Pride and Prejudice and Kitties


Pride and Prejudice and Kitties
A Cat-Loves Romp through Jane Austen’s Classic

Jane Austen
Pamela Jane
Deborah Guyol
Skyhorse Publishing, 2013

From the back of the book: “What if Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was told from a cat’s point of view? On the heels of smash hits like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I Can Has Cheezburger?, this hilarious mash-up spins a fresh, quirky take on two things we just can’t get enough of: classic cats and classic Jane.
“Pride and Prejudice and Kitties juxtaposes wacky photos of cats with the wicked humor of Jane Austen. Soulful Mr. Darcy gazes at Elizabeth Bennet in fascination; hysterical Mrs. Bennet yowls that no one understands her; somnolent Mr. Hurst passes out on the sofa after dinner; arrogant Lady Catherine hisses at Elizabeth. Each photo includes a hilarious caption that corresponds with the story.
“Pride and Prejudice and Kitties is a book for cat-lovers, Austen-lovers, and people who love to laugh—in other words, just about everyone.”

I hope my librarian and Jane Austen fan Auntie doesn’t read this review—but I thought the book was just okay. We don’t read many romances around here or even much classic literature. So, it was with difficulty I finished the book. I’ve never read Jane Austen before or even seen one of the many film & television adaptations of her books (to the horror of my Auntie and Granmama). But mom saw it on the shelf at the library and it had a cat on the cover and was about kitties, she said ‘why not?’. You should have left it on the shelf, mom.

What was wrong with it, you ask? For a cat who doesn’t like to read books about females whose sole intent in life is to get that tom and marry him, this book was torture. I was struggling and got really confused by all the goings on (does he love me?, does he hate me?, blah, blah, blah) and had to stop midway through, have mom pop the DVD in (which she’s had for several years and hadn’t even removed the blister wrap), so I could figure out the story. After the movie, I sailed on to the end, grateful it was done.

Whether or not the book is faithful to the original I cannot speak to and I won’t be finding out anytime soon. My final verdict? If you love romance, Jane Austen, and cats, this is the book for you. If you love cats but not romance or silly girl kitties fighting over eligible toms in the neighborhood, avoid the book at all costs. Also, some readers may find all the cat-memes funny; but I didn’t guffaw at them, just mildly chuckled. I guess my humor leans in another direction.

Rating: 3 out of 5 paws because I’m just not into Jane Austen (sorry Auntie!).




The Joys of Love


The Joys of Love

Madeleine L‘Engle
Crosswicks, Ltd., 2008

This story of first love was written in the 1940s by the author but wasn’t published until 2008. It takes place in a sleepy beach town over the course a single weekend where the protagonist, Elizabeth, falls in and out of love and learns a lot about herself and her mother (who abandoned her when she was very young), all while apprenticing in a summer theater group.

I don’t read stories of romance very often mostly because I don’t like emotional turmoil the girls go through over the man they love. And this one is no exception. The main character, Elizabeth, goes through all sorts of emotional jumping jacks to discover the man she thinks she loves really only wants her to satisfy his needs and the man who really loves her, she considers just a friend. Of course, when all is said and done, Liz gives up her ‘dream man’ for the one who truly loves her and she has a promise of an acting job when the summer is over.

The author has captured the essence of a 1940s era beach town, so much that you can practically feel the sea spray on your face and enjoy the 25 cent hamburgers. It may be one of the author’s earlier books, but it shows of her writing talent well. Its’ really not fair for me to write a review because I will rate it lower only because its primarily a romance novel. Were it only about the antics of a theater troupe, the rating would be  4 paws out of 5, but as it is . . .

Rating 3 out of 5 paws.

 bobbiesue headshotReviewer: BobbieSue

Madeleine L’Engle Madeleine L’Engle

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

– Madeleine L’Engle

Some of her many books:

Cover Makeover: Six Days, Seven Nights

6 days 7 nights

This week’s Cover Makeover is for the movie poster for Six Days, Seven Nights. I have to tell you, I struggled with this one. Mom and I searched all through her photos (and that’s A LOT!) before we found one – or more we liked. I finally settled on something from a group of photos from mom’s trip to Jamaica when she was just a kid – back in the 1960s. But which one to choose? So many! Here’s what we did:

i finally decided on this photo of the beach. It has a greenish hue to it so I changed to black and white in PicMonkey.
I finally decided on this photo of the beach.
After cropping it - this wasn't the final crop, but you get the idea, I noticed it had a greenish hue (natural aging)
After cropping it – this wasn’t the final crop, but you get the idea, I noticed it had a greenish hue (natural aging). 
I changed the photo to black and white in PicMonkey.
I changed the photo to black and white in PicMonkey.
I knew I wanted a plane so first I picked this plane (taken in 1953).
I knew I wanted a plane so first I picked this plane (taken in 1953).
So, again using PicMonkey I cut it out of the background and tried it on the beach. I didn't like it.
So, again using PicMonkey I cut it out of the background and tried it on the beach. I didn’t like it.
So I looked on-line until I found a photo of the plane from the movie
So I looked on-line until I found a photo of the plane from the movie.
I cut it out of the photo. . .
I cut it out of the photo. . .
Made it black and white, and placed it in the upper right corner of the photo.
Made it black and white, and placed it in the middle right side of the photo -sort of like it was coming into land. Added text and could finally call it done!!


Here’s the original movie poster!!


