Friday Five: Linkin Park

My heart hurts. Yesterday, Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, took his life. I don’t think I’ve ever cried because of a celebrity death, but this one brought me to tears….yes, I’m 26 and crying about a rockstar, but Chester (and Linkin Park) are different than most celebrities.

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This news is devastating, not only for the music world, but for everyone. Chester was known for his humility and his kindness, and for this to happen shows how powerful depression and mental illness can be, and please, if you are struggling, please go talk to someone, because you matter and you are loved.

Chester was rock of Linkin Park. Most of the lyrics were written by him, and I would argue that they are the most poetic lyrics of any rock band ever. They never just rocked for rocking sake, they always had a message and meaning to their songs, which is why so many people connected to them, and their fan base was so strong.

I was a teenager when their first cd, Hybrid Theory, came out, and they have been my favorite band since. Yes, my music tastes have changed like crazy since my early teens, but Linkin Park has always been there. Why? It all goes back to the lyrics and the passion. LP made people feel wanted and important. They took teenage angst and gave it meaning. They gave all the weird, mixed up emotions not only validation, but understanding. I did not have hard teenage years, but like every teenager I felt misunderstood–LP calmed those feelings.

The saddest part about all of this is that Chester’s words changed people, they fixed people, they improved people, they healed people, but for whatever reason, they couldn’t heal him.

Today, I’m just going to share some excerpts from my favorite band. Some will be old, some will be new, all will be amazing.

Rest in Peace, Chester, the world is better because you were in it.

“Leave Out All the Rest”

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“Castle of Glass”

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“Shadow of the Day”

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“Iridescent”

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“Battle Symphony”

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“Runaway”

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“The Messenger”

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“One More Light”

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Top Ten Tuesday: America, hell yeah

Happy Independence Day, fellow Americans! To everyone else, I’m sorry, but I’m going to be a little patriotic today 😉

Since The Broke and the Bookish are taking a little time off (until sometime in August, I think) I’m going to make up my own and do:  Documents or Speeches every American should read.

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1. Declaration of Independence: The document that started it all, which was ratified on, of course, July 4th.

Opening Line: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

2. The Constitution: This document, the backbone of our government, was put into place after the Constitutional convention in 1787 and then ratified in 1788. It has been amended 27 times and remains the base of all our laws.

Preamble: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

3. The Federalist Papers: This series of articles were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, under the pseudonym of Publius, in order to promote the Constitution. This series of letter’s are very interesting because they show the discussion and the arguments for the Constitution, and they help show a glance into the minds of the founding father’s.

Opening Paragraph: To the People of New York,

AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficacy of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world.

4. The Anti-Federalist Papers: In contradiction to the Federalist Papers, were the Anti-Federalist Papers, which were a series of letters written by other founding father’s who had some problems with the Constitution. These were written under the pseudonyms Cato, Brutus, Centinel, and the Federal Farmer. These works are important because it shows that our country was founded on discussion and debating issues without turning to outrage, and ultimately we were able to come to a peaceful agreement.

Opening Paragraph: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

5. President George Washington’s Farewell Address: Being the first president of the United States, Washington was the first president to step down from office, which laid the foundation for the presidential term limits we hold in high esteem today.

Opening paragraph: Friends and Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

6. President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: This speech is one of most famous speeches in U.S. History. It was the first major speech given by Lincoln after the battle of Gettysburg, and it’s purpose was to bring unity and hope to the country and to hopefully bring a swift end to the war.

Opening Line:  Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

7. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech: This speech, given by MLK on Aug. 28, 1963, is the cornerstone of the Civil Right’s movement, and arguably one of the most important speeches ever given in our country.

Excerpt:

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it’s creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

8. President Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Speech: In this speech, president Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke in response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and asked Congress to declare war, which brought us into World War II.

Opening Line: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

9. President Bush’s September 11th Speech: While this speech wasn’t long, it had that nation watching. This is the only speech I listed that I can actually remember hearing and watching. It still sticks in my memory and I believe it will as long as I live.

Excerpt: 

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

10. President Carter’s Crisis Speech: Given in the 1980’s in the thick of the energy and economic crisis, president Jimmy Carter gave a heartfelt speech about the state of the nation.

