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hopelessbibliophile

Jessica (HDB)

I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!

Currently reading

Dreamfall
Amy Plum
Spliced
Jon McGoran
Progress: 56%
Roar
Cora Carmack
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The Dovekeepers
Alice Hoffman

I Don't Know How the Story Ends by J.B. Cheaney

I Don't Know How the Story Ends - J.B. Cheaney

What a sweet and engrossing little story this was! I don't read much Historical Fiction, but my love for Middle Grade fiction has slowly led me further into this genre. Seeing the past through a young set of eyes is something that I can't seem to get enough of. I Don't Know How the Story Ends was particularly alluring to me, because it takes place at the birth of Hollywood as we know it today. In a time when silent movies ruled the day, and elaborately built movie sets dotted the landscape. I love old California, and this book brought it to life.

 

This story takes place near the end of World War I, and I was so impressed at how seamlessly J.B. Cheaney married the lives of our characters, movies as an art form, and the war as a whole. The fact that Isobel's father is overseas, serving as a field medic, allows for a depth to this story that wouldn't be possible otherwise. Isobel has to deal not only with being away from her father, but the battle between being proud of him and worried for him, and even with the knowledge that he may not come back. The breadth of her character was stunning, and it endeared me to her all the more.

 

Which, to be honest, is no surprise. I loved all the characters in this book. Isobel, with her quiet strength. Sylvie, with her addictive and bubbly attitude. Ranger, the boy who wanted to make movies, with stars in his eyes. When you add in the fact that many a popular face from this era makes a debut, including Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, you have a book that completely immersed me. It was so easy to imagine riding the streetcar, and walking in the bond rallies. Purely amazing.

 

The one reason why this took 4 stars from me, rather than 5, was that I wasn't fully sold on the ending. I won't spoil, and it's definitely my personal preference, but there you have it. It was sweet enough, in its own right. An ending complete with a lesson learned, and a bit of tugging on the heartstrings. Maybe I'm just being overly picky, which is why I'll still say that you should definitely add this to your reading list. It's brilliant, and worth your time.