Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Born of Persusasion By Jessica Dotta Book Review

17703150// Born of Persuasion //

The Price of Privilege Trilogy // Book 1 

By Jessica Dotta
{Reviews By Bethany & Madi}

Title: Born of Persuasion
Series: Price of Privilege Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Jessica Dotta
Source: Review Book from the Publisher and Author
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 1414375557
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: September 1st, 2013
Bethany's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Madi's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

// Book Description //
 "The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly."

// Bethany's Book Review //
Jessica Dotta has written a page turning debut novel, that is sure to capture the reader and take them back in time to the ever-charming world of Jane Austen. I, for one, think this is the most sound and strong debut novel I've ever read and eagerly await with much anticipation the second installment in the trilogy, which is to be released next summer!
Born of Persuasion is a very thrilling ride back in time, full of unexpected twists and turns and sometimes even full "U" turns you had no notice of until it happened! I loved so many things about this book, but the biggest thing was probably the writing style that just fitted so elegantly with the time period and story line - which was absolutely splendid by the way. When I first began to read this novel I was in awe of what wonderful writing Jessica used to describe this story, and I just loved the writing style! Oh. My. Goodness. How do I even go about describing it? It was so different from anything I've ever read - but in such a good way! It reminded me so much of Jane Austen but minus the boring-ness of constant unimportant details that clog up the story line without enough detail about the characters and setting, which I've personally though of Jane Austen's work. {Which is just a personal preference of Austen's novels, in my personal opinion of experience when reading Sense and Sensibility some time ago. Though it's been some times since I sat down and read any of her works, so my opinion could have since then altered.}
I loved the way she would described things, or bring back a faint memory from the past and compare it to the characters feelings at that moment, or how she would compare things to a characters feelings in such a unique way that makes you sure to not forget the line - every aspect of this author's enchanting writing style just added tremendously to the story, and made it bright and vivid for the reader. Ladies, this is the kind of writing I could see being the next Jane Austen, to be read by many in the future, even far after the book was written, leaving a lasting legacy.
I think the reason why this story was so masterfully put together, and the descriptions so vivid and colorful is because of the fact that Jessica Dotta has spent years with this story, constantly forming  and shaping it to the novel you'd read today. I sometimes feel like authors who have to produce exciting novels in short periods of time, make the value or quality of the story decrease, since the time needed to invest in the story wasn't there due to ever-encroaching deadlines. But with this story nothing could be further from the truth! Author Jessica Dotta formed the beginnings of this story when she was nineteen, according to the letter to the reader at the end of the story, and now several years later we get to see the fruit of years of devotion and shaping in this unique trilogy that bears the mark of a very well thought out story, only produced through an abundance of time.
My only complaint with this novel, and the reason why I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars even though it made my favorite reads of 2013 list, is because of the mature content containing several intimately descriptive scenes that are for mature readers alone. Just the way this story is written requires the mature content to make it what it is, and while that may sound a bit off, you'd understand what I mean if you have read this book yourself. While you may not like it, it has to be there or the story just isn't the same. While the mature content isn't praised or supported, it has to be there to make the story sound real to the time period and to match with the characters - though that doesn't mean I was comfortable with the details and extent of that intimacy between the characters. I feel like while I know that this was certainly a big part of the book, I would have liked to see a little less detail, which I don't think would have lowered the quality of the novel, if done properly. There were quite honestly a couple scenes that I felt went way above my personal level of comfort, when reading about two characters who are "in love" {Or are they??}, and though they somewhat added to the overall characters in a way of proving their true colors, I didn't really like how descriptive certain scenes got; where it was obvious what was happening and not something you'd want to read aloud. So I'd highly recommend that only mature readers read this book, probably around the age of 15+, although it depends on personal standards.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and am simply on the edge of my seat to find out what happens in book two, Mark of Distinction which releases in the summer of 2014! Born of Persuasion was a solid beginning to this trilogy, and now I can't wait to continue the adventure! This story is sure to be a treasured novel to any Austen or Bronte fan, and one you'll want to read over and over again - only to find that with each time the story is re-read you realize new things and see unique aspects that you didn't catch the first time!

A sincere thanks goes to Jessica Dotta and the folks at Tyndale for providing me with a copy of Born of Persuasion to read and review! I was not paid to write this review, and all thoughts expressed are my own, and completely honest and unbiased.

// Madi's Book Review //
Seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston was raised by her mother while her father (who was known world wide for his views as an atheist) was always abroad. The last days of her dear mother's life were spent in pure terror. Every time the mail came, every time someone knocked on their door, every time some one other than Julia approached her she shrank back into herself and shut out the world. Then one terrible night Julia was woken in the middle of the night and went to check on her mother in her chambers, where she tripped over Mrs  Elliston's corpse. Completely convinced that her mother had committed suicide, Julia goes to her only refuge: Am Meer. She had grown up at Am Meer. She spent all of her summers there, she had even gotten engaged there. But when she arrives she finds that things are ever changing, even at Am Meer.
Jessica Dotta has weaved a story so full of feeling that I know it came from her heart. I felt like I had lost a dear friend when I finished Born of Persuasion. The characters just felt so real. It was like I was sitting in the room with Julia and Edward through their struggles. Every scene was described in such vivid detail that my colorful imagination had no trouble envisioning it in my mind. The mystery aspect of this book started right off the bat, and I was hooked. The plot had a new twist almost at the end of every page, every time I thought I had it all figured out something else would happen to throw me off. I finished it in a day. I would literally have to take reading breaks in order to absorb all that was happening here. I only have one complaint.
The only thing that I wasn't too fond of about this book was the romance level. It got pretty intense at times. I understand that certain things had to happen in order for a characters true colors to come to light, but I felt like a few things could have been left out without compromising the story. I mean, nothing really bad happened, but I would read it first before handing it off to your young teen. My recommended age for this novel would be 16+.
If you have a high(er) romance tolerance, and you are looking for your new favorite book, you've found it. This is the kind of book that you read, put it back on the shelf long enough to forget the big details and then read it again. I simply adored it. I can't wait to read the next two books in this trilogy.

A sincere thanks goes to Jessica Dotta and the folks at Tyndale for providing me with a copy of Born of Persuasion to read and review! I was not paid to write this review, and all thoughts expressed are my own, and completely honest and unbiased.

~The Literary Maidens

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