What we have here is a retelling of popular Jane Austen book. And for the sake of full disclosure, I have to confess that I have yet read any books of Ms. Austen. I have Emma on our bookshelf but I just don’t have the enthusiasm to pick it up. And I don’t know where I can get that enthusiasm. I’m not burning bridges or closing doors. Perhaps, someday. And to be totally honest, I’m not much into classics. But I read this book with the same approach I did with Masque of the Read Death. And I loved that book.
I thought, even though I haven’t read Persuasion I might like it. I mean it’s not a requirement (that I need to read it first) and besides, as someone smartly pointed out this eliminate comparison. And as I said, my previous experience (with Masque of the Read Death) turned out to be positive. I loved it. I might have not read the original but the story stood out for me. The romance was subtly done. The characters are interesting. So I dive in with all these things in my mind that somehow that me liking that MotRD is not a fluke.
When I read the summary I was so intrigued. By changing the setting and adding some dystopian element to it, it sounds so promising. But after reading the book with a heavy heart and saw all those glowing reviews/ratings made me question myself. What the hell happened? What’s wrong with me? Is it because I didn’t read Persuasion? Is that it? Because for the life of me I did not enjoy this book.
But in my defense, I thought this book was a romance book, it’s a huge, huge plus for me that it was a dystopia retelling. I’m a massive fan of this genre. And I liked this romance stories that guy returns as a new person. Like those in chick-lit books I read where the guy makes the girl regret her decision. Especially if the guy return as a new improved version of himself. That’s what I thought of Kai. After four years he returned as Captain of a group of shipbuilders, he’s not just an ordinary, a simple mechanic and errand boy before. Even though he showed Elliot (yeah, I know she has a guy name. According to the book, her parent wanted a boy.) that he had moved on, now better without her. But how he treated her was callous, harsh, and for me confusing. So I was really, really surprised that in the ending they patched things up and now in each other’s arms. I was like: how did that happened? Nothing of his action struck to me as hidden affection. *ponders* Yup, I couldn’t think of any…
What greeted me was a series of letters, from Elliot and Kai. They were exchanging letters. From those I learned more about them. So I saw that as a good thing. But I was really bored and wanted to end this book as quickly as I can. When I was three-fourths done, I hurriedly turned the page not minding if I understood the events unfolding right before my eyes. I lost the interest and keenness I have when I started. (Probably the reason why I was surprised with Elliot and Kai’s relationship.) But a lot of people like it…maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s not for me. It’s probably more of see-for-yourself kind of book. So, yeah, try reading it for yourself.