Reviews by Amanda G.
I had high hopes for this novel. The cover is intriguing as is the book jacket's summary. The heroine, Li Lan, is approached by a neighboring family to become the wife of their dead son. She then becomes haunted by the dead man’s ghost. I had to stop reading the book after nine chapters because of:
1) The main character reeks of "virginal sweet girl." You can almost peel her off the page with just how much of a "good girl" she is. This would be fine and well if she or any of the other characters were anything more than caricatures. Unfortunately, at this point in the book, no one is any deeper or interesting than a piece of paper.
2) The author has a habit of telling rather than showing. Instead of weaving historical knowledge and background seamlessly into the story, she'll take an aside and go on for several paragraphs about the history of a particular item/area. The author’s method takes you completely out of the story.
3) The story is boring. Nine chapters in and nothing is happening?! The supposed hook of the first chapter still hasn't materialized into anything substantial. The secondary complication of Li Lan finding real love-- which I could see compelling this novel forward -- is also fizzling without passion.
On GoodReads, readers mention that the novel has a very slow start. Well, I have a pile of books to read and no time for slow starts, so this one was returned posthaste!
The premise of the Brown’s book is to tell you all the little things you need to know to be a (semi) successful adult. While I’m now past graduate school and am working in my field as a librarian, this book would’ve been perfect when I left home for library school. In fact, that list I annoyed my chef friend about what kitchen stuff I need for living on my own? It’s in this book. Should one date a coworker? Brown and experience both say no! Brown is fresh, funny, and her steps make this book the guidebook that should be packed in all college and post-graduate adults’ suitcases.
I can't stop listening to this book!
Nalia is a shy princess, more content with reading and exploring her father’s castle than making grand appearances. In every way she has been raised up to be a fine leader of her country one day as the sole heir. However, that all changes when her parents reveal that she is actually a decoy for the real princess. The real Nalia with a cursed prophecy on her head and was hidden away till after her 16th birthday. Now, the false princess is Sinda and she is sent to her only relative and her princess education is useless to her now. However, magic is afoot and the plot thickens as Sinda returns to the capitol. The voice actress for this audiobook speaks with a reserved and proper voice for Nalia/Sinda and easily brings other characters to life as she manipulates her voice.
“The narrator awakes in an unfamiliar room. She discovers that next to her is a strange, older man with graying hair and back hair. She cringes and looking around realizes that she must have left the bar with a married man. Out into the hallway she creeps onward to the bathroom. Then she reaches for the bar of soap and notices that something is amiss – the skin on her hand is wrinkled. This can’t be! She’s only in her early twenties! Christine Lucas suffers amnesia brought on by an accident. Each day she wakes up with no recollection of the previous day or of the past 20 some years. Christine’s life is seemingly straightforward with her mind erasing what she does each day. However, as Christine works with a doctor behind her devoted and doting husband’s back, she realizes that it is her husband she should be wary of. He’s lying to her – but to cover up what?”