Book Review #17 Psycho

Hello everyone followers and all and welcome to my 17th book review. I’m trying to catch up as much as possible with all the books I have read at work so I’m pumping these out as much as I can. I know I can schedule my post to push these out for a while but I need to catch up to the more recent book I’ve been reading. This book review is on Psycho by Robert Bloch. A very quick 208 page read. Yes, yes I know this is not a dystopian novel or coming to theaters, but I got back into the show Bates Motel. Since this book was so short it only took me a day to read because it was killing me that I have not read this book but have watched the media adaptations of it. I finally got a hold of a copy once the hype for the show died down. So sit back and relax and enjoy the review!

Overview: Mary Crane has just run away after she stole some money from her work to create a new life for herself. While on the run Mary become lost in a rain storm and ends up at the Bates Motel. Little does Mary know what she is in for with the manager Norman Bates: a psycho with a split personality who listens to his dear mother. But, the mother has been dead for years. Follow along this horrifying journey with Mary and Norman at the Bates Motel.

Opinion: If you have seen the movie before you want to read the book don’t expect that you missed anything. I do give it a 3.5/5 stars because it is a good and exciting book. Psycho is good scary thriller even for it’s time when it was first created. The movie is exactly like the book so it kinda sucked out all the joy of reading it because they are exactly the same.

However, I do recommend it because it is a quick simple read that has a great horror, thriller and suspense to it. Psycho has a good ending that wraps up everything up nicely with no loose ends. None of the characters fell flat and they all add to the story. What I really enjoyed is that the reader even gets to read things through Norman’s perspective. Hearing his thoughts and seeing his actions all through his eyes. Plus, the crazy inner workings of Norman’s mind.

I know there is a Psycho II and III but I have not seen the best reviews for them so I’m going to skip those altogether. But if you need something quick to read Psycho is the book for you!

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Book Review #16 Dune

Hello everyone and welcome to my 16th book review. This book review is on the classic novel Dune by Frank Herbert. A good size book with 896 pages so a good book to have a long read with and not to mention the rest of the series. I know I said in my last review it would be dystopian novels and others but I forgot I finished Dune after I read Brave New World. I have wanted to read Dune for a while now and most of the copies where checked out from the Denver library so I was determined and found a copy at the Littleton library! So enjoy this review!

Overview (even though most people have read it): Set in the far future where space travels between planets exist and technology allows the capability of human mind to go beyond regular thought. The universe consist of planets ruled by Great Houses all with their allegiance to the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. The Emperor is aware that one house grows in strength:  Duke Leto Atreides of House Atreides with his faithful concubine Lady Jessica and their son Paul Atreides. Scared to lose his power Emperor Shaddam comes up with a scheme to get rid of the Duke and his family assigning them control of Arrakis, currently ruled by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen of House Harkonnen. Arrakis is a desert planet home to the spice (drug) melange which has a good trade, the Freman and the giant sand worms. The Duke knows this is set up to be a trap for him and his family, but he knows he cannot decline the offer.

While the reader learns about the diplomatic side of Dune with the Duke they also learn about the magical religion side of Dune with Lady Jessica and Paul. Lady Jessica is a Bene Gesserit who possess magical powers within the mind. Though the tradition of her magic is supposed to be only for females, she teaches Paul the ways of her magic. Which makes Paul a Kwisatz Haderach: A male version of the Bene Gesserit that have mental powers to see throughout time and space.

Shortly after their arrival to Arrakis, they are attacked by traps left for the Duke and his family. Making a bold decision Duke Leto makes a pact with the Freman people. Not long after the treaty made with the Freman, Baron Vladimir attacks the Atreides family. Paul and Jessica were able to escape the palace into the dessert while the Duke fights Baron Vladimir. Duke Leto has a false tooth filled with cyanide in hopes to kill the Baron, however it is unsuccessful and the Duke dies. Paul and Jessica are able to find the Freman and where accepted by them. The Freman have a prophecy that says a male with powers will be their messiah and lead them. They believe Paul is that leader.

Paul accepts his role of being a leader and renames himself Muad’Dib. Now Paul and the rest of the Freman are in a struggle to win back the planet of Arrakis from the evil Barron and Emperor. Follow Paul and his amazing journey for the ultimate fight between good and evil.

Opinion: So don’t get too excited for my input/opinion if you really like Dune. Me personally I give the book a 3/5 stars but as for the accomplishment of a novel it is for critique wise it deserves a 4.5/5 stars. I didn’t do any full in depth research about Dune I just was going to read the book and that was it. I was so sadly mistaken I never realized how much reading and research I would have to do about the world, culture, religion and politics I would have to do before reading the actual book. I knew what the premise was about the book from reading the cover but that was so different from actually reading it. Most of the time reading the book I had to keep going to the back with the index just to understand what they were talking about or what was going on. Just to understand what a word meant or what religious practice was going on. This for me made it very unenjoyable to read so I felt lost.

