Welcome Blog Review Policy My Novels Giveaways Restorer's House

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Wounded Name- Dot Hutchison

There's a girl who could throw herself head first into life and forge an unbreakable name, an identity that stands on its own without fathers or brothers or lovers who devour and shatter.


Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan will never be just another girl at Elsinore Academy. Seeing ghosts is not a skill prized in future society wives. Even when she takes her pills, the bean sidhe beckon, reminding her of a promise to her dead mother.

Now, in the wake of the Headmaster's sudden death, the whole academy is in turmoil, and Ophelia can no longer ignore the fae. Especially once she starts seeing the Headmaster's ghosts- two of them- on the school grounds.

At the center of her crumbling world is Dane, the Headmaster's grieving son. He, too, understands the power of a promise to a parent- even a dead one. To him, Ophelia is the only person not tainted by deceit and hypocrisy, a mirror of his own broken soul. And to Ophelia, Dane quickly becomes everything. Yet even as she gives more of herself to him, Dane slips away. Consumed by suspicion, rage, and madness, he spirals towards his tragic fate- dragging Ophelia, and the rest of Elsinore, with him.


Yet even in the face of certain death, Ophelia has a choice to make- and a promise to keep. She is not the girl others want her to be. But in Dot Hutchison's dark and sensuous debut novel, the name "Ophelia" is as deeply, painfully, tragically real as "Hamlet"

I read a A Wounded Name this week and was not disappointed. It is a Hamlet retelling from Ophelia’s POV. Which isn’t totally unheard of, I have three other books that do the same thing. However this is the difference, in those other three books Hamlet is such a likable romantic interest and Ophelia doesn’t die at the end.

I found this book to be much more like I pictured the play to be. First off (no this isn’t a spoiler go read the damn play) she dies at the end of this book, drowns in the lake. Second off Hamlet and her relationship is full of agony, anger, love, lust and tragedy. Many might be upset because their relationship is abusive, however in context it needed to be. By pretending to be mad Dane (Hamlet) actually becomes crazy and Ophelia can do nothing more than soak up his pain. She feels this is the only way to help him. Also in this tale Ophelia has always been a little crazy. She sees ghosts, she sees the Faerie World and her mother tried to drown them both when she was eight, I mean she commits suicide to be a ghost fairy woman just like her mama.

Now I am not saying Dane hurting her was ok and neither was his begging her to “not let me do this to you.” However it played its role quite well in establishing their relationship and characters. In the play Ophelia is portrayed as a perfect daughter with a slight wild streak and the author kept that idea with this retelling.

I also enjoyed that there was the allusion of Dane and Ophelia having sex. Most YA novels either don’t include it or gloss over it.

This book was magic and beautifully written, it weaved together teen drama and a modern setting with the Bard’s (in my opinion) best work.

The characters were great, the setting spoke of power, beauty, murder and madness.

My one complaint was the theme; the theme of this book was flowers and the color purple. Now this part was pretty good I enjoyed the talk of flowers and the use of color.…however the author used the word bruise probably 100 times. She used it as a color description, a feeling description and then with the actually definition as a mark on the skin. There are so many other lovely ways to say purple; violet, lavender, plum, wine, grape, orchid etc…etc... I get that bruise is a darker idea of purple with pain intertwined, but it got repetitive.

Aside from Dating Hamlet which was a happily ever after version of Hamlet, this is my favorite retelling to date.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

7 Deadly Sins of Reading Tag

The Seven Deadly Sins of Reading Tag

Stolen from


This seemed fun, send me a link if you decide to do this, I would love to see your responses.

What is your most inexpensive book? What is your least expensive book?

The least expensive book I bought recently was a free kindle download.

The most expensive? Huh… No idea…but I am going to guess it’s my annotated Dracula.

What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Laurel K Hamilton… Oh… ugh… I love her Anita Blake stuff, have been reading it since I was 18….but as I get older it is hard to overlook some of her MAJOR flaws, like the preachy women hating all men are sexist stuff.

What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever?

Twilight Phantasies by Maggie Shayne...when I first bought this book I read is straight through three times in a row and have since read it over and over again.

What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova… It’s a Dracula vampire history type book, but is seems such a dry read even though EVERYONE who read it loved it…And it’s like 800 pages long 

What book do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?

Hamlet- though I do love this play and have read it several times…I find being able to quote and understand Shakespeare makes me feel smart.

What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters?

Female- strong voice, strong opinion, not skinny, powerful but knows also how to be a damsel in distress, pretty but not stuck up, a little mean and sarcastic….I like a good evil girl too.

Male- funny, handsome, but in a geeky way, smart…sometimes shy but mainly dominant and not like a stalker rapey way.

What books would you most like to receive as a gift?

LOL ALL OF THEM….So many books come out I cannot afford.

Top Ten Best and Worst Series Endings

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Best and Worst Series Endings.

Hosted by http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com/2013/10/top-ten-bestworst-series-endings-top.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FJywQY+%28The+Broke+and+the+Bookish%29

This one is hard for me since most of my series are currently on going.


1) Vampire Kisses 9- Immortal Hearts by Ellen Shreiber- I have been reading this series for years and I enjoyed this last episode very much. Everything wraps up all happily ever after and I needed that.

2) The Hidden by Jessica Verday- The third in The Hollow Trilogy- this series was a fun retelling of the legend of Sleepy Hallow and had a very perfume filled plot with lovely characters and imagery and ended the way I thought it would

3) Blood Canticle by Anne Rice- Now there were a TON of books in the middle of the Vampire Chronicles series that were crap, but I was happy with how Anne Rice wrapped the series up.

4) The Far West by Patricia C Wrede- the conclusion of the Frontier Magic Series- OMG this series is one I read over and over again it makes me so damn happy. Oregon Trail+ Harry Potter. Yum Yum

5) Dark Carnival by James Moore- the last Serenity Falls novels- this series was super creepy! I enjoyed the spooky horror that the small town of Serenity Falls imbibed and the last installment of this series was full of curses, dead raising and best of all an evil carnival very something-wicked-this-way-comes.


1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Can we say this book was all about the author being sick of her characters? Everyone dies, and in not so good ways and I have read fan fiction endings that were better than the crappy epilogue we are given.

2) Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer- Ok now this is weird, this actually is one of the books I like best of this series. However the whole Jacob/Nessie thing was yuck…I am anti any book promoting getting married as a teenager (you know, instead of having goals, going to college and moving out of your parent’s house) and having a baby. Also I feel this book was more cash cow than art.

3) Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris- the last Sookie Snatchhouse book. Ok so I didn’t actually read this. I am putting it here because of the crapfest this series turned into and from my friends I found out she *spoiler* doesn’t wind up with Eric so blah!

4) Divine Misdemeanors- the last Meredith Gentry Book by Laurel K Hamilton- this ending confused me, is this really the end? I mean another book hasn’t come out in years….I think it was the end but it felt very unfinished.

5) Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl- the last in the Beautiful Creatures books… - I was torn reading these to begin with. I loved some, hated some…But the finale just, fell flat for me and didn’t do Ethan the justice his story deserved. Though Lena could jump off a bridge for all I care.