Started by Alea (Pop Culture Junkie), memefied by Kristi (The Story Siren).
Sorry, no vlog this week.
The Red Queen's Daughter - Jacqueline Kolosov
Orphaned as a young girl because of the imprudent marriage of her mother, Queen Katherine Parr, Mary Seymour vows never to fall in love-and under no circumstances will she marry. Lady Strange, her mysterious guardian, offers the young woman an extraordinary alternative to marriage: Mary is to become a white magician who will join Queen Elizabeth's court and ensure the success of the Virgin Queen's reign.
Accompanied by her magical hound, Perseus, Mary sets out to learn the properties of different stones and the art and precision of natural spells. Soon after her sixteenth birthday, she joins Elizabeth's court as a lady-in-waiting. Upon her arrival, Mary realizes that Elizabeth's court is rife with men and women who are vying for power. The most dangerous of all is Edmund Seymour, Mary's disturbingly handsome cousin. From the moment she meets Edmund, Mary has to fight her growing attraction, especially once she discovers that he is a black magician, the dark mirror of her own self. But, despite the threat Edmund poses to Mary, he seems to be the only one who truly understands her. When Edmund becomes involved in a plot against the Queen, Mary finds her beliefs tested in ways she never could have imagined.
A Sweet Disorder - Jacqueline Kolosov
Sixteen-year old Miranda has no idea how much her life is going to change upon hearing the news of her father's death. Left with little dowry to offer, Miranda faces a broken engagement, and is sent to live with her father's cousin, the Count John Hardwood, and his wife whose primary goal is to take her to Court and marry her off to the insufferable Lord Seagrave for their own profit.
At Queen Elizabeth's court, Miranda soon learns that a large part of her survival will depend on her knowing who to trust. All the maidens at Court dream of being one of the Queen's ladies in waiting. When Miranda distinguishes herself from the rest with her exquisite sewing and embroidery skills, she gets the attention of the Queen, much to the anger and jealousy of the courtiers, ladies in waiting, and even a trusted "friend."
As Miranda begins to win the Queen's favor, she is given the ultimate test-to recreate Elizabeth's mother's (Ann Boleyn) coronation gown. Miranda knows this is her opportunity to escape the shackles of convention and get out of a marriage to Lord Seagrave and instead establish an independent life at Court as the Queen's seamstress. But how will she reunite with Henry Raleigh, the man to whom she was once promised, and has always loved?
With sophisticated writing, an eye for historically accurate detail, and a flair for suspense, Jacqueline Kolosov re-creates the intrigues of Elizabethan society with a vividness and immediacy that will make teen readers recall the pleasures and tensions of their own lives.
For Traveling to Teens Tour:
Jumping Off Swings - Jo Knowles
One pregnancy. Four friends. It all adds up to a profound time of change in this poignant, sensitively written YA novel.
Ellie remembers how the boys kissed her. Touched her. How they
begged for more. And when she gave it to them, she felt loved. For a
while anyway. So when Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life, leads her from a party to the backseat of his van, Ellie follows. But their "one-time thing" is far from perfect: Ellie gets pregnant. Josh reacts with shame and heartbreak, while their confidantes, Caleb and Corinne, deal with their own complex swirl of emotions. No matter what Ellie chooses, all four teenagers will be forced to grow up a little faster as a result. Told alternately from each character’s point of view, this deeply insightful novel explores the aftershocks of the biggest decision of one fragile girl’s life — and the realities of leaving innocence behind.
My mom and I bought about eight books from Amazon (thanks, Mom :D), but only one of them came this week. Sadly.
The Pursuit of Happiness - Tara Altebrando
Dressing up as an eighteenth century farm girl is not how Betsy Odell imagined spending the summer before her senior year of high school, but her history professor father insists she take a job at Morrisville Historic Village. To make matters worse, Liza Murphy, only the biggest freak from school -- piercings, tattoos, bleached hair -- works as a farm girl too. As far as Betsy can tell, her summer will be miserable and any chance of ever being popular is doomed.
When tragedy strikes Betsy close to home, her boyfriend and 'friends' are nowhere to be found, and her job becomes a welcome escape from the real world. James, a Morrisville employee from the next town over, is probably the greatest -- not to mention cutest -- guy Betsy has ever met, and Liza is surprisingly normal and fun. Caught between two worlds -- old and new -- Betsy is soon struggling with two versions of herself. Combining backdrops of historic Morrisville with the normal teenage world of beach parties, learning to drive, and broken hearts, Tara Altebrando writes a hilarious and fun novel of one girl's search for love and happiness?and the unlikely places she finds them.