Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Reading Affair: Stardust Saturday

Hello lovelies!

A very merry Saturday to you!

As part of the ever developing Auggie-Talk tradition I am very pleased to bring you another Stardust Saturday on this lovely, though perhaps a bit cloudy, afternoon!

***Note***There's some strange thing going on with my blog to where only the first post is showing on my front page. For more reviews and Giveaways please click "Older Posts". Hopefully this problem will work itself out. Sorry for the trouble!  ***End Note***





Title: A Drowned Maiden's Hair
Author: Laura Amy Shlitz
Genre: Middlegrade Historical
Published: September 12, 2006
Pages: 389
Maud Flynn is known at the orphanage for her impertinence, so when the charming Miss Hyacinth and her sister choose Maud to take home with them, the girl is as baffled as anyone. It seems the sisters need Maud to help stage elaborate séances for bereaved, wealthy patrons. As Maud is drawn deeper into the deception, playing her role as a "secret child," she is torn between her need to please and her growing conscience — until a shocking betrayal makes clear just how heartless her so-called guardians are. Filled with tantalizing details of turn-of-the-century spiritualism and page-turning suspense, this lively historical novel features a winning heroine whom readers will not soon forget.

Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
Before I go into this review, I have to admit something embarrassing. Sometimes, especially when I'm tired and even more especially when I'm overexcited (which is practically all of the time), my brain does not properly process certain bits of information and all the more often my brain inverts information into being absolutely backwards.

When I first picked up "A Drowned Maiden's Hair" I read it just as the title had split it up. This caused me to mistranslate and to me the title seemed to be referencing a maiden hair that had been drowned.

This didn't make any sense to me at first. Hairs don't drown. Now... a HARE could drown, but that wasn't the way it was spelled (quit snickering). I actually stood there gazing at the title before my brain suddenly flipped some particular switch that had been stuck in 'malfunction' mode. 

A MAIDEN had drowned. The hair belonged to the maiden. Drowned Maiden... ah ha! Mental heel of palm to forehead with that one.

Okay okay. With all of that out of the way I'll continue on to the very important part of actually reviewing this wonderful book. 

Maud is an 11 year old girl that pretty much get's the short end of the stick regarding everything. Her haughty attitude is one born from having to find strength to overcome her sometimes bleak circumstances. Her parents have died, her brother and sister have been adopted by a family that didn't want her, and now she's in a house full of 3 batty women who have their paws in something rather dirty.

As young as our character is she maintains an odd sort of grown up sensibility that the reader will find themselves wondering about, and even feeling proud of her over. However, she's very obstinate and there are a few times throughout the book that the 'mother-hen' side of me had irritation prickling due to her bad behavior.

In the end, Maud is a very real, very natural child who is trying to understand her misfortune and somehow rise above it. 

The characters are well enough created, but I'm sorry that Aunt Violet's story wasn't expanded upon. It became my desire to find the good out of the apparent rottenness of the ladies and amongst the three women (Judith, Violet, and Hyacinth), Violet was the most likeable and the easiest to feel sorry for. Regarding Hyacinth, who was the worst of the group, I found her character to at first be suspicious and then incredibly boring as the chapters continued. 

For the most part the book was highly predictable, but no less entertaining for it. In fact, you find yourself hoping that what you're predicting actually does happen. Maud's stubbornness creates humor and her antics adventure. Despite its general predictability there were a few moments I was actually holding my breath, unsure of what the outcome of Maud's careless actions would be.

In the end a Drowned Maiden's Hair is a story of discovering honor to live in the truth, maintaining hope when their seems to be none,  and finding strength and love in unlikely places.

No convoluted writing style, no difficult to interpret meaning.  Just a nice book to curl up with on a good and rainy day.

By the way. My favorite character was Muffet, the deaf house servant. She was absolutely lovely! Find out for yourself.


Challenge Updates


I have joined a few new challenges. I'm very excited about all of the great challenges that I'm finding and I hope that any of the ones that I've decided to participate in will strike your fancy! To join all you have to do is go to the appropriate sign up page and follow the instructions. Straightforward, simple, worth it!

2012 Mythology Challenge


Challenge: Read 10 YA or Middlegrade novels that incorporate mythology (Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian and so on). 
Dates: January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012

I'm very excited about this challenge, mostly because I've been on the hunt for myth-based books since... always. Why? I've always been interested in Greek mythology in particular. When I was maybe 12 I checked out a book from the library called "GREEK GODS". It was pretty much a dictionary of Greek Gods and Goddesses and what the heck they were all about. Pretty interesting stuff for a 12 year old.

Years later I fancied that I would take a few classics courses at my Uni alongside my French and Latin. After taking "Greek and Roman Mythology" I couldn't stop searching for good books with a myth based theme! 

In case you are ever so curious about what sort of books there are available out there for this challenge here's a link to the hosts book list. Another book list from Small Review. I personally recommend the Percy Jackson series and the Kane series by the same author.

Some of the titles are a little ridiculous, but remember, this is YA and Middlegrade (so no Neil Gaiman allowed, people. Sorry!)

2012 YA Historical Fiction Challenge

Host: YA Bliss
Challenge: Read 5-15 YA or MG Historical Fiction books.
Levels: 3
Dates: January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012

This will be a fun one! I've already read a few of those just in the past couple of days. I really do enjoy Historical fiction, mostly because it manages to be 'outside the norm' without being 'over the top'. It's a great way to transport yourself to a different time and place.

I chose Level 3 (15 books)

The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Drowned Maiden's Hair

2/15 books


New Authors Challenge:

4/24 books

Suspense & Mystery Challenge

2/24 books

Witches and Witchcraft

1/20 books

Week in Review
In My Mailbox
Trilogy Tuesday: Key of Light
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Letters From the Ledge by Lynda Meyers
Featured Friday: Haruki Murakami

Next Week
Next week is going to be a busy one!

Aside from the usual schedule there will be a special feature on TUESDAY.  This Tuesday I will be hosting "REDEMPTION" by R.K. Ryals as a part of CBLS Promotions

However, Tuesday will also include, seperately, a TRILOGY post (Key of Knowledge)


I've got 2 great giveaways going on right now!

 Ends May 1st


Ends April 15th

Well everyone! That's all for Stardust Saturday. Come see me tomorrow for IN MY MAILBOX! 

Until next blog, 

Read On!



  1. Hi, Auggie, I've followed you over from Book Blogs. You have a beautiful blog. I hope you'll be able to stop by and see me one day, too. I like the books you've chosen to review. And I got a huge laugh out of your saying your brain does funny things to titles. Mine does the same thing sometimes when I'm reading. LOL I'll be back to see you!Or we'll keep in touch, too,on Book Blogs

  2. i am a new follower from book blogs...... :)
    your blog is so good. i have just started blogging
    plz check out and follow my blog also
    it is here.
    feel free to give any suggestions/corrrections

  3. How I wish I can add more reading challenges in my list this year but I can't even keep up with my reading challenge in goodreads. I'm really really trying. haha! I'm still reading Kafka by Murakami and almost finished with Looking for Alaska! Stay Awesome! :)