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The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll & Mademoiselle Odile

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  138 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
It's 1870, and a young woman named Odile is fighting to survive on the blood-soaked streets of Paris. Luckily, Odile has an advantage and a bizarre birthright. She is descended from the Cagots, a much-despised race whose women were reputed to be witches. Were they, in fact? This is the question Odile must answer-about her ancestors and herself-while she uses her talents to ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Square Fish (first published April 10th 2012)
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Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, this book was fantastic. It kept me very entertained and fascinated by all of the French. It very much made me want to learn French, so I could fully understand the text and be able to make better inferences. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the unbelievable plot twists that constantly made me want to turn the page and keep reading. Right from the beginning, I knew that I was going to really enjoy this book because it is historical by taking place during the French revolution and it was a ...more
Lia Marcoux
This book wasn't so much as bad as ineffectual. The narrator is constantly justifying herself to the reader, probably because her actions don't arise naturally from the context. The character as a result seems shallowly written, and since the story is from her perspective, so as a consequence does everyone else. Reese also uses "literally" on almost every page. Odile waits until "the dust literally settled" - really? Why not just until the dust settled? Nearly every idiom had a "literally" appen ...more
Jessica at Book Sake
Book Review (ARC)
This book featured a small cast of characters, but even then I don’t feel that I know enough of any of them to talk about them individually. I wasn’t captured or enamored with any of them, and this might be because there was no one that was really doing the right thing the entire way through. Even Odile who is trying to help her brother had many flaws that I couldn’t get past in order to care enough about her. Characters aside, this is an intriguing take on the Dr. Jekyll and Mr
Dark Faerie Tales
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A new character is added to the Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde outfit when Odile Ricau retells how her family secret lead toDoctor Henry Jeckyll first transforming into Mister Hyde.

Opening Sentence: The two men mistook me for dead; but I was very much alive. And regrettably so.

The Review:

The first thing I must mention is that I had to look up her name pronunciation on a translator application because I kept reading it like crocodile instead o
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You can find this review and many more at Mermaid Vision Books!

Release Date: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: ARC received from publisher

Tell Me More:  As classical novels go, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde occupies a prominent place in pop culture. Rarely does anyone think twice about the implications of accusing someone of "going Jekyll-and-Hyde," and even if someone hasn't read the book, they are aware of what the phrase
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: macmillan, arc
When I first came across this book, I was surprised that there weren't very many people talking about it or who even seemed to know about it. This just seems to be one of those YA books that flew under the radar for most people

Strange Case is an interesting blend of a retelling and historical fiction, going back to explain the story behind Dr. Jekyll's transformation into Mr. Hyde by introducing another character, Odile, set in Paris in the 1870s, which was a very difficult time for Paris.

I was wary of this book when I picked it up - people always take a lot of liberties with R. L. Stevenson’s famous short story. But considering that this is supposed to be a “prequel” to "The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll & Mister Hyde" made what liberties the Author took much more bearable. At least he got Hyde moderately correct. So many movies and retellings depict Mr. Hyde as a giant ape-like person, when in fact he wasn’t at all. Hyde was a short and stocky young man. The Author kind of ...more
Tammy Walquist
Like Mary Reilly, this book is one that adds to or builds upon the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. However, this one takes place years before the events in that book. It follows Odile, a young orphan in Paris who has strange magic/remedies she learned from her mother that others tend to refer to as witchcraft. Dr. Jekyll discovers her secret, allows her to come live in his house and work on her experiements in his well-stocked lab. He also tries to help her younger brother, Greyluchon, who hap ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The narrator of the story, Odile, is fast-paced and full of details. While there is plenty of foreshadowing, there were also many turns and twists that I could not have guessed. The liberal sprinkling of French words adds to the atmosphere, and the context of each word easily helped me figure out what those words mean without knowing much French. Easily my favorite aspect of the book was the constant word plays that figured into the plot itself - very fascinating, indeed! I don’t want to give to ...more
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Odile and her kid brother, Greluchon, run for their lives after their parents are killed in 19th century France. The end up in Paris, a long way from their home on Spain's border, in the time of the Communard; a time of famine and war. Along with cold, starvation, and loneliness; Odile also has to deal with her brother's mysterious sickness. Fortunately (or unfortunately)Odile is blessed with uncommon talents, and with those talents Odile finds her way through the city and into a wealth
May 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Last year I read Kenneth Oppel's This Dark Endeavour, which imagines Viktor Frankenstein's young life and the events that inspire him to create his monster. The gothic horror story isn't usually my kind of book, but surprisingly, I rather liked it. Consequently, I thought I'd give this one a try, since it also imagines a backstory for one of literature's well-known monsters. However,I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. There are too many asides to the reader, too many ellipses, too m ...more
Sometimes when I'm walking the isles at the library (and Molly isn't pulling books off the shelf or being a nuisance) I'll pick a random book off the shelf. This was my latest aquisition. The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll & mademoiselle Odile is (obviously) a take off of the classic. But this story apparently stars a younger Doctor and takes place during the French Revolution. I have never read the original Robert Louise Stevenson novel so I cannot make any comparisons on that accord, but as ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book claims to be a YA version giving the backstory of how Dr. Jekyll became Mr. Hyde. Credit is given to a "witch" named Odile, who has escaped persecution in her hometown and now lives on the outskirts of Paris in 1871.