So again I did no research going into this book which was my mistake but I feel if I have to do a lot of research before I read the book then why bother? Let’s say I spent hours researching about the world just to understand what is going on in the book and it turns out I don’t even like the book in general. I’d be pretty pissed off feeling like I wasted all that time just to be let down. Even after I was starting to understand what was going on with the politics, religion and culture of Dune I found it rather boring. I only found Dune exciting when the Duke died trying to save his family while Jessica and Paul were escaping. Also, the sand worms.

The problem for me as well is Dune didn’t really fell that Sci-fi to me. I know they mentioned a lot about the flying ships they had to get around and the weapons and the people with the computer in their brains but not much day to day interaction with this technology. It’s like if you read Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling didn’t describe the magic or the spells but the reader would still know it’s a magical world. You feel like you’re missing something but it’s from a lack of description. I read that Herbert was trying to focus more on the politics and humanity of the universe and down played the Sci-fi aspects. Which is fine but politics bore me, sometimes I even struggle with Game of Thrones because sometimes it’s a lot of talking about who should rule and why.

I’m not saying Dune was a bad book; it just wasn’t for me, because I couldn’t get into it. I even thought about cheating and watching the Dune miniseries but, I didn’t. I won’t challenge its ranking in the Sci-fi/literature world. I can see why people loved it when it first came out and how it has stood through the test of time. Also how it influenced so many Sci-fi themed stories and movies that came after Dune. Herbert is a great writer. The ending was good and has a good set up into the next book of the series. However, when I finally got to the end I just wanted to get through the book. The ending for me was getting excited to be done with the book. Needless to say I will not continue the series. I imagine people will tell me it gets better as I go and to push on. If I do push on reading the rest of the series will feel like a chore.

Book Review #15 Brave New World

Hi everyone and welcome to my 15th book review on Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. A classic but a very quick 259 page read. So, a lot of my upcoming book reviews are going to be a mix between dystopian novels and book that were made into movies. The reason I bring this up is because I want to write a historical essay on dystopian novels!! And speaking of historical essay I’m about to complete my first essay on Star Wars that will be self-published that was not for school so I’m very excited for it please keep a look out for it and read it! Any way I chose Brave New World because it was highly recommended by many people and many reading list. I know many people had to read this book in high school but I never had to. Let’s get started!

Overview: Set in London 623 AF (After Ford; Henry Ford) or 2540. London has become the scene of a very dystopian place. Children are not born through parents but created in test tubes in laboratories called hatcheries. These children in test tubes are designed a certain way to fit societies need and put into categories: Alphas who are molded into the perfect beings to the Epsilons who are the lowest of beings. Whatever category people are given they will be trained to have a certain mental view on the world and have a job already determined for them. No one is allowed to be and individual or have their own individual thinking. Neither is anyone allowed to love, care for or have emotions for. Meaning if someone they know dies they’re not allowed to mourn for them. Any form of individuality and emotion other than being happy results a person to be sent to Iceland, to live out a dreadful life. Everyone takes their Soma which is a drug to dull the mind and keep people oblivious of their situation and free thinking.

The reader follows Lenina, a hatchery working and Bernard a psychologist who decide to take a holiday together in New Mexico to see “savages” in the reservations (Native Americans). The “savages” live a regular life style like today’s standards, which is very odd to Lenina and Bernard. There they meet Linda who used to live in London and had a very good standing and career. They also meet Linda’s son John, a young adult now who was actually conceived by reproducing with a man. Linda was not able to come back to London because of her pregnancy but Bernard and Lenina helped bring her and John to London. John is very excited to see this new world that his mother once enjoyed. Linda is excited to see her old home but is also excited to start taking Soma again. How will John fair in this new world, will he retain his free thinking ways or will the new world consume him?

My Opinion: As a classic book I see why it was and still is popular to this day but for me I give it a 3/5 stars. The first two and last ten chapters (each chapter is very short) were really good and morbidly fascinating. The plot at those points of Brave New World focused on how this negative utopian world functions and how John reacts to London. I personally over romanticize dystopian novels: I love seeing how the world was destroyed, how an overbearing person/government came into power, how are civilizations functioning and the focus on one specific person to see how they are interacting or struggling to interact. So, to see how the world was functioning and how people interacted in Brave New World was really what I loved most about the novel. However the middle part lost my interest because it was a lot of talking about menial things. I knew more about people’s sex life than I did about the actual world itself. The people were too accustomed to their life style and that as a reader doesn’t give me the sense of a negative utopia. Readers do get a sense of uneasiness reading about the world because it is a terrifying process to lose the ability to freely think for yourself. But, from the way people were acting in the book you just accept it as much as they do, which in a way is a statement itself. When John was brought in the reader gets that struggle of seeing and interacting in a world with no freedom. I like reading about people that are always consciously aware of the terrible situation they are in. So it was fun reading about John for a while. But then he just became so dramatic to the point where he became very unrelatable that’s how dramatic of a person he became.

I just struggle with the fact that Huxley barely dives into what happened to London and the world and why it became that way. Why did people look down upon procreation? Who implemented the idea of test tube babies? Why was London reformed with the thinking they had? Just what exactly happened? Brave New World barely mentions about a six year war. That doesn’t explain who started it, ended it, the results and after math of the war. It’s not really stated as to why people stopped reproducing, just that they view it to be primitive. That was probably from years and years of conditioning.

