Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wildthorn - Jane Eagland

Summary: They strip her naked, of everything-undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen-still Louisa Cosgrove, isn't she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love . . . (Summary from netgalley.com - Image from woozles.com - Digital copy lent for review)

My Review: I did not pick up this book expecting to read a lesbian romance (mystery or not) and, thus, was quite surprised when that is exactly what it turned out to be. Did I miss something? Yes, yes I did. Perhaps I should have read the summary a bit more closely, with an eye for its' underlying meaning. To be perfectly honest, had the book’s summary given a clearer indication of the subject matter, I probably wouldn’t have agreed to review it. I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible in my review while still being honest about my personal opinion of the book.

The fact of the matter is, if this book were about a guy and a girl, I would probably give it 3.5 stars. I liked the story itself and the horrors of the asylum contrasted with Louisa’s childhood memories. Eagland does a good job conveying Louisa’s sense of frustration at the injustice of being a woman during an era where women were considered inferior to men and the property of their husbands.

Because Wildthorn is not a traditional YA romance, I didn’t feel the same connection to the characters as I ordinarily might have and can’t actually claim to have enjoyed the book in its entirety. While the simplified writing style and easy conflict resolution fall perfectly into place in the young adult genre, its placement in that category makes me uncomfortable because I know that many a twelve-year-old will pick up this book, like I did, naively expecting one thing and getting another entirely.

My Rating: 2.5 Stars. For the sensitive reader: There are some mild scenes of lesbian romance and a brief moment of profanity.

Sum it up: Not quite what I was hoping for.

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