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This is an alternate cover edition for B00I6SA40O In a bleak future built on virtual reality, Ginn is a romantic who yearns for something real. She designs environments for people who play at being Vikings. But when her project goes awry, she’s stranded in the actual 10th century, on a storybook farm in Viking Iceland. Heirik is the young leader of his family, honored by th This is an alternate cover edition for B00I6SA40O In a bleak future built on virtual reality, Ginn is a romantic who yearns for something real. She designs environments for people who play at being Vikings. But when her project goes awry, she’s stranded in the actual 10th century, on a storybook farm in Viking Iceland. Heirik is the young leader of his family, honored by the men and women who live on his land. But he is feared and isolated because of a terrible curse. Ginn and Heirik are two people who never thought they would find a home in someone else’s heart. When forces rise against them to keep them apart, Ginn is called on to decide—will she give up the brutal and beautiful reality of the past? Or will she have the courage to traverse time and become more of a Viking than she ever imagined?


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This is an alternate cover edition for B00I6SA40O In a bleak future built on virtual reality, Ginn is a romantic who yearns for something real. She designs environments for people who play at being Vikings. But when her project goes awry, she’s stranded in the actual 10th century, on a storybook farm in Viking Iceland. Heirik is the young leader of his family, honored by th This is an alternate cover edition for B00I6SA40O In a bleak future built on virtual reality, Ginn is a romantic who yearns for something real. She designs environments for people who play at being Vikings. But when her project goes awry, she’s stranded in the actual 10th century, on a storybook farm in Viking Iceland. Heirik is the young leader of his family, honored by the men and women who live on his land. But he is feared and isolated because of a terrible curse. Ginn and Heirik are two people who never thought they would find a home in someone else’s heart. When forces rise against them to keep them apart, Ginn is called on to decide—will she give up the brutal and beautiful reality of the past? Or will she have the courage to traverse time and become more of a Viking than she ever imagined?

30 review for Beautiful Wreck

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    3.5 stars James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser is still safe in his position as the numero uno hero in romantic fiction. But Heirik, the Viking gives him a run for his money. 5-star story with a 3.5-star execution but still worth the read This author has raw talent, and has it in her to be a writer possibly on a par with Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series. There, I said it. She's that good. Set initially in the future of the 22ndC, the heroine Ginn (her real name is J 3.5 stars James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser is still safe in his position as the numero uno hero in romantic fiction. But Heirik, the Viking gives him a run for his money. 5-star story with a 3.5-star execution but still worth the read This author has raw talent, and has it in her to be a writer possibly on a par with Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series. There, I said it. She's that good. Set initially in the future of the 22ndC, the heroine Ginn (her real name is Jen) is caught up in a simulation which transports her back into 10thC Iceland. There she is found and rescued by a group of Vikings. At only twenty-two, Heirik is the chief of his Viking clan. Honoured and respected, but feared because of his unfortunate and disfiguring birthmark across his face and upper body, Heirik is considered untouchable. My re-reading of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon has given me a taste to time-travel back into the past for action, adventure and romance with a brave and brawny hero, and in my never-ending quest to find a book, series or author as good as Outlander and Diana Gabaldon. I'm torn. On the one hand I think I may have stumbled on an author who has the potential to be another Diana Gabaldon. On the other, her debut novel, Beautiful Wreck is both a recommended read. And not. The Good: The developing romance, the spiralling sexual tension, the details and descriptions of everyday Viking life, the evident research. I would give 5 stars for the amazing romance, the story, the emotions, the feels. The setting in Iceland was a breath of fresh, glacial air. The era of the 10thC was depicted with vivid, stunning clarity. The prose was elegant. The characterisation of the hero, almost unbelievably realistic. His desperate loneliness, his longing for love and acceptance, his courage were written deftly and touchingly. The Not So Good: 1) The beginning It was clunky, difficult to follow and not engaging. Had I not seen the high average rating I would have stopped. I continued as I could see the potential in the story. 2) The ending Rushed, with some things left unexplained. 3) The setting in the future Light on details and descriptions. 4) The time travel The explanation of the mechanics of time-travel were never clear or convincing. 5) Repetition Some descriptions were repeated. Better editing would have solved this problem. 6) Narrative v Dialogue The novel is heavy on the narrative. It drags down the story and flow. It needs much more dialogue to break up the often lengthy exposition. 7) The heroine Seen through Ginn's eyes, we barely get to know the heroine. Where the hero is beautifully rendered in all his romantic fiction glory, I felt I hardly knew what Ginn's thoughts and feelings were, besides her love for Heirik. 8) The cover First thing readers see. And often the only thing they judge a book on to decide to read it. Or not. I don't think this particular cover does the book any favours. 9) The price $7.99 for an e-book for an unknown author and debut novel, it's too pricey. And yet despite these problems I was pretty much in awe of the story. This is rating highly - 4.42 stars - and I'm glad because it will balance out my lower rating and somewhat negative review. With just a bit of tweaking and tightening this could have been a 5-star read. The potential is there. Larissa Brown is Talented. There are other authors with far less talent whose books I’ve rated higher. I don't want to discourage anyone from reading this book. This author deserves to be read. And encouraged to continue writing. Her talent is evident. But it needs to be honed. Weighing up the negatives though, (and there are a number) I would still love to see this author's book read. So, for those who enjoy time-travel romances, romantic historical fiction or a budding Diana Gabaldon in-the-making, Beautiful Wreck may be worth the read. Steam: 2.5

