Book Review: Under A Dancing Star by Laura Wood

uadsBook: Under A Dancing Star
Author: Laura Wood
Genre: YA historical fiction

In grey, 1930s England, Bea has grown up kicking against the conventions of the time, all the while knowing that she will one day have to marry someone her parents choose – someone rich enough to keep the family estate alive. But she longs for so much more – for adventure, excitement, travel, and maybe even romance.

When she gets the chance to spend the summer in Italy with her bohemian uncle and his fiancée, a whole world is opened up to Bea – a world that includes Ben, a cocky young artist who just happens to be infuriatingly handsome too. Sparks fly between the quick-witted pair until one night, under the stars, a challenge is set: can Bea and Ben put aside their teasing and have the perfect summer romance?

With their new friends gleefully setting the rules for their fling, Bea and Ben can agree on one thing at least: they absolutely, positively will not, cannot fall in love…

A long, hot summer of kisses and mischief unfolds – but storm clouds are gathering across Europe, and home is calling. Every summer has to end – but for Bea, this might be just the beginning.

 

My Rating: 5 STARS

My Review:
Under A Dancing Star is set in the 1930s and is about a young girl and her journey of choosing what to do with her life when everyone else have already decided what she must do. At the beginning of the book Bea is sent to live with her uncle in Italy and from there she starts to experience and think more about her life and what she wants. Under A Dancing Star is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing play, which I’m not familiar with so I don’t know how much it sticks to the original story.

Under A Dancing Star is such a wonderfully written story and I loved it. The settings were so vivid in my mind, from Bea’s cold dark house in England to the sunny warmth filled house her uncle owned in Italy.

I loved Bea, she is probably one of my favourite characters. I loved her honesty and how she just said what she felt there and then. I’ve read a few books where a character has that particular trait and they somehow sound cruel but Bea’s character never felt like that. She was straight forward and to the point but also had care of other people’s feelings and I loved reading that. I loved how she questioned everything in a scientific way and how keen she was in learning, she really had her own passions.

I liked the romance of this book and how it starts off as an experiment between Bea and Ben, I really liked how Bea talked openly about her feelings about Ben to Ben. Their interactions were always so funny and I liked how the romance didn’t overtake the personalities of the characters.

I loved Bea’s journey of finding out what she wants to do with her life. It was interesting reading from Bea’s perspective as a young woman in the 1930s and how limited she felt in choosing her own path in life. I was fully caught up in the emotions of her thoughts and feelings and I liked that.

Overall this is a wonderful story with beautiful descriptions and an unforgettable main character. The writing really gets across the emotions in this book and I loved reading it.

Top Ten Tuesday- Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading

ttt- books i've avoided reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading.

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The Fiery Cross (Outlander book 5) by Diana Gabaldon
I’ve put off reading this book for a few years now because I’m unsure if I want to continue with the series or not. I’ve liked the previous books in the series but I get intimidated by the size of the books and sometimes things can drag on in it but at the same time I do want to know how this series ends.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
I loved The Nightingale and thought the writing was beautiful so I’ve been wanting to read more books by the author but earlier this year I ended up DNFing The Great Alone. I didn’t like the story or the characters at all and now I’m wondering if I’ll love Firefly Lane or hate it.

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The Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeline Miller
I’ve heard only great things about both these books but I’m wondering if I’ll like them as much as other people have. And another reason I’ve avoided reading them is that I’m not really that familiar with Greek myths and it seems like a lot of people who have read these books are so I don’t know if you need to know a lot about that before reading them.

What are some books you have been avoiding reading and why?

August Wrap Up 2019

What I Read:

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War of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles book 3) by Helen Scheuerer – 5 STARS
War of Mist is the third and final book in The Oremere Chronicles and just like the previous books I loved it, this is such a great fantasy trilogy.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg – 5 STARS
I loved this book, the story is very intriguing and I liked how some parts of the book were told in an interview format.

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Shoot the Messenger (The Messenger Chronicles book 1) by Pippa DaCosta – 4 STARS
Game of Lies (The Messenger Chronicles book 2) by Pippa DaCosta – 4 STARS
The Nightshade’s Touch (The Messenger Chronicles book 3) by Pippa DaCosta – 4 STARS
I hadn’t heard much about this series before but when I read the blurb I was immediately interested. This is an adult fantasy/sci-fi series about the fae and it’s hard to describe but it’s a very interesting action packed story with complex characters. The relationships in this book are intriguing as well.

 

Blog Posts I Did In August:
The Cursed Sea (The Glass Spare book 2) by Lauren DeStefano Book Review
Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion book 1) by Jessie Mihalik Book Review
Favourite Book Covers
Book Characters I’d Like To Be Best Friends With

 

My August Bookstagram pictures (xo_reader_kyla):

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I thought I didn’t read much in August but looking back I actually read a good amount and really enjoyed them all so it was definitely a good reading month for me. I didn’t post much as much as I wanted to in August because I decided to move my blog from blogspot to wordpress and although I found some parts of that move easy, other parts I did not and now I’m trying to get used to the wordpress layout. It looks a lot more complicated than the simple blogspot I was used to but hopefully I can learn quickly.

How was your reading in August? What did you read?

Top Ten Tuesday- Book Characters I’d Love To Be Best Friends With


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s topic is: Book Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With.  


Izzy O’Neill (Izzy O’Neill by Laura Steven) – 
Izzy would be such a great character to be best friends with.  Her humour is very much my style so I think it’d be fun to hang out with her.


Magnus (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare) – 
I think Magnus would be great to be best friends with and there wouldn’t be a dull moment with him around.


Celaena (Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas) – 
The same with Magnus, I think there wouldn’t be a dull moment with Caelena and I think she’d be a good friend to have.


Kate Daniels (Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews) – 
I would love to be a part of Kate Daniels’ inner circle of friends since they all seem to care about each other very much.


Angel (I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman) – 
I’d love to be besties with Angel because I think she would really understand my feelings about my favourite groups (BTS & GOT7) because she feels the same about The Ark and it’d be fun to fangirl with her.


Who are some characters you would like to be besties with?

Book Review: Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1) by Jessie Mihalik

Book: Polaris Rising
Series: Consortium Rebellion book 1
Author: Jessie Mihalik
Genre: Adult sci-fi, romance

A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy. 

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars. 

Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head. 

When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape. 

But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .


My Rating: 4 STARS

My Review:

Polaris Rising opens up with Ada being captured and locked up on a space ship.  She has been on the run for two years from her father, who wanted to marry her off, and now she has got captured and is on her way back to her father.  So from the very start of Polaris Rising we are thrown right into the thick of things and I really liked that because a lot of books take a while to build up to something exciting (and that’s okay) but I’m glad that this book just catches your attention straight away.

I really liked Ada and found her an interesting character, I liked how she thought.  She’s a character not afraid to take action but she also thinks and plans things out which I liked, she’s good at strategising.  I also liked Loch, even though he’s a hard character to understand sometimes, and I liked Ada and his interactions with each other and how they teamed up in the beginning and came to rely on each other throughout the book.  It made the romance have more depth to it when it developed.

I liked how the universe in Polaris Rising was described, it all felt well developed and I especially like how the Houses were described.  The politics between these leading Houses was all very intriguing to read and the Houses felt unique to one another.  I can’t wait to see if we find out more about the other Houses in future books.

Overall I enjoyed Polaris Rising a lot and think it’s an interesting sci-fi/romance book with great characters and a well developed world/universe.  The plot was fast paced and never boring, I’m very excited for the next book.