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Bitsy's Books

Note: I'm uploading my books from Goodreads and since there are like 200+ it's going to take awhile. The uploading seems a bit wonky too, so hang with me as I fix things. Also there may be spoilers until I can make all the appropriate tags.


I'm an ex-English Major who, sick of reading classics after college, decided to read all the trashy books I didn't before because I was too snobby. Since graduating, I've entertained myself with comics, YA, and romance novels, finding out they can not only be decently written, but superbly written. I've since recovered from my classics aversion, but I'm now more open-minded reader willing to read from any genre. If a book has kick-ass heroines and/or witty banter and/or takes place in a different time or place (including fantasy settings), I will most likely fall in love with it. My favorite authors are Jane Austen, Shakespeare, E.M. Forster, Meljean Brook, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hartman, Catherynne M. Valente, and Aliette de Bodard.

Currently reading

The Blue Fairy Book
Andrew Lang
Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet
Jennifer Homans
The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson American Rory Deveaux travels to London to study abroad. However, her arrival coincides with the murders that mysteriously coincide with the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. Rory herself becomes entangled in the investigation when she sees someone no one else can see...Confession Time: I have a morbid curiosity when it comes to serial killers, especially Jack the Ripper. Add in a boarding school, ghosts, and mystery, and I was ready to love this book. However, The Name of the Star is a textbook case of 'great idea, bad execution.' The spooky and creepy prologue really grabbed me; however, most of the book is told in Rory's first-person narration. Rory is pretty nonchalant about everything - she doesn't really care about and can be downright unfeeling of the murders happening IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD AROUND WHERE SHE LIVES. It's an odd choice to make for a narrator/protagonist considering mystery/suspense books lives or dies on atmosphere and tension. Narration sets the tone of a story and since Rory doesn't really give a shit, neither does the reader. Therefore, there is no dramatic tension, despite the "creepy" background of serial killers and ghosts. Rory herself is chronically incompetent in everything she does. I guess publishers and authors think this is 'relatable' to a teenage girl, but can't we give girls more credit than that? The rest of the characters fall into various character-stereotypes and none of them are interesting or compelling. The one interesting character proved to have little part in the story when I flipped ahead. And Charlotte, the “mean girl,” isn't that mean at all, just an overachiever and a bit by-the-book. Her actions paint her as rather nice, with Rory and the other characters reading disapproval into her actions, showing more of their own insecurities than Charlotte being judgmental. It made Rory and her gang look like the “mean girls” themselves. The characters do some really dumb and nonsensical things much of the time. Characters and story serve the plot, not the plot serving the characters and the story.All in all, The Name of the Star was just BORING – boring characters, incompetent heroine, and a dull mystery. How can you possibly make the creepy gruesome Jack the Ripper murders boring? I didn't even get to the paranormal ghost part before I quit at about 40%. I hate DNF-ing books, but from flipping through the rest of the book and reading some spoiler-y reviews it didn't seem like the book improved. Sadly I’ll have to get my suspense/mystery/Jack the Ripper fix elsewhere.