It was a hard book to get into. The beginning felt so slow, and halfway through it, I felt like dropping the story altogether. Howev...moreNot my cup of tea.
It was a hard book to get into. The beginning felt so slow, and halfway through it, I felt like dropping the story altogether. However, the thought of my growing pile of unfinished books haunted me, and I trudged along, dragging my feet through the words.
These are some things that bothered me and/or left me all "What." There are some random comments too.
1. It feels too... modern for a story during that age. Yes, there are some descriptions and references to life as it were during the Victorian era, but to me, that's all they were. References. It didn't feel authentic. It didn't really transport me to that time and place. In my head it was, "Here's a story. By the way, it's set in this period. Really."
I think that it may be partly due to the narration and language used by the main character, Gemma. I can't really be sure.
2. I may have missed some details about their boarding school and surroundings, but... I really don't get how they could just go anywhere. I don't get the distances between places. All right. Maybe this confusion is just because of me and my weirdness.
3. Kartik and Gemma. What. Can someone please tell me how that happened?
It feels like Kartik was just thrown in there to be the Dashing Love Interest Who Saves The Day Somehow. And Gemma liking/fawning over him is sudden and bizarre.
4. Speaking of Gemma and friends... good grief. How old were they? 12?
Strangely enough, the obnoxious acts of the group of "friends" salvaged the story a little bit. Annoying as they were, their Mean Girls attitudes towards one another kicked up the yay!conflict bar.
5. In retrospect, the plot wasn't that bad. It's actually pretty interesting, now that I think about it. I suppose it's just the way it was written.
6. I guess I like the ending just a teeny tiny bit. Tragic, what happened to Pippa. However, I don't really like it enough to read the rest of the other books in the series any time soon.(less)
It's honestly been quite a while since I've read a good fantasy novel--or rather, a fantasy novel that I could completely lose myself in to the point...moreIt's honestly been quite a while since I've read a good fantasy novel--or rather, a fantasy novel that I could completely lose myself in to the point that I'm willing to neglect all physiological needs and pressing requirements just to sit down and read it. It's fantastically written; every word and phrase is rich with cleverness and wit, yet at the same time, the story is communicated in such simple language that just draws one in.
I admit that the reason why I read this or discovered its existence was because of Hayao Miyazaki's movie. I adored the art and animation, and so, I wanted to read the actual source. (And that want escalated a bit when I found out that the movie took a completely different route from the original. Curiosity, really.) I found the book as enjoyable as the movie (and in retrospect, Miyazaki did well in capturing the overall feel of the book.)
tl;dr of this rambling review: It was awesome and I loved it.(less)