Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: January 2011

You may have noticed the last couple of reviews have had two rating systems. Why you ask? Well, there has been some confusion over what the rating system means on Novel Reaction. I prefer not to give a rating on the book reviews but let the words of the review stand by themselves, however, the confusion has been fairly widespread so….we now have stars.

The hearts with the flames give the graphic content of the novel. As we all know, you can’t judge a book by its cover nor can you judge the graphic content of a novel based on the cover. Novel Reaction is here to let you know what the content is on every book we read and review. There are other sites that provide a content rating but most of those (at least the ones I found before launching Novel Reaction) just have vague terms like “hot” or “spicy”, what does that mean? A novel is “spicy”? I decided to provide a more specific rating system so you understand exactly what the novel includes, here is a break down of that rating system:

= kissing
= kissing, some fondling
= descriptive stripping but no sex
= sex scene but not descriptive in details

= full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author’s style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

The Star Rating system is for how well the reviewer liked the book. We will always proved further thoughts on the book itself, things we liked, things we didn’t like but now we have a quick glance rating how well we like the book. Realize with this rating system that a lot of books will be in the 3 star range meaning we enjoyed the story but we didn’t love it nor did we hate it, here is a break down of the rating system:

= waste of paper and printing, I want my time back.

= Not for me but someone else might enjoy it.

= Enjoyable, not great but not bad, worth reading once.

= Really liked this book, will be reading other books by this author.

=Loved this book, you MUST go out and get a copy today!

Anastasia Romanov, in Anastasia’s Secret by Susanne Dunlap, has quite the life. She is one of the daughters of the Tsar of Russia, and has life pretty easy. Her family travels from palace to palace depending on the time of year, and she has new toys to play with at each new palace. As she gets a little older, the revolutions in Russia begin to emerge. As the fighting escalades, each member of the royal family does as much as they can to help out by knitting bandages, reading to the wounded soldiers, and even learning basic nursing practices. Much blood is shed and the Bolsheviks eventually seize control of the government, banishing the imperial family to live in Siberia. The rebels heavily debate the future of the royal family, but even in this turmoil, Anastasia finds her love, Sasha. Sasha was a guard of the imperial family when Anastasia was young, but has since then switched to the rebels in order to stay close to her. The family had many different troubles to fight through. Some were personal struggles and some were struggles that the entire family had to fight together. The imperial family lost so much throughout this life changing event, but they always stuck together.

I liked this book, but at times it was hard to follow. Susanne Dunlap did a good job of finding facts to make this book historically accurate and it definitely paid off! The book continually kept me in awe at how drastically the imperial family’s lives were changed, and it all happened within a relatively brief amount of time. This book was a little more graphic than I generally like to read, but overall it was very good.

Rating:

Content:

Title: Anastasia’s Secret

Author: Susanne Dunlap

Format: Paperback, Hardbound

Page Nos.: 352

ISBN: 978-1599904207

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Release Date: March 2010

Available for Purchase: Amazon, Bloomsbury

Reviewer: Jillian

**I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury Publishing but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

I like to read historical romance novels, I enjoy them for the glimpse they offer into a different time period. I don’t read them for historical accuracy, so long as the author is in the general ball-park regarding inventions and common usage of items I am happy. (I really don’t care if a particular carriage was or wasn’t invented at the time the novel takes place so long as what happens in and around the carriage is interesting.) That being said, I have read several historical novels in the past month that have a little thing that bothers me, they were novels that take place in the early 1800’s and the main aristocratic hero used the “f” word. I just don’t think an aristocratic male would have used that word during that time, especially not in mixed company.

A quick search online revealed that while the word is credited with originating in the 1600’s the common usage is not really used until World War I, which places it in the early 1900’s. From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

Written form only attested from early 16c…..As a noun, it dates from 1670s. The word may have been shunned in print, but it continued in conversation, especially among soldiers during WWI.

It was bit of a shock to me to reading along in a different time period and come across the “f” word. I guess I was mostly disappointed, with so many great words and phrases available to the authors they chose to use something so common and unimaginative. Part of the reason I enjoy the historical novels is because of the great language used by the characters, while what they say may mean the same thing as a our common crass terms, they just sound so much better in the older language.

What do you think? I am I being too sensitive and just to accept it or are you like me and disappointed by the choice of the author?

History Hoydens has posted a great article about the Lady Detectives in the Pinkerton Detective Agency. I would love to read a novel based on one of these great ladies!

Biblio Quest has a way you can find out what books were NYT bestsellers the week of your birth. Some notables for the week I was born are Firestarter by Stephen King, The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel and The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum.

Alyxandra Harvey has said she will be writing seven books for The Drake Chronicles, hooray!

Author Brenda Pandos has created The Talisman Street Team where members get exclusive information and other goodies, find out more at Confessions of a Bookaholic.

Authors:

Andrea Cramer, author of Nightshade, has announced she will be participating in a five city book tour with authors Ally Condie, Kirsten Miller, Beth Revis, Brenna Yovanoff. They will be visiting New York, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City and Raleigh. You can find out more about where and when here.

Rick Riordin has released the cover art for the next Kane Chronicles book The Throne of Fire.

Jennifer Lyn Barnes has released the cover art for her next book Trial By Fire, the sequel to Raised by Wolves.

I don’t know if I missed it before but I just found Julia Quinn’s novel Just Like Heaven, the first Smith-Smythe novel (Hooray! Hooray! As long as it is about the one who plays at the musical who is aware of how bad they are). It will be released in May 2011.

Giveaways:

Book of Secrets is giving away 10 romance novels, contest ends Jan. 18th.

Fiction Vixen is giving away three different book packs, contest ends Jan. 28th.

Teens Read and Write is giving away five YA supernatural books, contest ends Feb. 6th.

Once Upon a Twilight posted about an incredible International giveaway where 10 winners will get to talk with Stephanie Meyers personally, get the details here.

Kiss At Your Risk is giving away $100 Amazon GC with four different ways to win.

Martha’s Bookshelf and The Fiction Enthusiast and In the Hammock are giving away three copies of Sue-Ellen Welfonder’s Sins of a Highland Devil.

Lov Liv Life has posted about the 12 Kindles author Moira Rogers is giving away.

Confessions of a Bookaholic is giving away all 14 of the Clique novels, contest ends Feb. 10th.

Chrissy’s World of Books is giving away three copies of Vicky Dreiling’s How to Marry a Duke.

Emily’s Reading Room is giving away a YA book pack.

Minding Spot is giving away three copies of Carolyn Jewels’ My Immortal Assassin.

Inside Pages Publishing is giving away a book a day for the next two weeks.

Sneak Peaks:

Rick Riordin has posted the first chapter of The Throne of Fire.

Karen Marie Moning has posted the first two chapters of Shadowfever.

Gillian Bagwell has posted an excerpt of The Darling Strumpet.

Amy Atwell has posted an excerpt of Lying Eyes.

Stephanie Dray has posted an excerpt of Lily of the Nile.

Jo Beverly has posted a sneak peak of The Demon’s Bride.

Thatblogplace
Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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