Broadway Book Chat

Broadway Book Chat: Jeff Brooks

It's Liberation Day.

As an actor, every job you do, you make a new family.  There is something special about theatre and its ability to bring people together in a way that is unlike any other.  I have made so many amazing friends throughout my career, and many of them share my love of books and literature.  Since theatre brings stories to life, I thought I would feature some of my favorite performers (my fabulous friends and cast mates) and see what their bookshelves look like! Welcome to my Broadway Book Chat!

Jeff Brooks


Currently on tour with Fiddler on the Roof

Instagram: @bathrobedbrooks

What are you currently reading?

Just about to start Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn.  Let it begin.  I’m going down the rabbit hole.

What is your favorite book series?

Anyone will tell you that I’m an ENORMOUS Lord of the Rings fan.  I’ve read the entire series 9 times.  Once for each member of the Fellowship.  Or each of the Nazgûl.

Who is your favorite author? IMG_6790

Without a doubt JRR Tolkien.

What book inspires you and why?

I’d be hard-pressed to choose between Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Anthem by Ayn Rand. Both are hypnotic metaphors for the state of Society.

Which literary character would you like to play?

I’d love to take a swing at Louis from Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice.  Newly turned, still figuring it out, hanging with a vampire god.

If you could be friends with any of the characters you have played, who would it be and why?

Gaston, definitely. Nobody pays when they drink with Gaston.  Literally.  No one ever pays.  For all those drinks.  Not a cent.

What book would you like to see made into a musical/play/movie?

I’d love to see a miniseries of RA Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy. People would eat Drizzt Do’Urden up.

IMG_6785What is the next book on your reading list?

Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry. Love me some Star Wars Expanded Universe!

Have you ever thought about writing yourself?

I used to write short sci-fi stories, but never anything with real depth. Mostly just putting my technicolor dreams on paper and giving the characters cool names.

What show are you currently in, and what was the last show you were in and who did you play?

I’m currently on the road with the 1st National Tour of “Fiddler on the Roof” where I play the Constable. Last year at this time I was also on the road, but with “The Sound of Music”.

What is your favorite show you’ve been a part of and why?

“Bullets over Broadway” was such an amazing experience. A beautiful piece mixed with some wickedly-talented people.

See Jeff and the rest of the cast in Fiddler On the Roof all around the US!

I feature a new performer every month! I would love some suggestions for questions you would like to ask, or things you want to know!  Leave them in the comments and I will add them to future interviews! Shout out to my wonderful friend, Jeff, for sharing with us! ❤

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Platonic Relationships in Books


We all love a good romance, but we rarely celebrate the other, non-romantic relationships that many books have.  This week’s theme from That Artsy Reader Girl is all about our Favorite Platonic Relationships.

Kate and Tully from Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

I love their life-long friendship, and all of the trials they dealt with only made them a stronger pair.  They were so different and yet completed each other.

The Grant Family from Save the Date by Morgan Matson

I want to be a Grant.  Their family dynamic was so endearing and amazing, and I couldn’t get enough.  I loved the focus on family in this book.

Rhys, Azriel, and Cassian from A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

The best trio of bros you could ask for.  Each one of them is unique and they have their differences, but they work so well together.

Sookie and Pam from The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris

Sookie and Pam’s relationship is so weird, but I love it.  Seeing it progress throughout the series was really fun and their banter is hilarious.

Bridget, Carmen, Lena, and Tibby from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

This series was one of the first series I really fell in love with, and these girls feel like a part of my family.  I love how all four of them are so different but are soul mates all the same.

Kvothe and Auri from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Their relationship is so sweet and strange, you can’t help but love it.

Kelsea and The Mace from the Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Mace was my favorite character in this series, and his fatherly care of Kelsea mixed with his gruffness was the perfect combo.  Their relationship was loving and perfect.

Jamie and Fergus from The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

I love how Jamie took Fergus into his family.  Their father-son relationship is amazing and continues to grow in each book.

George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Ugh this book wrecked me.  George and Lennies tragic friendship is just incredible.

