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Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel Kindle Edition
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“A multi-faceted novel, equal parts gothic, sharply funny, sapphic romance, historical, and, of course, spooky.” -- Entertainment Weekly
“Full of Victorian sapphic romance, metafictional horror, biting misandrist humor, Hollywood intrigue, and multiple timeliness—all replete with evocative illustrations that are icing on a deviously delicious cake.” -- O, The Oprah Magazine,
“A delicious Gothic tale . . . a tasty brew of creepy shuttered prep school, creepy reopened prep school, queer feminist legacy and modern adaptation of said legacy . . . will make you crave more of Danforth’s smart, funny prose.” -- Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post
“A layered, farcical take on the sins of woman . . . [danforth] uses vivid language to capture each time and place, in a narrative that is rare even among lesbian fiction . . . clever quips and striking imagery.” -- New York Times Book Review
“Brimming from start to finish with sly humor and gothic mischief, Plain Bad Heroines is a brilliant piece of exuberant storytelling by a terrifically talented author.” -- Sarah Waters, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Stranger and Fingersmith
"Emily Danforth's ingenious, jaw-dropping novel is a time-hopping epic about the history of a cursed New England girls' school, doomed lovers, and an equally cursed modern-day retelling via film, plus yellow jackets. Hell, those yellow jackets! The expertly rendered characters are as heartbreaking as they are written with an integrity of vision that saturates every page. Plain Bad Heroines is a queer roar and it's terrifying and it's a goddamned triumph." -- Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World
“Plain Bad Heroines wears its brilliance lightly and like the Black Oxford apples described in these pages, it's dark, sweet, and addictive. Emily Danforth displays all the gothic wit of Edward Gorey and all the soaring metafictional ambitions of David Mitchell, alongside a generosity and humanity that is uniquely her own. Simply one of the best books I've read in the last decade.” -- Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman
“Stuffed with footnotes, and stories inside stories inside stories, Emily M. Danforth’s follow-up to The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a queer gothic coming-of-age story set at a cursed New England boarding school for girls. There are just a few sequences of words that fire up my pleasure centers the way that description does.” -- Vulture, 19 Books We’re Excited to Read This Fall
“A short list of things you’ll find in this novel: curses, lesbians, gilded-age society scandals, yellow jackets, a heaping dose of snark, and the nagging sense that the line between what’s real and what isn’t has been blurred. . . . It’s the perfect autumn read for you and your best friend that you’re secretly in love with, trust me.” -- Buzzfeed, 38 Great Books to Read This Fall, Recommended by Our Favorite Indie Booksellers
“[A] freewheeling, ambitious novel . . . The heroines of this story are neither plain nor bad, but human: rebellious, insecure, funny, deep with longing and scars still healing. And, yes, we do feel sympathy for them. Recommended for fans of queer kissing, Victorian romance, ghost stories and Hollywood high jinks.” -- The San Francisco Chronicle
“A masterfully woven and totally captivating story . . . Full of fascinating queer characters and twisty storylines, this book is a must-read not only for the many who loved Cameron Post, but for anyone looking for an immersive, haunting, wild story.” -- Sarah Neilson, Seattle Times
“Plain Bad Heroines is spellbinding. . . . [a] tangled tale of history, desire and intrigue.” -- Barbara Theroux, The Missoulian (Montana)
“Plain Bad Heroines is a horror novel, a proper one: a big fat doorstep of super-queer terror that never runs out of ways to keep you deliciously disturbed. . . . Danforth braids the layers of narrative together with expertise. She’s clearly a horror buff . . . Another writer might have let the metatext choke the dread, but Danforth uses it to thrillingly corrode the reader’s own sense of reality . . . Her novel is beguilingly clever, very sexy and seriously frightening.” -- Guardian (UK) --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
Emily M. Danforth is the author of the highly-acclaimed young adult novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana and a PhD in English from the University of NebraskaLincoln. She lives with her wife and two terrible dogs in Rhode Island. This is her first adult novel.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B083SMWFSF
- Publisher : William Morrow; Illustrated edition (October 20, 2020)
- Publication date : October 20, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 34168 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 641 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #112,377 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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An issue for me with YA writers who migrate to writing for adults is that they never quite seem to give up typical YA contrivances such as the devoted BFF/sidekick or the tragic parental loss. So After-school Special.
Most problematic, I cared far more about the 1902 characters than the contemporary trio, whose sections I rushed through to get back to Libby and Alex. The author failed to make Harper, Audrey or Merritt, or their antics, sexual or otherwise, truly worthy of reader love. Bo was a cartoon, when he could have been a wonderful sendup of male auteur cruelty and arrogance.
Finally, as Chekhov is famous for having said (more or less), “don’t introduce a gun if it’s not going to be fired.” Danforth brings up all manner of concerns without ever addressing them again. Did Harper’s mother go off the wagon? Did Merritt’s dad kill himself because of his open marriage? What made Eleanor eat the plant? What about Ava? So many loose ends.
The author is talented (and attractive!) so I will look forward to her next book.
I sort of wish I had existing phobias about these things as the creepiness intended sometimes seemed banal to me. Still if you're at all spheksophobic this will no doubt get to you even more.
A quirk worth noting is the rampant sapphism: most of the characters, past and present, are women, and it seems they are all mosly attracted to other women. It's not a problem, just a quirk as I said.
This is a highly-engrossing read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even tracking down some of the secondary material quoted in the novel.
It had some good scenes, but the whole is unfortunately less than the sum of its parts.
Top reviews from other countries
Modern queer women: check
Animal that makes you feel all creepy crawly inside your skin: check
Also it had a poly relationship and I was all for it.
What I didn't enjoy was the last 5% (60 pages), it just ended. Very lackluster didn't really join the two eras or the storyline to a close, just end.
I'm not sure how I feel about the book yet because of that, because throughout reading it to that point I LOVED IT, I was storming through chapters to get back from the cliffhanger of the modern day characters to get back to the vintage characters to see how they were doing. I even loved the modern characters and hoped their personalities and "cursed" ongoings would bring them together to solve the case queer Scooby-Doo style. But no.
While we got some idea of how 'it all began', and I had a vague idea of who the narrator was, I feel like I needed a bit of a tie in and I never got it.
The artwork throughout was brilliant, Lemony Snicket vibes, just fit right within the pages.
Also the narrator was brilliant, and quirky, occasionally clunky when you had to eye jump the page in the middle of a story, but overall I enjoyed them a bunch. To start with the first chapter had the narrator question if they're here you To continue reading, and I was all for it so I continued.
Also they mentioned the Titanic then the narrator notes they won't draw me like a French girl, classic.