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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hideous Love- Stephanie Hemphill

Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.

Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.

I started reading Hideous Love because I knew the author used as much fact and she possibly could and I have never read a modern book written in verse before.

I was fairly disappointed. The book flap states this is an award winning novel, but I found the verse sorely lacking and reminding me much more of diary entries.

While the author captured Mary Shelley well and I felt like I did get to know the character I wish I could have seen the story from the other people’s point of view. Her half-sister Claire is very much a villain I mean really…Who sleeps with their sister’s husband? A whore that’s who. And Shelley and Lord Byron are basically just horny douche bags whose ability to write prose gets them laid as often as they want and gives them the ability to treat people like crap. In fact Shelley spends most of the novel in debt and Mary…well she acts pretty ok with that.

The best part was when she is writing about her novel. That was pretty impassioned and cool. It felt like the REAL Mary Shelley was talking from the pages.

It was difficult for me to read about all the children dying in the book, Claire and Mary both lose children and while that was hard for me I couldn’t really feel sympathy. Mary lets Shelley tell her what to do, all the traveling and bad living conditions she and her babies are subjected to is the reason three of her children die and she miscarries another. After the death of one baby you can be damn sure the next wouldn’t be left in the care of others and I wouldn’t be travelling all over introducing foreign ailments to their little immune systems.

I really wonder if Mary was as addicted to Shelley as this novel made it seem. Half the time she figured he was cheating on her and having babies with other people. The other half she was in love and worshipping the ground he walked on. I know she was very young when she hooked up with Shelley, not even 20, and that does excuse her poor life choices, we’ve all made them. However after the second baby died I would have told my husband to fuck off.

I was actually happy at the end when Shelley finally dies I was sick of how insipid Mary wrote/described him while still proclaiming how much she loved her “Shelley.”

This story also delves into the life of Claire who was Lord Byron’s sort of mistress and gives him a daughter. She is portrayed as pretty crazy and then Byron restricts her access to their child who later dies as well.

This novel was depressing! I mean I kind of knew it would be, but damn there wasn’t ANY light at the end of the tunnel. Mary Shelley wrote a famous gothic novel, but her life was a gothic romance and layered with tragedy.

Top Ten Tuesday- Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun Meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish

This week we will be listing our top ten TBR Winter Reads. This is complicated because I always gets books for Christmas. So needless to say this list is not actually complete. Lol

The Perfect Ruin by Lauren De Stefano- I really enjoyed Wither, but didn’t care for the last installments. This seems interesting!

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city in the clouds where she lives, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. If she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in her best friend, Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, he is the boy being blamed for the murder, but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find—or whom she will lose.

Legacy: A Daughters of Darkness Novel by Ravin Maurice- Since I am in the middle of an adult novel including Elizabeth Bathory I am trying to read as much other fictions about her. This doesn’t look half bad

Katrine is a seemingly ordinary girl who is suddenly thrown into extraordinary circumstances. When three mysterious women unexpectedly arrive to see her mother, Anastasia, a sinister secret is revealed and a terrifying chain of events is unleashed, leaving the young girl and her mother forever changed. Tormented by violent encounters and chilling dreams, Katrine struggles to control her newly found hunger for blood and embarks on a macabre journey to claim her dark and dangerous birthright as the granddaughter of the notorious Countess Elizabeth Bathory. A twist of fate leads her to others with similar traits and what is left of her life changes when she joins them and becomes a part of their enigmatic and strangely beautiful world. Despite her new beginnings, the frightening past continues to stalk her, leaving her to consider if the Bathory blood running through her veins would ultimately save or destroy her.

Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart - Seems like an indie vampire novel I might enjoy

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina's only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side—and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated. Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her as being different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behavior for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king's advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more. Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she's to uncover the truth—but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?

Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight

Ashline Wilde may have needed school to learn that she is actually a reincarnated goddess, but she’s ready to move beyond books. She leaves her California boarding school behind and makes for Miami, where she meets a new group of deities and desperately seeks her sister Rose, the goddess of war. But she’s also looking for love—because even though her romance with Cole had to be snuffed, Ash is a volcano goddess—and she doesn’t get burned.

The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers I really liked the first one

Over two hundred years ago Bookholm, the City of Dreaming Books, was destroyed by a catastrophic firestorm. Optimus Yarnspinner, who witnessed this disaster, has since become Zamonia's greatest writer and is resting on his laurels at Lindworm Castle. Spoilt by his monumental success and basking in adulation, he one day receives a disturbing message that finally reinvests his life with meaning: a cryptic missive that lures him back to Bookholm.

Rebuilt on a magnificent scale, the city is once more a vibrant literary metropolis and Mecca of the book trade teeming with book fanatics of all kinds. On the track of the mysterious letter that brought him there, Yarnspinner has scarcely set foot in the city before he falls prey to its spirit of adventure. He is reunited with old friends like Inazia Anazazi the Uggly and Ahmed ben Kibitzer the Nocturnomath, but he also encounters the city's new marvels, which include the mysterious Biblionauts, the warring Puppetists, and the city's latest craze, the Invisible Theatre.

The Last Three Books of the Morganville Vampie Series by Rachel Caine