Mad Miss Mimic

In her debut novel, author Sarah Henstra introduces to us a tale of romance, mystery, and adventure.

imageFrom a young age, Leonora Somerville has suffered from a terrible stutter. But what is especially peculiar is that along with this speech impediment is the ability to mimic the voices of others flawlessly. Unable to control who or when she imitates, Leo is christened Mad Miss Mimic, and is underestimated as a seventeen- year-old heiress living in 1872, London.

As the city becomes gripped with opium fever, brother-in-law Dr. Dewhurst endeavours to create an injectable form of the drug, with the help of his business partner Mr. Thornfax. The attention of the latter is soon caught by Leo, but her heart struggles when Tom Rampling, the doctor’s working class boy, begins to frequent her thoughts and always seems to be near. But when an opium gang known as the Black Glove begins to terrorize London with explosions, Leo must find the relations between these attacks and Dr. Dewhurst’s cure, as well as the truth about her two love interests, in order to solve this captivating mystery.

Mad Miss Mimic was an incredibly spellbinding tale, beginning with the gripping introduction, all the way to the characters and the riveting plot. The fact that it was set in first person alone was enough to make it a thrilling page-turner, as readers thrive to learn more about Leonora’s story, when ironically her words fail to speak it out loud. And although this novel was set nearly two centuries ago, the message will forever remain the same: we all have problems and insecurities, but we’re always able to overcome them and settle comfortably into our own skin, as Leo struggles to accept but finally learns is possible.

The vocabulary exhibited was enriching yet refreshing, a welcomed change from today’s display of modernized literature. I felt as if I were in the very room, the descriptive settings seeming to just rise from the page, brought to life by the reader and the author. It was incredibly well written, each word being used historically accurate, graceful and enthralling. It had the writing of a classic but all the characteristics of a great YA.

In this new and engaging read, adults and teenagers alike will find themselves immersed with Leonora’s story, and what it means to find your own voice.

Check out the author interview I did with Sarah Henstra featured on TPL Teens! 

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A Funny Thing Happened When…

… I went to the library. I was on a book high, as it so often happens when I go to the library (and who wouldn’t be when it’s a book lover’s paradise? All of these books at your disposal- for free!?)

I went to my local library to pick up four holds, but thought I’d stop by the teen section before getting my books and immediately going home. I first saw Love Fortunes and Other Disasters, which is a book I’ve heard lots about and has been recently released. I had been hesitant before on placing a hold on it, because I wasn’t sure if it was the type of book that would interest me. But seeing it RIGHT THERE, in the flesh- well, it was a completely different story. So I took it off the shelf, and placed it into the hands of yours truly. (But c’mon, these hands are exceptionally loving when it comes to handling books, haha). Then I saw Kissing in America, which again didn’t sound like something I would read, but it was a featured teen recommendation on my library’s website, and like I said before- completely different story. I figured if I didn’t like it, I’d just return it, no big deal. I just knew I had to grab these new YA novels before anyone else would (as I write this, I know I’m a book hog, but that’s okay; I have a feeling I’ll love them all anyway).

So that’s how I ended up with Like it Never Happened, along with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Proof of Forever, Playing with Matches, and A Thousand Pieces of You, the four reasons I was in the library today. (Immaculate was there from a previous library trip.)

I got a number of odd looks as I walked to the checkout holding a stack of seven books, but that’s alright. Because one thing’s for sure- I’m all set for summer! There’s no need for checking out anymore novels from my book wonderland, but knowing me, I probably will. 😉

——-> But then again, there’s no such thing as too many books!

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I think my library trip was a success!

July

Hello, everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a great summer so far, with great adventures and thrilling reads….

With the arrival of August comes the ending to a marvellous July. I have to say that I have been very pleased with the selection of books I had read last month, because each of them were JUST SO GOOD. Every one of them did not disappoint, three of them being new YA releases.

Have I built up the anticipation already? Are you anxious to see what I’ve read?

