Tag Archives: ebook

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland; read in July, 2010.  Copy provided through Netgalley by Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt.

Louisa Cosgrove is an independent-minded young woman living in Victorian-era England in Jane Eagland‘s Wildthorn.  The novel opens on Louisa traveling in a carriage towards what she believes will be a sort-of job.  When she arrives, she realizes that she has been delivered to an insane asylum!  The staff insist on calling her by another name and point out the identity confusion as proof that she is in the right place.  Why is Louisa here?  Is she really who she says she is?  Can she rely on any family members to help her, or is she stuck inside this oppressive place?

I shudder to think of the number of women who must have suffered similar fates; locked away because they did not have the desire to follow society’s rules at the time, punished for being smart and wanting to read.  (I would not have survived!)  I’ve always had a mild fascination with old insane asylums and sanitariums/sanatoriums, the reasons people entered the facilities, and how they were treated.  Ms. Eagland allows the reader to get a realistic glimpse into these details, especially as Louisa moves throughout the asylum and sees different levels of care.

The book kept me on my toes, trying to figure out how exactly Louisa ended up in the asylum.  I liked Louisa a lot, and found her believable and sympathetic.  Her family, on the other hand, all had their faults, and I felt sorry for her being stuck with them.  None of them are likable.  One female relative (I’ll avoid saying who because it could slightly spoil the plot twists) could be an exception, but in the end of the book, I disagreed with the choices she made.  I do think said choices are what women in that time period would have done, so I think it’s just something I need to accept in my head.  I liked Eliza and could appreciate her character development.  She reminded me of Martha in The Secret Garden, which is a comparison I have since seen mentioned elsewhere.

I will definitely be adding this to my high school library once it is released.  The cover is very eye-catching and will sell itself to a number of readers.  I look forward to reading her other book, Whisper My Name.

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On a side note, this is the first full book I have read on a Kindle.  I don’t think I read it any slower or faster than a paper book, but I have to admit that at times, I was distracted.  The “page size” is too small.  The text size is fine, but I want the screen to be bigger, to fit more text on it.  I also took a while to get used to the button set-up.  I wanted the “next page” button to the left of the screen to be a “previous page” and I kept hitting that to go back.  It’s an older release, so it appears the buttons have changed.

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Thursday Tidbits 4/1/10

It’s been a while since I last did Thursday Tidbits!  I promise there will not be an April Fools prank in here.

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Free E-Book Suggestions?

Even though we’ve been off all week, I’ve been trying to get some real work done from home.  I have been feeling bad about my students who read voraciously not having books this week.  I thought I’d post a list of free e-books on our library webpage. I know Little Brother is one that is always available, but I’d love suggestions on what else is out there right now!  Any thoughts?

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Thursday Tidbits

Merry Christmas Eve!

Does the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” creep anyone else out?  The singer is either watching Mommy cheat on Daddy, or watching his or her parents engage in weird role playing.  Another Christmas song I can’t stand is “Little Drummer Boy” – the melody is grating and that incessant “pa-rum-pum-pum-pum.”

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Have you read Uglies yet?

If you haven’t read Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies yet, for the next month you can download it free in pdf format! Uglies is awesome. This is a short review I wrote on Good Reads 2 years ago:

Uglies is set in a future society where, at age 16, everyone undergoes an operation that makes them look similar – pretty according to research done on symmetry and what is pleasing to the eye. These people are called Pretties, and for the first few years after you have the surgery, you do nothing but party all the time. Until you have the surgery, you are known as an Ugly. Uglies can’t wait to turn, and waste time until then doing tricks and learning how to ride hoverboards. Tally, the main character, is an Ugly, who can’t wait till her 16th birthday. She becomes friends with Shay, who will turn 16 at the same time. Shay tells her about a secret society some people run away to, where you never have the surgery. She wants to run and wants Tally to come, but Tally refuses and Shay leaves. But Tally is soon forced to go find her.

The book is really fast paced, I couldn’t get my nose out of it! I’m not normally into sci-fi, but this is really interesting, especially because you can imagine it happening based on our current culture. What’s really interesting is that our society as we know it no longer exists, all that’s left is rusted metal ruins from our buildings and cars, and they call us The Rusties. We all died out when a virus attacked the gasoline we depend on. This is the first in a trilogy, I definitely recommend it.

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