Quick review for a prolonged read (I had to recheck this book from the library several times because it kept getting holds placed on it, but I finally found a stretch to read it the whole way through). This is my second narrative experience from Robin Talley. “As I Descended” is touted as a retelling/reimaging of Macbeth, centered on two girls (Maria and Lily) at an elite school who enact upon a dastardly scheme to take a scholarship opportunity from a popular queen bee (Delilah), but their plan goes several steps too far and unleashes a downward spiral involving a haunted campus, vengeful spirits, revenge games, and overarching obsession with power. Added bonus: a diverse cast of characters including characters of color and prominent GLBT relationships at the forefront. By the summary/plot promise itself, I was definitely going to pick this up, even excited to have the opportunity to do so.
Quick review for a not so quick read. Short version: This book was a hot mess. I’m basically ending my journey with the series here because of how things were (mis)handled through the narrative. Read on for details.
Quick review for a progressive read. It’s hard to describe my reactions to this novel, because, on one hand, this is quite apt to Melina Marchetta’s style of writing – strong characterizations, compelling family-centered stories, and emotional revelations on the topics she touches upon (particularly with respect to race, violence, prejudice, etc.) I enjoyed the journey this novel took me on for the most part, even as it handed down its revelations progressively rather than in one felt swoop like the magnitude of the crime(s) this book centers upon.
Quick review for a somewhat quick read. I first started reading Virginia Hamilton’s books over 20 years ago, and if the author were still living today, I’d send her my gratitude on being a gateway for my love of reading (and I appreciated the brief bio and photo montage provided at the end of this book). My childhood library had several of her books, notably with the covers that were designed in the 70s and 80s (maybe a few that were a part of the 90s reissues). My first book from her was “The House of Dies Drear” and then I binge read the Justice and her Brothers series, among several of her works. So when I heard that Open Road Media had several of her books reissued, I jumped at the chance to peruse them. “Arilla Sun Down” was one of the books of Hamilton’s that I didn’t read when I was younger, so this experience was completely new to me. The book was based on Hamilton noting her own family’s multiracial background and using it as inspiration to write Arilla’s story.
Quick review for a really sluggish read. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect when picking up Richelle Mead’s “Soundless”. Considering how upset I was over the bigotry presented in “The Glittering Court” – I almost completely passed over this. I’m now glad I didn’t because it was better than I thought it would turn out to be – and I enjoyed the story when taking it for the bare bones of its aim. However, “Soundless” isn’t really representative of Richelle Mead’s best work either – and I’m actually disappointed in terms of how such an intriguing premise (based on Chinese folklore, female protagonist who rises up to challenges to protect her people in something of a dystopian realm, some interesting supernatural/fantastical elements that showed up far too late in the narrative) could’ve had such poor execution