Sponsored by Lucile de Godoy and DesleyJaneGo HERE for all the covers for last weeks challenge!   

library cropped  Cover Makeover Artist: Toby



Wayfarer, A Tale of Beauty and Madness, book 2

Lili St. Crow

Razor Bill, an imprint of Penguin Group, 2014

Wayfarer is a retelling of Cinderella with hints of Hansel and Gretel in it. Ellie’s father is killed in an accident, leaving her with a horrible stepmother. The Strep beats, starves and forces her stepdaughter to do all the chores around the house since she has fired most of the staff. She also forces Ellie to charm (charming is performing magic to make animate objects do certain things, like charming shoes to keep you standing upright no matter how tall the heels are) when she is unable to do it herself and comes very close to killing her. All Ellie can do is save money and make plans to escape the hell she is living in.

• Ellen “Ellie” Sinder, the girl with the plan, always thinking things through, knowing the only way she can survive hell is to plan her escape. But plans follow through and even though she makes more plans, those, too, are ruined. She sees herself as a charity case and thinks no one will miss her if she goes missing. She isolates herself from the people who care the most about her and refuses their help when it is offered.
• Avery Fletcher, the ‘golden boy’, from a prominent charm clan, and has loved Ellie for many years. He continues his pursuit of her even though she rebuffs him at every turn.
• Laurissa “The Strep” Choquefort-Sinder, Ellie’s Step-mother, comes from overWaste with Ellie’s father and kind in the beginning. Then when her father starts traveling a lot she gets mean and hateful and then when he dies she just goes all out on poor Ellie. In the meantime Ellie becomes aware she is dabbling in blackcharm (black magic) which is so bad it is illegal. Bad things await!

• Camille “Cami” Vultisino, schoolchum and best friend, is now Family and is more self-assured – something Ellie is jealous of now that her world is falling apart.
• Ruby “Rube” de Varre, schoolmate and best friend, outgoing and wild, with seemingly not a care in the world – which makes Ellie envious as her as well. Ruby’s story is told in Kin, the third and final book of the series.
• Rita, mousy girl about Ellie’s age that the Strep brings from another province. She may be the Strep’s sister or her daughter…
• Auntie, an old woman in whose yard that Ellie literally stumbles into, takes her in and teaches her properly how to charm. But Auntie has a secret – a deadly secret it turns out!

Second time around for this book – and I enjoyed it more the second time. Still doesn’t rate a 5 out of 5 paws like Nameless did, but still, it is enchanting and magical and frightening and draws the reader into the dark world of New Haven. Wayfarer is well written, hypnotic and not to be missed!!

Rating: 4 of 5 paws because as much as I liked the book, I didn’t have the strong emotional reaction with Ellie’s story as I did with Cami’s.

100_2282Reviewer: Piper

 click on the image for website info!




Nameless, A Tale of Beauty and Madness, book 1

Lili St. Crow

Razor Bill, and imprint of Penguin Group, 2013

This is another retelling of the fairy tale, Snow White but without the dwarves and with a vampire twist. Now, I never read any books about vampires – the whole subject matter of drinking blood makes me nauseous and is repulsive to my very core. However, so subtle is the vampirism, so not the main theme of the book (in my opinion), when I read it the first time and realized there were vampires in it, I was completely hooked and unable to tear myself away – even if I wanted to.

New Haven, the city in which these events take place is both ancient and new, full of promises and dread; it is where fey, jacks and twists (malformed humans), vampires and mere-humans reside in close proximity. Magic both good and bad is abundant and the characters are caught up in the web the evil Queen weaves.

I have read this book four times and it is just as heart-clenching each time as it was the first time I read it. Actually if you count the number of times I have gone back and re-read the last 1/3 of the book each time, I’ve read it 8 times!

• Camille “Cami” Vultisino – as a 6 year-old, she stumbled out of the woods on to a snowy road late at night and was almost run over. Enrico Vultisino’s limosene stopped in time, and she was taken in by one of the Seven Families and raised as one of their own. When she was found she was covered in wounds, fresh and old, and nonverbal. She didn’t remember where she came from until 10 years later when her world is turned upside down and she ultimately returns to where she began so long ago.
• Nico Vultisino, son of Enrico and heir to Vultisino Family, is hot-headed, dangerous and wild; but he loves Cami unconditionally even if she is not sure of that love.
• Ellen “Ellie” Sinder, schoolmate and best friend, is a charmer with great skill but severely abused by her stepmother. Her story is told in the second book of the series, Wayfarer. I am reading that now.
• Ruby “Rube” de Varre, schoolmate and best friend, is the outgoing, wild and daredevil of the three. She lives with her grandmother, Gran, who is skillfully charmed herself in a cottage in Woodstowne. Ruby’s story is told in Kin, the third and final book of the series.

• Enrico “Papa” Vultisino, adopts the little girl found in the snow and names her Camille after his dead, mortal wife. He loves his “bambina” and arranges with Nico for her safety after he enters into the Unbreathing.
• Torin “Tor” Beale, a young man from the bad part of town, is hired on as a gardener and unwittingly at first, then unwillingly, brings Cami back to where her nightmares began
• Myra, housebound fey and housekeeper, sort of a governess to Cami, frets over her as if she were her own

Rating: 5 of 5 paws because of, well, everything – the story, the characters and their world, the writing – everything. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this book. It will be read again.

100_2282Reviewer: Piper

 Lili St. Crow