Huxley I would say is a good writer but sometimes reading the book I felt like I had accidentally skipped something important to the plot. He just seemed to skip around at points from one scene to the next and was not very descriptive. What you got was what you got so I tended to overthink things. His writing style just isn’t my favorite.

The ending was good and satisfying it didn’t leave any questions to be unresolved, besides mine. I do think the ending worked out very well and would be a very likely scenario to someone like John. But I do think I was just a bit over the top where I literally kept saying: “Seriously people just chill”. For those who have not read it or have to read it for an upcoming assignment I do recommend it. For it not being scariest dystopian novel I have read it is still a good dystopian novel.

Book Review #14 The Hike

Hey guys welcome to my fourteenth book review! I know I just wrote one recently today but I need to catch up on all my books that I have been reading at work. This review is on The Hike by Drew Magary a quick 278 page book. I was recommended the book by Amazon because I liked Welcome to Night Vale. I sort of forgot about it because it was lost in my Good Reads want to read book list and I took a quick peek at it and there it was. the sad news was I went to the library but all the copies were gone! I seriously debated about just buying a copy because I didn’t want to wait, but I finally got one from the library and it was worth the wait. So here is my review for it!

Overview: a man named Ben is going to a hotel in Pennsylvanian for a business meeting nothing to special. Before his meeting Ben has some time and decides to go for one quick hike, come back for the meeting and when the meeting was over come home to his wife and three kids. Ben wasn’t expecting to get lost or, stumble upon a scene of unimaginable horror! Forcing him down a deep twisting path that would lead him into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, monstrous creatures and colossus insects. Ben is now on a quest of epic life-or-death proportions aided by a profane crab, magical objects, tools and potions. Ben must find the producer or he could be stuck in this world forever. While on the path Ben is tested physically and mentally fighting for his very soul.

My Opinion: This book was amazing!! I give it a 4.5/5 stars! This story was absolutely amazing. It was a full on nonstop action/physiological thriller. All you want to do is read how Ben makes it through the story. Nothing else matters you can eat and sleep when you’re dead!! It’s a better adult version of Alice In Wonderland. Ben’s character is great he is not a naive adult who doesn’t know what to do with himself. Ben basically is a smart ass average Joe who doesn’t have time to deal with this crap, but in a relatable way to the reader.

Drew’s writing style is very fluid. Drew knew how to describe each scene in The Hike. Drew had a great way from writing from one point of the book to the next without it being boring or dragging on. The way the characters interacted felt real even though they were all in this mysterious place. Plus the story was not just about Ben’s adventure during his time on his hike it talks about his past, which was very fun to learn about.

The only complaint I have to say was there was a small slow point in the story and it just made me want to story just to move forward. Luckily it wasn’t so bad that I skipped any part of the book or just stop reading The Hike all together. The ending was something I didn’t expect! I imagine some people would be able to figure out the ending but I like to enjoy the story without trying to figure out what might happen next. However, I really recommend The Hike. I will even go out and buy the book (I’m so poor that’s why I love the public library). It was so exciting and had enough horror/thriller to even satisfy me! I really hope to find or get recommended more books like The Hike.

Book Review #13: Throne of Glass

Hey guys and welcome to my thirteenth book review! My new job allows me to read all day so that’s what I do all day, and I have a lot of reviews that will be coming out soon! This particular review is on Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Another book series that was recommenced to me by a friend who also made the recommendation of City of Bones. Let us begin!

Overview: An assassin named Celaena Sardothien has been saved from the cruel salt mines of Endovier to win back her freedom. However, her freedom comes with a price: to win a competition to be the next champion of the cruel king of the land who has outlawed magic from the land, stolen kingdoms from royals who have now been stripped of their title, and is the reason why Celaena was in salt mines. Celaena must win the competition against other fierce competitors trying to win their freedom as well. But, there is an unknown evil living in the castle killing off the other competitors. Celaena must fight for survival in the competition but also in the castle as well leading her on an epic quest to save herself and the world.

Opinion: I give this book a 3/5 stars. I’m very much on the fence about Throne of Glass. Sarah is a great writer I will not deny that but, it’s a young adult book and I think I’m getting too old for those types of books because the logic and romance frustrate me to no ends.

The plot was wonderful, Celaena having to fight for her freedom in the competition and all the challenges she has to face in Throne of Glass were very fun and exciting. It’s not any new or original idea but the way Sarah delivers the plot to the reader is like an exciting thrill ride. It makes me super excited to see how the rest of the series unfolds (I’m part way through book three now, I wrote this before I got this far I feel like a stupid naive fool getting my hopes up).

How I feel about the characters really ranges for me depending on who it is. Dorian the Crown Prince: GOOD GOD do I love Dorian as a character. For being the son of the evil king, I love him for who he is. He is a great prince and has a great personal conflict that he must overcome: his dad. He is nothing like the evil king: he is kind, very intelligent (though the king is pretty intelligent as well), he stands against everything his dad has done for the kingdom. Dorian wants to fix the damage his dad has done to the kingdom but understands the limitations of only being a prince under the thumb of his overbearing powerful father. Plus, I love that Dorian isn’t just looking for a standard wife who is rich, but is smart and can take care of themselves.

