Rebecca is a classic tale that weaves mystery, secrets, and romance into an intricate and stunning twine. It tells the story of a young girl who is sw...moreRebecca is a classic tale that weaves mystery, secrets, and romance into an intricate and stunning twine. It tells the story of a young girl who is swept off her feet by a much older man with money and possessions aplenty — and even more heartache in his recent past. Since his wife's tragic death eight months ago, Maxim de Winter has been doing everything he can to forget the horrific part of his past that has left him feeling bereft of happiness and aloof from others. But even with this kind of emotional baggage, the young heroine of the story — who's name is never revealed — still agrees to marry Mr. de Winter because she has already fallen in love with him. When our heroine moves into Manderley, the estate where Maxim lived not so long ago with his now deceased wife, Rebecca, she soon learns the story behind her new husband's late wife's death. She learns that Rebecca died by an accidental drowning while in a boat that capsized. As you can image, all of this is very disconcerting to such a young and naïve girl. And when she arrives at Manderley things are so very different from the life she had before: there's all the hustle and bustle of living in a mansion, and then there's Mrs. Danvers who doesn't like her simply because she's not Rebecca. Du Maurier's Rebecca deals with a lot of themes and raises a lot of questions, one of the most intriguing being, What happens when the woman that is haunting your husband begins haunting you, too?
For me, Rebecca was truly a delight. It is expertly crafted and beautifully written, and, while reading, I had one of those strange feelings you get when you think you're enjoying something too much, that you must be sinning because you simply can't remember the last time you enjoyed yourself so much.
What I'm about to say isn't going to juxtapose well with my earlier comment about this being a "delight," but I shall say it anyway: This book has just a little bit of a depressing atmosphere to it. This is mostly because the main character is often fixated on how she'll never live up to the standards which Rebecca set before her, but it didn't bother me in the least. No, no — in fact, it only made me want to wrap the heroine in a blanket and give a her cup of hot cocoa. Some may deem her weak for not simply standing up and being everything that she can be, but I saw her as worthy of so much and strong even in her cowardice. She starts out working for a nuisance of a woman, then all of a sudden she is married to a man much older than she and with a past for which she is unsure of all the details. I really loved the heroine in this; there were several times where my heart twisted for her character and for the situation she was in.
Do NOT read this spoiler if you've not read this book. It is the type of spoiler that will drastically take away from your enjoyment should you choose to ever read this. (view spoiler)[There is an exchange between our heroine and the resentful Mrs. Danvers about 2/3 of the way through the novel. During this discussion Mrs. Danvers informs our lead that while alive Rebecca had many male companions with whom she was physically intimate. Now, my first thought after reading that was, How, then, could Maxim mourn her to the degree that he does? How could he be so torn about her death if she cheated on him numerous times during their marriage? Well, it was because all was not what it seemed. When Maxim confesses to having killed Rebecca, I LITERALLY fell out of my seat. Granted, I let myself do so. But it was so shocking I just let myself go like a slinky. It was insane. The whole time I'm thinking that Maxim will never give up Rebecca even though she is dead, that Maxim and his new wife don't have any real chance of ever being happy because, apparently, Rebecca was just too wonderful! for anyone to compare to her. Ha! Ha! HAHAHA!! You can see that it has decreased my sanity a little. I just couldn't believe it! That revelation meant that every paling of the face on Maxim's part, every look of worry or dread was only because he had killed her, not because he was sick over her death. Gah! I shall never get over the brilliancy of this Epic Twist for as long as I live. Truly. (hide spoiler)]
The fact of the lead character's name never being revealed is just one of the peculiar things about this story. It is said early on that her name is often spelt incorrectly, making the reader think that it is perhaps a very unique name. My guess as to why this is is that, because the name Rebecca — and the person — is still so very dominant in the lives of the characters and in our heroine's mind, the author chose to leave out her name to add to the sense of inferiority the heroine feels towards Manderley's former mistress. Just a guess.
FAVORITE QUOTE: "I don't want you to bear this alone," I said. "I want to share it with you. I've grown up, Maxim, in twenty-four hours. I'll never be a child again."