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Beautiful Wreck is a book so imbued with stark beauty and raw emotive power that as you read it, your internal topography is rearranged - it's the kind of book that shifts everything you knew, or thought you knew, about writing and love. The world just looks different when you're done. The first thing you must understand when beginning this book is that it has a lot going on. Time travel. Vikings. A yearning so strong you can actually feel it. Love. Betrayal. There are even ponies and MMA fights. Beautiful Wreck is a book so imbued with stark beauty and raw emotive power that as you read it, your internal topography is rearranged - it's the kind of book that shifts everything you knew, or thought you knew, about writing and love. The world just looks different when you're done. The first thing you must understand when beginning this book is that it has a lot going on. Time travel. Vikings. A yearning so strong you can actually feel it. Love. Betrayal. There are even ponies and MMA fights. It is important, I feel, for one to read this book in a place with as few distractions as possible. Take a page out of The Neverending Story and find an abandoned attic in your local school, light some candles, and immerse yourself in one of the most powerful books you've ever read. Ginn lives in a futuristic Iceland. She is part of a team creating the "tank," an ultra-immersive virtual reality device that makes one feel as though they are really IN another time and place. Her specialty is Old Norse/Old Icelandic language and culture, and has been creating an accurate historical portrayal of just such a time and place. Everything is perfect - the dress, the language, the buildings. Until somehow, things become too real and Ginn is transported back to Iceland, circa 920 AD. She wakes on a black sand beach, disoriented and semi-conscious. She is found there by Vikings - honest to God Vikings - who take her back to their farm and create a place for her. One of those vikings is the clan chieften, Heirik. Heirik is everything he should be: strong, beautiful, fierce... and cursed. Marked at birth by the "blood of the Gods," Heirik is destined never to touch or be touched - which is a problem, because Ginn wants very badly to touch. What follows from there is possibly the most potent and powerful love stories I've ever read. The book is told from Ginn's perspective and Ginn's internal monologue is imbued with sparse but inspired language. One can really see the beauty of the landscape, one filled with color and texture, even though the words are never flowery or overdone. In places it is as though she disappears as the narrator and the reader is left to "see" things first-hand. Ginn's voice is incredibly well done. As she begins to fall for Heirik, one cannot help but do the same. In addition to the gorgeous scenery there are a handful of secondary characters brought to life by Brown's talented mind. Betta (the woman assigned to help Ginn acclimate) is particularly well-written. It is impossible not to like her, to hope that she, too, can find a way to secure her heart's desire. The effect is that of a multifaceted world one wants to return to again and again, to become a part of this vibrant and complicated family. And finally, there is Heirik. Brown has created in Heirik a romance hero worthy of the title. Strong, compassionate, mercurial, flawed, powerful, loving, tragic, honorable, intelligent ... the list goes on. Rarely have I read such a dynamic character. In truth, I cannot think of another I've loved as much as he. Heirik is the reason I will be purchasing a hard copy of this book and will be reading it again and again. In the end, I give this book my highest recommendation. The beginning does take a bit of work to understand - the future Iceland is a confusing and abrupt place. But in no time at all I was sucked into Brown's world, rooting for Ginn and Heirik to overcome all obstacles and to find a way to be together. I fell in love with a land and people more than a thousand years gone - and cannot wait to go back there again. Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book far exceeded any and all expectations I had of it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Penny Reid

    3/24: I've slept on it. Here are my thoughts: I don't know how to rate this book. If this were an indie book or a one of the big publishing houses, I would likely give it two stars (so, in other words, I wouldn't rate it on here at all). I'm sorry, I can't rate this book. I tried rating it at 2 stars for a few minutes, but didn't feel comfortable; therefore, I'm leaving it blank. The good: The love story between the two main characters is beautiful and heart-wrenching. This writer can write (i.e. 3/24: I've slept on it. Here are my thoughts: I don't know how to rate this book. If this were an indie book or a one of the big publishing houses, I would likely give it two stars (so, in other words, I wouldn't rate it on here at all). I'm sorry, I can't rate this book. I tried rating it at 2 stars for a few minutes, but didn't feel comfortable; therefore, I'm leaving it blank. The good: The love story between the two main characters is beautiful and heart-wrenching. This writer can write (i.e. you feel like you're reading a book, not a high school after school special). The factual details are enthralling. The sad: This book is a half-cut diamond. Meaning, someone cut part of the diamond, but didn't finish and certainly didn't polish. A) LACK OF DIALOGUE What can I say about this? Just... sad. Lots of telling and no showing. :-( B) FORMATTING There are no spelling errors (cut) or grammar issues (cut) but the formatting is-- by far-- the worst I've ever seen. It was so terrible, it made me raging angry and I almost didn't finish. Every time I felt drawn into the story, the formatting yanked me out of it, like a crying baby on an airplane. Examples of bad formatting: 1) Scene breaks where the scene doesn't break 2) No scene breaks where the scene does break 3) No left indent at random times 4) Dialogue in the center of paragraphs 5) REALLY LONG PARAGRAPHS 6) Random italic text... maybe the text was supposed to be chapter headings? Not sure... 7) Inconsistent text used for chapter headings-- sometime it was capitalized, sometimes it was in the middle of a page with text above and below... I have no idea. 8) Also, table of contents was at the back of the book. That was amazingly unhelpful. 9) At the end of the book, there was no contact information for the author (or I couldn't find it). It's like the author was an after thought... sad. C) CONTENT EDITING (PACING/FLOW) The other issue (could have been fixed with a good content editor) is that the manuscript is repetitive. The author describes a scene (a field, meadow, the inside of the house, etc.); then, two pages later, the same field is described. This made me start skipping whole paragraphs (because I'd already read the description). Therefore, if new information had been present, I missed it. Because of the formatting and the repetition, this book's pacing and flow suffered considerably. D) MISC ISSUES Also, when they came together in the end, it just ended. They didn't talk about anything!! I wanted to know what he thought of the oranges. I wanted to a sweet scene of TOUCHING. Maybe he wipes the juice of the orange off her lip. Let me be clear, I'm not interested in a sex scene. I wanted, while he's healing, a scene of them being together and how lovely and easy being together is once he accepts their destiny. Also, something that drove me crazy was how the main character would describe a meadow then imagine doing something in the meadow for several pages. I don't know why the author did that. It slowed the story down, didn't add to character development, served no purpose. Yes, these sections were well written. However, why include these sections if they only slow everything down? Also, the first part (when she's in future Iceland) I honestly was so lost, I thought about emailing the author and asking for directions. I had to ask other people who'd read it to explain what happened. Also, (sorry, one more thing), even though this story was written from first person, I didn't know or really understand anything about Ginn other than she loved the hero. In fact, I felt I understood the hero's motivations, thoughts, and feelings better than Ginn's. :-\ The ugly: So... the cover, in my opinion, isn't ugly. It's just, in my opinion, a crime against humanity that it's being used for this book (or any book other than a 6th grade chapter book about Olga, the orphaned singing prodigy with a heart of gold). For shame. In summary (not that anyone cares at this point) I can't recommend this book until it's cleaned up (formatted; edited for content, pacing, flow, and character development). 3/23: Finished on the plane. Maybe a review later... 2/27: I had a few minutes: I'll redo it again after I read the book. 2/26: So... despite the horrific cover, I've been told this is an exceptional book. Therefore, I'm going to read it. That stated, I am begging the author to reconsider the cover. I will design one for you for free!! As in, charge you no dollars. Please. Think about it. For the love of Hiddleston, just... think about it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alex Tinsley

