So how’s everyone doing?
You can find me on thelawandthereader.wordpress.com
misspatsyjane said: Yay!!! You're back ^_^
At least y’all are happy to see me
It’s okay if you read books written for children or teenagers. It’s okay if you read adult fiction. It’s okay if you read classics. It’s okay if you read popular books. It’s okay if you read a book after seeing its movie adaptation. It’s okay if you read less popular books. It’s okay if you read a…
Some of you may know that there are things going on in my life. Unfortunately, these things did not turn out the way I hoped and I am now in a really crappy position, work and family-wise. In fact, it’s safe to say that books are the only thing keeping me from snapping.
There are many things wrong with this website. However, I was proud to be part of the book-blogging community. Most members are lovely people and I’ve read many great books thanks to them.
What I’m trying to say is that, I believe it’s time for me to return to this website. Naturally, I won’t be posting as much as I used to, and under no circumstance will I get involved in any political, social or economic debates. The only discussions I’ll participate in are book-related and personal, if the people with whom I interact so wish.
Hope you’re all well.
Friends, I interrupt my hiatus to bring you a TFiOS selfie.
Ok I’m off
I apologise for my prolonged absence, dear readers. I had to complete a lengthy assignment, followed by an internship in London. If you want to know, it went quite well. I also managed to tick an item off my bucket list – well, it means a lot more to me than just a check on some list. I went to see “Les Miserables” live, which was one of the most wonderful experiences. As you know, I love Hugo and I love musical theatre, and Les Miserables (closely followed by “Phantom”) is my favourite musical. Watching it live was quite different from watching the film in the cinema (which I’ve done three times, don’t judge!) or watching the 25th anniversary on DVD (also done numerous times). I won’t lie – I started losing it at the part with the Bishop!
The reason I’m telling you all of this is because this post is a review of a book which served as a basis for another wonderful musical, that I have yet to see live. “Wicked” tells a story of The Wicked Witch of the West, or the villain in Baum’s “Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. I confess – I have never read that one; however, I was not unfamiliar with the Emerald City. Some of you may have heard of a Russian author called Alexander Volkoff who wrote a series of books taking place within the world surrounding The Yellow Brick Road. Nonetheless, I’ve heard that Baum’s novel is not quite the same, and I’ve never seen the musical, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect from “The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West”.
I’ll say this, however – any preconceived notions I may have had about the story, including the mistaken belief that it was a children’s book, were shattered after the first couple of chapters. Part 1 tells us about the Witch’s, or Elphaba’s birth and family. It wasn’t easy being green in a preacher’s household, especially with a depressed mother. The people of the land, or the Munchkinlanders don’t harm her, however, because her father is respected in the community. We don’t find out much more about the family until the last part, which I’ll get to in a moment.
Part 2 introduces the University of Shiz, a prestigious higher education institution that has only just started accepting women, and is one of the remaining few places where Animals can still have jobs. Animals are representatives of Oz’s fauna that can speak and have a human mind. They used to be treated equally, but it’s no longer the case. Elphaba is now a student at Shiz, and she has a roommate – a seemingly air-headed beautiful Galinda. The two are initially annoyed and repulsed by each other, but the animosity soon grows into a beautiful friendship. Elphaba also reunites with her childhood buddy Boq and together, they work with an Animal, Dr Dillamond, who is a Professor at Shiz. Elphie and Boq aspire to make Animals equal again. Their research is put to an end, however, when Dr Dillamond is brutally murdered. The Head of Shiz, Madame Morrible, hushes it up, however, which triggers Elphaba’s path towards “Wickedness”. Together with Glinda, Boq, his arrogant friend Avaric and the dark-skinned Fiyero who is from another part of Oz, they try to solve the murder, but no such luck. Elphie and Glinda, who begins to call herself that in memory of Dr Dillamond who couldn’t pronounce her full name, then go see The Great and Terrible Wizard in the Emerald City in the hope that he can bring the murderer to justice and help Animals gain their equal rights back. They are met with disappointment however, and part ways in a heartbreaking farewell.
In part 3, our characters have been separated from each other for almost seven years. Glinda is a prim and proper high society wife, whereas Elphaba is part of a mysterious underground movement. She, however, has her own reasons for being a part of it, which, as you can guess, relate to Dr Dillamond and Animals. The not-so-brainless Fiyero finds her and they start what is arguably one of the most epic and heartbreaking love affairs in paranormal literature. We know, however, that Elphaba’s wickedness did not stem from being happy. Fiyero’s tragic end is one of the last straws that will eventually break the back of her good nature. That is, if she ever had any in the first place.
