reading goals, to be read

September TBR

Summer is at a close…which means that the time period in which I am able to get most of my reading done is also at a close. The month of September brings new beginnings for me…I’m starting not just one but two (TWO!) internships and I am delving back into the life of a full-time student. So understandably, this TBR is not going to be that ambitious.

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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I definitely want to get through this book before school starts, because it is tremendously long and I honestly don’t think I can commit to such a dense read during the school year. I am currently about halfway through and am really ejoying this one.

  • The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

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I’ve heard so many good things about this book and I am so psyched to read it cause it seems like a cute, fun read and also I adore Jane Austen. I’ve only read three out of her six novels so far, but those three are among my all-time favorite books.

  • If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

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I’m trying to read more diversely and I have yet to read a book with a transgender main character in it. I honestly think YA is a great genre to try and introduce more diverse characters to the larger world of literature in. I am excited to see what Meredith Russo has done, especially as this is an own-voices novel. (BTW: the model on the cover is a transgender model. Well done, publishers!)

  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

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This is a novel with Lithuanian characters set in the Soviet Union, cause this girl is all about the historically accurate fiction. This book is about a family that gets deported to Siberia by Soviet police and the struggles they face there while the father of the family is sent to a labor camp. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew that I had to read it!

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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My friend has been begging me to read this, and as I am a sucker for historical fiction novels, I caved. I also made this particular friend read All The Light We Cannot See with me, so I guess fair is fair right? But her begging aside, I am always down for a well written book set in WW2.

  • Lighter than My Shadow by Katie Green

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Yet another YA book on this list, and a diverse, mental-health focused book at that! This is supposed to be a graphic novel concerning issues like eating disorders and abuse. I received this book from NetGalley and it comes out October 3rd, but I’ve already heard so many good things so I’m sure this is going to be a fantastic read.

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book review, classics, reading goals

Review: Sense and Sensibility

I have to admit, I am a huge Jane Austen fan. I loved Pride and Prejudice, and proceeded to watch both movies and “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” over and over shamelessly. I also adored Emma and that protagonist’s fruitful character arc. Sense and Sensibility did not disappoint.

AUTHOR: The one and only Jane Austen

GENRE: Romance, Coming of Age

WHERE DID I GET THIS BOOK: from my local thrift shop

RATING: 4.5/5 stars

THOUGHTS:

As much as I love Elizabeth Bennet, I personally found the character of Elinor Dashwood to be more relatable and more of a role model. Elinor is sensible, smart, and will show propriety to the best of her ability. Her younger sister on the other hand, has less of a regard for propriety and more of a tendency to discuss her feelings, whether it be appropriate or not. While I am sorry that a heartbreak was the catalyst for her maturation, I must say that Marianne’s character arc was beautifully played out. Elinor, ever so the mature one, still grew too throughout the book and at times portrayed relatable character flaws such as jealousy and contempt, though these instances were few and far between.

In all honesty, I thought that the villain (I will not name them in case any of you have not read this novel yet) was redeemed some by his/her honest confession near the end of the book, which was refreshing. However, the protagonist Elinor strips a lot of this complexity away by concluding that the character was nothing but selfish. I almost feel as if the characterization would had been stronger if Austen did not so blatantly label the character as she saw fit at the end. Additionally, I found the last mentioned marriage of the book, between Marianne and her husband, hard to believe as it was rushed. I would not have minded reading more about Marianne’s further growth and journey to maturity, but of course, this is first and foremost Elinor’s story.

It would not be Jane Austen if there was not an element of satire to the book; the stereotypical characters of Lucy, Mrs. Jennings, Robert Ferrars and his mother, etc. are all present and probably indicate Austen’s perception of people that she had encountered or people she believed society was made up of. If you are a fan of Austen’s wit, there is plenty of that in this novel.

As for the conclusion, there were no gruesome endings, not even for the antagonists, as there were in Pride and Prejudice, but I didn’t mind this so much because that is how real life typically is. And of course, since it is Jane Austen, there were two happy marriages at the end of the book and most everyone decides to live in harmony, putting jealousies and ill will aside.

I also like how the prospect of fortune was not tied to a “happy ending” as it was in Pride and Prejudice for Elinor. Even though she had been somewhat cheated out of a bigger allowance by her sister-in-law, she was still perfectly content to live a comfortable life with the one she loved, and with her family always near.

If you are a Jane Austen fan and have yet to pick this book up, I highly recommend it.

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