Thursday, November 28, 2013

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (20): Favorite Magical Item

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Favorite Magical Item

This is such a tough question! Off the top of my head, I'd love to own a wand, invisibility cloak, flying car, and photos/paintings that move. I think one of the coolest items in the whole series, though, is the Time-Turner. Of course there are so many things that can go wrong if it's not used properly, but I'd love to be able to get a few more things done in a day, like the way Hermione was able to go to all of those classes in Prisoner of Azkaban. The Time-Turner also probably holds a special place in my heart because it was key in saving Sirius and Buckbeak. :D

I'd also like to mention that I would give anything to be able to charm my bag the way Hermione did to hers. I constantly fill my purse to bursting, and with a bag like Hermione's, I could carry as much stuff as I wanted without worrying about my shoulder breaking, haha!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Game Plan Blog Tour: Review

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Natalie Corbett Sampson's Game Plan! I have a review of the book for you today, but first here's a little more information about this Young Adult contemporary novel:

Game Plan by Natalie Corbett Sampson
Game Plan
By Natalie Corbett Sampson
Fierce Ink Press

* A copy was provided for review for the blog tour.

Synopsis: Just because the play goes wrong, doesn't mean you quit the game.

Ella Parker seems to have everything: great friends, an awesome family and a star position on her high school basketball team. The only thing missing from her life is a boyfriend. That changes once she catches the eye of Sam Cleveland. With Sam by her side Ella has it all. When a drunken night results in an unwanted pregnancy, her perfect life is turned upside down and she’s faced with an impossible decision.

Katherine Frayne has always wanted to be a mother. But with the last results of her in vitro fertilization pointing to no chance of a baby, her hopes are dashed. Then her husband Danny suggests they adopt. At first Kat is resistant, but she soon warms to the idea.

Ella and Katherine must navigate their lives amidst tough decisions, the consequences of which not only affect them but those they love the most.

Review: If you’ve happened to read reviews for some of my less than successful attempts at reading realistic fiction, you might recall that the contemporary genre has to work rather hard to command my reading attention. Game Plan caught my eye because of the opportunity to view its narrative from two perspectives—that of Ella, a pregnant teenager, and Katherine and Danny, a childless couple hoping to adopt. I thought it would be interesting to see how their lives converged, and I wasn’t disappointed with that aspect of the novel. There’s certainly a touching story here, and in a book packed with so much emotion, I think it’s careful not to come off as cloying. I did have a few minor issues with the book, but they weren’t enough to lessen the story’s impact.

The novel’s pacing is something I struggled with occasionally. Game Plan chronicles almost a year in the lives of its three main characters, and there were times when I felt that the month-by-month format was a bit too much. It takes Ella quite a while to realize she’s pregnant, and then it’s an even longer wait page-wise until she gives birth. While the book maintained my interest throughout, there were spots where its momentum seemed to stall. The later chapters moved at a steadier speed, and they were the most absorbing to read.

It also took me some time to warm up to Ella. In the beginning, I was frustrated with her because she couldn’t see that Sam, the father of her baby, wasn’t exactly decent boyfriend material from the get-go. There was something about him that made me dislike him instantly, and with every subsequent chapter, his actions only sank my opinion of him lower and lower. I was also bothered by Ella’s inability to see how fake and shallow her “friend” Karen was until Karen blatantly turned on her. I do have to say that Ella matures significantly over the course of the novel and is a much wiser character by the end of it.

For me, the emotional center of the book was Katherine and Danny’s story. Their struggle to become parents is just heartbreaking. They go through an anguishing cycle of being considered as adoptive parents only to receive the call that they were not the couple chosen. Each disappointment edges them closer to their breaking point, which is gut-wrenching to see. Whereas I felt that Ella’s side of the narrative sometimes became sidetracked in subplots, such as her developing romantic relationship with Charlie, her brother’s longtime best friend, I thought Katherine and Danny’s tale was more tightly focused and flowed smoother.

Overall, Game Plan was a satisfying read that explored some heavy topics without turning into one big cliché. Including the view of prospective adoptive parents in a novel about teen pregnancy was a definite asset and what I liked most about the book.

All in All: If you enjoy contemporary fiction that both breaks and warms your heart, you might want to give this a try.

