Yellow Jessamine

by Caitlin Starling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yellow Jessamine
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This was a good novella that managed to pull off a nice atmosphere in such a short time. It was equal parts eerie and exciting. I enjoyed the characters a lot and while I was mildly lost through a good half, I also liked that too. The book doesn’t waste time explaining things and sort of drops you in where it needs you to be, providing just enjoy information for you to start piecing things together. I love a story that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and forces people to lose and suffer because that was the position they put themselves in and this book does exactly that.

Full Review with Spoilers

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this one. It is a fairly short novella, but it packs such a punch. Evelyn is a rich woman with her hand in many secrets and shady dealings. She even almost seems to be keeping herself in the dark with a few secrets. She is constantly full of paranoia that just gets amplified when a random illness comes to the city, which she finds out came on her ship. The odd sickness instantly makes me feel creeped out in a good way. I love that you really just don’t know what’s going on until the end and even then there are still questions that don’t get answered. And really, I find that to be a good thing. This sickness starts out feeling very zombie like then at some point is revealed to be more of an entity controlling bodies in a hive mind sort of fashion. The author did a really good job of taking us along the same journey as the characters as we learn these things.

Evelyn was a fantastic main character. She almost felt like both the protagonist and antagonist at the same time. Despite the fact that this sickness was following her around, she really did cause so many issues. She was not afraid to disfigure or kill when she feels it’s necessary. These moments were fantastic and really made me question Evelyn’s motivations. I love a protagonist that isn’t perfect and can be somewhat of a villain in their own story. These motivations also cause her to destroy the one good relationship she has with her servant, Violetta. She is a perfect counter balance to Evelyn. Evelyn is dark and a bit malicious were Violetta is sweet and honest. Violetta’s devotion to Evelyn is beyond precious and learning just how deep her feelings run is just absolutely heartbreaking.

Overall

I adored this novella. It’s just the right amount of mysterious and creepy that keeps it in your thoughts long after you’ve finished it.

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