Celaena: I do like her character. She has sass, brains, and is capable with her talents. However, Celaena is held up way too high on a pedestal with not much to show for it. In Throne of Glass she is claimed to be the greatest assassin in the whole land at the age of seventeen… I have never know a teenager to be the best at anything. I’ve never known a teenager to be capable of doing much for themselves any way. So how is it a seventeen year the best compared to someone older and wiser or her teacher? (Again, I know this is a young adult book, but still). Also for being the world’s greatest assassin she has a pretty big moral compass: knowing it’s bad to kill an innocent person. Last time I checked assassins are hired people to go kill someone by their client with no questions asked whether this person is innocent or not. Being the “world’s greatest assassin”, you really shouldn’t have a moral compass, at least have the common sense to know what you’re doing is wrong but Celaena shouldn’t care who she kills. Celaena literally in the book thinks about running away into the wilderness and living a peaceful life but, whatever I guess. Also, Celaena is claimed to be the best assassin ever and everyone claims to know her name and title yet no one recognizes her… major plot hole. Not only that the best assassin gets her ass kicked a lot. I understand she has to have limits to add conflict to the story but she doesn’t have much to show for herself being the “world’s greatest assassin”. I’ll give it to Celaena though that she is not an angsty pity party person but she is way too trusting of people. I could befriend her in 5 days then stab Celaena in the back and kill her. Since assassins should trust everyone they see. With all that said I do enjoy her as a main character.

Chaol: … I can’t even begin to describe my hatred for this character. At first in the beginning he was cool. He is captain of the guard in charge of the safety of the crown prince. He is aware of who Celaena is and how dangerous she is. Which means he is/was smart enough to not trust her and always kept an eye on her to make sure she wasn’t up to anything. Chaol was a very strong-willed character loyal to his duty. But later he gets feelings for Celaena… To best describe him now is he is like Padme from Star Wars: very strong willed in the beginning dedicated to her people then you give her a love interest. Padme and Chaol became pathetic, whiny and useless but Chaol gets to be creepy and clingy just like Anakin mix that all together and you have a character I wish that would die!!! You might as well change his name to Bella Swan that is how useless and pathetic he truly is. I hate Chaol! He literally kept trying to talk the prince out of loving Celaena because she is dangerous and untrustworthy but apparently it’s ok for him.

Even though there are some major plot holes and I’m getting too old for young adult books. The ending was good, and a very good stopping point to continue the saga. However, with each book in the series I’m enjoying the series less and less. I mean to the point that I have stopped reading the series at the moment. Sarah is a very talented writer her writing style is very fluid and can keep a reader hooked. Go ahead and read it and see how you guys feel about it.

 

Book Review #12 Disney Series: The Hunchback of Nortre Dame

Hello everyone and welcome to my twelfth book review! With this book review I’m going to be mixing things up a little bit with a so called Disney series. What that means is that I’m going to be reviewing books that have been turned into Disney movies and comparing them. So like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, and others. I know a lot of people know the differences between the movies and the books especially the stories from the Grimm Tales, but this is something I really wanted to do. So these Disney Series of book reviews that I’ll be doing will not be in order, it’s more a less when I feel like reading the book I’ll do it. So I will admit there will be spoilers because I’m going way in depth with the comparisons, but this is honestly for people who want to know the difference between the movie and the books without having to read the books. So I’m starting with The Hunchback of Notre Dame because I really love Paris and I wanted to do The Little Mermaid later!! Also these will be long so bear with me.

Movie Synopsis: I know most people have seen the movies but might as well recap it for people who haven’t seen the movie in a while. Plus it will give people the chance to really compare the differences between the movie and the book

Its Paris 1482 a gypsy named Clopin Trouillefou tells the audience the background of the story that happened 20 years ago: Judge Claude Frollo is in charge of Paris, keeping the city safe from crime, or as he puts it “Gypsy Vermin”. One night while patrolling the streets and find a band of gypsy’s he kills Quasimodo’s mother and almost kills Quasimodo too, till the arch deacon stops Frollo and makes him Quasimodo’s adoptive father. Flash forward back 20 years and it is the Festival of Fools, Quasimodo’s favorite festival and he is persuaded this time to actually go to it and not watch it this time by his gargoyle friends. However he is deterred by Frollo reminding Quasimodo that he is too ugly and vial to go into the public. Frollo is viewed as cruel and yet somewhat kind to Quasomodo, but it’s obvious to the viewer that he really doesn’t care about his and has an ulterior motive for Quasimodo.

The audience is then introduced to Phoebus a knight who came back home from the war to serve Frollo as his captain of the guards. Phoebus is just trying to find the Palace of Justice but spots Esmeralda dancing on the street for coins. Esmeralda is alerted that some guards are coming and while trying to run away is caught and the guards accuse her of stealing the money. The guards try to arrest her but Phoebus steps in and helps her get away. Phoebus is then led by the same guards to the Palace of Justice where he meets Frollo and learns his intentions with the gypsies, and then have to go to the Festival of Fools.

