ANNOTATION: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

5971165The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date and # pages: January 1st 2009, 529 pages

Plot Summary: Elizabeth Woodville has lost both her husband and her lands to the Cousins’ war. She is left with two sons and has nothing left to lose as she pleads her case to the new king, Edward. Not only does she receive her lands back, but she finds herself secretly married to Edward as well. When the marriage is revealed, some are outraged and Elizabeth quickly makes enemies. As Elizabeth becomes accustomed to court, she is able to maneuver her family into position until the Rivers’ are one of the most powerful families at court. Things cannot stay peaceful for long however, and soon others are fighting her husband for the right to wear the crown. As a descendant of a water goddess, Elizabeth will do whatever she must to ensure her husband maintains the crown and that her son will wear it after.

Characteristics of Historical Fiction: Centers around both specific events and characters. Family saga as the series follows this family through generations. Language and characters are consistent with the time period. Readers are immersed in court life and the politics/motivations of various “players”.

Appeal Terms: Unhurried pace, descriptive language and details, character-driven

Read-alikes: The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson; The Virgin Queen’s Daughter by Ella March Chase; The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson; other titles by Philippa Gregory

Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Spring/Summer (Part 1)


NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the first 10 books featured (covers link to Goodreads).

With Malice by Eileen Cook (6/7)

malice_coverCover: I like it quite a bit. It looks summery and warm which is an interesting contrast to the title. It seems kind of mysterious. 8/10

Premise: I’m not sure whether or not I like the whole “memory loss” plotline. I tend to like knowing what is going on, so if the main character is lost too then I have a harder time with it. The mystery aspect of it is intriguing to me though. 5/10

Excerpt: Right off the bat, I think I can tell that I’m not a big fan of the narrator. She seems kind of entitled and spoiled. Of course, this also means that she has a lot of room to grow and develop, so she could end up being alright. 4/10

TBR?: Maybe. I’ll want to see whether or not other people like it first.

Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan (6/7)

27426221._UY400_SS400_Cover: Not crazy about this one. It’s all one color and it doesn’t really tell me what the book’s about. It also feels very wintery even though it’s coming out in the summer. 3/10

Premise: Okay, hang on. This book sounds awesome! There’s mystery and what sounds like an eclectic cast of secondary characters. I’m also a sucker for the whole “girl thief” thing (I don’t know why). 9/10

Excerpt: The writing seems solid, the character a likable underdog. I could definitely see myself enjoying this one. 8/10

TBR?: Yes.

Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (6/14)

27064385Cover: The visual is really cool, but I’m not exactly sure what is going on or what I’m looking at. I assume this has a tie-in to the book? 7/10

Premise: It sounds like this book has insta-love and a love triangle. I’m also not very entranced by the world that’s been created here…it doesn’t sound too interesting to me. 3/10

Excerpt: The author does a really good job with imagery and I really felt like I could SEE all of the settings described. The narration is a little odd…it’s written in second person which isn’t something that I have much experience with. It’s kind of unsettling because it’s more like we’re a character in the story than books written in first or third person. Not really a fan.

TBR?: No. The synopsis doesn’t sound very interesting to me and I don’t think I’d be able to handle the second person narrator.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (3/8)24934065

Cover: It looks mystical like it’s going to be a retelling of a fairy tale or something. Definitely makes me think of the desert and the middle east. 7/10

Premise: It sounds like our main character is bold and interesting. I’m intrigued about the djinn, sometimes I like genie stories and sometimes I don’t. Overall, the premise sounds mildly interesting, but not super compelling. 6/10

Excerpt: It has the feel of a western to it which is interesting. The narrator has a casual way of talking that I’m not too sure if I like. The book is written in the first person and it’s obvious that our main character isn’t supposed to be very educated and that comes across in the narration–which isn’t something I usually enjoy. 5/10

TBR?: Maybe. Again, I’ll have to see what other people say.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows (6/7)

