Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris


A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
Book Two of the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

What I Liked:

You all know I have sequel terror, right? No? Well, I'm totally afraid of sequels. First books in a brand-new series? Bring it on. Sequels? Not so much. Sequels terrify me for so many reasons: what if I wasn't wild about book one? What if I don't remember most of books one? What if the sequel sucks, and is one of those sophomore slump novels? What if, like most sequels, the sequel ends in a heartbreaking cliffhanger? Should I just wait for the third book (assuming it's a trilogy)? That's actually what I've been doing recently... waiting for the series to finish, then binge reading.

Well, I am thrilled to say that this book did not fall victim to the sophomore/sequel slump! I loved this book - maybe not as much as I loved My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century - but I loved this one nonetheless. Ms. Harris does an excellent job of bringing us back into the series, but keeping us interested in an entirely different world.

Alessandra - "Less" - has been brought to Cat's world, the modern world of Hollywood. The beginning of the novel starts with Less in sixteenth-century Italy. Something absolutely heartbreaking happens, and eventually, Less finds her way to Reyna, and appears in Cat's world. The thing is, in Less's sixteenth-century world, it has been two years since Cat arrived, making Less sixteen. But when Less arrives in Cat's world, to Cat, it's only been two months. So, they're the same age.

In my opinion, Less assimilates beautifully. It is HILARIOUS to watch a girl from the sixteenth century try and become a modern girl. She has to learn to dress herself, to wear more revealing clothing (oh, the thong scene), to go to high school, to avoid falling in love with hot, temperamental boys...

Less is really into acting, if you remember from the first book. She lands the part of Juliet in this play, opposite another swoonworthy guy that doesn't stand a chance. But that's basically what this book is about: Less assimilating, Less going to high school Less hanging out with Austin, Less matchmaking (I'll explain), and Less acting in the play.

I love how Less tried her hand at matchmaking - basically forcing Cat and Lucas together. Cat and Lucas already wanted to be together - especially Lucas - but Cat was scared of being with him, because of her Hollywood status. Thanks to a few nudges from Less, they do start building a more intimate relationship. YAY for that!

Less and Austin is the romance of the story, and I love the two of them together. Austin is temperamental and moody, but he genuinely tries to help Less with high school and work and surfing (oh my gosh...) and the play. He hangs out with her, and eventually, the two of them grow to care about each other. I love them together!

This book has a fantastic ending! I had a feeling it would end the way it did. But Ms. Harris spun this story beautifully, and you could only feel that the ending is perfect, especially for Less. I'm very happy with this book!

What I Did Not Like:

Hmmm, I liked basically everything about this book, because it was an all-around good book. But I feel like it was a tad predictable, in the plot, the romance, the ending... maybe that's just me though. When a new scene unfolded, I knew exactly where it would lead, and exactly how it would fit into the plot. This is nice, but I was never surprised. I like being surprised. Not being surprised can make a story... kind of boring. Not so with this book, but it could have been.

Would I Recommend It:

YES! You can read this book without reading the first book. But I recommend you read both! Ms. Harris's books are fantastic, and this book is no exception. Anyone can enjoy and love this series!

Rating:

4 stars. YAY for an awesome sequel! I can't wait to read the next book - back to Cat!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

54 comments:

  1. wow I'm terrified of sequels too! nice review :)

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  2. Lovely review dear! I haven't read any of her books but I can't wait to! :)

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  3. I'm reading this right now!!!! I'm so glad you liked it :D
    Jackie

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  4. Boo. I have yet to read the first book in this series! EVeryone said it was good though!

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  5. I have the first book in this series! Really can't wait to read it, since pretty much everyone already has ;) Love this cover <3

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    1. You'll love this series! And I do love the covers.

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  6. I'm stoked to read this book! Already read your review on Goodreads :)

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  7. This one and the first are both on my TBR as of...now!

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  8. AHHH I still need to read this series!! Been wanting to for forever!

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    1. The books... they are calling to you... ;)

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  9. Nice review! I'm going to read this... soon. :D

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  10. I'm really looking forward to this book. I've heard so many good things about Austin.

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  11. I haven't read either books in this series but I've heard everyone loves them so I should really give this series a try! And I'm glad this was a good sequel! I have the same sequel fear! :)

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    1. I hope you do! And yes - no sequel scariness!

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  12. I'm a stickler for order, so I'll need to read the first one before tackling this sequel. But I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I've read really promising reviews for it :)

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    1. Me too! Hope you get to read both soon, Vivien!

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  13. Loved this book!!!!! Austin is swoon-worthy, and poor Alessandra is so clueless in the begining!

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  14. I like how thoroughly you assess the story

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  15. I'm even more excited to read this now that you've allayed my second book fears :) I'm totally with you on waiting to start reading until a series is finished. But that's more because I'm impatient and I want to finish it rightnow than anything else lol

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    1. RIGHT?! I love when someone tells me a sequel is amazing. Go go go!

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  16. This didn't really seem like a book I would want to read, but after reading about how much you and Ensconced in YA loved it, I think I'm gonna have to give it a try~

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  17. Loved your review! I agree--sequels are really terrifying, especially if the first book was amazing. I really need to read this series! :)

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    1. I always feel like book two will let me down... this book two didn't!

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  18. Glad to know that I should buy both for my classroom !

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  19. I didn't know this was a sequel, but I've been hearing TONS about it and now I just.. *GRABBY HANDS* I need it in my life! xD It sounds like a good mix of different genres :)

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    1. It's like, a companion, sort-of sequel. Mixed genres work in this case!

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  20. Yes! Yes to everything about this review. I loved Less, and seeing her assimilate into the modern world was hysterical! The thong scene was great, haha! But also, when she thought Hooters was an owl shop?? Loved!!! Great review!

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    1. Oooo, yes, Hooters ;) POOR LESS! Though I would be the same if that happened to me. Thank you, Meredith!

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  21. Sometimes I've never heard of the first book in a series, but am introduced to the 2nd one. And when the 2nd one sounds interesting and one I'd like to read, I begin to wonder if I *have to* read the first one first. Well, your review of A Tale of Two Centuries has answered that for me -- I don't need to read the first one before reading this one. But your review has also encouraged me to look for and eventually read BOTH books.

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    1. YAY! That's so awesome to hear! I'm glad that you will consider reading both books - and I hope you love them if you do! You can't go wrong with Rachel's books. Thank you, Donna!

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  22. I have a lot of the same concerns you have when it comes to sequels: forgetting things from book one, the sophomore curse and (in trilogies) cliffhanger fears. But this book was AMAZING. I love the way Less assimilates, too, and that thong scene was hysterical! I cracked up so much, I had to read it again because I didn't take it all in the first time! And Austin... Oohhhh *Swoons!* And... I'll let you in on a little secret: I still haven't read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century.. *Cringes* But AToTC was amazing and I didn't feel confused at all!

    I agree it was a little predictable, but it was so good overall that I didn't mind.

    Great review!

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    1. Cliffhangers are probably my least favorite, of those you mentioned. But no worries for you, since you have not read book one! I hope you do sometime. This is more of a companion series than anything, so it should make sense.

      Thank you!

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