What I Read April

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer. I still have a few Heyers left that I’m going to save.

Just Patty and When Patty Went to College by Jean Webster. Fluffy, light reads.

I then went on a Robin McKinley binge.

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Loved this except, and this I notice is a trend with her, the jarring pace and way too convient climax. The pacing of most of this was slow and the mood mysterious and it blended really well. Then in speeds up 0 to 100 and suddenly everything is fixed lickety-split. Well if it was that easy, what was all the agony over? Also, how boring. And then tying up everything at the end in a neat little felt like a long postscript bow also didn’t fit the moody, mysteriousness of the couple. They had their moment, end it there, it fits.

The Door in the Hedge and Other Stories. This was a fun collection of short fantasy stories.

Rose Daughter. What. the. heck.

Chalice. Similar jarring pace ending to The Blue Sword. Everything is paced well and then the climax is absurdly fast and unexplainably easy.

Spindle’s End. I liked this one as well for part of it but again, weirdness. Except it wasn’t pace so much as went from fantasy to surrealism for a space of time. However it went back to fantasy at the very end.

And then I tried The Hero and the Crown. Again, really like the beginning. Then it started pacing too fast, hinted at a plot twist that added NOTHING good and that I HATED, AND then dived into surrealism and a way to convenient climax (actually there were a couple). And then delivered on the loathsome plot point. I was reading on my kindle so I couldn’t throw it against the wall. I just skimmed to the end I was so disgusted.

You know, people like magic because it’s you know, magical and mysterious, not boringly used to inexplicably end things super fast (also if it was that easy why did the complicated circumstances exist in the first place?)

Sense and Sensibility. I read this along with Hamlette’s readalong. I know The Enchanted Bookclub’s June pick is Emma, so I want to see if I can find a read-a-long to go with each Jane Austen novel now, it helps me think more deeply when reading. I’ve rewatched Elinor and Marianne Take Barton and I want to rewatch the two films this week (I think those are our least watched films, well maybe next to Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey). I’m hoping to go through all the JA books and then categorize the men into hero or villain or buffoon or loveable rogue or whatever categories I think I find. Maybe the women too, but I don’t think those are as many because they are the heroines and more likely to at least not be bad? Also, just less interesting to categorize like that, it’s more often a “who am I most like or unlike” (not usually flattering to moi) sort of category which I might do as well. We’ll see.


  • Elizabeth

    I think The Door in The Hedge might be one my reading list somewhere. I’ll have to remember that one again.
    I laughed too much over your ‘What. The. Heck’ from the Rose Daughter. I haven’t read it but I’m curious what happened now XD

  • Lexlingua

    I’m glad I’m not alone in my views about McKinley’s books. Chalice, Rose Daughter and Hero and the Crown were disappointing, which is not a popular opinion! Have you also tried McKinley’s Deerskin? That was the first book by her that I ever read, and it’s harrowing in the first part and redeeming in the second half — and I personally think it may be her best work. But then I haven’t tried Sunshine, so that decision is up in the air.

    • Rachel Olivia

      I still mean to read more, I’m not sure what I had left at the library, I think Hero and the Crown made me so mad I lost my taste for the moment. I think what is especially disappointing is when I really am enjoying it and then its just like, “really? So you ran out of ideas/steam, maybe write few books and focus on the execution of the climax?!”

  • Catherine

    The Robin McKinleys I’ve read always get a bit weird near the end – I haven’t read Spindle’s End for ages but I remember there being a whole bit with purple smoke and weird blobby creatures? I do still want to read some more of hers though!

    • Rachel Olivia

      Yes, the good part of her books are quite good and the bad quite bad. I don’t remember Beauty being like that, there wasn’t all the sudden anything weird. I wouldn’t say the Blue Sword had any weird parts, I just felt the climax and end fell a little were rushed/flat. Chalice is similar.

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