Alright, well the way I think I'm going to run this blog is I'll post my reviews of books very shortly after I've read them but since I’m starting basically a month into the year already I’m going to post a couple reviews at a time until I catch up to myself (I’ve already read 6 books since 2011 started, yay me!). I mostly read the classics but my tastes can vary a lot. And some books will elicit more of a passion for discussion in me than others (it’s usually the ones I DON’T like, haha). I try to give a little summary of the book before I describe my response to the story and what I thought of it but the formula doesn't always work, such is life! Don't worry though, I'll warn you ahead of time of any spoilers.
So without further ado (yes I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath), here are the reviews for the first two books I read this year:
Persuasionby Jane Austen
This was the first Jane Austen novel I ever read and I have to say I truly loved it. It's the story of Anne Elliot, a young woman who was once engaged to Mr. Wentworth, a man she truly and deeply loved. But unfortunately due to various people in her life persuading her to end the engagement, she decides to do so and leaves him (and herself) broken hearted. Eight years later they meet again but the circumstances are very different. Wentworth is a Captain now and his position in society has been elevated but he is now bitter towards her and bent on finding another wife.
Austen's language is really beautiful and I'd have to describe it as fluttery in spots, in a good way. She flushes out each character so that you really understand them and they are all so unique and different. I won't spoil the end but as it built up I literally could not put the book down. Towards the end I was crying tears of joy. And throughout the story Austen manages to add in these great little comments about life and gender and class that are really interesting and smart. A very feminist work in my opinion and I definitely wasn't surprised because though I haven't read her works before I have seen many movies based on her books and her female protagonists are usually very smart and independent in their own ways (for the times). From what I've heard about this novel, it might be the most feminist of them all though. More Austen!
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
An utterly eerie psychology tale. This novella is the story of Mr. Utterson, a lawyer who is very good friends with Dr. Jekyll, a well respected doctor in the neighborhood. But the doctor has, unfortunately, made a will that Mr. Utterson disproves of because it leaves everything to a character of disrepute that has recently shown up in the neighborhood named Edward Hyde. Everyone that has seen him cannot really describe him except saying that he looked deformed somehow and evil. Mr. Utterson tries to find out the real story behind this Mr. Hyde. "If he be Mr. Hyde," he had thought, "I shall be Mr. Seek." Dr. Jekyll always sticks up for Mr. Hyde until things go too far, Hyde vanishes and Dr. Jekyll becomes a recluse.
Even though I knew the whole twist that was to come, I found this story really captivating. There were many great lines and the psychological aspect was very interesting. It was also an incredibly quick read. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in psychology, mysteries, thrillers or just great literature!