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I Let You Go

i-let-you-go I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Tragedy befalls a single mother. We are then in the perspective of Jenna Gray, who is so devastated, that she decides to leave her home and try to start new somewhere a lot further away to help move on. The other perspective we’re in for part one of this book is of Detective Ray Stevens, who struggles with trying to maintain his family life while trying to promote up, all while feeling an undeniable connection to his new trainee. In these particular scenes, I am not familiar to the correct UK terminology for the police department, so I get quite confused and don’t remember what those acronyms mean. Not that that’s an issue with the book, it just pulls me out because I really should remember these things!

Quick note here: There is domestic violence in this novel. If that’s not something you can stomach–don’t pick it up.

Part one was honestly pretty slow. I understood why the pacing was that way and how it related to the story. The slowness was a parallel to the lull in the case for the detectives, and the recovery process Jenna was going through.

Part two, though…that’s where things really started picking up and I virtually could not put it down. A third perspective is introduced in this part and it is… quite chilling. There may be something sick and demented about enjoying the writing in this perspective, but it’s written very well, so it’s difficult not to appreciate it.

I didn’t really care too much about the relationship between Stevens and Kate, the trainee. It made sense with the book though, showing how tough the job can be while trying to stay happy with the home life you almost never see. He starts growing an attachment to the person he’s with for several hours, so it makes sense, I just feel like that was a subplot that didn’t pull me into the mystery of the book.

I really liked seeing the beginning of Jenna’s relationship with Ian, and how the manipulation process started. Again, I know it sounds creepy with me saying that, but to be inside of a man that…manipulative. Good stuff. I think this one is definitely worth the read. I know everyone and their mom has talked about the twist, but I liked that twist too. 😉

four-stars

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After

dreadfully-ever-after Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith

So it’s more like a 3.5 stars, because while still being fun, it was definitely not the strongest of the trilogy. But I still loved it! It starts out with Elizabeth being kind of depressed because as a married woman, she’s supposed to hang up her katana. This funk leads to Darcy being bitten and then her world is over. Except maybe it’s not. Lady Catherine still loved her nephew, despite her misgivings about Elizabeth, and she will do anything in her power to save him. So Elizabeth is forced to leave Darcy with her while she embarks on a mission to steal a supposed cure.  This is where I really felt like there was much to be desired. Because Elizabeth has to go undercover and be away from Darcy, we get little to no interaction between the two, which is exactly why I wanted to read the sequel in the first place–I want more Elizabeth and Darcy!

Anne, Lady Catherine’s daughter, plays a much, much bigger role in this narrative, while Georgiana ends up taking a step back (which I found as a disappointment). Kitty gets a bigger role now that she’s no longer living in the shadow of Lydia, though we do get plenty of the ‘La!’s still, which is perfect. I enjoyed Kitty really figuring herself out as both a warrior and a woman.

Onto the spoilers…
We know that the man in the box is Master Hawksworth, but we never get to see the family’s reaction to finding out. I would have loved to see how Elizabeth would have reacted. With the two orphans that Elizabeth takes home from the “hospital,” would I be right to assume that Mr. Bennet would actually take them home instead? Because Mrs. Bennet was scaring off any suitors for Kitty and Mary because she didn’t want to be alone and she wanted to have warriors at home. That’s not fair to Kitty and Mary, though, who at the end of the novel, find their own love interests. It’s assumed they’re going to not want to live with the Bennets anymore, so it would make sense to have the orphans go home with them so Mrs. Bennet has two children that she can take care of as well as them taking care of her. I believe Mr. Bennet alluded to it, I just wish it hadn’t been so open-ended when it was definitely going to be the last book. Also, I was disappointed to see Georgiana not come back till the very end. There were a few times where I thought she would have shown back up after being tricked into leaving, but that never occurred.

While it was nice to see certain characters get their chance to shine, I really missed the interaction between Darcy and Elizabeth, which is really what I read it for. I’m glad to take away the knowledge of them continuing to be badass together, I just wish I could have seen more. Again, I got the audio book, Katherine Kellgren is the best.

four-stars

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

I decided to read this book, and its accompanying prequel and sequel after completely falling in love with the movie. It is important to point out, though, that the movie is quite different from this novel, and that’s totally OK! I think that one particular scene that would have been awesome in the movie is when Elizabeth is at Rosings and Lady Catherine wants her to duel against her best ninjas–Elizabeth, in defiance, duels them blindfolded. It was a very fun grotesque scene!

