"So much for endings. Beginnings are always more fun. True connoisseurs, however, are known to favor the stretch in between, since it's the hardest to"So much for endings. Beginnings are always more fun. True connoisseurs, however, are known to favor the stretch in between, since it's the hardest to do anything with."
Margaret Atwood and her take on story telling and the mythical and elusive, happily ever after. ...more
I quite like Mandanna's concept, but I don't think she develops it quite successfully. Any kind of rational questioning and the basic premise of the b I quite like Mandanna's concept, but I don't think she develops it quite successfully. Any kind of rational questioning and the basic premise of the books falls apart. Echoes, Looms, rules and regulations, hunters, all resonate with ideas from Never Let Me Go and The Host but none of the questions raised about soul, and what is it to be human is done justice by the absurd plot twists, and the way he story unfolds. Characters are extremely one dimensional and unconvincing, their motivation is perpetually shrouded , and some like Lekha serve just the purpose of having the funny sidekick, best friend cliché. Ray is a parody of a angsty boyfriend, Matthew is a joke. Neither England, nor Bangalore is set up properly, and remain vague shadows against. Seems like the cold weather and cows in the middle of the roads is the only aspect the author gleaned off Wikipedia searches of both places.
Pacing is good, but overall this book is very unsatisfying. ...more
I have conflicting feelings regarding the book and its brand of gender politics, and my review is going to be extremely subjective. The main protagoniI have conflicting feelings regarding the book and its brand of gender politics, and my review is going to be extremely subjective. The main protagonist, Frankie Ladau Banks comes closest to some of the thoughts churning around in my head while in a relationship and as part of a larger community. It is gratifying to read her negotiating power dynamics, and contemplating Foucault instead of falling into the relationship melodrama, caught between two guys situation. The dissatisfaction, the hunger, the anger, the allure of power that she navigates her way through is a refreshing and delightful change. So it is all the more frustrating, when she inevitably falls into the same pattern that she accuses Alpha of. Rebelling without a cause, shaking up the power dynamics only to return within its set hierarchy, and conforming to all the conventions.
I did not crave a triumphant end, with all the stray ends neatly tied up and Frankie having found herself. Yet the last page is turned, and Frankie goes from unapologetic social climber, to mastermind in hiding, only to end up as an apologetic victim, looking for Mathew’s forgiveness. She while being aware of all kind of double standards perpetrated by everybody around agrees to counseling and a possible reconciliation with both Alpha and Mathew. Speaking of whom, was it a sign of Frankie’s hubris, or are all the three guys, Mathew, Alpha and Porter, the sketchiest , least well developed characters. In fact, everyone other than Frankie, remains in the shadow, with their motivations always clouded behind Frankie’s over thinking. Till the very end, she is denied a partner who sees her as an intellectual match, which is so frustrating given how she belongs to one of the elitist schools. Her anger, “psycho” behavior, only finds outlet through appropriating Alpha’s role, and nowhere in the text is she provided the space to really call out her well educates, friends on their sexism and elitism. The book explores so many themes, the buildup is amazing, and the reconciliation again a negotiation and an acceptance of everything she tries to break free of.
Still, better than a love story with a girl finding “herself” by meeting a guy and falling in love. Kudos, to E. Lockhart ...more
What a bizarre, frightening, delightful work. I have heard the term "Kafkaesque” and spotted allusions to this text all my life, only to venture forthWhat a bizarre, frightening, delightful work. I have heard the term "Kafkaesque” and spotted allusions to this text all my life, only to venture forth with reading it now. One hour well spent tracing the change, or the lack of one in Gregor Samsa as he negotiates the divide between body and identity. ...more