Harry and Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

How could I not include Harry and Hermione?

Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso

34219880Summary: In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled — taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army. 

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage.

War looms on the horizon. A single spark could turn their city into a pyre.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book.  The writing is elegant and beautiful, and it had a fascinating concept which was very strongly developed.  Those with powers, or the “mage-marked,” are taken in at a young age when their powers are discovered, and trained to be “falcons” in the country’s army.  They are linked to a “falconer” who binds their powers, trains with them, and protects them.  Our main character and narrator, Amalia, is the heir to the throne and mistakenly gets bound to a rogue falcon, Zaira and drama ensues.  Learning all about the organization of the falcons was super intriguing and was a great vehicle for these relationships.  I really liked all of the characters in this story.  They were complex, strong, and unique.  Amalia was especially interesting, and I loved the growth she had throughout the story.  Marcello Verdi, a leader for the falcon army, was super likable, but I wish there would have been a bit more chemistry between him and Amalia.  I liked their romance development, but there was some spark missing for me.  Zaira was super feisty, with some great one-liners, and I can’t wait to see what becomes of her in the rest of the series.  The plot is super political, and there was a lot going on.  At first it seemed a bit disjointed, but the more I read the more it all began to click together and make sense.  All of the separate points set up the mystery really well, and led to a huge plot twist that I did not see coming.  The last quarter of the book was nearly impossible to put down, and I immediately put the second book on my TBR.  I really was pleasantly surprised with this book, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a story full of political intrigue and magic.

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Thankful for Recommendations


Happy Thanksgiving week everybody! I am so happy to be able to be home with my whole family for the holidays.  As we all get older the chance to be together gets rarer and rarer, and I am so thankful for this time we have together.  This week’s theme from That Artsy Reader Girl is a Thanksgiving/Thankfulness freebie, so I decided to highlight 10 book recommendations that I am thankful I received!  A couple of these are from last year’s thankful list as well, but I wanted to thank the people who brought them into my life too!

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Recommended by: Kaley Davis


Not only was Firefly Lane an incredible and emotional book about best friends (recommended to me by my best friend), but it introduced me to one of my all time favorite authors, Kristin Hannah, for which I will forever be thankful.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Recommended by: Joey Simon


The Name of the Wind is one of my favorite books I have ever read, and it’s all thanks to Joey.  Now we can suffer together while waiting for the third book….

The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris

Recommended by: Katie Wilson Stewart


Katie recommended this series to me while we were on tour together, and I am absolutely obsessed with it.  I have one book left and I can’t bring myself to finish it because I will be too sad.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Recommended by: The Orangutan Librarian


I saw Carry On on The Orangutan Librarian’s blog, and THANK GOD I listened because it is incredible.  I’ve passed on the recommendation to a million people as well.

Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard

Recommended by: Allison Hunt


Another series that I absolutely loved, Red Queen, was recommended to me by my friend from college, Allison, who is one of my favorite people to share books with.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

Recommended by: Annie Lukach


A Court of Thorns and Roses introduced me to Sarah J. Maas and for that I will forever be grateful to Annie for the recommendation and for finding my favorite book of 2017!

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recommended by: Gabriella Perez


Gabby gave me this book when I was going through a tough time on the road, and it helped to re-inspire me again.

The Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel

Recommended by: My Momma


My mom read this series when she was my age, and it has been really special to share them with her now.  She said she almost named me Ayla after the protagonist too…

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Recommended by: My Dad


My favorite book, all thanks to my dad.  He made me read it, and to this day it has yet to be beat in my mind as my favorite book.  It was also my first instance with Ken Follett, who I am now obsessed with.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Recommended by: My Grandma


Probably the recommendation that I am THE MOST thankful for, is Harry Potter.  My Grandma bought me the first book and started to read it to me when I was about 9 years old.  I fought her on it for the first couple of chapters (I wanted there to be a girl character, which she assured me was coming later), and this series ended up changing my life.  It is the only series I repeatedly come back to whenever I need comfort, it has given me some of my most meaningful friendships, and will always be there to welcome me home. ❤

