Reviews tagging Sexism

A Study in Charlotte, by Brittany Cavallaro

3 reviews

laylamckane's review

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  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

2.5

Ok here we go. I've sat with my thoughts about this book for a day and my original description of "this reads like a fever dream in the worst way possible" still stands. Let's unpack what didn't work for me!

I spent most of the time reading this book in confusion about what was going on. Now, this might be because I was listening to the audiobook but usually my two brain cells are good at following a story. Not with A Study in Charlotte. I had multiple moments where I was completely lost and felt like I had missed a bunch of pieces of very vital information. 

The plot and pacing felt incredibly erratic. A lot of stuff happens but to me, there was no clear throughline of how events and characters related to one another. Which is the one job a mystery has, in my opinion. I genuinely could not recount the plot and how the crime gets resolved!

I did not like Jamie's perspective. As a narrator, he just did not work for me. His characterization and that of Charlotte through his eyes felt inconsistent and like they played to plot conveniences instead of the characters internal motivations. Especially Charlotte was incredibly hard to grasp because her behaviour was inconsistent and basically just gave me emotional whiplash. This made it very hard to be invested in either of the two main characters. Additionally, I absolutely hated the way Jamie thought about and described women, it felt necessarily sexist and objectifying and quite frankly, made me uncomfortable at times.

In a similar vein, a past sexual assault plays a big part in the plot and is treated as fundamental to the character of
Spoiler Charlotte
. But it is never properly addressed with the sensitivity that I think it needs and it feels like a misguided attempt at introducing some drama for the sake of motive. Having sexual assault be treated as a dramatic plot device just does not sit right with me. 

So yeah, it was a pretty disappointing reading experience and sadly put me off the rest of the series.

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kreadseverything's review

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adventurous lighthearted medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


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ashlightgrayson's review

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adventurous lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I was not expecting to love this as much as I did. I plan on ordering both sequels so that I can continue with this series in the future. When I first started reading the book I was unsure of the setting or country of origin of the main characters. From the way the story is told I think most readers will eventually catch on like I did, but probably not immediately. Jamie Watson is an American teenager raised for many years in England with his American mother after her divorce from his father, who stayed in America and remarried. Charlotte Holmes is a British teenager who has been sent to an American prep school on the east coast to study. In this world Sherlock Holmes and John Watson were real people and Charlotte and Jamie are their respective descendants. Jamie has always been curious about the Holmes but his mother has discouraged this his entire life. Jamie gets into an American prep school an hour away from where his father lives on a rugby scholarship. Charlotte and Jamie subsequently meet at school. Jamie has a crush on Charlotte from the beginning of the story and eventually, through a series of bizarre circumstances, she opens up to him and they become best friends. It was interesting to see that below her cold demeanor Charlotte had a lot of complexity as a character and fierce loyalty to those she cares for. Female characters like her aren't often shown in a positive light in media, so I took a great liking to her because I am partial to misunderstood characters like her. Jamie is a kind young man with a temper, but he has his heart in all the right places. The dynamic between Charlotte and Jamie feels very balanced and they contrast each other well. Charlotte incredibly intelligent, but is often rude not just to Jamie, but to everyone. You can immediately tell that her harshness isn't personal and I think that is the true key to her friendship with Jamie. Jamie sees Charlotte for who she is, doesn't take anything she says personally and likes her for being herself,  flaws and all. Because of all this he also understands her better than anyone else does. This becomes clear through their relationship and scheming together in the story.

There is a lot of serious content in the book despite the lighthearted overall tone. There are references to rape, drug addiction, and sexual assault, although nothing explicit. Do keep that in mind if this is a book you wish to pick up. Besides that though, this is book has a strong focus on mystery and friendship as well as redemption. The characters are multilayered and flawed and the story keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next. There are a lot of nice easter eggs for anyone who is a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you're a fan of mystery, intrigue, and strong friendships, this is the book for you.

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