A Wounded Name is a debut novel by Dot Hutchison releasing this September. The book is a contemporary retelling of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. I'm g...more
A Wounded Name is a debut novel by Dot Hutchison releasing this September. The book is a contemporary retelling of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. I'm going to presume that many of you know the original story so I will not completely rehash it. I prefer instead to talk about Hutchison's brilliant take on it. The book is told in first person from Ophelia's point of view as she shares the events leading up to the tragic end of the Prince of Denmark. It is a title that I expect to hear more about, particularly since the early responses have been so favorable. I'm not even going to tease on this one - I loved it... every word. I thought it was fantastic.
This book... wow... this book.
Ophelia Castellan has always feared that she would succumb to her dead Mother's legacy, a grim future of madness and promiscuity. The fears are not isolated to her alone. Her Father, Polonius, and older brother, Laertes, maintain an ever-watchful vigilance over both Ophelia's virtue and sanity. But they never factored Hamlet Danemark VI, known as Dane to his friends, into the equation.
Dane's father, the head of the illustrious Elsinore Academy, has died suddenly. This sends Elsinore into an uproar, but none are as shattered as Dane. Dane is stricken by this and in his grief he turns to Ophelia for comfort. This single act sets off a series of events that will draw them both to the brink of madness and beyond, particularly when Dane comes to learn that his father's death may have been prevented.
I was immediately drawn into the world that Hutchison was painstakingly recreating. Within a page I knew that I was going to like her style. Her writing is solid, beautiful, and rife with deliciously quotable passages. Her use of metaphor and word-play is perfect. I found myself rereading lines and sharing them aloud to others amazed that this was her first novel. The level of craftsmanship that went into this is unbelievable. It's obvious that this book has been a labour of love for her. It shows with every nuance in characterization, with the attention to thematic elements, and, most importantly, in the wild, runaway chemistry between Ophelia and Dane.
Here Ophelia is gorgeously rendered; the dynamic woman of myth and fantasy that Shakespeare only hinted at. Hutchison gives her so many new levels - she's troubled, she's sneaky, she's loyal and she's kind. She's also devoted and strong and weak and knows her limitations. She is the heart and soul of the play and in this book she finally gets the spotlight that she has deserved for the last four centuries. One feels every emotion as if they were there with her, holding her hand and spurning her into the water yourself. My heart broke repeatedly for her with every foreshadowed allusion to her end and then broke again... and again... and again.
There's a chaotic beauty to her relationship with Dane. Dane himself is a masterpiece of characterization, a wondrous glitch. Dane is the kind of man that a reader sympathizes with despite his obvious and distasteful flaws. Dane is self-absorbed, he's singularly minded, and he's manipulative without realizing that he is. He's the ultimate user and Ophelia is merely the drug that he abuses... and abuses her he does, both mentally and physically. There are some haunting, brutal, painful scenes in this book. And yet the reader forgives him just as Ophelia does, accepts that he has his problems, and let's him get away with his callous whims. It's not that he's a particularly good boyfriend or anything, far from it. He's gets away with murder... until he doesn't. And he drags Ophelia along for the ride, every tragic turn of it.
This is the love story that I love to read; a doomed one. I'm a sucker for torturous beauty and impossibilities when it comes to romantic plot lines. To me there is no better romantic ending than two lovers who don't live happily ever after. This play has always fulfilled that element for me in multiple ways. Hutchison's execution of this tragedy goes beyond my expectations. I gritted my teeth for the entire book but my lips were still smiling. It's such a rough ride but it's worth every heart-wrenching, aching second. I'm not sure who Hutchison was writing this book for but I swear she was directing it at my kind. I'm so in love with her words.
I encourage fans of Laini Taylor, April Lindner, and Tessa Gratton to go immediately and pre-order this book. I think you won't be disappointed. This is a definite favourite of the year. It's going on my shelves and never leaving them.
Man, I'm not sure how this happened. The first book was a five for me. A solid good YA book that I enjoyed, that I had no complaints about...and then...moreMan, I'm not sure how this happened. The first book was a five for me. A solid good YA book that I enjoyed, that I had no complaints about...and then this one lost my interest at about page 125. I think the thing that made the first book so good that was lacking in this book was the "What the hell is going on?" aspect. I had no idea what Kaylee and Nash were in the first book...that's what made it so interesting. This one? Not so much.
In the second book there is a media giant named Dekker that is making teenagers sell their souls to demons so that they can attain fame and fortune. They also run every aspect of the youth's life. Fine and good, I enjoyed that part of the premise... and then there was Tod, who is potentially my least favourite character thus far in the series. I don't enjoy his presence very much and, surprise surprise, he's a major plot point in this book. Blargh...strike one. Strike two comes between Kaylee and Nash themselves. This book takes place 6 weeks after Kaylee has discovered what she is. Also, it's 6 weeks (give or take) after her relationship with Nash has developed into a full blown romance. The problem here comes in when Kaylee starts to succumb to self-doubt about her and Nash and whether she is good enough for him...groan... enough with the angsty Stephenie Meyer like devices. I get it. Teenage girls are unsure of themselves... stop cramming it down my throat!
