My friend Melissa started this challenge just this year and I decided I really needed to join. I chose to just read one classic and a retelling. It's a dang good thing I didn't try to do more than that because I barely managed to read the two books for it! I decided at some point this last summer to read The Scarlet Letter and the retelling, When She Woke. When She Woke took me like maybe a week to read. The Scarlet Letter took me four freaking months! Argh! Anywho, here we go.
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
Recommended by Me
First Sentence A throng of bearded men, in sad-coloured garments and grey steeple-crowned hats, inter-mixed with women, some wearing hoods, others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooded edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes.
Hester Pryne has been sentenced with the crime of adultery....does anyone NOT know what this one's about? Really???
By Hillary Jordan
Recommended by Kaye
First Sentence When she woke, she was red.
Hannah lives in a world where a person's crime is told by the color of their skin. She has been turned red. Her crime: abortion. Released after time in prison, Hannah must learn to live as she is. Haunted by her choices she begins a journey to discover who she truly is and what she really believes.
What it has going for it
Um, well, it's a classic. That's something, right? Everyone and their dog and their neighbor's best friend's dog
Sadly I read this one a good four five months ago and I don't remember every little detail. What I did enjoy about this one was Hannah's journey away from all that "good ol' Puritan guilt" to a new life with self acceptance. I also really liked that it slapped you in the face with every single thing in this world that makes people judge and called you out on it. It was eye opening, I tells ya! The world that was created in this one was very well put together and thought out. Nothing was fudged over or didn't make sense. Very important in a dystopian, am I right? Can I get an amen?! Alright it's late, I'm tired just ignore me. ;)
Oh boy, I'm really not sure why this one is required reading in high school. It's so ridiculously pretentious! The writing, I mean. The whole story could have been told in 25 pages...50 tops. But all that fluffy, snooty writing? So not necessary. I really despised all the characters too. Their guilt being the biggest reason. Reverend Dimmesdale was so freaking annoying! I mean, yeah, we're none of us perfect, but come on! What a pansy! I sure as hell wouldn't have fell for him. Hester would have been fine but her inner feelings about her only child being some devil spawn were awful. If guilt is making you feel that way towards your own kids, it's REALLY time to stop.
The only real complaint I had with this one was the whole lesbian thing. And not because of THAT reason. I just thought it came out of nowhere and was only thrown in to have one more thing in the story to remind us not to judge. That's fine but it didn't fit...at all.
When the good Reverend FINALLY owned up and then died! Huzzah!
When Hannah finally stormed out of that "women's center". R E S P E C T find out what it means to me! You go girl!
Yea or Nay
TSC If you weren't tied down to a chair in high school with your eyes taped open and forced to read this one, consider yourself lucky to have escaped THAT misery, and move on.
WSW I would recommend this one. And just try not to judge anything that the author shoves in your face. I dare you!