While I have yet to read Going Bovine, I just adored how lyrically Bray wove together the story of Gemma Doyle, and how well she fleshed out her main characters, four young girls in a British finishing school who want more out of their predictable Victorian existence.
I know this series has met with mixed reviews, but it captivated me in a way that kept me thinking about the book and the characters long after I finished reading. It doesn't hurt that I was raised with a healthy love of Frances Hodgsen Burnett's A Little Princess, which instilled in me a curiosity about both India and Victorian England.
What I really love is how her prose borders on the poetic without being to florid or purple. Style. A style I find myself trying (and usually failing) to emulate. Hence this weekend's re-read. There were times when I found I had to force myself to pay attention to things like dialogue and tags and beats, etc., because I was just letting the writing sweep me away again.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fantasy, paranormal girl, through and through, and I loved the plots, but I really love it when an author can tell the story using such beautiful prose. I found that in these books.
On another note, Bray's less than immediately likable boarding school girls helped me decide not to make Mara from STRINGS too likable. I didn't think she had to be to captivate the reader. I never liked Bray's Felicity Worthington, but I was captivated by her none the less.
Finally, the idea of the four girls finding power in an age where women were essentially powerless wasn't lost on me. I appreciate how much research Bray must have done, and how hard it must have been to keep from preaching the truth unnecessarily. Yet another aspect of these books that kept me thinking long after the books were finished and put back on the shelf.
I hope you'll share your favorite books with the world!
“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ~George Orwell
I'm a YA writer who delves into urban fantasy, paranormal and romance, and who loves reading good books almost as much as writing them.
When not writing—or working—I enjoy daydreaming, drinking tea, and walking in cemeteries. I used to spend the rest of my time checking my inbox for manuscript requests, but am now proudly represented by Rosemary Stimola, of Stimola Literary Studio.