Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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“People feel with their hearts, Ellen, and since he has destroyed mine, I have not power to feel for him.”

Okay, I know that Wuthering Heights is so many people’s favorite book of all-time, and so many people’s least favorite book of all-time, so I went into this not really knowing what to expect. I will be honest, I didn’t really love it, but I was for sure not expecting the wild ride that this story took me on. I just truly found all of the characters (Except for Ellen/Nelly) to be so damn insufferable.

But this is a story set in 1801, about a man named Mr. Lockwood, staying the night at Wuthering Heights. He meets a man named Heathcliff, who seems absolutely miserable, and he meets a housekeeper named Ellen Dean who will eventually help us figure out why Heathcliff is so miserable. Oh, and when Lockwood goes to sleep that night, he is awoken by a ghost! He then tells Ellen this, and she promptly throws us back into a flashback, where she becomes the new narrator, and we get to see what went down at Wuthering Heights many years ago.

Wuthering Heights, at its black heart, is a story all about abuse, and cycles of abuse, and how abuse can impact so many hearts and so many generations repeatedly. Abuse and cruelty truly breed violence, and Heathcliff and everyone he has been forced to interact with just showcase that theme over and over. Heathcliff was orphaned and taken in, but everyone reminds him that he constantly is an outsider. But this story focuses on him and the three young people he grew up alongside of, and they are all shitty in their own ways.

Heathcliff is shitty because he only cares for Catherine.
Isabelle is shitty because she only cares about Heathcliff.
Edgar is shitty because he doesn’t care about his sister.
Catherine is shitty because she only cares about herself.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

And friends, it is a truly wild ride seeing these characters interact with one another. And we eventually get to see their children who (you guessed it) are shitty, too! Again, cycles of abandonment and abuse is truly heartbreaking in every aspect.

I don’t want to say too much more without spoiling, because I really do think the twists are pretty decent in this and figuring out more about the ghost was a big highlight for me. Also, the atmosphere was phenomenal, and the Yorkshire moors truly set a beautiful stage for this dark tale. And I feel like this is a little bit of an unpopular opinion; but I actually really liked Emily’s prose, too.

I do want to say that upon finishing this story, I immediately started to look up things about the entire Brontë family, and my heart just broke. The things that those sister, and their entire family, had to go through. I know 2019 is kind of a dumpster fire, but I am so thankful that I wasn’t born in the 1800s, good Lord. Also, reading about how closely tuberculosis impacted this story and Emily’s life truly fucked me up, especially because I’m close to Emily’s age when she died. Seriously, I have so much love and respect in my heart for these three sisters, originally writing their dark tales under male pseudonyms, who will now never be forgotten.

Overall, even though I didn’t love this story, this book was enjoyable enough to read. But you’re never going to find me romanticism anything that Heathcliff did. But I truly couldn’t wait to find out what happened next to all these insufferable characters. And I still firmly believe that Ellen/Nelly deserves the entire world. Also, I had the biggest giggle while reading about someone throwing hot applesauce at someone else, because like, just imagine that.

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Content and trigger warnings for use of the word g*psies, death, loss of a loved one, a lot of physical and emotional abuse, alcohol abuse, child abuse, animal abuse, humiliation, self-harm, and abandonment.

A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes #1) by Arthur Conan Doyle

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“There is a mystery about this which stimulates the imagination; where there is no imagination there is no horror”

I’m going to keep this short and (somewhat) sweet, because this is a very short little introduction that started it all. Everyone’s favorite original detective is Sherlock Holmes, and I’ve been wanting to see how it all began for a long while now! But I can honestly say that I was not prepared for the last half of this tiny book. Yet, I am still happy that I can finally say I’ve read the source material.

We get to learn a little background information on Watson, and we get to see how he and Sherlock met and developed the most unusual of friendships. I really loved this and I feel like the story benefits so heavily from being told in Watson’s perspective. And I loved seeing the Baker Street apartment and I loved the mysteries, too.

What the fuck even was this last half? Utah? Mormons and polygamy? Questionable child care? Gross words describing Native people? What the hell did I stumble into? But I guess we needed to know the murderer from part one’s back story? I am so damn confused, but yikes.

Overall, this was a wild ride, but I am happy that I went on it. I’m not sure if I will be continuing on with anything else from Arthur Conan Doyle, but I can’t wait to jump into a reimagining, A Study in Charlotte, and see all of the parallels! Especially since this original material left me feeling very underwhelmed.

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I read this for #CatchUpOnClassics!


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

Okay, so high school Melanie did not appreciate Jane Eyre! But thankfully, many years later, and because of a few friend’s encouragement, I have seen the light and righted my wrongs, because this reread proved to me how much of a masterpiece Jane Eyre truly is.

This is a very beloved book, that stars an orphan girl name Jane that is trying to figure out the world around her. She’s searching for worth, for love, and all the middle area in-between. When she is very young, she is forced to live with her not-so-nice aunt, who is absolutely terrible to her. But soon, her aunt sends her off to an all-girls boarding school, but Jane starts to learn who she is and who she wants to be, and after getting her education, she begins to teach at this school that she now considers her home.

But at nineteen, she decides that she would like to try to be a governess so that she can travel and see the world that she has learned so much about. Jane gets a job teaching a young girl at Thornfield Hall, but soon meets the master of Thornfield Hall, none other than Mr. Rochester himself.