Find Natalie Corbett Sampson:

Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bookish Stuff I'd Like to Accomplish Before 2013 Ends

As we edge ever closer to the end of 2013, I've been giving quite a bit of thought to what's transpired book-wise so far this year. With not that much time remaining until 2014 arrives, here are a few things I still hope to get done before we officially welcome a new year.

  1. Read Divergent. I've lost track of how long I've been saying that I'm going to read this book. I'm habitually late in reading mega-hyped books, and that's what's happened with Divergent. I will read this book. I will read this book. I will read this book . . . .
  2. Complete the Australian Women Writer's Challenge. I fizzled out with both the Paranormal Reading Challenge and the Sequel Challenge, especially once my reading time took a severe cut. I'm 1 book away from completing the AWWC, however, and that's totally feasible. I'll most likely go with a Melina Marchetta title.
  3. Read a Christmas-Themed Book. I got this idea last year, when I wished that I'd thought to read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares much closer to the holidays. This year, I've got my eye set on Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle.
  4. Buy Some Bookshelves. My lack of shelf space has reached a critical level, and I need to address this crisis. ASAP.
  5. Go to the Library. The library and I have been strangers since . . . August? Yeah, it's been a loooong while. Toooo loooong.

I really wanted to make the move to WordPress this year, but it's just not going to happen in the near future. It's definitely still on my to-do list; there's a big question surrounding the projected date, however.

I aim to check off everything on this list by December 31. Time's-a-tickin', so I need to quit writing about what I'm planning to do and actually put those plans into action.

Are there any bookish goals you're still hoping to achieve before 2013 is over?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (19): Most Touching Moment

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Most Touching Moment

Without a doubt, the most touching moment in the entire series for me is in Deathly Hallows, when Harry uses the Resurrection Stone in the forest and sees his parents, Sirius, and Remus. I cannot tell you how hard that scene made me bawl the first time I read it, and I don't shed tears over books very often. When I saw that scene in the second DH film, I pretty much needed to mop my face. Factor in that Harry is about to face his own death—could this moment possibly be packed with any more emotion? I need to wrap up this post now, because seriously, I'm getting teary-eyed all over again.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Quantum Entanglement by Liesel K. Hill

Quantum Entanglement by Liesel K. Hill
Quantum Entanglement (Interchron #2)
By Liesel K. Hill

* A copy was provided by the author for review.

To Sum It Up: Returned to her own time, Maggie anxiously awaits word from the Interchron team. It appears, however, that danger has followed her in the form of a powerful young woman with a talent for blocking Maggie’s neurochemical abilities. When some familiar faces from the future arrive at last, they’re not quite whom Maggie was expecting. Meanwhile, Marcus and Karl are on a perilous mission of their own to find and eliminate Colin, who is more determined than ever to kill Maggie. With the survival of the resistance against the collectives on the line, some tough battles lie ahead for both groups if they hope to see Interchron again.

Review: The last two dystopian novels I’ve read have both been sequels, and I’m pleased to report that Quantum Entanglement is another winner. It provides just enough details from the first book, Persistence of Vision, to reacquaint you with the world and bring you up to speed with the characters while avoiding spending too much time recounting what happened before. It’s not long until the action kicks off, and it doesn’t let up from there.

Quantum Entanglement finds the team split into groups, each on a separate mission. Maggie and her brother, Jonah, wind up being rescued by David, Lila, and Kristee, a new arrival to Interchron in Maggie’s absence and a time traveler, when Jonah’s girlfriend, Justine, turns out to be superhuman and homicidal. Meanwhile, Marcus and Karl are hunting another psycho, Colin, to remove him as a threat permanently. The novel shifts between the story lines, with the occasional look in on Doc and Joan back at Interchron. In addition to all of this going on, there are flashbacks and quite a bit of time travel. Thanks to the deft storytelling, though, you always have a firm handle on what’s happening, and the time jumps are never confusing. In fact, they supply insightful, and often chilling, glimpses into society at different moments in time. Maggie gets to see firsthand what the world is like right before its collapse, and it’s an eye-opening experience to say the least, not just for her but for the reader as well.

