Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

If anyone else has read the After series, they’ll completely understand why I chose to read Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice next. Kind of crazy how one author’s words can inspire you so much that you feel the need to read other works they mentioned just so that you can understand their characters better, isn’t it?

I’m not super familiar to Jane Austen’s work to be honest. I remember reading Emma in high school, but it was for an assignment and for some reason anytime I’ve been assigned to read it I just don’t do well with retaining any of it. Probably some psychology we could get into there, but this isn’t the place for that.

I also did read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I think that and the original novel really should be kept separate from each other. I don’t remember it that well, but as far as I’m concerned they tell very different stories.

When I started reading Pride and Prejudice, I have to say, I was really bored. The first half of the book was really uninteresting to me and honestly I was struggling to get through it without falling asleep. Darcy was a jerk, Elizabeth hated him.

When he confessed his feelings for her it felt really out of place. I understand that he had pride, so he felt that anyone would be honored to receive a proposal from him, but what really made him think she would accept? Maybe he thought she was mean to him because she liked him? It was just strange to me.

However, once she told him off and he wrote her the letter I did start to feel more connection to the story. They misunderstood each other and had to adjust their ways of thinking to come back together at the end. It was cool to see the ways that they both changed.

I did really enjoy the second half of the book. Seeing Darcy redeem himself with Elizabeth and the ways that he was willing to change the way he was and help her out behind the scenes because he loved her was actually kind of touching. Elizabeth ended up with Darcy because she respected him and because he respected her. I can definitely see why so many people love this story.

My grandmother apparently loved the adaptation with Colin Firth, so I may need to check that out eventually. In the meantime, I’m going to go watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because it’s free on Comcast right now.

Room by Emma Donoghue

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Okay, so let’s just assume from now on that if I watch a really good movie I will eventually read the book it’s based on. Room was such a good movie. It made me happy, it made me sad, it made me laugh, and it made me cry. I honestly didn’t know that it was based off of a book until I saw on Goodreads that one of my “friends” had read it and decided right then and there that it was next on my list.

I love when there are little differences between the book and movie versions of the same story. It kind of helps me to separate the two in my head and enjoy and appreciate both without comparing them to each other too much. In the book version of Room, the biggest differences to me were that Ma had a brother and that it was revealed she had given birth to another baby before Jack.

I think both of these aspects added interesting twists to the plot. The parts with Jack’s other family, like his grandparents and his uncle, really showed how difficult it was for the adults to understand what he had been through and how they had to adapt to understand what it was like for Jack to be outside of room. This actually kind of made me angry at times because it was so difficult for them to understand what the world was like for Jack, and I felt like they could have been nicer about it instead of getting angry at him for doing something wrong.

This story was so, so heartbreaking and hard to read at times. I absolutely loved Jack and loved to see the story from his point of view. He’s such a smart kid and it’s really interesting to see him experiencing the world for the first time. You really want to root for him and Ma. Which brings me to Ma trying to kill herself. That whole situation was horrible and I couldn’t help but feel like she was being selfish. I understand that everything would have been incredibly difficult for her and that she would probably be extremely depressed even after the escape. However, she knew how much Jack relied on her and he would have been so lost without her. I’m glad that she did make a recovery for Jack’s sake.

What’s really scary and eye-opening about this story is the realization that situations like this have happened in the past. Oftentimes when girls have been found after spending years in captivity it is revealed that they had children or had been pregnant. This book really makes you wonder what kind of life people in these situations have as they continue to grow in the outside world. There’s something seriously wrong with the world and it seriously breaks my heart that people go through situations like this. It makes me feel so blessed to have what I do in life, even if my life isn’t perfect.

The ending of the story really made me happy and I felt like it was a perfect way to have this chapter of Jack’s story end. It really felt like Jack would be able to let go of Room and live his life in the outside with his Ma.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

a51668c2d331d0924c1212baa2bd4eb0For awhile I’ve had a “list” in my mind of classic books that I’ve wanted to read. These are books that have stood the test of time and that people continue to talk about today. A big one on my list was Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I feel like this book and story have remained relevant over the years and that people even still make reference to it in pop culture. I will admit, I didn’t really know what to expect from the novel. I had seen bits and pieces of the movie when I was younger, but I don’t think I really understood what was happening. I was also aware that people had described it as being pornographic or an “erotic novel” so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into when I started reading it.

First of all, I want to say that I loved how poetic and descriptive it was. At times, it was hard to get through all of the descriptions and tangents that the narrator would go off on, but it was so beautifully written that it didn’t really feel like I was putting that much effort into reading it. However, there was a lot about the story that made me uncomfortable, and sort of took away from me actually really liking this book (which I’m about to get into), but as a whole I can appreciate the story and the writing.

I feel like a lot of my feelings toward this book could come from being a woman who grew up/is growing up in a time when we talk a lot about consent. The whole time I was reading this, I couldn’t help but to try to see the events occurring from Lolita’s point of view and trying to find something that would make me feel like he wasn’t raping her every time they would have a sexual encounter.

That being said, I didn’t really like the whole destruction of innocence theme. I know that’s pretty much what the whole book is about and that the narrator is aware that he is doing this to her, but I don’t feel like he’s even taking into account how she really feels or how this is affecting her. He treated her like she was something he owned, like his own personal sexual object and that kind of makes me cringe.

In my opinion, he was an abuser. I know that at times it seemed like she had seduced him and that maybe she was using him to get things that she wanted, but I also felt like she may not have known what would happen to her if she stopped giving him sexual favors and appealing to his wants and needs. He constantly told her about how good her life was with him and how lucky she was to travel and have all these nice things, and that if she were to go live with someone else she would lose all of her personal belongings. He wouldn’t let her go out with friends if boys were going to be there or enjoy herself as a child/teenager and do normal things that kids do because of his jealousy. In order to do those things and have her way, she would have to give him something in return. He completely manipulated her in every way to get what he wanted out of her, and it kind of made me sick. It was pretty hard to read his thoughts and how obsessed and jealous he would get.

I also felt like the married “adult” version of Lolita would not have greeted him so warmly and go as far as to call him a good father. Perhaps this is part of the narrator being unreliable and trying to make it seem like what he did to her didn’t have that much of an effect on her after all. In my opinion, this interaction between them could have just been Lolita trying to make him happy again so that she would get what she wanted (money) out of him.

I would say that this is definitely not as pornographic as people make it out to be (Thankully, because I don’t know if I would have finished it if that was the case). A lot of the story was about traveling with her and trying to keep her to himself, there were hardly any descriptions of the more explicit content in comparison. It definitely does have these elements and reeks of pedophilia, which made it hard for me to read and fully enjoy and appreciate. I also still don’t really feel like I found anything about the narrator that redeemed his actions. He just seemed like someone who took what he wanted and didn’t really care about how others would be affected by his actions. I do not believe that he really loved her, but rather that he loved the idea of having his own little nymphet.