In the spirit of full disclosure I must admit that I deeply disliked the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I realize it is one of the great works of classic literature, however that does not mean I have to like it. I needed to read it to teach it to my AP English 12 students in September. From the beginning, I thought Victor Frankenstein was an annoying whiner. When he created the monster, then surprise surprise it all went awry all he could manage to do is whine about it. "Oh, woe is me, I created a horrible, destructive monster, whom I have treated terribly and now all I can think to do about it is....NOTHING!" All this being said, I really liked Kenneth Oppel's This Dark Endeavor, a prequel to Frankenstein. It takes us back to Victor and his family when he was only 16 an just beginning to be interested in medicine and dark magic which were somewhat intertwined at the time. Victor is a much more interesting and likable person as a teen than he will be as a whiny adult. I look forward to the next installment in the series.
I also read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor this weekend which turned out to be fantastic. I wish that whoever writes book cover blurbs would do a better job....I cannot pinpoint exactly how they could be better, just better. Actually what I would like is for the blurbs to stop making good books sound like they will be stupid. I realize they do not want to give away major elements or key twist, but surely the blurb can more accurately capture a book's awsomeness without giving anything away. The blurb on this book made it sound ridiculous, so why did I read it...because other bloggers I respect and often agree with about books loved it. I did not love it, it reminded me too much of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series, and those I loved. As much as I liked this one, the struggle here between angels and devils was just a bit less compelling, however, I would still recommend it without reservation.
A very different experience was reading Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck. I love his artwork and have bought quite a few books with his illustrations since The Invention of Hugo Cabret came along. Hugo was so very unique that of course Wonderstruck cannot hope to replicate its groundbreaking-ness, but it is still a wonderful book. The story is completely unique and the way he weaves the two stories together is masterful.
As you can tell, I had a wonderful reading weekend. Next up is Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James. It has been at least a few weeks since there was any Jane Austen in my life (since I read The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford, a fictionalized account of the non-fiction possibility that Jane Austen was murdered.)