I listened to the audio book for this; Katherine Kellgren is incredible. I’m a total lover of Pride and Prejudice and this book  was just loads of fun. Zombies, Ninjas, Brains, and Badassery. I feel like my only issue for characterization was that of Mr. Collins, who makes a drastic decision after learning something about Charlotte (I can avoid spoilers!). It felt pretty out of character, even if it was something that was done out of fun because people don’t really like him. That’s where the movie had me totally enraptured, I’m a huge fan of Matt Smith and he was hands down, one of my favorite characters.

I know that this review feels part book, part movie, but when you read a book because of the movie, you can’t help but notice the drastic differences. This was a fun read, nothing serious, and with the mash up of Jane Austen’s text and Seth Grahame-Smith’s text, it’s exactly what the title tells you it is: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

four-stars

Eligible

eligibleEligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Before I started this book, I read a pretty bad review of it, which worried me considerably. However, because of my undying love for the Pride and Prejudice story, I read it anyways. And never put it down. I spent the entire night and the next morning reading. I only decided to go to sleep after I finished it. It was fabulous. In context to what the previous review I had read said, though, I have to agree with it-just not to the extent that they disliked the book for it. It was only enough for me to knock a star off.

This book aims to deal with the modern struggles of our time. In Sittenfeld’s vision, that means tackling racism and issues dealing with transgenderism. In one particular incident, Elizabeth was pointing out that there was one black guy at a dinner party (so what?) and that he had been engaged. At another dinner party, his fiance-also black-was there. That felt very unnecessary and not like the mind of an Elizabeth Bennet to make what felt like a crude observation. As far as the transgenderism issue went, when one of the characters came out to the Bennet family, Mrs. Bennet freaked out and then continued to freak out and mention it for the rest of the book. It dragged on and felt uncomfortable.

Other than those issues, I am not a fan of having to stop reading to look up the definition of SEVERAL words, a few being: interregnum, apotheosis, samizdat, simulacrum, omerta and so on. I actually have a list in my phone of all the words I needed to look up. In a modern adaptation, there’s no reason to use a thesaurus for words that aren’t really in circulation anymore.

Regarding the circumstances that led to the falling out between Darcy and Wick (instead of Wickham), I wasn’t that thrilled. I felt like in the original, what Wickham did to Darcy was pretty abhorrent, which makes the readers really distaste him and love Darcy even more. In this story, I didn’t find that what happened was really worthy of those two disliking each other so much. I’m not going to give any spoilers on what it was, it was just another opportunity to also try to deal with racism and it felt misplaced.

I did miss the relationship between Willie Collins and Catherine de Bourgh, though. They had no relation at all in this story, so I missed the ridiculousness of Collins always bringing her up. I felt like he could have played the role of her publicist, but I assume it would have pulled away from the whole feminist point of view in that storyline.

I did absolutely love the discord between Caroline and Elizabeth. Their dislike for each other was absolutely perfect and played well. I also enjoyed the storyline of Eligible being our version of the Bachelor and how that came into play with the Bennets and their respective significant others.

Despite the few misgivings I had, I loved this book very much and I’m positive I will read it again. I think one of my favorite takeaways is Elizabeth inquiring to Darcy if they wanted to have hate sex. Hilarious!

four-stars

Reading for yourself or for school?

stack-of-books

I’m sure everyone has been faced with this dilemma. You know you need to take the time out of your busy schedule to read the books that have been assigned for the classes you’re currently taking. But do you find that reading time enjoyable? It could be a book that is popular; I do know of a class that discusses literature of today and why some of it is taking over the industry, both with the books and the movies. Hunger Games, for example, was on a reading list for a class I was looking at. I enjoyed reading the book on my own time, but would I have enjoyed it just as much having to read it for school? I don’t know that I would have. There’s always that difference of reading because you want to and reading because you have to.

