**spoiler alert** While there have been several spins and spoofs on the classic + monster genre, I liked this one better than your standard issue spin...more**spoiler alert** While there have been several spins and spoofs on the classic + monster genre, I liked this one better than your standard issue spin. Rather than take an existing novel and making it work around sea monsters, vampires, or zombies, this novel imagines what Jane Austen might have gone through had she become a vampire. In addition to being a fun take on a literary trend, the characters were interesting with very believable motives. The twists and turns of the plot make sense and don’t leave the reader guessing or smacking their forehead.
I could see several echoes of Austen’s works played out in this novel. The qualities of a character, the plot, and the names all cropped up here. It added more fun since the plot turned pretty serious toward the end.
My major complaints are that I would like to have seen vampire culture and etiquette explained a bit more. They complain that Jane isn’t well schooled in the manner of their kind but they don’t always explain what they mean.
For something concerning Austen, I was surprised the ending didn’t mirror an Austen novel. There was great love and passion but it didn’t end with marriage or happiness. Rather, it ended with a great sacrifice and two broken hearts. I would have rated this novel higher since the plot was fun and interesting but the ending depressed me. Jane spends the whole novel fighting for Luke and once she has him, she spurns him for her family. If this book was part of a series, Luke could earn a place among the literary crushes of women everywhere (at least ones who read this book).
It also seemed abrupt since the novel seemed to be moving in the direction of Jane joining the vampires until the last 20 or 30 pages. It was like the writer wanted the novel to dovetail with reality so she created this ending and created it very quickly. There may have been echoes of possibility but it wasn’t clear enough to avoid blindsiding the reader. (less)
Staal began this book by auditing Fem Texts at her alma mater when the famous feminist book The Feminine Mystique suddenly rang very true to her. From...moreStaal began this book by auditing Fem Texts at her alma mater when the famous feminist book The Feminine Mystique suddenly rang very true to her. From here we discover Staal’s life as a mother, freelance writer, wife, and woman and how they relate to what she’s reading in her class.
I have read several different contemporary feminist texts and what I really liked about this one was that it made feminism personal. It dealt with some of the issues that get glossed over today. Like how women try to have the family and career and only manage to get stuck with the second shift or how women are made to feel selfish for putting their needs above anyone else’s and being a mother compounds this. Stall admits she’s just one person and doesn’t have all the answers but she doesn’t pretend the problem doesn’t exist either.
The various issues with the texts Staal related back to the issues she was dealing with in her everyday life. One of my favorite scenes was when Staal started living with her future husband and he went from having a clean apartment and doing his laundry every week to letting mold grow on the dirty dishes, leaving his dirty socks everywhere, and not doing the chores asked of him. Staal found a very memorable way of making him wake up to his behavior. It made this Staal’s story, not a text that was supposed to apply to everyone.
I also liked the background on the various text and writers she was studying. It was very helpful to engage me in the discussion Staal had with herself and her classmates. It was intelligent, engaging, and surprisingly easy to read. This is definitely one of my new favorites.(less)
I normally don’t like chick lit because it’s all the same. This one was similar but different enough for me to lose myself in it. It centers on three...moreI normally don’t like chick lit because it’s all the same. This one was similar but different enough for me to lose myself in it. It centers on three friends who each want something different out of life: the soon-to-be-married Nicole wants to work again, Seema is in love with her best male friend but can’t work up the courage to do anything about it, and Melissa wants her boyfriend of six years to finally propose. Nicole wrigs a cake pull so that each girl will pull a charm that should give her the fortune she most desires. When things don’t go as planned, the girls realize that what you want and what you need may not be the same thing after all…
It’s rare for me to really like and be engaged in chick lit. This novel went deeper than girl-must-get-guy since Nicole had to come to terms with being a wife and stepmother, Melissa had to swallow a very bitter pill, and Seema has to choose what path she must take with regard to the man she loves. I found myself drawn into the changing perspectives and stories and wanting to find out what happens which is rare in general. It’s still light and fluffy but is deeper than your average pastel covered chick lit without losing the fun. (less)
Funny, fresh, and just a bit bitchier than what you see on the show. I agree with almost all of what he says as it tends to ring very true for style f...moreFunny, fresh, and just a bit bitchier than what you see on the show. I agree with almost all of what he says as it tends to ring very true for style faux pas. Entertaining and easy to read, it's worth it if you like the show or just know a bunch of fashion victims.(less)