Book Report: The Grimm Legacy, Overseas and More

A report and brief review of the books blogger Jenna Czaplewski has been and is currently reading.

While traveling last week, I have to say that it was really great to just unplug. I didn't touch a computer for nine days and, when I ultimately did plug back in, it was because I wanted to order pizza online. (I absolutely hate talking on the phone. Odd, right?) But I have to admit that I did miss my blogging while I was unplugged. I keep a paper book journal as I read, so I kept up with my notes and books that way, but there's just something about knowing that someone out there is reading what I'm prattling on about that changes the game somewhat. So, in order to get caught up, as it were, I'm putting together a book report of sorts for my lovely readers.

When I packed up my Chevy Tracker and headed aboard the Lake Express ferry to Michigan, I had just recently started reading The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman. I picked this one up at a Scholastic book fair that I had gone to in early May and I was pleasantly surprised. Main character and narrator Elizabeth Rew is a high school student whose mother has passed away and who lives with her father, stepmother and two stepsisters. She's a little socially awkward, but is very interested in history and fairy tales. Her teacher, Mr. Mauskopf, interests her in applying for a job as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository, a sort of library for objects, some of which are magical, like everything in the Grimm Collection. As Elizabeth gets to know her fellow pages, she's put in the middle of a mystery, as well. Materials are going missing from the Grimm Collection, or are being returned with the magic sucked right out of them. Everyone is suspect and Elizabeth can't be sure who to trust. The question becomes who is stealing magical items and what's become of the missing pages and librarians from the Repository? Very quick and fun read.

After I finished that book, I tried reading two others - Bright Star and Remembering South Cape May - but neither were holding my attention at all. (Though I strongly recommend the film "Bright Star," directed by Jane Campion. It's winsome and lovely and very memorable.) As I was smack dab in the middle of Iowa farm country at the time, I packed my mother and myself into my trusty Tracker and headed for the nearest big city, Coralville, Iowa, where there was a Barnes & Noble. (Yes, I heard the music of the spheres!) I had heard and read so much about Overseas by Beatriz Williams and I knew I wanted it as my next read. Now, normally I would have requested it from the library, but I told myself that buying the book would not only be good for the economy and for Barnes & Noble (I'm a die-hard paper book fan; no e-reader for this girl!), but it was technically a vacation purchase, so it was even more okay to buy. (See how I rationalized that?)

Overseas tells the story of fated lovers Julian Laurence and Kate Wilson. Words like "epic," "sweeping" and "romantic" immediately come to mind, but don't quite do the book justice. I'll admit I was skeptical as I started reading. The relationship between Julian and Kate just seemed odd. For two people who had never met, they were passionately connected almost instantaneously - and then just as instantaneously separated. It just seemed contrived and weird. To top it off, the book jumps between 1916 Amiens, France and modern day New York city. However, as the details of just how Julian and Kate are connected become more and more clear, it's easy to fall in love right along with them. Readers, you have to keep an open mind and open heart to this book, though, there's time travel involved. But, trust me, if you're a romantic soul like I am, you'll absolutely love it. To top it off, the author has put together Kate and Julian's playlist on her website - great music to work to!

Next up was Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler but it just did not grab me. In fact, I felt an almost instant dislike, which is odd and quite uncommon for me. So I quickly set that aside and have just dove into Michael Thomas Ford's Jane Bites Back, the first book in the Jane Fairfax series. While I'm only 20 or so pages in, I'm already enjoying it.

So, that's me. What have you all been reading? And, more importantly, what will you be reading this weekend?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Justa Comment June 02, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I am reading Mary Alice Monroe's "Beach House Memories." I enjoy most of her books so much.


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