Karl was my favorite character in Persistence of Vision, and Quantum Entanglement only endeared him to me more. I love his sense of humor, his devotion as a friend to both Maggie and Marcus, and the fact that he’s just a badass. You couldn’t ask for a better traveling companion or fighter by your side, and Karl’s personality was the main reason why his and Marcus’s chapters were my favorites. I was also really intrigued by Marcus’s flashbacks to his past; they shed a lot of light on his strained relationship with his brother, David. We learn something very interesting about Doc, too, but if you’ve been waiting for him to divulge everything that he seems to be keeping under wraps, you’re going to have to wait a little longer. Though I’ve been dying since the first book to know all that Doc appears to know but isn’t sharing, I have to admire his superior secret keeping skills.

Quantum Entanglement seamlessly picks up where Persistence of Vision leaves off and takes you on an intense journey with its characters. From Maggie’s struggle to counter Justine’s seemingly unstoppable abilities to Marcus and Karl’s attempts to stop Colin, a sense of foreboding hangs over the novel. There’s quite a twist toward the end; I’m eager to see how it fits into the bigger picture of the next book, which, based on events here, promises to be a thrill of a novel.

All in All: Liesel Hill continues to impress with this series. There’s no shortage of action and surprises in Quantum Entanglement, which, along with Persistence of Vision, should be on your dystopian to-read list.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (18): Favorite Moment in Book 4

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Favorite Moment in Book 4

Maybe the approaching holiday season has subconsciously influenced my pick, but I've always loved the Yule Ball. I especially love how it was brought to life in the film—the Great Hall looks absolutely breathtaking. Who can forget Ron's fashion disaster with his dress robes, or the drama Harry and Ron experience scrambling to find dates for the evening? The boys' shock over Hermione turning up with Krum makes me laugh, too. This is such a fun event and a much needed lighter moment in a book that turns very dark later on.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
By Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press

To Sum It Up: With the ley line now awoken, the search for Glendower, the sleeping Welsh king of legend, continues. The supernatural power that’s surging through Henrietta, Virginia is not going unnoticed by Henrietta’s residents, and it’s attracting attention from some keenly interested—and possibly dangerous—outsiders as well. At the same time, Ronan’s dreams, including the more nightmarish ones, are increasingly seeping their way into reality. Ronan’s talent isn’t as hidden as he thinks it is, and it’s about to impact not only him but Blue, Gansey, Adam, and Noah, too.

Review: It’s time for another gushy, rambling review! I seriously cannot cope with the masterpiece that is The Dream Thieves. I kind of just want to say, “Maggie Stiefvater is astoundingly brilliant” and call this review done because I really don’t have anything else useful to add. Barring any last minute surprises, I’m almost positive that The Dream Thieves is going to be my favorite read of 2013, and believe me, there’s some heavy competition for that title. That is how superb this book is.

When the first page of the prologue makes you feel giddy, you immediately know that the book you’re reading is special. The Dream Thieves is extraordinary. Maggie Stiefvater’s prose should be framed and displayed in museums everywhere. The perfection doesn’t stop with the writing, either. Sometimes I would pause from reading for a few seconds to marvel at the depth of this story and its characters and also at how the paranormal element is so intricately spun. You never doubt that it’s possible to take objects from dreams and bring them into the real world. You also don’t question the appearance of a new character known only as the Gray Man. He simply shows up as if he’s always belonged there, with zero interruption in the flow of the established story line. I trust Stiefvater implicitly with her storytelling; there’s a purpose to every character she adds and every word she writes, and it’s a thrill to wait and see how they all end up fitting together.

Although the search for Glendower is a core part of the plot, the characters and the complicated relationships between them are what drive this series. I find the lives of Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah absolutely absorbing, and that is why The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves have worked for me so entirely. Reading about this group again was like seeing old friends; I’ve grown ridiculously attached to them and cannot read enough about them. It’s really difficult to explain exactly why this quintet compels me to extreme fangirling. They’re smart, they’re funny, they break my heart sometimes. I would give anything to be Blue, even for an hour, because 1) she’s so cool and 2) I’d get to hang out with the Raven Boys!

