I've decided to post personal reviews of the books I've read lately, along with images of the covers of the copies I have. I'll also post movie reviews, but in seperate posts from the books. So here's the first installment of book reviews.
Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald
The story of Iranian Tamila Soroush was a very moving one. Tami comes to America in search of a better life, and possibly love, that she wouldn't be able to find in her home country. Through her challenges to learn English and find a way to stay before her Visa runs out, she hits many roadblocks causing her panic and heartbreak. But by the end of the book, she's got her happy ending.
I laughed, I cried, I read late into the night until the point where my eyes felt like they were going to fall out of my head. I couldn't put this book down. I could very easily see in my mind where the scenes took place (mostly due to Fitzgerald's details, but also partially due to the fact I live in the same state and know where some places are). Her way with words was just wonderful and easy to follow. It touched me because, really, what girl doesn't want a happy ending? Who doesn't want to find their place in the world? It was a generally easy read, not very challenging, so even those not-so-great readers can pick it up and enjoy Tami's quest.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
Hannah Verde, aka Hannah Green, is a girl on the run with her father, fleeing from Spain to England during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. She has the Gift of Sight, seeing angels and thus becoming a Holy Fool for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Mary. Dressed as a boy, growing into a young woman, becoming a wife and mother. Hannah tumbles through love, lies, secrets, and death as she struggles to keep her history a secret to escape punishment during the time where heretics were burned and the Tudor court was being torn from the inside out. In the end, though with a sad past and an uncertain future, Hannah finds her peace with her new family.
This was the first historical fiction novel I've ever read, and I loved it. I've heard of Gregory's other books but never read them. Although now I can't wait to get my hands on more. Her style of writing is stunning and chock-full of details and character development from beginning to end. I cried at touching moments, I read until the words started running together and my back screamed at me to quit hunching over the pages. This book has given me a new outlook on historical fiction, and I would very happily read it over and over again until it falls apart (and then go buy another copy!). It's a great read for more mentally-mature readers, having talk of death throughout and some more adult themes towards the last quarter. There's love, hate, despair, drama, and a bit of angst if you read into it. It covered all my likes, honestly, and I'd say it has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf.
Overall Rating: 5/5