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Top Ten Tuesday: YA Reads for Fans of Period Dramas

Hi there!

Who likes loosing themselves in a good old fashioned historical drama?  Downton Abbey perhaps? Reign? Pride and Prejudice? The Tudors? North & South perhaps?!

YES PLEASE!

In my world historical dramas are always a positive! No wonder then why I tend to be drawn towards historical fiction when choosing books! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about YA titles for fans of the wonderful world of period dramas!

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

  • Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. Takes place in Paris in 1889 at the height of France’s beautiful era.
  • The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron. Historical fiction inspired by the mystery surrounding Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, England and the 5th Duke of Portland.
  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Historical fantasy set in a medieval Brittany. There are assassin nuns. Yup.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy BlundellManor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

  • What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. This coming of age drama is set in South Florida post World War II…intrigue and seductions abound!
  • Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore.  An upstairs/downstairs drama set in a 1911 England.
  • The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. It’s Manhattan 1889 and this is a historical drama full of gossip, fashion, wealth, and romance.

Changeling by Philippa GregoryThe Diviners by Libba Bray

  • Changeling by Philippa Gregory. Picture it…Italy 1453! (ha!) The Goodreads summary says that “dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance” populate this one! It was surprisingly fun!
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray. This supernatural drama is set in New York City at the height of the Roaring Twenties!

Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayCross My Heart by Sasha Gould 2

  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Another supernatural period drama only this time we’re in a Victorian English boarding school!
  • Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould. A mysterious secret society of women handle things their own way in a 1580s Venice.

Clearly I have a type. Pretty period costume? Check. *nods in approval*

So, what do you think? Are there any other YA period dramas you’d recommend to those of us who love them?

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A Sometimes Predictable Page Turner: Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Grumpy Cat Dislikes Valentine's DayAwww…I hope you aren’t left alone with Grumpy Cat today!

In college I devoured Philippa Gregory’s shocking Wideacre trilogy (I totally don’t recommend that series…just trust me) and The Other Boleyn Girl pretty quickly. I love historical fiction, especially when it involves some romance thrown in there for good measure. So, when I heard Gregory had written a Young Adult novel, I was intrigued. Well, this YA novel, Changeling, was at my Fall Book Fair so I knew I had to buy myself a copy…to help the kids of course! :)

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger Changeling by Philippa Gregoryin its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.

Philippa Gregory’s books, simply put, are fun travels through time, nothing more and I’m pretty sure I read Changeling in a manner of days. I was hooked from the beginning when you meet Luca in his medieval prison cell.  We quickly learn of The Order of the Dragon, a real religious order specially selected and tasked with defending Christianity from it’s enemies, which of course was a big deal in medieval Europe. Luca is so ready to be rid of his charge of heresy that he accepts the “call” to this order without really knowing anything about it. So, he is sent off to travel Europe to learn about the things Christians fear.

Enter Isolde, her mysterious ladies’ maid and the nunnery she is forced into.  Enter romance (wink wink)! Also, enter the mystery.  The nuns are having strange visions, there is talk of werewolves, witches and other heretical occurrences. What the reader gets is a historcial mystery that is so engrossing you really can’t stop turning the pages! I had to know what was really going on in this nunnery!

The burgeoning romance between Isolde and Luca is interesting because it’s forbidden. Both have committed to the monastic life, although each was forced into it in different ways. Romantic love is not a possibility for them, even though it’s staring them in the face. Gah! The tension and frustration was fun, but also incredibly predictable. There is another romance brewing however, that is a little more interesting and less predictable.

Okay, so Changeling wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was entertaining and intriguing. It’s kind of like a YA Davinci Code, a page turner you can’t help but enjoy and I’m definitely down for continuing the series.

Author: Philippa Gregory

Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 24, 2012)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 256 pages

Series: First book in The Order of Darkness series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Changeling (Order of Darkness 1) by Gregory. Philippa ( 2013 ) Paperback

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Reading Queue: January

The Reading QueueHappy New Year!

Welcome to the first Reading Queue of 2014!

The Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (howdy!) and Books: A true story , where we share our reading plans for the month. You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

How I Did Last Month

Okay…so I didn’t read any of the books on my queue for December 2013! WHAT?! I know! I DID read, just not any books that I had planned to. That is a great example of how I was feeling in December! haha Okay, so here are the titles I actually did read last month:

Changeling by Philippa Gregory Changeling (Order of Darkness #1) by Philippa Gregory (print)

Prodigy by Marie LuProdigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu (audiobook)

Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani TurnerDays of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor (audiobook)

The Humming Room by Ellen PotterThe Humming Room by Ellen Potter (print)

My January Reading Queue

I have high hopes of starting 2014 off right! I hope to read all of these this upcoming month. I think I can! I think I can! Which should I make a priority?

United we Spy by Ally CarterUnited We Spy by Ally Carter

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Fever Crumb by Philip ReeveFever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Under the Never Sky by Veronica RossiUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

The Elite by Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass

What books are you planning on starting the year off right with? If you’re interested in joining up, please add your Reading Queue post to the linky below! We’re happy to have you!