It occured to me that it has been too long since I did a Feature Favourite around here. I'm always so focused on getting book reviews up that other features suffer as a result. My apologies. And it only makes sense that today's feature should be Anne of Green Gables, given that the new Anne television series has become hugely popular. I've been a long time fan of this wonderful Canadian author and have adored each of her novels that I read.

The cover from my youth

Anne of Green Gables
Author: Lucy Maud Montogmery

Lucy Maud Montgomery is best known for her Anne series and the character and novels are beloved all over the world. I have long been a fan, since the minute I was first old enough to read one of these novels and make connections to them and their world. They made me laugh, they made me cry and I felt as though Anne was a kindred spirit of mine. She is sensitive and passionate and imaginative after all, and I saw myself in her in many ways. But other than simply being able to relate to Anne, the reason I love the series so much is that the writing is so beautiful. Places and people are brought to life by this gifted author and she teaches you kindness and acceptance through her stories. Lessons that are still valuable today.

Anne of Green Gables is filled with funny mishaps, each a learning experience for one character or another--usually Anne, and the story of a girl who finally learns what it is to belong.

I will take a moment to say that while the new television series departs somewhat from the novel, I think it represents the heart of Anne clearly. Lucy Maud Montogomery often wrote stories about children that were orphaned or whose family circumstances were not traditional, and the CBC series depicts what I think the theme of these stories is, not to judge, to be kind and have courage. Each of Montgomery's orphan characters has courage and thrives thanks to their empathy and ability to hope in the face of sadness.

Happy Reading,
Jewels
The Others series by Anne Bishop is simply fantastic and I really loved this latest book. It's going to be very interesting to see where the series goes from here. But I guess I have to wait a while to find out, though this series is worth the wait.

Series: The Others, #5
My Rating: 5 ❀'s
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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I had no idea where the story might go or what the world would look like after the fall of the Humans First and Last movement and the destruction of so much human by the Elders. I certainly wasn't expecting everything to become so localized in a way. All attention was fixed on the Courtyard and the humans and terra indigene there, how they interact, what pack was, how much human to keep. And the Elders themselves were in the Courtyard, watching, learning, assessing. It was very interesting to learn that even these ancient and deadly forms of the Others had qualities similar to the Wolfgard and Crowgard and the forms of terra indigene we were already familiar with; qualities like curiosity,  patience, humor.

The story largely pivots around the lack of food and Lt. Montgomery's brother, Cyrus, who is a good for nothing, selfish, greedy, arrogant bad bad man. He disgusted me. Everyone recognized him for trouble, but the Elders wanted to observe him, how he could affect the human pack. They didn't understand what kind of trouble he would bring, or how he could affect not just those around him, that his actions and trouble could have long reaching repercussions. I was fascinated to see this form of terra indigene and to get to know them a little better. It seemed easy before to dismiss the dominant species as a simply powerful predator, one that was alien and therefore, difficult or even impossible to fully understand. But the Elders in this novel demonstrated that it's also their intelligence and willingness to learn that is also the reason why they dominant. I'm very curious to see what more we might learn about the Elders in the next book.

I'm also curious to see where Meg and Simon's relationship goes, as it progressed significantly in this novel. I wasn't quite expecting that, but this will be another layer to this ever evolving world.

This series is not to be missed. I mean that, it's thought provoking, entertaining and so very human.

Happy Reading,
Jewels
It's been a long time since I read a novel by Sophie Kinsella. And I've always enjoyed her books because I was always able to take something away from them and feel that the novel was deeper than meets the eye. Wedding Night made me laugh and it made me sigh.

My Rating: 3❀'s
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
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I'm not really sure what to say about this book. At first, it was highly entertaining. Lottie, the main character is ecstatic that her boyfriend is going to propose to her. Her excitement leads to a hilarious scene in which Richard, said boyfriend, does not propose to her. Lottie is gobsmacked and publicly humiliated and breaks up with Richard immediately. It seems sensible actually, at first, even if she was being a total girl about getting engaged.

And then you learn more about Lottie through her sister. And you start to wonder if either of these sisters has any sense at all.