While Gansey unquestionably remains my favorite Raven Boy, I adored Ronan in this book. He really takes center stage here, and I loved getting to know a lot more about him and his family. Of course, there’s also Chainsaw, the raven Ronan took straight from his dreams, and the bond those two have is so sweet. I chuckled for a good while at the scene in which Ronan, Gansey, and Noah take advantage of the “Pets Welcome” policy at a local dollar store and bring Chainsaw with them. Just writing about this scene has made me smile all over again.

I feel like this “review” consists of nothing but babble, and that would be an accurate picture of my reaction to The Dream Thieves. Its awesomeness left me incoherent, and apparently, I still can’t scrape together a comprehensible review of it. So, I’m going to stop here and encourage you to read other five star reviews that make a lot more sense than mine does.

All in All: I have an astronomical amount of love for this book and this series. I savored every word of The Dream Thieves, and it’s going to be an extremely painful wait until I can read about Blue and the boys again.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (47)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's an opportunity for everyone to share the new books that we've acquired.

It's been a while since I last did an StS post. October was such an awesome month for new releases, and I also couldn't resist buying some bookish things while I was in New York.

In all the years I lived in NYC, I never got to the Strand Book Store. I have no idea how that happened, but the Strand was one of my must-see places during the trip. I somehow ended up not buying any books for myself, only a copy of Allegiant for my cousin for his birthday. I did pick up this cool tote bag, though, which I plan to use for the library when I finally have time to start going again:

I've coveted the Game of Thrones Pop! vinyl figurines since I first saw them, so I made it my business to stop by the HBO Store in Manhattan to get the Jaime Lannister figurine. The box got a little crushed in the suitcase, but otherwise he's OK:

I also dropped by the local bookstore, Word, that had opened up in my old neighborhood in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, about a year before I moved. I found this signed paperback copy of Gayle Forman's Just One Day there, and though I already have the hardcover, I couldn't resist buying it.

I also bought these Jane Austen notecards, which will probably end up staying right where they are in the box because they're too pretty to actually use. My favorite is the one you see pictured on the right. The Statue of Liberty bookmark is from The Cloisters museum, which is an amazing place to visit if you love medieval art.

And finally, here are the books that I bought during the month of October:


Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Fractured by Sarah Fine
The Shadowhunter's Codex by Cassandra Clare & Joshua Lewis
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

eBooks Bought:

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Bold Tricks by Karina Halle
The Devil's Metal by Karina Halle
The Devil's Reprise by Karina Halle
Tragic by J. A. Huss
Manic by J. A. Huss

What did you add to your shelves this week? Please link me up!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (17): Death Eaters vs. Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Death Eaters vs. Order of the Phoenix, Who Would You Choose?

Order of the Phoenix, for sure! Voldemort's thinking is just so twisted; I could never follow someone like that, though I do think I have a streak of evil in me, especially first thing in the morning, before I've consumed any caffeine. ;) In all seriousness, though, I could not subscribe to his views, and it's very fortunate that the wizarding world had the brave members of the Order. So many gave their lives fighting against pure evil, and others continued to fight even when things looked terribly bleak. I absolutely admire their courage, and it would be a privilege to help the Order in any way I could.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Adventures in NYC

Melissa and I were both ecstatic to be able to spend a few days back in our old home, New York City. The main purpose of our trip was to attend a wedding, which was absolutely beautiful. We walked a lot, we ate a lot, and we left with a lot of great memories of a place that will always remain special to us.

Our flight there left bright and early at 6 A.M., and we were up at 2:30 that morning. It really didn't pay for us to bother going to bed the night before because we were both too excited to sleep. We were at the airport by about 4, and things got off to a rather inauspicious start when we went to park the car in the long-term lot. I'm super petite at 5'0", and I had to almost completely climb out my window to grab the parking ticket from the dispenser. In retrospect, this was totally hilarious, but not so much when I was struggling to reach the freaking ticket. It could have been worse; luckily, Melissa hadn't had her coffee yet and was too under-caffeinated to snap an embarrassing photo of me.

We were greeted in NYC by low 50 degree temperatures, which was a bit of a change from the 80-something degree temps we had left. It'd been four years since I'd last been there and six since Melissa had moved, and we've both probably adjusted to the warmer climate we now live in. We had packed jackets and sweaters and were comfortable most of the time, but nights were rather chilly, with lows in the 40's, which we just aren't used to anymore.