However, it could be the book you have to read that makes all the difference. I have had to read Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko- it wasn’t a good time. I was rereading and rereading passages to no avail. I finally purchased the audio book and it helped significantly. Would I have been happier reading it on my own? I would have never finished the book. That is something that can be said about having to read it for school is the necessity in finishing it. I will always remember the story because of the work I had to put in on it, so I am thankful in that regard. It just wasn’t an easy process to get there.

Another book I’m sure everyone has had to read is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The first couple of times I read it for school, I was severely uninterested. This past time around, I used the audio book and reading it together and it was so much more fun. Now I could really see why the book has been so popular throughout the years.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is another book that I read in my high school class that I absolutely fell in love with. The teacher would have us read a few chapters, and then would play the coordinating part in the TV mini series with Colin Firth. I don’t know that I could have ever fallen so much in love with another book. I did recently pick up Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield, a modern adaptation of the beloved book, so I am very excited to start reading that.

I have listed a few examples of when reading a book for class ended up becoming enjoyable. But when really thinking about it, those few books covered so much span of time as opposed to reading for enjoyment. I’ll stay up all night reading a book I can’t get my nose out of. I have finished a few books within a week because of how much fun they were to read. This is never the case with a book I read for school. While I may enjoy it, it is a long, dragged-out process of finishing the book for school. So the levels of enjoyment definitely differ.

Are there any books you had to read for school that you ended up enjoying? Or did it temporarily ruin the experience for you? It took a couple of years before I had started reading for enjoyment again because of how much reading i had to do with previous classes.

Animals as Editors

cat-at-laptop-275

I’m sure everyone has a cat or two, or more (I have four). Or maybe you have a dog. Or maybe you’re like my mother, who has all four cats and large dog in her room or following her around throughout the day. These animals seem to think they know what’s really going on in our lives and how we should be living them in the current moment. Maybe I’m working on a paper on my laptop, but to a couple of my cats, that just means I’ve been in front of the screen far too long for their liking. I must take the time away from the screen to do something important in my life: such as giving treats or wet food. Then there are the other times where their input is just too strong not to pass up while working on a paper. How could I have ever lived without that sentence”luhweucgb lkjdsfv;iuikosdkjdsk sddkjsdsdh sksdil”? It’s pure artistic genius. Cats are just so intelligent, they always seem to know exactly what’s missing in a paper to spice it up. All those times I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write, all I had to do was allow them some time on the keyboard to open up my mind to everything I was holding back.

Then there’s the dog. Shouldn’t I just know when it’s time to take a walk or to give a treat? That’s when he comes in and sees that I’m busy working. His input is just as important as the cats’, if not more profound. Just one paw on the keyboard and I get the most inspiring words: huj knhujn jffing. Sometimes I find that I am not worthy of their input, so I shoo them away. But they always find a way back to my laptop, letting me know that everything I have typed up, is just not enough until they get their say.

Equestrian Fiction

One of the genres I have recently started reading is equestrian fiction. A romance novel where there are horses, a cozy mystery where there are horses, a horse jumping circuit, a family drama where, you guessed it, there are horses. If it has horses, I want it in my grasp. I remember when I was in middle school that the series Heartland was one of my favorite book series to read. I have recaptured that part of myself and now I want all the horse books. Let me edit them all. I have knowledge in horses as well. Riding ever since I was 12, being obsessed with them before that and still presently, having the fortune of owning a few horses as a teen. And now officially, I have my very first tattoo of a horse on my wrist. Thinking about horses is actually how I was able to come up with the name of my website, Thorough Edits. I was wondering if there was a way I could combine my love for horses and editing. Then it hit me, with the breed of the first horse I owned, a Thoroughbred, came Thorough Edits. I haven’t wanted to even think of another possible name.

Since I have delved into reading equine fiction, I realized that it isn’t that big of a market. Which means that the authors that have found their niche through this kind of fiction are sure to stand out. I have noticed that there are quite a few authors in this genre who have books that could have used a good copy edit, or even just a proofread. Those authors who did not use an editor will end up suffering from the new authors busting into the genre who do have editing done to their novels. Keeping your readers engrossed in your book instead of being pulled out due to simple editing mistakes or inconsistencies is extremely important. Let me help you and your horse book stand out among the few. Let’s make a name for yourself, and not have it connected with errors in editing.

Check back with me to see what genres I discover, and let me know which ones you’re interested in.