    I am very much not a romance novel person, but if they were all as well-written, well-researched, and well-constructed as this one, I'd be tempted to change my mind ;-) Beautiful Wreck is engrossing, thrilling, frustrating, and heartbreaking. I devoured it in about three days (and spent a good portion of them in a legitimate mope because I was vicariously tormented by dark, sexy, tortured vikings- that's how you know a book is good, when your husband asks "What's wrong?" and you answer woefully, I am very much not a romance novel person, but if they were all as well-written, well-researched, and well-constructed as this one, I'd be tempted to change my mind ;-) Beautiful Wreck is engrossing, thrilling, frustrating, and heartbreaking. I devoured it in about three days (and spent a good portion of them in a legitimate mope because I was vicariously tormented by dark, sexy, tortured vikings- that's how you know a book is good, when your husband asks "What's wrong?" and you answer woefully, "The vikings are not doing what I want them to be doing!!") I kind of also feel like I learned a lot about vikings (and reinvigorated my desire to visit Iceland.) You don't meet a lot of romance novels that are educational, haha. And though it plays a pretty small part in the book, I also want to give props for Larissa Brown's vision of the future- a cold, glassy world where everyone's wardrobe and social lives revolve around historical re-enactment. I love that. I would like to read a whole book in that setting, actually. Also, major, major props for managing to write legitimately hot sex scenes without resorting to the awkward euphemisms standard to the genre. You will find no "throbbing manhoods" here, thank god. Be warned, though, that you WILL walk away from this book wanting to bang a viking, which is not a particularly useful or easily satisfied desire. Maybe you can find a stocky bearded guy...but you'll know in your heart that he probably can't handle a battleaxe. Sorry. Them's the breaks.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Larissa Brown

    Thank you for reading, queuing & reviewing Beautiful Wreck! I would give five stars to the amazing experience I had writing this book, but I feel odd putting stars on my own work. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for reading, queuing & reviewing Beautiful Wreck! I would give five stars to the amazing experience I had writing this book, but I feel odd putting stars on my own work. I hope you enjoy it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anna (Bobs Her Hair)

    3.5 stars...Ja! I liked it. You'll probably like it too! Now in the 22nd century, everyone lived—to some degree—in a world that had happened before. We studied and debated and reanimated the words and fashions of a hundred yesterdays and adopted them as though we’d run out of original things to be. In the aughts and teens, being part of an anachronistic culture had been unusual. Now it was the norm. Everyone had a place and time they loved, and they lived in it every moment they could. Jen, a 3.5 stars...Ja! I liked it. You'll probably like it too! Now in the 22nd century, everyone lived—to some degree—in a world that had happened before. We studied and debated and reanimated the words and fashions of a hundred yesterdays and adopted them as though we’d run out of original things to be. In the aughts and teens, being part of an anachronistic culture had been unusual. Now it was the norm. Everyone had a place and time they loved, and they lived in it every moment they could. Jen, a linguistic artist, lives in a stark future. People pay to submerse themselves in bygone eras, and Jen’s part of a programming team that creates authentic virtual realities or ‘sims.’ Her area of expertise is 10th century Viking times. Touching ancient artifacts and reading an early diary about the Viking people lives fills her with wonder and longing. It’s bliss escaping into a place where there's real green grass, a blue sky, an abundance of life, and real purposeful living. When Jen wakes up freezing cold on black sand beach after entering a Viking sim she can’t ‘tap out’ of the program. She wakes on the black sand of Iceland's freezing coast. Then, she is saved by Heirik, a Viking chief and becomes truly immersed into the people, land, and the ‘cursed’ man. To find a way back to the 22nd century or find a way to reach the lonely, disfigured chief becomes Jen’s dilemma. I read this book based on my friend Jill's review. She loved it. She didn’t love it. I was very curious. The price was right - $2.99 at the time. I decided to try it. What the heck, right? I would put it down and move on if it was not my cup of tea. I read this book until 2 o'clock in the morning ON MY iPHONE!!! Waking up the next morning with a raging headache, I popped some tylenol and finished the last 6 % of the novel. This is why I'm rounding up the stars to 4. Beautiful Wreck is compared to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. There are similarities (time travel, heroine’s first-person narrative, and love of panoramic setting or ‘exposition’) and notable differences, which I was hoping for and was relieved to find. Let’s start with the differences. First, this story has a clear conflict and resolution – no plot-oriented tangents and no cliffhanger! Second, the focus stays on the hero and heroine (perhaps, a bit too much attention to the heroine). Jen/Ginn’s friend Betta has page time, but she’s part of the plot (and she’s interesting too). Next, life is mostly peaceful in comparison to Oulander, which means no rapes, beatings or torture. Finally, Wreck is simply a love story – a love of Heirik, with an appreciation of nature and Iceland. There’s isn’t an over-achieving goal to alter history. Heirik What was so addictive about the book was that I couldn’t get enough of Heirik. Born with a disfiguring birthmark over half his body doomed him as ‘cursed.’ Forbidden from taking a wife or feeling the touch from one his clan members from birth he has learned to adapt and survive. He protects his people and has earned their fearful respect. His life is what it is. Overall, Heirik’s loneliness was a tangible thing for me. Jen/Ginn Jen, who became known as ‘Ginn,’ was lonely too, but it was never explained to my satisfaction. She’s a linguistics artist from the barren future (not sure why…it’s not explained). She can’t make connections to the people in her time…no backstory. Ginn travels through time…hazy.) And she reaches a time where she finds someone as lonely as her (and falls in love really fast). She finds a beautiful, lonely man who needs her as much as she’s compelled to need and connect with him. There was so much longing in Beautiful Wreck that I felt almost afraid for a sad ending. Be at ease; there’s a happy and clear ending. There is beauty in the exposition. (There’s also a bit too much repetition.) What this book is lacking is a focus on meaningful interactions with dialogue, as other reviewers have commented upon. The way ‘untouchable’ Heirik and Ginn tip-toe around each other is nearly frustrating - too much angst with Heirik that didn’t seem quite in keeping to his character. There is so much build-up, but I could not stop reading! I can live without graphic sex in my romances, but I do wish there would have been more detail in their lovemaking. Intimacy! I needed it because here is a man who hasn’t been touched by a woman since his mother cared for him and…I was hoping for a variety of poignant scenes involving touch - the face, the body …everything! Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. The characters were compelling, the setting rich. The ending was satisfying. Although, I would have liked more happiness between the characters on the pages, I look forward to more of this author’s work, and also considering that this is a debut novel I am impressed. She does leave this world open for future books, and I’ve been told there will be an upcoming novella.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Every now and then you encounter a book that you know will be an amazing book from the very first page. This is such a book. A meadow would have been lovely. I’d come into the tank every day if I could feel lush, slippery grass between my toes, the gentle nudge of a breeze at my frothy hems. But the programmers couldn’t accomplish the immense reach and power of outdoor scenes. Not yet. I keep trying to put my finger why I knew that this would be a 5-star book from the start, and I think that i Every now and then you encounter a book that you know will be an amazing book from the very first page. This is such a book. A meadow would have been lovely. I’d come into the tank every day if I could feel lush, slippery grass between my toes, the gentle nudge of a breeze at my frothy hems. But the programmers couldn’t accomplish the immense reach and power of outdoor scenes. Not yet. I keep trying to put my finger why I knew that this would be a 5-star book from the start, and I think that it’s the lyrical, personal nature of the book. The author’s writing is gorgeous and lush (to borrow from the quote). The settings of Future Iceland and Viking Iceland come alive in your mind as you read. Future Iceland is crowded, highly synthetic, and derives its pleasure from virtual reality. And this makes Viking Iceland, where Jen accidentally finds herself in the flesh rather than in a simulation, seem more real than the world from whence she came. As another reviewer has said, I don’t normally read romance novels, but if they were all as well-written and researched as this one, I’d give them much more consideration. The fact that Jen/Ginn and the Viking she loves can never be together or even touch creates an extreme form of romantic tension for the story. Even more, the author has created quite a conundrum of a character for Jen to love. He’s fire and ice, water and sun. He smells intoxicatingly of fire, leather, furs, cinnamon. And he speaks with “[t]he sparsest poetry on his lips.” “Gods," Jen says, “what would it feel like to kiss?” Indeed. I wanted to know and hoped Lofn would truly clear the way for impossible unions, for these two who want nothing more than to care for each other in small daily moments. “It is hard, Litla,” he says to Jen. “To be so close, and stay away from you.” Always “[n]othing made sense,” she thought. “He wouldn’t touch me, but he couldn’t let me go. Even as he admitted his desire, he took it away.” Ah, forbidden love, how you do sting. Even the trees are sexy in this book: “a thousand wisps of papery bark curled to reveal blush and orange and copper under the trees’ white skins.” ...And the eyelashes: “[w]hen I lowered my eyelashes I felt every one as a miniature icicle, melting into dew around my eyes.” ...And, of course, the thoughts: “I want forbidden things, thoughts with dark wings, bodies slick with sweat.” Já. I’m curious to see how male readers will react to this novel. At it’s heart, it’s a historical time travel novel in a gorgeous setting. It’s not a heavy-breathing and constant quivering romance novel. After all, there’s a universal pain to be felt in forbidden love. And there’s plenty of sheep shearing and Vikings cutting off hands and such. To start the year reading the best book I’ll probably read all year … maybe all decade … means that I can’t easily pick up the next book. It won’t be rolling green or fluffy white Iceland. It won’t be a gorgeously written book about forbidden love in an impossible past. It won’t be this book. Do yourself a favor and read this book when it come out in early February. Just one warning: when you do, you'll find yourself still up reading at 3 a.m. And for breathtaking visuals that will leave you wanting more, visit http://www.pinterest.com/larissabrown....

