It took me awhile to appreciate the narrative: the occasional rambling of Charlotte's inner dialogue considered separate from her Inner Thoughts, whicIt took me awhile to appreciate the narrative: the occasional rambling of Charlotte's inner dialogue considered separate from her Inner Thoughts, which was sometimes treated as its own sentience. Working these ramblings into the narrative at times, and not associating it with her active thinking, often made the writing feel silly and incongruous, but ultimately this is how the brain works, these random asides and repetitions amid typical and coherent thoughts. As someone with a mind that goes nonstop, I understand those three different ways of thinking: the voice we let out or at least the one that manages to escape, the inner active thoughts often involved in our processing and sorting, then the weird gibberish onslaught of absolutely anything often as a result of fear and anxiety. So, obviously, I could relate quite a bit to Charlotte once I realized what the narrative was trying to accomplish.
I’m here for the Jane Austen allusions and parallels and this one didn’t fail, as the author played a lot with Northanger Abbey....more
The governess presupposes a LOT. At every turn, she has come up with a new story to explain what seems to be a non-action from the kids. If the ghostlThe governess presupposes a LOT. At every turn, she has come up with a new story to explain what seems to be a non-action from the kids. If the ghostly appearances are supposed to be real, I can't tell as I spend too much time wondering if she's just crazy. She did seem quick to assume, with the merest of suggestions, that the two figures she was seeing were that of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel without any sort of justification. (Apparently her sanity is a common and long standing debate among readers. Guess I'm in the she's-crazy camp.) Perhaps there's a statement here, on the stresses of responsibility, seeing as she was given complete run and told to never contact their uncle. Ever. Their true guardian. That's too much to take on suddenly. Or, another example of how she cracked, and maybe he never said such a thing. And I get that it was probably intentional to leave the truth ambiguous... normally I'm fine with that, but for some reason it just rubbed me the wrong way here.
I also can't get a solid grasp on the writing. So. Many. Commas! There are a lot of distracting side thoughts throughout nearly every sentence, not to mention the old speech style. Old speech dances around the point so much that I don't feel like it's saying much of anything half the time.
Apparently some people question (view spoiler)[what happened to Miles at the end because I've seen mention of him "passing out", but the book says his heart stopped. I felt that was a pretty clear cut way of saying he died and she squeezed the breath out of him. (hide spoiler)]...more
I love a good mystery, so I just ate this book up! Something about the clues throughout reminded me a bit of The Westing Game, which I adore. It was fI love a good mystery, so I just ate this book up! Something about the clues throughout reminded me a bit of The Westing Game, which I adore. It was fluff and I had issues with some of the writing (eg. felt the main character, an otherwise intelligent girl, was sometimes dense simply for the sake of exposition) but it was an all around good read.
Especially intrigued by the missing character, Amanda Valentino, who is crazy smart (emphasis on crazy?) and creative. She's got this great schizophrenic-too-much-personality-for-one-person thing going on. And her quotes! I would kill for the ability to pull quotes like she does. I guess when you have a person at the core of your mystery, it only makes sense that you make that person as fascinating and affable as possible.
After a bit of research I see that this is intended to be an eight-book series with at least the first three books written from a different character's perspective and by different authors, each author using the nom de plume of Stella Lennon. I like the idea of a collaborative series, especially as it opens up the voice for each individual character. Not only that but it allows you to overlook any misgivings from a particular book, as they may not be there in the next, and simply enjoy as the mystery unfolds.
For what was a fun, light read I'm surprised at the character depth and distinct personality of each girl. I thought it was an interesting choice to hFor what was a fun, light read I'm surprised at the character depth and distinct personality of each girl. I thought it was an interesting choice to have each girl go through everything separately before reuniting, and I think this is exactly why each character was able to be fully realized along with making the whole mystery more intriguing. I definitely feel compelled to read further, which is always a good sign for a book series.
I thought the show has been fairly enjoyable but I see now that it's missed the mark on several key notes, one of which being subtlety....more
I wish more series followed this idea where there are sequels that connect to each other, even including bits that may clear up certain elements fromI wish more series followed this idea where there are sequels that connect to each other, even including bits that may clear up certain elements from one book to another, but each book can ultimately stand on its own because each contains its own unique story. The one drawback I see from this is how, in The Likeness, the first ~100 pages were setup introducing us to a new situation, a new character’s point of view, filling in gaps between her role in the last book and where she is at the start of this book... and it was all done well, but there’s an odd sensation reading something that is technically a sequel and having to go through that foundation process all over again. This was the only part of the book that dragged for me.
I love a good whodunit, but what appealed most to me in this reading was the fascinating Whitethorn House and Lexie’s mystery life. I sort of envy both Lexie and Cassie that opportunity to slip into someone else’s shoes for a time and live an entirely different life. Be an entirely different person. Plus there was that whole tension of worrying about Cassie getting caught in this most improbable situation of having to fool a VERY close group of friends into thinking she was one of their own. It was repeated over and over just how 'weird' these kids were; is it wrong that I found them to be kind of awesome, even if volatile? I think they’re relatable, in a strange way, because their dynamic appeals to that need in many of us to feel accepted and to find such close bonds with other people that vouches for our role as an integral part of a group. We want to belong. I think we all want a Whitethorn House of our own, though I could personally do without the extremes and exclusivities.
(view spoiler)[Should I be concerned that I tended to agree with Daniel’s ideas and logic? His whole monologue about greed was pretty spot on; owning a home, outright, provides the potential for so much freedom. You have a roof over your head... the only thing necessary now is food and maintenance of that roof. Learn how to repair it yourself and the only money you need would be for nourishment and supplies. Live minimally and don’t compete with the Joneses over the latest and greatest, and life would be so much easier, richer, and more satisfying. “A modicum of luxury, in exchange for one’s free time and comfort.” Why strive for that luxury when you don’t allow yourself time to enjoy it. You put yourself in a catch 22. So in a scary way, I see what Daniel was fighting so hard to protect. (hide spoiler)]...more
Had been really looking forward to this one for quite some time now (it waiting on the shelf for maybe two years before I finally started the Author AHad been really looking forward to this one for quite some time now (it waiting on the shelf for maybe two years before I finally started the Author Alphabet Challenge) but I think the hype killed it for me. Though I enjoyed the buildup in the first half, overall I expected so much more and it simply didn't deliver. I really feel this book missed the opportunity to explore something complex and even controversial. So much room for psychological/sociological depth and yet we only get varied reactions to grief and not much more. It seemed to gloss over what could have been the good stuff.
I often had issue with the writing itself - some rather clumsy paragraphs and incongruous metaphors - which is something I either rarely notice to begin with or often overlook with ease. In terms of plot there was especially one WTF moment towards the end that really took me out of the story, particularly in the character's choice of actions in said moment.
Despite the shallow take on the subject and my qualms with sections of writing, I was able to enjoy the story and the narrative POV of being able to watch Susie's world right alongside her. I just wish Susie could better convey the insight she was experiencing....more