Book Reviews

It Really is That Good! A Review of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

17453983Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

My Thoughts: After only seeing glowing reviews for this book, I finally read it and understand why people love it so much.  It is a really well written YA romance.  First of all, the characters are real and incredibly likable.  Anna is a great narrator and her arc throughout the story is slow moving, but full.  Her inner dialogue is hilarious and ridiculously entertaining.  St. Clair is totally swoon-worthy, even when he’s acting like an ass.  I loved their relationship, and while it was a slow burn the fire was always there and it was steamy and butterfly inducing.  The roller coaster of their emotions felt super realistic given the situations they were in, and I was totally invested.  Their friend group was full of diverse, interesting, and individual characters, with a couple cliché teenage villains thrown in as well.  It is a quick read, but it’s because the pacing is so great and the plot so well developed that it goes by in the blink of an eye.  I got so sucked in that I stayed in the bath tub reading until the water turned cold, and then continued to read way past my bedtime.  I really loved this book, and I’m happy I stopped putting it off.  You can believe the hype, it really is that good.

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Nope! Book Tag

a baby shower for amelia

I came across the Nope! Book Tag on several different blogs when looking for a fun tag to do for today.  I couldn’t figure out who the original creator was, so if anyone knows who made it please let me know in the comments 🙂

Nope! Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

I have to go with War Storm for this one.  After such an awesome and engrossing series, the ending was just underwhelming and disappointing.  I’m hoping that with the release of the novellas coming, that we’ll get better closure.

Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I have to go with Arsinoe from Three Dark Crowns.  I don’t hate her necessarily, but she’s definitely my least favorite of the three Queens.  I feel like she’s supposed to be the one I’m rooting for, but I just find her annoying and untalented.

Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.
Fallen by Lauren Kate

I had heard great things about this series, but after reading the first book I just could not go on.  I’m not a fan.

Popular pairing: A Ship you don’t support.

Harry and Hermione.  Stick to the canon people.  RON AND HERMIONE FOREVER!

Plot Twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.

Literally every moment of this series.  So many AMAZING twists that I can’t even name one.  This series takes you for a RIDE.

Protagonist action/decision that made you shake your head nope.

Celaena’s attitude towards Chaol.  It makes me so mad and I just want to smack her out of it.

Genre: A genre you will never read.

Religious/Christian fiction.  Never.

Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition

I don’t hate hard cover books, and if it’s a new release I’ve really been waiting for I won’t avoid it, but I usually prefer to get the paperback.  I also avoid books with movie covers and will always go for the original when possible.

A trope that makes you go nope.

I actually don’t really mind most tropes as long as they are written and handled well.

Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you refuse to read.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Mansicalco

Everyone says these books are so great, but I just have no desire to read them… Maybe someday if I run out of things to read…. HA

Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

The “plain” girl who doesn’t know she’s beautiful.  *YAWN*

Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

Anders from When We Caught Fire.  I didn’t understand the appeal… he was just kinda shady and the girls were better than him.

Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say nope.

“Not have existed”is a little harsh, but a book that made me say nope multiple times while reading was definitely Daisy Jones by Mack Mama. It was a lot.

Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

Fenrir Greyback.  He’s terrifying.

Death: A character death that still haunts you.
NOPE! Author: An author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

I wouldn’t say I’ve COMPLETELY given up on her, but after The Witching Hour, I am very hesitant to read any more Anne Rice….

I tag anyone who wants to add in on this fun tag! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Bookish Merchandise I’d Like to Own


I don’t have too much bookish merchandise as of now, but I really do love the stuff that I DO have.  This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme from That Artsy Reader Girl is Bookish Items/Merchandise I’d Like to Own.  I had a fun time “shopping” for this one, and hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on some of these things for real someday!


I have a crazy obsession with mugs, and I think this one would be a great addition to my collection.

Buy Here


I saw this T-shirt in a bookstore recently, and I wish I would have gotten it.  I found it online, and its definitely on my list now.

Buy Here


I love lists and keepsake books, so this is right up my alley.  I’ve been looking at it for a while, and just haven’t pulled the trigger on ordering it.  It looks like such a fun way to keep track of what I’m reading.

