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Book Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

tpatdTitle: The Prince and the Dressmaker
Author: Jen Wang
Published: 2018
Genre: GN, HF, YA
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Grade: A
Synopsis: Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

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A Review Category · A- Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Nonfiction

Essay Review: Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

patelTitle: Politics and the English Language
Author: George Orwell
Published: 1945
Genre: NF
Format: Paperback
Pages: 24
Source: Own
Date Read: April 20, 2018
Grade: A-
Synopsis: ‘Politics and the English Language’ is widely considered Orwell’s most important essay on style. Style, for Orwell, was never simply a question of aesthetics; it was always inextricably linked to politics and to truth.’All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.’Language is a political issue, and slovenly use of language and clichés make it easier for those in power to deliberately use misleading language to hide unpleasant political facts. Bad English, he believed, was a vehicle for oppressive ideology, and it is no accident that ‘Politics and the English Language’ was written after the close of World War II. (Goodreads)

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A Review Category · A- Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Nonfiction

Book Review: Dangerous Books for Girls by Maya Rodale

dbfgTitle: Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained
Author: Maya Rodale
Published: 2011
Genre: NF, R
Format: Kindle
Pages: 184
Source: Own
Dates Read: January 30 – April 3, 2018
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Long before clinch covers and bodice rippers, romance novels have had a bad reputation as the lowbrow lit of desperate housewives and hopeless spinsters. But in fact, romance novels—the escape and entertainment of choice for millions of women—might prove to be the most revolutionary writing ever produced.

Dangerous Books for Girls examines the origins of the genre’s bad reputation—from the “damned mob of scribbling women” in the nineteenth century to the sexy mass-market paperbacks of the twentieth century—and shows how these books have inspired and empowered generations of women to dream big, refuse to settle, and believe they’re worth it.

For every woman who has ever hidden the cover of a romance—and for every woman who has been curious about those “Fabio books”—Dangerous Books For Girls shows why there’s no room for guilt when reading for pleasure.

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A Review Category · A Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Poetry

Book Review: The Undressing by Li-Young Lee

tuTitle: The Undressing
Author: Li-Young Lee
Published: 2018
Genre: P
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 96
Source: Library
Date Read: March 25, 2018
Grade: A
Synopsis: The Undressing is a tonic for spiritual anemia; it attempts to uncover things hidden since the dawn of the world. Short of achieving that end, these mysterious, unassuming poems investigate the human violence and dispossession increasingly prevalent around the world, as well as the horrors the poet grew up with as a child of refugees. Lee draws from disparate sources, including the Old Testament, the Dao De Jing, and the music of the Wu Tang Clan. While the ostensive subjects of these layered, impassioned poems are wide-ranging, their driving engine is a burning need to understand our collective human mission.

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A Review Category · A- Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Christian Fiction · Historical Romance

Book Review: The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

tlTitle: The Lacemaker
Author: Laura Frantz
Published: 2018
Genre: CF, HR
Format: Kindle
Pages: 418
Source: Own
Dates Read: March 1-13, 2018
Grade: A-
Synopsis: When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Review: I admit I was hesitant to pick up a piece of Christian fiction. I’ve had bad experiences with them in the past, so I was wary of a repeat. But this book was actually very nice overall. There were a few places where things seemed to be either resolved too easily or rushed in the writing. I would have liked a bit more conflict or tension in those moments. And the ending did seem a little rushed overall. I kept checking what page I was on, wondering how the book could possibly end so quickly. Reading this made me want to visit Williamsburg again, and it rekindled my admiration of Virginia’s rich history.

Favorite Quotes:

  • She would expect not the worst but the best. She refused to let the delay forebode dire things. (112)
  • Perhaps the Lord was showing her how brokenness could become abundance in the days to come. ’Twas a hope worth holding on to. (172)

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2017: The Long-Lost Reviews

Here I’ve compiled the remaining reviews from the books I read in 2017. There are 15 reviews in total, and I apologize if there are any typos or formatting issues since I haven’t really proofread them (oops). But, without further ado, here are my reviews:

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