Mr. Rochester is distant, and rude, and a bit grumpy, but the more and more time Jane and him spend together, the more and more they realize they have a lot in common. And they develop quite a strange and unconventional relationship, while many spooky and mysterious things are happening at Thornfield Hall.

This book is very protofeminist. Jane has so much rage and anger inside of her, because of the gender roles and expectations that are always set on her. On top of always being sent to places where she is forced to live and be molded into what is expected of her. Jane finally gets to live for herself at Thornfield Hall, and she does so unapologetically. Don’t get me wrong, Jane stands up for herself constantly, and at every age, throughout this story, but seeing her come into her own, and never backing down from her beliefs on what is right, is something so very awe-inspiring.

“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

And so many important themes are in this book! From classism, to marriage, to gender roles, to witchcraft, to slavery, to abuse, to power dynamics, and to so much more. And the things brought up in this book? That was first published in 1847? And I stan one feminist icon, and it’s Charlotte Brontë. I can’t even image what the world thought of this throughout the ages, because it spoke to my very soul in 2018. Seriously, I will forever be in awe of this book and this author, and I truly mean it when I say that she’s a new icon for me.

“Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agised as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.”

I ended up being a sucker for the romantic subplot in this book, too, even though I can see how many terrible, wrong, bad choices the love interest made. But Jane always puts herself first, and even though she wants to be loved more than anything, she will constantly fight for her own place in the world where she lives on her own terms for her own beliefs. Jane loves herself, and in turn it made me love Jane, and this masterpiece of a story.

Overall, I fell completely in love with this. This was so intelligently crafted and so expertly woven! And the dark feelings and vibes throughout really makes this such a unique and amazing reading experience. And I think this is a book that I will be able to read and reread over and over for the rest of my life. You also best believe that if I ever have children, this will be required reading once they get a bit older, because this book seriously has an immense amount of power. And I truly believe this is my favorite classic of all-time now. And I never want any woman to feel like a bird trapped in a cage.

Trigger and content warnings for bullying, abuse, abandonment, loss of a friend, and use of the slur g*psy.

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Buddy read with Dani, Alexis, & Kaleena! ❤

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I downloaded this ebook for free on Amazon

“ Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.”

So, I wanted 2018 to be the year that I try to get back into classics! In the past, I’ve found some of them daunting to read, or just too boring to ever feel invested in. But I feel like The Picture of Dorian Gray was the perfect start.

Beautiful art by saku-chann on Tumblr

I originally was going to give this three stars, because I enjoyed it enough, but was never too invested. I felt annoyed at how these characters were so obviously not straight. I mean, a vast majority of this book is about Dorian taking a wife. Meanwhile, every man in this book just has full page monologues telling Dorian how beautiful he is. And then I sat down to do my review, and I started doing my research.

It’s no secret that Oscar Wilde was a gay man. Hell, he was even jailed for his sexuality, and died soon after from all the inhumane injuries he endured while in prison. All three major male character in this book read very… not straight. My friend, Destiny, told me that a lot of readers in the Horror circles make strong arguments that Dorian is in fact pansexual, which makes me happier than I can express with words. Yet, I can’t help but think about parallels with this book that Wilde crafted about “secret sin” and how it mirrored his life and perhaps his sexuality that he ultimately died for.

You guys, I have no words. In the 1880s people thought homosexuality was some disease, something to be cured, something not okay to simply just be. Something that was a criminal act. Something that Oscar Wilde was jailed and forced to do hard labor for. And once you start seeing the similarities between Wilde’s life and the events that take place in this book, you will realize that like The Picture of Dorian Gray is so much more important that the surface value of just reading this story.

Okay, I do suppose I should tell you about the story now. This is a tale that centers around three men that live in an upper-class London society:

➽ Basil Hallward – Artist who befriends Dorian because he is obsessed with his beauty and lives his life painting many portraits of him, but more importantly, he paints the portrait that this story surrounds.

➽ Lord Henry Wotton – Basil’s friend, which is how he meets Dorian. Henry is a manipulator that heavily influences Dorian with his views about what is important in life.

➽ Dorian Gray – Our main character, who starts out so young, innocent, and impressionable. He later is harboring a major secret and will stop at nothing to hide this secret and the events that lead him to this secret.

“There are only two kinds of people who are fascinating – people who know absolutely everything and people who know absolutely nothing.”

In this book, the value of appearance is heavily touched upon. Youth and beauty seem to be everyone’s priority. It’s scary and sad how much this also mirrors 2018. There is also a huge discussion to be had about good versus evil and how we view that grey area in-between. Yet, these discussions are held in this seamlessly woven story.

Overall, even though I didn’t five star this, I really enjoyed it and it was able to evoke a lot of emotion from me. More importantly, I recommend you all to read My dear friend Navessa’s review, which ended up evoking even more emotion from me. She linked this article, which then made me weep. Again, this story is so much more than a paranormal painting, and a man trying to hide secrets. This is a masterpiece and my heart will forever break thinking about this story.

Trigger/content warnings: death, murder, suicide, and a ton of misogynistic comments.

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Buddy read with Dani from Book Geeks Uncompromised! ❤