Excerpt: 

The confidence that we have always had as a people is not simply some romantic dream or a proverb in a dusty book that we read just on the Fourth of July. It is the idea which founded our nation and has guided our development as a people. Confidence in the future has supported everything else — public institutions and private enterprise, our own families, and the very Constitution of the United States. Confidence has defined our course and has served as a link between generations. We’ve always believed in something called progress. We’ve always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own.

 

There you have it, my little America post. Happy Fourth of July everyone!

 

 

June wrap-up & what’s up next


June was a hit or miss month for me in my reading life…and it didn’t help that I was so so so busy–audiobooks really saved my life. But now, my reading life is more or less back on track, so July is looking up! 

Finished:

Winter of the World (Century Trilogy #2) by Ken Follett. ★★★

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien. ★★★★★

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley. ★★★★

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter. ★★★★ 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. ★★★★

Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker. ★★★

Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner. ★★★

Coraline by Neil Gaiman. ★★★★

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab. ★★★★

**I stared reading The Badass Libranians of Timbuktu and it was very good, however I was not paying enough attention so I’m going to read it when I have the right mindset–so far, however, I highly recommend it. 

Bought or received: 

The Second World War Series by Winston Churchill

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

My Antonia, O’Pioneers, and Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan 

Seven Riddles to Nowhere by A.J. Cattapan

St. Magnus: the Last Viking by Susan Peek

The King’s Prey: Saint Dymphna of Ireland

The Captain’s Daughter (London Beginnings #1) by Jennifer Delamere

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

The Lord of the Rings Box Set 😍😍😍

Currently Reading:
The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan

A Good Man is Hard to Find and other stories by Flannery O’Connor

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q #1) by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Next on the TBR: 

Well, I have quite a few review books I need to get to, so I’ll probably try to push through those soon, and I’m also working on reading all of O’Connors’s short stories, so I’ll continue on those as well. Other than those, I’m planning on reading The Name of the Rose, Neverwhere, The Benedict Option, and the next book in any of the series I started this year! 

There’s my wrap up! It’s quite a lot, but that’s what happens when you make two 20+ hour road trips and lots of audiobooks 🙂  have you read any of these? Or do you have any recommendations? 

Coraline & The Graveyard Book Mini Reviews

I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading Neil Gaiman. I have a problem, and I’m accepting that it is a problem, but I’m not willing to fix it…I just love this man.

These two books are children’s book, but being a Gaiman book, they are highly entertaining for adults and they are creepily enchanting for kids.

I listened to these on audiobook (thank goodness for my Overdrive App), and I was just as entertained as any child would be.

Coraline

Rating: ★★★

Favorite Line: “It is always easier to be afraid of something you cannot see.”

Review:

This book is seriously creepy. It’s about a girl, Coraline, who lives with her parents in an small apartment building. She finds ther  is nothing to do, and one day wandering through a normally locked door, and she finds her mother on the other side. Only, it’s not really her mother, this is her other mother and she is determined to keep Coraline forever.

This is a perfect road trip story for you and your middle school aged kids to listen to. It’s creepy, but the way Gaiman tells it, the reader feels and believes what Coraline feels and believes, and she is a very brave girl.

My one complaint about this book is not really Gaiman’s fault at all, but it is that he quotes G.K. Chesterton at the beginning of the book when he says:

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

-G.K. Chesterton

I really love  that he uses this quote because it’s one of my favorite ones. However, now I always see this quote accredited to Gaiman, not Chesterton, and it really bothers me. In fact, the first quote on GoodReads attributed to this book is this quote. Again, not Gaiman’s fault because he properly quotes Chesterton, but it really bother’s me when Authors get misquoted or misrepresented *end rant*.

The Graveyard Book

Rating: ★★★★ 

Favorite Line: “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”

Review:

The plot of this book is better than Coraline, in my opinion. It also isn’t quite as creepy, yet still hold mystery and suspense.

This book follows a boy called Nobody (nicknamed Bod). Bod was orphaned as a child and adopted by the most unlikely people, mostly because they were not in fact people any longer, but ghosts. Bod grew up in the graveyard. He had the ghosts as companions, teachers, caregivers, and protectors. However, Bod got older and soon he wanted to know more about the world outside the graveyard, and the world outside the graveyard wanted to know more about Bod, and that’s when adventures begin.

