Review: Jane Eyre

Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a timeless classic! This was my first time reading Jane Eyre and I can see myself revisiting it again in a few years. Initially, I thought the beginning was slow and I couldn’t understand what the fuss around this book was about, but now I realize that it serves as a perfect explanation of Jane’s character and her actions in her adult life.

Bronte’s writing is so good at conveying emotions and moods. Her characters’ introspections are illuminating and touching. This is navel-gazing done right.

At its heart, Jane Eyre is a romance novel, but not a kind of lusty, throbbing organs romance. The emotions in this novel left me breathless sometimes. When things were good, I felt elated along with the characters. When things turn sour, as I dreaded they would, I was just as tormented as the unfortunate parties involved.

Even though I couldn’t empathize with some of Jane’s decisions concerning Mr. Rochester, I still respected her for her strength of character for doing such difficult tasks.

This novel is just lovely. I’m curious how the new film will interpret it.

Several people including my lovely co-workers here at Goodreads have commented about how *weird* the book is. Yes, the whole romance is a bit creepy and Jane’s affections for Mr. Rochester seem rather servile.  But I just attribute it to the time the book was written. That and I’m often touched by strange creepy things.  What I thought was more creepy was that Jane actually considered marrying her first cousin! Times sure do change.

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Review: Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love

Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed LoveSongs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Songs of Love and Death is a collection of short stories about star-crossed lovers. Like with any anthology, there are some stand-out stories and some that I could have skipped. It’s hard to review an anthology as a whole because the quality of the stories vary so much, but some of my favorite stories were:

Blue Boots by Robin Hobb
The Marrying Maid by Jo Beverly
The Thing About Cassandra by Neil Gaiman
Hurt Me by M.L.N. Hanover

It’s interesting to see the different authors’ interpretations on the theme. I was pleasantly surprised by Neil Gaiman’s short story. I liked it and I usually don’t like his writing (I know, I know).

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Review: The Thief

The Thief (The Queen's Thief, #1)The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first half of this book, which introduced the protagonist, Gen, and supporting characters, was incredibly dull. I didn’t particularly like Gen throughout most of this book. He was selfish, arrogant, whiney, and didn’t seem pleasant to be around at all. Because of him, I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish the book at all.

When I got to the temple part was when I was hooked. The temple reminded me of some brain teasing puzzles in video games. After the temple, everything started getting much more exciting and when the twist (which I had a hint of but didn’t really expect after-all) I finally had an inkling of respect for Gen.

The Thief could almost be classified as historical fiction for young adults except for the whole deux ex machina part of the plot. I’m usually annoyed by stories where the main character gets divine intervention at just the right time to avoid some dilemma, but it kind of worked in here. Kind of. I did like the stories of the creation of the world according to their old religion even if it seemed very Mother-Earthish, but the more direct ways the gods interfered was a splinter in my side.

Reviews say that the next books in this series are much better, but I can’t see the old gods and their meddling going away anytime soon in the story, so I’m probably going to skip them unless I run out of things to read.

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