I have no idea where I came across this, I’m sure it was on a blog at some point, but I requested it from my local library for my Kindle (oh hey, Overdrive), and promptly forgot I requested it. So when I got the email notification that it was ready I at first panicked (I received two others at the same time) and then got excited because, well, see the first sentence of this response.
It has been a long time since my last recap and so much has happened.
I’m honestly surprised I’ve managed to keep this little blog going this year. I’m also incredibly proud I keep puttering along at my pace.
I’ve broken this post down into three parts, the first is my stats from 2017, the second is my January recap (seriously abbreviated) and the third is just some personal stuff to share why I haven’t blogged as frequently over the past few months and why there may be delays over the next few months.
I stumbled across this book catching up on blog posts when I saw A.M.B.’s post Five Variations of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice on her blog The Misfortune of Knowing. We all know I love Jane, her birthday is on my calendar – seriously, and I have an entire page dedicated to her here: Austen(esque). So of course, I immediately went to put all of them on hold at my various libraries and this one was available immediately!!
Like the Damon Suede book I just finished, when I finished finally reading The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, I went to my local library to see if they had this. I didn’t necessarily want to read it, but the completionist in me was like there are only two books in the series so why not. So here I am almost two months later finally writing my response.
Let’s start with the bad: I honestly don’t think Austen would’ve wanted Lydia to be this likable or this redeemable. I get that Rorick and Kiley, and the writers of The Secret Diaries of Lizzie Bennet web series made creative choices, but Austen very rarely wrote redeemable characters unless they were the stars of her novels (i.e. Elizabeth and Darcy). Lydia’s comeuppance was to spend her life with Wickham basically exiled from her family. That doesn’t happen in The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet and this isn’t a bad thing as it definitely makes this a lot more readable, it’s just not the same to me.
Now on to what worked great!
I hadn’t planned to read more than one of these, but when you’re caught up in the moment you can’t really control what comes through on your kindle (or you buy at a bookstore, get from the library, or… well you know what I mean). After finishing Hot Head, I checked to see if this was available at the library and it was, so of course I checked i tout and blazed through it.
Lickety Split, is sort of the opposite of Hot Head in that it’s set in super rural Texas and you’ve got small town life versus big city living. There are still some family hiccups in this one as there were in the first. I guess Suede writes what he knows with a big impact either way. He grew up in small town Texas (surprise, surprise) and fled for the big city at the first opportunity he could.
When the publisher reached out to me with a copy of this book they compared it to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.* I read it before I started this blog and I recently (well back in July), saw the stage adaptation of it, and this lived up to the billing. I hate doing the comparison thing, but when the shoe fits…I found this to be an interesting cross between Curious Incident and Joanne Harris’ Chocolat. Seriously, if two books could have a love child, those two books would have this one.
Unfortunately, I didn’t blog about this immediately when I finished the book. This is a good thing, I get to talk about the things that have stuck with me over the past two months, and a bad thing, some of the details are a bit fuzzy.
Having finally cleared my backlog of ARCs I may have gone overboard accepting and requesting them in July. I received six unsolicited requests (some from publishers I’ve worked with) and I requested an additional four. Of all of those I received four, including this one.*
When the publisher reached out to me about this book I was intrigued by 1880s New York and the fact it was about a woman running an apartment building. I figured this is historical fiction, but pretty progressive historical fiction so why not give it a go. What I didn’t realize, because I didn’t re-read the blurb before I started it was that there is a time and narrator shift of 100 years that caught me off guard.