Quasimodo does sneak out and goes to the Festival of Fools in disguise. Quasimodo, Phoebus, and Frollo all see Esmeralda dance and all fall for her. When Clopin is about crown the king of fools they pull Quasimodo on stage reveling who he is, at first the crowd is startled but then they get excited about Quasimodo being crowned the king of fools. Quasimodo is super excited to be crowned and felt that he was finally excepted by society but it turns ugly fast and they humiliate Quasimodo by throwing food at him and tying him down. Frollo doesn’t allow Phoebus to go save Quasimodo from this torture, but Esmeralda stops the crowd from the torture and helps out Quasimodo and apologizes for what just happened. Frollo yells at her not to help him, but Esmeralda refuses and demands justice for him and her people. Frollo orders Esmeralda to be arrested, while trying capture her she humiliates the guards and Frollo and he believes that she used witch craft to get away. Esmeralda sneaks into the church and was followed by Phoebus who explains that she is safe in the church. After a bit of flirting and getting to know each other Frollo barges into the church he tell Phoebus to arrest her, but Phoebus lies that Esmeralda claimed sanctuary and that she is safe in the church. Frollo is willing to ignore that rule and drag her outside until the arch deacon intervenes again and Esmeralda is safe inside the church. As the arch deacon pushes Phoebus and the rest of the guards out Frollo hid in the shadows and confronted Esmeralda threatening her that if she leaves he’ll lock her up and the audience learns that he has other intentions for her and has feelings for her, but does leave the church. Esmeralda catches sight of Quasimodo running back up to the bell tower away from other people in the church and follows him and catches up with him. Esmeralda begins to apologize again about what happened and from then they begin to bond and start a friendship. They then make an understanding with each other about the struggles they deal with and show acts of kindness towards each other when no one else really does. Because of Esmeralda’s kindness Quasimodo helps her escape.

Frollo learns that Esmeralda escaped and goes on a crazy obsessive hunt for her burning the city of Paris in the process. During a raid at a small home Phoebus refuses to burn an innocent families house down and goes against Frollo’s orders. Frollo then orders Phoebus to be killed for his insubordination and while trying to escape with Esmeralda’s help he got shot with an arrow falling into the river. Frollo thinks he died in the river and goes back to trying to find Esmeralda, while Esmeralda save Phoebus from the river and brought to the church. The audience learns that Phoebus and Esmeralda are in love and kiss, which breaks Quasimodo’s heart since he believed that Esmeralda loved him, but Quasimodo still will be a loyal friend to Esmeralda. Esmeralda see’s that Frollo is returning to the cathedral and as she leaves Quasimodo hides Phoebus.  Frollo confronts Quasimodo knowing that he helped Esmeralda escape and lies that he knows where her hideout (the Court of Miracles) is and will attack it. Being scared for her safety Quasimodo and Phoebus go to find Esmeralda’s hideout to warn her. They find her and warn her but it’s too late since Frollo followed them and captured all of them and the gypsies.

Esmeralda is tied to a post about to be burned for witch craft , Frollo gives her an ultimatum: she can either die or marry him. She spits in his face choosing to die than be with Frollo. Quasimodo is chained to the cathedral and broken in spirit not willing to help rescue her, until they actual light the kindling for the fire. Quasimodo breaks the chains tying him to the cathedral, swoops down grabs Esmeralda and brings her back up the the cathedral for safety and sanctuary. Out of pure rage Frollo tries to break into the cathedral to kill Esmeralda. Phoebus breaks out of his cage and rallies the town to riot against Frollo and his guards. Fights break out in the streets against the citizens/gypsies and Frollo’s guards. Quasimodo also is fighting against Frollo and his guards protecting the cathedral from them. Frollo manages to break into the cathedral and Quasimodo believes they won the fight goes to check in on Esmeralda. Esmeralda is not moving or responding so Quasimodo believes she died, Frollo finds Quasimodo grieving over her death and tries to kill Quasimodo as well. Quasimodo stops him and confronts him about how he is not a monster but Frollo is. Esmeralda is actually alive and calls out to Quasimodo, realizing she’s alive Frollo goes back to trying to kill her. Quasimodo grabs Esmeralda and rushes past Frollo and tries to hide from him. Frollo easily find them and in his blind obsession to kill them both he is careless with his footing and falls to his death. The fighting in the streets stops and Esmeralda and Phoebus joining the crowd celebrating their win. They urge Quasimodo to join the crowd, Quasimodo does and the crowd accepts him for who he is. The townsfolk carry him off cheering for him and Quasimodo has a happy ending.

The End!

 

Book Overview: Alright that was a lot for the movie and now it’s time for the book! Again I’m going to go in depth with this so be ready for a long read.

