At the start of the year, I decided to use a TBR jar . But instead of doing one book for every month, I’m doing one for each category of my 105 Challenge. This time, I picked my book for challenge 5 (genre I’ve never tried before) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war.
I’m a little frightened to write this review, because of all the 5 star reviews I’ve seen. But it has to happen. So, if you really loved this book, don’t read my review. Or at least, promise not to torch my house?
At the beginning, I really hated it. I really wanted to be able to say I’d read a classic, otherwise I’m sure I would’ve thrown this across the room. The characters are just so perfect! I’m not saying they weren’t allowed to be good, they just needed to have some flaws. They all gave up their happiness for other people, when really it was impractical. Like on Christmas. They went hungry so another family could have food. That’s lovely and all, but what’s the point? There’s still a hungry family. They didn’t solve anything. It was just other people going without food.
It’s not like the morals were even subtle. There was an entire chapter devoted to the week they decided they didn’t want to do jobs. And at the end, they decided that work was fun after all, and they would never only have fun again. Aww… Excuse me while I vomit. I don’t mind a few morals slipped in there, but that obviously? I want to have to read between the lines for things like that.
It did improve, though. I think it was Laurie that made it better. He was fun! He did naughty things, and while most of them were frowned upon, a lot of them were just fun plot points. It made the girls more interesting too, especially Jo. Jo and Laurie had fun together. I’m not afraid to admit that I shipped them relentlessly.
I was interested in their love lives too. Meg’s was by far the best. I really liked John (her husband), he was kind of cool. And they had little tiffs, and adorable children, and problems, and everything great. It was more interesting than the perfect girls left at home.
You can tell it improved, because they broke my heart with a death. Not that I especially liked that character, but I liked Jo, and she reacted the worst to it. At the beginning, I wouldn’t have given a toss about any of them dying. But luckily that changed.
The end went bad again. All the romances went terribly wrong. They were all incredibly rushed. One of them got rejected, then went and married someone else within the next chapter! There’s no way I’d be taking that. The other one was set up nicely, but pulled off badly. It had a lot of potential, but I wasn’t happy with it.
Overall, I’ll give it three stars. 3 for the good middle, one taken off each end for the awful start and finish.