Okay, so I actually finished these both yesterday, but didn't get a chance to post about them. Yes, I'm still in the middle of my Spring Break (not that you'd know it by all the snow we've gotten), but have been running errands, keeping doctor/dentist appointments, and grading online and school assignments. It's all very good. I'd be a pretty bored girl otherwise...right? :)
Project Princess, by Meg Cabot, is another VERY short installment in the Princess Diary series. Honestly, it was more like a pamphlet (for my friends that think I either spend all my time reading, or have some speed-reading technique I'm hiding). I honestly think it took me 20-30 minutes to read? Anyway, this installment is a "between" or insert story that goes in between the longer novels in the collection, and tells of Mia going on a fieldtrip with her schoolmates to do humanitarian work. You know...like Prince William did in Chile? Well, Mia's real motivation is to get to spend extra time with her boyfriend, only she soon finds that their efforts are spent working, and at night sleeping in tents. Gasp! Like me, Mia hates camping.
Once again, the story is pretty much centered on Mia's anxiety over her relationship with the boy. It's cute, and to be quite honest, from all I've seen and experienced, a pretty accurate portrayal of how we all act when we like a boy, think he likes us, or only wish he likes us. We LOSE our minds. :) So, regardless of being 14 or 40, relationships make us all a little nutty, and Mia is just open enough in her diaries to share that with us!
As for the second book I read, I can honestly say that I've been reading it for two weeks. How do I know? Well, I read it all at the gym as an experiment to see how long it would take for me to read a book while on a cardio machine. Little did I know that some days I would feel more like watching Oprah as I plodded along, or that I would become fascinated by the size 0 girl in front of me with cellulite and stretch marks, wearing so little that I could see it all, and think to myself, "Holy cow! You mean that even super skinny girls get those?!?" Yes, it disheartened me, and took me away from my reading at times. (All a true story.) Anyway, I finished the novel yesterday while working out on an orbitron, which I owe much thanks to for getting me through many novels while in graduate school (what can I say...it's a strange, symbiotic relationship exercise machines and I have...too bad I'm not stick thin).
Synopsis: As the title indicates, the story centers around the daughter of a poor musician playing in the Prince's orchestra in 18th century Vienna, who we find has been murdered. Theresa, his daughter, then sets out to find out who murdered him, what happened, and why all the mystery surrounding his death. Not only does she have the mystery surrounding his death, but also money to come up with so that her brother can go to school to apprentice with a violin maker, and to help pay for the medical care her ailing, pregnant mother needs at such a stressful time. Theresa, through the course of the novel, mingles with gypsys and princes, all in search of answers. Who murdered her father and why? Must she marry a man she does not love, only so she can provide money for her brother and ailing mother?
Review: While I am not a mystery fan, as revealed in previous posts, this particular story felt more like an adventure than a real "who done it" sort of story, and therefore, had me intrigued. I still can't quite put my finger on it, but throughout the novel I felt like I had read this kind of style and voice before, as if it were the same style of storytelling that I remember from back when I was in high school. However, this is a new release, so I quickly realized that the somewhat detached, floating style of the writing was merely a reflection of the author's voice, which was pretty intriguing all by itself. I really did like this novel, and the mix between mystery, romance, and history just kept propelling me to want more.
Very clean read, and one that has you trying to piece together what you think might be going on.
Well, off to get a bit more grading done this evening! I wouldn't have to if I'd done it earlier, so no reason to feel sorry for me. :)