Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin // The Grandmother of Europe as a Teen

victoriaSeries: Standalone

Publication: November 22nd, 2016 by St. Martin Press

Source: I received an ARC copy from the publisher via Netgalley. Thank you!

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Victoria. The name will bring forth images for anyone who hears it. Maybe you think of the time period and its notable restrictive fashion. Maybe you think of the state in Australia or the city in Canada bearing the name. And maybe you think of the queen who, up until recently, was Britain’s longest reigning monarch.

This is the story of how a fifth-in-line-to-the-throne, determined, independent, strong-willed girl of eighteen became the Queen of England. Alexandrina Victoria may have led a quiet, suppressed life before coming to the throne, but she lived a vibrant life when she gained her freedom. Daisy Goodwin is known for her historical fiction writing full of emotion, history, and vulnerable characters. And Victoria is no exception.

While people are probably more familiar with “the Grandmother of Europe” that was known for her harsh treatment of her children and her undying love, even in death, to her husband, Victoria was once just a girl trying to figure out how to rule a country with no training or background. Goodwin follows Victoria’s beginning years as queen from her blunders through her Coronation to the infamous “Bedchamber Crisis” to her refusal to work with any prime minister but Lord Melbourne—or should I say Lord M.

I loved this book! I think it can be challenging to write historical fiction about a prominent figure in history. Authors have real life events that they have to follow while imagining what was going on behind the scenes and also trying to stay true to what is known about their character. I am American and know very little about British history so I have no opinion on how accurate this portrayal of Queen Victoria might be, but I can attest to how engaging it was to read. I found Victoria to be likeable and relatable from her running down the stairs as her first defiance to her mother to her refusal to change her ladies-in-waiting as her plan to keep Lord M on as her prime minister. It was also quite funny to read as Victoria protested repeatedly about ever considering to marry Albert when everyone already knows what happened in history and how desperately she fell for him and loved him. Though a tad slow at times for my tastes, I vastly enjoyed reading this and will continue to be a fan of Goodwin’s books.

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Have YOU read this book? Have you seen the TV show that Daisy Goodwin wrote the screenplay for? Have an interest in Queen Victoria? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

Look Away! Look Away! A Series of Unfortunate Events Has Been Renewed!

A couple days ago I posted a picture on my Bookstagram of my A Series of Unfortunate Events books. I have all of them. And The Beatrice Letters. And Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography. And Horseradish. You can probably tell that I am a huge fan of the series. But besides that, the question is: AM I PSYCHIC?! Because today, guess what popped up on my Twitter feed:

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They’ve announced that the Netflix show has been renewed for a second season! From the articles that I’ve read, most authors seem to be surprised that it was renewed. But if you read the reviews that are up on Netflix’s website (mine is among them!), you will see that the show was pretty well-received and widely liked, especially by those who have read the books. But even those who haven’t read the books, like one of my coworkers, enjoyed the show.

I certainly liked season one! I loved that the series continued past what the movie gave us and was able to fit in two episodes covering The Miserable Mill. I also really like the kids that they got to play the Baudelaires. I think Malina Weissman is an excellent Violet and is exactly what I pictured Violet looking like when I read the books as a child. I think the entire cast has been amazing so far (except, let’s be real, the animations on Sunny are just a bit creepy)! I also have to fight the urge to laugh whenever Kronk shows up trying to be serious and reprimand us for watching the show. And can we just talk about the giant troll they pulled on us with the parents!!!

Suffice it to say that I am so excited that Netflix listened to the viewers who spoke up and asked for a second season. This entire series deserves to be put into film! The books are amazing with so much creativity, humor, and mysteriousness laced throughout them. The Austere Academy has always been my favorite out of the series and I cannot wait to see what the show will do with it now that it has the chance!

Check out the announcement trailer for yourself. You just might receive a secret message!

My Transition to WordPress

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Hey guys!

First of all, welcome to my new blog! Whether you’ve been with me for a while or you’ve just stumbled onto my little corner of the Internet, thank you for checking out my blog and making this transition with me. Previously, I hosted a book blog on the Blogger platform. I’ve owned that blog for over a year and a half and I’ve posted book reviews on it fairly regularly. If you’ve visited that blog before, you know that I’ve customized my layout quite a bit over the time that I’ve had it. So why the change to WordPress?

Firstly, my tastes have changed since I first made that blog and I no longer love the template or customizations I made. I unfortunately am not well-versed in HTML by any means and severely struggled trying to find something that looked remotely the way I wanted my blog to look in my head. Often I found that templates didn’t contain all the features they claimed when finding one through search engines and I just didn’t have the drive or energy to try to make a template work and to undo my customizations. If you’ve ever used Blogger before, you’d understand how much work goes into the sidebar, the fonts, the background, the links, and so much more. It’s not easy to strip it down just as it isn’t easy to put together if you are an average computer user. WordPress had a few templates available for free that immediately appealed to me that I knew I could make work for me.

Secondly, I wanted a fresh start. Just as my aesthetic tastes had changed, the way that I wanted to format my reviews changed. I obviously have a standard format that I will still be using since that is almost universal among the book blogging community; however, I’m going to be making more diverse posts than I did before. I used to only post strict book reviews that looked the same for every post. Part of that, if not all of it, is due to me being a perfectionist. I’m trying to branch out and grow out of that a bit with this new blog. I plan to post discussions, make more graphics, show my personality a little more, and be a better blogger.

Thirdly is that I find WordPress to be better with connecting the blogging community. I often found it hard to find other book bloggers using the Blogger platform instead of Googling or hearing a BookTuber mention their blog. I think part of this is due to Blogger not being updated as frequently as WordPress is. Blogger also isn’t always functional on every Internet browser which I think is also due to lack of updating. Some gadgets (widgets) I had to remove from my blog because they would vibrate on the screen in certain browsers. I also liked that WordPress allows me to link my social media accounts easily to inform followers when I’ve made a new post. If Blogger had this option, I certainly didn’t know it or make use of it.

And lastly is that I hate Google+. I’m not sure if anyone outside of the business world really likes it. I hated when I had to make my YouTube account into a Google+ account. I find that nobody truly utilizes it and instead just has an account because they want to watch YouTube videos. Blogger is part of the Google empire. They did still allow users to run their blogs through the Blogger account but some features are only available if you link your Google+ account. No thanks.

I will not be removing my book blog from Blogger. Meganpegasus.blogspot.com will always still be available since I have no plans to transfer old reviews to this platform. I’m also not going to transfer my review archive. The archive on this blog will only be used for posts on this platform. Please follow this blog if you’d like to keep seeing my book reviews. If you’ve just stumbled upon my blog, feel free to check out my old blog to see what my reviews are like and consider supporting this one.

I’ve also recently joined Bloglovin’ and I am in love with the ease and convenience of it. If you are an avid blog reader, I definitely suggest to make an account. It allows you to follow blogs of all platforms and puts them in an easy-to-read format. If you’d like to follow me on Bloglovin’, just tap that button down below and if you want to follow this blog through the site, just tap the button you see in the sidebar.

Thanks for sticking with me through this long post and keep adventuring!

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