Working on a Song: the Lyrics of HADESTOWN Anais Mitchell
Plume, 2020 ★★★★★
There was no way I was going to rate this anything less than five stars, given my absolute sentimentality regarding HADESTOWN. For context: I first listened to and loved the original album way back in 2010, spent years and years hoping it would one day make it to the theater, rejoiced when it premiered at the New York Theater Workshop, and proceeded to attend three times. The NYTW production was a magical experience, all three times. When the Broadway cast recording came out, I listened to bits and pieces here and there, enough to know that, unfortunately it was a disappointment compared to the original album and the NYTW production.
Time for Part 2 of one of my favorite posts! It’s my most anticipated releases for the second half of 2021 (see Part 1 here). I have once again tried and failed to be circumspect in my choices, as there are thirty-three books here, but at least that’s less than the forty-six Part 1 had!
Hex Life by Christopher Golding & Rachel Autumn Deering (★★★★☆)
The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster (★★★★★)
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (★★☆☆☆)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 6 YEARLY SO FAR: 29
I…have had a rather dismal reading month. I DNF’d three books, skimmed the non-fiction book I was reading, and generally just did not love most of what I read. I was definitely in a slump for much of the month, brought on by a variety of factors (one of which I am certain is Mansfield Park, which was such a slog!). Thankfully, over this past week I have been slowly fighting my way out of the slump, and I look forward to a much better reading month in May!
I thought I would give myself some time before writing this so that I could put together some coherent thoughts instead of just endlessly screaming like the fangirl I am, but I’ll probably just end up screaming anyway, because I absolutely loved this. It’s just. The gold standard of adaptations, to be honest. It exceeded all my expectations. From the talented cast to the gorgeous music to the special effects to the costumes to the unexpected humor, I just!!! I binged the whole eight episodes in a day, something I haven’t done in ages, and by the end I just wanted more. It wasn’t flawless — the questionable depiction of anti-Asian racism Alina faces is glaring, and I’ll talk about that — but overall my serotonin levels definitely shot up.
I read the original trilogy way back in 2013. It’s a series that has stuck with me and left a strong impression, and I was surprised when I went back to look at my review to find that I only rated the books 4 and 3 stars. I think even then I was kind of frustrated with some of the that era’s YA tropes, most of which the series thankfully excised! I do want to talk about my thoughts in more detail, so spoilers will follow below, in messy bullet point format, because I don’t have the brain cells for a well-organized essay right now.