Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sping Reading Affair: Saturday Stardust and Peony in Love

Hello darling readers!

It's Saturday!

From now on Saturday's posts are not only going to feature a review but will also include a sum-up of the previous week in Books, a challenge update, as well as a peek into what's up on the agenda for the next week!

The last Saturday of each month (like today!) Will present the new Featured Author and Featured Trilogy for the month to follow.

Today there will be no sum-up for this past week as I was out of pocket for a while for wedding planning. Expect a full week next time however and look out for all of the great things coming up for April.

And now.... a REVIEW!


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REVIEW
PEONY IN LOVE
by Lisa See 
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“I finally understand what the poets have written. In spring, moved to passion; in autumn only regret.”

For young Peony, betrothed to a suitor she has never met, these lyrics from The Peony Pavilion mirror her own longings. In the garden of the Chen Family Villa, amid the scent of ginger, green tea, and jasmine, a small theatrical troupe is performing scenes from this epic opera, a live spectacle few females have ever seen. Like the heroine in the drama, Peony is the cloistered daughter of a wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo-and-lacquer cage. Though raised to be obedient, Peony has dreams of her own.

Peony’s mother is against her daughter’s attending the production: “Unmarried girls should not be seen in public.” But Peony’s father assures his wife that proprieties will be maintained, and that the women will watch the opera from behind a screen. Yet through its cracks, Peony catches sight of an elegant, handsome man with hair as black as a cave–and is immediately overcome with emotion.

So begins Peony’s unforgettable journey of love and destiny, desire and sorrow–as Lisa See’s haunting new novel, based on actual historical events, takes readers back to seventeenth-century China, after the Manchus seize power and the Ming dynasty is crushed.

Steeped in traditions and ritual, this story brings to life another time and place–even the intricate realm of the afterworld, with its protocols, pathways, and stages of existence, a vividly imagined place where one’s soul is divided into three, ancestors offer guidance, misdeeds are punished, and hungry ghosts wander the earth. Immersed in the richness and magic of the Chinese vision of the afterlife, transcending even death, Peony in Love explores, beautifully, the many manifestations of love. Ultimately, Lisa See’s new novel addresses universal themes: the bonds of friendship, the power of words, and the age-old desire of women to be heard.
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Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
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4/5
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Peony in  Love was a book I picked up because of my intense love for Lisa See's work. Her imagery, her mastery over presenting emotion, and her ability to demand feeling from the reader has kept me enthralled with her books since I first picked one up quite a few years back.

Ms. See's books are all engaging, and there are a lot of tear jerking moments in each of her works. However, I was not prepared for the emotion I felt while reading 'Peony in Love'. Within the first few chapters I was bawling, raging, and just plain pissed. I closed the book and almost vowed to never pick it back up. I was that mad!

I don't enjoy being depressed which is why I very much avoid movies and books that others have dubbed 'sad'. I'm even wary of the 'bittersweet' works that I'm recommended from time to time. I live very much in my emotions and because all the doors and windows are opened while I'm reading, any emotion hoping to be provoked is just drawn right out!

I finally told myself that I wouldn't be happy leaving the book off that way and that surely it would make more sense later, so I picked it back up and finished it.

Peony in Love is every much as haunting and wonderful as the description leads on. You feel a deep connection with the main character even in the times when you're severely disagreeing with her attitude, thought processes, or approach to her predicament and obstacles.

The culture that Lisa See presents is full of life and tradition and gives the reader an inside look into a world that seems almost unreal but at the same time is so tangible that it becomes more like a personal memory.

To anyone looking for a rich cultural experience and a story of unimaginable loss, undying love, unwavering loyalty, and the journey to find a renewal of spirit you've come to the right place in Lisa See's "Peony in Love".

I give this book a 4/5.

The only reason this book didn't make a 5/5 for me was that I was quite depressed for a few days after reading it, even though it was so good. It was one of those 'bittersweet' deals that I mentioned earlier.

Anyway find it here:

Amazon: $16.99 *Hardcover*
Kindle: $11.99
Nook: $11.99

Read read read! 


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APRIL ANNOUNCEMENTS
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APRIL AUTHOR
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Alright! This is an exciting time, and even though it's still March (until 12am tonight) I've decided to go ahead and post April's Featured Author.


HARUKI MURAKAMI

(Good Reads Author book list)

This coming Friday ( April 6th) I will present April's Featured Author in more detail and give a list of books by Mr. Murakami that I will be reviewing for this Month.

If you have read any of the books that will be featured for this month and would like to do a review and have it linked check the "Contact" page and send me an e-mail.

I will also be hosting a MURAKAMI GIVEAWAY this month for one of his books. All of the information and details for participation will be posted in April 6th's Featured Friday post.


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APRIL TRILOGY
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Now to Announce April's Featured Trilogy! Ooh! *excited wiggles* So exciting!

Aprils Featured Trilogy will be:

THE KEY TRILOGY

By Nora Roberts. I'm a big fan Nora Roberts trilogies, and this one especially was very good. 

This coming Tuesday (April 3rd) I will post the review for the 1st book in this Trilogy. The following Tuesdays I will post the 2nd and 3rd book. The last Tuesday of April I will post an overall and announce May's Featured Trilogy.

If you have read  (or would like to read during this month) the KEY trilogy and would like to contribute a review that will be linked check the "Contact" page and send me an e-mail.

 


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CHALLENGE UPDATES
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This past week has been slow with reads, mostly because of all of the hectic business that's been going on. Thankfully, I'll be able to pull more books for this next week. So be on the lookout!

Witches and Witchraft 2012 Challenge: 1/20
Book Chick's City 100 books in 2012: 09/100 (I've more than this, but I started with my book intake as of mid Feb.) I've been so slow! I intend to pick up the pace here in the next few months. I few obligations from now until August so I'm excited about being able to dedicate more time to my reading!

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HOSTING!
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In April I will be taking part in the "REDEMPTION" book tour, which beings April 9th and is hosted by CBLS PROMOTIONS.

Here is the Tour schedule:

I will be presenting the books in two separate blogs. Book #1 of Redemption will be featured on Tuesday (April 10th) and Book #2 of Redemption will be featured on Tuesday (April 17th). Check the link schedule to find where the Giveaways for these books will be hosted, and good luck!


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BOOK GIVEAWAY
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As of today there will be 2 book Giveaways this month. 

Tomorrow I will post the first Giveaway of the month so come back to give it a look see.

Friday I will be posting the APRIL Featured author book Giveaway.  The author of this book will be Haruki Murakami. Come back on Friday to find out which book by this Author will be offered.

Each Giveaway will last the month of April.

If you are an author interested in having your book featured and a Giveaway set, visit the "CONTACT" page for instructions.


Well all, I'll see you tomorrow with an IN MY MAILBOX!

Until next Blog,

Read on!

~A. 

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