (Special thanks to Hyperion, Delacorte, and Harper Collins for our giveaway copies!)

Two lucky winners will have the opportunity to win ONE of the two packages listed above! For your chance to win simply leave a comment below about a Young Adult author you enjoy and would recommend to others.  Comments will be accepted through midnight on Thursday, December 31, 2015.  The winner will be picked at random and announced on Friday, January 1, 2016.  Open to US residents only. Good luck!

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Winners Announced in the 12 Days of Giveaways!

Kim at the bookstore

First, I have to apologize for the lack of giveaways on days 11 and 12. I had some computer issues that didn’t get fixed until the last eligible days for entering the contest. It didn’t make sense to put up the giveaway post and have them open for less than 24 hours. I promise I’ll make it up to you all with a Valentine’s Day giveaway!

Without further ado, here are the winners!

  • Sustenance (Saint-Germain #27) by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro – Congratulations to melissar22 who left a comment on December 14th
  • The Thieves of Legend (Michael St. Pierre #4) by Richard Doetsch – Congratulations to TrendSavant who left a comment on December 15th
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – Congratulations to Kristen Cooper who left a comment on December 16th
  • Digital Photography by Michael Wright – Congratulations to ShellWolf who left a comment on December 17th
  • Historical Fiction Bundle – Congratulations to CamCLO who left a comment on December 21st
  • Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler – Congratulations to elizabeth5713 who left a comment on December 19th
  • Irish America by Maureen Dezell – Congratulations to AK Rambler who left a comment on December 21st
  • Science Fiction Bundle – Congratulations to Maddie who left a comment on December 22nd
  • KOP Killer by Warren Hammond – Congratulations to aliciainchimerical who left a comment on December 28th
  • Touch of Evil by C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp – Congratulations to silverscotch who left a comment on December 23rd

Please contact me with your mailing address by Friday, January 9, 2014 to claim your prize.  Shipment is to the US only.

Thank you to all who participated and left comments.  The staff and I wish you a very happy and healthy new year!!

12 Days of Giveaways – Day 5 – A Historical Fiction Bundle!

Today’s giveaway is for 2 historical fiction books! Surprise! The first book, Wideacre, is by my favorite historical fiction author, Philippa Gregory. The second is titled Daughter of the Sky by another of my top historical fiction authors, Michelle Diener. Wideacre takes place during the Georgian Period in England (1714-1830/1837) and is a fascinating tale about a woman who is willing to do any and everything to protect her family’s name and land. Daughter of the Sky is about a girl who, after a shipwreck, is raised by the Zulus, a South African ethnic group. When the British Victorian Empire tries to take fight the Zulus for their land she must choose between her past or her future. Instructions on how to win these books is at the bottom of the post. Good luck!

wpgAbout Wideacre:

From Goodreads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory comes the stunning first novel of a thrilling trilogy about the Lacey family, and the captivating woman at the heart of a power-hungry estate willing to go to any means to protect her family name.

Beatrice Lacey, as strong-minded as she is beautiful, refuses to conform to the social customs of her time. Destined to lose her heritage and beloved Wideacre estate once she is wed, Beatrice will use any means necessary to protect her ancestral name. Seduction, betrayal, even murder; Beatrice’s passion is without apology or conscience. “She is a Lacey of Wideacre,” her father warns, “and whatever she does, however she behaves, will always be fitting.” Yet even as Beatrice’s scheming seems about to yield her dream, she is haunted by the one living person who knows the extent of her plans…and her capacity for evil.

Sumptuously set in Georgian England from the “queen of royal fiction”(USA TODAY), Wideacre is intensely gripping, rich in texture, and full of color and authenticity. It is a saga as irresistible in its singular magic as its heroine.

About the Author:

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acclaimed author.

Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. Visitors to her site, www.PhilippaGregory.com become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings.

Her other great interest is the charity she founded nearly twenty years ago; Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells in the primary schools of the dry, poverty-stricken African country. Thousands of school children have learned market gardening, and drunk the fresh water in the school gardens around the wells.

A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She also reviews for US and UK newspapers, and is a regular broadcaster on television, radio, and webcasts from her website.

dotsmdAbout Daughter of the Sky:

From Goodreads:

The Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulus if they don’t accede to their outrageous demands. The clock is ticking down to the appointed hour. With no idea why the British are marching three massive columns of men and guns towards them, one Zulu general is prepared to take an impossible risk. But the life he’s gambling with isn’t his own . . .

The sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Zululand coast, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus, the people of the sky. Six years later, her white skin becomes useful to the Zulu army as they try to work out why the Victorian Empire has pointed their war-machine at the Zulu nation. Elizabeth is suddenly Zululand’s most important spy.

While infiltrating the British camp, Elizabeth’s disguise as a young soldier is uncovered almost immediately by Captain Jack Burdell. However, he believes the tale she spins of searching for a missing brother and shields her from discovery, allowing her to bunk in his tent and giving her a job as his batman. Burdell is war-weary and disillusioned – no longer willing to follow regulations at all costs.

But as Elizabeth and Jack explore their growing attraction to each other, the two armies move towards their inevitable clash. Elizabeth is torn between the guilt of betrayal and her fierce loyalty to her Zulu family, and when Zulu and British meet on the battlefield, both she and Jack find their hearts and their lives caught in the crossfire.

Copyright Veronika Kahrmadji (Source: http://www.michellediener.com/about/)

Copyright Veronika Kahrmadji (Source: http://www.michellediener.com/about/)

About the Author

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. Having worked in publishing and IT, she’s now very happy crafting new worlds and interesting characters and wondering which part of the world she can travel to next.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings, or online at Twitter, at Google+ and Facebook.

Giveaway

One lucky winner will have the opportunity to win 2 books; a paperback copy of Wideacre by Philippa Gregory and Daughter of the Sky by Michelle Diener!  For your chance to win simply leave a comment below.  Comments will be accepted through midnight on Wednesday, December 31, 2014.  Winner will be picked at random and announced on Thursday, January 1, 2015.  Open to US residents only.  Good luck!

It’s The “We’re Moving” Giveaway!

First, I need to apologize for the severe lack of blogging that occurred in August.  There have been some big changes happening here in the Ryder household.  Some of you may have already heard the news, but in case you haven’t……I’m moving! Well, staffer Todd and I are moving!  Todd got a great job offer in our home state of New Jersey, so it’s off we go.  As packing for the move has begun Todd and I have started sorting through all our belongings and deciding on what won’t be making it to NJ with us.  While packing our many books away (I think the final tally was 25 boxes) we came across a number of them that we’d like to give away.  (Giveaway instructions below the list)

  1. Wideacre (Wideacre Trilogy #1) by Philippa Gregory – Paperback
  2. The Favored Child (Wideacre Trilogy #2) b Philippa Gregory – Paperback
  3. The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian – Paperback
  4. Murder Most Austen (Elizabeth Parker Mystery #4) by Tracy Kiely – Hardcover
  5. The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview – Paperback
  6. Earth in the Balance by Al Gore – Paperback
  7. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen – Paperback
  8. Boardwalk Empire by Nelson Johnson – Paperback
  9. Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange – Paperback
  10. Expectations of Happiness by Rebecca Ann Collins – Paperback
  11. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – Hardcover
  12. The Darcys & The Bingleys (Pride and Prejudice Continues #1) by Marsha Altman – Paperback

Giveaway

Twelve lucky winners will have the opportunity to win their choice of one of the above twelve books!  For your chance to win simply leave a comment below.  Comments will be accepted through midnight of Monday, September 9, 2013.  Winners will be picked at random and announced on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.  Open to US residents only.  Good luck!

What Are You Reading This March?

March has turned out to be a stellar reading month.  11 books completed for the month so far with no signs of slowing down!  I’ve been on a major time travel kick this year, having already completed 7 time-traveling books this year.  My new time travel obsession is a trilogy called the Ruby Red trilogy (or the Edelstein Trilogie as it’s called in its native Germany). So far only two of the three books by Kerstin Gier have been released in the US, with the third (Emerald Green) due out in October.  I highly recommend you check this series out ASAP. SO GOOD. And the covers are beautiful to boot!

