“It’s amazing what we can see when we take the time to look.” (Hauck 87)
Once Upon a Prince is a new romance novel by Rachel Hauck; it puts most other love stories to shame by bearing a wonderful, gripping, and realistic (well, mostly) tale of love without any raunchyness found in many others. To begin, this love story starts with the ending of a relationship. It starts with Susanna Truitt being told by her boyfriend of twelve years–yes, you read right–that he had found someone else and they both were more in love with the idea of them, than the actual relationship. Unlike most other cliche stories where the story starts with a meeting of two people, this one has truth to it: the fact that relationships do end, quite often too. Susanna copes, looking to prayer to help her through this difficult time. Then she meets Nathaniel. No, they don’t fall for each other instantly. Nope. They become good friends, little does Susanna know he is a prince–of a kingdom in Europe–on his last vacation before becoming king. Well, she eventually finds out. Nathanial teaches through his words and actions what a true loving relationship should be about and emanates chivalry by saying heartfelt things like, “A girl in love has a right to believe her man would lay down his life for her.” (Hauck 97)
The story continues, and feelings eventually develop (as they should in a love story), the full truth of Nathaniel comes out, and he brings up an obstacle that would prevent a marriage between them: a marriage act set in place to prevent the prince/king from marrying a foreigner, not to mention the cruel, lying media is pushing the king to marry a specific lady of royal blood. But, I won’t spoil the ending.
But, seriously, this novel is an enjoyable breeze to read through. I read it in a couple days. Do not judge this book by the slightly questionable cover (is she even wearing clothes?) because it’s far better. It proves that love stories do not have to be invested with raunchiness to be good. For ages, I’d say 12 and up, but probably more enjoyable for 15 and up. Really though, pretty much anyone (mostly girls though) would enjoy this charming novel. I know summer’s almost over, but if in need for a summer chick-lit, I suggest this one.
“The circus arrives without warning” is how Erin Morgenstern begins her enchanting tale of magicians, a contortionist, a timeless clock-maker, a man without a shadow, and a very lovely circus, in a book that feels as if magic itself crafted the mysterious words beneath every page. Senses come alive with smells of caramel apples and bonfires which permeate the reader’s endeavors: black and white and red repeated colors illustrate what a circus should be. Not too dark, not too light: with deep passion and excitement. Torn between emotions from smiling to sorrow, I remained charmed by the wondrous imagery that painted out scenes of midnight banquets–where I could taste the exotic food–and ballroom encounters, as well as fierce foreshadowing like feathers of a raven, pulling you into a winding labyrinth of beauty. The characters take you along with them into their circus life; people die sudden deaths and children are born. Never before have I read such a modern and fresh fairytale like this one, filled with such warm description that I wanted to be in every scene of the story; I wanted this dream of an adventure to be physically in front of me when, at the same time, I knew what it was to experience it. Any one who chooses to pick up this beautifully covered fable will be held captive by soft darkness so divine it emanates bright sparks of riveting pleasure so masterfully written, with suspense and compelling marvel, it’s my conclusion that only a brilliant magician and kindred dreamer could have created such a bitter-sweet dream brought to life.
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”–Prospero, The Tempest
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, the same author of The Kite Runner, evokes a multitude of feelings through his story set in the rough, late 90s in Afghanistan. The book follows a couple female characters in their struggle to deal with the overbearing control of not only the Taliban, but the brutal control of their husband/husbands who often treats them worse than anyone could ever treat an animal. Raw truth and emotion permeates throughout the story; some parts a little too raw for sensitive hearts, which is why I think this book should not be read by anyone younger than 14 and even so the reader should take caution if they wish to refrain from harsh scenes. But, that’s really what makes this book great, because the cruel, real-life experiences illustrate what actually happens in the world we live in and gives us an awareness of these horrible misfortunes we may not be knowledgeable of. The characters truly make the best of their circumstances and rise above them. This brings me to some of the emotions I felt reading this, to name a few: anger, sorrow, hatred, comfort, admiration, guilt, happiness, fear, hope. To name a few. The flowing crafted language of the book, never cuts or chops from emotion to emotion, but weaves together shocking elements of a female’s perspective on life in the this region and time period, while holding true to the beautiful heart and culture as well. There isn’t much I can tell you, since it may give away parts of the book. I feel to really get the full experience (of not only the book, but of anything) you must go in without knowing a lot about it, without a strong preconceived notion. So, I’m leaving you with that. Whether or not you choose to read this book, I hope you don’t regret it.