Cover: I like this cover a lot. I’m not exactly sure what about it, but I like that the cover model looks feminine, but still tough. 9/10

Premise: I recently read The White Queen by Philippa Gregory so now I’m a lot more intrigued by this time period than I was previously. It sounds like it’s very loosely based on actual events however. I think the book is trying to pull in a lot of different elements which could either be amazing or end up being a total disaster. I feel optimistic though. 9/10

Excerpt: I LOVE the prologue. It really sets the tone for the entire book and shows that the authors aren’t taking themselves to seriously. I expect this book to be full of humor and the barest sliver of true facts. 10/10

TBR?: Definitely yes!

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (4/5)26030682

Cover: The cover is interesting, but it makes me think that this book is about film or possible in the horror genre. Pretty, but I think I’m getting the wrong idea from it. 6/10

Premise: Sounds very interesting and, of course, I love a good WWII story. It seems like it may turn out to be a very intriguing mystery… 8/10

Excerpt: Our protagonist seems like a smart girl and a good narrator. I’m definitely interesting in continuing the story–I like reading books with strong female characters. From the bit I read, there’s no indication of there being any kind of love interest which I also count in this book’s favor. 9/10

TBR?: Yes.

The Progeny by Tosca Lee (5/24)

the-progeny-9781476798691_lgCover: First, this is not the cover from the sampler. The sampler has a masquerade mask on it (which I love) and it gives the impression that magic may be involved. This cover here, however, makes the book seem more like a thriller. I don’t really know what to think. 5/10

Story: Yeah, I was right on the thriller part. I’m not really sure about this one. I think it could be intriguing for people who already like thrillers, but I’m not especially in love with them myself. It could be good though. 4/10

Excerpt: I actually read the whole excerpt (which I haven’t for the others) because I just wasn’t sure about it. Even now, I’m still going back and forth a little bit. It seems like it’s pretty well written, but that the subject matter could be heavy. I think it’ll probably end up being a pretty good book, but at least right now I’m just not in the right mood for it. 7/10

TBR?: Yes, but I probably won’t read it for a long, long time.

You Know Me Well by David Levitahn& Nina LaCour (6/7)27158835

Cover: The cover looks nice enough, but it also kind of looks like every other YA Contemporary Romance cover. Nice, but it doesn’t leap off the shelf or tell me much about the book. 4/10

Premise: The story seems like it could be interesting. It looks there won’t be any sort of romance between our two main characters which would create an interesting dynamic that isn’t prevalent in YA books. This seems like it’ll be a good one for LGBT fans. 5/10

Excerpt: From the little bit that I read, it seems like this book is going to be full of angst. At the same time, maybe it’ll just be a lot of self-discovery. 4/10

TBR?: No. Just not really interested in this one.

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight (5/3)

Cover: The cover reminds me a lot of the covers for A.S. King’s books. It seems like this book might be kind spooky with a disturbed main character. 6/10

Story: Yeah, this sounds like it could be a very creepy mystery type of a book. It seems like there will be unreliable characters and a lot of tension between our two main characters as the story progresses. 6/10

Excerpt: We’re not really given a lot of information in the excerpt. Our narrator has her own troubles and will be embarking on this mystery…this sounds like a very character driven book. The writing seemed pretty solid. 5/10

TBR?: Probably not. Nothing’s really standing out to me that makes me want to read it.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (4/5)27272506

Cover: This cover is so great! It reminds me of fairy tales and fairies in general. It seems like something that’s right up my alley. 9/10

Premise: Oh gosh, I love books about girls going to finishing schools. This book is right up my alley. My only worry is that it’s too similar to other books that I’ve read. Keeping my fingers crossed that the author was able to come up with some original material and characters! 9/10

Excerpt: It sounds like we have ourselves a feisty heroine here. This could be a good thing, or she could just get annoying–only time will tell. Overall, I like what I was seeing from the writing and it seems like it’ll move at a pretty quick pace. 7/10

TBR?: Yes.