The characters in this book are charming and warm, despite most of them being dead, and it shows the length family will go to protect the ones they love. Bod is lovable from the start. He is smart, kind, brave, and thoughtful; he plays a perfect child protagonist. There are, of course, monsters and goblins and bad men, and the ending isn’t necessarily a happy one, but even in the veil of sadness that surrounds the book, there is the hope of a child and that makes the overall story a happy one. This is another good book for middle-aged kids, and for extra effect one should read it around Halloween.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2017…so far

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Happy Tuesday! This week The Broke and the Bookish asked us to share our favorite books so far from 2017. This has been a pretty good year so far for me, I’ve listened to a lot of good Audiobooks, read some great books, read some decent books, and read some that I never want to lay eyes on again…anyway, this list was pretty fun to make because I love reliving the ones I really enjoyed!

1. Shades of Magic Series, V.E. Schwab (Counting it as one, don’t hate me)

I just wrote a review on this series, so if you want to read that click here, but basically this series was awesome, and I’m so glad I got over my fear of it being overrated and picked it up!

Opening Line:

“Kell wore a very peculiar coat.”

2. The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis

A classic that changes every time I read it. This book is a satire about a demon-in-training getting advice from his wise uncle about how to corrupt humans. It’s really fantastic. You can read my review for it here.

Opening Line:

“My dear Wormwood,

I note what you are say about guiding your patient’s reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend.”

 

3. The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown

This true story is fascinating and it makes you want to join a rowing team immediately. It tells a rare story of hope and triumph during war. You can read my review for it here.

Opening Line:

“This book was born on a cold, drizzly, late spring day when I clambered over the split-rail cedar fence that surrounds my pasture and made my way through wet woods to the modest frame house where Joe Rantz lay dying.”

4. The Martian, Andy Weir

This book is suspenseful, clever, and completely hilarious. If you liked the movie, there’s a good chance you’ll like the book. If you haven’t seen the movie, well you should watch that too.

Opening Line:

“I’m pretty much f*****.”

5. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

This was one of my “I’m embarrassed I’ve never read it” books, so I decided to just get it over with…and I fell in love. I wasn’t expecting to, but I did and I can’t wait to read it again.

Opening Line:

“1801 — I have just returned from a visit to my landlord–the solitary neighbor that I shall be troubled with.”

6. Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Norse literature is one of my all-time favorites, therefore I jumped on this book as soon as I could, and it did not disappoint. I will also say what I always say for a Gaiman book, don’t read it, listen to it, trust me.

Opening Line:

“Many gods and goddesses are named in Norse mythology.”

7. The MaddAdam series, Margaret Attwood

While this series wasn’t my favorite, it was very good and I really enjoyed it. It’s really creepy (as all dystopians should be) and very clever (as most dystopians are…well the good ones anyway). It’s worth a read, and not a very long one for a 3 book series. My review of the series can be found here.

Opening Line:

“Snowman wakes before dawn.”

8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith

I’ve been telling everyone who will listen to read this book. It took me by force and now I find myself thinking about it all the time. Read this book, it is easily in my top 5 favorite books of all time. My review for it can be found here!

“Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York.”

9. The Great Good Thing, Andrew Klavan

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about how much I dislike memoirs, and it’s true…mostly…The Great Good Thing is one exception. It’s very funny and very eye-opening, and worth the read, even though it is a memoir ;). You can read my review here!

Opening Line:

“The Church of the Incarnation stands on the corner of 35th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan.”

10. Life of Pi, Yann Martel

This book was very popular when I was in finishing college/starting college, so I never had time to read it, but I finally did earlier this year and I saw why it was such a big deal before. It is a very good book and if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s definitely worth the read. Annnd last but not least, you can read my review here!

Opening Line:

“My suffering left me sad and gloomy.”

 

There you have it, I think those are my favorites so far! Check out The Broke and the Bookish for more Top Ten Lists!

Shades of Magic Series

ShadesMagic-USShades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Rating: ★★★★ // A magical series I can get behind! 

Favorite Line(s):

“Battles may be fought from the outside in, but wars are won from the inside out.” (From A Darker Shade of Magic). 

“We’re all here for a reason, Bard. Some reasons are just bigger than others.” (From A Gathering of Shadows).

“Life isn’t made of choices, it’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.” (From A Conjuring of Light).

Review:

The Shades of Magic Series follows the adventures of Kell, one of the last magicians in London, and Lila, an orphaned girl who wanders into Kell’s path and seems to have some kind of magic of her own.

The setting is London, all four of them (well, technically all three of them, but there are four). Each London is layered on top of each other, Black being the first, White the second, Red the third, and Grey the fourth. In this story we are in the time after a war that had destroyed Black London, left White London in a state of poverty, left Red London basically unscathed, and taken away the magic (and memory of magic) from Grey London. After the war the doors to the London’s were closed and only the magicians could travel between them.

These mini reviews are mostly spoiler free and completely free of crucial spoilers.

A Darker Shade of Magic

This book had a lot of hype around it when I finally picked it up, so I was a little nervous I would be disappointed. Luckily I had avoided reading any reviews that had spoilers, and I really didn’t read too deeply into the plot, so I found myself entranced as it unfolded. I had a lot of fun with this novel, and I think I liked it most because it can easily be read as a stand alone novel (I LOOOVEE it when first books do this). Yes, after reading it you want more of our dark eyed prince and our thieving mystery girl, but the initial story is done, and no major holes remain to be filled.

Oddly for me, I didn’t find many things that I disliked in this book, which is why I’m having a hard time figuring out why I didn’t come away from this book head-over-heels in love with it. I liked it a lot, but it didn’t grab me enough to where I go into my obsessed state, I just can’t figure out why.

The setting is phenomenal, Schwab sets up the different London’s flawlessly and the characters in each fit seamlessly into their assigned London.

The characters are very interesting, yes, I guess each of the main ones, Kell and Lila, did annoy me from time to time, mostly because they are both prone to feeling sorry for themselves while insisting that they are the only ones who don’t feel sorry for themselves…an annoying trait in anyone. Holland is a great evil character, mostly because he’s only mostly evil. Rhy is an o.k. character, but I’m not as in love with him as Kell is and that bothers me a little, because it makes it hard for me to really get invested in his character’s well-being. Oh, and Kell’s coat is the coolest and it’s basically a character of it’s own.

The plot was very good and it keeps the book movie with a satisfying speed. The magic is explained in a way easy to understand, yet there remains some mystery to it, which is important when it comes to magic. My one complaint in the magic department is that Kell insists through the whole book that the words aren’t important, but at the end the words seem to be the most important part, so that kind of confused me. Maybe I didn’t understand the explanation, but that seemed like a semi-major inconsistency for me.

Anyway (this was supposed to be a mini review..yikes), I did really like this book, and the hype was not too over hyped for me.

A Gathering of Shadows

Woah, now that’s some character development, if I do say so myself.

I did not like this one as much as the first, but I will say it grew on me as the book went on. The opening scene was actually really awesome, but the rest of the beginning was kind of bland. Once the plot of the tournament was introduced, the pace picked up, and so did my interest in it.

One new major character is introduced, Alucard Emery, and he is WAY more complex than any character in the first book. This guy has layers upon layers, and his character forces the development of Lila, Kell, and Rhy, which is a key aspect in this book.

My main complaint for this book is there wasn’t enough of the side plot, and it showed up so infrequently I actually forgot about it until it appeared again. I think more of it would have improved the pace of the book and given it a greater sense of haste.

This book is not a stand alone, which is fine, I just assumed it was so when I got close to the end and realized there was more things that needed to happen than there were pages, I got a little nervous. Furthermore, I was so mad that it ended where it did, not because it was a bad place, but just because it was at such a crucial point.

Again, I can’t figure out why I’m not completely crazy about this series, there’s something about it and I can’t put my finger on it. But regardless, after reading this book, there was no question that I would pick up the third…excellent use of the cliff hanger, Schwab.

A Conjuring of Light

All things yes.

This is definitely a third and final book, meaning there are no major plot points introduced, just the expansion of the plot formed in the second book. That’s not saying it is boring, because it isn’t at all, nor is it saying that there are no twists to the plot, it’s just saying that it is a perfect continuation of the second book…which is exactly what it’s supposed to be.

While I don’t think this was the best book of the series (I still think the first was the best) this book made me like the series much more…I can’t explain it, but it was just the perfect third to bring the other two together.

The one thing that really threw me for a loop had nothing to do with the plot, but more about the main character Kell–he’s like 18 years old!!! (or something like that, I don’t remember the specific age, but I think he’s 18). I don’t know if his age was mentioned his age in the first two, but I was definitely picturing someone  a little older than a teenager, or I just thought he was ageless, or something magical like that. I know it’s a silly thing to get caught up on, but it really threw me for a loop.

Other than that, I really don’t have any complaints about this book. Like I said, it just a great 3rd book. Traditionally, the third book of a series is my least favorite, but Schwab really showed she has pure, raw skill with this book.

I don’t really want to talk about this one because I don’t want to spoil anything. I especially don’t want to tell you if the ending was awesome, tragic, or bland…ok, it wasn’t bland, it was one of the first two. But I will say that it is an ending, it doesn’t leave any strings untied or twists unresolved.

Overview: 

I really can’t get over how much I liked this series. It just got better and better as it went on. The characters continued to grow more complex, yet they are still completely them. The Kell we meet in the beginning of the first book is still the Kell we have at the end, same with Lila…they are just expanded. It’s really wonderful.

The plot is fun and fast. The different view points offer fresh outlooks, and it moves the plot along at a very interesting pace. Usually I’m not the biggest fan of jumping from character to character, but I since the narrater remained 3rd person throughout the book it made it much better than books that jump from 1st person to 1st person.

Overall, awesome series. It is one of the best newer series I have read lately and I highly recommend it.

Mr. Rochester

mr. rochesterMr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker

Rating: ★★★ // A classic in a new light

Review:

This review is really only a spoiler if you haven’t read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. If you have read it, read on, if you haven’t read it, you could probably still read this, you just won’t fully understand my rants, so it may be a waste of time to endure my run-on sentences.

Summary (via GoodReads)

For one hundred seventy years, Edward Fairfax Rochester has stood as one of literature’s most romantic, most complex, and most mysterious heroes. Sometimes haughty, sometimes tender-professing his love for Jane Eyre in one breath and denying it in the next-Mr. Rochester has for generations mesmerized, beguiled, and, yes, baffled fans of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece. But his own story has never been told.

Now, out of Sarah Shoemaker’s rich and vibrant imagination, springs Edward: a vulnerable, brilliant, complicated man whom we first meet as a motherless, lonely little boy roaming the corridors and stable yards of Thornfield Hall. On the morning of Edward’s eighth birthday, his father issues a decree: He is to be sent away to get an education, exiled from Thornfield and all he ever loved. As the determined young Edward begins his journey across England, making friends and enemies along the way, a series of eccentric mentors teach him more than he might have wished about the ways of the men-and women-who will someday be his peers.

But much as he longs to be accepted-and to return to the home where he was born-his father has made clear that Thornfield is reserved for his older brother, Rowland, and that Edward’s inheritance lies instead on the warm, languid shores of faraway Jamaica. That island, however, holds secrets of its own, and not long after his arrival, Edward finds himself entangled in morally dubious business dealings and a passionate, whirlwind love affair with the town’s ravishing heiress, Antoinetta Bertha Mason.

Eventually, after a devastating betrayal, Edward must return to England with his increasingly unstable wife to take over as master of Thornfield. And it is there, on a twilight ride, that he meets the stubborn, plain, young governess who will teach him how to love again.

It is impossible not to watch enthralled as this tender-hearted child grows into the tormented hero Brontë immortalized-and as Jane surprises them both by stealing his heart. Mr. Rochester is a great, sweeping, classic coming-of-age story, and a stirring tale of adventure, romance, and deceit. Faithful in every particular to Brontë’s original yet full of unexpected twists and riveting behind-the-scenes drama, this novel will completely, deliciously, and forever change how we read and remember Jane Eyre.
At times this book was a 4 for me, at others it was a 2, but it finished strong at a solid 3.

I have to start by saying that I hated Jane Eyre. Ok, maybe hate is a strong word, but I really really disliked it and I get very angry when I think about it…so maybe hate isn’t too strong of a word. As someone who loves classics more than any other genre, I was so disappointed. The only thing I really liked (or actually loved) about it was the language and writing style–the Bronte’s were truly masters of the English language. I kept telling myself I have to re-read it and give it another chance, but after reading Mr. Rochester, and being reminded about the plot, I really don’t think I do…it’s just not my cup o’ tea.

Due to my dislike of Jane Eyre, I did not have high expectations for this book, yet I tried to keep an open mind because stories from another point of view are usually quite interesting, and I was actually hoping this different perspective would make me like the classic better…at times it did, but overall, nah.

