Review of Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

4 07 2013

Keeping the Castle Finished: July 3rd, 2013
Published: June 14th 2012 by Viking Childrens Books
Genre: YA Historical
POV: First Person
Number of Pages: 261

“Seventeen-year-old Althea is the sole support of her entire family, and she must marry well. But there are few wealthy suitors–or suitors of any kind–in their small Yorkshire town of Lesser Hoo. Then, the young and attractive (and very rich) Lord Boring arrives, and Althea sets her plans in motion. There’s only one problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has his own set of plans . . .” (Description from Goodreads)

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This was a really quick read for me and not in the ‘I couldn’t put it down’ way, but more along the lines of ‘I don’t have anything else to read’. Though it was a fast read, there was nothing really memorable about the story or the characters.

The romance was pretty plain and rushed, some characters didn’t seem quite as developed as other characters, and I felt that there was way too much detail in the descriptions. I found myself skipping numerous paragraphs because the main character just went on and on about a certain type of plant or the peculiar look of her home.

Don’t get me wrong, there were certain parts of the story I did enjoy, but there was also a great deal I did NOT.

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There are so many characters, so I’ll just talk about the main characters and a couple of my favorite side characters.

Althea: Althea rubbed in the wrong way. I mean, she doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind and acts very shallow. She’s one of the prettiest young women in her Hamlet (which both she and other characters decide needs to be mentioned again and again and again). She is also completely coniving, trying to push things to her benefit and by doing so, usually ruins something for another character. not to mention she always talks about marrying into a rich family. I think the thing that bothrse me most though is the sudden and seemly out of nowhere love she magically gains for Mr. Fredericks. She starts off hating him and then out of nowhere, decides shle oves him. I felt there was no real romantic feelings passed between the two characters. They literally fought in every scene they were in together.

Mr. Fredericks: He’s the cousin of a Baron and pretty much a grumpier version of Mr. Darcy. The only time I found him swoony was when he was with ALThea’s little brother Alexander and at the very end of the book. Not too much to say about him.

Lord Boring (A Baron): Thr original man Althea had planned to marry for his money. He comes off as a typical weakling who is completely bossed around by his gambling-addicted mother. He shows interest in Althea for half of the book and then more or less disappears at the end. For being a love interest, he was boring and completely uninteresting.

Miss Vincy: She was my favorite character in the entire book. Though she started off as a love rival, Miss Vincy eventually grew into a close friend of Althea’s. She’s a bit timid and held a secret I had not anticipated (which is a plus!), but I enjoed her story a bit more than the actual story.

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The entire plot centered around Althea and her duty to marry a rich husband and save her family’s desolate castle from ruin. Her grandfather had built the castle on a cliff because he was a romantic (not well I might add), depleting their fortune and leaving them almost completely penniless. Word came about that a wealthy baron was to bring many wealthy men to his new estate that he inherited from an uncle, and Althea immediately saw it as an opportunity to save her family from ruin.

Like I said before, this plot was very simple and it reminded me so much of Pride and Prejudice. I couldnt’ get passed the obvious similarities between the two and found that the story lacked originality and that special quality that made me not want to put it down.

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This book was a fast read that did not really keep me interested or connect me to the characters. If you’re looking for a short, simple read, then you should pick this book up. I give it 3 1/2 stars.

3 and a half
Support the author and buy the book wherever books are sold (or borrow it from your library).

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