Anyway enough about my recent time travel obsession and on to what I’m reading!  I’m hoping to get through Philippa Gregory’s The Kingmaker’s Daughter, Elizabeth Hoyt’s Lord of Darkness, and a biography on Jane Austen by Paula Byrne entitled The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things. Now it’s your turn! Tell me what’s currently got you hooked in the comments section below!

marchreads

Kim’s Review of The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins’ War #3) by Philippa Gregory

ladyriversPhilippa Gregory is a master at writing historical fiction novels that give readers historically accurate knowledge, intriguing adventures, and epic and forbidden romances.  She is the author I bow down to for getting me hooked on the historical fiction genre.  Seriously. If I heard that she was coming out with a new book, doesn’t matter if the entire book was about grass…..I’d read it.  Her writing style is like no other.  She truly deserves all the accolades she receives for bringing the real-life stories of women across the ages to light.

Jacquetta didn’t always know that she was special.  She has the gift of second sight, and is able to sense the future.  She knew that she was different, but an encounter with Joan of Arc early in her life changed her views.  She knew that Joan was special too and witnessed her being taken away and murdered for witchcraft.  After this, she knew that she must protect her gift and keep it safe at all costs.  Fast forward a number of years, and Jacquetta is now the Duchess of Bedford, married to the Duke of Bedford, Regent of France.  She becomes close friends with the Duke’s squire, Richard Woodville, whom she becomes even closer to after the Duke’s untimely death.  After his death, they marry in secret, and move to England to serve at the court of King Henry VI.  Jacquetta becomes a close friend and adviser to the Queen, but she can sense that all is not as it should be.  She can feel a threat brewing from rival families, as well as the British subjects themselves.  She must fight to protect herself, her husband, and her daughter, Elizabeth Woodville, who is recently married and faces an extraordinary future.  Will she be able to foresee what will happen to her and her family in time to protect them?

First and foremost I need to express my love for Gregory’s The Cousins’ War series. The Lady of the Rivers is the third in the series, preceded by The White Queen and The Red Queen. The fourth book in the series is The Kingmaker’s Daughters and the fifth The White Princess is expected out in August.  More works are planned for the series which makes this reader ECSTATIC.  This is such a gripping series because it showcases both sides of the War of the Roses.  Neither side is presented to the reader as the “better” side.  Gregory presents the story to you as a gripping page turner.  History tells us who won and who sat on the throne, but when you read Gregory’s stories it’s like you’re hearing the facts for the first time all over again.

Living in America we’re not taught all that much British history in primary school (or even European history for that matter).  High school history classes focus on American History from the Civil War up to WWII.  It’s when I got to college and was able to delve into British literature and British history that I became entranced by it.  I couldn’t get my hands on enough books about the Kings and Queens of England!  The monarchy was surprisingly tumultuous back in the day.  Who was fighting whom for control, what marriages were made to create allies , etc.  Gregory’s writing clearly expresses that tumultuous nature.  In The Lady of the Rivers Margaret of Anjou plays a critical part in the plots for the throne.  Her storyline is so clearly written that you feel the frenzy in her blood to protect the throne.  The schemes she comes up with are at times off the wall, but you know that she believes them to be brilliant and necessary, which they are.

Not only is Margaret of Anjou’s anxiety felt, but Jacquetta’s as well.  Her life long struggle to keep her gifts hidden is nothing short of amazing.  The woman is a goddamn powerhouse of strength, intelligence, and force of will.  Her passion for her family and her love for her husband, Richard, were heartwarming and poignant.  Gregory truly is a master of the written word.  History comes alive with her touch.  I am definitely starting The Kingmaker’s Daughters ASAP.  If you’ve never read any of Gregory’s books I heartily encourage you to start.  If the history of the Plantagenets isn’t your style, check out her series on Henry VIII’s wives, staring with The Other Boleyn Girl.  

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my third completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
Touchstone (2011)
Hardcover 464 pages
ISBN: 9781416563709

The January Roundup!

Guys, my life was so boring this past January.  I have no idea why I was only able to finish seven books.  The only big thing that really happened to me was transferring jobs.  I moved from my company’s accounting department to their sales and operations department.  It’s a happy transfer for me, as I’ve been with my current company for five years.  I’m looking forward to all the new challenges my new position will hold!  On top of training for my new position I’ve been training the person taking over my finance responsibilities.  All this coupled with putting away Christmas decorations, our bowling league starting, and just organizing life for the new year has left me fairly tired at night.

