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leah

Leah's Bookshelf

Likes: Horror, macabre, fairy tales, ghosts, hauntings, serial killers, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, time travel, orphans, clones, thrillers, classics, gothic

 

I like to read anything that tells a good story, duh ;) Genre doesn't really matter much but I tend to read dark fiction and fantasy the most. I skip chick lit and romance novels with a few exceptions for the extraordinary.

 

My ratings system:

5 stars - ADORED; plan to read over and over and over.

4 stars - ENJOYED; will likely read once or twice more.

3 stars - LIKED; may or may not read again ... someday.

2 stars - MEH; no plans to read again.

1 stars - I didn't enjoy the story and was lucky to finish.

0 stars - I couldn't or wouldn't finish for reasons that may or may not be listed in the review box.

Currently reading

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Ray Bradbury, Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Willa Carter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, Washington Irving, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Nath
Progress: 225/768 pages

Jane Eyre (Dover Thrift Editions)

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë Rating: 4 of 5 starsSo much more than its “gothic romance” label, thank goodness. Yes, there’s a sheltered teenage girl who falls for her employer, an arrogant, seemingly unattainable “bad boy.” But the deeper love story was not between man and woman; it’s the love Jane showed for herself by never, and I mean never, compromising what she believed right. That’s why Jane Eyre is a “classic” and must-read for all ages.Charlotte Brontë knew exactly what she was doing when she started the story in the midst of Jane’s torment at the hands of her loathsome aunt and cousins. Immediately I was on Jane’s side and admired her for standing up to authority; most children her age (and gender) would be too scared to do or say anything in opposition. Her passion was evident from the get-go and the quality of her character revealed itself naturally through her experiences at Lowood and in her life at Thornfield. Jane’s coming-of-age was believable and relevant. I never felt she did anything contrary to the person she made herself out to be.While Jane Eyre‘s themes are timeless, its prose and scandals are not. Modern readers may view the narrative as somewhat boring, certain plot points as too convenient, the romance as contrived, and the “twist” not shocking but bland. For me, the heavy role of religion in everyone’s life was the least relatable aspect of the story. So when Jane’s reliance on God’s rules rubbed me the wrong way, I reminded myself of the century, the country and the culture in which this novel was written. When read within that context, the story features ground-breaking ideals and spotlights female empowerment. Whatever your opinion, 165 years after publication, Jane Eyre still garners fanatical support from those deeply affected by the story – readers moved to tears then smiles then mixtures of tears and smiles.For the record, I only cried once, but my emotions ranged from anger (Mrs Reed = EVIL!) to angrier (Mr Brocklehurst = Double EVIL!) to grief (sweet Helen made me cry) to confusion (Mr Rochester) to relief (Jane’s newfound cousins) to confusion (Mr Rochester) to satisfaction (Jane’s CHOICE at the end). I plan to re-read Jane’s tale at least every couple years.** First published on my blog, Unleash the Flying Monkeys! **