  8. 5 out of 5

    R.H. Herron

    With a plot as exciting as it is bold, and with characters as real and important as family, Larissa Brown’s BEAUTIFUL WRECK weaves an intensely gripping tale about the strength of women and the love they carry. This is the story we’ve been waiting for. I loved this book with all my heart. I can't wait for EVERYONE to fall in love with it (and them) the way I did.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jewel

    Well... All I'm going to say is that if Outlander (and subsequently Jamie Fraser) didn't do it for you in terms of time travel romance and you want something a little more introspective and a LOT more slow burn when it comes to the romance aspect, then I highly recommend Beautiful Wreck. This novel is so immersive and historically rich that you'll be transported and not want to put it down, but the writing is also honest and by turns full of heartbreak and love that never felt manufactured. I fel Well... All I'm going to say is that if Outlander (and subsequently Jamie Fraser) didn't do it for you in terms of time travel romance and you want something a little more introspective and a LOT more slow burn when it comes to the romance aspect, then I highly recommend Beautiful Wreck. This novel is so immersive and historically rich that you'll be transported and not want to put it down, but the writing is also honest and by turns full of heartbreak and love that never felt manufactured. I fell in love with the romance, I fell in love with the main character Ginn ( who is an actual force to be reckoned with) and I fell in love with how though this book is a romance, it's also a tale of a girl finding her true family and her true strength. She learns to love a man who has no love for himself and she learns what it means to belong somewhere, even if you have to fight through loneliness and pain to get there. The ending is also so, so satisfying. But then, it had better be satisfying ! This romance is the slowwwwwwwessstttt, most torturous love story I've ever encountered. It was just lovely. (and also it kind of gave me a stomachache, if we are being honest because ANGST) So the gist of it is that for me this book is the better Outlander. And I liked Outlander all right. Also? A formal apology to Jamie Fraser. I'm sorry I'm always bashing you, buddy. You are all right for a kilted, Scottish bloke. Just a little too wet behind the ears for my taste. But what do I know. Millions of fangirls swoon over you like you are the equivalent of the holy grail, so maybe I have no taste. So... um... there, there, Jamie. Lots of people still love you to bits. Just not me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    G.

    Fantastic debut time travel romance (22nd century to early 10th century Viking Iceland) that captivated me from start to finish. Dreamlike writing, vivid world building, fascinating characters, epic slow-burn romance—Beautiful Wreck certainly has a lot going for it. The attention given to research of Viking Iceland is impressive. Though I wouldn't have minded spending a bit more time in the 22nd century, because I found it fascinating as well and wanted to know more. That, however, wasn't much o Fantastic debut time travel romance (22nd century to early 10th century Viking Iceland) that captivated me from start to finish. Dreamlike writing, vivid world building, fascinating characters, epic slow-burn romance—Beautiful Wreck certainly has a lot going for it. The attention given to research of Viking Iceland is impressive. Though I wouldn't have minded spending a bit more time in the 22nd century, because I found it fascinating as well and wanted to know more. That, however, wasn't much of a flaw, as far as I'm concerned. The only flaw, if minor, I could personally find was the slightly rushed ending. Anyway, Beautiful Wreck is a beautiful slow read that impressed me very much indeed. Straight to my keeper shelf.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Disclaimer: I edited this novel. Review: My close association with this novel no doubt colors my review, but I hope you'll trust me despite that. This should be the first book you read in 2014. Larissa Brown creates setting, develops character, crafts plot in fresh, delightful ways. I grew to care deeply about even minor characters. The novel, set in a bleak future world and a lush 10th century Iceland will engross you. The book surprises and satisfies, avoiding romance and fantasy cliches, creat Disclaimer: I edited this novel. Review: My close association with this novel no doubt colors my review, but I hope you'll trust me despite that. This should be the first book you read in 2014. Larissa Brown creates setting, develops character, crafts plot in fresh, delightful ways. I grew to care deeply about even minor characters. The novel, set in a bleak future world and a lush 10th century Iceland will engross you. The book surprises and satisfies, avoiding romance and fantasy cliches, creating one of the richest examinations of identity and community that I've read in a long, long time. You will not regret the time you spend in the intriguing world Brown offers in the pages of Beautiful Wreck!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Okey

