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review 2020-05-27 16:42
Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

Hot Mess Hug GIF by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

The last time I recall someone telling me that a book was the greatest romance they ever read, they were speaking about "Fifty Shades of Grey." I was reluctant to even read this one because I knew that I probably wasn't going to like it. I started to read it and went, yep do not like. I gave this two stars honestly because it's engrossing to read even though I didn't like one character save the two servants (Nelly and Joseph). And I was pretty much luke-warm on Nelly for most of the book. I don't know, maybe this would have worked better if the story was told from Catherine or Heathcliff's point of view. Most of the story follows Nelly's POV and a man named Mr. Lockwood. 

 

"Wuthering Heights" begins in 1801 when a man named Lockwood begins the tale. Lockwood is a new tenant at Thrushcross Grange and he goes to pay a visit to his landlord a Mr. Heathcliff. Mr. Heathcliff lives in his home called Wuthering Heights. Lockwood is repelled by most of the household (same boy, same) and wonders at the young woman named Cathy that lives there and a young man that Cathy seems to despise named Hareton. When Lockwood stays overnight in Wuthering Heights, he finds the diary of a woman named Catherine Earnshaw and starts to wonder about the people who lived there. He eventually gets his housekeeper, Nelly to tell him about what went on at Wuthering Heights. Bronte then proceeds to take up the rest of the tale explaining about Catherine, her brother Hindley, Heathcliff and the Linton family. 

 

So, there's so much going on that the narrative told by Nelly doesn't help. Nelly is like the priest in Romeo and Juliet to me. Knows a lot about what is going on, but does nothing to help. 

 

I honestly don't get why women were swooning over Heathcliff. He's a bully and as much of a mess as Catherine. I do feel badly for how he was treated by Hindley, but he purposely went about trying to ruin people and play God with other characters.


Catherine seemed ridiculous to the extreme to me. I just imagine that the men fought over her because no one else was in the vicinity besides Isabella. 

 

Hindley I found to be terrible and I honestly pitied Edgar and Isabella. The last two are just used as chess pieces and don't seem to be viewed as people with real hope for love and a happy marriage. 


The writing was a bit tough to get through. It just didn't work for me at all as a Gothic romance. I really loved Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte so just figured this would work for me too. I think if the book had switched things up so that we stayed with one narrator this would have made things stronger. 

 

The flow was off. I think switching from narrator to another narrator and I think some other narrators (my brain shut off) it just made the story too unwieldy to follow after a while. 

 

The setting of Wuthering Heights sounds desolate and unforgiving though.


The ending just leaves you with a shake of your head. You are left thinking that maybe a cycle has been broken, but you wonder since once again, the families in this story are a hot mess.  

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text 2020-05-26 22:23
Reading progress update: I've read 34%.
Murder by Matchlight (British Library Crime Classics) - E.C.R. Lorac,Martin Edwards

Reeves threw his cigarette away and a few seconds later lighted another match. As he bent over the flame his face was brilliantly lighted, and then he lifted his head and waved the match in the air. Instantly, like some fantastic illusion, another face appeared, some twelve inches above Reeves’, and Mallaig suddenly shouted, as though his strung-up nerves impelled him to give voice. “There’s the third chap… look,” but even as he spoke the match went out and there was a dull thud and a heavy fall. Mallaig jumped up, dropped his torch, fumbled for it and at last turned it on. In the beam of light a man could be seen astride the bridge rail and another lay on the ground. Mallaig sprang forward, but Macdonald’s voice came out of the darkness:

“Steady on, laddie. It’s only a reconstruction you know.”

Mallaig halted with a rather uncertain laugh.

“That was pretty grim, you know. It was exactly what happened last night—except the faces were different. The third chap—he was the same in a way—dark coat and cap—but his face wasn’t like the one I saw last night. What’s so amazing was the way you could see just in the light of one match.”

 

Yup. This is my last E.C.R. Lorac. 

This story focuses on repetitive plodding police work (not my favourite kind of mystery) and inane conversations between characters who lack individuality and ... character.

 

 

 

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text 2020-05-26 21:02
Reading progress update: I've read 16%.
Murder by Matchlight (British Library Crime Classics) - E.C.R. Lorac,Martin Edwards

“Pop in!” she adjured him.

“Landing blackout’s N.B.G. I do like a bit of light. This dark business is enough to give a girl the creeps. Come right in. That’s better, isn’t it?”

“Much better,” replied Macdonald cheerfully, blinking a little in the strong light. His first impression was of a prevailing pinkness: pink walls, pink curtains, pink cushions: artificial pink roses stood in ornate vases, artificial cherry blossoms trailed over mirrors and peeped coyly round elaborately framed photographs. Macdonald disliked pink as a colour, and this room seemed to him to resemble pink blanc-mange. He turned in some relief to study the owner of all this roseate effect—a neat little black-coated figure, she stood and returned his stare sedately.

This is my second attempt at E.C.R. Lorac's works. I didn't enjoy my first attempt - Bats in the Belfry - much, and it took me 4 attempts so far to get into this story without drifting off.

 

It's not looking good for E.C.R. Lorac's books to make any further appearances on my TBR. 

