26 July 2016

Moby Dick by Herman Melvile

Title: Moby Dick or The Whale
Author: Herman Melville
Pages: 663
Genre: Classic Literature
Book Description:
"It is the horrible texture of a fabric that should be woven of ships' cables and hawsers. A Polar wind blows through it, and birds of prey hover over it." 

So Melville wrote of his masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imaginations in literary history. In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopaedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its author's lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humour, Moby-Dick is also a profound inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.

19 July 2016

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Title: The Yellow Wallpaper
Author:  Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Pages: 64
Genre: Short Story, Gothic, Mental Health, Feminism
Book Description:
First published in 1892, "The Yellow Wallpaper" is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure. Though she longs to write, her husband and doctor forbid it, prescribing instead complete passivity. In the involuntary confinement of her bedroom, the hero creates a reality of her own beyond the hypnotic pattern of the faded yellow wallpaper--a pattern that has come to symbolize her own imprisonment. Narrated with superb psychological and dramatic precision, "The Yellow Wallpaper" stands out not only for the imaginative authenticity with which it depicts one woman’s descent into insanity, but also for the power of its testimony to the importance of freedom and self-empowerment for women.

12 July 2016

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Title: Stardut
Author: Neil Gaiman
Pages: 250
Genre: Fantasy, Gothic, Romance
Book Description:
Young Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing, not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.

My Opinion:
After watching the film based on this novel and really enjoying it, I felt it was necessary to read the novel! I have read a few of Gaiman's books before and have loved their creativity, so I had high hopes for this one.

A common theme in all of his novels seems to be the gothic nature in which he writes. I love this aspect and found it to be quite prominent in this novel. This is very different to the film adaption, which isn't gothic at all but more imaginative and fantasy based, so I did enjoy hearing it from a darker side.

The story line was definitely intriguing so I found myself reading the book quickly! There were many twists, especially at the end which some aspects could be seen as predictable (for instance the romance part) however other sections I wasn't expecting! I loved the ending for this reason.

As for the characters, these were wonderfully creative and easy to relate and connect to. Some characters, like Tristan really developed throughout the novel and this was lovely to read about as he grew from a naive boy to a gentleman. Some of them followed with the gothic vibe, such as the witches, which was also interesting to discover.

Overall this was an enjoyable book to read and I would recommend. The fantasy world created by Gaiman is incredible and easy to lose yourself in. Compared to other novels I've read by him, I wouldn't say this is his best book, but definitely worth a read!

Favourite Quotes:

She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars


A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really..."Do the stars gaze back?" Now, that's a question


Every lover is, in his heart, a madman, and, in his head, a minstrel


He wondered how it could have taken him so long to realize he cared for her, and he told her so, and she called him an idiot, and he declared that it was the finest thing that ever a man had been called

Rating ★
4 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

5 July 2016

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Pages: 507
Genre: Classic, Romance, Gothic,
Book Description:
Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

My Opinion:
Beginning with a young girl and ending with a strong and capable young lady, we follow Jane Eyre as she develops through life, encountering many wonderful people and going on some unusual adventures!

Of course, the protagonist here if my favourite character but not for the reasons one may think. The character development here is fantastic and makes reading a slow plot (at times) bearable. Jane is strong willed and awfully judgmental, however this is what makes her so likeable! She's unusual and unlike most other female characters written during this similar time (for instance, many of Austen's creations who follow a similar path in the desperation to be married) Jane is independent and is looking for the reliance of no one! She possesses many feminist qualities that I love and remains true to her independence throughout.

Overall the plot line was quite slow at times, expected with a classic novel but it did pick up throughout and there were times where I was really intrigued to see what happened next, such as the plot twist with the marriage! The ending was fabulous to read and not something you'd expect from such a classic novel that's often compared with other writers of the time like Austen's masterpieces. Compared to everything previously in the book it was really happy and something I'm so pleased to have occurred!
Another unique aspect of the novel was the narration in which the narrator, Jane, addressed the reader many times. She'd refer to you as 'reader' directly and that isn't something I've come across in any book before so it was nice to be connected in that way.

To round up, the plot line was slow in scenes but I feel that the ending, plot twists and strong willed characters really made up for this. It's certainly an excellent classic that I'm so glad to have finally read!

Favourite Quotes:

And with that answer he left me. I would much rather he had knocked me down.


I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will


I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself


Reader, I married him

Rating ★
3 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
Stardust by Neil Gaimen