Buy Here


I love a good baseball hat to hide my crazy post-show hair after taking it out of a wig.  I’ve been wanting a Deathly Hallows hat for a long time.

Buy Here


I am obsessed with the Swish and Flick podcast, and I really want some of their merchandise.  I love this sweatshirt, and they also have a mug with their logo on it that is calling my name.

Buy Here


Nook & Burrow has such a cool shop, and I’ve been wanting this bookmark for a while.  They have an amazing collection of bookish goodies so be sure to check them out!

Buy Here


Jaime Fraser from Outlander was my first official book boyfriend, and I would LOVE to have this candle inspired by him from The Melting Library in my apartment.

Buy Here

Not necessarily merchandise, but someday when I have my own library in a house (one can dream) I really would like nice collectible editions of my favorite classics.

Buy Here


This throw pillow is so cute.  It would make a great addition to my future apartment.

Buy Here


I am a huge bath reader, so having the new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite would be a game changer.  Especially since I’ll be on the road all year and won’t be able to pack all my real books.

Buy Here

Discussion Posts · Tags

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #5

I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Millennium #3) by Stieg Larsson

    6892870The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling trilogy.

    Lisbeth Salander – the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels – lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

    Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

My Thoughts:   I’m not a huge thriller person in general, but I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, but for some reason I just don’t have any need to go on with the rest. VERDICT: TOSS

Shopaholic Ties the Knot (Shopaholic #3) by Sophie Kinsella

Life has been good for Becky Bloomwood: She’s become the best personal shopper at 9419Barneys, she and her successful entrepreneurial boyfriend, Luke, are living happily in Manhattan’s West Village, and her new next-door neighbor is a fashion designer! But with her best friend, Suze, engaged, how can Becky fail to notice that her own ring finger is bare? Not that she’s been thinking of marriage (or diamonds) or anything . . . Then Luke proposes! Bridal registries dance in Becky’s head. Problem is, two other people are planning her wedding: Becky’s overjoyed mother has been waiting forever to host a backyard wedding, with the bride resplendent in Mum’s frilly old gown. While Luke’s high-society mother is insisting on a glamorous, all-expenses-paid affair at the Plaza. Both weddings for the same day. And Becky can’t seem to turn down either one. Can everyone’s favorite shopaholic tie the knot before everything unravels?

My Thoughts: I was so enamored by this series when I was in middle school, but I am no longer invested in it, so I think it’s time to let this one go (as well as the rest of the series). Verdict: TOSS

In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

637700Rose Feller is thirty; a successful lawyer with high hopes of a relationship with Jim, Mr Not-Quite-Right, a senior partner in her firm. The last thing she needs is her messed-up, only occasionally employed sister Maggie moving in: drinking, smoking, stealing her money – and her shoes – and spoiling her chance of romance. If only Maggie would grow up and settle down with a nice guy and a steady job.
Maggie is drop dead gorgeous and irresistible to men. She’s going to make it big as a TV presenter, or a singer…or an actress. All she needs is a lucky break. What she doesn’t need is her uptight sister Rose interfering in her life. If only Rose would lighten-up, have some fun – and learn how to use a pair of tweezers. Rose and Maggie think they have nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, shared DNA and the same size feet, but they are about to find out that they’re more alike than they’d ever believe.

My Thoughts: I am a fan of Jennifer Weiner, and I added this one because of the movie, but it really doesn’t sound like something I am interested in reading anymore.  Verdict: TOSS

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination 6063187seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie-a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance-mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

My Thoughts:  While this one is more intriguing to me than finishing the Shopaholic series, I just have so many more books that really capture my attention, and this one doesn’t anymore.  Verdict: TOSS

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin


First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes . . . a baby carriage? Isn’t that what all women want?

Not so for Claudia Parr. And just as she gives up on finding a man who feels the same way, she meets warm, wonderful Ben. Things seem too good to be true when they fall in love and agree to buck tradition with a satisfying, child-free marriage. Then the unexpected occurs: one of them has a change of heart. One of them wants children after all.

