Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.
I picked up Somerset off the library shelf because I had enjoyed Roses. Since this was the prequel to Roses, I was excited to learn more about the Tolivers, the DuMonts, and the Warwicks. While Somerset was very similar to Roses, it took me a lot longer to get invested in the characters. But it was still an enjoyable read.
Somerset starts in South Carolina on the eve of Silas Toliver and Jeremy Warwicks departure for Texas. Both second sons, neither Silas or Jeremy will inherit their families land. The only way for them to make it on their own is to head to Texas. Silas makes some large sacrifices to secure the funding for his trip to Texas. Just like Roses, Somerset is mostly about the Tolivers but the Warwicks and the DuMonts also add to the story. I really would like a book just about the Warwicks. I found Jeremy to be a much more interesting character than Silas. But I did like Jessica and she kept me reading when I was getting bored. It's a long book and sometimes I struggle with reading such long books.
Again this is great historical fiction. It starts before the Civil War and ends in the early 1900's. I really enjoyed the discussions about abolishment and the share cropping. Meacham does a great job of adding lots of detail to the story so you can really see how people lived then.
I'm glad I read Somerset. You can read them in any order. If you've read Roses, it would be great to hear about the history of the families you know. Others who shared their thoughts on Somerset: Burton Book Reviews, Country Girls Read, and Tina Says....
This is my ninth read for the Historical Reading Challenge.
Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and me that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries. I mentioned that my library loot stack was too high last week. The library hold gods must have decided that I needed to take a break and nothing new has come in for me this week. Gives more time to work on what I already have!
Claire's got the linky this week. Share what you got!
I picked up The Here And Now because I have enjoyed Brashares other books (The Traveling Pants series and My Name Is Memory). As much as I wanted to like The Here and Now, it fell flat.
Fourteen year old Ethan goes fishing one day. A beautiful girl materializes out of thin air. Ethan tries to talk to her, help her, but she rebuffs him and leaves with his Giants sweatshirt. Four years go by and the same girl shows up in one of his classes.
Prenna is from the future. Along with about 1000 other survivors from the future, she lives in a community. There are rules for Prenna and the others. They have to maintain their separateness but try not to stand out. Prenna isn't good about following the rules and frequently gets in trouble. She's especially not good about staying away from Ethan.
I did like Prenna and Ethan. This book only works if you don't want it to make sense. There are so many holes in story, I'm surprised that it even makes sense. I think it was my intense desire to like The Here and Now, that I was able to finish it. I don't think Brashares had this one fleshed out. She had some potential but it lacked everything that her other stories had. I was also angry at the ending. I didn't want to say goodbye to Prenna and Ethan. I did like the characters and I wanted to hear more about them. I also wanted the story to make sense.
The Hear and Now wasn't my favorite but it wasn't terrible. If you do read it, let go of expectations and enjoy the ride. If you try to make it make sense, you won't make it far. I hope Brashares revisits this one and polishes the story. Others who shared their thoughts on The Hear and Now: Rather Be Reading YA, The Good, The Bad, and The Unread, Bookish, and Gone With The Words.
The Here and Now satisfies the Reference To Time Category of The What's In A Name Challenge.
I was happy to be reading another Rosie Thomas book. Her books are like a warm quilt to me. While Constance took a little longer to catch my attention, I was still very happy being wrapped up in a Rosie Thomas story.
Like most of Rosie Thomas' books, the story goes back and forth in time and between different characters. Not only do we have Constance, but her sister, Jeanette, her brother in law, Bill, her nephew, Noah, and Noah's girlfriend, Roxana. Thomas doesn't always distinguish between who's talking and if this is past or present. So sometimes I find it a little difficult to follow the story at the beginning but after a chapter or two, it gets easier and more familiar. I enjoyed how their stories and their lives tangled together. This just isn't a story about Constance but about those around her too.
Constance is a story about family, love, and finding your home. Life can be so complicated and messy. I appreciated the time and care Thomas took to let the characters find their own stories. It's not a book of all happy endings but it felt real. I'll be looking for more of Thomas' books. Others who shared their thoughts on Constance: Heatseeker Reviews, The Book Girl, and Bookerstaz.