Reading Corner: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Reading Corner: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four or 1984 by George Orwell was a book that I always intended to read. Generally speaking, I enjoy “classic” literature. Most of the books that fit that type of category are there for a reason, and I enjoy and appreciate creative writing of a higher quality. I also have a bit of a taste for dystopian futures, possibly in part because I am lucky enough to not live in a world of that kind. There always seems to be potential for that sort of thing lurking just around every corner.

One of the reasons that I wanted to read this novel was because it is the origin of the concept of “Big Brother” and the phrase “Big Brother is watching you.” There are so many cultural references that we assimilate and use without knowing the source, and I think it’s kind of fun to go looking around and find out why that phrase gets used a certain way to mean a certain thing. It gives it a new significance. I definitely feel differently about my own personal use of the phrase “Big Brother” than I did before I read the novel~

Obviously, the book has no direct or even indirect connection to lolita fashion in the slightest. However, just for the sake of it because I can, I’m going to briefly attempt a few very slight connections, threadbare though they may be. I found that there were some parallels that I drew, namely in terms of comparisons and analysis.

The novel’s setting is a uniform, standardized world in which luxury is heavily rationed and highly illegal. Despite this, some people still long for beauty and indulgence. I think that’s just a part of human nature, but it’s stronger in some people than it is in others. Lolita fashion is an indulgent luxury, and similarly it appeals to some more strongly than it does to others. (Personal taste plays a role in this sort of thing, of course, as we don’t universally enjoy the same luxuries.) Although it’s easier to buy lolita fashion items outside of Japan than it was, say, five years ago, it’s still not terribly easy. There’s a lot of work in tracking the exchange rates, factoring in customs, checking sizes, making reservations for collections, and saving up. Usually, lolita live in areas that are rather hostile towards our clothing, rather than accepting. From the people they live with to the strangers they pass on the street, there are many remarks and reactions that can be very disheartening and off-putting. Thankfully the fashion isn’t illegal (although it certainly would have been in Oceania!), but there can definitely be a stigma and some girls (and boys) do feel it’s the sort of thing they have to hide and enjoy privately–while it lasts, if it can last, until they can get to a better situation.

That is really a very general thing, but what I found personally more interesting was the book’s Newspeak. Newspeak is a modified, simplified language designed to control by removing capabilities of expression. The sinister purpose of Newspeak isn’t related to what I found amusing–instead, I was interested by the fact that the shortened and combined words that make up most of the vocabulary for Newspeak are somewhat similar to the casual terms used by the English-speaking lolita community. Newspeak words like “crimethink” and “plusgood” make me feel like they’d fit in with “colorway” or “brolita.” The community uses abbreviations far more than combined words, but I found it amusing. It made me wonder what would be included or removed from a language dedicated to discussions about the fashion.

These things that I’ve mentioned here are very general and have no impact on Orwell’s work, which really is fantastic. Lolita fashion completely aside, since it’s not relevant to the novel in the first place, I enjoyed reading it, no matter how much I cringed or how many times I shuddered. I wish I had taken the time to read it earlier! I feel like this is a really great book to read to encourage us to think for ourselves, rather than letting others do it for us or limit our ability to do so. I certainly don’t want to live in a world ruled by “the Party!” Despite the time that has passed, this book is still relevant. I can’t help think that perhaps it will always be relevant; there will always be the same fears of the same type of rule that removes so many of our basic freedoms and rights.

I’d rather fear it than see it realized.

(Don’t worry, something happier next time! But I really do like writing about what I read, even if it has nothing to do with cute sparkly fun-times. ♥)

Reading Corner: The Mystery of the Yellow Room

Reading Corner: The Mystery of the Yellow Room

As a child, one of my favourite stories was The Phantom of the Opera, but I only knew it from the musical and a 1990 television miniseries that my mother taped on VHS. I adored the miniseries and would watch it whenever I was home sick from school. I always wondered about the plot differences between the musical and the miniseries, so one day I set out to find the novel and see which was closer to the author’s original intentions. The version that I purchased contained notes about the author, and the one that I always remembered was a sentence mentioning that Gaston Leroux had also written The Mystery of the Yellow Room, considered to be one of the best locked-room mysteries of all time.

