Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Shorts

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
182 pages
published 1979

Synopsis from publisher -

When an eccentric millionaire dies mysteriously, sixteen very unlikely people are gathered together for the reading of the will...and what a will it is!

My thoughts -

Another selection from the top 100 Chapter Books read-along, The Westing Game is probably my least favorite of the novels so far. Part of it might be just a general reading malaise - I am having a hard time finding anything that is really catching my interest right now. I didn't find any of the "quirky cast of characters" particularly interesting, and the mystery itself seemed pretty easy to solve. 

Finished - 5/1/13
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - PG-13 for some violence
My rating - 6/10

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
published 1/31/13
432 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London; working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward; both of whom she is deeply drawn to; Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius - and madness - in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

My thoughts -

This novel perhaps suffered from a bit of over-hype - I'd read a LOT of good reviews, and so had extremely high expectations. When I read it, however, I found it to be good but not as compelling as I'd hoped. I think it's a fascinating idea, but somewhat lacking in execution. The love triangle was not at all compelling, and I thought it took away from what were some really interesting ideas that didn't get fleshed out. Apparently this is the first of a trilogy - I will wait and see if I am interested enough to pick up the second novel.

Finished - 5/3/13
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - Holy hard R - vivisection, people.
My rating - 6/10

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