VCA Recaps: Dawn Part 6

 

On to Part 6!

 

Again, this recap will contain SPOILERS so read at your OWN risk!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

 

This recap will consist of Chapters 9, 10, & 11.

 

Mrs. Boston insists on calling Dawn “Eugenia” until Mrs. Cutler otherwise says and basically tells Dawn not to even go to her parents about it because her grandmother is queen. Dawn is seriously wondering WTF is up with her “parents” who haven’t even bothered to set eyes on her.

 

 

Dawn is shown to her room, which is a really small servant’s room. Welcome home, kiddo. You can tell just how much you’ve been missed, right? Dawn discovers that Mrs. Boston is annoyed with her because Mrs. Cutler fired a woman named Agatha so that Dawn could work instead. Because that is totally Dawn’s fault and not her grandmother’s.

 

 

Finally Randolph, Dawn’s father, shows up to introduce himself. He explains that her mother is resting and in no condition to see her due to her mental health. He also refuses to budge on her name because eventually her grandmother will “convince her” to accept it.

 

As if to rub salt into the wound, Dawn receives the uniform of the chambermaid, Agatha, that she is replacing. She has a tough time getting to sleep that night and in the morning Grandmother Cutler pounces on her for not being up early to do her work despite only yesterday learning the truth about everything.

 

 

Grandmother Cutler notices a picture of Sally Jean that Dawn kept in plain sight and gets so angry about it that she tears it up. Instead of getting to work when her grandmother leaves, Dawn gets dressed and flees from the hotel. She finds herself in the family cemetery, coming across her own gravestone.

 

Dawn decides to return to the hotel and show her grandmother just what she’s made of. She puts on her uniform and discusses the grave with a chambermaid named Sissy, who reveals that Mrs. Cutler had decided to make it after a few years of Dawn’s disappearance.

 

Later on, Randolph comes to tell Dawn that her mother is finally ready to see her. On the way to her room, he explains how emotionally fragile she is. In a really gorgeous sounding suite, Randolph introduces Dawn to Laura Sue, her mother. Dawn learns that her grandmother was the one to name her Eugenia. When Dawn refuses to accept the new name, Laura Sue moans about how difficult all this will be.

 

Laura Sue shows her narcissism right away in making everything that happened to Dawn about her.

“My nurse, Mrs. Dalton, knew you longer than I did,” she whined.

She then tells Dawn that she must spend as much time with her as possible catching up. When Dawn refuses to betray the Longchamps as being bad, Laura Sue again states just how difficult all of this is going to be.

 

She’s quick to assume Dawn’s etiquette and pretty much insults the way her hair and looks are. Laura Sue is not happy that Dawn has to be a chambermaid but promises Dawn that things will get better and one day all of this will just seem like a bad dream. When Dawn and Laura Sue part ways, she realizes just how little warmth her mother seemed to have even though they looked a lot alike. Laura Sue hadn’t even attempted to hug her.

 

 

Dawn tries to settle into her new life, barely ever seeing either of her parents because Randolph is always busy and Laura Sue keeps to her room. Then one day Laura Sue emerges and the transformation shocks Dawn. Instead of seeming frail, her mother suddenly looks very healthy and energized.

 

 

The next day Dawn discovers a dusty attic room filled with things like family photos and newspaper clippings about her kidnapping. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like that would be something you wouldn’t really want to remember. Of course her grandmother finds her in the room and is pissed.

 

Nervous, Dawn starts playing with Sally Jean’s pearls around her neck. She’d been missing SJ so she’d put on the necklace. Grandmother Cutler sees the necklace and is further enraged, accusing Dawn of stealing them from one of the trunks in the room. She grabs the necklace and rips it off Dawn, saying they are hers now.

 

 

When Dawn protests and tries to get them back, her grandmother shoves her to the floor and yells at her for raising a hand to her. She then insinuates that Sally Jean stole the pearls on the day she stole Dawn but Dawn is unwilling to believe it. When her grandmother finally leaves the room, Dawn waits for her tears but they don’t come. She realizes that her grandmother can take the pearls and tear up photos but that her memories can never be snatched away.

 

 

The next day Dawn is given old clothes that Clara Sue no longer wears. When Dawn realizes some of the clothes will still be too big, Mrs. Boston tries to guilt trip her by saying she should be grateful and that plenty of poor people would be happy to them, especially Agatha. It amazes me that Mrs. Boston would say this to someone in Dawn’s position. Yep, a long lost teenager who doesn’t even want to be here is totally responsible for your friend being fired.

