Archive

Tag Archives: book reviewing

I haven’t done a monthly wrap up in what feels like forever, so here’s what I’ve been reading and posting in May.

May Wrap Up

I only managed to finish ONE book during may – this was because for the majority of May I was finishing university with exams and assessments taking up my time.

19288043

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’ll be posting a full review for Gone Girl, but a short summary: it was a super quick and interesting read that kept me interested throughout and I’ll be looking at other Flynn books in the future.

However, in May I’ve also been reading my way through SIX other books.

In terms of blog posting, in May I’ve been posting about…

What books and blogging have you been enjoying in May? Let me know in the comments!


SOCIAL MEDIA

[Goodreads // Instagram // Twitter]

OTHER LINKS

Enjoy the content I post? Please consider donating to Novellique via my Ko-Fi link!

I’m an Amazon affiliate; this means I earn a small commission from products bought through my links. Trial Amazon Prime for super quick book delivery!

Advertisements

I don’t always review the books I study for my degree, but I have some things to say about a few of the books I’ve encountered. Dracula, in particular.

REVIEW: Dracula

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 12.16.50.png

Dracula by Bram Stoker

[ amazon // goodreads ]

TITLE/COVER.

Regardless of which Dracula cover you end up with, they all feature a dark shadowy figure and, usually, the colour red. The title itself, Dracula, immediately makes it clear that this is about a vampire: everyone associated Dracula with gothic conventions and vampires. Even if you know next to nothing about the actual book, you’ve probably seen images from the various film adaptations over the years.

CHARACTERS.

The characters were infuriating, and I hated Dracula for a long time precisely because of this. It wasn’t until we began to start analysing Dracula that I read an essay arguing this was intentional: Dracula is supposed to be “anti-realistic”, the essay suggested, because this adds to the horror. The reader can see the characters are being stupid and making bad choices but are powerless to stop them. With this reflection, I can understand why the characters seem incapable of stopping their ‘vulnerable women’ from becoming vampires – Dracula is the kind of text you have to unpick to like because on a surface level, everyone is useless and none of it is believable.

PLOT.

I found it difficult to force my way from Dracula the first time around. The plot takes a long time for anything to really happen – despite this, it is still a book you need to reread to get the best experience as a lot of the newspaper clippings and diary entries don’t make sense in the larger picture until you know what is happening. It also features a giant amount of unreliability from all the characters, and characters with several name changes, so the first reading can be confusing.

THEMES & ANALYSIS.

For me, Dracula becomes interesting when we look at it from a psychoanalytical perspective. What this means is looking at how unconscious desires are explored through the medium of books: in this case, unconscious desires around hunger – both literal (eating) and metaphorical (sexual desires).

It is also super interesting to look at the various things vampirism has been used as a metaphor for across the film adaptations, ranging from discussing femininity and the unconventional ‘New Women’ of the time who were demonised and dehumanised, to discussing invaders from a foreign land (especially as immigration is still such a hot topic), to comparing vampirism to AIDS. As I talked about in my essay on Dracula, the metaphor of an actual supernatural threat for any group of people is problematic to say the least, but it reflects how society demonises specific identities – the LGBT community, women and immigrants to name just a few.

OVERALL.

I’m giving Dracula a rating of 2.5* – this isn’t to say I didn’t like it or I won’t talk about it, but had I read it on my own I wouldn’t have thought much of it at all. I think Dracula is definitely a product of its time, but the main reason I’m marking it down so harshly was due to the ending; after pages and pages discussing morals and ethics about vampires and what it means to be human, nothing… particularly happens… the great evil is supposedly defeated but we never really get told anything for definite. So, in conclusion: Dracula is interesting, may even fun, to analyse – but not great to read.

Have you read Dracula – what did you think? Are there any books you’ve found interesting to analyse but don’t personally like? Let me know in the comments!


SOCIAL MEDIA

[Goodreads // Instagram // Twitter]

I’m an Amazon affiliate; this means I earn a small commission from products bought through my links. Trial Amazon Prime for super quick book delivery!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I feel like I’ve been reading Lord of Shadows for months, but I’ve finally finished it and I’m ready to talk about it! Here is my spoiler free review.

REVIEW: LORD OF SHADOWS

LORD OF SHADOWS – CASSANDRA CLARE

Goodreads | Amazon ]

TITLE/COVER.

I think I prefer the cover of Lady Midnight, but the Lord of Shadows cover is interesting because it breaks away from other covers. I had to check who ‘Lord of Shadows’ referred to, but it makes sense its the Unseelie King as he is a huge part of the book.

CHARACTERS.

In this book I began to really love the characters of The Dark Artifices. The Shadowhunter Chronicles has built a world with multiple LGBT couples, characters from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, different nationalities and ethnicities, as well as including a character with autism who is still a fully fleshed out character. I can’t praise Clare enough for her inclusion of a wide spectrum of different people – and it never feels like people are included just to fill a quota. It feels like each character is a natural part of the world.

I’m super happy with and excited about the larger role Alec and Magnus had in Lord of Shadows and I feel like Clare is getting a lot better at drawing upon previous characters and integrating them into the plot without detracting from the characterisation of the protagonist characters and their families.

PLOT.

I had an element of the plot spoiled for me (during a drunken afternoon, thankfully my brain scrambled most of the information) but I didn’t know when it was going to occur so it kept me on edge, especially in the later half of the book. While I felt that Lady Midnight was difficult to get into, I sped through Lord of Shadows much faster now that the characters are established in my mind.

The ending was absolutely soul destroying, not only for the protagonists of this series but also for the protagonists in previous series – that’s as much as I can say without venturing into spoiler territory.

OVERALL.

I really enjoyed Lord of Shadows and, unsurprisingly for a Shadowhunter Chronicles book, I’ve decided to give it a 5* rating.

What have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments!


SOCIAL MEDIA

[Goodreads // Instagram // Twitter]

I’m an Amazon affiliate; this means I earn a small commission from products bought through my links. Trial Amazon Prime for super quick book delivery!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com