I'm not sure what to say about this book. It took me a very long time to come into the story, and an even longer time to relate to any of the characte...moreI'm not sure what to say about this book. It took me a very long time to come into the story, and an even longer time to relate to any of the characters. I thought the structure if the book very complicated and am not sure I liked it. The structure, however, mad it an interesting read, and therefore I would give it 3,5 stars.
First sentence: "He never expected to see headlights that time of the night anywhere near the vicinity he had chosen to dump the body."
P. 99: "How man...moreFirst sentence: "He never expected to see headlights that time of the night anywhere near the vicinity he had chosen to dump the body."
P. 99: "How many times had she envied Regan's life?"
Last sentence: "Life was imperfectly beautiful, and that was just fine."
From Amazon Kindle: At 1:30 am, in New York City, Regan Wright is ripped out of a sound sleep with a jolt - her heart thuds in her ears and her face feels flushed. Straining to hear anything out of the ordinary, she fumbles to turn on the bedside lamp. Nothing seems out of place. Suddenly her stomach twists in knots - it's her identical twin, Rebecca. Something is terribly wrong...
Though twins, Rebecca and Regan couldn't be more different. One chose a high-profile career in fashion design, the other chose to be a wife and stay-at-home mom, but neither is truly happy and they must discover why. When a serial killer strikes nearby, and the victim looks eerily similar to the twins, they fear that one of them could be next.
I needed a nice, relaxing and quick read, and this book was perfect; I read this book in one sitting. I had expected a bit more about the serial killer, though. And the (short) parts of religion and faith I could have done without, but, on the other hand, they didn't bother me.
First sentence: "On the pleasant banks of the Garonne, in the province of Gascony, stood, in the year 1584, the chateau of Monsieur St. Aubert."
P. 99:...moreFirst sentence: "On the pleasant banks of the Garonne, in the province of Gascony, stood, in the year 1584, the chateau of Monsieur St. Aubert."
P. 99: "Emily could no longer stifle the anguish of her heart; her tears fell fast upon her father’s hand, which she yet held."
Last sentence: "Ludovico had some difficulty to prevent her going into the supper-room, to express her joy, for she declared, that she had never been so rejoiced at any accident as this, since she had found Ludovico himself.
From Wikipedia: Emily St. Aubert is the only child of a landed rural family whose fortunes are now in decline. Emily and her father share an especially close bond, due to their shared appreciation for nature. After her mother’s death from a serious illness, Emily and her father grow even closer. She accompanies him on a journey from their native Gascony, through the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean coast of Roussillon, over many mountainous landscapes. During the journey, they encounter Valancourt, a handsome man who also feels an almost mystical kinship with the natural world. Emily and Valancourt quickly fall in love.
Emily’s father succumbs to a long illness. Emily, now orphaned, is forced by his wishes to live with her aunt, Madame Cheron, who shares none of Emily’s interests and shows little affection to her. Her aunt marries Montoni, a dubious nobleman from Italy. He wants his friend Count Morano to become Emily′s husband, and tries to force her to marry him. After discovering that Morano is nearly ruined he brings Emily and his wife to his remote castle of Udolpho. Emily fears to have lost Valancourt forever. Morano searches for Emily and tries to carry her off secretly from Udolpho. Emily refuses to join him because her heart still belongs to Valancourt. Morano′s attempt to escape is discovered by Montoni, who wounds the Count and chases him away. In the following months Montoni threatens his wife with violence to force her to sign over her properties in Toulouse, which upon her death would otherwise go to Emily. Without resigning her estate Madame Cheron dies of a severe illness caused by her husband′s harshness. Many frightening but coincidental events happen within the castle, but Emily is able to flee from it with the help of her secret admirer Du Pont, who was a prisoner at Udolpho, and the servants Annette and Ludovico. Returning to the estate of her aunt, Emily learns that Valancourt went to Paris and lost his wealth. In the end she takes control of the property and is reunited with Valancourt.
I struggled to read this book… I struggled really hard. Because, as you perhaps already know, I hate not finishing a book I started So I wanted to finish it, but it took me a really long time.
First of all I want to say, this lengthy gothic romance was written at the end of the 18th century, although the story was set in the 16th century. On publication it became very popular, but now it is merely known because it is mentioned in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (the reason why I read it in the first place).