The book starts out in January of 1482 on the day of the Feast of Fools as well, however the reader follows the poet named Pierre Gringoire who has written a play to be premiered at the Feast of Fools. However for poor Pierre his play keeps getting interrupted by the spectators: Clopin Trouillefou disguised as a beggar, Joannes Frollo (Cluade Frollo’s younger brother), and Quasimodo. Quasimodo is still a grotesque bell ringer but he is actually deaf from the bells. He wins the crown of the king of fools and is paraded around town, the townsfolk still are not fond of Quasimodo but view him as the perfect candidate. Just like the movie Quasimodo is very happy to be accepted and paraded around town and feels accepted.

While Quasimodo is being paraded around town Pierre is sulking because not a lot of people paid attention to his play. Pierre spots a sixteen year old Esmeralda dancing in the street with a good size crowd watching her. Pierre is bewitched by her beauty and her dancing much like the rest of the spectators who either find her beautiful as well or hate her because she is a gypsy. Esmeralda even gets her goat Djali to perform tricks as well: telling the date and time. Pierre spots another man in the crowd watching her and mumbling to himself intently but can’t remember why he looks so familiar. The parade carrying Quasimodo finally reaches where Pierre and Esmeralda are. The man in the crowd that Pierre couldn’t remember revels himself to be the arch deacon Claude Frollo (he is actually an arch deacon instead of a judge), Frollo goes up to Quasimodo and signing to him that he needs to go home. Quasimodo complies with Frollo and goes back to the cathedral. The crowd disperses and Esmeralda has disappeared, but Pierre is determined to find her. Pierre eventually finds her and follows her, knowing she is being followed tries to escape from him. Esmeralda falls into a trap from Quasimodo and a mysterious man (Frollo) trying to kidnap her. Pierre tries to help but is outmatched by Quasimodo and the mysterious man disappeared. Phoebus hears the commotion and comes to save Esmeralda from Quasimodo while Pierre recovers from the fight. Esmeralda thanks Phoebus for saving her and runs off into the night.

Pierre while again finding a place to sleep or Esmeralda stumbles into the Court of Miracles by accident breaking a jug. Knowing the Location of the Court of Miracles lands Pierre in trouble and has a trial with the King of Thunes: Clopin Trouillefou. Pierre can either join the vagabonds and pick pockets, marry someone in the Court of Miracles, or die. Pierre fails at pick pocketing and no one wants to marry him so he is sentenced to death. However, at the last minute Esmeralda agrees to marry him. In her quarters Esmeralda tell Pierre she will never love him and has absolutely no interest in him, she just didn’t want him to die. Esmeralda ask Pierre about Phoebus: if he knows him, or knows what his name means. Pierre also learns that Esmeralda is looking for her parents and has an amulet that will help her find her parents and will only work if she stays a virgin.

The story then shifts to the past where the reader learns about Frollo’s and Quasimodo’s past. Quasimodo was four years old living in an orphanage with nuns, nobody believed he would be adoptive. The nuns believed that his mother sold her soul to the devil and gave birth to Quasimodo. However Frollo who was 20 at the time came and adopted him out of pity and kindness. Frollo’s past is his parents wanted him to be a part of the church. So Frollo followed his parents wishes and goes into the church and starts his path to become an arch deacon. Frollo gets schooling from Universities, Frollo is very intelligent and loves science along with religion. Frollo would lock himself in his tower and work on his science when he wasn’t needed for the church, the nuns and townsfolk would call him a sorcerer and alchemist. Before he adopted Quasimodo, his parents died he took custody of his younger brother Jehan, and when Jehan was old enough Frollo sent him to Universities to make something of himself. However to audience learns that Jehan spends all his money partying and drinking and constantly ask Frollo for money. After Frollo adopts Quasimodo they create a good loyal bond. Frollo treats Quasimodo with kindness and educates him and gives him the job of ringing the bells for Notre Dame. Their bond was more loyal than a dog and master but it was fine.

Flash forward to the future the book shifts to a group nuns discussing about a nun named Gudule who joined the coven because she was heartbroken over the loss of her daughter. Seventeen years ago Gudule was finally pregnant with a child, she was desperate to have a child even with someone other than her husband. Her daughter was a half Egyptian girl named Agnes (Esmeralda). Gulude bought her a beautiful little pair of shoes and went out into town. When Guldue turned away for one second Agnes was kidnapped by a couple of gypsies. She tried to follow them and get Agnes back all she was able to find was one of Agnes’s shoes and she lost her baby.

While the nuns were talking about Guldude’s past Quasimodo was on trial for trying to kidnap Esmeralda. Quasimodo was convicted guilty and is punished by flogging. They punish him and let him go, Quasimodo is very thirsty and begs the crowd for water but nobody gives it to him. Esmeralda goes to him and actually gives him water even though she knows that he tried to kidnap her, and disappears. After Quasimodo goes home he feels conflicted about his new feelings towards Esmeralda.

