A delicious tale about Dr Jeckell’s and Mr Hyde’s daughters, Frankenstein and Frankenstein ‘s bride and a whole host of other characters involved in a mystery that is being investigated by Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Gothic fiction at its very clever best. I loved it!
Circe by Madeline Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having read Madeline Miller’s Song of Achilles earlier in the year, it was interesting to read events from the Gods viewpoint, although I had to keep Googling them as they entered the narrative to remind myself of their role in Greek legend, which slowed the reading down a tad.
It was good to catch up with Odysseus and get to know him from another angle- from the female view of Circe and Penelope, which although played up the traditional great and wily warrior role, also showed him in a less favourable and likeable light.
A couple of lines, where Circe is describing the character of Penelope stayed with me:
‘I asked her how she did it once, how she understood the world so clearly. she told me that it was a matter of keeping very still and showing no emotions, leaving room for others to reveal themselves.’ (p.265).
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Everyday ‘A’ wakes up in a different body; the bodies of a myriad of different characters, some likeable, some not. A has come to terms with this and its consequences, until he meets Rhiannon whilst in the body of Rhiannon’s boyfriend Justin.
There was a lot that I liked about this book. I liked Alexander Lin, the last character in the book. I liked it that he played in a band. I liked his post-it quotes. Especially the one from George Bernard Shaw:
Dance is the perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire p.353
I liked the way that Levithan dealt with some of the issues, making the reader question their own feelings and behaviours: Rhiannon was reluctant to kiss A when in a girls body; she was awkward when he was fat; it becomes complicated when he wakes up in the body of a transgender teenager given that he can wake up in the body of either a boy of girl.
I liked the way that he did wake up as Rhiannon, but that there was no build up- it just happened in the middle of the book, then moved seamlessly to the next character. I liked that A could have taken huge advantage of this situation, but he didn’t.
I liked the ending
Ultimately A’s issues are no different from the issues dealt with by other teenagers, but he comes at them from a different angle; with an added dimension.