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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Review: A Golden Web

A Golden Web (ARC) by Barabara Quick
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 6, 2010
Pages: 272
Age Level: 13+

Alessandra is desperate to escape—from her stepmother, who’s locked her away for a year; from the cloister that awaits her if she refuses the marriage plans that have been made for her; from the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy. There’s no tolerance in her village for her keen intelligence and her unconventional ideas.

In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equaled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee—and an enduring fame.

In this exquisite imagining of the centuries-old story of Alessandra Giliani, the world’s first female anatomist, distinguished novelist Barbara Quick gives readers the drama, romance, and rich historical detail for which she is known as she shines a light on an unforgotten—and unforgettable—heroine.

A Golden Web is the imaginative, captivating, and unforgettable debut novel for young adults from established historical fiction author, Barbara Quick.

Alessandra is a girl full of intelligence, curiosity, and determination, characteristics unheard of in a girl of her era. She dreads being married and yearns to study medicine at the University, but to do so would provoke the accusations of being a witch. Alessandra was such a strong and brave heroine that it was impossible for me to not fall in love with her character. As mentioned in the Author's Notes, whether or not Alessandra was an actual person is a highly debatable topic. I must say though, after reading A Golden Web, I can't help but hope that such an admirable young lady really did exist. If modern 'role models' were more like her, the world would be such a better place.

The other characters weren't quite as thoroughly developed as Alessandra but for some reason this didn't bother me and it actually seemed to work. At times the relationship between Alessandra and Otto seemed to advance to quickly but then I would remember that this book spans over approximately seven years.

A Golden Web was rich in historical detail, helping to form a vivid image of the setting in my mind. To me it seemed to read like an older, classic work of literature in both context and dialogue. This made it clear that Quick had done her research, an aspect that I loved about this book for its added authenticity to the story. Though it took a few pages to get used to the way this book was written, once I did I found myself sucked into Alessandra's life to the point of no return, leaving me completely compelled to keep the pages turning.

The ending, I'll confess, threw me for a bit of a loop. However it was very realistic and I applaud Quick for giving this book the ending that she did. I loved reading the insightful Author's Notes included at the end.

A Golden Web is an impressive and utterly brilliant work of historical literature that should not be missed! Whether you are in middle school, high school, or are an an adult, I highly recommend this book to you. I can not wait to get my hands on a finished copy so I can make this wonderful story a part of my permanent collection of books to re-read throughout the years to come.

Characters: B
Writing: B+
Plot: A-
Ending: B+
Enjoyment/Likability: A
Recommendable: A-

Overall: B+/A-

Cover: A-


Aubrey said...

Oh this sounds fabulous! Thanks for the review!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

very nice review. I don't think i've heard of this one before. it sounds like something my sister would love. she's a history major and loves all things historical for the most part.


Briana said...

This sounds really great! I'm glad you liked it, good review :)


Alaine said...

Great review Brianna, will buy this one when it's released!

Alaine said...

PS I just love your blog, I think it's one of the prettiest blogs in blogland!

Sarah said...

Great review! I have a particular love for historical fiction books. Glad that A Golden Web doesn't disappoint. I'll be looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the review! :D

Emma said...

Gorgeous review! You've piqued my interest!

Jason said...

You really do have a great blog here. I have a blog myself which brings inspiration and guidance to people all around the world. Life is hard enough, and I hope my site can contribute anything positive to someone's day.

I'd like to exchange links with you to help spread some traffic around between each other. Please let me know if this is possible. Until then, keep up the good work.


Barbara Quick said...

Such a beautiful review of my novel, Briana! Please read my tribute to YA book bloggers...

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf said...

Wonderful review! This one sounds intriguing :)

Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews said...

Sounds like you really liked it!

Eternal Night said...

I love your review. I am not a big fan of Historal Fiction books but your review was so great i want to read this book.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Great review! I love historical fiction, and Alessandra sounds like the perfect strong, relateable heroine. I also give huge rounds of applause to all authors who put so much research into their books, and if I don't win A Golden Web, I'll definitely have to go out and buy it! :D

Kelly said...

This is a great review, Briana! I will have to add this title to my TBR list. Thanks so much! :D

Anonymous said...

Oooh, historical fiction. That's something new for me indeed.
The part you said about some of the characters not being so developed worries me. But you still gave the book a good rating, so it must be worthwhile!

Nancye said...

This sounds like a well-written YA Historical fiction novel. From your review, I think I would enjoy reading this book. I appreciate your honesty in telling what you liked and didn't like.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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