Tag: Rating: 4 stars

Review: The Great Gatsby

Posted 14 February, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Great Gatsby
By: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Jay Gatsby is a self-made man, famed for his decadent champagne-drenched parties. Despite being surrounded by Long Island’s bright and beautiful, Gatsby longs only for Daisy Buchanan. In shimmering prose, Fitzgerald shows Gatsby pursue his dream to its tragic conclusion.

I first read this book back in grade 12 for my English class. I didn’t think too much about this book at the time as we had to complete a couple of assignments with it. With news circulating around that a new adaptation of the book will be coming out at the end of the year, I figured now is as good a time as any to revist the novel. Plus, the Vintage Classics edition of the book (the cover above) is too pretty xD Contains some spoilers!

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Review: First Love

Posted 8 February, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

First Love
By: Ivan Turgenev

Love can be torture

At the end of a dinner party, the remaining guests smoke cigars and tell stories of their first love. For one of them, it will be a dark journey into his past, reawakening unbearable memories of his obsession with the beautiful Zinaida, and the cruelty and betrayal that followed…

Continuing the theme of love and my mood for some Russian literature, I picked up Ivan Turgenev’s First Love. This is the second work that I’ve picked up by this author, the first being his classic Fathers and Sons which I read for my undergraduate course in 19c Russian History. He’s interesting because he’s a rather accessible Russian author in the nineteenth century context, and he really draws the reader to his stories. Contains some spoilers ahead!

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Review: Black Sheep

Posted 3 February, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Black Sheep
By: Georgette Heyer

Abigail Wendover, on the shelf at 28, is kept busy when her niece falls head over heels in love with a handsome fortune hunter and Abbie is forced into a confrontation with his scandalous uncle.
Miles Caverleigh is the black sheep of his family- enormously rich from a long sojourn in India, disconcertingly blunt and brash. But he turns out to be Abbie’s most important ally in keeping her niece out of trouble.

But how can he possibly be considered eligible when she has worked so hard to rebuff his own nephew’s suit for her niece? And how can she possibly detach from an ailing sister who needs her? This is a heroine who has to be, literally, swept off her feet…

Outsiders, family honour, past scandals, the pangs of young love and a fortune hunter…this should be a treat, eh? Contains some spoilers!

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Review: The Bronze Horseman

Posted 1 February, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Bronze Horseman
By: Paullina Simons

The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

This book has been on my to-read pile for quite a while now–since last year–but I did not get around to reading it right away for one very big reason: I had just completed writing my MA thesis focusing on the immediate post-war period in the Soviet Union; I was just Soviet Russian history’ed out and I knew I would not have enjoyed reading this novel had I started it then. But now that I am at a considerable distance away after having finished it, I picked it up and read it =)

Contains some spoilers ahead! Apologies in advance if the following is a little all over the place; I just finished reading the book a short while ago so my thoughts are still very much fresh in my mind.

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Review: Sylvester — or the Wicked Uncle

Posted 25 January, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Sylvester: or the Wicked Uncle
By: Georgette Heyer

Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, is a polished bachelor who has stringent requirements for his future wife—she must be wellborn, intelligent, elegant and attractive. And of course she must be able to present herself well in high society. But when he is encouraged to consider Phoebe Marlow as a bride, Sylvester is taken aback by the coltish woman who seems to resent him…

When Phoebe runs away, circumstances find the two striking up an unusual friendship. Phoebe discovers that the duke isn’t the villain she first thought. And Sylvester stumbles upon something he never dared hope for…

So I was in a bit of a slump last weekend for a variety of reasons and I needed something to pick me up (it’s what inspired me to come up with my theme for this week’s Top Ten). So naturally I turned to Georgette Heyer’s books, which I’ve said in many other reviews are light-hearted, fun, and capable of dispelling the darkest of moods away. Sylvester has been sitting in my eReader for a while now so I decided to read it over the other two Heyer books. CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS!

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