Category Archives: Ya Historical Fiction

Excerpt: Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor [Giveaway]

N&KNora and Kettle
By: Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Published: Feb. 29, 2016
Genre: Historical YA

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Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them” things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.

Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naive, eighteen-year-old Nora the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.

For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.

In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.

Set in 1953, Nora & Kettle explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, “a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.”

 

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Review: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

 

Kissing Shakespeare

By: Pamela Mingle
Publisher: Delecorte
Published: Aug. 14, 2012
Genre: YA
Rating:
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Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she’d like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he’s a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen’s really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright.

Miranda isn’t convinced she’s the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it’s her only chance of getting back to the present and her “real” life. What Miranda doesn’t bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

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Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy
(His Fair Assassin #1)
By: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: April 3, 2012
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Rating:

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Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

1thoughts
The book starts out showing you how rough of a life Ismae has had. Her mother tried to expel her from her womb with a poison that has left a hideous scar on her back. She’s pretty much been shunned by everyone in her village and her father doesn’t hesitate to be rid of her and arranges a marriage to a man whom knows nothing about her and is non too thrilled to find that she has been touched by Death. That is when she is whisked away to the convent where she is shone her true potential as an assassin. She is still a novice when she is sent to accompany Duval to Court as his mistress. However, while at court Ismae unlocks a lot of secrets and starts to question her faith in the convent and her feelings for Duval.

I liked Ismae’s character and liked watching her grow and become more confident in herself. But I must say that my favorite characters was the Beast. Duval’s right hand man, who is unfortunate enough to have a deformed face (hence the nickname) but deep down he is a caring guy who would do anything for those under his protection. I don’t know why I found myself gravitating to him when he wasn’t in the story that much but there was just something about him that grabbed my attention every time he appeared in the book.

I found the world that LaFevers created to be very interesting. A convent of assassins who’s purpose is to carry out the wish of the Saint of Death? Sign me up! The only reason why it got 3 stars is because well, did you see the amount of pages in this book? At first I thought that maybe there was an extra story at the end but nope, it’s all one book. There is a lot of talking going on while Ismae is at court and although some of it is relevant to the story, a lot of it is not. And when you have a book that is that long… well I sort of skimmed over the random babble going on in the story so that I could get back to the important parts.

1favequote
“Are men truly such idiots that they cannot resist two orbs of flesh?”- Ismae

kRISTIN

Review: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Waterfall
(River of Time #1)
By: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Published: Feb 1, 2011
Genre: YA
Rating:

Goodreads | Amazon

What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds…until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.

 
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