So, in the spirit, here are some mini reviews for your eyes:
While I found each bit really interesting, it seemed like there were too many elements competing to really tell a solid story. I often forgot who certain characters were because they wouldn't be mentioned for fifty pages or more. Characters were sometimes too absurd to be taken seriously, and this really goes for most of the cast, so clearly built on ridiculous stereotypes that it often made me wince. I got the feeling that this was intentional but it just felt off. I must admit, however, that I LOVED the moment when the painting, itself, took over the story and revealed sordid stories of those who had owned it before (think Voltaire, Catherine the Great, Queen Victoria). It recently made the Bailey's longlist, so it's worth checking out, but didn't work for me. (2.5 stars)
I'd say The Brontë Plot is fun but not the read of the year. The characters aren't very engaging and many of their actions are hard to believe. However, what the author lacks in creating realistic characters, she more than makes up for with her ability to build atmosphere. This really saved it, especially the last half, as Reay describes in great detail the moors where Anne, Charlotte, and Emily based so many of their tales. All and all, I don't think I'd recommend this unless I knew someone really loved literary references. (2.5 stars)
*I received an advanced reader's copy of this title from Random House through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Girl at War by Sara Nović
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
What are you reading?