How I live in a literary format vs. how I live in the movies. Two very different Elizabeth's, or Daisy's, as it were.
Our Daisy of the book was quite s...moreHow I live in a literary format vs. how I live in the movies. Two very different Elizabeth's, or Daisy's, as it were.
Our Daisy of the book was quite subdued. Things happened to her. She was upset about them, but never in action, never in voice. Her mother died during child birth. She is shipped off to another country as a teenage girl. Things happen to this Daisy but she does not happen to them. She falls into an illicit love and she falls into a new family, never questioning, already feeling at home due to these new affections from the blood relations of a mother she's never known.
We see this Daisy at as an adult, despite being several years older and having experienced a war in which she cared for little Piper, she has not changed much at all. Her love for Edmond is still strong and all consuming, and she travels far, and suffers much, if only to find the end of her story at what she considers to be a home.
Daisy of the movie is immediate sass. She's hardened, hurt, bitter, calloused and not needing. She's been sent off and she's mad about it. Being shipped to an entirely different culture in war time by the only family she's ever barely known, it's given her a fierceness, a fire, a judgmental nature for this very odd and quirky family she's never quite known. Having never been able to explore that side of herself she's immediately suspicious of this family and their laid back nature. Dogs at the table and dishes in the sink and yet still more feeling than she's likely ever known. She spends a few careful moments with her aunt and eventually opens herself to the possibility of not being alone. Of needing someone who can leave her. She's still got her fire but she's learning to cool it in order to touch.
The movie is visually stunning and the images are placed in a ethereal and timeless space. At first glance you are not sure of the time period and by the end you don't really care. If you can forget who Edmond is you can easily find the sweet in the fact that he wants to help her break her obsessive compulsive rules, and if you want to delve deeper into the human muck of perversion and misplaced sexual and romantic feelings, you can see how a child in war time who has never been loved by anyone and is not being parented by anyone can fall for the only person close to them they can, despite matters of culture or blood.
The story itself is a little bit messy, a little bit outside of our social norms, but for Daisy, it's just how she lives and in my opinion, she does it best on a movie screen.(less)
One of the best parts about this novel is that Kirby is drawn very realistically.
"She's pissed that he's in awe of what happened to her. It's not that...moreOne of the best parts about this novel is that Kirby is drawn very realistically.
"She's pissed that he's in awe of what happened to her. It's not that great. Girls get murdered all the fucking time."
She is tired of being the thing that happened to her in other people's eyes instead of Kirby. She has trouble dating guys because they all want to save her and kiss her scars and "magic them away" or use her for their hipster film project and she can't stand it. She wants them to look at her or not at all. Yet she's still coated in the experience, determined to find her attempted murderer, to what? Get back to being Kirby, whoever that is, rather than The Girl Who Was Almost Murdered, perhaps. She's complex, and her motives seem varied, and that's what makes her an interesting and human character.
Her relationship with Dan was one of my favorite parts of the book... at first. They reminded me of Frank and Cassie in Tana Franch's Dublin Murder Series books. Two misanthrope smartasses with a vastly large age difference coming together to be partners in crime and witticisms. I spent much of the book hoping the author wouldn't go THERE and then she hinted about going THERE and I'm still in denial that it happened because I like everything else in this book and I refuse to acknowledge this thing. This is like if Buffy and Giles decided to get together and suck face. No. Why? No. Dan also got weirdly possessive and the subtle or not-so-subtle jealous comments were completely irritating. The whole dynamic is just weird to me. Kirby lacked a father figure. Dan was unable to produce children. He talks to her like she's a child, calling her kiddo every chapter, and then thinks about her when he's masturbating. THAT'S NOT WEIRD AT ALL. So now they want to make out? No, stop, no.
The house is clearly the evil twin of the TARDIS and is easily distracted by shiny things... and blood. [Note to self: Do not shine bright like a diamond. Rihanna, settle down.] I think the fact that the house only wants girls who possess some unique and special potential is quite interesting. It reeks a little bit of Special Snowflake Syndrome but I'm sort of narcissistic so I'm ok with this. I think the house and its purpose could definitely have been fleshed out. There was a missed opportunity here to explore the mythology of the house and give this book a lot more meat.
This book is largely about women's issues throughout time. The author uses the time travel device to explore different problems women face in each decade while still managing to make the majority of the characters come to life as more than the face of an issue. Lesbians in the 50's and women succeeding as architects despite sexist (and attempted rapist) male coworkers, oh my! I love you, Willie, you artistic and wine loving lesbian. So many feels. There was also a transgender character and a character who assisted girls with (then) illegal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade.
"You can bury your radical magazines, and tear up your sexually perverse sketches, and burn your sheets, but how do you erase who you are?"
My feelings for Willie are only rivaled by my feelings for the dog Tokyo. I have never wanted to go home and hug my Border Collie more.
I have to say that the beginning of this novel was stronger than the end. The ending was rushed, Kirby made some ridiculous and unrealistic decisions, and the romance was mildly nauseating and unnecessary. My actual rating for this book would likely be a 3.5 but I'm rounding up for the excellent cast of diverse characters and interesting spin on a serial killer story by using time travel. As a Doctor Who and Gillian Flynn fan, I was the ideal candidate to love this book, and it was definitely an enjoyable read, even if the storytelling didn't quite measure up to the timey wimeyness of DW or psychological punch packing writing of Gillian Flynn. (less)
Props for the Beyonce joke and the chapter on dating musicians though. Also, the randomly insightful feminist thoughts that seemed out of place in th...more
Props for the Beyonce joke and the chapter on dating musicians though. Also, the randomly insightful feminist thoughts that seemed out of place in this particular book. Spot on. Too bad the rest was incredibly offensive towards, well, everyone. It also seemed to be about shock value rather than being an open expression of a sexually confident woman, which I gather is what I was supposed to think while reading. Well, no. Newp. (less)
I thought the ambiguity of the ending was fitting? I LOVED the ending and so many things about it I won't get into because of spoilers. I loved Hana a...moreI thought the ambiguity of the ending was fitting? I LOVED the ending and so many things about it I won't get into because of spoilers. I loved Hana and Lena's moment. I loved the resolution of the love triangle. I loved Oliver's writing and her subtlety and it was... It was beautiful.
But I didn't love what happened with Raven. (view spoiler)[UH REMEMBER THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK WHEN RAVEN WAS PREGNANT? NO DEVELOPMENT OF THAT?! (hide spoiler)] I also think what is going on with the TV show continues to taint my feelings towards this book. Like, totally cast Alex as your typical white dude even though he was "caramel colored" in the book. Just say tan if you mean tan, authors. ["br"]>["br"]>(less)
If you, like me, enjoyed Laini Taylor's prose and enchanting world building in Daughter of Smoke & Bone but felt that your experience was dragged...more If you, like me, enjoyed Laini Taylor's prose and enchanting world building in Daughter of Smoke & Bone but felt that your experience was dragged down by a bad case of the sugary sweet instaloves, then you might want to read this book. It's filled with vivid fairytales and imagination.
I do wish this book was repackaged. The cover does nothing for what's inside and the synopsis makes it sound more like Twilight than the somber fairytales filled with demons you'll find within. I think some of the inside artwork should have been used for the cover. I wasn't in any rush to read this until I saw some of the artwork in someone else's review.