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review 2020-05-26 15:46
What You Wish For
What You Wish For - Katherine Center

Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. 

 

This is my least favorite Center book. I don't think she did a good job setting up our main character, Samantha Casey. Also, I didn't really like her (sorry, not sorry). I thought she was way too entwined with the founders of her school and her justification for trying to elbow their daughter out of things was a bit...yeah. And I thought her "romance" with the new principal was nothing but fizzle. It didn't work and the whole be joyful thing started to make me roll my eyes. I don't know what happened while reading this, I just started to get more and more annoyed and the centering around school shootings felt glib? I don't know, it just didn't work.

 

"What You Wish For" follows librarian Samantha Casey. Samantha is happy at her job working as an elementary school librarian in Galveston, Texas. When the school's founder dies, the board elects a new principal, Duncan Carpenter who Samantha used to know from another school and who she had a crush on. Duncan though is not like the man she used to know. He's unsmiling and focused on upgrading the school in event of active shooters. Samantha and others though are planning on making Duncan remember how to be joyful again.


That sounds like something from the Hallmark movie channel. And I say this as someone that loves the Hallmark movie channel. It was just too much. Samantha and her whole be happy and bright thing was aggravating. We get some insight into her past, but eh. I don't know, I just didn't like her. She was too focused on everyone else and on the former principal's widow and how she was grieving. 

 

Not too much to say about Duncan. He is bland as bland can be. I don't think he and Samantha made any sense as a couple. Center doesn't set them up to even get along for the majority of the book and I don't get why either one of them were attracted to each other.

 

The other characters are not developed at all. I can't even remember Samantha's best friend's name and the only thing I recall is that she is into math and wore math pun shirts.

 

The founder's daughter, Tina, doesn't like Samantha and honestly I got why. She was trying to push her out of her own life. I wish that someone had pointed that out to her. It was a bit creepy and I recall one of my friends telling a story of how a friend of her sister's was always going on about how their mom was her second mom. She just felt offended by the whole thing. 


The writing didn't work for me and the flow of the book was pretty bad. It just stops and starts. Probably because we follow Samantha's POV throughout the book and Center jumps back and forth a lot.

 

The ending was just...nope. I got nothing. It didn't work for me even a little. I think another reviewer said this was a book about nothing and honestly it read that way to me a little. Maybe if Center had actually focused on grieving and realizing that Tina is grieving her father's death. Samantha being judgey towards her through the whole book was not even a little bit cute. Or if Center had actually shown that school shootings in the US are serious and have a lot of repercussions to how we teach kids nowadays. Center seemed to stay away from that whole thing. Not that a school should be a prison and not a place for learning, but what are educators supposed to do when it comes to safety? Just saying be joyful and in the moment is up there with thoughts and prayers with me.

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review 2020-05-26 15:11
The Dilemma
 The Dilemma - B.A. Paris

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

 

So, this is weird to review. I have been reading Paris for about a year now and this book really doesn't fit in the thriller category in my opinion. This is more of a "drama" book which isn't really a bad thing, but there's no real thriller here. Mystery fits since you don't initially get what is going on between the married couple (Livia and Adam). The back and forth POV for them worked well, but have to say that the whole ending didn't work for me. I don't know if Paris was going for irony or what when you find out that once again several people know the truth about something, but not all parties do. The big dilemma in this book was really surrounding secrets Livia and Adam were keeping from each other.

 

"The Dilemma" follows married couple Livia and Adam. The two married young and had kids, Josh and Marnie. Livia is excited to be celebrating her 40th birthday and has been setting aside money for years in order to get the celebration she always dreamed of. We quickly find out that something is going on though between Livia and Marnie. Livia is ambivalent about her daughter returning from her study abroad in Hong Kong to come home for the summer. Adam though is very excited about Marnie returning and has a secret up his sleeve for his wife's birthday celebration. He and Marnie have secretly planned for her to return in time for the party. However, something terrible happens and we follow Adam and Livia as they both keep something from each other. That is ultimately the dilemma. What would you do in similar circumstances?

 

I have to say that I didn't really get a fix on Livia or Adam. They both needed therapy. They are both happy, but have strained relationships with their children. Paris sets things up a bit better though so you can see why Livia and Marnie's relationship became strained. Paris shows us an incident between Adam and Josh that just shows Adam to be a jerk though. I also think that they should have showed us more interaction as a family. We kind of get plopped in the middle of this story and have characters thrown at us. For example, we get the set-up of the core friend group via a couple of paragraphs. Maybe it would have made more sense to show flashbacks to them all. I am not one to push for flashbacks here, but it just felt like the book was veering off into separate storylines which did not all come together until the end of the book when things were revealed.

 

The flow was up and down. Switching between Livia and Adam just changed up the tone of things. Also since we know what secret Adam is keeping it just made things worse for me as I was reading since I did not get his reasoning at all. 


The book's ending really did not resonate with me at all because of what I said earlier. After characters realize the fallout from keeping things from each other, they went and kept things that another character should have been told. I hated the reasoning behind it and thought it was kind of BS honestly.  

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