    The best novel I have read in years. Grabs you from the very first page and won't let you go -- everyone who's read the galleys hasn't been able to put it down. Beautiful Wreck has caused MANY (GOOD) sleepless nights!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Skedatt

    I have actually been thinking a lot about this book, trying to work out how to write an honest review. On the one hand, I want to give it four stars for actually holding my attention and keeping me thinking about it for a while, but then it gets knocked down to one star for the ick feeling that I wasted so much time. The Good: 1) Kept my interest in a time when few books do. (Big points there.) 2) Liked the research that went into it. 3) Some of the secondary characters I really liked. 4) There wer I have actually been thinking a lot about this book, trying to work out how to write an honest review. On the one hand, I want to give it four stars for actually holding my attention and keeping me thinking about it for a while, but then it gets knocked down to one star for the ick feeling that I wasted so much time. The Good: 1) Kept my interest in a time when few books do. (Big points there.) 2) Liked the research that went into it. 3) Some of the secondary characters I really liked. 4) There were some beautifully written scenes: i.e. when Heirik shows her the farm for the first time. The Not So Good: 1) Pacing needed work: a full quarter (or more) of the book could have been cut out and made the story that much stronger. 2) I was more attached to the secondary romance than I was to the primary. 3) The tone change at the end of the book (Ginn went from lovesick spaniel to valkyrie without much time for adjustment) 5) The romance just failed for me. As noted before, Ginn was a lovesick spaniel that lusted after the chief. The chief lusted after Ginn, but then would toy with her for vague reasons of a curse. Then she would hold on to him and the process would start all over again. That got old really fast. I kept waiting for the "epicness" to kick in, but sadly, it never did. The relationship seemed based solely on the physical, of which there was enough description that I am not comfortable having it on my shelves from my pre-teen sons to pick up and read. 5) The future descriptions were so pointless, sterile, and one-dimensional that she could have set it during the present with much more success. Then we would have had some of our own experience to fill in the ridiculous amount of blanks. (Where does the food come from? We get it from other food...(blink, blink) Oh! I wish I had kept the page number on that one). 6) The cover and the title combination. Either the title needed to change or the cover needed to change to explain more about the title. Something with a whale on it would have helped a lot. Conclusion The book evoked a strong emotional reaction, so she has a lot of talent as a writer. I wouldn't be opposed to reading another book by her and seeing how her writing matures.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    The only reason this book is on my TBR list is because it was chosen by a member of my book club that assures us that despite it's terrible cover it is actually a wonderful read. I am going to have to take her word for it because as I've said before, I do judge books by their covers and this one is truly awful. If it weren't for book club there is no way I would have ever chosen to read this. Ok read it. Here's why I've rated it 3 starts when I feel like this book has 5 star potential. First star The only reason this book is on my TBR list is because it was chosen by a member of my book club that assures us that despite it's terrible cover it is actually a wonderful read. I am going to have to take her word for it because as I've said before, I do judge books by their covers and this one is truly awful. If it weren't for book club there is no way I would have ever chosen to read this. Ok read it. Here's why I've rated it 3 starts when I feel like this book has 5 star potential. First star gets deducted because of that awful terrible cover. Seriously. The sad part? The author has a Pinterest board with TWO covers that are waaaaay better suited. TWO DIFFERENT COVERS!! The second star deduction is for the serious lack of editing. This book needs work. If my fellow book club member hadn't insisted it got better there is NO WAY I would have read beyond the first chapter. Not happening. In fact, here's what you need to know: Ginn lives in futuristic Iceland and works at some sort of real life role play immersion thing called the "tank" and is obsessed with the 10th century Vikings and is some how transported to 920 Iceland to a Viking farm. There, now you can go read it starting on the second chapter. Read it you should, because eventually you get used to the odd breaks and get so wholly sucked into the story you look past the editing flaws and are whisked away by the beautiful story. It really is. The way Ms. Brown describes the yearning to, well, not be lonely is something else. For an $8 ebook published by a publishing house I expect it to be flawless. If I had read this book as a beta reader I would have had nothing but praise for Ms. Brown and would have expected her editor to help her finish the job. Honestly? Between the terrible cover and horrendous editing I can't help but feel like Cooperative Press doesn't have Ms. Brown's back and that's sad because this book has so much potential.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ari Reavis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What an utter disappointment. The romance was stupid and annoying... 'I love you, you can't touch me, I'm cursed, I'll never love him again, I need him, marry my brother (WHAT?)" blah blah blah. So many descriptions of things that contributed nothing to the story and had me skimming. It got 1 more star tacked on at the end for having a HEA.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jaimie

    What witchcraft is this novel, turning me into a grumpy introverted homebody, reluctant to leave my house and do anything other than finish this book right now dang it?? Good gracious. I attended an outside-of-work-hours event with coworkers that wasn't mandatory while in the middle of reading Beautiful Wreck and that says something about how much I like my coworkers. Because it was all I could do to put the book down and leave my house. I can't remember the last time I was so desperate to read What witchcraft is this novel, turning me into a grumpy introverted homebody, reluctant to leave my house and do anything other than finish this book right now dang it?? Good gracious. I attended an outside-of-work-hours event with coworkers that wasn't mandatory while in the middle of reading Beautiful Wreck and that says something about how much I like my coworkers. Because it was all I could do to put the book down and leave my house. I can't remember the last time I was so desperate to read a novel to its conclusion. As I read Beautiful Wreck, I spent the time curled in a ball on the couch, compulsively "flipping" my ebook's digital pages, unable to to take even a short break. I had to know what would happen to our time traveling heroine Ginn and the scarred and unloveable chief Heirik. I absolutely lived for this couple and I don't know that I've ever experienced slow burn and unresolved tension more intense. It almost killed me. This is independently published and the writing and (lack of) editing makes this apparent. There are long, long paragraphs of descriptive prose and a startling lack of dialogue. We spend 600+ pages firmly in the head and perspective of Ginn, which probably contributes to how desperate and entranced I was while reading. It was difficult to separate my feelings from those of the character. Brown is also repetetive at times and there were moments I fought off the temptation to brandish a red pen. Regardless of the obvious downsides of self-publishing a 600 page tome with no professional editing, I was enraptured with this story and have since convinced a number of people to give it a go. I'm so impressed with Larissa Brown's knowledge of 10th century Icelandic culture. Every tiny detail feels real. Ending the novel made me homesick for a small woodland village in a country I've never visited. Truly impressive. If you are a romance fan, a history fan, a speculative fiction fan (or an outlander fan- the parallels are there, obviously), I highly recommend this one. 4.5 stars