 

 

Not too long after, Dawn encounters Philip as her brother and it’s as awkward as you’d imagine. Philip even tells her that he can’t think of her as his sister but Dawn insists that they have to. Thankfully Philip had only supposedly told their grandmother that Dawn was a good friend but I’m sure that omnipresent bitch suspects more. Philip suggests that they keep their past relationship a secret. In her mind, Dawn bides goodbye to her first romantic love.

 

 

Dawn later encounters her wonderful new sister, Clara Sue, who is just as nice to her as she was before. She especially harps on her and Philip’s romantic relationship and how disgusting it was even if neither of them knew the truth. She tries to get Dawn to give her intimate details by playing “nice” but of course Dawn refuses to tell her the truth.

 

The past comes up but Clara Sue is weirdly obsessed with Dawn and Philip’s relationship. Almost like she’s jealous?

 

“I hope he doesn’t forget you are his sister now,” she added curtly.

 

 

After Clara Sue brags about never having to do menial work in the hotel and how she helps out at the receptionist desk, she finally leaves. Dawn gets to thinking about the Longchamps and is inspired to write Ormand a letter. She pleads with her new father to mail it to him and he tells her he’ll try.

 

Dawn decides to try to dress nicer before joining her family (without her grandmother present thankfully) in her mother’s suite. Randolph suggests Dawn play them something on the piano and of course everyone raves about her performance but Clara Sue, who is obviously jealous. In an attempt to hurt her mother for lavishing attention on Dawn, she makes an excuse to go see her grandmother, who Laura Sue obviously has issues with and vice versa.

 

The next day is Mrs. Cutler’s birthday so the entire hotel is full of energy. Dawn has no money for a present so she decides she will sing a song for her grandmother. That night for dinner she takes special care to dress. The rest of Dawn’s family and the guests are pleased with the song Dawn sings for her grandmother but she doesn’t seem impressed at all, though she claps for appearances. You can imagine how this makes Dawn feel.

 

 

The next day Dawn is still feeling down about her grandmother’s song. Noticing, Philip takes her on a tour of the hotel and the grounds. He later shows her to his “hideaway”, which is a little room in the old section of the hotel. Philip admits that he can’t seem to get over her and insists on holding her even though it makes Dawn uncomfortable. When he gets too frisky, Dawn gets him to stop and he apologizes.

 

But of course he has to be creepy not too long after when he turns off the light and says:

 

“In the darkness we can pretend we’re not brother and sister. You can’t see me; I can’t see you.”

 

 

He plays it off as a joke, but still. As they are leaving, who shows up other than Grandmother Cutler? And who else but Clara Sue would have suggested where they may be? Seems like Philip’s “hideaway” isn’t quite as secret as he’d like. Grandmother Cutler marches Dawn back to her office and asks point blank what is going on between her and Philip.

 

Dawn is further offended when her grandmother asks if they did anything that would shame the Cutler family. Her grandmother doesn’t seem to completely buy Dawn’s innocence because she says that Dawn will be responsible for proper behavior when it comes to her and Philip.

 

 

And as if her grandmother can’t get any more controlling, she presents Dawn with a name badge that says “Eugenia.” If Dawn refuses to wear it, she will stay in her room without any food. Dawn is sure that her parents won’t allow this and openly defies her grandmother. Grandmother Cutler laughs and reveals that Randolph brought the letter to Ormand to her and forbids Dawn from seeking any future contact with him. Feeling defeated, Dawn heads straight to her room to begin her punishment.

 

 

Next, Dawn learns more about her past and gets a surprise visitor.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Books in June 2018

For 2018, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. This month I read ten! June was also Pride month so I made sure to include some LGBT+ books I’d already been wanting to read into my TBR.

 

New Favorite(s): She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, & The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang.

Least Liked: Endless Night by Richard Laymon

Childhood: The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

New Kid’s: And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

Group Reads: She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb & Endless Night by Richard Laymon

PRIDE Reads: Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuireThey Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, The Before Now and After Then by Peter Monn, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, & The Prince and The Dressmaker by Jen Wang.

I mostly enjoyed everything I read this month.

 

My favorite book of June and one of my top 2018 reads. I also read this for Peter’s Book Club.

One of my new favorite graphic novels.

 

My new kid’s read was also a Pride Read and favorite for the month

 

Still loved my childhood read

 

Finally got around to one of my favorite Booktuber’s books (Peter Monn)

 

My least liked book of the month that I read for Peter’s Book Club.

 

So what did you read in June and what were your favorites? Have you read any of these? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

 

jnc

June Goals Wrap-Up & July Goals 2018

Here are my reading and writing goals for June. Let’s see how I did!

Reading Goals

1. Work on reading The Count of Monte Cristo.

2. Read a childhood book.

3. Read a new children’s book (And Tango Makes Three)

4. Read for Pride month

5. Read She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb for Peter’s Book Club

6. Read Endless Night by Richard Laymon for Peter’s Book Club

*7 Read book for Mini Book Club if title selected/available in time

 

 

Writing Goals

1. Work on my VCA recaps for the blog

2. Work on editing The Birthday Bash

 

I read a lot of books in June so I’m pretty happy with the goals I achieved. Sadly I didn’t really get into The Count of Monte Cristo though. I wasn’t interested in either book for the Mini Book Club so I decided to skip it this month.

 

Even though I didn’t do much for my writing goals, I still worked on both so I am very happy about that considering how little I feel I’ve accomplished writing wise this year.

 

Here are my goals for July:

Reading Goals

1. Work on reading The Count of Monte Cristo.

2. Read a childhood book.

3. Read a new children’s book

4. Read Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

5. Read Chances by Jackie Collins for Peter’s Book Club

6. Read Lucky by Jackie Collins for Peter’s Book Club

7. Read Hunger by Roxane Gay for Mini Book Club

 

Writing Goals

1. Work on my VCA recaps for the blog

2. Work on editing The Birthday Bash for Camp NaNo (15K)

 

 

What goals did you accomplish so far this year or are there any you have for July? I would love to hear them!

 

2018 Reading & Writing Goals Check-Up

Can you guys believe half of 2018 is over? It has been a pretty crazy year for me and I’m kind of stunned we’re already in June. Since we’re halfway through the year, I thought I’d take a look at the reading and writing goals I made at the beginning of the year and see how I’m doing with those.

 

Reading Goals

1. Read 80 Books Again.

I’m currently at 45.5 books so far so I’m actually ahead of schedule. I don’t see finishing another 35 books being an issue, especially as at least 12 of them will be children’s books.

 

2. Read 1 Classic per month (12 total)

Aside from January and May, I managed to keep up with this goal. However, from now on I have decided to put my focus on the beast that is The Count of Monte Cristo. Then I hope to return to Madame Bovary. I’m not sure if I will be able to finish all the classics I planned initially, but I’m going to try. I definitely want to get my French based classics finished before our trip to Paris (which has been moved to next Spring). At least Phantom of the Opera is out of the way.

 

3. Read 1 book from my childhood per month

So far I’ve been doing great with this and it’s a lot of fun and nostalgia. I may continue this next year.

 

4. Read 1 new children’s book per month

So far I’ve been doing great with this, too, and may also continue into next year.

 

5. Finish books (9 total) from 2017 (Afterparty, Crank, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooms, Slice of Cherry, Quidditch Through the Ages, Harry A History, & Raging Star).

I haven’t read a single one of these yet. Great reminder for me to pick up a few of these for the summer.

 

6. Every quarter (4 months), Read 1 Nonfiction Book.

So far I’ve only read 1 Nonfiction book but I have two planned for this summer and one for the winter so I see completing this goal being no issue. Actually, that should be every 3 months, not 4.

 

7. Every quarter (3 months), Read 1 True Crime Novel

So far I’ve read one and DNFed another (which I am counting as a half read since I got a little more than halfway). I plan to read two more and if I have time, maybe I’ll do another shorter one.

 

8. Participate in more Read-a-thons & Buddy/Group Reads

I’ve participated in three read-a-thons, one buddy read (sadly the DNF, for both of us), and am in two online book clubs so I’ve been reading a lot of group reads. I feel I’m doing great with this goal.

 

9. Try to “shop” from my owned books & the library

I’ve definitely been “shopping” with my new library system. I’m slowly getting through some of my owned books as well. I’ve bought books, but I feel for the most part more intentional with my buying. I usually try to check the library first.

 

10. Finish/Make progress with more series

So far I’ve finished one trilogy (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) and am in the middle of the Cutler series for a re-read. I’m hoping to finish the last book in the Dustlands trilogy and reading as many Animorphs and One Piece books whenever I can squeeze them in. I’ve read one Animorphs and two One Piece books so far.

 

Overall, I feel I’m doing pretty good on my Reading Goals.

 

 

Writing Goals

 

1. Edit Our Reasons

This definitely hasn’t happened yet.

 

 

2. Querying/Publishing Investigating

…Nor this.

 

3. Participate in more Twitter events like #PitMad, PitchMadness, Pitch Wars, etc.

Not a single one.

 

4. Edit The Birthday Bash

I’ve actually started editing this so there’s some progress!

