The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein // Book Review

Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Published: 2018
Genre: YA/Gothic/Retelling
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Synopsis
A stunning and dark reimagining of Frankenstein told from the point-of-view of Elizabeth Lavenza, who is taken in by the Frankenstein family. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost…as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.


I heard mixed things about this book; some people thoroughly enjoyed it, while others didn’t care for it. I’m not particularly well versed in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, so I was going in completely unbiased. However, I will admit there were a few times throughout the book that I looked up cliff-notes on ‘Frankenstein.’ I found the book very easy to read and follow. The plot was straightforward, and even the ‘flashback’ moments were incorporated well.

It wasn’t a book that I was dying to finish, at first. But once we got into the meat of the story, I wanted to keep reading. The plot was captivating enough to keep me invested in what was going to happen next. I wouldn’t say that I couldn’t put it down, but I did want to know out how the story would end.

Elizabeth was a complex character, with lots of worries and insecurities that she kept hidden. Before meeting the Frankenstein family, her childhood was depressing, and she thought that she came from nothing. She wanted to have a place in society and desired to fit in. She was smart, and crafted plans that would keep her out of the poor house.

I think that Elizabeth’s best quality was her heart. She had a sensible and tough exterior, but would do anything for her loved ones. This did get her in trouble at times. Especially when it came to her devotion to Victor. I am unaware of the ‘original’ Elizabeth’s personality, but I still liked White’s take on the character. She seems like a simple girl, yet there are many layers underneath.

“Death is never allowed to touch you.”

Personally, I enjoyed the slower pace of the story. I think that a more atmospheric telling worked well in this case. However, I understand how some people would consider the book to be boring. The story was primarily character driven while still being plot focused. There were secondary characters that played big roles throughout the story, but the focus and storyteller was Elizabeth herself.

It wasn’t a scary story, which I believe is unlike ’Frankenstein.’ It is more of a sad story about protecting the people we love versus seeing the real them. Elizabeth could only ignore the truth for so long before it came crashing down on her. It was frightening to see the situations that Elizabeth, Justine, and Henry ended up in. Elizabeth’s predicament was the most unsettling, since it was something many women in 19th century faced. Men would silence women through manipulation, which is horrifying and despicable.

As for Kiersten White writing style, it was very familiar to me. She wrote with such class, almost melodic, if that makes any sense. It was almost as if this book was actually written back in the 1800’s. Her writing was poetic, but still plain. I don’t mean plain as an insult by any means, because I quite liked the writing. But I can see that she drew a lot of inspiration from Mary Shelley and the 1800’s era.

I don’t know if I will ever read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but the fact that she wrote it on a dare is inspiring. Women back than were seen as subservient, but she freed herself from the box society put her in. White took a classic novel and made it her own, while still writing it in the image of the original story. Amazing.

Let me know if you have read this book, or the original ‘Frankenstein’. Which do you prefer? Like and share this post with all your friends, family, pets, etc. And follow the blog if you want to get notifications for all my posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Little Women // Book Review

Title: Little Women
Author: Louisa May Alcott
Published: 1869
Genre: Classic/Contemporary
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Synopsis
Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.
Credit: GoodReads


Being a long-time fan of the movie adaptations, I knew that I was eventually going to have to pick this book up. The story is very iconic and timeless. At a young age, my mom would compare me to Jo. At 15 years-old, I thought that this was the highest of compliments.

Each sister (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy) had their own stories, but they were all connected. They learned to be selfless, grow-up and above all less that family comes first. Jo March is the most notable character from the book. Probably because her arc is the main focus of the story. Also, she was an offbeat girl of that time, which was refreshing. I found Jo to be a little too stubborn for my liking, but I did notice some similarities between me and her.

Jo was outspoken, strong and not afraid to be herself. Throughout the book she mentioned how marriage, class or money wasn’t her goal. She wanted to be known for her talents instead of her status in society. Meg was the oldest of the sisters, and at first wanted nothing more than to fit in. I enjoyed her journey most of all. She chose love and a family over a career, which isn’t always a bad thing. I liked that she married for love, and though she wanted expensive things, never regretted the life she picked. Out of all the sister, I found myself relating most to Meg.