We were both eager to visit our old neighborhoods in Brooklyn—Greenpoint for me, Williamsburg for Melissa, and those were the first places we headed. I lived in the same house for 30 years, and seeing it again was bittersweet. A huge part of me needed to see it, while another was crushed to think that someone else was living there. The reality was, however, that the house had moved on without me, and it's time for me to move on my with life, too. Since I moved, and especially after my dad passed away a little more than a year after we left NY, I've had so many doubts about whether or not I would ever adjust to living where I am now. It's a completely different lifestyle, and I'm OK with that now. Don't get me wrong—I was thrilled to be back in the rush of the city, but I don't think I could do it every day. I certainly couldn't afford the cost of NYC living, either. When I got home, I felt that it had truly become home. I'd still love to visit NY once in a while, but I now know that living there has officially become part of my past.

We spent quite a bit of time just walking around both neighborhoods, reminiscing. We ate at some of our favorite restaurants, including our favorite pizza place. There is nothing like NY pizza; do not accept any substitutions! Our calorie consumption for the length of the trip had to be some scary number, but in all fairness, we also walked a ton. We spent a whole day in Manhattan, and I marched poor Melissa from Central Park West and 72nd Street (she's a HUGE Beatles fan and got to see Strawberry Fields) down to 42nd Street/Times Square. If you've ever been to NY, city blocks are loooong, so that was some major cardio we did that day. We'd also been to The Cloisters museum, which houses all medieval art, in the morning and walked all over there. We decided to return to Manhattan the night before we left, too, and paid a visit to the campus of my alma mater, New York University, before browsing around the Times Square area again once more.

Our trip went by all too fast; when it was time to pack up, we felt like we had only just arrived. We went a little crazy with the shopping, but most of it was for family. We ended up packing the smaller suitcase with all of the gifts and the larger one with everything else. Fortunately, we were comfortably under the baggage weight limit! We had another early flight back home, 6:30 A.M., and were utterly wiped out by the time we pulled into my driveway. It was all completely worthwhile, though; we regret nothing about the trip, including the money we spent on everything, and would visit there again in a heartbeat.

And now for some photos!

View from up by The Cloisters museum. I really miss seeing the trees change color in the fall.

More fall foliage, with a view of the George Washington Bridge.

The Cloisters

Some buildings around Columbus Circle

View of Manhattan from the Greenpoint, Brooklyn waterfront.

Another waterfront shot, with the Williamsburg Bridge in the background.

Monday, November 4, 2013

October 2013 Recap

Not only is October's recap kind of late, but there isn't a whole lot to recap blog-wise, either. * sigh * Last month was just crazy, with everyone super busy with school/work. Ally and I hardly see each other these days, which sounds ridiculous considering that we live thisclose to one another, but with our schedules, we often miss each other. Melissa and I spent a few days in New York, which was absolutely amazing; that recap post should be going up later this week. So there wasn't much reading and blogging going on in October, but we did manage to get a few reviews and other posts in:

Reviews Posted:

Featured Posts:

The White Queen Recaps:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

ARC Review: Welcome to Sugartown by Carmen Jenner

Welcome tot Sugartown by Carmen Jenner
Welcome to Sugartown (Sugartown #1)
By Carmen Jenner
Publication Date:
November 3, 2013

* An advance copy was provided by the author for review.

To Sum It Up: Sugartown isn’t the type of place where much of anything happens. For Ana Belle, life consists of baking day in and day out at her pie shop. That is, until the arrival of Elijah Cade and his motorcycle turns Ana’s world upside down. The attraction between them is instant, but Elijah’s past may prove too difficult for them to overcome, especially when it ends up following him to Sugartown. Ana may be the one person who can save Elijah, if only he can earn her trust.

Review: My heart is still experiencing quite a lot of hurt after finishing Carmen Jenner’s page-turner of a debut. I haven’t read many New Adult novels, but damn if Welcome to Sugartown doesn’t make me want to run out and buy a boatload of them. Or put a slew of them on my Kindle. Either way, I really need to explore this genre more, though finding another NA book that matches this one’s impressively seamless pairing of humor and intense drama might be a bit of a challenge.