IMG_20130126_151407I will share with you quickly that Todd and I went to NYC last month to meet up with our college roommates Kate and Marc, as well as staff blogger Adam.  We did a trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Munch’s pastel version of The Scream.  It was absolutely extraordinary to finally be able to see Starry Night in person.  It’s been my favorite painting for as long as I can remember, yet it’s taken me this long to see it (crazy, I know).

As for my reading pace, I’m two books behind where I should be for the year.  I’m confident I’ll be able to pick up the pace in February.  My top reads of January are a tie between Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis.

Looking ahead, I’m working on reviews of The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory, Dragonfly in Amber (the second book in the Outlander series) by Diana Gabaldon, and some joint reviews with my buddy Kelly from Reading With Analysis.  Todd’s working on Targets of Revenge by Jeffrey S. Stephens and Breaking Barriers by Peter Altschul.  Jess has a review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn posting next week and Sam’s working on a review of The Bracelet by Roberta Gately.  We’re keeping busy and reading lots of books to share with you.

Let us know how your January shaped up!

What Are You Reading This January?

My time for blogging and writing reviews has unfortunately been short lately due to the demands of life offline.  I’m still reading, however, and wanted to throw a quick post up showcasing what I’m reading and to also find out what books the rest of you are reading!  I’m currently in the process of finishing Jane Odiwe’s Searching for Captain Wentworth.  I’m also planning on starting Robert Goolrick’s Heading out to Wonderful and Philippa Gregory’s The Lady of the Rivers.  Now it’s your turn! Tell me what’s currently holding you in a trance in the comments section below!

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#90 A Review of Changeling (Order of the Darkness #1) by Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory is and has been my favorite historical fiction author for years now.  She single-handedly got me OBSESSED with learning about the British Tudor period.  Each and every time she comes out with a new book I run around my apartment, shouting the news, then enter a period of nail-biting anticipation until its actual release.  When I heard that Gregory was beginning work on a young adult series, I was pumped that an entire new audience would get to experience her writing.

The first installment in Gregory’s new Order of the Darkness series, Changeling takes place smack dab in the middle of the Italian Renaissance: 1453.  We first meet Luca Vero, a 17-year-old genius who, after being kicked out of a religious order due to heresy charges (also known as using science to counter religious beliefs), is inducted into The Order of The Dragon: a secret group commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate odd “dark” occurrences across Europe.  We then meet Isolde, a bright teenage girl who has the misfortune of being sent away to a nunnery following her father’s death in order to prevent her from inheriting his estate.  For some unknown reason, the nuns that inhabit the convent where Isolde resides begin to report having strange visions, and Luca and his order are sent to investigate.  Despite their attempts to the contrary, Luca and Isolde find themselves developing feelings for each other.  Luca vows to make sure that his investigation is very thorough to explore all avenues of possible explanations.  After a successful yet harrowing escape, they find themselves traveling all across Europe, discovering all sorts of mysteries and mystical creatures under investigation by The Order of the Dragon. Will they be able to discover the true meaning of all these strange occurrences?

I have loved almost all of Gregory’s other books, so the bar was set pretty high for Changeling.  The book is really divided into two parts: a mystery in the Abbey and a mystery the group finds on the road during their travels.  The whole first half of the book (Abbey mystery) was interesting and intriguing.  Diving into Isolde and Luca’s back stories was fascinating, as we learn about Isolde’s family and Luca’s constant thirst for knowledge (it’s this thirst that is essentially what drives him out of his monastery.)  The second half of the book is where it got a little crazy for me.  The group winds up near a village where legend has it that a werewolf has been caught.  Luca obviously doesn’t believe that such creatures exist and decides to open an investigation.  The outcome of the investigation was a bit too off the wall for me.

Will I continue reading the Order of Darkness series? Hell yes.  Luca’s sidekick Freize is hysterical, and his attachment to Isolde’s “sister” Ishraq is adorable.  I’m interested to see how things progress between Luca and Isolde as well.  With both of them having sworn sacred oaths to God (being a nun and a monk) it’ll be interesting to see what Gregory does with their relationship.  As always, Gregory’s stellar writing was a delight to read.  Her ability to clearly describe every scene and circumstance is what draws me to her novels time and time again.  I’m so happy she’s chosen to bring her delightful skills as a writer and knowledge as a historian to a whole new generation.