This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things. It’s about feeling that your life is set and then realizing that nothing is as you thought it was—and that there is no possible compromise. It’s about deciding what is most important in life, and taking chances to get it. But most of all, it’s about the things we will do—and won’t do—for love.

My Thoughts: I really love Emily Giffin, even more so after listening to her Barnes and Noble podcast episode, and while this synopsis doesn’t quite grab me as much as some others, I have faith that it would be a book I’d enjoy.  Verdict: KEEP

This time was really easy for me.  I was clearly in a Chick-Lit phase when I added most of these, and my reading taste and priorities have changed a bit since 2011…   What do you guys think?  Did I make any mistakes?  Let me know in the comments! ❤

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Backlist Books I Want to Move Up the List


I have been doing better on reading books from my backlist lately, but I still have a long way to go.  While I’m on tour next year, I plan to get through as many as I can.  This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme from That Artsy Reader Girl is 10 Backlist Books I Want to Read, so here are the 10 books from my Backlist that I am moving up the list!


A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon

I love the characters from the Outlander series so much, and I really need to continue on with it.  I’ve been putting it off for so long because I know it will be an undertaking at 980 pages, but what better time to invest in a long book than when constantly traveling?  Plus I already have it on my kindle.


The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

This is has been on my list since it came out.  I lent my copy to my dad and he lost it on vacation, so I’ve never gotten around to reading it.


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I want to see what the fuss is about with this super hyped book, especially with the new one recently released.


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I have just recently gotten back into contemporary YA romance, and this one has such a huge fan base.


I really loved the Netflix movie, and now I want to read where it all began and then go on with the series!


The Diviners by Libba Bray

I love Libba Bray, and I honestly don’t know why I haven’t started this series yet.  I just checked this first one out from the library so it’s next on the list!


The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel

Another series that I have put on the back burner and really want to finish.  The copy of this book that I own is a a huge 760 page hardcover, so it hasn’t exactly been a good subway commuting choice.  I think I’ll get it on my kindle so it will be easier to travel.


Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot is one of my top 3 favorite authors of all time, and I still haven’t read this yet.  It’s about time, and I’m in the mood for a Cabot fix.


City of Dreams by Beverly Swerling

I found this while browsing on my kindle and purchased it years ago.  It’s time that I get to reading it.


The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I read the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in elementary school, but for some reason never continued on with the series.  It is such a fantasy staple, that I feel like it’s about time that I read it.

Book Reviews

Review: When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen

36501779Summary: It’s 1871 and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth, and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson. Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze. Sweeping, soapy, and romantic, this is a story about an epic love triangle—one that will literally set the city ablaze, and change the lives of three childhood friends forever.

My Thoughts: Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe series is one of my favorite book series of all time.  I was over the moon when I saw that she was coming out with another YA Historical Fiction book set in the 1800’s, since her writing is what originally made me fall in love with that time period.  When We Caught Fire was a super fast and engrossing read.  I love Godbersen’s style and I live for the drama she creates with her characters.  This one did not disappoint with its love triangle and dealings with the societal hierarchy.  Since it was a standalone and not the beginning of a series, I felt that the characters were not as strongly developed as in The Luxe, but it didn’t bother me too much.  I liked the two girls, Emmeline and Fiona, and thought they were an interesting pair.  I wasn’t crazy about Anders, which I think hindered my connection to the love triangle, as I did not see what the fuss was about him.  He seemed shady and it was unclear what his actual feelings were, but my favorite thing about Godbersen’s characters is that they are all flawed, and not always great people.  I loved the back drop of The Great Fire in Chicago, and thought it was a perfect parallel to the plot line.  It was also a historical event that I didn’t have much knowledge of, and I was fascinated with it.  I really enjoyed this fictionalized interpretation of what could have happened, in an event where no one actually knows.  In the end, I was very happy with this book and I couldn’t put it down until I knew what was going to happen with these characters.  It didn’t quite live up to The Luxe for me, but it was still a satisfying read.

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