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This stunning, sweeping epic of tenth century Iceland immerses readers in a spare, cold, beautiful landscape, while giving from-the-future Ginn plenty of challenges and a hot blaze of adoration for a man everyone fears. Larissa Brown's carefully researched Icelandic community crackles with life and realistic details, and we experience it as outsiders, watching Ginn try to make her way through a complicated society that's based on long-held customs, societal beliefs, and basic needs. Beautiful Wr This stunning, sweeping epic of tenth century Iceland immerses readers in a spare, cold, beautiful landscape, while giving from-the-future Ginn plenty of challenges and a hot blaze of adoration for a man everyone fears. Larissa Brown's carefully researched Icelandic community crackles with life and realistic details, and we experience it as outsiders, watching Ginn try to make her way through a complicated society that's based on long-held customs, societal beliefs, and basic needs. Beautiful Wreck, with its lovely prose and carefully chosen details, is engaging, transportive, and exquisite, the kind of book that makes you hold your breath and keep turning pages. Hard to believe this is a first novel. Note: I received an advance copy in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beth Sponzilli

    This was an interesting book. Much more historical romance than I had thought, but still was a page turner for me. A girl from a future world is sucked back into 10th century Viking Iceland. There were parts where it was a bit too much of their sexual attraction and tension, but I still couldn’t wait to see how the story would unfold. I would for sure recommend for Outlander fans as it has the same timeslip romance and all.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sara Kate

    3 1/2 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    "as though we'd run out of original things to be..." Historic reenactments are no longer hobbies for the few in 22nd-century Iceland, where all now pursue their favorite eras in costume, interacting only in the recreated past. Jen, a young linguist, brings her expertise in Old Norse language and gestures to a bold, new, fully-realized Viking longhouse scenario in a full-sensory sim "tank," where participants will be immersed in their beloved era, "minus the messy beauty of a real farm, the stink "as though we'd run out of original things to be..." Historic reenactments are no longer hobbies for the few in 22nd-century Iceland, where all now pursue their favorite eras in costume, interacting only in the recreated past. Jen, a young linguist, brings her expertise in Old Norse language and gestures to a bold, new, fully-realized Viking longhouse scenario in a full-sensory sim "tank," where participants will be immersed in their beloved era, "minus the messy beauty of a real farm, the stink of animals and work of many hands." After they leave the tank, they will re-enter the city, where the only birds left in this dystopia are crows, and the sky glimpsed only between tall, tall buildings. Jen's translation of a Viking woman's diary has given her a glimpse into the reality of one farmer's wife, whose sensibility seems, to Jen, more modern than most of her time. "The sky was big today, all ice and violet," wrote this woman, who also penned a lullaby to "woods and whales and sea. Goodnight to the circle of young girls, their long braids lit by fire..." Jen's familiarity with the language and lore gives her enough of an edge to survive when the sim tank malfunctions and flings her onto a black beach, half-in and half-out of a freezing sea, half-conscious and half-aware of the song of a whale. Rescued by two Viking men whose stinking breath shocks her ("a breakthrough in the design quality"), she begins to understand that she is not dreaming -- she truly is living the life that most of her countrymen long for. She has been transported through time. Most of the novel takes place in that very real past, where Jen (now called Ginn) becomes a member of a clan in a longhouse ruled by a young chieftan, Heirik. His fearsome birthmark represents mystery and power to his people, but Ginn learns the facts behind the lore that has defined him. She falls deeply in love. Heirik's reluctance to love becomes clearer as Ginn's immersion in this new life becomes deeper and more dear. The reader learns about the dynamics of the varied, gritty, loving clan members as their stories intertwine, clash, and mesh. Larissa Brown's scholarship is worn lightly. The Vikings feud, gather, and love against history and folklore, like the runes, cables, and braids of Viking design. Each character and plotline is deep and real, especially those of the the displaced, beached Ginn and the women she joins in the chores, sorrows, and dreams they share. Readers who are fiber enthusiasts will be delighted as Ginn masters the art of the spindle from the accomplished Hildur: "she showed me how the thread was forming, how to feed the fiber, like spun sugar in my hands." Images of whiteness form the background of the story: white fleeces, like the clouds that the Norse goddess Grigg spins, the white snow that piles high outside the longhouse, the snowblooms that are harvested to make mouthwash, and the disorienting whiteout that nearly costs Ginn her life. Against this whiteness are golden vistas, green swaths, and the immense blue sky. I was as immersed in this wonderful novel as a 22nd-century Icelander would have been in the sim tank. As a modern woman, I wanted to cut through the myths and hesitations so that the characters could live their dreams, love whom they wished, and thrive. As a modern reader, I was satisfied with the way the stories unfolded, and happy with the vivid, engrossing, well-written story. Larissa Brown has taken elements of romance, history, and science fiction, and blended them into something new, vivid, and wonderful. (Note: I was given an ARC to review. I will definitely reread the published novel - it's that good!)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Satarupa

