So basically I read all genres, although it does depend on my mood and and if I’ve had anything to eat or not (which is when I hate reading about blood and gore and bloody-gory vampires and all). However, contemporaries are my favourites.
Contemporary = ETERNAL LOVE.
But like I said, I’m open to all genres, although the one I’m kinda lacking in is sci-fi, which can be blamed on the fact that science and I were mutual enemies back in school. Hmm…
So, anyway. The thing about books is that I pick them up at random. Like, I don’t decide okay, I’m gonna read about a beautiful marble vampire now, or time to read about murder. I don’t. Books interest me. I pick them up.
And when I read the Bookseller preview of Montacute House, I knew I had to get my hands on this book. Even though it was historical. And I haven’t read much historical except the Luxe books and Celia Rees.
I JUST HAD TO READ THIS BOOK.
So what is Montacute House about?
Here’s the book jacket blurp: A boy is found dead, his body blackened and blistered as if the devil himself had danced upon it! Then Cess’ friend goes missing and she realises that the death of the boy and her nected.she becomes involved in a terrible intrigue that involves more than just the inhabitants of Montacute House and stretches right out into the whole of society. Soon Cess herself is in real danger as she threatens to uncover secrets people would kill to keep hidden.
Lets start with the cover. I think it perfectly captures the eerie atmosphere of the book. I love how the book jacket has a deliberate rusty feel to it because it only makes the book seem even more authentic. The girl’s face, the mansion, the leaves..PERFECT.
And the book? Well, it’s quite simply, outstanding. This is Lucy Jago’s first attempt at teen fiction. She had previously written an adult non-fiction title, but she nails it with her YA debut.
At first, things might seem confusing because a lot of unexpected things happen simultaneously and I was wondering how Ms. Jago would pull it off, tying all this together. However, before the first chapter was over, my worry and confusion were packed away into a little box in my brain, because I was racing through the story. The suspense and tension that pervades through this book is terrific. Generally, it takes me time to relate to protagonists who are as young as 13 but the surprising thing is, kid protagonist or not, this book will pull in anyone of any age.
Ms. Jago’s research is extensive (do you know there really is a Montacute House in Somerset today?) and her writing, in spite of this being historical fiction, is easy and quick, yet, so very, very authentic. What starts off with poultry farm girl, Cess, coming across a precious pendant in the chicken coop soon turns into a fight for survival. A skillful blend of witchcraft and politics this is a rather ambitious novel, and one that Lucy Jago pulls off with aplomb. The 1590s Somerset setting has just the right feel and ring to it, which makes Montacute House not just extraordinary, but original and imaginative and a fantastic blend of fact and fiction.
Whether or not historical fiction is your thing, you won’t be able to put this down.
I stayed up last night to finish this. And I loved it.
I bet you will too.
Meanwhile,visit Montacute House with Lucy Jago: