Review: Darcy on the Hudson: A Pride and Prejudice Re-imagining

Darcy on the Hudson: A Pride and Prejudice Re-imagining Darcy on the Hudson: A Pride and Prejudice Re-imagining by Mary Lydon Simonsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this P&P reimagining for so many reasons. First, I loved that it was set in the Hudson Valley. I grew up in that area and I loved all the references to places that are familiar to me. It added a little sense of home to me while I was reading and provided me with a unique connection to the story. I liked the cultural aspects that Simonsen injected into the story with Elizabeth being American and Darcy being British, coming to America after the American Revolution. It added a whole new dimension to Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship. I also loved that Darcy kept getting seasick on all the ships. I don't know why, but I found it to be very endearing. I found myself completely lost in this story and didn't want it to end. This is my second Simonsen book and she's definitely become one of my favorite P&P reimagination authors.

2015 Reading Challenge: A book that takes place in your hometown

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Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I would love J.K. Rowling's grocery lists. I swear the woman can do no wrong in my eyes. While I think I like the novel format better than the script format, I still enjoyed reading this story. Like so many other HP fans, I loathed saying goodbye to Harry and the gang at the end of the series and always wanted to know more about Harry's life.

I loved the direction that the authors took with this story. Harry's life isn't a fairytale and I love that he is facing real life struggles - balancing work and family, parenting, and work stresses. It's so normal and for a boy who always wanted to be normal, I found it fitting. Yes, it hurt my heart to see Harry struggle to get along with his son, Albus. And yes, I felt bad for Albus and his struggle to live in the shadow of Harry's legacy, but in the end, I felt that it all worked out for the best.

There were so many "360" (and some "180") moments in this novel. I liked the reversals - Albus ending up in Slytherin, being best friends with Scorpius Malfoy - and the playing with time that allowed old friends (and enemies) to visit. I found the story to be as magical and well crafted as all the others in the series. There were plenty of twists and surprises, but the heart of what makes the Harry Potter stories so endearing is there in spades. It's a beautiful edition to one of my favorite series of all time.

Rumor has it that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is coming to the U.S. in 2018. I'm praying that it's true. Time to start saving!

2016 Reading Challenge: A book you can finish in a day

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Review: Frankenstein

Frankenstein Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I was expecting more of a horror story than I got with this classic. I've only ever seen Hollywood versions of this story, so the expectations I had in mind did not match the words on the page at all. It was far more existential than terror inducing. I thought the themes surrounding creation, the connection between creator and creation, and human connection were interesting. I can see the connection between Frankenstein and Prometheus, but I'm not sure the connection is strong enough to befit the title of the "modern day Prometheus." I didn't dislike the story and I appreciate it for the classic that it is.

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Review: Autobiography of a Face

Autobiography of a Face Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm glad that I discovered this memoir (thank you, Rory Gilmore!). Grealy's story is both heartbreaking and inspirational. Grealy is a survivor of cancer and yet all anyone can see is her deformity. Instead of celebrating her survival, she is stared at and forced to deal with the shallowness of others. I'm guilty of it, too. We all judge people by their outward appearances, never stopping to think of their journey. I admire her courage for battling through several reconstructive surgeries, her tenacity in the face of obstacles, and her vulnerability in sharing her story.

Grealy is a poet and it comes across in her prose style. It is clear that each word was chosen carefully and each sentence was crafted with care. For the most part, I liked Grealy's style, but there were times that it became distracting. Nevertheless, her honesty in telling her story forged a real connection to me as a reader. It was a good reminder about the importance of looking beyond the surface to the heart of a person. Autobiography of a Face is certainly worth your time.

2015 Reading Challenge: A memoir

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