It’s now March and Pheobus is visiting his fiance Fluer-de-Lys and her family, but Phoebus really doesn’t care for his fiance. Fluer sees Esmeralda dancing in the street and decides to have a little fun by inviting her into their house and have her dance for them. Esmeralda is hesitant but eventually goes into the house because she is excited to see Phoebus and is eager to dance for him. While Esmeralda dances Fluer and the rest of her family make fun of Esmeralda for being a gypsy street peasant. Usually Esmeralda would do a trick to embarrass them but is too enamored with Phoebus. Fluer then asks to see some tricks with her goat Djali, Esmeralda obliges and begins to show that her goat can spell out names. However Djali spells out Phoebus’s name and completely embarrassed Esmeralda as she runs away in shame. Phoebus is shocked by seeing his name spelled out while Fluer becomes heavily suspicious of her fiance and what he does in his spare time. The story returns to Pierre who finds Frollo in the streets and decides to talk to him. Pierre begins to blab about Esmeralda and how he knows she is obsessed loves a man named Phoebus, because it is all she talks about. Eventually Pierre leaves Frollo who then is approached by his younger brother Jehan for some money. Frollo gives his brother some money but before Frollo makes his way back to the church he hears his younger brother calling out the name Phoebus, Frollo puts on a disguise and begins to follow them. Frollo over hears that Phoebus has plans tonight to meet with Esmeralda. While in disguise Frollo approaches them and asked Phoebus if Esmeralda is the same dancing gypsy woman he was thinking of and if he could see her as well while Phoebus is meeting her. Phoebus agrees for a price and that Frollo can come along as long as he stays hidden.

Frollo is disguised again meets up with Phoebus at the meeting place and hides away but in an area where he can still see them. Esmeralda then arrives and they begin to tell each other how happy they are to see each other and that they love each other. Esmeralda is very excited to hear that Phoebus loves her and proclaims that she wants to marry him. Phoebus declines her idea of marriage because she is a poor gypsy girl and he is a high class citizen. Phoebus says he still wants her but not in the way she was thinking (basically he wanted to hit it and quit it). Esmeralda is disappointed with his response but she is also still happy to be with him in some way. Frollo hears their entire conversation and becomes jealous of their feelings towards each other. Phoebus them begins to kiss Esmeralda and she reciprocates, Frollo becomes so enraged with jealousy that he emerges from his hiding place and stabs Phoebus is the back while Esmeralda is stunned as to what she just witnessed. Frollo then runs away leaving Esmeralda to be blamed for the crime of stabbing Phoebus.

Esmeralda is put in prison and on trial for the stabbing of Phoebus. Esmeralda tells the judge and the court the truth of how she didn’t do it but a mad priest did. Of course they don’t believe her and begin to torture her until she tells the “truth”. After a few torture sessions Esmeralda breaks down and says that she stabbed Phoebus and is unfortunately sentenced to death. Esmeralda brought back to the prison cell to await her death, Frollo comes down to visit her. She recognizes Frollo immediately and is startled by him but is willing to hear what he has to say. Frollo confesses his love to her since he first saw her and is continuously haunted by her beauty. He then in a way proposed to her saying if they get married her can free her from the prison and from death. Esmeralda rejects Frollo she is too madly in love with Phoebus to want to be with anyone. Frollo out of anger from the rejection lies to her saying he is dead and leaves her to rot in the prison.

Pheobus is actually doing fine and has been recovering for a month from his knife wound. While in bed he is reunited with his fiance. When he see Fluer he feels the spark of love he once had for her. They reconnect with each other but Fluer is still suspicious of him and Esmeralda, but doesn’t bring it to his attention. Today however is the day that Esmeralda will be executed. Everything is set up as they parade Esmeralda down the street to the noose. Esmeralda spots Phoebus at his window watching the parade and calls out to him to be saved and happy to see he is ok. When she reaches the platform with the noose she gives up all hope of Phoebus saving her and when she is about to be hung Quasimodo saves her and brings her back to the cathedral for sanctuary.

The law cannot go in and grab Esmeralda; she must leave the cathedral of her own accord, so they leave her alone for the time being to think of a plan. While Esmeralda is staying in the cathedral Frollo doesn’t do much of anything to her but sees her walk around in a sorrowful state from time to time. Esmeralda does befriend Quasimodo and gets to know him a little, he then gives Esmeralda a whistle so if she ever needs him while she is in the cathedral she can blow the whistle and he’ll appear. However, Esmeralda still is madly in love with Phoebus and misses him dearly she convinces Quasimodo that he bring Phoebus to the cathedral so she can see him. Quasimodo does comply and goes to retrieve Phoebus. Phoebus however tells Quasimodo he no longer wishes to see Esmeralda or associate himself with her ever again. Quasimodo gives up trying to convince Phoebus to see Esmeralda and goes home. While Quasimodo begins to go home Frollo starts to get stir-crazy with Esmeralda living in the cathedral in proximity to him. Frollo tries to make another attempt to woe her but tries forces himself upon her after she rejected him again. Esmeralda blows the whistle and Quasimodo comes to her rescue and Frollo retreats feeling betrayed and angry.

The Court of Parliament have unfortunately decided to take away Esmeralda’s rights and plan to storm the cathedral to get Esmeralda and hang her. They gather the Kings Men to rally a break in. Frollo learns of this break in and informs Pierre. Pierre is aggravated knowing Esmeralda is stuck in the cathedral and wants to save her; he joins forces with the Court of Miracles and Jehan to go rescue her and storm the cathedral. A small band of people go to the cathedral trying to get inside but the doors are locked and Quasimodo sees Pierre’s group thinking they will hurt Esmeralda and begins to defend the cathedral. Quasimodo defends the cathedral from the people below but Jehan climbs up the cathedral to fight Quasimodo, being very outmatched to Quasimodo’s strength Jehan is thrown off the cathedral and dies. They call off the attack and retreat, but Pierre stays behind to help.

