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Mini-Reviews of Read-a-thon Books

Mini-Reviews

* CONTAINS SPOILERS

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892)

THE STORY

giphyI didn’t remember until after I read it that The Yellow Wallpaper was referenced in the first series of American Horror Story which was about a possessed house. When the wife gripes to the housekeeper that her husband doesn’t believe the bizarre things she’s witnessing, the housekeeper tells her about TYW. I thought their conversation would make a good summary of the story.

Moira: Haven’t you read “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman?

Vivien: No.

Moira: Her husband, a doctor, locks her away in the upstairs bedroom to recuperate from a slight hysterical tendency. Staring at the yellow wallpaper day after day, she begins to hallucinate that there are women trapped in the pattern… Half mad, she scrapes off the wallpaper to set the women free. When her husband finally unlocks the door he finds her circling the room, touching the wallpaper, whispering “I finally got out of here.”

Since the beginning of time, men find excuses to lock women away. They make up diseases, like hysteria. Do you know where that word comes from? The Greek word for “uterus.” “Do you know where the word “hysteria” comes from? It’s Greek for “uterus”. The only possible cure was hysterical paroxysm. Orgasms. Doctors would masturbate women in their office and call it medicine.”

American Horror Story, Season 1, Episode 8, Rubber Man

THE GOOD

The Yellow Wallpaper is not only a creepy story that catches you off guard by how quickly the narrator spirals into madness, but an interesting commentary on how women were perceived as weaklings and, as a result, suffocated as every aspect of their daily lives was controlled.

THE BAD

The story ended! But really it was the perfect length. I don’t know why it was classified as a novella because it’s really a short story.

4/5 Stars

* * *

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes

THE STORY

In 2012, Liv Halston and her husband, David, go to Paris for their honeymoon after a whirlwhind courtship and quickie marriage. But the trip is less than perfect when David constantly takes off on business leaving Liv by herself in the world’s most romantic city. One hundred years before them, Sophie and Édouard Lefèvre are also enjoying a honeymoon in Paris. Sophie is a provincial girl who somehow won the heart of up and coming artist, Edouard. She doesn’t realize how complicated loving a man with such a colourful past can be until that past starts rubbing her nose in it.

THE GOOD

Overall, Honeymoon in Paris was a lovely story about the emotional baggage that can get in the way of people loving and accepting each other. I could relate to the two female characters because I have unintentionally sabotaged romance in past relationships by getting caught up in feelings of jealousy, suspicion, insecurity and high expectations.

THE BAD

It wasn’t clear if there was any connection between the two Paris couples. I guess it means I have to get my hands on The Girl You Left Behind Soon to find out.

3.5/5 Stars

* * *

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

THE STORY

A young boy is introduced to an underground part of the library he has never seen before and is held against his will to complete a task or lose his life.

THE GOOD

The Strange Library had a wonderful eerie folk tale feeling and I actually felt a little chilled reading it by myself at night. Even the illustrations in the book added another layer to the way I experienced the book. I only wish I could understand the symbolism or understand the point of the story, but I’m not good at deciphering that kind of thing.

THE BAD

Nothing! I really liked it.

3.5/5 Stars

Did you participate in Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon? What was your favourite book?

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12 comments on “Mini-Reviews of Read-a-thon Books

  1. janceewright
    April 30, 2015

    I didn’t officially participate, but I did use the weekend to catch up on a lot of reading, mostly comic books and short YA novels for reluctant readers.

    I really, really want to read the Strange Library soon.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 30, 2015

      I think you would find The Strange Library interesting. Did you read Althea and Oliver? I think I saw that on your list.

      Like

      • janceewright
        May 2, 2015

        Yeah, I did. It was pretty good, although there were a couple major issues I had with it.

        Like

  2. Naomi
    April 30, 2015

    They all sound good! I especially like your review of The Yellow Wallpaper – I will get my hands on it sometime! Have you ever seen the movie Hysteria?

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 30, 2015

      Is that the movie with Hugh Dancy and he’s the doctor? Then yes, I have seen but completely forgot that it’s about hysteria. That was a pretty funny movie.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I felt the same about The Yellow Wallpaper – why did it have to end so soon?! I’ve re-read it a few times now and it always throws up something new. I’m definitely going to participate in the readathon next time!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 4, 2015

      I read that there are a few movie/theatre adaptations of The Yellow Wallpaper that don’t stick to storyline, but instead explore the underlying themes. I think it would be interesting to track down one of those to see how others have taken the story in other directions.

      Like

  4. brynhottman
    May 2, 2015

    I’ve read neither Haruki Murakami’s or Jojo Moyes’ works but I’ve seen their names here and there a lot! Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore” is on my TBR list. Have you read others of Jojo Moyes’ works? If so, which one is your favorite?

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 4, 2015

      The Strange Library was my second Murakami and I liked it much better than when I read Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I’ve read three other Jojo Moyes books and probably enjoyed Honeymoon in Paris the most. I find her books are very easy to read and fairly upbeat in tone.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lauratfrey
    May 2, 2015

    The Yellow Wallpaper is one of those things that I’m about 80% sure I’ve read, but 20% chance I just think I have because I’ve heard so much about it. I should save it for Novellas in November this year!

    I’ve heard this isn’t he best Murakami to start with, but I own it, so it will probably be mine too.

    No go in the Jojo Moyse tho. Hahah I swear I didn’t mean for that to come out all rhyming. But I still have a bad taste in my mouth from Me Before You. Maybe if her covers didn’t look so similar, I would try to forget 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 4, 2015

      Yeah, they definitely have a cover branding thing going on for Jojo Moyes. I do remember that you didn’t love Me Before You. I really enjoyed that book, but I liked Honeymoon in Paris more because it didn’t have the rom-com vibe, it was very focused on the relationships without getting intense. The Yellow Wallpaper would be perfect for Novellas in November. You could probably read it in an hour!

      Like

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