If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

I’m mixed on this book. I liked some parts of it and other parts I could do without. It just didn’t feel as developed as it could have been.

Gurtler wrote a book about issues that need to be addressed, but I feel like some of them were put in the book to make the characters flawed and dysfunctional, instead of actually serving a higher purpose. This book dealt with racism, prejudice and the ability to forgive others, and all these other issues just seemed a bit too much. I can understand not writing perfect characters, but to add so many heavy issues in a book already about a tough subject just seemed a little over the top. It made it hard for me to feel for the characters.

This wasn’t a bad read; there was just way too much happening in it. It made it difficult to connect with any of the characters and it’s hard for me to fully enjoy a book I can’t connect with. However, I do believe this is a book other people can find themselves in and don’t discourage anyone from reading it if the premise interests you.

Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey

While there wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with this novel, I just couldn’t get into it. As someone who greatly enjoys history, I usually know quite a bit about the people typically written about. What I find most enjoyable is when those facts are told through new and interesting ways, and there wasn’t much of that in this book.

It seemed very, “and then this happened, then this and then this followed,” without really building up the story. It felt more like a biography than a novel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it just wasn’t what I was looking for.

This book was a very well-written, factually correct book about the earlier years of Marie Antoinette, but if you’re looking for something on Marie that reads more as a novel, I’d consider something else.