Normally, I do not tend towards mysteries, but I enjoyed Leroux’s writing so much that I always intended to find a copy of The Mystery of the Yellow Room. When searching through my local library’s catalog, I typed in the title and was very excited to see that they had it!

The Yellow Room
This was truly the kind of book best described as “can’t put it down.” It was very suspenseful!

A locked-room mystery is one in which a crime occurs under seemingly impossible circumstances–such as a location where no perpetrator could have entered or exited (like a locked room). The Mystery of the Yellow Room was one of the first, featuring Leroux’s young but incredibly talented reporter-turned-investigator, Joseph Rouletabille. He is prominently featured in several of Leroux’s later novels. (The sequel to this novel is The Perfume of the Lady in Black, which I am very interested in!)

This book was originally released as a serial, and new selections included diagrams and maps to assist the reader in trying to unravel the crime. I was happy to see that my edition included these same notes~ (Although I was very much unable to discover the criminal! The ending really surprised me~)

The story centers around an isolated forest estate where a young lady has been brutally attacked–despite the room having been locked from the inside, with a door that opened only to the laboratory her father was still performing research after she had gone to sleep. A young journalist, who has come seeking the full story, gradually unravels the truth. I don’t want to spoil any of the story, so I will just say that Leroux’s writing style is fast-paced–providing full explanations while still moving forward. I found it very enjoyable!

I think that if more mysteries were this intriguing and detailed, I would read them more often~

Reading Corner: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Reading Corner: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I had so much fun reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters that I absolutely had to read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It isn’t by the same author, but it uses the same concept.

I love the bloody smears around the somewhat-smirking figure of Mr. Lincoln. The back cover is even better! If you see the book, turn it over!

This book particularly interested me because my grandfather is very interested in Abraham Lincoln. He’s read numerous biographies and is always sharing little tidbits of information. Lincoln was always stressed when I was in school–we even had several Lincoln-themed field trips. The idea of Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter seemed both far-fetched and completely plausible; I was very curious to read it.

I was even more curious about the book because it was not (as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are) a parody of another novel. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I enjoyed what I found! The book weaves vampires (and thus, vampire hunting) into the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life and times. As the addition of sea monsters into Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters was made plausible and seamless, so were the bloodsucking creatures of the night added equally well to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It certainly put a new twist on how I think of the stoic former president!

The writing is fast-paced and intriguing. Narrative sections are interspersed with diary excerpts, adding some variety. I particularly liked the use of detail–just enough to set the scene, not enough to be overwhelming or boring. The author does a very good job of propelling the story forward, so that it doesn’t stagnate or cause the reader to lose interest. It’s not Pulitzer Prize-winning composition, but overall it was well-written for being a “fun read” type of novel.

I enjoyed the book so much that I read it within two days of having picked it up from the library, and immediately insisted that my husband read it as well. He was skeptical at first, offering some criticism on the story; he claimed that certain happenings seemed completely unrealistic or character names were ill-planned. When we did a bit of research, his criticism was completely unfounded–because those details were straight from Lincoln’s history! (One can’t really argue about how the author ought to have named someone differently if that was a person’s genuine name.)

When I first finished it, I wanted to get a copy for my grandfather. He doesn’t tend to read fiction–particularly popular novels–but I thought he would appreciate the historical accuracy of the book. (Or be able to tell me specifically if something was incorrect and thus displeasing to him.) I didn’t buy it for him right away, because I didn’t want to waste the money and effort if he wouldn’t actually read it, but when I extorted a promise to read it that sealed the deal. I’m very curious to hear if he enjoyed it! It’s a really amusing book.

Reading Corner: Sense and Sensibility…and Sea Monsters

Reading Corner: Sense and Sensibility…and Sea Monsters

When I first started to hear about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I was intrigued–but not enough to actually seek it out and read it. I find Jane Austen enjoyable, but I’m don’t feel compelled to read everything she’s ever written. (However, I am compelled that way about F. Scott Fitzgerald and have done so. That’s an entirely different subject.) I thought the concept was amusing, but I worried about the actual execution–I worried that the other writer’s work wouldn’t mesh well enough with Austen’s story.

Then someone wrote Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. The “sea monsters” portion sealed the deal for me, and I absolutely had to read it. I took a gamble and bought myself a copy, hoping I wouldn’t be dropping it off in a few days at the library donation box and wishing I had just read it instead. Thankfully, that’s not how I feel about it at all~

...And Sea Monsters
I love the cover illustration with the way Colonel Brandon is featured. The artwork is soft and beautiful…but he has a tentacle-face.

