Her writing has been published in a number of literary magazines. She currently teaches writing and works as a writer-in-residence. She lives in the Hudson Valley. She handed it to me and I could see that the branch was heavy with red berries. My mother had told me something about rowan trees once. I lifted my eyes from the branch to ask Helen if she knew, but the question died on my lips as I saw what lay in front of us: a clearing ringed round with flames.

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Start your review of Blythewood Blythewood, 1 Write a review Shelves: angels , paranormal , romance , ya , mythology , boarding-school , fairies , magic , high-school , mental-illness I appreciate the use of imagery, but the key to using it as a literary device is subtlety. The imagery within this book comes running at you in a Pennywise mask wielding a chainsaw while screaming bloody murder.

The writing is overwrought, leaning heavily towards purple prose. It tries too hard to be "gothic. I appreciate the use of imagery, but the key to using it as a literary device is subtlety. You could play a drinking game while reading this book. Take two imagery. You have to know terms like a teal of magpies. A murder of crows. An exaltation of larks. A cete of badgers. I would like to take this opportunity to create my own collective noun to describe the writing in this book: a fuckload of frivolity.

Yes, I deliberately used some terribly imagery and alliteration myself in describing the terribleness of this book. This is one of those times when I reflect back to 11th grade AP English Literature and mentally shake my fist at my old teacher. Thanks to that damned class, I can pick out and analyze every single terrible use of metaphor, imagery, symbolism in this book.

This is, of course, my opinion. I understand perfectly if some people reading this book find the writing beautiful, evocative. Not me. Again, I blame the many analytical essays I had to write in high school for my aggravating reading experience. That is a bad thing, and a real thing that actually happened. It is a tragedy, yes, but in the middle of a fire, I would be screaming my ass off and running around like a chicken with its neck cut off and probably die a horrible, fiery death , but I sure as fucking hell would not be having thoughts along these lines, looking at girls who are jumping out of a building to their deaths because there is literally no other way of escape.

The most dangerous occupation in the world is being the mother or a close blood relative of an YA heroine. Her mother commits suicide due to laudanum poisoning, and Avaline is forced to work for her own support. She ends up at the Factory as a curiously incompetent seamstress, despite her skills at making hats.

She keeps hearing weird bells inside her head that warns her of imminent danger. She keeps seeing the same strange man in an Inverness cape everywhere. My whole body shuddered like a bell that had been struck. My hand, which looked small in his, was trembling. For a moment the din of the factory—the whirr of the sewing machines, the shouts of the foreman to hurry up, the street noise from the open windows—all receded. I felt as though the two of us were standing alone in a green glade starred with wildflowers, the only sound the wind soughing through the encircling forest After being involved in the fire, Ava rants and raves like a lunatic because a weird boy with wings rescued her, and surprise, surprise, is actually committed to a mental hospital for 5 months.

She is then rescued by her grandmother, and sent on an interview to Blythewood. Wah wah wah. Boo fucking hoo. I just want to be a seamstress again so I can toil away my life without prospects. Shut the fuck up and enjoy your good fortune. Blythewood is Really, really weird. There is one eligible boy in residence. Nathan is the bad boy. Enter the love triangle. Nathan is an asshat, a spoiled, carefree boy who scrapes along in life due to his money, good looks, and influential family.

The romance is dumb. The mysterious, ethereal boy is as generic as they come. A marbled, chiseled Adonis And a heart as hard as stone There is no complexity here, and there is no questionable line of good versus evil.

The characters are generic as all gets out. The other characters in the book are cookie cutter. The silly, frivolous, but kind-hearted rich girl, Helen. The eager-to-please, naive, bumbling small-town girl, Daisy from Kansas City, Kansas.

Sarah, the intelligent, competent, poor scholarship girl who hates the status quo and is eager to prove herself. The bitchy "mean girls," clique of George, Fred, and Wallie all girls, who are nicknamed after their enormously wealthy fathers.

The fat, incompetent, bitchtastic Etiquette mistress. Matilda Swift, the bow mistress. Euphorbia Frost, the bitchy etiquette instructor. The kind, motherly cluck of a secretary, Miss Moorhen.

Martin Peale, the Bell Master. Calendar, the Latin teacher. Vionetta Sharp, with her violet eyes and violet-growing spinster aunts. Enough is enough. As I said. The characters are generic, through and through.

You can throw just about every single otherworldly creature into the mix, though. This was a really, really long book, and it got pretty boring before the pacing picked up. The worst part about this book was the writing. I just could not overlook all the terrible use of imagery, strange and stupid metaphors, and tendency towards purple prose. Allow me to present some examples. And the bells. Here are a couple of examples. Or They fluttered like doves, too I believe you would be better off reading Libba Bray.


Carol Goodman

Basil E. When Madge, Joe, Kiku, and Walt agree to help, they have no idea that the Kelmsbury is already working its magic on them. But they begin to develop extraordinary powers and experience the feelings of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Morgan le Fay, and Lancelot: courage, friendship, love…and betrayal. Or can the Metropolitans forge their own story?




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