Hi all! Although I normally write full reviews for everything that I read, I’ve decided to post mini reviews for two novellas that I read a while back. Because of school, I wasn’t able to write reviews for them right away like I normally do, and because they’re novellas, I don’t remember enough or have enough to say about these books for full reviews.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t like them! I actually enjoyed both of these stories to a point–I just wanted to get my thoughts out there about these stories before I completely forgot.
Review #225 // The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
A young governess starts her first assignment with two children. But soon enough, she realizes that the ghosts that haunt the beautiful country estate are trying to take the children from her.
Why this book?: This novella was assigned reading for one of my advanced English literature classes. I was also interested in reading it because I love spooky stories.
My feelings on this short novella are kind of complicated. There were parts I enjoyed and parts I hated, and from a reader’s standpoint, I ended up hating this. However, I also had to read this book over and over to analyze it for a paper, and I eventually started to appreciate the intricacies that made this novella what it is.
The writing for this novella is, as expected, very, very dense. I was bored very quickly, even when listening to this novella as an audiobook. The writing style could very easily make you fall asleep, and the story itself didn’t help with that. The ghost scenes were interspersed with the internal monologue of the governess, and it got old really fast. Personally, I didn’t even want to finish this story, and I probably would have DNF’d if not for the fact that I had to write an in-depth essay about this story.
However, like I said, the complexities of this novella are interesting. I developed a (fragile) fondness for this story the more I wrote about it, and it was interesting to learn more about the different layers of work the author put into it.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
Published: October 1898
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Page Count: 131
Review #226 // Wrapped Up in You (Learning Curves #2) – Ceillie Simkiss
After nearly two years of dating, Cora and Elena decide it’s time to take on family Chrismas at their place. With everyone getting in-between Cora and Elena’s surprises for each other, their surprise presents for each other end up getting tangled together.
Why this book?: I really enjoyed the other installments in this short novella series!
While I really enjoy this series, I have to admit that the first one was probably the best. I loved all of the fluff and learning in Learning Curves, but I just didn’t get the same feeling from either of the two sequels that were written. Even though I continue to love the characters, I’m excited to see that the author has decided to branch out and write other characters.
This was a really cute story, but it was also really predictable. The moment one surprise was revealed, it was kind of obvious right away what the other surprise would be. That didn’t take away from how cute it was, and how fun it was to read though. I just wish there was a little bit more build up to the surprise reveal.
Even though I didn’t like this novella as much as the first one, I will say that I enjoyed it more than the short story collection. This one was just better developed than The Ghosts of Halloween, plus the progression of Cora and Elena’s relationship seemed natural, rather than the sudden, weird turn that the last story took in the story collection.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
Published: December 14th, 2018
Page Count: 96