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Take a step back . . . in time: Karen’s personal historical fiction reading challenge

Paris Hilton left us with these infamous words: Math is Hard.  I loved math.  You always knew you had a correct answer before turning in your test.  The subject that is my arch nemesis? History.  I am not a fact retainer, but think in ideas and abstraction.  The essay test is my friend.  But trying to remember who did what with whom and on what specific date – gets me every time.

I remember very distinctly being forced to sit in a chair for hours during the 8th grade as my dad yelled at me for the note he got in the mail letting him know that I was failing history.  Good times.  And in college, I actually wrote the following as answer to a test question: “I can’t remember his name, but I know that he went around preaching door to door with a person whose first name is Andrew.”  That very nice professor gave me partial credit.

The Mr., he can recite TV and movie quotes like it is nobody’s business and I am super jealous of this talent.  It must have come in hand during all those history classes.  I can explain to you why the events of history happened and what we can learn from them, but not who did them and when.  And I can count the number of quotes I can recite from memory on one hand, which is one of the reasons I keep a quote journal.

The point of all this, I don’t read a lot of historical fiction – which I regret.  The other day I had a teenage girl and her mom in my teen area and they were trying to talk to me about historical fiction.  So I have set for myself a challenge: in 2013 I am going to read 5 historical fiction titles for yas.  I am listing the titles I am reading below, but need your help: what titles do you recommend? And for the record, I did read and LOVED Code Name Verity last year.

I am currently reading Maid of Secrets by Jenn McGowan.  It is different then I expected because it has a strong, independent female lead and isn’t overly swoony.  I am having a hard time keeping all these names and titles apart, but overall I am really enjoying the story.  PS. For more historical fiction, Jenn McGowan wrote a guest blog post for us last year highlighting some titles, be sure to check it out.

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
Ann from over at Zest Books highly recommended this title to me and since I respect her infinitely, I am going to be reading it.  It comes out in June 2013 from Viking.  This is the story of Anne Boleyn and the tagline says, “You only think you know her story.”

Victoria Rebels by Carolyn Meyer
This title is based on Queen Victoria’s diaries, which sounds interesting.  Published in January from Simon & Schuster.

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
I had the chance to hear Joy Preble speak this past weekend at the Montgomery County Book Festival, so I thought I would give this series a try.  The story of Anastasia has always been interesting to me, and I like that it has some paranormal elements in it and isn’t a straight forward historical fiction title.

The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison
Two princesses, two kingdoms, and ancient prophecy . . .
Does a fantasy romance set in a medieval sounding location actually count as historical fiction?  Probably not.  Maybe.  But, Orson Scott Card gives it a thumbs up and I am going to give it a go. Plus, I do love fantasy.  Coming in May from EgmontUSA

So here is where I need your help, I technically have 5 titles listed here, but it is possible that a couple of them aren’t technically historical fiction.  So tell me in the comments, what 2013 historical fiction title do you recommend that I add to my personal reading challenge?