Upon closing this review I want to be very clear about something: My enthusiasm and enjoyment of this novel doesn't necessarily mean that you, the reader of this review, will feel the same about this book. Rebecca is very dramatic and people that don't like classics may not find as much enjoyment in it as I have. I'll freely admit that I have a penchant for things/books like this, so I'm guessing that had a lot to do with my loving this so very much. But if you're interested in this in the least, if you think this may be something you'd like, please, give it a try.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well . . . damn. This didn't turn out as I'd planned. While reading this I kept thinking to myself, Just go with three stars,...moreActual rating: 3.5 stars
Well . . . damn. This didn't turn out as I'd planned. While reading this I kept thinking to myself, Just go with three stars, almost everyone else you know has. The series will get better as it goes, just as everyone says, then you can rave and give them four. Although there were plenty things that bothered me about this, there were still more things that I liked. In fact, I would say that this surpassed my expectations.
But let us get the bad stuff out of the way first: I think my biggest problem was the beginning. All of a sudden you're thrust into this world where vampires are more reptilian/alien-esque Spider-Men than the (supposedly) gorgeous immortal gods we're currently used to (which is rather nice, actually), and there's talk of dhaes and I'm like, what the hell are those? I think there should've been some type of guide in the beginning or a prologue where Kate does an introduction of the world you're about to enter. Like a preparation chapter or something.
Even though I was a little leery of her at first, I quickly grew to like Kate. She has one of those personalities that you have to get used to, but once you do she isn't bad. She has spunk and I like how simple she tries to keep her life even in the midst of the chaotic world she lives in. And I think we've only touched the surface when it comes to the magic she can wield.
I kept thinking that when Kate met the Beast Lord a.k.a. Curran, he would have a long mane of golden hair — you know, because he's a lion shapechanger — well, if it had turned out that way, that would've undoubtedly been the end for me. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. Curran is described as having blonde hair that is too short to grab. Yahtzee.
The romance in this is very light, which is nice when compared to the sex fest I read not long ago. Still, I enjoy a little romance in my reading, so I'm interested to see if anything arises between Kate and Curran one of the men in her life in the next installment. In Magic Bites Kate has a love interest for a short time but things didn't really seem right between them IMO. But there does seem to be some sexual tension (or is that just plain ol' tension?) between Kate and Curran. We shall see what becomes of that.
Although this has nothing to do with the book itself, it begs to be mentioned: I hate the cover. It looks like an amateur design effort and the girl looks like an unsuccessful* hooker brandishing a sword. Plus her nose looks as big as the cat's and she's wearing too much makeup to be the always-fuctionally-dressed Kate Daniels. Just an observation.
I do see a lot of potential in this series and if the ratings are anything to go by, this series gets better. So I'm quite anxious to begin the reading the sequel, Magic Burns.
*Unsuccessful because there is no man in his right mind who would go near a hooker with a sword. I'm sure you get my meaning.
"I want to speak with many things and I won't leave this planet without knowing what I came to find, without resolving this matter, and people are not eno...more"I want to speak with many things and I won't leave this planet without knowing what I came to find, without resolving this matter, and people are not enough I have to go much farther and I have to get much closer." — a portion of "Bestiary", from Extravagaria
I truly believe that if every person viewed the world and its life the way Neruda did it would be a much better place.
I never would've dreamed that words could be so beautiful when used to describe what I thought were the most mundane of things: socks, onions, salt, etc. The tame, the wild, the sensual, the beauty of life, the rush of life, the air that gives us life — it is all covered in this collection. No stone is left unturned and reading this has truly opened my eyes to help me see how beautiful those stones are.
This is a collection of Neruda's later poems, written when he was in his fifties. The translator, Stephen Mitchell, says of his selections in the foreword, "These are the poems of a happy man, deeply fulfilled in his sexuality, at home in the world, in love with life and its infinite particular forms, overflowing with the joy of language." After reading them I can attest to that statement wholeheartedly. These poems are vibrant, magnificent, and entirely beautiful.
