Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a double dose of 2019 historical fiction… One I really enjoyed and one that ended up being a bit of a mixed bag.

Title: Meet Me In Monaco
Author: Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
First published: July 23rd 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Finished reading: November 30th 2022
Pages: 384

“We only get one chance at true love. Till death do us part will hopefully be a very long time – too long to be with the wrong person.”


I’ve had this historical fiction title set in 1950s France/Monaco on my TBR for quite some time, and I guess my TBR jar thought it was about time I finally picked it up. I really liked the sound of the blurb of Meet Me In Monaco, with the focus on Grace Kelly, her wedding with prince Rainier as well as the possibility of a different romance. I’ve never read anything by this author duo before, but after reading this story I definitely want to try more of their work. There was just something about the writing style that managed to draw me right in, and I really liked how the story and characters were developed. Sure, I could have done without the cheating and love triangle… It made me like Sophie a lot less; the story would have been a 5 star read otherwise. Meet Me In Monaco switches between different POVs to give you the full picture of Sophie and James’ journey as well as how Grace Kelly first met the prince of Monaco and what happened afterwards. I especially loved the descriptions of the different settings and the perfume making related content; it gave the story an unique touch and I liked how important the perfume making was throughout the plot. I’m not sure what to make of the ending though… It felt a bit too abrupt and convenient. I still very much enjoyed my time with this story, and I will be looking forward to read more of their work.

Title: The Giver Of Stars
Author: Jojo Moyes

Genre: Historical Fiction
First published: October 1st 2019
Publisher: Penguin
Finished reading: December 15th 2022
Pages: 448

“You know the worst thing about a man hitting you? It’s when you realize they can always just shut you up with a fist. Just like that.”


WARNING: it’s unpopular opinion time again!

I’ve been meaning to read The Giver Of Stars ever since it was first published back in 2019, and I had forgotten about the drama and its comparison to The Book Woman Of Troublesome Creek (which I loved). I do have to say that it is quite a coincidence to have two books coming out in the same year with such a specific topic: the Kentucky packhorse librarians… Rumors aside, with such a similar topics it’s hard not to compare the two titles; even though I don’t remember a lot of details of the other story, The Giver Of Stars still came up short for me. I’m not saying it’s a bad read and the majority does seem to enjoy this story better. I did love the descriptions of the library, the travels of the librarians and the Kentucky mountain setting… I just wish there would have been more focus on the library and packhorse librarians itself. Instead, I felt the focus was lost by other elements that only distracted greatly. The main characters were underdeveloped for me in the sense that they were given some key traits that were repeated over and over and they were either heroes or total villains. An example? Let’s just look at how many times it’s mentioned that Alice is a foreigner, ‘not from here’ and talks ‘funny’, and leave it at that. Some of the character descriptions felt almost like a caricature (like Mr. Van Cleve), and certain elements seemed to be introduced for the drama instead of adding more dept to the plot. And then I’m not even talking about the cheating and love triangle vibe… I was surprised by just how long it took me to actually finish this story; I kept inventing excuses not to read, and that is never a good sign. All in all The Giver Of Stars wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be… I know I’m in the minority though.

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