The story takes Sense and Sensibility and alters the setting to a Britain where humans are at war with marine creatures. It’s man-versus-fish all the way through! This is incorporated into the story very thoroughly, with a definite campy and cheeky edge to the additions. Personally, I think that made it even better. It would be impossible to take this story 100% seriously, what with place locations like Pestilence Island and the bloody devouring of young maidens by massive sea creatures, so I appreciated the lightheartedness!

I’m very enthralled by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, particularly the Cthulhu mythos, so the draw of a historical book intertwined with monsters of the deep was irresistible. There were certainly moments when I thought of Lovecraft’s grim, weary sailors or brave men of science while reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, but all did not turn to horror as his tales regularly do. (In fact, there’s even a happy ending! ♥)

I hadn’t read Sense and Sensibility when I started the book, but I enjoyed it very much regardless. I knew that I would probably feel more “in” on the running jokes if I had read the original Jane Austen novel first, but I couldn’t resist once the derivative work was already in my possession. You don’t need to have read the original to like the sea monster-laced version–just enjoy humor, a Georgian historical setting, and giant maleficent fish; that’s all you need.

Attack Tuna!
The book was illustrated, and they always seemed to pick the scenes that I really hoped would be illustrated. The attacking tuna was one of my favourites.

Once finished, however, I set about to remedy the problem and read Sense and Sensibility to pick up on whatever jests I had missed in Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I discovered I didn’t miss out on much. I think I prefer it with sea monsters~ ♥

Next on my reading list? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Reading Corner: Alice I Have Been

Reading Corner: Alice I Have Been

Many lolita idealize Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I can certainly understand the appeal–topsy-turvy tea parties, singing flowers, bizarre croquet… All of these things are fantasy-laced versions of historical truth–which, in many ways, fits lolita fashion. When wearing garments that aren’t quite fit for Versailles yet would also look out of place at a Victorian gathering, a strange land where people change sizes from eating a cookie certainly wouldn’t mind the “odd” things that make the style something in its own right. It’s easy to picture Alice in the blue dress and white pinafore, looking rather like a lolita fashion model herself. It’s intriguing; no wonder so many lolita are fascinated by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

I, however, am fascinated by Charles Dodgson.

If you were to ask me to explain myself, I wouldn’t fully be able to, because I’m not sure exactly why I find him intriguing. I’ve read many biographies cover to cover, which when focused on other subjects I’ve barely been able to take notes from. I don’t necessarily care if he was in love with Alice, or with children, or with penguins–it isn’t the controversy that interests me. I’m more curious about what someone who comes up with a wonderland must think about. His whimsy isn’t limited to the book he’s famous for. And what a combination of literary work–children’s novels and mathematical treatises!

When Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin was suggested at the Lolita Bookclub, I knew I wanted to read it. As I neglected poor May very badly for the bookclub, I hastily nominated Alice I Have Been mid-month (it had nearly won for April, being only slightly edged out by The Secret Garden) and set off to procure a copy.

I picked it up from the library after work and finished reading it before dinner. It’s a fictional tale of the life of Alice Liddell–not the one in the story, but the girl who grew up. It proposes and explores some very interesting situations based on hints of fact. Since I’ve read a fair bit about the Liddell family while reading about Dodgson, I don’t necessarily like some of the premises that seem to encourage or develop the “gossipy” elements, such as Dodgson’s often-speculated-on pedophilia. I did like the fact that the book followed Alice’s life until her death–too often she is immortalized as a character from a story, ignoring that she did indeed become an adult.

I sobbed through most of the end of the book as tragedy after tragedy (although, sadly, nothing that was too uncommon for the time) shook Alice’s later life. It’s definitely a book to keep tissues nearby for! She truly develops into a strong-willed, self-controlled woman; it makes me wonder what Alice Liddell was actually like–wonder if those who knew her would be amused at the fanciful tales, or recognize hints and traits of the person they knew. Whether in love with the prince or mourning her sister, she seemed admirable and steady…although some of the other characters certainly wouldn’t have agreed with me. It was easy to forget, at times, that this was a work of fiction and not simply a dramatized historical account.

