Something Strange and Deadly Read Along – Week 4

October 31, 2012 Read Along 4

This week is the 4th and final week of the Something Strange and Deadly read along

I have really enjoyed being a part of this as it’s definitely made me stop and think about the events in the book instead of just racing through the book to find out all the answers to what’s been going on.

Click the banner above to go to Brittany’s week 4 post.

Week 4 Questions: October 31, 2012

1. On page 284, Eleanor gives the same advice to Clarence as Jie gave to her: “You always have a choice.” Eleanor has started to evolve in her thinking a little bit and become more independent. How did Clarence take these words of wisdom? How do you think it’s affecting the relationship between Eleanor and Clarence at this point in the novel? 

When Jie gave the same advice to Eleanor it gave Eleanor something to think about and she started to realise that just because your life was mapped out for you it didn’t mean you had to follow that path. “You always have a choice” not to do what was expected of you, you’d just have to be prepared for the consequences. When Eleanor gave the advice to Clarence that was his chance to change things. I don’t think Clarence was a strong enough person to stand up and go against what was expected, he wasn’t prepared for the consequences. He saw that he was the only one able to provide for his family so I can appreciate that his decision would be affected by that responsibility but still, he had a chance to put things right for other people too and he chose not to. I think at this point we can see the complete contrast between Eleanor and Clarence. They are almost in reversed roles for their sex. Eleanor is strong, independent, pretty fearless and not concerned with people’s opinions of her. Clarence is very much concerned with what others think of him, wants to keep up with society, not willing to do anything but what’s expected of him and can’t  get by without having security around to protect him. I think any flattery Eleanor felt by Clarence’s attention in the beginning has gone by now. She doesn’t much like him!

2. We finally find out what’s happened to Elijah – and it’s something that puts Eleanor in a very difficult position. Why do you think Elijah chose this path? And how do you think Eleanor handled the news? What would you have done in her situation? 

Plain and simple, I think Elijah chose the path he did for revenge against those who bullied him and those who he blamed for his father’s demise. I think Eleanor was shocked because she had it firmly in her head that Elijah needed saving. She was also upset about Clarence. I really don’t know what I would have done in Eleanor’s position. Eleanor was a strong-minded girl who knew right from wrong so she had no problem staying on the side of good even though it meant turning against the very person she’d initially been trying to save. I’d like to think I would have been like that too.

3. The last quarter of this book brings us a LOT of surprises and twists. What would you say was the biggest surprise to you?

I’m trying REALLY hard not to include spoilers here but I think I was most surprised by the outcome for Clarence. I didn’t see that coming at all! I was  right about a lot of my suspicions of what was going to happen and why they were going to happen. That was actually a surprise for me because I don’t always manage to work things out, I have to wait to be told at the end! Also, I unfortunately read a spoiler about something that happened so I was expecting it but still, I wouldn’t expect it to happen as bad things like that don’t normally happen to the heroine!

4. Now that we’ve finished with the book, what did you think? How did you feel about the book as a whole? Where do you think her story will take us in the next book? 

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! I am so glad I signed up to be a part of this read along. It’s been great comparing thoughts with the other participants and seeing how we’ve all interpreted what we’ve read and the suspicions we’ve all had about what’s going to happen, who the good guys and bad guys are, etc. I, for one, can’t wait for the sequel in July 2013. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to wait that long but I will be buying A Darkness Strange and Lovely quite literally the day it is released. That’s how much I want to read it and just how much I have loved reading Susan Dennard’s AMAZING debut book.

I’m hoping that in the next book we see more of a romance between Eleanor and Daniel. I was intrigued by Daniel saying at the end of SSaD that it wasn’t a straight forward answer that he could give Eleanor when she asked if he loved her. It made me wonder what that meant and it clearly wasn’t a no, even though that’s what he told her in the end.

The blurb for ADSaL says that Eleanor has to learn necromancy in order to fight the necromancer that’s followed the Spirit-Hunters to Paris. I’m hoping it will mean that Eleanor has been able to cast aside all the weight of expectation from her Mama and go to Paris with a clean slate and no-one knowing of her now ruined reputation. Of course, there’ll be a social etiquette to follow in Paris but if Eleanor’s not known as a member of the higher class it won’t matter so much to her. exactly the thing she envies Jie for.

Whatever happens in ADSaL, I’ll be reading it!

So, there you have it. There’s my final post for the read along. If you’d like to check out Something Strange and Deadly on Goodreads then you can click on the Goodreads button below to be taken to its page.

4 Responses to “Something Strange and Deadly Read Along – Week 4”

  1. Brittany

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the Read Along!! 🙂
    I was really shocked about Clarence too! Susan Dennard put in a LOT of twists and turns that you just really don’t expect to see. I expected a happy ending and this was more “in your face” and not shying away from all of the bad things that could and would happen.
    I also really like how you mentioned that Eleanor and Clarence kind of had a role reversal towards the end. Quite true!
    Fantastic answers, as always, and thanks for being a part of the read along!!

  2. Lucy

    Glad you enjoyed the book! I’ve liked reading along with you and reading your insightful answers to the weekly questions. I especially like your interpretation of Clarence’s character. Hope you like the sequel to the book just as well!

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