 

5. Edit Evil in the Walls

Not yet but I didn’t really plan to until later on this year.

 

6. Edit So Much Rage

Not yet.

 

7. Write a new Horror novel

Probably going to be what I do for NaNoWriMo this year.

 

8. Work on CHALTS

I honestly don’t see this happening.

 

9. Work on Karen’s Not Home

Or this.

 

10. Get published

I’m not sure if 2018 is the year for this with all that has happened–new job situation, new house, etc. But I’m still aiming for it.

 

I figured my Writing goals would be the weaker of the two. It took me a lot longer to get settled in our new house than I thought and I haven’t really had the same drive to write and edit and get published like I used to. I still want to do these things, but I’m just not sure this is going to be the year to do it.

 

Overall, I’m happy with how my Reading Goals are going and I’m OK on how the Writing ones are going. I’m not giving up and definitely hoping to get more done before 2018 is over with.

 

Did you make any goals for 2018? If so, how are they going?

 

 

Books in May 2018

For 2018, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. In May, I read nine! May was also Asian-Pacific Heritage Month so I decided to read some books for it.

 

 

New Favorite(s): The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang & Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Sadly I did not get to my classic (Madame Bovary) but I’m going to try and finish it before my Paris trip!

Childhood: The First Dog by Jan Brett

New Kid’s: The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

True Crime: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

Group Reads: Heaven by V.C. Andrews, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

I enjoyed everything I read this month!

 

My favorite read for the month.

 

One of my new favorites for the month (I also finished the trilogy this year!)

My favorite re-read & for Peter Monn’s Book Club.

 

 

Another Peter Monn Book Club pick and also counted toward my quarterly true crime. I liked this one a lot better than my first one this year.

 

Read this for my friend’s book club and it was really fun! Can’t wait for the movie.

 

I thought it was only fair that my dog, Traveler,
be the one to pose for my childhood read.

 

 

So what did you read in May and what were your favorites? Have you read any of these? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

 

jnc

May Goals Wrap-Up & June Goals 2018

Here are my reading and writing goals for May. Let’s see how I did!

Reading Goals

1. Read Madame Bovary for my classic read.

2. Read a childhood book.

3. Read a new children’s book.

4. Start a new True Crime quarterly read

5. Read Heaven by V.C. Andrews for Peter’s Book Club

6. Read Crazy Rich Asians for Mini Book Club

 

Writing Goals

1. Work on my VCA recaps for the blog

2. Work on editing The Birthday Bash

 

I’m sad I didn’t get to my classic read but May ended up being a pretty busy month for me. I’ve decided that for now, I’m going to put Madame Bovary on the back burner. Going forward, I intend to finish The Count of Monte Cristo before I start any new classics because I really want to read that before going to Paris. Also hope to get to Madame Bovary as well.

 

I accomplished my other reading goals and while I didn’t do any editing, I definitely plan on doing some during June.

 

Here are my goals for June:

Reading Goals

1. Work on reading The Count of Monte Cristo.

2. Read a childhood book.

3. Read a new children’s book (And Tango Makes Three)

4. Read for Pride month

5. Read She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb for Peter’s Book Club

6. Read Endless Night by Richard Laymon for Peter’s Book Club

*7 Read book for Mini Book Club if title selected/available in time

 

Writing Goals

1. Work on my VCA recaps for the blog

2. Work on editing The Birthday Bash

 

 

What goals did you accomplish so far this year or are there any you have for June? I would love to hear them!

 

The Book vs the Movie: Ready Player One

Book written by Ernest Cline, 2011
Movie directed by Stephen Spielberg, 2018

 

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

 

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

 

When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

 

 

VS

 

Which I Viewed First: The book.

Which I Enjoyed Most: The book.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 2 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: Character development, plot, atmosphere, relationships, 80s references.

Things the Movie Did Better:  Certain 80s aspects, such as the horror icons. I also thought The Shining scene was kind of neat. It always kind of bothered me that Horror was kind of neglected reference wise in the book.

Verdict?: The book. My husband and I had an amazing audiobook experience while on a road trip. We were so pumped for the movie but unfortunately, it didn’t live up to expectations and most of the characters fell flat, which made it almost painful to watch. I had higher hopes, especially with Spielberg directing!

It felt too rushed and probably would have been better as three movies. My husband was so annoyed that he immediately listened to the book again to wash the taste of the movie out of his mind. So…yeah. The movie had its moments but I’m not sure I’d ever watch it again. The Horror elements were pretty cool, though, which is mostly what saves the rating.

Should the movie be re-made?: No way!

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

See more Book VS Movie posts HERE.