While the King’s Guard storm the cathedral Quasimodo does not stop them thinking they are here to help Esmeralda. In one last attempt to win her Frollo confesses his love again, however the same reaction come from Esmeralda: that she doesn’t want him. In anger Frollo gives her to the nuns to hold her for the King’s Guard. Esmeralda is being held by the nun Gudule. Gudule and Esmeralda figure out they are mother and daughter both reveling they had one of the shoes that Gudule bought for her as a baby. They are excited to finally be with each other but before they could escape together the King’s Guard take Esmeralda away.

Esmeralda is then brought to noose again to be hung. During her hanging Frollo laughs at her misfortune and Quasimodo is enraged by his laughter pushing him off the cathedral to his death at the same time Esmeralda dies. Quasimodo is devastated that both the people he cared for in life are dead; he then goes to Montfaucon, a huge graveyard in Paris where Esmeralda’s body is dumped. He stays with her until he dies.

Phoebus marries Fluer and Pierre goes onto to live his life. So not really a happy ending except for Pheobus.

The End.

PS: Thank you for sticking with me through my hiatus and through this long post. I’ll try to correct any errors as I see them but right now I just want to publish this.

Book Review #11 The Magdalen Girls

Hello everyone and welcome to my 11th book review!! This review is about The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander, a 292 page book so a very quick and easy read. Special shout out to Kensington books for giving me and advanced copy of the book! Review time!

Overview: It’s 1962 in Dublin Ireland, within the beautiful city lies the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Redemption. In the redemption lies the magdalen laundries. Once a place of refuge now turned into a terrible working house. Where some of the fellow magdalens or better known as inmates are fallen women: unwed mothers, prostitutes, or petty criminals better known to the nuns as “sinners”. However most of the women at the Sisters of Holy Redemption for false accusations of being “sinners”: being too pretty, too independent, or too passionate in life. And now the Sisters of the Holy Redemption are receiving two new inmate “sinners”: Teagan Tiernan and Nora Craven.

Teagan is a sixteen year old girl who was sent to the Sisters of the Holy Redemption by her family because her natural beauty provoked the lustful intentions of a young priest. Nora is also sixteen and has become too much of a brash independent girl for her parents to deal with. Within the Sister of the Holy Redemption Teagan and Nora and the “sinners” before them lose their old life, given a new name, and stripped of their freedom from the outside world or their own choices. They can’t even leave the Sisters of the Holy Redemption even when they turn 18, they must have someone sign them away from that place. Teagan and Nora soon become great friends trying to scheme and plan their way to get out of that horrible place while dealing with agonizing labor and inflections of cruel dehumanizing punishments from the nuns who run the place. Will Teagan and Nora make it out or will they break and become hollow magdalens like the rest of the girls before them?

My Opinion: I really enjoyed this book for a multitude of reasons, but I do give it a 3/5 stars. V.S. has a wonderful, fluid writing style. One scene would flow into the next never leaving me to question what happened and how did the story get to where it was. The pacing was just absolutely amazing, V.S. never spent too much time on one scene. Which made me never really get bored of the book, and it also didn’t make the story feel rushed at all.

The beginning was amazing, I loved that the reader actually gets to read the plot of how Teagan and Nora ended up in the Sisters of the Holy Redemption. Instead of just them already being in the convent telling each other their stories for back ground plot for the reader. The reader really gets a perspective of Teagan and Nora living their good lives to being forced into something awful. The middle of the book was great as well: seeing Teagan and Nora adjust to their new life and how they were struggling to keep their will strong to get out of this horrible place. V.S. did a great job showing how time can affect the human spirit. The ending however felt a little supersaturated and stretched out for the plot. It wasn’t bad but, I felt V.S could have excluded a few things. However, I liked how it ended.

I loved the characters they were easy to relate to and sympathize with especially Teagan, I admired her fighting spirit and courage. I loved Nora’s rebellious attitude towards the nuns and the convent, she was such a bad ass punk! But as mentioned before how time can affect the human spirit it was great to see what they were becoming from being trapped in the Sisters of Holy Redemption and other challenges they had to face in the book.

I very much enjoyed the subject matter as well, not just as a historian but also as a reader. The subject of the laundry reformatories is a fascinating yet very tragic. I don’t know if America had anything like the laundry reformatories, or just the regular mental reformatories but they were popular in Europe. But it is a subject I would love to further research. Plus this is a subject that definitely should be brought to attention not just in Europe but all over the world. It’s a very sad subject to lose your freedom and have your life dramatically altered for the worse by someone you trusted and loved.

I defiantly recommend The Magdalin Girls to everyone because it is such a fascinating subject with great characters. It’s a quick good read that depicts the fighting spirit in women!