Monday, 7 April 2014

Book of the Week; Wicked

So I was sat here at my laptop editing my last nail polish post thinking about what I could use to split up all the swatch posts. I then sat back in my chair and began looking at my hundred strong book collection. It took me a while to realise that the answer was quite literally staring me in the face. So, yes, I have decided to try and do a book of the week each week. This could include a recent finish but will more than likely come from my massive list of already read books as I don't think I could complete reading a book every week. So of course I then had to come up with a book to talk about. It didn't take much thinking about as my mind immediately went to one of my most recent finishes, Wicked, written by Gregory Maquire. Follow the jump for a, hopefully, spoiler free post!

Wicked follows the life of Elphaba Thropp, or better know to most of the world as the Wicked Witch of the West. We are taken through the birth and childhood of Elphaba and are shown her very beginnings which, to put it mildly, are not the easiest of beginnings, considering her parents view on her green skin and peculiar behavior. If Elphaba's condition was not enough, a second child, Nessarose, is born. I don't want to ruin anything for you but there's a twist to the tale already at this point in regards to Nessa caused by their parents panic of the possibility of another green child. To call them a dysfunctional family would be a slight understatement. Elphie is subject to being second best to Nessa, who is soon established as their fathers favourite due to her religious choices. Elphaba's escape from her home life finally comes in the form of Shiz University. Here she meets and is roomed with none other than Galinda, more commonly known to The Wizard of Oz story, Glinda the Good Witch. From here we follow Elphaba's story through school and see how the relationship between Elphie and Glinda develops and grows over time. There is so much to this story and to Elphaba and so much I would love to talk about but without spoiling the story, it's a little difficult. It's one of those stories that you really need to read for yourself. There's a lot of politics in this story but not in the way you may think. I'll say that Animals and animals are very different in that Animals have the ability to speak and live and work as humans do whereas animals are, well, just that. Animals. I find this aspect of the story to really quite fascinating, although a little confusing at times so make sure you read carefully.
“People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us... It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.”
-Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Elphaba's story is a heartfelt one in which we see that perhaps the Wicked moniker given to her is not as deserved as people may think. Wicked inevitably ends with the same story we all know, death by water, but the fallout of this act reveals startling information to the Wizard of Oz which then becomes the reason for his departure back to our land. For me, this was a cracking read and for any sci-fi/fantasy lovers out there, I think you'd enjoy it just as much as I did. It's an emotional read, feeling everything from joy to sorrow, confusion to anger. Everything that Elphie felt I truly felt with her. It's sad, to be honest, that I developed such a strong attachment and so much love for Elphaba Thropp that her inevitable demise strikes a blow that I honestly didn't expect when I first picked this book up.
“There was much to hate in this world and too much to love.” 
-Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West 

I love the way that Gregory Maguire has told Elphaba's story. She has so much more purpose than just a crazy witch with and obsession over her sister's shoes. Now, thanks to the genius storytelling of Gregory Maguire, Elphaba has a story, and a bloody good one at that. I also have to commend some fabulously written literature. I've included just a few quotes that I really enjoyed. There are so many I could list but it's better for you to read the book yourself and find your own to fall in love with.

Thank you for sticking with me through this post. I've never really been very good at reviewing books. I'm not sure why I just have trouble putting my thoughts into a decent sounding review. Either way I finally got to a point where I felt somewhat satisfied with what I've written. I'll have another nail polish post up next most likely. I've also got a lot of thoughts rattling around in my noggin that I should probably write down and get off my mind so look out for more in the next few days or so.

Until then....

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