    I got this book from the author, free of cost, in exchange of an honest review from my side. Firstly I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity of reading and reviewing this book and I would also like to thank Lovers of Paranormal Group of Goodreads for giving me this copy under their Read to Review theme. Well, to be honest this book is really awesome and I'm not exaggerating guys!!! There is romance, passion, trust, struggle and a beautiful historic description of the plot th I got this book from the author, free of cost, in exchange of an honest review from my side. Firstly I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity of reading and reviewing this book and I would also like to thank Lovers of Paranormal Group of Goodreads for giving me this copy under their Read to Review theme. Well, to be honest this book is really awesome and I'm not exaggerating guys!!! There is romance, passion, trust, struggle and a beautiful historic description of the plot that won my heart. I liked the story line very much and as this is my second Time-Travel novel that I read I would like to confess that this book totally changed my view point about this genre and from now on I'll be reading novels based on this genre. Coming to the characters, well I couldn't express in words the excellence of their creation. I loved each and every character even the negative ones too because they played a major part of this story and made the read thrilling and entertaining. The dialogues were crisp and straight forward and there wasn't any excessive bragging regarding a single scene or event. Moreover the events flowed smoothly from one to other without any big gaps that often makes the read meaningless and confusing. The writing style of the author is fabulous and this is the first novel I read which is written by the author and I became a huge fan of her skill of writing. The detailed descriptions made me visualize the scenes while reading and that added to my excitement. Over all a great read that I would definitely recommend to others and hope that you guys will love it too. Enjoy !!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    This is not a lighthearted, quick romance. It took me a while to get into it (like, 100 pages). I almost put it down to pick something else up that's a little more lighthearted, more easy, but I'm glad I stuck it out because I would have missed out on a great read. I was laying in bed reading, knowing I needed to put it away if I was going to get good sleep, actually put it away, then thought about it for another 10 minutes and picked up to read again. Sleep is overrated, anyhow. There are parts This is not a lighthearted, quick romance. It took me a while to get into it (like, 100 pages). I almost put it down to pick something else up that's a little more lighthearted, more easy, but I'm glad I stuck it out because I would have missed out on a great read. I was laying in bed reading, knowing I needed to put it away if I was going to get good sleep, actually put it away, then thought about it for another 10 minutes and picked up to read again. Sleep is overrated, anyhow. There are parts I enjoyed more than others. The futuristic world wasn't as neatly drawn as the past. But the past was drawn with such vivid detail. The land and buildings became their own characters. It was lovely. Larissa Brown has a very distinctive writing style. Once I got used to it, the words flew off the page. Some of my favorite quotes: "Life was quick. But single moments could open and flower, and bits of time that fit between breaths could expand or deepen endlessly." "There was someone real for me somewhere. Someone I could really know, could really love, and some part of me admitted I would never find him here in my room, my eyes shuttered, heart in the past." I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    penny shima glanz

    Without a doubt, Beautiful Wreck is one of the best novels I've read recently. While on the surface it could be categorized under certain genres such as fantasy and romance, it dispenses with the usual clichés associated with these classifications and tosses them away to forge a new path. We are transported from a near-future, which is enthralled by visions of the past, to the imagined past of Iceland in the year 920 which full of beauty and hope for the future. We watch Ginn discover a reality Without a doubt, Beautiful Wreck is one of the best novels I've read recently. While on the surface it could be categorized under certain genres such as fantasy and romance, it dispenses with the usual clichés associated with these classifications and tosses them away to forge a new path. We are transported from a near-future, which is enthralled by visions of the past, to the imagined past of Iceland in the year 920 which full of beauty and hope for the future. We watch Ginn discover a reality thought unattainable and beyond her wildest dreams. She has yearned for an immersion of indistinct boundaries where she could actually experience "art, magnificent in its fervent detail", what happens to her when the impossible arrives? Brown's writing describes a world that makes me wish for the tank. Ginn’s experiences draw you in from the very start without any desire to tap out, so plan ahead and clear your schedule (or prepare for a sleepless night). I highly recommend Beautiful Wreck. Disclaimer: I have done work for the publisher and received an ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    This book contains a futuristic sci-fi kickass norse language nerd time travelling to meet a cursed viking, and if that doesn't sell it, then this is not the book for you... This nutty plot beats The Time Traveller's Wife hands-down. It has all of Outlander's commitment to historical detail (imaginary or otherwise) without that problematic rapey-ness factor. Which really shouldn't earn a book bonus stars, but in this case I'm willing to pay them. Along with more bonus stars for the author managi This book contains a futuristic sci-fi kickass norse language nerd time travelling to meet a cursed viking, and if that doesn't sell it, then this is not the book for you... This nutty plot beats The Time Traveller's Wife hands-down. It has all of Outlander's commitment to historical detail (imaginary or otherwise) without that problematic rapey-ness factor. Which really shouldn't earn a book bonus stars, but in this case I'm willing to pay them. Along with more bonus stars for the author managing to wrangle the plot so that the time-travelling actually plays a necessary part in both the plot's introduction and conclusion. Which is obviously harder to achieve than people give credit for, given the other examples of the genre above. Also stars paid for heroine's growth from addle-pated idler to eventual kick-ass pwner of all. I was just here for the old viking endearments (imaginary or otherwise), and unexpectedly ended up cheering for Ginn. Well played Larissa Brown, well played.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Cooper

    Beautiful Wreck is a treasure of history and love. The beginning was hard to follow and confusing for me. However, I kept reading and was glad I did. The story unfolds into an epic tale of love and timetravel. Heirik believes he is cursed because of a mark, but Ginn is determined to show him the truth and love. Larissa Brown paints this medieval world with such color and detail I could feel the bitter wind and taste the saltwater in the air. She captures the real life world of the Vikings and the Beautiful Wreck is a treasure of history and love. The beginning was hard to follow and confusing for me. However, I kept reading and was glad I did. The story unfolds into an epic tale of love and timetravel. Heirik believes he is cursed because of a mark, but Ginn is determined to show him the truth and love. Larissa Brown paints this medieval world with such color and detail I could feel the bitter wind and taste the saltwater in the air. She captures the real life world of the Vikings and the daily struggles. The love between Heirik and Ginn is realist and unfolds with time, rather than rushed. Overall, a great read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    I truly enjoyed this book, it was enchanting, written with heart and soul. I find myself wanting to look at Viking beads online, looking at photos available for this time period. It flew to the list of my 10 most favorite books very quickly.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dabney

    If I could give six stars, I would. I adored this book. I began reading it at seven in the evening and read all through the next morning until I was done. The experience was like falling into another world, one where words transported, challenged, and oh so pleased me. Read it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Em Wittmann

    Like many other readers, I mostly enjoyed this story once Ginn traveled back in time. I loved learning about her family - not just the chief, about her home, and this way of life. Unfortunately this is a long story and our reward for waiting on the romance as it moved one minuscule step forward and three steps back was...I’m not going to say. Suffice it to say the payoff was abrupt, odd, and wholly unsatisfying. Also strange. I’m on the low B/high C with this one & its a huge bummer. Pining and Like many other readers, I mostly enjoyed this story once Ginn traveled back in time. I loved learning about her family - not just the chief, about her home, and this way of life. Unfortunately this is a long story and our reward for waiting on the romance as it moved one minuscule step forward and three steps back was...I’m not going to say. Suffice it to say the payoff was abrupt, odd, and wholly unsatisfying. Also strange. I’m on the low B/high C with this one & its a huge bummer. Pining and lust and misunderstandings are part of every romance. But so is ROMANCE. FFS, give us a few happy, loved up chapters. It’s like the author just got tired of writing.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Monica **can't read fast enough**