I did particularly like the way Dodgson was written–as a soft-spoken, nervous young man who only rarely seemed at ease. The details of his photography made me wish I could have seen his equipment and technique. Children’s fascination with him make me wish more of his stories had been written down. As much as I did like reading about Alice, she doesn’t interest me quite as much.

I would have been far more satisfied had he featured more prominently, but the book isn’t “Carroll I Have Been,” after all!

Reading Corner: Chalice

Reading Corner: Chalice

Several months ago I was introduced to the author Robin McKinley. I moderate (not very well, unfortunately) the LiveJournal community Lolita Bookclub. and her hauntingly beautiful novel Deerskin was suggested and selected for one of the monthly books. I enjoyed the tale, a retelling of a fairy tale aimed at a young-adult audience, despite the fact that I typically dislike the fantasy genre. I do, however, love fairy tales–and that is exactly what enraptured me. It was a fairy tale with depth and details.

After that I read Spindle’s End, because I love the tale of Sleeping Beauty, and was even less disappointed despite my higher expectations. Recently I placed a hold on a great deal of books from my local library, and while I was browsing the catalog, wondering if I ought to add anything else, Robin McKinley’s name came to mind. My library has a fairly wide selection of her books–they must be popular among their intended audience–so I decided on the first cover image I spotted: Chalice.

Chalice
The cover of my library copy isn’t in perfect condition, but it’s still quite pretty~

I placed it on hold without wondering what it was about or doing any research, and picked it up the next day without having given it further thought. I idly opened it yesterday evening, but wasn’t able to read more than a paragraph before receiving a series of telephone calls. Tonight, after dinner, the cover caught my eye and I supposed it would be nice to see exactly what I had brought home. By the time I finished the first page I literally couldn’t put it down. I read the whole thing, pausing occasionally only to brew more tea. (I love reading while drinking tea–it’s soothing and relaxing. ♥)

Chalice is one of those stories that has come up with a detailed cultural structure, but doesn’t blandly explain it to you. Instead, you’re thrust immediately into a world that isn’t much like your own, picking up on context and hints to orient yourself. I always appreciate that in a book; I don’t very much like the dullness of explanation. A story should do more than literally tell me something.

The writing style is clearly intended for a younger audience, but not dumbed down to an entirely simplistic level. It flows quickly, without much breaking or awkwardness, and without moments of overbearing or underwhelming. It’s certainly no Ulysses, but makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read–the perfect sort of thing for curling up with a hot cup of tea and a bear dressed in a bunny hood.

The story itself tells of an ordinary girl with an extraordinary task–a beekeeper who is told she must fulfill an important role in her kingdom without any guidance. She must become Chalice, the one who calms and binds the land and those who support it. Typically Chalices are apprenticed and taught from very young, but she does not have this luxury, as the former Chalice was killed in an accident and had chosen no successor. Further complicating things, there is also a new Master of the land–as the former perished with the previous Chalice–and he is not merely unexperienced…he is no longer human.

My favourite parts of the entire story–the parts that made me giggle or squeal gleefully–are anything involving Mirasol’s bees. I’m not particularly nature-loving, nor do I enjoy insects. Reading about her hives of large, fuzzy, adoring bees makes me want to set up a hive and get to work! (Not that my building manager would be very pleased!) Whenever honey was mentioned I wanted to get up and make something honeyed, but I knew that the honey in my kitchen cabinets could not compare to the shining image and impression of the story’s honeys.

There’s always something soothing to read about normal people making the best of their situations and trying to do what they can in times of need. It’s the sort of thing I like more than any dreamy escapism. I like heroines that aren’t sure of themselves, more beautiful than the sun, or ceaselessly even-tempered. I like heroes that aren’t dashing figures with no personality. Even if it is a world with big and friendly bees, I like characters that make me think of actual people I know–not just a single amplified trait.

A prominent theme in the story involved setting a precedent: doing something other than just following tradition. I think that is something that too few people are willing to do–more often we follow what we learn from others without trying something new. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it stifles creativity and can prevent growth. Change isn’t always a bad thing–sometimes it’s only through change that we discover the better way to do something. There won’t always be someone to show you what you ought to do; sometimes you just have to take the initiative and try, even if you don’t succeed. When that happens, you must learn from your mistakes and fix what you can. It’s not easy, but it’s very important.