Odile discovers a family secret giving a human the ability to transform to a more baser version of "self". Unfortunately, the price she pays for the knowledge is too high and her life runs out of control during the starving time during the Prussian control of Paris.

The book
This is certainly a twist on a classic story. The setting of war torn Paris in the late 1800’s is extremely well depicted, with views and experience hardly heard. The author goes into great detail while setting up the characters and the scene. While also giving hints of things to come since the narration is of Mademoiselle Odile herself retelling the horrible events of years past.

It is quite a story, leading the reader through the emotions of Odile, and state of mind of rebellious Paris. A wel
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the idea behind this book. A young witch not yet well-versed in witchery tries to do good and ends up creating a monster instead. While there is plenty of tension to move the story forward, there are several factors of the book that go undeveloped. It is clear that events in the story do not follow actual events (for instance, a war that apparently leaves the people so hungry that they've resorted to eating zoo animals), yet the author does very little to explain or set up this ...more
Mrs. Palmer
An alternate version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde set in France during the "Paris Commune" era. I liked the historical setting. I knew very little about it. I am familiar with the classic Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde story, so that part wasn't very interesting to me, to be quite honest. The narrator, a 16 year old witch who has special salts that she shares with Dr. Jekyll, did a lot of weird sort of flash forward narrating, as in, "Oh, but I would live to lament that later on!" It was annoying. Perhaps it ...more
Paris, 1870. Odile is fighting for survival in revolutionary Paris. Luckily, her mother's family has a talent- well, some might call it witchcraft.
But were her mother's family really witches? That is the question Odile is trying to answer when she uses her talents to create salts for young Doctor Jekyll, who seems to be using them in a most disconcerting way.
A different take on the story of Jekyll and Hyde, Odile tells her story in a way that will have you laugh, rejoice, and despair with her.
Brandi Young
This was an interesting take on how the normal Dr. Jekyll turned into himself and Mr. Hyde. It all has to do with a girl, Odile, and the salts spell she creates in order to try and save her brothers health. There is a ton of fluff in this book and the story doesn't pick up until 3/4 of the way through the book.
Ashley Choo
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this book, it was a really quick read, and full of excitement, but when I finished it I felt that I wanted to know a LOT more about the Cagots. Do they burn each of their dead and use the ashes for experiments? How do the Cagot ashes work such that they have the magical abilities to transform a creature into a hulkish brute? And who was the one to discover these morbid salts?
This book is a "prequel" to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and explains how that strange situation came about. The story is set in 1870s Paris and Reese is true to the history. However, I had a hard time getting into this story and failed to identify or empathize with any of the characters. I will be the first to admit that Gothic novels are not my favorite genre.
Evie Janelle
ACK! I won this from Goodreads First Reads giveaway! Can't wait to get it. Thanks, Goodreads!
Meh. I had a really hard time finishing this. The story was a good idea, but the book just lacked that draw.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-fantasy
Retelling of Jekyll and Hyde story in a creative way. I read the pre-pub version of this and so it had some scenes that I thought were repetitive but may have been cut from the published version.
Maura Mclaughlin
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was very odd but awesome. Read it if you'd like a strangely enticing book
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book but it was a little slow in some places. I plan to read "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" now as I'm sure this book would have been better if I already knew the original story.
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Supposed to be a YA novel but it's really not...
Review Pending!
rated it it was ok
Sep 23, 2016
rated it it was ok
Feb 16, 2013
rated it really liked it
May 21, 2012
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James Reese was born on eastern Long Island. He attended the University of Notre Dame and the State University of NY at Stony Brook, where he received an MA in Theatre. As an undergraduate, he had a play staged off-Broadway at the Actors Repertory Theatre. While living in New York, New Orleans and Key West, Reese held various jobs in the non-profit sector, working on behalf of the arts and the env ...more
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