Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter

Cleopatra's Moon
by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
ISBN: 978-0-545-22130-6
Suggested Age: 13+ (A mature 12 also)
Buy from Indigo 

Description: Selene has grown up in a palace on the Nile with her parents, Cleopatra & Mark Antony—the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants Egypt for himself, & when war finally comes, Selene faces the loss of all she's ever loved. Forced to build a new life in Octavianus's household in Rome, she finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies—until she reaches out to claim her own.

This stunning novel brings to life the personalities & passions of one of the greatest dramas in history, & offers a wonderful new heroine in Selene.

The Good Stuff
  • Thoroughly researched
  • Wonderfully written so that history comes alive and you learn some fascinating information about Cleopatra and her ancestors, but done in a lovely fictional way as to entice YA readers into wanting to learn more
  • Author mentions where she has taken creative license with the history so you won't mistake fact for fiction
  • Gives a brief Facts within the fiction section, which is nice
  • Fast paced story with some angst for the YA reader to appreciate, but not too much to irritate the adult reader
  • Intriguing historical figure
  • Lots of love and worship of cats - hey I'm a cat lover, I had to mention it
  • Cleopatra's daughter was a bit of a kick ass kinda girl, you gotta like the positive female role model
  • Enjoyed all of the questions Cleopatra Selene had about faith and women 
The Not so Good Stuff
  • A wee bit slow at times 
  • Didn't like how it starts when she's 17 than jumps to her younger years, gave me too much foreboding of what was going to happen. Would have preferred something a little more linear, but that is just a preference thing not a judgement
  • Rome comes across a little too much as EVIL - but really it is from Cleopatra's point of view, but it just threw me off a little
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"There is no insulting She Whose Bite is Sharper that a Serpent's."

"But if both the man and the women ate of the fruit, why does the women get all the blame?" I interrupted, sitting forward on the wooden bench. I did not look at Euphronius, guessing he was glaring at me.
"Because she is weaker and tempted the men," he said, seemingly surprised at the question. "Therefore, she is more evil."
"But-" Euphronius cleared his throat. I ignored him. "But wasn't she just curious? Isn't curiosity a useful human trait? Why would your god give humans curiosity and tell them not to use it?"

"If the husband catches the wife with a lover, he is allowed to murder the lover without question or consequence." continued Juba. " And he is allowed to divorce the wife without having to return her dowry?"
"And if the wife catches the husband with a lover?" I asked
He looked blankly at me.
"There is no consequence for the husband cheating?"
"Well, no" Juba said, seeming nonplussed by the very question.
I sighed. Of course not.:

Who should/shouldn't read
  • Perfect for getting the YA interested in learning more about Cleopatra and her descendants -- hell I didn't even know that Cleopatra had children  so good for adults too, now I want to learn more
  • Even good for the YA set who really have no interesting in learning anything, its just a good story with action, political intrigue,  blood, and romance. 
4 Dewey's

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review


  1. I have this on my bookshelf and after reading your review I'm anxious to read it!