The reason why I didn’t like it are manifold, but the main one was the fact that it was too long, due to the endless description of landscapes, especially mountains. These go on for pages and pages; I think that if they were left out, the novel wouldn’t have been half this long. Of course, this fits completely into the period the novel was written, as was the use of the word "sublime" , a concept that dates from the 18th century, and that was further developed by John Burke in 1756 (A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful). So ‘They had no words to express the sublime emotions they felt", or something was ‘sublime beyond any thing that Emily had ever imagined’, or they didn’t "look back without some regret to the sublime objects they had quitted’, or they indulged in ‘sublime spectacles’, and so on. It just was too much. Connected to this are all the ruins that are mentioned in this book. Ruins of castles and forts are everywhere, because, at that period, they were thought to be the height of romantic element in a landscape (more information about ruins here).
And then the fainting… Emily is always fainting, and if she isn’t, somebody else is. Or the secrets everyone has. When asked about them, they are never told immediately, but are revealed a few hours later, most of the time around midnight. And they are never as shocking as you are made to believe.
However, although this book clearly wasn’t meant for me, I can see what the attraction of it was when it was first published. So if you like a fainting heroine with an angel-like character, connected to some shady characters and some seemingly supernatural events, you’ll have to read this book.
First sentence: “Elfride Swancourt was a girl whose emotions lay very near the surface.”
P. 99: “‘We would tell papa soon, would we not?’, she inquired...moreFirst sentence: “Elfride Swancourt was a girl whose emotions lay very near the surface.”
P. 99: “‘We would tell papa soon, would we not?’, she inquired timidly.”
Last Sentence: “And side by side they both retraced their steps down the grey still valley to Castle Boterel.”
This book was exactly as I thought it would be, a nice and cosy read abut a young, naive girl who is easily influenced by the people around her and who judges herself and her deeds harshly, too harshly. The book has a tragic but fitting ending.(less)
First sentence: "Most times when I'm out on a date, I feel like an actress on stage giving a great performance in a second-rate theatre."
P. 99: "What...moreFirst sentence: "Most times when I'm out on a date, I feel like an actress on stage giving a great performance in a second-rate theatre."
P. 99: "What if Kitty had been born in that village and lived Ana's life?"
Last sentence: "Heaven, it's good to be home."
Bucharest, 32 year-old Kitty finds the American dream different from what she'd imagined and her life in Manhattan lacking purpose. At the beginning of the year she quits her job as a crime reporter, dumps her boyfriend and packs to go home. She is fed up with the harshness of the news industry, the constant pressure to find a good murder, the superficiality of her Manhattan lifestyle, and her many loveless affairs. But all this changes when her 43-year-old-artist friend Desert Rose invites her to an art fair in Los Angeles, to keep her company while she sets out to seduce Charlie, the gallery owner who represents her. In La La Land, Kitty and Desert Rose will find more uncertainty and adventure than they ever bargained for, will worry every night about where they're going to sleep, get robbed, and meet interesting people, including a communist in Beverly Hills, a man who idealizes the communist dream the same way Kitty used to idealize the American dream. Inspired by her girlfriend's selfless love for Charlie, Kitty will fall madly in love for the first time in her life. But will this complicated tycoon clean up his act?
This book was a fun and relaxing read, although not the kind of story or genre that I normally read. I had won it (together with My Life on Craigslist and The Other Girl, both by Alexandra Ares) in a giveaway on A Bookish Affair! Although I did enjoy reading it, I thought the things that happen to Kitty and Desert Rose were a bit too far-fetched, and the love that Desert Rose felt for Charlie definitely irritated me, because he was so clearly uninterested. In fact, the whole Desert Rose character irritated me. Luckily, I got rather interested in (parts of) Kitty's story, although the end was a bit disappointing.(less)
First sentence: "The wipers were squeaking, 'Let me in', as I drove down I-95 South and crossed into South Carolina."
P. 99: "It only took a few of her...moreFirst sentence: "The wipers were squeaking, 'Let me in', as I drove down I-95 South and crossed into South Carolina."
P. 99: "It only took a few of her gay-bashing comments to send me over the rails."
Last sentence: "He held me tight, as we fell asleep in our new home together."
From Smashwords: Bianca Barrett returns to her hometown after graduating college to find herself feeling trapped and haunted by her past. An old flame burns brighter and the girl who considered herself reserved throws caution to the wind, along with her inhibitions. Strong love, new friendships, lies, betrayal, and revenge turn Bianca's world upside down. Will love be enough in the end?
A light, entertaining romance, with a few twists (and some rather explicit sex-scenes). (less)