The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

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In the dark streets of London a figure appears. The man, so ruthless and vile, leads you to take an instant dislike to him. Over time his behavior becomes more erratic and well known but somehow linked to a close friend of yours, welcome to the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

As many of you are aware via reading my blog I generally get irritated by many ‘great classics’ as they are over used, imagine my joy when this novel appears on my reading list.  You will be surprised to know that Jekyll and Hyde was a breakthrough for me, I loved it. Although many of us know the basics of Stevenson’s novel it is not until you actually read the novel that you appreciate its brilliance. You are transported to the dark streets of Victorian London and see the action unfold through Mr Utterson’s eyes. I found the idea of seeing the novel through Mr Utterson’s perspective very appealing. As a perfectly reasoned lawyer you got a good sense of not only the time period but also a more open minded approach. The main problem I believe is that the beginning is a little confusing and it takes time to get into which is why many people don’t read it. We don’t get introduced to Dr Jekyll for a fair few pages so things become unclear. There is, however, just the right amount of mystery and intrigue to keep you reading once you’ve gotten past the initial first chapter. I found myself constantly picking it up and reading snippets while my mind raced ahead trying to work out the case myself, but not so much that I wanted to read ahead and spoil it.

One criticism that others have pointed out is the lack of detail regarding Hyde’s dark life and crimes. In some ways I agree there are only two major events in the book and a lot of talk about how much of a villain Hyde is but we see very little. I have to point out though that because of the time it was first published Stevenson would have had to have been very careful about what material he published, due to heavy censorship (remember Oscar Wilde was put in prison after parts of The Picture of Dorian Gray were used against him in court). I do wish there was more on both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, however, it is a novella so there can’t be too much.  

I will give this novella 4 starts ****, I really did enjoy it and what an interesting topic! Stevenson has given me some faith in trying out some more classics and the novel is great to study! I’m sorry for such a short (and late) review this week!

Review by Chloe Metzger

 

I apologise for the lack of reviewing I’m having upload issues! I’m hoping to have a few reviews for you soon!

Hello again!

I’m very aware that you all may feel neglected! Fear not my lovely followers with my move to uni and getting ready I have had a lot to think about in regards to reading! I will be studying one book a week for you all to bite into! Also as I am starting creative writing I’m hoping to get my thoughts flowing on to the site and more for you all to enjoy! I’m also working on my other blog which gives an insight into university life! 

 

Thank you for your continued support! 

 

Chloe 

Aka Bookworm 🙂

A very happy unbirthday to me!

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Now I’m not the Mad Hatter and I’m only very occasionally Alice in Wonderland but over the next week I will be celebrating 3 ‘unbirthday’s’ with cake and presents included. The 7th of September was the first, I invited a lot of friends and there was 11 of us in the end. Usually I would be very upset but it actually proved who my real friends were ( not just the people who were there, the people who bothered telling me they couldn’t be) and we had a fab time complete with Nandos, Jager Bombs (oh dear the Jager Bombs) and a very drunk me dancing around the pub to Ah-ha’s ‘Take on me’. I think it’s safe to say the hangover the next morning was very worth it. I wanted to use this post to thank everybody who came and to show how much I appreciated them being there so here it goes 

Tom (not in the picture, he took it) – You came back from uni after being there just a week, thank you ‘justin’ ❤

Lydia – We’re not that close but you came anyway and got me very drunk ❤ 

Katie – After 7?!? Years of ups and downs I’m so glad you came, thank you so much! Have a lovely birthday and good luck at uni 🙂 

Lucy – Damn girl what can I say about you, so many years, so many memories and you’ve always stuck around. I love you.

Grace – Thank you for the lovely gift my adopted daughter. We’ve known each other so long and I’ll miss you, call me if you need me and I’ll SO be at your final fashion show next year 🙂 . 

Doug – We’ve been actual friends for nearly 15 years (yep we’re getting old) and despite the puking incident (TWICE) your still a close friend as is your lovely family. I’ll miss your funny little ways, good luck at Essex! I can’t wait to visit! 

Luke – I finally got you to come out with me!! haha I’m glad we pulled through our maths GCSE I don’t know if I could have got through a re sit without your humor! 

Joseph – Such a thoughtful gift Joseph, maybe we could meet at Llloyds some time haha! 

Ali – I hate you, I don’t know why you came. I’m kidding, I love you thank you for getting me safely home and being a wonderful boyfriend as ever. 

Erin – Eriny, thank you also for a very thoughtful present! I’ll miss hanging out with you on my frees and I’m so looking forward to seeing you do well in English ( I know you will) call me, text me, tweet me ❤ 

 

So that people is a list of true friends. You find them in the most odd places 🙂 

Please Don’t Take My Baby – Cathy Glass

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Cathy Glass is an experienced foster carer with two children of her own, so when her social worker calls her with a new child to take on surely Cathy would be thrilled right? The difference is that this time the child in question in a pregnant seventeen year old who has been thrown out by her mother. After a plea from one of Jade’s teachers and speaking to her agency Cathy agrees, but only for a few weeks. For Cathy and her two children the arrival of Jade brings a steep learning curve.

