epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,
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Book Reviews: White Bodies + How To Hang A Witch

White Bodies by Jane Robins
Beleaguered Callie is creepily devoted to her successful outgoing twin sister Tilda. But Tilda begins to date the convincingly nice Felix who seems to exude decency. The stupid Callie descends into absolute insanity as she vows to protect the theatrically condescending Tilda from Felix who she sees as a crafty, cunning, manipulative, cackling panto villain.

This is not a violent gothic horror nor is it fiendishly ridiculous. It is largely disastrous arch camp and I quickly guessed the ‘twist’. Callie faces understandable outright hostility from Felix. Callie feels apathy and antipathy for everyone and sees sinister intrigue everywhere. This is not pleasingly nasty and is one big narrative weakness. This is not deliciously creepy or subtle or beguiling or nuanced or complex. It’s just exposition dumps.

This is hokum as acrimony and a hard reckoning are imminent. This is full of emotional u-turns and horrible, horrible people who are selfish and insensitive. This is unappealing and full of grim pessimism. Callie moans incessantly and is wearisome and she is not a model of probity. This is a tale of unjustified paranoia, emotional tyranny and it lacks consistent characterisation. It is a tale of how someone can be wrongly perceived as threatening.

Best Lines:
“I don’t need or want you to look after me.”

“Man-thumped.”

“Presumably but not definitely by mistake,”

“Unconsoled.”

“No, no, god no, that’s frightful.”

~
How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather
This novel by a descendant of the infamous Cotton Mather is terrible. A snotty rancorous brat moves to Salem and finds herself the subject of collective grievance and bullying. This was not deliciously creepy just dumb.

This is a tale of forced ties, a miserable friendless twit, useless adults and no social conscience. There are also ghosts, witches and a stupid romance. It was a daunting challenge to get through this idiocy. I'll avoid anything else ever written by this author.

Best Line:
“That isn’t a popular name around here.”
Tags: book review, salem
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