Size Doesn’t Matter (18): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (18): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerAlong the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
Length: 15 hrs, 43 mins
Series: Schuyler Sisters #3
Published by Penguin Audio on November 3, 2015
Genres: Historical, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Each of the three Schuyler sisters has her own world-class problems, but in the autumn of 1966, Pepper Schuyler's problems are in a class of their own. When Pepper fixes up a beautiful and rare vintage Mercedes and sells it at auction, she thinks she's finally found a way to take care of herself and the baby she carries, the result of an affair with a married, legendary politician.

But the car's new owner turns out to have secrets of her own, and as the glamorous and mysterious Annabelle Dommerich takes pregnant Pepper under her wing, the startling provenance of this car comes to light: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades. As the many threads of Annabelle's life from World War II stretch out to entangle Pepper in 1960s America, and the father of her unborn baby tracks her down to a remote town in coastal Georgia, the two women must come together to face down the shadows of their complicated pasts.

Indomitable heroines, a dazzling world of secrets, champagne at the Paris Ritz, and a sweeping love story for the ages, in New York Times bestselling author Beatriz William's final book about the Schuyler sisters.

Along the Infinite Sea is my third Beatriz Williams novel. I don’t come into them expecting something to blow my mind, but the previous two were fun historical romances with really well done audiobooks. They’re not the kind of books that really stick with me but which I really enjoy at the time, which is sometimes just what you need; I actually couldn’t remember that I’d read The Secret Life of Violet Grant, which says how much I don’t remember.

Along the Inifinite Sea will be the most memorable of the Williams novels that I’ve read, but unfortunately that’s not for a good reason. This novel ventured into dangerous, problematic waters. It is still very entertaining, so, if you enjoy Williams’ work, you’ll probably have fun with it as I did.

However, the whole novel centers on a love triangle. That, in and of itself, isn’t outside the norm for Williams. This love triangle, though, consisted of a young French woman, Annabelle, choosing between Stefan, a Jew, and Johann, a German General, in the years 1936-1938. Annabelle love Stefan, but, left pregnant and alone, unsure if he will really come back for her like he said (given that he failed to mention that he was married), Annabelle marries Johann Von Kleist.  Johann doesn’t blame her for the pregnancy and takes the as-yet-unborn child to heart as his own.

To cut a lot of the drama, here’s the meat of the thing. Stefan and Johann have been nemeses even before Annabelle. She loves Stefan, but Johann has been good to her. She changes her mind regularly, allowing the reader to be left in suspense to who she actually moved to America with, as revealed in the 1960s plot.

There’s a lot of historical stuff at work here. I think Along the Infinite Sea says the right things, but doesn’t necessarily do the right things. I mean, the love triangle between the Jew and the man high in the party is in bad taste to start with. The good is Annabelle consistently taking the people in her family to task if she hears anything anti-semetic and that she refused to live in Germany. Johann’s characterized as a guy who doesn’t believe in it but doesn’t really think it’s a big deal, which she also criticizes him for heavily. The bad is that View Spoiler »

Aside from that, it was just disappointing that, though this purported to be Pepper’s story, it’s really Annabelle’s. Frankly, I like Pepper more, and, for obvious reasons, was way more into her story line. Obviously, this book wasn’t ideal for me anyway among Williams’ considering that both plots were about pregnant women.

Size Doesn’t Matter (18): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #4
Published by Scholastic on July 8, 2000
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 734
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can't wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and there are spells to be learnt and (unluckily) Potions and Divination lessons to be attended. But Harry can't know that the atmosphere is darkening around him, and his worst enemy is preparing a fate that it seems will be inescapable ...With characteristic wit, fast-paced humour and marvellous emotional depth, J.K. Rowling has proved herself yet again to be a master story-teller.

Historically, Goblet of Fire hasn’t been my favorite Harry Potter book, and that does remain true. I still think Prisoner of Azkaban is much better because Lupin. I mean Siriusly.

BUT obviously GOF is fun and it’s where the stakes get raised. The death toll’s not playing around anymore and yasssss. Except also no, because I know what happens in book five. MY BODY IS NOT READY.

So anyway, the list of GOF highlights for me:

  • Weasley’s Wizard Weezes – go twins go! who says jokes can’t be a career!
  • The Hermione-Ron ship is going full steam.
  • Sassy Hermione already has a date. Haters gonna feel really embarrassed.
  • Krum going to the library because he has a crush on the bushy-haired girl. So cute!
  • Herm-own-ninny.
  • Hermione vs. Rita Skeeter.
  • Padfoot’s reappearance.
  • Harry’s inability to do things without assistance. Harry’s smarter than Percy Jackson, but, left to his own devices, he’s really bad at things. See: mermaid trial. He doesn’t accomplish anything without help in this book, and I actually think that’s a strength. It’s all about Harry Potter, sure, but, while he is the chosen one, he also can’t do much. The chosen one would lose so hard without help from his friends. And sometimes accidental help from his enemies.

I am so scared about the next part of my reread because shit’s about to get real. I didn’t actually care about the people who died in GOF. Oh god. Also, I don’t have the last three books basically memorized. Oh the pain about to come.


4 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (18): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger”

  1. Hannah says:

    Harry Potter #3 is definitely one of my faves of the series. Sirius + Lupin = <3. (Also, I see what you did there. *beady eyes*)

    PS Also, your first review – if that's what you consider a mini one… 😛
    Hannah recently posted…Review: Furiously Happy – Jenny LawsonMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      lol, a Lupin/Sirius shipper. I’ve never really been on that ship but I’m definitely not opposed.

      Well, sometimes I stretch the mini a little because I don’t feel like doing a full length review of something. I spend a bit time less writing these and they’re not comprehensive necessarily.

  2. I won a Beatriz Williams book from Penguin on twitter and it never arrived, despite multiple inquiries. Ergo, I have not yet read one of her books haha. This doesn’t sound like the place to start…. also your spoiler isn’t behind a spoiler cut, if that’s what you intended! (I was going to click anyway hehe).

    Goblet isn’t one of my favorites either but there’s a lot packed in there! The first sneaky mention of the Room of Requirement! I also love everything you listed about it. And I loved that Ginny kept her word to go to the ball with Neville even though her mega crush asked her afterward. You go, Ginny Weasley. The climax of the book is pretty stunning even if the death didn’t hit me super hard either. AHHHHH you are in for a treat!!! Half Blood Prince might be my favorite book of the series. That or Azkaban. They’re tied for 1st place. This makes me want to finish my reread, I’m on GoF myself 🙂

    • Christina Franke says:

      Every so often I mess up my spoiler code. *fixes*

      Yesss, I did notice the Room of Requirement mention this time. It’s nice getting to see how she layered things in. SO MUCH PLANNING.

      Ginny Weasley is fabulous. I’m halfway through five and she’s sassy weasley now and YASSSS.

      Continue your reread! It’s an excellent life choice. 🙂

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