Welcome to Sugartown manages to be both laugh-out loud funny and very, very dark without making the tone changes feel abrupt. That’s not an easy feat to pull off, considering that I was giggling one minute and wincing a chapter later. Ana and Elijah go through so much over the span of the novel, yet I never thought that their troubles had reached unrealistic heights. I think this is where the humor, which is totally my type, plays such a pivotal role, keeping the book from becoming an all out sob-fest. There are plenty of scenes that will shred your heart into the finest of confetti, but there’s also a lot to chuckle about. Oh, and did I mention that the romance in this novel is scorching? Well, it is, and I’m not even going to pretend like it wasn’t a major reason why I didn’t want to stop reading, even when my eyes and brain wanted to surrender to sleep.

Characters always make or break contemporary fiction for me, and this cast pulls you in from the get-go. Ana and Elijah alternate narrating duties, and both perspectives are equally engaging to read from. Their relationship, which sees its share of high and low points, is absolutely riveting. Our two protagonists are the sort of characters who make empathizing with them very easy. Their happiness brings you happiness; their heartache is your heartache. I also have to highlight how awesome the secondary characters are, too. I love Ana’s best friend, Holly, who says the most outrageous, and obviously hilarious, things. Ana’s younger brother Sammy is simply adorable, and her dad Bob has the biggest heart underneath his don’t-mess-with-me-or-my-daughter exterior. Ana’s cousin, Jackson, is a bit of a latecomer to the story, but he puts his page time to excellent use and is definitely a character to keep an eye on.

I was so absorbed in Welcome to Sugartown that the qualms that often run through my mind when I attempt to read a contemporary never had a chance to form. My emotions received a thorough workout reading this, and they’re all set for a reprise with the rest of the series. Sugartown, you are one hell of a little town, and Carmen Jenner, you have written a fantastic first novel.

All in All: Clearly, I’ve been missing out on a whole lot of awesome by not giving New Adult more attention. That is so going to change because of this book, which had me feeling so many things, often all at once. In fact, I’m still working on sorting them all out.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The White Queen Recap: The Final Battle

* Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Episode 10, "The Final Battle."

Huzzah—I finally had a chance to watch the finale of The White Queen. I'd actually been dreading the episode quite a bit because in case it isn't obvious from how much I've mentioned Richard in these posts, I'm totally of the belief that history has been rather unkind to him. So it was with much grimacing that I sat through this ep; I could barely watch the TV during the Bosworth scenes.

The episode begins with Elizabeth out of sanctuary and back at Grafton. Her eldest daughters, Elizabeth and Cecily, remain at court, much to Anne's displeasure. Seeing tensions rise between Anne and Richard, particularly over the younger Elizabeth (Unless otherwise noted, whenever Elizabeth is mentioned, I'm referring to Elizabeth of York and not her mother, Elizabeth Woodville.), saddened me terribly. Their son, Prince Edward, is sickly and later dies, followed soon after by Anne's death. Everything just goes to hell for Richard, and to think that this all comes straight out of history . . . that's a very depressing thought.

Margaret is her usual wacky self, writing furiously to Henry to get himself to England. She worries about Stanley's loyalty, especially since he and his brother are notorious for taking opposing sides so that there's always a Stanley on the winning one. Her anxiety really kicks in when Richard threatens to kill Stanley's son if his father fails to turn up for the battle. Stanley warns Margaret that he won't abandon his own son for hers. Without his men, Henry doesn't stand a chance.

Well, anybody who's seen the episode and/or knows their history can tell you who the Stanleys end up supporting. I seriously couldn't watch Richard's death. I also tried to tune out the part where Margaret told all of the men kneeling before her newly crowned son to continue kneeling before the mother of the king. Ugh. I couldn't help but feel some sympathy for Elizabeth—I personally would not want Margaret for a mother-in-law.

Back in Grafton, Elizabeth Woodville welcomes her son Richard, whom she'd secretly sent away while an imposter assumed his identity, home. And that's pretty much it. Richard III was the last Plantagenet king as well as the last English king to die in battle. For further Ricardian reading, I highly, highly recommend Sharon Kay Penman's superb historical fiction novel, The Sunne in Splendour as well as Paul Murray Kendall's Richard the Third, a biography.

Well, I think I'm done with recapping TV adaptations of books for a while, at least until the return of Game of Thrones next year, which cannot arrive soon enough!