I don’t normally read Gothic novels, so I found this fascinating but difficult. The Fall is an extremely complicated book based on EReview by Jack 9:6
I don’t normally read Gothic novels, so I found this fascinating but difficult. The Fall is an extremely complicated book based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Chapters throughout the tale show Madeline Usher, the main character, at different ages, ranging from 9 to 18. Also interspersed are chapters from the diary of a relative of Madeline’s, named Elisabeth. The Usher family is cursed with fits, mental illnesses and a conscious, evil house. The curse damages Madeline worse than most, choosing her as the heir to the house. Various people stay at and then leave the house during the book, each affected by the house and curse in a different way; as well as many killed leaving when the house shows its displeasure. The part of the story I like best is around chapter 100, when Madeline finally works out what is happening to her, her friends and to the house. My favourite character is Madeline’s father, who is little affected by the curse. He does so much and is so determined to try and protect his sister, his betrothed, his wife and his children from the curse. Eventually, though, he succumbs like generations of Ushers before him, beaten and battered. Although this book keeps jumping between narratives, it is only moderately difficult to follow due to the clever way in which it is done. I did find it confusing how some key events in the book are never expressly stated, you are just left to infer them. This left me struggling to work out what happened when in some cases. Additionally, the ending left just a few questions unanswered, such as why Roderick had to leave his school, who he loved and what happened to the doctors. I believe that tying up these loose ends would be a huge improvement. ...more
huh all the switching boys and twisted friendships kinda detracted from the enjoyment.
Like me you would be forgiven in thinking that Finding Mr Darcyhuh all the switching boys and twisted friendships kinda detracted from the enjoyment.
Like me you would be forgiven in thinking that Finding Mr Darcy would be a re-imagining of Pride and Prejudice (P&P) set in a high school. Unfortunately, while it does use significant elements of Pride and Prejudice it also weaves in elements of other Austen novels especially Sense and Sensibility alongside Persuasion. So you have a real mish-mash of the tropes; while this did expand the story it also made it confusing to follow and fully establish a true connection to the plot.
Told in dual first person narrative from the perspectives of Eliza and Janie (yes, they are named after the heroines in P&P). The majority of the story focuses on Eliza with the odd chapter from Janie, Eliza’s best friend. Janie’s chapters really didn’t connect with the main parts of the story. I have to say I didn’t really like her in the slightest. I don’t know if this was Erin’s intention but that was how I felt. There was also an element of Janie’s plot focusing on internet chat-rooms and the dangers they can create. I felt that there was a lot of potential in this story arc however, for me it didn’t culminate in a fully developed plot piece. Rather it felt as if it was a tangent that didn’t become fully realized.
There is a lot going on within the plot, death and bereavement, friendship, coping with illness among other things. In fact there was so many peripheral aspects it detracts focus from the characters and main plot. Being a romantic I wanted to concentrate on the ROMANCE. I have to mention my intense dislike of the way in which the relationships became interchangeable; the best friends wrong choice, swap (Urgh NO)
I’m sorry if I am coming across as completely negative I don’t mean to be as the story does contain some really humorous parts, especially the Austen heroines offering romantic advice to Eliza....more
I first saw Such Sweet Sorrow without the synopsis and was completely smitten with the cover and you know me with classic re-imaginings I am a shoe-inI first saw Such Sweet Sorrow without the synopsis and was completely smitten with the cover and you know me with classic re-imaginings I am a shoe-in :) However, I was expecting a nice, romantic read developing the themes within the original. Such Sweet Sorrow isn’t that book, instead we have a continuation of Romeo and Juliet whereby Romeo survives the poison and seeks to resurrect Juliet from the dead.
The book starts with retrospective musings on Romeo’s behalf that do add clarity to the themes within the original as well as this story (I am loath to continue to call it a re-imagining as it is a completely different tale). Personally, I felt that this was the only time Such Sweet Sorrow reflected the original Romeo and Juliet in any way.
The inclusion of Hamlet was ingenious in its usage. The characterisation of both Romeo and Hamlet and their interactions added depth to the plot. Themes of mortality woven with mythology provide food for thought. Use of the Orpheus myth added to the journey Romeo and Hamlet were undertaking. Norse and Greek mythology were predominately used alongside varying religious concepts regarding the afterlife, while weaving an intriguing point of view it did prove slightly confusing. Sirens, Fates and other mythological creatures make an appearance adding to the dynamic nature of the plot.
The writing is very descriptive, a lot goryer than I normally read. I felt it should have come with a disclaimer ‘Do not read while eating’ :)
While Such Sweet Sorrow wasn’t what I expected the ideal of love surviving death shines through the narrative. Themes of friendship, loyalty and trust alongside eternal love and soul-mates create the foundation of this book. Pushing the barriers between free-will and destiny; how much do you think or lives are controlled by outside forces and are the boundaries removable?...more
Definitely, Maybe in Love is a brilliant re-imagining of the classic Pride and Prejudice encompassing all the themes from the original story while givDefinitely, Maybe in Love is a brilliant re-imagining of the classic Pride and Prejudice encompassing all the themes from the original story while giving them a contemporary, realistic make over including extra spice that I am sure a lot of us would have loved to have seen with the original Mr Darcy ;)
Told in first person narrative from the perspective of Spring (yes that’s her name) as the judgemental, opinionated Elizabeth Bennett character. Spring feels she has to be the embodiment of her beliefs in order to be taken seriously. From braiding her hair to becoming vegetarian, however this has the reverse effect than she intended, branding her a zealot rather than a intellectual. Her outward persona is completely at odds with how she really is and she has difficulty in reconciling the two. While coming to terms with who she is she tends to alienate people, causing her further internal struggle. Her emotional and psychological path is the basis of this re-imagining and you can’t help but become attached to Spring.
Spring’s professor steers her away from her narrow mindedness; showing her that she needs a more balanced approach to her thesis and life in general. Pairing up with the rich, attractive son of a land developer, Henry aka Spring’s nemesis, challenges Spring on many different levels. It forces Spring to re-evaluate her beliefs and open up to new ideas. As we all know making assumptions makes an ass out of you and me ;) First impressions based on gossip are rarely the correct ones. A hard life lesson for Spring especially when her heart is in the balance.
The flow of the story is fantastic, divided into seasons the book provides a visual journey of Spring’s character growth. I would have really loved to have some of the pivotal scenes told from Henry’s perspective to gain further insight and balance of the character development. Henry provides a very charismatic Mr Darcy figure with a little less arrogance if truth be told :)
My only quibble with this re-imagining was the characters picked to represent Lydia and Mr Wickham, that aspect of the story didn’t gel with me but out of all the characters in Definitely, Maybe in Love it was really the only option available.
Any fan of Pride and Prejudice will be delighted with Definitely, Maybe in Love....more