The last two parts talk about her life with Fiyero’s family. She goes to seek forgiveness from them, for the role she allegedly played in his death. As one can figure out, she never obtains it, thanks to the Great and Terrible Wizard’s brutality and cunning. Her misfortunes don’t end there, however. The death of her crippled sister, Nessarose, caused by Dorothy Gale’s house, are arguably what pushes Elphaba over the edge and allows evil to completely consume her.
Forgot I’m still logged in on my iPad. Just to let you all know I am fine and quitting this website was the smartest thing I’ve done all year.
Review requested by the author.
Jessica’s peaceful post-exam summer is interrupted when she suddenly receives the news of her great-grandfather Peter passing away and bequeathing her a castle in the West Country. Stunned, she travels down with her grandparents only to be met with a property a lot grander and a much more hostile extended family than she could have ever expected. Not only that – she also begins to hear things. Things like ghosts whispering to her about the devastating secrets of the Kidd castle and the horrors her ancestors were involved in. While the haunting atmosphere may be too much for her grandparents, Jessica nevertheless chooses to save the Kidd castle from her relatives who want to redevelop the land and live in it – it is hers by virtue of her great-grandfather’s will, after all. However, very soon, she comes to a realisation that she isn’t the sole inhabitant of the property. What business does Diane Kell, a half-mad Romani, have in the area? And what are the motives of her nephew, Joe? Also – what is the net and why does it only seem to affect him and Jessica?
The plan was to publish the review of my Book of the Year on the first day of summer, i.e. three days ago, but I had to go on a work-related thing. Apologies to my readers!
I should say that “Book of the Year” may sound like the book was published in 2014, but it’s actually not the case – “Revolution” came out almost four years ago. However, it is the book that has had the most effect on me this year – hence the title.
Our protagonist, Andi Alpers, is grieving over the death of her younger brother Truman. She is struggling to overcome her misplaced guilt and the only thing getting her through the days is medication and music. The latter is the only one of three things she loves left in this world – her brother is gone, her mother is handling things even worse and her Nobel Prize winner of a father has left them. The deep, sorrowful tunes of old and new masters of music, as well as Andi’s own compositions, fill her iPod and her seemingly empty heart. Of course, being a “depressed artist” doesn’t fly with the authorities – Andi is almost denied her chance to graduate and her father, despite her protests, takes her to Paris with him to live with their old friends while she works on her thesis on a (fictional) French composer Amade Malherbeau and the influence of his work on modern music. Meanwhile, her father and his Parisian friend, G, are working on a project that could change European history as known – they are carrying out a DNA analysis of what could be the heart of Louis XVII – the lost king of France. Andi’s love for history briefly distracts her from the darkness within, but it’s only a short-term relief, like a drug. She finds a better way to deal with things, however, when she finds an old diary amongst G’s historical relics, hidden in an old guitar.
The diary seemingly belongs to a young woman, Alexandrine, who lived through the French revolution and knew Louis XVII personally. Andi is quickly pulled into 18th century France and Alexandrine’s life. From the diary, she finds out that Alex was a poor girl with love of acting and big ambitions. One day, she is noticed by the French royal family and appears to be the only thing that makes young prince Louis laugh. Her family is given a place at the royal court and is beyond thrilled. Alex, however, sees it as a mere stepping stone to fulfil her dream of becoming an actor. Soon she realises that the nation is crumbling and is on the brink of Revolution, which means brutality, anger and bloodshed – if you’re rich. What she doesn’t recognise, however, is that working for some members of the family means conspiring against others, and she is soon pulled into a more dangerous play she could ever dream of being a part of. She has a new role to play, almost every day, and each of them could have fatal consequences.
Andi quickly realises that she has to know more but her thesis waits for no-one. (Un)fortunately, the life and work of Amade Malherbeau and that of Alex are entwined in more than one way (non-romantic, thankfully), as Andi finds out. But, like Alex, she may have bitten off more than she can chew.
I have read this book way back in February, but I was unable to find the words to sum up my emotions then. After a recent re-read (which may not have been the best idea – feeling things in the middle of exams is never good), I decided to try again. However, I am still not sure that my words would be able to do “Revolution” justice.
How can I tell you about what this book made me feel? How can I explain the way the brutal reality, beautifully intervened with French history and musical geniuses of past and present, has stirred up emotions in me which were long forgotten? Can I really successfully attempt to tell you how almost each line in this book has made me laugh, or cry, or sigh? Or how some lines have gone straight through to my heart and are now etched there for eternity?
And you know that I am an incredibly cynical individual by now, so I am not exaggerating. I genuinely cannot carry out reviewing “Revolution” the way I normally review books. The only adequate way to express myself seems to be going through particular significant quotes and tell you how much they meant to me. Warning – this will go on for a while, so if you don’t want to read further – just go pick up “Revolution”. You won’t regret it.
Can I really give this book a rating less than 10/10? The answer is – of course not.