Beth didn’t have a big plot in the book, but she was the glue that tied the sisters together. She was kind, shy and had a great love of music. In the book, she probably went through the most physically, and it was painful to see how her story ended. She never complained about the cards she was dealt, and wanted what was best for her family. This is something we both have in common.

Amy, like many, was my least favorite sister. I do understand that the author was trying to portray her as immature and selfish, since she was the youngest March girl. It was evident that her character development was supposed to be the most drastic.

In some ways, I get Amy’s need to marry rich and move up in society. Her desires weren’t purely for herself, but for her family. She wanted to be able to provide for the ones she loved, even if it meant marrying someone just for money. Although, I would never do that, I can see her point of view.

As for the boys, Meg and Brooke’s relationship was very wholesome and real. They started as friends and grew into something more. What can I say I’m a hopeless romantic. On the flip-side, Laurie’s obsession with Jo was a tab much. I hated that he acted poorly when she refused his proposal. His relationship with Amy started as a fallback for not getting Jo, which left a sour taste in my mouth. Does he even really love her?

“I hate ordinary people!”

For me, Jo and the Professor’s relationship was my favorite. Some people might think that Jo was better off single. Because not all women need a man to be complete. Although, I agree, it was heartwarming to see Jo fall in love. Throughout the book, she was so against marriage and being seen as somebody’s wife. It showed that you can achieve your goals, and find love too. Once you find your person, everything changes.

After reading the book, I found that I could relate to each March sister in one way, or another. We are all Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in are own way. I will probably always ship Jo and Laurie even though his fixation was a little much.

The one final thing I learned from my reading experience is that classics aren’t for me. Yes, my favorite book is a classic, but I don’t generally enjoy classic books. I’ll continue to watch all ‘Little Women’ adaptations that are released. And, probably read a few more classics in my lifetime. But they aren’t my first reading priority.

Is Little Women one of your favorite books? Do you enjoy reading classics? Give my blog a follow, like and share this post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Cozy Fall // Book Tag

Hi Friends,
I knew that I had to do a fall book tag to celebrate the change in seasons. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year for many reasons.The cooler weather, movies and food. This tag was originally created by The Book Belle on Youtube and combines fall and books.

1) What book always reminds you of fall/autumn?
For years, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott has made me think of fall. The story takes place throughout all the seasons. But I will forever think of this story as a great fall read.

2) What is your favorite autumnal book cover?
The Fall Changes by Marie McGrath has a simple cover that sets the tone for a cozy fall contemporary. Truth be told, I haven’t read the book, but it is on my never-ending tbr.

3) What is your favorite autumnal drink to read with?
I am a sucker for fall Starbucks drinks. Their Salted Carmel Mocha is one of my favorite autumn drinks. Additionally, I fancy a hot cup of coffee with cinnamon creamer.

4) Do you prefer to read late at night or early in the morning?
Is anytime an acceptable answer to this question? I read mostly throughout the afternoon. Sometimes I will read during breakfast, or stay up late to finish a book. I am pretty much always reading.

5) Halloween is coming! What is your favorite spooky read?
I haven’t read many thrillers or horror books. My answer is probably pretty lame, but it is Coraline by Neil Gaiman. It is a spooky children’s book, which isn’t a huge genre.

6) What is the ultimate comfort read for you?
I have to go with one of my favorite series, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. The book starts in fall as school is starting back up. There is baking, family relationships and fake dating. I need to do a reread of this series, because it is one of my all-time favorite contemporaries.

7) What is your favorite autumnal reading snack?
I would say slice of gingerbread, since my mom only makes it in the fall. Which is a real shame because homemade gingerbread with apple butter is so yummy.

8) What is your favorite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading?
Leaves from Bath and Body Works is the perfect fall candle. The scent notes are red apples, golden nectar and cloves. It smells like hot apple cider on a cozy fall day.

9) When you’re not reading, what is your favorite autumnal activity?
Watching fall movies! Some of my favorite autumn films include Stepmom, Little Women, Matilda and Casper.

10) What is on your autumn/fall reading list?
How long do you have? Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White are at the top of the list.
Both are books that have been on my ‘to be read’ list for an embracing long time.

This was such a fun bookish tag. I tag everyone, and looking forward to seeing your answers. Before you leave like and share the post. Don’t forget to give my bookish blog a follow.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny