Friday, September 16, 2016

Reading Challenge Update #3

I've got two more books on my classics challenge complete and the reviews are in!

Sticking to trying to balance the bad with the good, I have The Little Prince and Jane Eyre.  I know, I know, I promised to do Wuthering Heights, but I like my balancing act and I bumped it out to update 4.

First up is Jane Eyre, which I finished at the very end of August. I gave this one two stars, which for me was "Okay, but I'd never read again." The author had a penchant for suddenly writing lengthy descriptions of things that didn't appeal to me. I'll never understand why there needs to be an entire page dedicated to describing one tiny room, especially when the room doesn't really matter and the overabundance of description ensures that I now will not picture the room at all thanks to the overload of details.

I didn't care much for the writing style, and that's a big factor. The plot was decent enough, but the main characters were rather ho-hum and Adele's tendency to always speak in French(without translation) made me not even bother with her dialogue.

Here's a clip from my Goodreads review. And this touches on my issue with Jane who I felt was a bit snobby with those she considered beneath her and star-struck by those she saw as her equals or above her. Her moaning about how much pain it causes HER to stand up to these two men when she shouldn't feel bad at all about what she's doing just made her pathetic to me.

"I know Jane's supposed to be this revolutionary character of independence, but I felt she rarely showed that. What I noticed was a restless boredom. She wanted to be constantly entertained and have new experiences. I'd hate being so dissatisfied with good things in life because they were "normal" and hence dull, but it's not a negative trait and I imagine she and Mr. Rochester traveled a lot to help her get that taste for adventure.

I also felt she had this weird thing where she didn't think much of people unless she felt them extremely intelligent. And those she did find intelligent she kind of lost her head over. It was sad how the whole time she was telling Rochester "no" after the botched wedding that all she could think about was "poor him, and I'm so cruel, blah blah". Same thing with St. John. She had it in her head that these men were suffering and it was her fault and they were like wounded lambs.

In summary, I didn't hate or love this book. It falls flatly into the okay category. I didn't love or despise any of the characters. The plot was okay, the writing style was the worst of it all(I hated it), and I thought the last bit after Jane returns was the best part and that the characters well-suited each other and I don't resent them coming together in the end
."

And then we have The Little Prince, which I'm happy to report that I loved! This was a definite five stars and I had no idea what to expect going into it. I'd never even heard of this book until it was recommended to me.

The Little Prince is a children's book, but in a lot of ways I think it'd speak more to adults. It's written in a way that is easy to understand, but also has a lot of complex themes running under the surface. The book deals with love, death, life, and being an adult. I think as adults we sometimes do miss the silliness of our actions, or get stuck in routine, or lose our imagination.

My daughter came to me yesterday with a picture and like all parents I tried to guess what she drew, and of course was wrong. Now she'd drawn the same thing over and over--a circle with a bunch of short lines spiking off the edges. Here's where the fun part comes in, despite drawing the same thing repeatedly, she informed me that each thing was different. Two were eggs, one was a daddy long leg, one was a sun, one was daddy, etc.

Now that people, is imagination. I thought they were all suns. Anyway, I think that's a good reflection of how children think versus adults. And if you have a parent in your sphere of social media or friends that shares stories, I'm sure you see this. Or of course you may have kids yourself! Kids say and do the craziest things, but at some point we lose that creativity and innocence.

The Little Prince is told from the eyes of an adult who remembers what it was like to be a child and he covers the story of the little prince who is a child also. It's hard to put into words more than that, and even my Goodreads review was rather short and didn't do the book justice. But you know, it's a short book and the best I can say is read it! It won't take long and even if you hate it, you won't have wasted a ton of time, but I hope you love it because there's a lot to love even though it ends sad.


Next update will be for Wuthering Heights(I promise this time!) and Dracula.

2 comments:

  1. I've never read Jane Eyre and The Little Prince but I did read Wuthering Heights and Dracula while middle school age. I couldn't get into Wuthering Heights and vowed never to read it again. But I did love Dracula which I took out from the library, my second home. And I loved it so much that it's now part of my own library. As for my kid's drawing, I get it wrong too which is why I always ask what it is. My youngest's latest drawing was our family. But the drawing was this giant blue blob thing surrounded by stick figures.

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  2. I actually enjoyed Jane Eyre when I read it, but that was years ago and I have a feeling I might not enjoy it so much now.

    I also love The Little Prince, though! Such an amazing book, with lovely illustrations.

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