Welcome to the Author’s Bookshelf! This regular (I hope) feature of my blog, beginning today, will feature my mini-reviews of the books I managed to read through this week. I hope that it helps someone stuck in a reading rut to discover something they truly might enjoy. But if no one goes out and reads any of the books I review here I promise my feelings won’t be hurt. (How could they get hurt? I won’t know whether you read them or not.) That being said, on to the review!

I had next-to-no-time this week to read for pleasure as I was babysitting a young relative for much of the week. I’m sure that once I find a job the amount of reading I do will also drop considerably.

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

Location in Barnes and Noble: Teen Fiction

Why I read it: Though the target audience of this book is not quite the exact audience I’m looking for in my own writing it is important, I feel, to get a sense of what is out there for the audience yours will eventually grow into and that they might perhaps be reading.

Mini-review: When I first read the back cover copy, my initial thought was that the book would be an Anastasia story. The heroine, Anna, is a Russian noble in exile in England following the Bolshevik Revolution and World War I. Happily, I soon discovered, it was in fact not an Anastasia story. The characters are richly drawn, making you care for Anna and the other good guys, despise the villains, and look anxiously for the happy ending to come. That said, the novel did feel to move at quite a slow pace at times. I reached a point in the novel where I wasn’t quite sure I wished to continue, unable to bear the thought of reading one more page dealing with the chief of the novels “villains.”

Final review: Thumbs sideways. Read at your own will or pleasure.