Thursday, April 21, 2011

Judgment, No. 2

I saw this cover and I had to have it. I am so easily wooed by pretty things.

Pictorial Evidence
First, I want her dress. Especially if that is a bow at the bustle. Yes, please.

Second, it looks magical. Which is perfect, considering that it is a fantasy...filled with magic. It will probably be less on the vapid side and more concerned with sentimentality. Instead of humorous or silly, it will try to be more emotional, bleeding into the melodrama. But of the operatic sort--the fine art of overwrought passion.

And it already looks like its trying to hard but, being so pretty and all, it seems forgivable.

Cover Story
It's a retelling of the fairytale, 12 Dancing Princesses (where the girls go out and dance all night, needing new shoes each morning). And since there's not much more than that to go off of, it's kind of anybody's guess what will actually happen here. And this is my guess.

The eldest will be expected to marry someone suitable (read: boring) and, of course, that won't go over well. Not with her leading her eleven younger sisters to galavant the night away. And since magic is always dark behind its allure, this man giving them this world to dance in each night will expect something in return. Such as the pretty princess herself. He comes to them, meaning he has to. This is his last-ditch effort--for revenge, for freedom, for something--and he'll abuse the girls' mourning for their mother to his advantage. He probably has plans to seduce the eldest. After all, don't all villains? But she'll probably become distracted by some pretty young man completely unsuitable for her royal blood.

Ah, young love.

And then, back in the real world, when her father finds out they've been out dancing, there will be hell to pay. Nothing like a father who just doesn't understand.

Closing Statement
I can't wait to dive in and escape to a world of mythical intrigue, heartbreak and, most predictably, romance. Though the writing may be weak (considering who they got their cover quotes from...not that hot), and the plot might finish with the bow tied too neat, it seems like a refreshing take on one of the duller fairy-tales.

Review, No. 1

You should know, I read a book yesterday. And I would have done the guessing game with it, only I already knew the plot. It seemed an unfair advantage. Still, I figured there's no sense in wasting my impressive critiquing skills. So here's a good ole traditional review.

Lindner's breakout novel is a modern retelling of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. It's well-written and often intriguing, reading like a juicy expose, a subtle mystery. But I suppose knowing the ending just spoiled the fun.

It was too honest an interpretation. In following the original so closely, the text becomes incongruous and, well, silly to the setting. Jane herself seems especially inexplicable--her decisions seem more necessary than natural, as in the original book dictated them, no explanation needed. It started off exciting. I was actually thrilled by the first 100 or so pages--a nanny and a rockstar? Beautiful. But a lot of the plot seems forced and illogical in the modern setting. Actually, it's the self-loathing and melancholic introspection of the title character that drags it down. She was forgettable as a character; I'd rather more focus on Nico or the daughter or even...well, no spoilers here.

For the most part, though, it held my attention. It was moments of magic followed by lulls of indifference. I was most excited for the reveal and the conclusion, but both moments were the most anti-climatical. And the love scene. Lindner goes from coy to blunt. It's never graphic, but almost aggressive in its attempt at "reality." Really, its strength was the writing. It was fast paced and enticing, definitely a shallow summer read. Once you try looking for something of value or any sense of depth, that's when everything falls apart. Truly, I liked the book much more just reading it than I did sitting down to critique it. It really is a weak novel well-disguised by a quick pace and a fresh voice.

Take it for what you will, but I give it 2/5.