I'm sad. I loved the first book. I think maybe this is one to set aside (for the time being) and pick it back up again when I am more in the mood for it. I don't want to give up on these yet, I just need a bit of space. There's too much skip reading going on to be into it right now. (less)
Kaylee has this unique ability to sense when people are about to die. She can see shadows around them and develops a nauseous reaction when a person i...moreKaylee has this unique ability to sense when people are about to die. She can see shadows around them and develops a nauseous reaction when a person is about to collapse. Recently there has been a rash of unexplained deaths of young women and Kaylee has reacted to them in ways that lead her family to start wondering at her mental health...again...When she was younger a reaction of this magnitude landed her in a mental ward when her Aunt and Uncle could not deal with her outbursts. Now, at 17, Kaylee is unable to handle the grief that comes with not only seeing people's deaths, but being unable to prevent them.
This is the first time I have read Rachel Vincent. It's a very fun, quick read. I finished it in about 30 hours...what can I say? My standards have either plateaued, or I just know what I will like before I pick it up. This just screamed (no pun intended) me when I heard the premise. I wish I could tell you what the deal is, but that would ruin the surprise. Look elsewhere for spoilers because I'm not giving the game away. Rest assured that this is something new and fresh to the supernatural YA market... it's not sparkly vampires... it's not any kind of vampires for that matter...and it's certainly not wertewolves... but it will captivate your attention for a good night or two. I really enjoyed it. (less)
So, this means I am caught up in the world of the Hollows, with the exception of "Black Magic Sanction", and that comes out in two weeks. There were t...moreSo, this means I am caught up in the world of the Hollows, with the exception of "Black Magic Sanction", and that comes out in two weeks. There were things I liked about this book, but overall I found the "Mystery" in this story to fall flat.
First off, there's an introduction of two new elements in this book, which shows the first time these elements have ever been mentioned in the existing mythos - banshees and ghosts. That they were both introduced in tandem almost felt like Harrison had to stretch a plot a tad thinner. The banshee plot I was fine with, but as the pages came to a conclusion I found myself skimming through it more than previous books. Same with Pierce... started ok...plummeted quickly. I grew bored with him.
Overall, I wanted this book to be about, oh, 65 pages shorter than it was. But, that said, I still adore these books. There was alot of interesting character developments in this book.. particularly when Rachel finds herself shunned. It's fun to see who rallies behind her, and who does not.
One more book. When I am done with these I don't know what I am going to do with myself...Rachel...withdrawal....:((less)
Coming out of the epic Melissa Marr reread is book three in the Wicked Lovely series - Fragile Eternity. The first time through I loved this book. It...more Coming out of the epic Melissa Marr reread is book three in the Wicked Lovely series - Fragile Eternity. The first time through I loved this book. It seemed fresh and new. The second time... I skimmed it, to be honest. I found it overall to be whingier and more transitional of the series. It's a middle book, through and through.
Aislinn has become the Summer Court's Queen. With the balance of power (and seasons) shifting in the Courts everything is up in the air. Seth maintains a human presence on the sidelines as Aishlinn's consort while her feelings for Keenan, the Summer King, are heating up. Literally. Outside of the Summer Court the politics rage. High Queen Sorcha is watching the new Queen with a keen interest. Niall, the new King of the Dark Court, has allied himself with Seth. Donia pines for the King she cannot ever have... etc etc.
This book sets up much of the politics I think will be concentrated on in the latter books. Fine, well and good. In the scheme of things though, the reread proved not so good this time around. Whereas the previous books got better, this book suffered. I know this story. I guess I didn't need to revisit this one as much.
My first read was a 5 star. This time around would have been a 3.5. I'll split the difference and rank this a 4 stars. I'm geeked to move on to Radiant Shadows, as this was the book I veered on earlier this year. And with that, off I go.
Ink Exchange is my favourite of the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. I was beyond happy to reread this one. It's the one that has (thus far) reso...more Ink Exchange is my favourite of the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. I was beyond happy to reread this one. It's the one that has (thus far) resonated with me the most. There's something in Leslie's story that I, as a woman, identify with so much. It hurts to read this book, because I see so much of this character in myself. Sigh. My review, yes. My review.
Leslie has it really hard since her mother walked out of her life. Months later the absence echoes through her home; her father has succumbed to alcoholism, her brother's addicted to all manner of recreational drugs and has traded her body for his fixes. Reeling from abuse and a mass gang rape Leslie is attracted to Pins & Needles, the local tattoo shop run by Rabbit. She wants an image to mark her skin, something to help reclaim her body as her own. What she doesn't know is that Rabbit and his sisters, Tish and Ani, have some very powerful allies in the Faery Dark Court.
Leslie's tale is hard.. Point blank in your face hard. There is little about this book that is sweet and sunshine and rainbows. It's aggressive, it's dark, it's sexy... and it will rip your heart still beating from your body. Particularly when you throw in Niall. Niall is Gancanagh, a faerie whose touch can be addictive. Niall has his own tragic past, and the unveiling of it, plus the dynamic between the two, is magic. This book makes me cry, but I think I am pulling personal experience from many things within. Like I said, it will rip every emotion from the reader.
5 out of 5 stars. I'm so glad that I reread this. Now Radiant Shadows will make sense! Squee!