3 out of 5 Stars

This is my thirty-ninth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

Changeling by Philippa Gregory
Simon Pulse (2012)
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN: 9781442453449

My Top Ten….Books I Wish I Was A Character From (Part I)

My top ten list topic this week is courtesy of my friend Greg!  I’ll be choosing my top ten books I wish I could be a character from!  It was so difficult to pick just ten characters, I’ve read enough books for this to be a big challenge.  Without further ado, here they are!

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10.) Laura Ingalls Wilder – These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I’ve always thought it would be super interesting to have lived during prairie times.  The lack of indoor plumbing and rough manual labor would be enough to turn some people down, but I find the way of life back then to be fascinating.  People worked hard for the things they had and it created strong constitutions and strong work ethics.  People were protective of their family and friends and helped each other in rough times.  For me, being a true romantic at heart, it’s the courtship that occurred back then that makes me want to be Laura the most.  When Laura is 16 she gets her teaching certification and moves away from her family to try to help earn money for her sister Mary’s schooling.  The stress of her new job and the distance from her family causes her to become very melancholy and homesick.  At the end of her first week as a teacher her crush, Almanzo Wilder, shows up to take her back home to see her family.  This happily begins a tradition as he takes her to and from school each weekend.  The two, much to Laura’s delight, begin courting and after three years become engaged.  It’s this book that I would most like to be Laura from.  To be courted in the old ways would be so exciting to me!  Men like Almanzo are incredibly hard to find these days.  I don’t think I’ve ever met a guy that would have waited three years for his first kiss with the girl he loved.  It was a different time back then, than it is today, so I guess had I grown up back then it wouldn’t have been so hard to believe. But I digress, I think the biggest reason I would have loved living back then was that fact that life was so much simpler then. 

9.) Hercule Poirot – Agatha Christie’s Mystery Series

How awesome would it be to be a world-renowned genius at solving mysteries?  How awesome would it be to be a world-renowned genius at solving mysteries and have an AWESOME mustache on top of it?? Pretty damn awesome if you ask me.  I’ve always been a huge fan of mysteries and always wished I could solve mysteries like Hercule.  Poirot is smart, observant, witty, personable, has saved lives, and put criminals in jail.  Poirot is so so smart and I really wish I could make my brain put puzzles together like his so that I could do some good!

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8.) Mary Boleyn – The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I find the life of a royal court to be completely interesting.  The dinners, parties, dances, and courtly love are all completely fascinating to me.  To be able to live such an opulent life would be incredibly interesting.  The downfall to being Mary Boleyn of course would be the loss of independence as a female.  Woman didn’t have much power to choose anything about the path of their lives – there were no careers – woman were just used as sexual objects to garner titles, land, and wealth for their families.  The reason I want to be Mary is because she refused to just be a pawn in her family’s game.  She went against them, marrying a nobody and deciding that court life was not for her.  She became a strong, independent woman in a time where there weren’t strong, independent women.  That garners my respect, and my wish to step into her shoes. 

7.)  Alice – Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I’ve often wondered how many people wish they could have taken a trip down the rabbit hole and seen the things Alice saw.  The once in a lifetime experiences of playing croquet with flamingos and hedgehogs, having tea with the mad hatter, being surprised by the Cheshire cat, and meeting a high, knowledgable caterpillar are all experiences I wish I myself could have had.  I’m a cautious person by nature, so I’m not sure that I would have followed the “eat me” and “drink me” signs that Alice encountered, but I definitely would have played croquet with the queen (as long as she avoided saying “off with her head!).  

6.) The Pevensie Children – The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter have probably the coolest “oops” life ever.  Whilst playing hide and seek, Lucy decides to hide in an old wardrobe and finds herself in a mystical land named Narnia.  She convinces her siblings to go with her back through the wardrobe to Narnia, where after a major battle for control of the land they become the Kings and Queens spoken of in a famous prophecy.  The rule Narnia for many years until one day they find the entrance back out through the wardrobe and return to the life they left behind.  I forgot to mention that they return to this life exactly how they left it, not having aged a day.  I think it’s awesome that they were able to experience and live two whole lifetimes that were completely different from one another.  Lewis does a great job creating Narnia, and weaves childhood fantasies of faraway lands and talking animals in with relatable characters to create the ultimate exciting dream for anyone, child or adult.

Join me tomorrow for the conclusion of my top ten books I wish I could be a character from!! Make sure to leave me some comments on who you’d want to be!