The Copper Witch by Jessica Dall | Book Review

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Summary: Ambition is not something 17-year-old Adela lacks. From being simply a lady of a poor barony, she was able to make her way up to being queen of the entire kingdom in a few short years. Her looks, coupled with her wits, charm, and cunning, caused men to fall in love with her left and right… though despite her status, wealth, and romance, Adela found that she wasn’t happy. Her life was missing something.

Review: This is the first time I’ve read something by Jessica Dall, and though the book did not necessarily leave a super strong impression on me, it was a solid read. It’s an extremely well-written book, but I can’t say that I really fell in love with the plot or the characters, which is something that is a must in order for me to truly love a book.

To be entirely honest, Adela just wasn’t a super likable character for me. I just couldn’t connect with her… She is portrayed as very ‘fake’ – doing/saying what others want to get her way. Somehow, though, all the boys fell in love with her, and nobody really saw through her. The plot, on the other hand, revolves around Adela’s rise to power, and her romance with various men. I do enjoy some romance in novels, but this was a little much for me, personally. The ending of the book was a bit bland, and while I know it is to be continued in the next books, I didn’t think the characters and Adela was quite tied off to a stopping point. I do wish that it was a more satisfying ending!

That being said, I think Dall is a great writer, and I love her writing style. The beginning scenes were definitely some of my favorites – just because of how the characters were introduced and how all the dialogue and characterization came together. This style was consistent throughout the entire novel, which was great!

Overall, this was an above average novel, the quality of the writing was great. It wasn’t hard to pick up and read, and the story itself definitely has a lot of potential, especially in the next few books. However, the plot and the characters just weren’t my cup of tea… but I’m sure it’ll be somebody else’s. (: I would recommend this book to people who enjoy a book based more heavily on romance than history (I started reading this thinking it would be more based on events in history than a romance). And, for the reasons listed above, I give this novel 3/5 stars.

Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish | Book Review

Stones for Bread Summary: Thirty-three year old Liesl McNamara is the owner of a small bakery in the small town in Vermont. Her life was simple. It revolved around bread: her history of baking with her mother, her love of crafting each loaf, and this love, this passion, was even instilled in her by generations of bakers before her. That is, until one of the employees of the bakery signed her up for a cooking show. Since then, nothing was ever the same: stories were revealed, ties were broken, and new bonds were formed. Bread isn’t as simple as one would think.

Rating:   4.5/5.0 First off, I absolutely adored the author’s writing style and language. Parrish is a very talented writer, and it is evident in her use of words. I didn’t think I would be able to sympathize or connect with a girl who bakes bread, but through her characterization, Parrish was able to make each character: Liesl, Xavier, Seamus, Cecelia – all come to life. It is in the little details: how Cecelia played with Little Pet Shops, how Liesl packages the bread she donates to the ministries each day. Each character has his or her quirks, and I find myself holding on to each word of the book as I discover each character’s strengths, weaknesses, and histories. The plot itself is very engaging, though the book starts off slowly at first. It’s a page turner, and within the book we find ourselves going along with Liesl on her journey to let go of her past and discover faith. The author ties off the end very nicely; leaving the readers wanting a little more, but mostly happy and satisfied. While the storyline is believable, and the characters are well-developed, there are certain parts that were hard to follow, and mainly like ‘fluff’ throughout the pages. There were bread recipes in between each chapter and the history of bread making… they seemed pretty irrelevant to me. It didn’t bother me all that much, but I’d really much rather have the recipes at the end of the book and maybe not the history of bread making at all. Still, a very nice read and a beautifully crafted story by Christa Parrish. Would recommend!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.