C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Forgotten Book

The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser
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bookshelves: magical-fantasy, young-adult, read-2018, retelling

This cover is an actual gift to the world and blessing to my eyeballs. ok ok but cover judging aside, this was a really nice magical story. I didn't realise it was also a Pride and Prejudice retelling because (1) I haven't READ P&P but I've watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries vlogs so that probably is the same thing, and (2) the protagonist's name is Emma...which made me wonder if this was an Emma retelling? But the dude is Darcy. So. I have actually no idea if it's close to P&P or takes liberties, but the romance between surly-antisocial boy x the hardworking bright and kind girl is there.

notable things
➸ german setting
➸ it's actually translated which is lovely!
➸ set in an old castle boarding school which is epic i love this
➸ creepy woods behind the school where people go missing
➸ (yeah parents aren't concerned about this but like !! whatever !! kids will be kids !!
➸ Emma is sweet and direct and quite winning
➸ reads like youngerish YA
➸ lots of lovely female friendships too

I do have to mention the romance is pretty creepy. I don't get the original Darcy/Elizabeth thing anyway (like if you're rude to a girl it means you love her??🤨) but this just sat awfully for me because Darcy de Winters is 20 and Emma is 16 and that is gross and unacceptable. They weren't madly in love or passionately making out the whole book, but I'm just 0% here for this. It's not even legal.

It was a fun read but the romance was unsettling to me. THE COVER THOUGH ajfkslda I love it.
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Reading Progress

November 20, 2018 – Started Reading
November 20, 2018 – Shelved
November 20, 2018 –
page 27
7.34% "this cover is a gift to the universe and my eyeballs"
November 20, 2018 –
page 212
57.61% "I do admit it took me up to now to realise this is a Pride and Prejudice retelling 😂😂(I've never read the book, but hey I saw the Lizzie Bennet Diaries vlogs! Totally counts!)"
November 20, 2018 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
November 20, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
November 20, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
November 20, 2018 – Shelved as: retelling
November 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Taaya Hey Cait,

while I agree with creepy, here in Germany the age of consent is 16. So once you're 16 you can even have sex with an 80 year old if that's what you want. If you're younger you're only allowed to have sex with people younger than 18, but from 16 onwards ... well.

So ... this might be a bit strange for people in other countries, but it's completely legal and rather common here. (Unless the older partner is a teacher or trainer or any other kind of authority for the younger partner, than it's between illegal and debateable.)

And: Why's the english/australian cover so much more beautiful than the German? Not fair! :D


message 2: by Pauliina (new) - added it

Pauliina (The Bookaholic Dreamer) LOVE the cover of this book. I hadn't heard of it before but now it's joining my endless TBR for sure.

Hmmm but I don't think a relationship between a 20 and a 16 year old is anything creepy? The legal age in Finland and the UK is 16 so there's nothing wrong with that. And they only have 4 years of age difference? Sounds normal to me.


message 3: by Beza (new)

Beza Addis I always say that about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!!


message 4: by C.G. (new) - added it

C.G. Drews It might be legal but it's predatory imo. It'd be different if you're 24 vs 28 because of the maturity levels. But I believe it's a gross imbalance of power since 16 is still a child.


message 5: by evi (new)

evi as a 16 year old american the folks in these comments saying it's not creepy freak me out; it's totally creepy and 16 year olds in NO way have the maturity for a relationship like that. if you're 20 and going after a 16 year old you need to seriously check yourself


Jessi (Novel Heartbeat) I’m gonna have to agree with you here Cait...the age gap makes a bigger difference when you’re younger. My parents are 15 years apart - which was fine because they met at 30 and 45. Now if they were younger? 15 and 30? Ew.


message 7: by Alisa (new) - added it

Alisa Wilhelm I dated a 21yo when I was 17. Some of the problems we had came up because neither of us were mature enough to communicate what we needed to at appropriate times. Other than that I think it was ok. I'd say it's not okay for everyone though. But think about this—17 year olds go to university and 21 year olds aren't even in their final year at uni yet... so is there that big of a difference if both are 1 year younger?


Taaya I think creepy or not might depend on the person itself. With Emma and Darcy it was creepy because he was emotionally unstable and she was way too immature. But most teens are a lot more immature than in YA cliches - or at least they were until that cliche became so hyped a few years back.
I mean you are allowed to vote (in communal elections) with 16, you’re allowed to drive (in US even car, in Germany just a moped) and you’re allowed to study at universities or work. If you’re too immature to have an adult relationship at that point it’s rather a sign that you’re a bit behind, I think? At least in my country. That might be a cultural thing. But where I live people can go to prison with 14, so you HAVE to be at least a little more mature by then already. Sure, not a real cliche adult. But then again I’m not sure I ever met one. My dad hasn’t made it there by now and he’s 65 and retired. 😅

Anyway, my points were:
- Creepy or not is rather a matter of the character and it’s maturity and not so much of age?
- Hell yeah, in this book it is a bit ... wrong.
- The YA cliches might have influenced teens in behaving differently than they did before in some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.


Taaya Oh, and another thing ... science says in that age boys are 2-3 years behind in development compared to girls. So ... what are the girls to do? If they date guys of their age, developmentally they are the predators, kinda. (But then again those are the research results from when I was a teen 10 years ago, so maybe that changed, too?)


message 10: by C.G. (new) - added it

C.G. Drews Erm, I don't know everyone...this is getting too messy here for me. My opinion is my opinion and it isn't changing on this one haha. However I acknowledge cultural differences, but if we start talking about girls vs boys maturity levels, then that opens the door to the HUGE problematic gender biases that exist from how the patriarchy encourages men to be raised vs women.

In Australia, the legal age for voting, drinking, driving alone, marriage, etc is all 18.


Taaya Which is totally fine. Especially when in your country the law would forbid something like that.

Just wanted to say that in Germany that's completely legal and more or less normal. (If that's a good thing, I really don't know, just that developmental biology says that's rather normal.)

But thank you for that review, because otherwise I wouldn't have had the idea to write a blog post about this :) Which turned out to be even fun.


Taaya Actually scholars say that this phenomenon is enhanced by our time, at least according to Newcastle University in 2013 (among others found here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/... )

While this is just the average and Emma in case of this book seems too immature for any kind of relationship, at least this average is, by now, scientifically not disputed.


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