You all know I'm a big fan of romance and the whole HEA. But I did kinda find it a little offensive that the women in this series hung the sun and moon on the concept of getting married. Or being divorced. Essentially, on a relationship. It seemed to highlight to me the pressure women are still under to marry, have children and be otherwise traditional. And the pressure women especially feel to get married and have kids in their twenties and early to mid thirties. And I found that sad because it reminded me of how stigmatized single women are, and how others view their lives as somehow alien. As if a woman's entire being is only fully realized when she is married and has given birth to at least two children. So yeah, while the whole plot was hilarious and made for fantastic comedy, I did find the plot ridiculous. The lengths Felicity went to in order to prevent her sister from becoming married in the biblical sense was beyond absurd. And the fact that Lottie threw herself into a marriage with the next available, willing man was funny yes, but also pathetic.

So, while I laughed a lot at first while reading this novel, the more I read, the more lackluster it became for me. It seemed less about a romance or about two sisters than it did about two women being divas because of their significant others. The novel is meant to be light, and funny and is comedy but the chords struck were sour as I felt significant women's issues were touched upon and perhaps, not as seriously as they ought have been.

Happy Listening, 
Jewels
I have been curious to try this author's novels for a while. The covers of her books are lovely, and the blurbs sounded amazing. So I picked this up during the summer months, but only just got around to reading it. Never enough time to read!

Series: Georgian, #2
My Rating: ❀'s
Genre: Historical Romance

I actually bought this novel thinking it was a stand alone. I had my phone out, was on my Goodreads app and that's what I was led to believe. Goodreads now lists this book as second in a series. Whatever, I was reading it first. i don't think not reading first novel affected my enjoyment of the story.

I will start by commenting on the style of the author--it's very formal, and the language draws you back into the era in which the novel is set, which is the 1770s, the time of huge hoops and huge hair. It was funny reading about men dressed in pastel colours and damask actually. But I digress. The style was different not only because it was formal but because it was old fashioned somehow, like I was reading a novel written a hundred years ago, or more, which this was not, so the feel of this books is very different than one might be used to when reading a historical romance. It certainly made for a refreshing read, but sometimes it felt less engaging for some reason. Lots happens in this book, and I am not sure why I sometimes felt restless while reading it. I'll put it off it just being me.

The characters are very interesting ones. Our heroine is a deaf mute but she can read lips and has a lot of courage as is evident throughout the novel. She is also very kind, which lands her with a marriage proposal she has always wanted from the man she loves. One she refuses because of the circumstances in which it was offered. That saddened me. But it gave me time to learn more about our hero Ashley, who was little perplexing in the beginning, But his life had marked by sadness and once I learned about those events, I understood him a lot more.

There is a bit of a mystery towards the end of the novel that I won't get into much, but it certainly caught my attention and drew our couple closer together and ended happily. I thought the novel very interesting and I would read more by this author as I don't think I have discovered all that is good about her novels just yet.

Happy Reading,
Jewels
It's been an interesting April for me, and I think I need to say sorry for not getting up more posts of late. Like I said, it was an interesting month.

For me, it was a long winter. And, although it is spring, it's still chilly. Winter is beautiful with the falling snow, and ice crystals forming on tree branches but for me it's tiring. Not because I don't like winter because I do, but because the days are so short. My body seems to want to hibernate but I do have to carry on with real life. Anyway, I did start to feel better once the days started getting a bit longer sometime back in March, and I decided it was time to tackle a new project, one I'd been thinking about for a while. So I did. It's taken up some reading time, but I think it's finally under control.

What new project you ask? Well, if you've been poking around my blog at all, you'll have noticed I love crochet. It's a huge passion of mine, like reading. And last summer I started a crochet blog. I decided to move that blog over to a Wordpress blog and the learning curve is steep and I'm still swinging around on it. So, Pretty In Crochet has moved to a new home. Which is perfect because that blog showcases another way in which I love to create and another side of me. I hope you'll visit the blog as crochet has helped soothe my mind after a busy, hectic day and has healing many who suffer from depression or chronic pain. It might just been a new project for you!

I'll be back with a review soon!

Happy Reading,
Jewels