Magic and Flowers

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Friends, did you know Christmas is less then 20 days away?? I am so not ready… but I still love the magic in the air around this time of year.  Which brings me to one of the wonderful books I read recently that captured just that.  As part of my reading challenge I got to choose a book written by an author with my same first name and I was able to find “Entwined” by Heather Dixon.  And boy was I glad I did.   Entwined is a retelling of the 12 dancing princesses and if you are not familiar with this story its probably because Disney hasn’t made it into a movie yet.  Let me tell you that is their mistake, this book should be a movie pronto!

Our story opens at the royal Yuletide Ball that our princess, Azalea, not only planned because her mother is ill, but gets the honor of the opening dance with the King (her Father.) The Princess loves to dance, she gets her passion from the queen who is the most graceful dancer and taught her everything she knows.  Unfortunately, because of the queen’s illness the king ends up not making it for the first dance.  Azalea opens the Ball with the prime minister instead but it still turns out to be a pretty wonderful evening. Her ten sisters, who aren’t allowed to attend because they are still too young, end up sneaking in anyway.  She meets an engaging young gentlemen that she hopes will ask her to join him for her favorite and the last dance, The Entwine, also know as the Gentlemen’s catch.  But the ball is stopped abruptly before the last dance and all the guest are asked to leave without much explanation.

We find out the next morning, Christmas Day, that the queen has passed, but she has left behind the newest baby sister, Lily.  The castle is sent into a year of mourning which, for the young girls means a year of black dresses, not being allowed outside, no music and no dancing.  The King even hired someone to disable the bells in the bell tower that the queen was extremely fond of.  The princesses feel that not being able to dance is actually a dishonor to their mother’s memory and so they go searching for some way to keep her joy and love alive.  And they find it, but is it too good to be true?

I really liked this book.  All of the princesses, each was named after a flower and had there own personalities.  I adored the relationships between the sisters, they would tease each other but they were always there for each other with lots of love, much like most sibling relationships are.  I also liked the bond between the King and his daughters and how it grows and matures on both ends.  I enjoyed the style of writing, I feel that Heather Dixon did a great job of bringing me into her magical castle so much so that I really wouldn’t mind living there.  I could imagine this book being a great movie, it has so much humor although dealing with a darker subject matter and some dark magic.  There was not only magic in the story and in the way it was written but the book itself was filled with magical ivy, silver on the cover and grey on the pages making it a feast for your eyes as well as your mind.

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I honestly don’t have much that I didn’t like about the story  but if I had to pick it would be the age of the girls.  It was just a little far fetched they could be as young as they were said to be and walking around and taking care of themselves, let alone dancing.  For it to be a 12 Dancing Princess retelling you expect that all the princesses should be able to dance.

Overall this is on my highly recommended list especially for this time of year, its a perfect holiday read.  It’s also a great fairy tale and who can say they don’t love a great fairy tale?  Did I mention I would love for it to be made into a movie?

“In a series of quick steps the gentleman either twists the sash around the lady’s wrist, pinning them (also known as the Catch), or the lady eludes capture within three minutes’ time.”
Ladies’ Dance Pocketbook: Entwine

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25 bookish facts about me!

Just in case you wanted to know a little more about me and my love of the written word!

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1. The first book I ever read was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
2. I couldn’t tell you how many books I have read in my lifetime.
3.  My favorite author is Jodi Picoult 
4. My favorite Jodi Picoult book is “Songs of the Humpback Whale”
5. I don’t judge a book by its cover but I am guilty of the occasional cover buy.
6.  I have yet to reread any book.  There are too many out there that I haven’t read the first time around.
7.  That being said, I do want to reread the Harry Potter series in the very near future. 
8. My favorite Harry Potter is the Prisoner of Azkaban  
9.  I cannot read in the car. (Carsickness!!)
10.  My bookish pet peeve is people talking to me while I’m reading, I may be good at multitasking but not that good.  
11.  I rarely use actual bookmarks, I mostly grab random things to hold my place, photos, note cards and even 1 dollar bills.
12.  I am guilty of dreaded dog earring.
13.  I don’t write in margins but I don’t mind people who do, I actually like it. 
14.  I read mostly at night.
15.  I enjoy drinking wine or tea while I read, but I don’t tend to eat.
16.  I only have one bookshelf, but not all of my books are on a shelf.
17.  My most prized book in my collection is a edition of Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles” (although I haven’t read it yet).
18.  Ebook > Audiobook
19.  Actual book > Ebook
20. Paperback > Hardcover
21.  I leave dust/book covers on when I read 
22.  I almost always insist on reading the book before I see the movie (I almost always like the book better…duh!)
23.  I always have a book on me, my current read has a home in my purse.
24.  I do not have a favorite genre
25.  The literary character that I most identify with is Wendy Moira Angela Darling.

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Footnotes

I know this reading challenge was supposed to help take me outside of my comfort zone but when faced with the task of picking a romance and getting the opportunity to read another of the legendary Sophie Kinsella’s pieces of art I jumped for the chance.  If you don’t know Sophie Kinsella (shame on you!!!… just kidding) you may still know her work.  Have you ever heard of the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic?”  I have yet to read that series but a few years back I did devour Can you Keep a Secret? and loved it.

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Kinsella is a very English writer (as in country, not the language) and it comes through in her characters.  They would use words like loo (bathroom), tube (subway) and did you know the British equivalent to a bachelor party is called a stag do?  Because I sure didn’t, until now.  She has a bright and peppy way of writing that makes reading her books a lighthearted adventure.  For me, I’ve Got Your Number was so refreshing and exactly what I needed for a great summer read.  Firstly because she wrote this book from our main character, Poppy Wyatt’s point of view.  After switching around time frames and POV’s in the last few books, it was nice to see everything through just one lens.  Secondly the characters were so relatable.  Although, the synopsis may have been a little far fetched.  I realized this while I was trying to explain to a coworker what it was about and he just had an expression of “yeah right, like that would happen.” Still I can totally see the people walking around living their lives here in the real world.

Poppy (c’mon who doesn’t love that name?) begins the book in a panicked state of mind when she looses her engagement ring at a bridal convention.  As you get to know her you find out that she is quite the risk taker.  She steals a phone out of a trash can, getting married after only knowing her fiance, Magnus, for a few months AND they met because he was a patient of hers at work.  She battles with her insecurities through out the entire book, which just goes to show confidence works differently for every person.  To me her actions made it seem like she had it altogether and was a lot braver than I could have been, but internally she struggled.

I found it extremely amusing after expressing in my last review that I don’t usually pay attention to footnotes, this book was filled with them.  Poppy thinks its a sign of intelligence if you read a book with lots of footnotes in it (although she doesn’t care for them much either) so she decides to try them out within the book.  The footnotes were entertaining but I think that I’ll just stick with my good old friends parenthesis.

I have picked up from my #bookstagram community that it would be effective to rate each title as I go.  I would say this is a 3.5 out of 5 stars.  It is not something I would recommend to everyone.  For example, my bestie who is getting married September of 2017 (maid of honor in the house!!!) actually mentioned she wanted to read it.  Of course I will let her borrow my copy but I recommended not until AFTER the wedding.  The true love story was great and surprising, and I am pretty sure all the single ladies (all the single ladies) will enjoy it.

“All I can say is, she’s the one I think about. All the time. She’s the voice I want to hear. She’s the face I hope to see.”
– Sam Roxton, I’ve Got Your Number

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