1. Spellbound: The Books of Elsewhere Volume 2 by Jacqueline West. This is the second book in this series about Olive, a girl who moves into a house that used to be inhabited by a evil witch who can travel and trap people in the paintings in the house. In book one Olive thinks she has stopped the witch from returning, but of course she has found another way into the world through the paintings. Olive makes friends with the neighbor next door and her grandson and discovers that not all magic is evil. The story was set up for a third book in the series!
2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This was probably the best adaptation of Cinderella that I have ever read. It is set very far into the future. People have colonized the moon and have been living there long enough to have evolved to have developed certain mind controlling powers. Cinder, the main character is a cyborg who lives roughly in what is probably the current country of China, with her step mother and two step sisters. Cyborgs are considered sub-human, so when Cinder's step sister succumbs to the deadly plague, Cinder is sent off to be experimented on in attempts to discover a cure for the plague. It is here where she begins to discover her true identity. This was such a great book. You could tell that it was geared toward teenage girls, but was written so well that even Mrblocko enjoyed it. Apparently, it is the first in a series of 4. I anxiously await the further installments of the story!
3. Mr Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo. This was a sequel of sorts to the novel, "Jane Austen Ruined My Life." There are a different set of main characters, but the features the same organization, "The Formidables," who's goal is to protect the image that the world has of Jane Austen. The main character travels to England to deliver a paper written by her sister who is too pregnant to travel. She stumbles on an original manuscript for "Pride and Prejudice." She also seeminly stumbles into a very Darcy-esque love. Amid all this drama, the main character discovers she's been so focused on doing for others that it became a crutch and she lost the essence of who she really was. Through this painful discovery, she finally comes to terms with her behavior and opens herself up to true love. A great read even if you aren't particularly fond of Ms. Austen.
4.The Real Life Downton Abbey by Jacky Hyams. This was an informative book about the lives of people in the Edwardian period, discussing both upper and lower classes. Most of it I was able to figure out by just watching Downton Abbey, or by listening to commentaries from other movies in similar time periods. The book was a bit dry at times, and that is saying something as I enjoy reading these sort of fact-y types of non-fiction works. Glad I just checked out from the library for free. It had an extraordinarily long wait list, but that was probably just due to the fact that it had "Downton Abbey" in the title
5. Heartless by Gail Carriger. This was the fourth book in the Parasol Protectorate series. It took me a full week to get into this story. I've really enjoyed this series, set in a steampunky supernatural Victorian England, but it took until mid way through the book for the story to gain speed. The previous books have been a bit of a bodice ripper, but as the main character was in the late third trimester of her pregnancy, there was none of that going on in this book. To me, this book seemed like more of a set up for the next book which will deal with exactly what the child of a soulless and a werewolf, who gets adopted by a vampire, so the vampires won't kill it, will actually be. Even though I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first 2 in the series, I'm looking forward to reading book 5, which I just put on hold at the library today!