Reviews

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

nightisareader's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

I’ll divide this review into two sections: one that I’m clear on, and the second that confuses the hell out of me.
Section one:
What I absolutely adored about this book is the stream of consciousness writing style. It was neatly tied together and everything found its end nicely. The vocabulary was a bit meh but I guess it works. The book was quite... American? I don’t know honestly, I’m too Asian  for it probably so, reading things like “...he was trying to prove he could be aesthetic...” had me cringe just a little bit. But that’s on me haha. The characters were realistic, the events as well, without any... poetic layer. Yeah, let’s call it that.
Oh and the lovely analogies! I did wish they were explained a bit more but it’s fine, I guess, since the tone of the book was not complimentary to huge descriptions that creep up your body and gently sink themselves into your skin. 

Section two:
Now this part is about Esther herself and do I like her character or not? The answer WAS a big fat no but then she sorta grew on me but I still dislike her. Why? There I’m a bit lost; not completely though. The girl was racist and hateful. My friend pointed out that being hateful is a depression thing which lead to an odd question where even now I’m wondering if her racism and hate is justified by her mental condition but I’m choosing to not ponder over it for too long.

Overall, the book is a tiny bit overhyped but it has its charms.
One thing though, I do not know what kind of readers I would recommend this to because for some it would be triggering, for some unrelatable, and I’m a tiny bit concerned for those who do find it relatable (minus the cracks that let in the light of hope)
What I will say is that if you pick up the book, make sure you learn from her, not the methods to succumb but the methods to survive in the bell jar.

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ickkayleeb's review against another edition

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emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

isafd's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

wrongsandwich's review against another edition

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dark reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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seamusmdaniel's review against another edition

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dark reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

3njoyy0urb11k's review

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challenging dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

latinavelma's review

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5.0

Reread. 15 year old me found the hole before I did 

meilanon's review against another edition

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dark reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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shesalwaysreading's review against another edition

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dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

I owned the paperback copy years ago and never read it. It’s on KU so decided to try it. Definitely reflective of its time, racism and homophobia abound. I felt like the ending was not what I expected, but then again can’t tell you exactly what I expected. 

gadier's review

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challenging dark reflective sad medium-paced

4.0