Review: The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts

Title: The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts
Author: Avi
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

High adventure from a master storyteller about one boy’s attempt to fend for himself among cruel orphan masters, corrupt magistrates, and conniving thieves.

In the seaside town of Melcombe Regis, England, 1724, Oliver Cromwell Pitts wakes to find his father missing and his house flooded by a recent storm. He’s alone in his ruined home with no money and no food. Oliver’s father has left behind a barely legible waterlogged note: he’s gone to London, where Oliver’s sister, Charity, is in trouble. Exploring damage to the town in the storm’s aftermath, Oliver discovers a shipwreck on the beach. Removing anything from a wrecked ship is a hanging offense, but Oliver finds money that could save him, and he can’t resist the temptation to take it. When his crime is discovered, Oliver flees, following the trail of his father and sister. The journey is full of thieves, adventurers, and treachery–and London might be the most dangerous place of all.

In the tradition of his Newbery Honor book The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi mixes high adventure and short, page-turning chapters with a vivid historical setting featuring a cast of highwaymen, pickpockets, and villainous criminal masterminds.

Review:

This is an exciting, fast-paced story.

Oliver’s story starts out as a series of unfortunate events. His sister goes to London to find a better life, but it isn’t the life she thought it would be. Then his father disappears to go save his sister. Oliver is caught at a shipwreck, suspected of stealing, and then sent to a poorhouse. Then he has to travel to London with highwaymen who steal from carriages along the way.

This story was very fast-paced. Oliver never stayed in one place for very long, so the setting was always changing. He met many different people throughout the story and most of them were connected in some way.

I liked the ending of the story. There was a lot of tension while Oliver was in London! I’m excited to see where the story goes in the next book, The End of the World and Beyond.

What to read next:

The End of the World and Beyond by Avi

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Have you read The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – January 28

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Come Find Me by Megan Miranda.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – January 27

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Six for Sunday – Bookish Hates

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Bookish Hates. Here is a list of characters that I hate:

1. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

2. Queen Levana (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)

3. Lukas Grey (The Black Witch Chronicles by Laurie Forest)

4. Count Olaf (A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket)

5. The Darkling (The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo)

6. Maria de Silva (The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot)

Did you write a #SixforSunday post? What was your list of Bookish Hates?

Sundays in Bed With… The Dead Queens Club

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Mean Girls meets The Tudors in Hannah Capin’s The Dead Queens Club, a clever contemporary YA retelling of Henry VIII and his wives (or, in this case, his high school girlfriends). Told from the perspective of Annie Marck (“Cleves”), a 17-year-old aspiring journalist from Cleveland who meets Henry at summer camp, The Dead Queens Club is a fun, snarky read that provides great historical detail in an accessible way for teens while giving the infamous tale of Henry VIII its own unique spin.

What do a future ambassador, an overly ambitious Francophile, a hospital-volunteering Girl Scout, the new girl from Cleveland, the junior cheer captain, and the vice president of the debate club have in common? It sounds like the ridiculously long lead-up to an astoundingly absurd punchline, right? Except it’s not. Well, unless my life is the joke, which is kind of starting to look like a possibility given how beyond soap opera it’s been since I moved to Lancaster. But anyway, here’s your answer: we’ve all had the questionable privilege of going out with Lancaster High School’s de facto king. Otherwise known as my best friend. Otherwise known as the reason I’ve already helped steal a car, a jet ski, and one hundred spray-painted water bottles when it’s not even Christmas break yet. Otherwise known as Henry. Jersey number 8.

Meet Cleves. Girlfriend number four and the narrator of The Dead Queens Club, a young adult retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives. Cleves is the only girlfriend to come out of her relationship with Henry unscathed—but most breakups are messy, right? And sometimes tragic accidents happen…twice…

What book are you in bed with today?

Review: The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce #10)

Title: The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce #10)
Author: Alan Bradley
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s sister Ophelia is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. “A church is a wonderful place for a wedding,” muses Flavia, “surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at the altar.” 

Flavia is not your normal twelve-year-old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of poisons, she has solved many mysteries, sharpening her considerable detection skills to the point where she had little choice but to turn professional. So Flavia and dependable Dogger, estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire, set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve—not so simple an endeavor with her odious little moon-faced cousin, Undine, constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home, beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s wedding cake: a human finger.

Review:

I didn’t know what to expect from this book, since it’s the 10th in a series and I haven’t read any of the others. It was so good! The Boston Globe described Flavia as Eloise meets Sherlock Holmes, and I think that’s a perfect description of her.

Flavia is a great character. She’s a twelve-year-old who loves chemistry and solving crime. Along with her family’s butler, Dogger, she sets out on solving murders. Though Flavia is mature since she is solving the crimes in her small English town, she is still a kid. She personifies her bicycle, called Gladys. That gives her an innocence and reinforces the fact that she’s still a little girl. Though she’s a child, the subject of this book is for adults, not kids.

The ending of the story was good. Some clues were left unsolved, however I think this makes it realistic rather than unfinished. In real life, not every clue will lead to the solution, so I think this is reflected in the end of this mystery.

I loved this book and I will definitely read more books in this series!

What to read next:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley

The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce #9) by Alan Bradley

Have you read The Golden Tresses of the Dead? What did you think of it?

Stacking the Shelves – January 26

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I was approved for 2 books on NetGalley from Harlequin TEEN:

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

Corpse and Crown by Alisa Kwitney

I was approved for one book from Second Story Press:

The Mozart Girl by Barbara Nickel

Thank you Harlequin TEEN and Second Story Press for these books!

What books did you get this week?