If I had to pick favorites, I would perhaps say "Ode to the Artichoke" or "Ode to the Seagull," as they were both particularly special for me. But in all truth, I think the one below was my most favorite. By the bye, I have searched for other translations and Mitchell's seems to be the best.
"Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still.
This one time upon the earth, let's not speak any language, let's stop for one second, and not move our arms so much.
It would be a delicious moment, without hurry, without locomotives, all of us would be together in a sudden uneasiness.
The fishermen in the cold sea would do no harm to the whales and the peasant gathering salt would look at his torn hands.
Those who prepare green wars, wars of gas, wars of fire, victories without survivors, would put on clean clothing and would walk alongside their brothers in the shade, without doing a thing.
What I want shouldn't be confused with final inactivity: life alone is what matters, I want nothing to do with death.
If we weren't unanimous about keeping our lives so much in motion, if we could do nothing for once, perhaps a great silence would interrupt this sadness, this never understanding ourselves and threatening ourselves with death, perhaps the earth is teaching us when everything seems to be dead and then everything is alive.
Now I will count to twelve and you keep quiet and I'll go." — "Keeping Quiet", from Extragavaria
I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding when I finished reading that.(less)
My Life Next Door is the kind of story that you expect to be light and fluffy . . . but then it surprises you. I thought this book would be very clich...moreMy Life Next Door is the kind of story that you expect to be light and fluffy . . . but then it surprises you. I thought this book would be very cliché: little rich girl falls for the boy next door; gets a whole new perspective on life through the eyes of a financially-strained, but very happy — unlike her own — family; and learns something big about herself over the course of one short summer. In a lot of ways, that is what this book is about. But, in truth, it is about so much more.
Samantha Reed's character is, I think, one of the best — probably in the top ten, actually — YA heroines I've ever come across since I began reading YA fiction back in 2008. She stands up for herself and the people she cares about when it counts most, she thinks independently from her main influence in life — in this case, her mother — in a way that is smart and not just teenage rebellion. She is smart about sex choices, doesn't just jump into bed with the first boyfriend she gets — or even the third without some smart-shopping for Trojans (loved that scene!) — and is a generally well-rounded, intelligent young woman. I found being in Sam's head a very pleasant, refreshing, and, often times, spontaneously hilarious experience when compared to many of the female narrators of her genre. If Fitzpatrick's future heroines turn out to be even a tenth as good as Sam was, I'm in for a real treat. And Jase . . . he is the kind of boy you'd want your daughter to marry. Truly. He's down to earth, loves his family, loves his animals (he's something of a zoo-keeper), and treats his girlfriend like gold. What's not to love? I think YA paranormal authors should take notes from Huntley Fitzpatrick on how to write a good male protagonist. And Tim . . . I can't believe a debut author made me fall for a drug addict. Seriously. If the author decided to write a companion novel about Tim (maybe like Marchetta did with Thomas after Saving Francesca) and, hopefully, Alice, I'd be forever grateful to the Powers That Be.
The bulk of this novel is about Samantha getting to know — and fall for — both Jase and his family. But towards the end, as the publisher-provided synopsis says, there is a big obstacle that is dropped on Sam's and the Garrett's heads, an obstacle that is not overcome easily. I wish there could have been a bit more resolution at the end with it (view spoiler)[Last we hear of Mr. Garrett is that he's out of ICU, and Sam's mom is still checking to see how he's doing; I would have liked for there to have been a coming-home-from-the-hospital scene, or at least a mention of a full recovery (hide spoiler)], but as a whole I think the climax was handled well. And, on a side note, can I just say how utterly sexy some of this book is? I wasn't expecting that, either, but I love surprises.
Truly, I don't feel that my words can properly describe how much I loved this book, or how much I got out of it, or how much I wish more people would discover it and feel for it what I did. Does that mean this book was perfect? No, because no book is. But honestly, it was perfect for me. I'm extraordinarily pleased with it — so much so that I plan to reread it this summer — and will certainly be back for more from Fitzpatrick in future.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)