Book Group–Meet Cecile!

It’s that time again, and this month we are going to talk about Meet Cecile.  This book is unique because it’s one of the few situations where one of the BeForever/Historical friends actually had a good bit of a story revolve around her instead of just the main character.  Yes, Julie had Ivy, Samantha had Nelly and some of the other girls had friends, but I don’t think any of them were given quite the prominence as Cecile.  I’m still sad that these girls are gone from the American Girl line too because they were both such great characters.

I was very excited to read this book as I absolutely loved Meet Marie-Grace.  What I didn’t realize is Meet Cecile was not written by the same person!!  I was surprised to learn that, but the story didn’t suffer because of it.

Meet Cecile has it’s similarities to Meet Marie-Grace in it’s setting and some of the places discussed such as the Marketplace, the place where both girls take their music lessons and some of the others, but overall, the book has a very different feel to it.  I love the use of many French words, I took several years of French in school and it was fun to see how much of it I remembered.

The family dynamic is totally different for Cecile too, she comes from a busy household with several servants and a brother who is away in Paris.  The two stories come together though with the tale of the adventure the girls have at the Children’s Ball, but told from a different perspective.  There doesn’t seem to be quite as much about the developing friendship between the two girls though, much more of Meet Cecile is devoted to her family preparing for her brother to come home from Paris.  There is also an antagonistic character, but much like the one in Meet Marie-Grace, it’s very fleeting, not like some of the ones in other books.

Meet Cecile also goes into a lot of detail about the Free People Of Color with a very interesting part of the story devoted to it, as well as a whole section in the back of the book that explains more about it.  I think this is something very relevant to what is going on in our world today, and I’m very glad that someone thought it needed discussing when they worked on the concept for these books.

Overall, I liked Meet Cecile, not quite as much as Meet Marie-Grace though.  I do have the rest of the series and will be reading it eventually.  If anyone would be interested in continuing with these books for book group later on, please let me know in the comments!

What did you think of Meet Cecile?

The book for February will be Grace, March will be Meet Felicity.  I hope everyone can get their hands on these before then and participate in the discussion!

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Happy New Year and Book Group Reminder!

It’s here, it’s 2018!!!!  Anyone else super excited????  I always look forward to the New Year as it’s a time to think about what I did and didn’t do the year before and how I want to make changes for the coming year.  It’s a clean slate, new ideas and hope for the year ahead.  2017 was a combination of good things and bad things for me, so my sincere hope is to put the bad behind me and only move forward with the good.  Fingers crossed!

Just wanted to quickly remind everyone about book group on January 15th, we will be reading “Meet Cecile” this month.  I’m really looking forward to this, I haven’t read it as of this moment, but I absolutely loved “Meet Marie-Grace”, so I’m hoping this story from another view point is every bit as good.  I hope everyone who wants to participate has been able to get their hands on a copy, I ended up buying the whole Marie-Grace/Cecile collection off Ebay a few months ago.

Happy New Year!!!

November Book Group–“Aloha Kanani”

Hello everyone!  I can’t believe we are to the last Book Group get together for the year already, where did the time go?  I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed “Aloha Kanani”!

I can say that so far, this is probably my favorite of all of the Girl Of The Year Books we’ve talked about.  I thought that it was a very well written book without some of the issues that bothered me with some of the previous ones we’ve discussed.

The set up for the story is very well done, and you can get a real feel for Kanani’s surroundings.  From the description of her room to the Akina’s store, I found it very easy to visualize in my mind.  The additional characters really rounded out the story, I especially enjoyed her aunties who came to the store with their daily goodies for Kanani to try!  As someone who grew up with a number of older relatives and family friends constantly around, I thought it was terrific that these characters were included and how they were presented.  The combination of the generations along with the tidbits of Hawaiian tradition were so well done and I found myself smiling the whole time I was reading the book.

There is a bit of conflict, but it’s more a case of misunderstanding instead of outright meanness.  There isn’t a villain or nasty person in this book, just two girls who come from completely different worlds not quite seeing things from the same way.  I also loved the part about the baby seal, it not only added a lot to the story, but also was a great lesson in how we shouldn’t interfere with wild animals if we don’t know what we are doing.  Especially timely given some stories that have recently hit the news with people thinking they are helping wildlife but in fact are doing more damage than good.

I’m not going to say much more because I don’t want to give too much away.  Just that I liked this book way more than I expected to and I’m going to look for the second one now!  That said, another thing I liked about it is the book is quite capable of standing alone without leaving the reader wondering what happens in the future books.  It’s a good story that does a very good job of telling the story with all of the necessary elements and having a true resolution at the end.

Did you like it?

Book group will resume in January once the holidays are over with.  January book will be “Meet Cecile” and February will be “Grace”.  The entire series of Grace Thomas books are still available on American Girl, so you have plenty of time to pick it up and read it between now and then!