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Search tags: friendship
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review 2018-08-16 06:50
Fun running over tropes
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

Why did I take this long to read this? From Austen's big six, this is the last I got to. I mean, I know what my reasoning was: satire and humour was not what I was looking for when I searched for an Austen volume. But I was wrong to, because this was a great romp.

 

(On that note, one day I have to write long and hard on how the prominence of Pride and Prejudice in pop-media puts an expectation on what Austen writes about that is a total disservice to her body of work)

 

If you put this and Persuasion together, it's impossible to ignore that the woman's common thread is not romance, but social critique, and tropes and expectations. In this one she takes Gothic literature ones, and more than run with them, runs them over. Anne Brontë kinda did that in a very understated way. There is nothing understated here, and I was laughing from the opening lines alone... Actually, the overall initial setting is quite similar to Brontë's Agnes Grey's opening, just, you know, absolutely savage. Much like the whole book.

 

The charming part comes from Catherine being a sincerely good-natured soul, and pretty sensible on the whole, so even where she hypes herself from much sensational reading (and hell, like nobody ever got jumpy in the night after reading or watching some horror), and builds some weird fantasies on it, she never quite finds herself carried away on over-dramatic feelings of angst, be it romantic or otherwise. Even when other characters ask about them on hilariously detailed, over the top descriptions.

 

I get now why it is the favourite Austen among many. I had lots of fun with it.

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text 2018-08-15 02:43
Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 254 pages.
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

Catherine then ran directly upstairs, and watched Miss Thorpe's progress down the street from the drawing-room window; admired the graceful spirit of her walk, the fashionable air of her figure and dress; and felt grateful, as well she might, for the chance which had procured her such a friend.

 

I love that all the usually mushy stuff that we relate to romance, here it relates to friendship. Beyond the "take that", to me, at least, it also rings so true. I mean, I know how everyone likes to go on about romance and over-board drama when writing teens, but I remember my most passionate feelings and dramatic crisis as being about friendship then.

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review 2018-08-05 14:57
All the fucking stars
The Ordinary Princess - M.M. Kaye

The story was endlessly amusing, the stabs at fairy tales conventions were perfect, the romance was cute and lovely, and the illustrations were gorgeous.

 

I only took this long to read it because I did not want it to end, and I sooo want a hard-copy, even though it doesn't seem like there exist a Spanish edition. I'd be willing to translate it for free to make it available, that's how much I loved it.

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review 2018-08-04 09:08
Cute and within kids' reach
The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau

There is nothing exactly new here, just par with the genre, but I quite liked it for being a lot less bloodthirsty than usual.

 

It was cute, and hopeful. There is much about life finding a way (the pea and the worm where beautiful, illustrative allegories), about greed, and how having and hoarding, and the pleasure of it harms, about the contrast between enjoying life and being serious about things, and how both are important, and how two people claiming each of these seemingly opposite characteristics can be true friends and team up successfully, about curiosity, and dreaming and trying to find new answers to old problems.

 

What I liked the most I think, was the positive influence of most adults present. Hell, even the antagonists give Lina a self-awareness eureka moment or two, but beyond that, most adults are caring, have good advice, are trying. It's very refreshing in a children book, where adults must be either absent, unfit or uncaring for the kids to have adventures.

 

I really liked it, will recommend it to mom's library's kids, and will try to get to the rest of the saga at some point.

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review 2018-07-21 20:38
Cute fable style book
Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt

I would fail at the lesson this book is trying to impart, but it was a charming story.

 

I think the part I loved most was the way it was written, with the heat descriptions, and the little asides that made the setting.

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