I also like happy endings~ ♥ (I wasn’t disappointed.) I’ll have to read one of her other stories…maybe after I finish some of the other books in my new pile!

Reading Corner: Friday’s Child

Reading Corner: Friday’s Child

Friday's Child

I currently moderate the Lolita Bookclub, although I will admit that I am not the best at this. I can’t seem to post things on time–although that was actually one of my resolutions for the year. I need to stay more aware of my intended time management–too often things I’ve really wanted to do get pushed to the wayside because of time conflicts with “real life.” I find myself thinking, “Oh, I should post to loli_bookclub… nah, I’ll check the mail/sweep the kitchen/scrub the bathtub/write a memo for class.” u_u It’s procrastination, but it feels a bit backwards.

The book for January was The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer. It promised to be a charming book about siblings who have switched gender roles to avoid detection and punishment for their roles as former Jacobites. I hurried off to check it out from the main library, after verifying that it existed in the collection…and absolutely could not find it. I registered to put a copy on hold and have it shipped to my local branch library. In the meantime, I picked up another Heyer book (to at least keep with the theme) to amuse myself while waiting.

I selected Friday’s Child based on its title and cover image–admittedly not a very sound method of selection! I started reading it the next day…and once I started, I found myself so enraptured that I continued reading right through class the next evening, jotting a line in my notes about how my notes were incomplete because my attention was elsewhere. e_e

Friday’s Child is not really a Pulitzer Prize winner, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable book! The characterization is amusing and diverse, with quirks and faults providing dimensions instead of presenting flat personalities. The storyline flows smoothly, avoiding pauses or dull overstretched moments. At first it almost seems to have not much in the way of an actual plot, but it knits itself together before becoming tiresome. The dialogue is witty, realistic, and enjoyable to the fullest extent–I couldn’t stop myself from reading passages to my husband. I haven’t read anything so entertaining in a very, very long time!

The story itself is a romance in the Regency era. A fiery-tempered young Viscount is crushed when the Incomparable (renowned beauty and childhood playmate) refuses his proposal. She doesn’t believe he lovers her, and she knows that he must either marry or wait until age 25 to inherit his fortune. While griping about his failure to woo her, he comes across another childhood playmate, an orphan of good breeding, upset that she has been given the ultimatum of marriage or becoming a governess. Impetuously, he proposes to her and she accepts! This is the start of their crazy adventures, as the Viscount doesn’t quite understand how his life will change when he takes such an innocent, unworldly wife!

I had so much fun reading this that I plan to check out a few more Heyer novels the next time I’m in the library. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy something lighthearted and sweet~ ♥

Reading Corner: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Reading Corner: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan


Snow Flower and Secret Fan
Originally uploaded by CharlesPAD

I will admit immediately that this book really doesn’t connect well to lolita fashion. It’s a modern novel, written in 2005, and it takes place in China during the 1800s. There’s nothing resembling lolita fashion in any stretch, and the only focus on beauty is that of bound feet.

The first time I read this book was several years ago. It had just been published, and my Nana had read it for her book club. She was so enthralled by the tale of friendship and the “secret” world of women that she insisted I read it as well. At first, I worried I wouldn’t like it, but it is truly an engaging tale that was very hard to put down–even for a moment! Recently I decided to re-read it, as I had found myself musing over vaguely remembered details.

The story itself is the tale of friendship between two girls who grow up together in a long-term “emotional marriage” of friendship. As a foolish daydreamer, I found the idea of having an “old same” fascinating, likening it to my relationship with my best friend (as we became friends even earlier than did Lily and Snow Flower). It makes me wish that we had a secret messages passed back and forth–we could read through them an reminisce as old women.

Additionally, I find the concept of nu shu a fascinating one. To think that these women, cooped up in their homes with reshaped feet unsuitable for activity, taught themselves to read and write is amazing! They all lived hard lives, with more sorrow than happiness, and this gave them a way to reach out to other women who could offer support and had endured the same hardships. Considering how isolated they were often kept from families and friends, it seems almost unimaginable how tough it must have been for those who were not high-class enough to be literate in nu shu–how could they tell their mothers and sisters about their lives?

