I put off reviewing Harry Potter again in favor of this one. Don't give me that look, it's still off the BBC's list!
Marianne Dashwood wears
her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but
unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that
her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo.
Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling
to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to
her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened
loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are
to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern
the rules of love.
MY RATING: 5 STARS
Here follows my review as posted on GoodReads (rewritten in light of a recent change of opinion!):
** spoiler alert **
admit it, I didn't like this half so well the first time I read it. I
was too attached to Ang Lee's film adaptation for the book to ever
measure up. Second time around, however, my opinion has entirely
changed, and I can safely say I love S and S just as much--if not
more!--than Pride and Prejudice.
was initially inclined to favor Marianne over every other character,
but I have to give more and more credit to Elinor, Edward, and Colonel
Brandon. My own sensibilities have tempered somewhat, and Marianne's
selfishness and the general strength of character shown by the other
three are more apparent and, in the case of the latter, more
This is presented as a novel of contrasts, a fact
most clearly seen between Elinor and Marianne themselves, but elsewhere
as well. The John Dashwoods are greedy, conceited snobs and there's a
distinct lack of sense among the Jennings women, but the Miss Dashwoods
are in much better company with the Jennings'. Colonel Brandon is
reserved, composed, and (gasp!) thirty-five whereas Willoughby is
outspoken, passionate, and unrestrained, yet there's no question of who
is better for Marianne. Even the difference of settings reflects the "x
vs. y" theme that runs through the book. The quiet of the countryside is
the perfect place for first Elinor and then Marianne to fall in love
with their respective suitors, and the bustle of London echoes
Marianne's agitation at Willoughby's later inconstancy. You get the
Again, the observations I take away from this are that we
can't always let our hearts run away with us, calm and steady affection
can be more rewarding than tumultuous passion, and we all on occasion
must eat our words--as illustrated by my re-reading of this in the first
place. Ready for another shocker? In a few months...I'm going to read
So that brings the grand count up to...three. Look at that! We're halfway there!
It was Oscar Wilde who said that if you can't enjoy reading a book over and over, then there's no point in reading at all. If you ask me, that says it all. I was inspired by a recent post on a blog I follow to share a few of my favorite re-reads with you. They're the books I turn to when I'm in a bad mood and could use cheering up, when I'm bored, or just because I still love them that much.
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Honestly, are you really that surprised? I didn't even know this was a book until I found it in a bin at the store about...oh, four years ago. Best three dollars I ever spent, and the rest is history. Since then, I've read it at least two dozen times, and no, I'm not exaggerating. People at my house groan and ask "Again?" when they see it in my hand. Yes, I say, again, and again and again until it falls apart, at which point I'll go out and buy a new copy! It's one of my favorite books, for crying out loud!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This was the book that began my hero worship of dear Aunt Jane. I've read all six of her novels, but this one is still nearest and dearest to me. Yes, I know what you're thinking, "But ALL of the Austenians say Darcy is the best of her heroes!" First off, no, not all of them do (but that's another conversation). Second of all, there's a darn good reason why this is still Ms. Austen's most popular novel, and a popular novel period. If not for Lizzy Bennet, Bridget Jones wouldn't exist. If not for this book, we wouldn't have Colin Firth in that miniseries. All that aside, this is probably my go-to read for when I'm blue, and it's still my perfect cure for all of life's unpleasantness. No, really, it is!
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Oh, Lord, what in the world can I possibly say about this that the rest of the world hasn't said already? I'll give you the solid proof as to where I stand with this series: I've replaced Sorcerer's Stone twice, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix once each, the only thing holding Prisoner of Azkaban together is wood glue and packing tape, and the only reason Chamber of Secrets is still intact (for the most part) is that I had that scare when I thought I'd lost it in a move and it resurfaced about eight months later. I know I'm not the only one who feels like this, but this series was such an integral part of my childhood, and so long as I had at least one of the books with me, I was set to weather anything. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Ah, another perfectly good book that the movie ruined... There were no two ways about it with this one, it was love at first read. I got it out of the library at least five times before I FINALLY got my own copy, and that one is almost falling apart. I've heard complaints that it was too long-winded and there were too many allusions to too many books thrown in, but I love it just the way it is. There's something about these characters that feels like they'll step right off the page at any moment (though that might be because in the book, they really do). Now if I could only get my hands on the last entry in the series!
Opera Macabre by Michelle Rodriguez
Despite my not having known this book so long, I've still read it a rather dizzying amount of times already in the past few months. I can't help myself! I'm addicted to Ms. Rodriguez's amazing style and her engaging characters, and I'm held hostage to that emotional roller coaster her work always inspires. And all right, I'll admit it...she writes a lovely love scene...plenty of sizzle but never trashy! I hear she's got a new book coming out in a few short weeks, but this one's always going to have a spot in my heart.