‘I’m going to love my baby and give her lots of attention,’ Jade said. ‘I’ll show my mum she’s wrong.’

 

One thing I was thrilled about was that although Jade does appear to be very irresponsible as a teenage mother, the babies father is portrayed in an incredible light. Jade’s partner may be young but he is very mature for his age, caring and as supportive as a sixteen-year-old boy could be. It was not the pleading of Jade’s mother, social worker or even Cathy that I found heart breaking it was Tyler’s clear distress caused by Jade’s reckless behaviour. I feel that having Cathy’s view of the situation can really be an eye opener into the situations of these young people. While many would write Jade off as a hopeless case and someone who could never care for a new born Cathy does not give up on her. Maybe it is because I am a late teenager myself and that Cathy had not dealt with teenagers yet that I found some of Jade’s tricks obvious. That said I do not blame Cathy, she was in a tricky situation. She had to trust Jade and create a bond but at the same time did not know what she was capable of. Although I did find Jade irresponsible and when looking at her parenting capabilities in black and white many would agree her daughter should be taken away. What is different in this situation is Cathy’s intervention and being able to see how Jade copes through her eyes. We can see that she makes stupid decisions and is easily lead, but given the right opportunities Jade can be a fantastic mother who had a difficult start. That said I am disgusted that British social services would take a new born off of its mother within 18 weeks with no contact just a straight adoption. It appeared that there wasn’t even the option of the father having the child (even though he had not made a single mistake and had been working hard), something that I find very wrong indeed.

Cathy’s own uncertainty and amazing empathy makes you able to relate to her. No matter how long she has been doing this she still feels like she makes mistakes and worries about the children in her care. It is true to say that Cathy Glass is an incredible woman and a rare human being, not many could emotionally deal with the children who come to her door. I also have to comment on Cathy’s wonderful children, both of whom welcome others into their home at one point in the novel Cathy’s youngest child tells her ‘I hate fostering’ to which her brother remind her that she only hates the ending. For many simply caring for a friends child when you have your own is too much but it is people like Cathy who can change a child’s life, such as Jades for example. Cathy is also keen to be positive about all involved, throughout this novel there are a lot of people who let Jade down and Cathy remains positive and tries to find ways to fix things. Although of course no one would wish to be in the situation of many of these children, if I ever had a foster carer in my childhood I would hope that they were as loving and tolerant as Cathy. Although previously I would have ran a mile from this kind of book, as I would have found it too painful, I feel that now I have to read on. We need to educate ourselves and fostering should be more widely advertised.  That said I couldn’t see myself fostering as I get older, simply because of the field of work I want to go in to, I would like to adopt though and Cathy’s novel and the stories behind other she has written has convinced me I would like to adopt. The way I see it is although people like Cathy provide care and stability, she cannot keep them forever, which is where others come in.

I give this book five stars. I found Cathy to be an amazing woman and her writing to be flawless (making me tear up at times). It is in my opinion that the more people read these books the more foster carers and adoptive parents there will be. Although I myself would not like to be a foster carer simply due to the nature of the job I want to go in to I would love to adopt a child so they can be given the right start in life.  I cannot wait to read more of Cathy’s books!

A lovely update of Jade’s story:

http://www.cathyglass.co.uk/donttake_update.html

Review by Chloe Metzger

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The beginning of Tetris, otherwise known as packing up my room

What they don’t tell you when you sign up at university is that you have to become a master at  the loveable 80s game Tetris. Now as any cool 90’s kid will remember playing Tetris was the highlight of black and white gameboys (as well as pokemon), so now we get to try it out in real life… welcome to university life! Packing is proving to be a bit stressful, making sure you’ve got everything, working out where it’s all going to go and how the hell your going to get it all to uni in the first place. Thankfully my Uncle has a big car so the plan (so far) is that him and my Dad will be going up in the car with my stuff while me, Mum and my sister Sums will be following up on the train and meeting them at my halls. Just thinking about the move next week makes butterflies explode inside of me.  

I’m all mixed up inside, excited ,terrified, wondering how on earth I will manage on my own, then back to excited. It honestly is a rollercoaster of emotion and if Kingston weren’t such a helpful university I would be in major panic mode right now! I now have almost everything in place to go including my DSA assesment forms thank goodness! Now it’s just time to wait for entitlement and I can order my lovely new laptop and software to help me with my course. The DSA are being very generous with their time and what I am allowed due to my ‘condition’, as I said to you all before I see this as a small part of me and as something I have to deal with. That said I am grateful that people are trying to make it easier for me if I am having a bad day I can do something about it and move on. I believe that this support should be in place for everyone in education as it’s really lacking! 

It’s my last weekend in Basingstoke this weekend (thank god!) So there should be some pictures and news (and maybe a late blog entry after my night out tomorrow!).

Thanks for sticking around!

 

Chloe 

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