Book Review: Wuthering Bites by Sarah Gray (3/5)

20 Jul

So this is hard to review. Is this review for Sarah Gray’s novel or for Emily Bronte’s? This is my dilemma. This book was a gift from my husband who got it in a book exchange while he was still in college. A fun read to be sure and I’m certain I enjoyed it more than the un-super-natural original.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Wuthering Bites by Sarah Gray

Summary from Goodreads:

Gray reimagines Emily Bront’s classic tale of enduring love–but with a vampire twist.

Wow, what a long summary. Huh. I’ll say that I enjoyed the overall story and I’m not sure how much of it was the original piece and how much was added. I know Catherine senior probably wasn’t bitten by a vampire in the original, but I’m not sure if Nelly was really shut up in Wuthering Heights for days. Part of the enjoyment of this novel was ruined for me because I kept thinking about this. I remember thinking Heathcliff was overdramatic and Cathy was a pain in the rear. It almost makes more sense to think of them as vampires and hunters. It was fun if nothing else.

Most of my problem with this book, when I read it in high school, was that the characters were melodramatic and they made me mad. This time it didn’t seem to bother me so much. Catherine Junior still seemed spoiled rotten and bugged me some, but she had some moxie to her when it came to slaying that I appreciated this time around. I could deal with it. I liked that Nelly was telling this story and I thought her perspective on the story was a good spin. It was biased yet neutral at the same time, which is a good balance. She also seemed like the sanest of all the characters.

Hareton was my favorite character. He had such an abysmal life for a long time, but he let Catherine be a savior for him and pull him into a better place. I was happy for him at the end of the book and I’m glad things worked out alright for him. I rooted for him and it was nice to see him win.

One of my biggest problems with melodramatic gothic fiction is that I don’t relate to the characters. I don’t know anyone who’s a gypsy orphan with anger issues or someone who would marry their sickly cousin at the behest of their uncle. This is crazy stuff and trying to relate to it is like thinking your life is a soap opera. Maybe it’s similar for five minutes, but things get better. They don’t for Cathy and Heathcliff.

I genuinely enjoyed the vampire bits of the book. I wasn’t sure if these were going to be Stephanie Meyer’s sparkly/sexy vampires or Bram Stoker’s evil/killer vampires and was glad it was the latter. It made them scary and it worked in this story. Some of them were more human than others and the things they did to people were atrocious. It was great. (Does that sound twisted?)

It’s a small thing, but the quotation marks bothered me. Sometimes, there were quotation marks to dictate there was a conversation going on between Nelly and Lockwood, but those would disappear and then sometimes there were quotes within quotes but not always and AHHH. It was too much for me and inconsistent. I tried not to let it distract me from the story, but it was hard.

Rather than talk about the themes of the book (because we’ve all probably written an essay on that), I want to talk about this trend: supernatural classics. The first I remember hearing about was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I never read it, but heard it was an almost word-for-word transcription with bits added here and there about zombies walking around. That made me think this would be similar, but the vampires seem to be well-integrated into the plot. The other instance I’ve heard of is Jane Slayer which is again vampires though I’m not sure of sparkley-ness. I’m not sure I like this trend. It got me to re-read a (pseudo)classic, but I have Sense and Sensibility on my shelf and would have rather spent my time there. It feels like cheap fan fiction with minimal creativity and a copyright violation. I know these books have to copyright anymore because of the publication date. Does that mean this is something we are going to see with books as they lose that protection? I hope not.

Writer’s Takeaway: While Gray’s work is entertaining, it lacked originality and that’s part of why it fell a bit flat for me. I wish there was something else she’d written that I could read but when I look on Goodreads, it seems her only other book is a vampire version of A Christmas Carole.

Entertaining but nothing outstanding to me. Three out of Five stars.

This book fulfilled the 1700s for my When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Wuthering Bites | Jeannie Musick

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