One thing I love about the blogosphere: the amount of creativity and number of shared interests in the community mean I don’t have to make my own book tags.
Case in point, Madame Writer created a Jane Austen Character book tag.
And just in time – playing multiple rounds of Marrying Mr. Darcy every weekend put me in the mood for some Austen.
It’s really for the best that I didn’t make my own tag. I STILL haven’t read Mansfield Park and I refuse to revisit Northanger Abbey.
ANYWAY MADAME WRITER MADE A GREAT TAG.
Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
A book filled with prejudices, whether by a character or the author themselves
It’s time once again to denounce Juli Slattery.
As a queer exvangelical, I couldn’t be objective while reading her book Rethinking Sexuality.
LUCKILY, NEITHER COULD SLATTERY.
Slattery’s argument amounts to, “THE CULTURE IS FALLING APART! Just read these testimonials from evangelical Christians and no one else!”
You couldn’t have included a counterpoint??
I kept bristling at her generalizations about the queer community and going, “But that’s not true! But THAT’S not true!”
It took me till page 40 to realize, “Oh…she doesn’t care.”
I don’t like it when authors use the Bible, a text meant to START conversations, to shut people down.
I just despise her views.
All these alarmist positions tire me out.
John Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility)
A book with a lovely cover but little substance inside,
AKA a bad book with a good cover
Remember when paranormal romances trended toward angels?
I STILL love the forbidden love trope, so I JUMPED on the angel-loves-mortal trend.
These romances were all so BORING, though!
I tried my hardest to like Fallen.
Yes, OBVIOUSLY I read this book for the Amy-Lee-inspired cover model. No shame in it.
Not only is the love interest BLONDE (ugh), he’s really, really mean!
Like, Edward Cullen mean!
And the protag (henceforth known as Amy Lee) keeps telling herself, “I KNOW HE’S SUPER MEAN, BUT SOMETHING IN MY MEMORY TELLS ME HE’S ACTUALLY NICE.”
Meanwhile, this BROWN-HAIRED guy…
Was he Satan? Ugh, who EVEN cares.
ANOTHER product of the infamous angel trend: best-seller Halo was BORING! AS! HELL!
LOOK AT THAT COVER! LOOK AT IT!
You’d expect magic and passion, right?
The love interest wears a…hat? And rides a motorcycle…?
And the angel protag (also known as Amy Lee from now on) is ordered by her sisters NOT TO FALL IN LOVE, but she can’t help falling for the love interest’s…hat.
UGH IT WAS SO BORING.
Anne Elliott (Persuasion)
A book you read when you were young which you still love
My mom and aunts used to collect Brett’s rad picture books.
The woman is Scandinavian royalty. (Not ACTUALLY…but to US, she is.)
And my VERY favorite was Fritz and the Beautiful Horses.
I DIDN’T REALIZE SHE WROTE THIS BOOK (she’s written trillions), BUT SHE DID AND I LOVE IT.
Fritz is the CUTEST, MOST heroic little Icelandic pony.
My mom allegedly found mouse activity in her garage, so I HOPE THE MICE LEFT THIS BOOK UNTOUCHED.
Fanny Price (Mansfield Park)
A book which is unassuming but deeply moving once you get below the surface
Damn you, The Lover’s Dictionary.
David Levithan books aren’t supposed to be well-structured!
Why do I FEEL things?
I don’t want to give The Lover’s Dictionary all the credit; I was primed to love it after Dept. of Speculation.
The powerful metaphors.
The bittersweet ending.
Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey)
A book filled with imagination, whether it’s a fantasy world or imaginative language
Harold and the Purple Crayon is one of my favorite children’s books.
When I used to volunteer at elementary schools, I’d push this book on children a lot, even though I’m FAIRLY certain there are no words.
CAN YOU BLAME ME? Grand crayon adventures!
Also, can we throw an honorable mention to Anne of Green Gables? Because COME ON.
Anne is my favorite imaginative character and Marilla needs to GIVE HER A BREAK.
Mr. Collins (Pride and Prejudice)
A book/character that takes itself way too seriously
Gorsh, I hated Fates and Furies.
It felt like the author was trying to Say Something Important without actually doing anything new or interesting.
ALL the reviews, including one from PRESIDENT OBAMA HIMSELF, TOLD ME TO EXPECT A TWIST.
I KEPT WAITING FOR THE TWIST.
THERE WAS NO TWIST.
Was the “twist” the idea that behind every good man, there’s a good woman?
Are we seriously treating this like a new idea?
Was this only a twist for male readers?
This book is a hype machine, not a masterpiece.
Marianne Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility)
A book that is extremely emotional
Can’t stop talking about Blood Water Paint.
My girlfriend cued me in to an aerial dramatization of Blood Water Paint put on by a local feminist theatre group. (Name a more Seattle thing.)
I can’t wait.
Captain Frederick Wentworth (Persuasion)
A book about the ocean that you love or hate
I…don’t hate The Siren.
It was much, much better than I expected.
Quite moving, even.
The sirens have an actual, personal relationship with the Ocean…an entity that requires frequent human sacrifices and subjugates desperate young women.
It sounds REALLY DARK when I write it all out.
I guess I DO hate the premise.
UGH, and the NAMES.
Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park)
A book character who is oblivious
Katniss, I know I trot you out again and again on this blog, but it’s a Monday morning and I need the boost, please.
Catching Fire contains the most painfully obvious foreshadowing I have EVER read and Katniss STILL misses it.
I can’t with her.
General Tilney (Northanger Abbey)
A book character who is obsessed with money/material gains
Oh, Daisy Buchanan.
She just loves them shirts!
They’re such beautiful shirts!
I was never an English major because I haaaaate symbolism, but I remember Daisy being associated with the color green.
Green, AS YOU KNOW, stands for MONEY.
Blah blah blah the American Dream.
Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
A fictional love interest who is both perfect and flawed
I adore Adam Parrish.
He is NOT perfect, but he tries.
He chooses all the wrong things, but he wants to do right.
Might as well insert the lyrics to “She Used to Be Mine.” THE SONG IS ABOUT ADAM.
I just love him.
And he gets a happy ending eventually.
That was a nice way to spend a Monday.
Thanks again, Madame Writer!
Update: I’m rereading The Raven Boys right this very second, so I’ve been spending quality time with my boys Adam and Ronan.
Perhaps after this I’ll finally make time for Mansfield Park.
Maybe. Maybe someday.