Sunday, August 11, 2013

Review: A Tale of Two Centuries (Harris)

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AUTHOR: Rachel Harris
SERIES: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, book 2
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
PUBLICATION DATE: August 6, 2013
ISBN: 9781622660124
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: purchased Nook edition
GENRE: chick lit/romance
GIVE IT TO: upper-MS, HS
SUMMARY: Two years after her cousin Cat left the 16th Century to return to modern-day Hollywood, 16-year old Alessandra finds herself on her own gypsy adventure. Pulled out of Renaissance Italy and onto Cat's front doorstep, Less is terrified but ready to get a glimpse of life as a 21st Century teenage girl.

REVIEW: Boy, am I on a roll with my books lately! The last four or five books I've read have been absolutely fantastic, and A Tale of Two Centuries is no exception. I read this one in one sitting! While for me, it isn't as cute as the first one, I appreciate that these are two separate stories and that Alessandra's story is not the same as Cat's.

There are a LOT of funny moments concerning the way Alessandra reacts to the modern world's clothing, noise, transportation, water, slang, etc. It would be kind of hard to find clothes in Hollywood that do not expose ankles and elbows!

I also enjoyed seeing Cat's struggles with Lucas. That plotline was introduced at the very end of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, so it didn't have time to develop. Cat's heart is clearly broken, and I love watching her conflicting emotions about moving on after Lorenzo.

The romance is swoon-worthy once again, though I didn't love Austin as much as I loved Lorenzo for some reason. Less and Austin are great together though! Without a doubt, Rachel Harris is a master at writing romantic scenes that will make readers feel weak in the knees. She creates intense chemistry between the characters, even though in these two books, they go no farther than kissing. Her male leads are exactly what teen girls want to read about: strong-willed, devastatingly hot, and head-over-heels in love with their girls.

So there is going to be a third book in this series, but I have no clue who that might be about. Kendal, maybe? She seems like a very sad person who needs her own gypsy adventure. Or maybe Reyna will bring Cipriano to the present? In all the historical research the characters do, there is no mention of what happened to Cipriano. Or maybe Kendal and Cipriano could get together somehow? No matter, I know I'll be reading #3 as soon as I can get my hands on it!

THE BOTTOM LINE: A fun adventure story with plenty of swoon-worthy romance, A Tale of Two Centuries will be a hit with readers who loved the first one. It is probably not necessary to read these two books in order, but I recommend that if you can read them in order, you should. It will give you a better grasp on Cat's character and her conflicting emotions about Lucas, which is a big part of this story.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order.

READALIKES: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (Harris), Time Between Us (Stone), Smart Girls Get What They Want (Strohmeyer)

THEMES: being true to yourself, standing up for yourself, facing one's fears, following your heart, close sibling relationships

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

CONTENT:
  • Language: mild--damn, ass, bitch and the like--used sparingly
  • Sexuality: mild-medium--kissing, French kissing, holding hands, some mild innuendo, older man makes a pass at teen girl
  • Violence: mild; two girls nearly fight, some mean girl bullying
  • Drugs/Alcohol: medium-high--character steals alcohol and gets very drunk in one scene--realizes consequences and does not do it again
  • Social issues: absent parenting, mean girls

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