    *I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review* *Warning: I use the word "awesome" at least three time during this review!* I was contacted by Larissa Brown a few months ago about possibly reading and reviewing her soon to be released novel, but at the time I was a little swamped with other things such as real life and a list of other books that I already had lined up. I wish that I had gotten to this wonderful book sooner! I am so glad that I finally got the oppo *I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review* *Warning: I use the word "awesome" at least three time during this review!* I was contacted by Larissa Brown a few months ago about possibly reading and reviewing her soon to be released novel, but at the time I was a little swamped with other things such as real life and a list of other books that I already had lined up. I wish that I had gotten to this wonderful book sooner! I am so glad that I finally got the opportunity to read this book, it's an awesome read and I can not believe that this is Brown's first published work of fiction. The attention to detail and description Brown provides is amazing and transports the reader to the 10th century Icelandic farm of Hvitmork (White Woods) beautifully. Brown obviously did an epic amount of research before and/or while writing this book because I was truly engrossed in the world created by Brown. Hvitmork is the territorial seat of Heirik who is the Herra (chief) and the men and women who follow him. Hvitmork is also where Ginn (Jen) is taken by Herik and his men after she wakes washed up on the sands along the ocean in 10th century Iceland. Ginn starts out in the 22nd century where technology is ever present and everything has become sanitized and overpopulated. The technology in Jen's time is so pervasive that people wear contact lenses that can communicate all kinds of information to the wearer. Whether it be the current temperature, historical facts of one's surroundings, or taking snapshots of images that the wearer would like to remember, it's all available at the blink of an eye. The main entertainment during Jen's time is reenactment and role playing one's favorite time in history. Whether it be the American Civil War or Victorian England it is all available to be experienced. The company that Jen works for has taken that experience to the next level by creating the "tank" where the experiences are supposed to be even more realistic. During a session in the "tank" the unthinkable happens and Jen wakes up in the 10th century where she is rescued by a group of vikings led by Heirik. Heirik as Herra is both revered and feared by his people due to the birthmark that stains a large part of his body. Both Heirik and his people believe that his birthmark is the result of the gods spilling blood on him at his birth and is a curse, therefore making him literally untouchable. Heirik stole and wrenched my heart. When Brown writes that Heirik didn't even know how gently or strongly to touch another person it just about took my breath away. That one passage just makes you want to reach in the book and rock him like a little boy. However, Heirik is the definition of what a strong, just, and dedicated man and leader should be. Because of his "curse" he is denied all physical contact by his people and must live his life protecting and serving those who have denied him the simplest of human needs, physical contact. Instead of railing against fate or becoming overly bitter Heirik simply goes about proving at every turn his ability to lead and protect. Ginn demonstrated that love can be achingly patient and resilient. I loved that she did not try to force her way into the arms of Heirik or insult the beliefs of the community. Ginn was able to put their beliefs and traditions in perspective even though she did not have the same superstitions binding her in fear. Ginn is an awesome heroine and in the end transformed into something that I did not see coming. Her metamorphosis was awesome and unexpected, I had to give a resounding "Yes!" when I read it. I have to be honest and say that the beginning of Beautiful Wreck started a little wobbly, but once Ginn travels back in time the story just got better and better. Brown has woven a thoroughly entertaining read and I am so glad that I experienced this story. The secondary characters are intriguing and add so much depth to the overall story. Betta, Har, Brosa, Svana, and even Hildur are all interesting and grounding counterpoints to Heirik and Ginn. The only other negative to this book for me is the cover art. It doesn't seem to fit the awesomeness that is Beautiful Wreck, it almost feels like the cover of a book aimed at middle school readers. If I had seen the cover only I don't think that I would have given this book much consideration so please don't make that mistake! This is not a sexy hot romance. Instead it is a tension filled, long suffering, passionate love story that will suck you in, stick with you, and leave you thinking about Heirik and Ginn for days after you finish reading the book. I can't help but say it again, this is an awesome read! My favorite line in the book is delivered by Ginn when she says "Please, Love. Kill him." Oh yeah, that's what a real Viking chic would want! Find more at Monlatable Book Reviews at http://www.monlatablereviews.com/

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Incredible. Heartrending. Wondrous. More later today... SO.....I had read my friend Rachel's review of this book and KNEW I obviously MUST read it (I mean, THAT REVIEW!!) but somehow I never actually read the summary of what it was about. This book starts out in the future, a future full of people looking backward and other people working to make that a virtual reality. And at first I thought it was going to be a story about this girl (Ginn) sort of trapped in this cold lonely place where she doe Incredible. Heartrending. Wondrous. More later today... SO.....I had read my friend Rachel's review of this book and KNEW I obviously MUST read it (I mean, THAT REVIEW!!) but somehow I never actually read the summary of what it was about. This book starts out in the future, a future full of people looking backward and other people working to make that a virtual reality. And at first I thought it was going to be a story about this girl (Ginn) sort of trapped in this cold lonely place where she doesn't feel she belongs.... And I thought "Oh, OK, I mean maybe I'll really connect with this girl although she lives in such an offputting world." BUT THEN she inadvertently time travels to 10th century Iceland (WHAT?!?! Yes, I was quite surprised, and then the book just TAKES OFF) and finds HER place, the place her heart and her head can call home. And it just becomes transcendent. There's SO MUCH to this story. There's doom and gloom and prophecy, there's friendship and belonging, there's love and romance and giving it all up and getting it all back. There's finding WHO you are and looking for a WHERE you are that can fit with that. There's identity and longing and there's recognizing that you knew what you needed the whole damn time. This reminded me of King Hereafter, which you must realize by now is one of my very favorite books--both in its romance and in its setting and in the story of Heirik leading and protecting his people, although I must admit that it's much LIGHTER fare--which is not a criticism, just a comment--whereas say Hild which I am reading now is like King Hereafter both in its romance and setting AND its weightiness. Beautiful Wreck is just as weighty as both those books in its feelings and tangibly placing itself in my heart, but not as weighty as it's not part of our ACTUAL history and not pulling those moments forward and entangling me in a humanity that WAS and DID. Does that make sense? No? Only to me? Ah well. I dearly love(d) this book but I don't want you to find, in my comparison to King Hereafter, that upon reading it, it falls short of that. It is lighter from the get-go but also beloved. We all need different kinds of cake, do we not. This reminded me of the longest hardest winters followed by that fresh breath of spring, this reminded me of being loved and cared for and how sometimes it seems that sending someone away is the best way to take care of them. This reminded me that somehow someway we all *HOPEFULLY* find that place where we're meant to be. I'm still waiting, myself.

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