Sunday, April 14, 2013

Island Of Misfit Toys

"'But I can help you--'
'That's admirable, Juliet, but you'd only be in the way.
Science is best left to me.
Women have too delicate a constitution.'"
--Megan Shepherd, The Madman's Daughter

Genre: YA Historical Fiction. Re-Tellling, Paranormal
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, 420 pages
Publication Date: January 29th, 2013
Source: Borrowed from library

Goodreads Description

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

My Thoughts

So I’m not gonna lie about it...I had to google The Island of Dr. Moreau because, let’s be serious, I wanted some idea of what I was getting into. It wouldn’t have prohibited me from reading it in any way but I wanted a general idea of where the original story came from. So I googled it…what the hell is vivisection?!...Like an autopsy…but with animals…alive…um, come again? So thus begins my journey into Madman’s Daughter.

I was pretty invested into the story early on. I looooove historical fiction so any mention of corsets and dresses and carriages and the propriety of women during the times is just fascinating to me, I am like a legit crack addict when it comes to this stuff. I cannot get enough. I love the feel and style of the times but I can’t help but balk at the ridiculousness of the view of women…thus my choice for opening quote. Just ludicrous but I can’t help but love a heroine who defies these rules. Juliet is smarter than most boys around her and she stands up according to her own moral compass. I liked her character. I am looking forward to seeing more of her in book 2 and where she takes her journey.

We do have two boys vying for her attention. Montgomery, her childhood crush and longtime friend, who was assistant to her father growing up and is now back in her life. And Edward, a castaway they come across who is inexplicably drawn to Juliet. Juliet finds she has feelings for both boys and it is a major plot point but I didn’t feel distracted by it. There is a lot of crazy shenanigans going on on this island but I didn’t feel her love life was the forefront of her thoughts. I adored Montgomery. Just loved! The laws of the social classes were at war with this one because he is “just a servant.” But Juliet doesn’t care. This made me love her even more. Edward…I never really warmed to him. Juliet felt this pull to him and I never really got it. He was infatuated with her and I was always thinking how he just met her and he doesn’t even know he to be coming on this strong and this fast. So he irritated me sometimes. I just didn’t understand his foundation for his feelings for her. So, Team Montgomery for sure. And he’s just so sweet and kind and *sigh* Good book boyfriend for sure. Well done Megan, this one is a good one.

This books is definitely dark. Twisted, gothic, and oh so creepy, both in people and the storyline. I looooved the underlying and constant argument of morality in this book. With science advancements and where the line is drawn with scientific development and trying to play God. Juliet’s internal struggle with fascination and horror were my favorite parts to read. I think we all have both darkness and light inside of us and it all comes down to what we choose to do with it. What side do we choose to act on? The devil or the angel? I just loved reading about this aspect of the story. It was so smart and just a really great idea to explore.

The ending...oh.em.gee. That's it?!!!? ARE YOU FREAKIN' SERIOUS?!? Holy hell, not pleased. But in a good way. NEVER saw that coming and I am not eagerly anticipating Book 2 because uh...I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!

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