28 Aug 2013

REVIEW: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Title: Rebecca
Author: Daphne Du Maurier
Publication Date: January 30th 2003 (Originally published 1938)
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pages: 441
Rating: 5/5
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

This special edition of "Rebecca" includes excerpts from Daphne du Maurier's "The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories," an essay on the real Manderley, du Maurier's original epilogue to the book, and more.
Review: ‘Rebecca’ is one of those classics that you don’t really hear much about anymore- sure there are people on the internet who adore this book but people my age, or at least people my age around here, generally have no idea that this book exists or any idea of very many classics at all. I love classics, I really do- but I hadn’t heard of this book either until my grandma recommended it to me. My grandma isn’t much of a reader anymore and she barely remembers all the books that she read when she was younger, but this book stood out in her memory. Now, I can see why and I have no doubt that when I reach her age that this book will remain in my memory.

From the very first line, I was drawn into this book and into Manderley and the lives of those who lived there. The first couple of chapters are so mysterious and I especially like how they are written after the events of the novel which is reasonably easy to tell, but you still have absolutely no idea what those events were. The lines between the past, present and future are all blurred within the book which, of course, makes it more interesting but I think it also adds to the beauty of the novel. The imagery within the book is so mindblowingly wonderful. Manderley was described so beautifully and carefully that it actually felt like I was walking through the haunting corridors and the beautiful gardens alongside Mrs de Winter.  

The plot of the novel is unbelievable- not in a bad sense, but in the way that it was so perfectly written. I didn’t see any of the twists coming until they happened and even afterwards, they still surprised me. I liked how each twist and turn was presented in the novel at exactly the right time- nothing seemed to rushed or too slow or like it was too forced- everything just flowed perfectly. Talking about perfect, I think the characters were all written exceptionally. Each character had their up and downs- I felt sorrier than anything for Mrs de Winter, but there were moments when I didn’t know whether I liked Maxim or hated him, as with Mrs Danvers- I both hated her and pitied her at the same time. Rebecca, herself, was one of the most difficult characters to decide on- every time I grew more sympathetic towards her, something would pull me back into disliking her and even with the end, I still couldn’t decide how I felt.

There are so, so many things that I could say about this book. Honestly, I just adored it so much and I’m really glad that I read it. I definitely think ‘Rebecca’ is one of those books that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

26 Aug 2013

REVIEW: Happily Never After by Missy Fleming

Title: Happily Never After (Savannah Shadows #1)
Author: Missy Fleming
Publication Date: February 22nd 2013
Publisher: Melange Books
Format: E-book
Pages: 180
Rating: 4/5
There's no such thing as happy endings. Savannah, Georgia is rumored to be the most haunted place in America. Quinn Roberts knows it is. She's felt the presence of spirits her entire life, investigating and photographing them with her best friend. Only none of those encounters ever turned violent, until now. The menacing darkness feeding off her stepmother has promised she won't live to see her eighteenth birthday. After a chance meeting Quinn reluctantly allows actor Jason Preston into her life, which has complications of its own. She's not used to letting people get close. Falling for him while fighting for her life, and her family's legacy, only complicates things more. Jason shows her exactly what she stands to lose, especially when she's being attacked by the mysterious entity. Each attack is more violent and terrifying than the last.....
Review: ‘Happily Never After’ was supplied to A Book So Fathomless by the author, but this has not affected the opinions in the review below.

Going into this book, I knew very little of what to expect. Usually, I don’t really go for the ghostly sorts of books but I’ve been noticing recently that I’ve been getting into them a lot more than before- more importantly, I’ve been enjoying them. ‘Happily Never After’ was no exception.

From the first chapter- I liked Quinn, despite the fact that I have nothing in common with her, I still felt a connection to her. More importantly, I like how she grew as a character throughout the book- there was much more to her than you get to see at first which is awesome (I mean, who doesn’t like character development?). I also really like Jason and how he grew- he was absolutely nothing like I was expecting him to be and I really like the direction which Missy took him in. I liked the minor characters too- both the humans and the ghosts. I hope to see more of people like Anna, George and Jackson in the next book.

As for the plot, I liked how everything was written. I think the fact that Quinn isn’t quite your normal YA protagonist gave it a uniqueness which would have lost without her. I also really liked the Cinderella-ish tone to the book, especially with the little twist of the supernatural elements.  One of the biggest things that I found as a bit of a surprise in this book was the fact that it wasn’t really set in high school- there was a bit in the first few chapters but it quickly moved on to that time between school and college, as I’m about to reach this stage myself- I really enjoyed reading it about because it allowed me to connect even better to the story. More than that, I liked how the entire story didn’t revolve around romance- there was a lot of about family and history and those sorts of things that were really interesting to me.

I also wanted to talk a little bit about the setting- it’s set in Savannah, Georgia- which to be completely honest with you all, I know absolutely nothing about. That being said, I liked how the past and the present of the town was really important in the story. The only thing I didn’t understand completely was all of the American Civil War things- I’ve mentioned this in a couple of reviews of books set in the southern states, but again, I’m Australian, so I don’t really understand the importance of the War on all the different states.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed reading this one, especially as it was something a little different to what I’ve been reading recently. I would absolutely recommend ‘Happily Never After’ to all of you.

Also, as an end note. That ending, oh God...I need to know what happens next!

23 Aug 2013


These past two weeks have been SCREAM WORTHY! With so many YA trailer's out and squealing I've decided to create links to each trailer so you can watch them in one place!!


22 Aug 2013

Bout of Books Day 4

As I assumed, I didn't get to read much at all today. I progressed a little further with Beowulf during class and I also started Happily Never After. I'm going to have more time on my hands tomorrow so I'm hoping to finish The Gatekeeper's Daughter and move on with the others.

  1. The Gatekeeper's Daughter by Eva Pohler
  2. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (re-read)
  3. The Haunted by Jessica Verday
  4. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
  5. Beowulf by Seamus Heaney (reading in class)
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  7. The Go-Between by L.P Hartley
  8. All That I Am by Anna Funder
  9. Ink by Amanda Sun 
  10. Happily Never After by Missy Fleming 
  11. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Pages read today: 120
Books finished today: 0
Pages read overall: 1193
Books finished overall: 3