After turning the final page, I am hardly envious of these women’s lives. I appreciate the stories they have to tell, which is so different from that which I am used to hearing of or thinking about, but I feel lucky that my own life lacks those or similar hardships. It is a wonderful thing to live in a world where I can make my own choices, own my own property, obtain an education, and have many opportunities open to me.

Reading Corner: Northanger Abbey

Reading Corner: Northanger Abbey


Northanger Abbey
Originally uploaded by kadhine

Very recently I completed a task I had mulled over and hoped for many months–I received my public library card! Although that may not seem like something to rejoice over, I shall indeed, as I have been trying to get a library card in the city for quite some time now. The rules for library card ownership are not terribly detailed or difficult, but I could never seem to meet them! My ID does not have and never has had my city address on it, nor does the address match up with my suburban library card for the reciprocal program. This time I managed the affair by bringing in some bills with my name and apartment listed on them.

Although the library card is nothing too fancy, I can’t help thinking about it like it is the most beautiful things~ (I have a bit of an urge to decorate it myself, although I worry that would render it invalid.) Educational children’s shows are right to boast the wonders of a library card! I certainly missed having one!

While the card was being processed, after I filled out the paperwork, I was instructed to wander the library a bit. I gravitated towards the fiction section, but this library is not organized the way I was accustomed to it at my childhood library, so I got a bit lost. I wasn’t able to really look for any of the books I had originally intended on reading. However, near the end of the row I spotted a spine that looked promising, and left that afternoon with Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.

I haven’t read much of Ms. Austen’s work, but Northanger Abbey was so delightful that I know I shall read more! The story itself is a satire of the typical moralistic novels in the late 18th century. It follows the tale of a young girl who very much enjoys reading Gothic novels–a topic I know I’ve mentioned in my other book-oriented posts~ ♥

Overall it’s a very light, easy-to-continue story. Nothing dips or drags along terribly, and the tongue-in-cheek commentary tucked into the tale is very enjoyable. (If you don’t read much material from this time period, I would highly recommend an annotated version so that you don’t miss out on any of the little jokes.)

There’s nothing specifically “lolita” about the book anymore than something I could draw out with the weakest of connections, but if you’re at all interested by historical England (although this is pre-Victorian) it’s definitely worth some time.

Best of all, the heroine’s love of Gothic fiction provided some direction for my next book! I’m quite excited about starting The Mysteries of Udolpho after how much she and her friends enjoyed it~ ♥

Reading Corner: Wuthering Heights

Reading Corner: Wuthering Heights


wuthering heights
Originally uploaded by me and the sysop

I’ve often heard people talk about the novel Wuthering Heights, usually when mentioning love stories. Personally, I don’t particularly enjoy the average love story, despite having a bit of a romantic nature, so I was sort-of avoiding the story. Recently, when I was doing a bit of research in terms of Victorian Gothic fiction, I realized that my impression of the story had been entirely wrong! In fact, it seemed to be exactly the sort of thing I’d love to read.

So I loaded up a version of it on Google Books (which I have become rather addicted to), and started reading. It’s been a perfect task to keep me occupied these past few days, since I’ve been working at a temporary job with a lot of down-time. I really enjoy the format of Google Books as opposed to Project Gutenberg, just because personally I find it less straining to read a scan of a book’s page than a text document of the volume. (It’s also easier to hold my place–I just jot down the page number I read last.)

I tend to strongly associate Gothic fiction with lolita fashion because I like to think that the “gothic” in relation to “gothic lolita” draws a lot of impact from Gothic fiction and architecture, as opposed to from the Western goth subculture. Gothic architecture focuses on opulence and ornamentation, which is a mainstay of any branch of lolita fashion. Gothic fiction combines elements of horror with elements of romance–something I also observe in gothic lolita styles. Gothic lolita designs aren’t merely attempting to be ghostly and dark, but also alluring. A stereotypical gothic lolita would probably be right at home in a Gothic novel, enjoying her haunted mansion and family curse. (I’ll keep my bakery and cakes, thank you~ ♥)

I greatly enjoyed Wuthering Heights due to the dark elements and twisted story that descended further and further. It took a few chapters for the actual plot to really come to light, but after that I could barely put it down! It makes me wonder what other detailed tales Emily Brontë might have woven had she written another novel.

And, to me, the best part is that it has a happy (and rather unexpected) ending~ ♥