Probably not, but I’ll tell them to you anyway 😉 Without any further interruption, here are July’s reads:

Mad Miss Mimic, by Sarah Henstra

None of the Above, by I.W Gregorio

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Extraordinary Means, by Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything, by Robyn Schneider

As you can see, it isn’t a Sarah Dessen I have read this month, but a Sarah Henstra! Mad Miss Mimic is her debut novel, and is classified as Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, as well as Romance. It’s quite exciting, actually, to see a novel with a teen’s POV in a historical era (London, 1872). It follows the story of seventeen-year-old heiress, Leonora Somerville.  As she suffers from a stutter, she is also able to take on the voice of anyone, using mimicry to mock them flawlessly. It’s a very interesting novel, and I’d definitely recommend it to any Young Adult fans who are looking for something less commonly written but still altogether a great read!

This brings me to my second read of the summer- None of the Above, by I.W Gregorio. This most definitely was a unique and less commonly written story, and is about a girl named Kristin Lattimer who discovers that she is intersex, meaning she has male chromosomes, while still outwardly looking female. It was extremely compelling, one of those rare novels that you just Can’t Put Down. This is also the author’s debut, and I am much looking forward to any future works by her!

Did you notice the book that was out of place? Well of course you did! Four out of five of them are part of the YA genre, and this was going a complete different road indeed. Pride and Prejudice happened because I watched the movie with a friend (The 2005 one with Keira Knightley). I first read the classic in December, but as I watched the movie lots of scenes surprised me- I didn’t remember when this took place or that happened. I figured it was time to re-read P&P! I love how even in a time like today, people still are able to appreciate and read the work of someone long gone (i.e Jane Austen), where their legacy still remains. I just fell in love with the book and the writing all over again.

And now it’s Robyn Schneider time! I found about her newest book, Extraordinary Means, by my local bookstore, where they deemed it to be one of this summer’s “Hottest Teen Reads.” As I placed a hold on it at the library, I also added Schneider’s debut novel (She’s only published the two), The Beginning of Everything, to the list of holds. I’ve found out just by reading both of them that she writes with clever wit and humour. I would be smiling at parts, but also screaming at others, because her writing and plotline also evoked a very emotional response in me. I would cry out loud at certain moments, dreading for  something to happen, desperately hoping it wouldn’t… Yeah, I was that caught up in the story. So good!

I would strongly recommend all five of these to you, especially if you love the YA genre like I do, or love a good classic.

That’s all I have for you today, bookworms! Stay tuned for reviews on Mad Miss Mimic, and None of the Above!

Zoie ❤

The Reality Which is Life

I have always loved summer, because it meant so much free time to READ. But I found out the hard way that sometimes, summer vacation could also get in the way of reading, just because it has so many plans for you. So while I was hoping to read more books this month, I also don’t regret all the fun stuff I’ve done so far. While reading gives you an escape to immerse yourself in the life of someone else, living your own life can be pretty exciting too, such as trying new things to keep it interesting, or engaging yourself in old traditions that you love.

Okay, okay, I know. What am I saying? I’m a book-lover, completely pro-books. All for the usual excuses you make so that you can spend time reading instead of doing this or that. But you know what? I’m also a writer, or at least, hoping to become one. And I once heard an author say that if you have the chance to go on an adventure or write, always choose the adventure, because that will give you something to write about later. And it’s true- just this summer I’ve been inspired to write so many things! This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t put down my book for once and took a leap, into the place that is called reality.

What I guess I’m really trying to say is, don’t be afraid to shoot for an adventure, even if it means putting your reading aside. These books will always be there when you come back, will always be there to keep you company like any great novel should. But right now, it’s okay to venture out into the world, even if your outing is just going swimming with a friend, or having a barbeque with your family. There is so much you’ll miss if you have your nose stuck in a book all your life- all the precious memories, and the days you will never get back. It’s all about connecting, and reaching out to one another. Yes, books are a huge part of my life, a part I’m truly thankful for, but so are my family and friends, and the moments they give me when I give them back.

I hope you all have a great summer! Remember to enjoy all you are so privileged to receive these few months, and to cherish the company and life all around you.

Cheers to happy reading and wonderful adventures!

Zoie 🙂