I don’t know what it was about March, but after two months of the longest reading slump ever, I couldn’t get enough of books. I regularly sat down and read a book in one evening (or two, at the most).
THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd is by far the best book that I read in March. It’s the one that has lingered in my mind ever since I finished the novel.
THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER is based on THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU by H.G. Wells. It’s the story of Juliet Moreau, who works as a maid and tries to forget about the scandal that destroyed her family years earlier. When she discovers that her father is alive and continuing the work he started in England on a private island, she decides to go to the island and find out for herself if the rumors are true and if her father truly is a madman. She travels to the island with Montgomery, her father’s assistant, and Edward, a castaway that they find floating in the ocean during their journey. Once she reaches the island, she discovers that the rumors were true and her father has been performing experiments on animals to make them speak and act like humans. But one of his creations is killing the inhabitants of the island and Juliet decides that she has to put an end to her father’s experiments.
I don’t even know where to start with this novel. The opening pages sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down until I had finished the book. (Of course, I had to put it down for work, but outside of work my Kindle was in my hands at all times from start to finish.) This is a Gothic novel and Shepherd crafted a story that fits into that genre perfectly. From the start I knew that I would like Juliet; she’s a very strong female character and I appreciated that. Parts of the novel were disturbing, but I also think that they were supposed to be and helped form a complete picture of what was taking place. My heart was racing throughout the novel as I read on to find out what was going to happen next and I didn’t figure out the ending until shortly before it all played out. I saw that the next book in the trilogy is based on THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE so I think I have an idea of what might take place in the next book and I am really excited for it.
Right after I thought of this book as my best book in March, the following books came to mind, so I thought they all deserved a mention:
- CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers. My heart went out to Parker because even though she isn’t the most likable of characters on the surface, she acted the way that she did because she thought that it’s what she deserved, and that’s a lot for a teenage girl to take on. I had an idea about where this novel would go just by reading the synopsis and I was wrong (and hoping that I would be). My theory was debunked pretty early on so I spent the rest of the novel trying to figure out what actually happened and by the end I was mostly right (though it did take me some time to come up with an idea). This is the second book by Courtney Summers that I have read and I’m excited to take a look at the other two.
- HYSTERIA by Megan Miranda. As soon as I read the synopsis of this novel, I knew that I had to read it. It did not disappoint! Things happened slower than I expected them to, but I enjoyed the ride. It also built up the suspense for me as I tried to figure out what was going to happen. As soon as I finished, I purchased Miranda’s debut novel and I’m hoping to dig into that soon.
- THE PAINTED GIRLS by Cathy Marie Buchanan. I love the ballerina paintings by Degas so when I saw that this book is a fictional account of one of his models, I had to read it. Interestingly enough, while I greatly enjoyed the storyline that involved Degas, it was the storyline of the second sister that I enjoyed the most. (That’s not to say that I wasn’t frustrated with the character at times, but I was drawn into her story.) This was a slower read for me, but I loved it and plan to read Buchanan’s debut novel in the near future, too