The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls (No-Spoiler) Review

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This was such an interesting story, and it’s one I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time. It had been hard to find (and pretty pricey!) but with the recent (and much more reasonably priced) addition of The Asylum to the kindle, there was no way I could resist snatching that baby up! Emilie Autumn has never shied away from discussing topics like mental illness and the history of abuse women have suffered throughout history in her songs and poems, and her book The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls sure as hell doesn’t shy away from it, either.

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“Fight Like A Girl”

It’s hard to categorize this book into any one genre since it is written in a way that reflects the author’s actual time spent in a psych ward, but also tells the fictional and horrific (but sometimes darkly magical) tale of a fictional girl named Emily living in a Victorian era asylum. In the book, our author Emilie learns the tale of the Victorian Emily “with a Y” through mysterious letters she finds during her stay in the psych ward. I guess “Historical Magic Realism with a dash of Nonfiction thrown in for good measure” would be my best attempt at categorizing it? No matter, though, it’s just a really interesting story that discusses things most people choose to ignore concerning mental illness and the Victorian “polite society” so many people are quick to romanticize.

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If you’re already a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music, I’m sure you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect within the pages of this story. She’s got a dark and witty sense of humor, and she can weave words in a way that will both enchant you and disturb you. This story definitely reflects that. It has moments that will warm your heart and others that will rip it right out of you again.

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I really enjoyed this book and by the time I reached the second half of it I pretty much devoured the remainder of the story in one sitting, refusing to pry myself away until I’d finished. I would definitely recommend it, but will warn readers that it does discuss dark subject matter concerning suicide, rape, the horrific treatment people were subjected to in asylums like lobotomies and forced-hysterectomies, all manners of abuse, etc. It definitely takes some artistic liberties, but that’s part of Miss Autumn’s storytelling I’ve always enjoyed, so I embraced the fantasy-like elements along with the more gritty and realistic ones. Definitely glad I finally got to read this one. 🙂

And just for fun, here’s a lyric video of one of Emilie Autumn’s songs that serves as a satire about the treatment of women back in the Victorian era when it came to mental illness (please keep in mind that women could be institutionalized for all manner of things including masturbation, domestic troubles with their husband or family, and other ridiculous reasons back then.) A lot of things in this song might sound far-fetched by today’s standards, but treating those in asylums like zoo animals for the public to behold was a very real and messed up thing back in those days. History definitely isn’t always pleasant, but it is something we can (and should) learn from so we can better treat our fellow man and learn from our past ignorance.

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Updates of the Reading and Working Variety

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Hello, lovelies! 😀 Despite my recent absence, I swear I have not been eaten by monsters. (Not yet anyway.) Halloween is slowly creeping up though, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? 😛 I’ve just been insanely busy lately. A lot of it due to work. I still love my jobs though, so it’s all worth it. I just need to learn to manage my time and perhaps do more multitasking so I can have a wee bit more free time to do some of the things I enjoy (like blogging with all you awesome folks!) ❤

August has been an incredibly busy month, but it’s been a good one. It seems to be a big month for parties. I got to go visit Cupcakes and Machetes for her housewarming party earlier in the month and that was a lot of fun. My work just had their 25th anniversary Luau party yesterday. I baked some strawberry cupcakes with cheesecake mousse topping and they were a hit. 🙂 Aaaand my dad’s birthday is at the end of the month, so my mom and I are making him lemon cream puffs (his request), an awesome dinner, and spoiling him with presents (several of which are Guardians of the Galaxy related).

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I haven’t had nearly any time to read this month but I am squeezing in a few minutes of reading here and there where I can fit it in. This usually results in me being super grumpy when I’m really interested in what I’m reading at the time and have to put the damn book down. lol So infuriating. I’ve started Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn.

Though I’m not as far along in either of these stories as I’d like to be by now, I am enjoying them both. 🙂 Laini Taylor really does have a way with words, so it’s been awesome returning to her writing since it’d been a while. Aside from her writing style itself, I greatly enjoy her imagination. She’s so creative with her stories.

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Laini Taylor, pink-haired bad ass writer of books.

I feel like a lot of you already know about Strange the Dreamer, but for those of you who might not yet, here’s a quick blurb on what it’s all about:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

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Emilie Autumn, Singer/Writer/Violinist/Actress/Etc. Etc.

I’ve been a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music and poems for a while now, and this book of hers was on my TBR list for quite some time but A.) it was difficult to find B.) it was pretty damn pricey, so alas, it stayed put on my TBR list all this time. Buuuuut, it did recently get released on the kindle for a very reasonable price so I bought that baby right up! 🙂 Here’s a quick blurb regarding The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls:

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open. As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats talk. But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?
The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.

So, those are my little updates. Do you have any of your own? Lemme know, I’d love to hear them. I’m trying to catch up on reading everyone’s fantastic blogs, but I’m a bit behind right now, so feel free to fill me in on any exciting new news and whatnot you’ve got going on! Also, it’s Friiiiidayyyyyy!!! Have a great weekend, everybody!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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