ngtlindsay: Book Review #1

In an attempt to be true to my word, here is my first review. To date I have finished 3 books on my countdown challenge list: Enola Holmes #s 2 and 3, and Derby Girl by Shauna Cross. Here are recaps/thoughts on the books.

Enola Holmes #s 2 and 3Nancy Springer

#2: The Case of the Left-Handed Lady

#3: The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets

The first book in the Enola Holmes series: The Case of the Missing Marquess, starts things off when Enola’s mother goes missing. Enola is then visited by her much older brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock, who must determine what to do with her. Mycroft, being the elder of the two brothers and also the heir of the Holmes estate, decides the best thing to do with Enola is to send her off to boarding school where she will learn to be a proper lady and one day a suitable wife. But with Enola’s free-spirited and suffragist upbringing, this is the worst fate possible that Enola can imagine. So of course, she runs away. To London.

In the second book, Enola has set herself up as the secretary to a scientific perditorian (a finder of all things lost), Dr. Ragostin (in reality, Enola herself). Her first case comes in the form of a missing young woman from the upper class society.

In the third book, Dr. Watson (who Enola thinks of as a kindly father figure…even though she had only met him 2 or 3 times) goes missing.  Of course Sherlock Holmes is on the case but of course some cases can only be solved with woman’s (or a girl’s in Enola’s case) intuition and knowledge.

I like these books so far. Sometimes I get a little frustrated with Enola for the way she thinks, but then I have to remind myself that Springer’s portrayal of an upperclass (however offbeat) 14 year old girl in late 19th century England is most likely correct. Enola shuns the way of life of upper class society women – those who take dancing lessons, learn how to draw prettily, speak French, and faint daintily because of their corsets. However, even though she shuns this way of life, it sometimes seems to me that she thinks she is the only one who might feel this way. But as I type this, of course all teenagers feel that they are the only ones who feel a certain way. Maybe all readers will feel this way of Enola, or maybe it is because I am no longer a teenager and realize that other people can feel just as I do.

The great thing about this series though, is that so far each book I have read I have liked better than the one that came before it.  I think that is because as the books continue, Enola grows up.  I absolutely love it when authors have the ability to make their characters grow up.  Springer never tells you things outright like, and then Enola realized that she needed to stop thinking like a child, etc.  I didn’t even realize she had grown up until I stopped and thought about it just now.  But it’s true.  Not even a full year has passed in Enola’s life.  She’s still 14.  But she has grown a considerable amount in what I think is a pretty short time.

I am so glad I picked up this series.  I’m pretty sure that Jen or Jill or Amber has mentioned this series on the blog before, so props to them for implanting this series in my subconcious!  I can’t wait to get my hands on #s 4 and 5!

Derby Girl by Shauna Cross

I picked this book because Whip It is coming out on October 2.  Drew Barrymore is directing it and Ellen Page is the main character in it.  The previews are so so so so sooooooo cute!  Imagine how excited I was when I figured out it was a book! ….but then again imagine how stupid I felt when I realized that pretty much every movie is based on a book….

I definitely recommend this book to anyone, especially those of you who love a good indie-misfit kind of character.  It’s a pretty short read – I picked it up last night because I couldn’t sleep and ended up finishing it about 2-3 hours later.  Some of the chapters are only 2 to 3 pages long, but it totally works for this book.

Recap: Bliss Cavender is stuck in cow-town Bodeen, TX and is dying to get out.  Luckily for her she’s only an hour away from Austin – the NYC of Texas.  One fateful day Bliss’s mother takes her back to school shopping in Austin and Bliss picks up a flyer for Austin’s All-Girl Roller Derby League.  She and her best friend take a quick road trip up to see what it’s all about and Bliss falls in love.  She tries out for the league, makes it and basically from there it’s history.

I loooooved this book.  Love love loooooved it!  It has made me even that much more excited for the movie!  But regardless of whatever the movie does, I will forever recommend this book.  Bliss is that kind of character that every girl who loves to read can definitely imagine herself as.  She’s a misfit yes, but not in the nerdy outcast kind of way.  Cross doesn’t make such a big deal out of it – no, Bliss doesn’t get along with the popular girl, no, Bliss doesn’t get along with her mother.  But it’s not so blown out of proportion that it makes it seem ridiculous as some other books can get.  All the characters in this book are completely and totally believable to me.

Favorite character: Malice in Wonderland ***I was totally going to insert a picture of whoever is going to play Malice in the movie, but there is no one listed as playing her!  I think they changed her name for the movie!  Noooooo!  I think most likely Drew Barrymore is “Malice in Wonderland”, and in that case her new name is “Smashley Simpson”.  Ughhhhhh.  But w/e!

Now go read!



5 Responses to “ngtlindsay: Book Review #1”

  1. 1 Diana September 21, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I’m really looking forward to Whip It, too. Love Drew Barrymore, and Ellen Page was great in Juno. Your review definitely has me intrigued about Derby Girl.

  2. 2 ngtlindsay September 21, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Diana – it’s totally worth it! I mean, seriously it is a fast read. Go for it!

  3. 3 ngtjennifer September 21, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I have to get my hands on Derby Girl!!!!!! And yes, Enola Holmes is totally awesome!!!! You should try to listen to one of them on audio because the reader is amazing!!!! I like listening to her do a million different British accents.

  4. 4 ngtjill September 22, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Ok, I’m definitely going to listen to Enola Holmes!

  5. 5 kay September 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Oh! I didn’t know Whip It was based on a book (I’m so looking forward to this movie, it looks absolutely cute!) Now I’ll have to read that too!

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