This book starts strong and I loved reading about Rochester’s childhood, and slowly I started to gain more respect for the man I considered a serious creep because before. It goes through his dysfunctional relationship with his father and brother, and his childhood friends and teachers who took him under their wings, and gave him the closet thing he had ever known to be a real family. This is definitely the strongest part of the book, and I flew through it, excited to learn more about this poor, lonely boy, whose one desire was to make his father proud.

Once I got about halfway, however, my enthusiasm died as the book slowed down quite a bit. This is around the time he heads off to Jamaica and all that drama begins to take shape. At times the story would pick up and my interest would rise, but then it would fall again. By the time Jane came into the picture, I was already ready for the book to end, and the plot of “will they or won’t they” just drove me crazy (as it did in Jane Eyre). Like I’ve said before, the book isn’t bad, and the story from his point of view is intriguing, it just moves at a very very slow pace, and I just wanted to get to the wedding drama and then be done.

When it comes to our protagonist (Rochester, not Jane), I do think his character was explained very well in the beginning of the story, and it helped form the background that is lacking in Bronte’s story. However, the excuses and reasons he gave for hiding his wife in the attic and then not telling anyone about it, even the girl you are literally about to marry, still fall short for me and I still see him as practically as crazy (just in a different way) as his attic wife.

Jane’s character is exactly the same, so there is nothing new there. Bertha’s character is, well, interesting, to say the least and I think Shoemaker did a very good job portraying her illness given the information in Jane Eyre. 

 Mr. Rochester is written well, however I think it is very difficult to try and rewrite classics with modern language because it doesn’t flow the way you want it to when you mesh old style with new. Again, not terrible, it just seemed forced at some points.

Unfortunately, I do think my dislike of Jane Eyre tainted my opinion of this book, because I just couldn’t get over how much I disliked Jane and Rochester together.

HOWEVER, I really do think that fans of the Jane Eyre story will like this book and they will be tickled to see the story come back to life.
Lastly, (this is really a spoiler if you haven’t read Jane Eyre, so stop reading if you haven’t) but hands-down the best part of the book was when mirrored the famous line “reader, I married him” and wrote “reader, she married me.” –that was awesome, well done Mrs. Shoemaker.

**I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review! Thank you for the copy!

 

Poem of the Week: Anecdote for Fathers

Anecdote For Fathers

by William Wordsworth

Retine vim istam, falsa enim dicam, si coges. — Eusebius

I have a boy of five years old;
His face is fair and fresh to see;
His limbs are cast in beauty’s mould,
And dearly he loves me.

One morn we strolled on our dry walk,
Our quiet home all full in view,
And held such intermitted talk
As we are wont to do.

My thoughts on former pleasures ran;
I thought of Kilve’s delightful shore,
Our pleasant home when spring began,
A long, long year before.

A day it was when I could bear
Some fond regrets to entertain;
With so much happiness to spare,
I could not feel a pain.

The green earth echoed to the feet
Of lambs that bounded through the glade,
From shade to sunshine, and as fleet
From sunshine back to shade.

Birds warbled round me — and each trace
of inward sadness had its charm;
Kilve, thought I, was a favored place,
And so is Liswyn farm.

My boy beside me tripped, so slim
And graceful in his rustic dress!
And, as we talked, I questioned him,
In very idleness.

“Now tell me, had you rather be,”
I said, and took him by the arm,
“On Kilve’s smooth shore, by the green sea,
Or here at Liswyn farm?”

In careless mood he looked at me,
While still I held him by the arm,
And said, “At Kilve I’d rather be
Than here at Liswyn farm.”

“Now, little Edward, say why so:
My little Edward, tell me why.”

“I cannot tell, I do not know.”
“Why, this is strange,” said I;

“For, here are woods, hills smooth and warm:
There surely must some reason be
Why you would change sweet Liswyn farm
For Kilve by the green sea.”

At this, my boy hung down his head,
He blushed with shame, nor made reply;
And three times to the child I said,
“Why, Edward, tell me why?”

His head he raised — there was in sight,
It caught his eye, he saw it plain —
Upon the house-top, glittering bright,
A broad and gilded vane.

Then did the boy his tongue unlock,
And eased his mind with this reply:
“At Kilve there was no weather-cock;
And that’s the reason why.”

O dearest, dearest boy! my heart
For better lore would seldom yearn,
Could I but teach the hundredth part
Of what from thee I learn.