Okay, so this will be a tough review to write. I read Stalking Jack the Ripper back in December and have been putting off the review because….. I didn’t like it! This is one of the first books that I actually couldn’t finish. I mean, I skimmed the rest of the book, but I couldn’t stomach reading the 200+ pages I had left.
I was so excited for this book because as you all know I love anything and everything related to the Victorian Era. Although, since it was a young adult historical fiction novel, I did expect it to differ from real life, but not to the extent that was exhibited. I thought that the characters did not act in the proper “Victorian” fashion other than putting down women at (literally) every turn of the page. Most of the actions and characteristics of the characters were extremely modern. Maybe I’m just nit picking, but I didn’t really like the amount of historical inaccuracies present.
Now onto my main problem that made me close the book 100 pages in and put it down forever. The feminist themes in this novel are clear examples of the dreaded “White Feminism” that riddles YA novels nowadays. At first I was all for Audrey getting elbow deep in cadavers, but after the 6th mention of the “wrongness” of her hobby I would have been happier if she was the cadaver. Now, I’m a liberal. I voted Bernie in the state primary and Hillary in the presidential election. I believe in girl power and intersectional feminism. BUT, when it comes to feminism in novels I’m a firm believer of showing and not telling. If the author had exhibited feminism in the text instead of telling the reader every 3 paragraphs I feel like the message would have been received just as efficiently, if not better. Another thing, up until the point that I stopped, Audrey never really did anything! She claims that she was trying to figure out the mystery on her own but it was the men that ended up “helping” her. There was never the moment where she discovers something mind blowing by herself, it was always with the assistance of a man. This didn’t make sense to me and seemed contradictory to the point Kerri Maniscalco tried to make. All in all, I thought the feminism in this book was stale and overstated.
Overall I didn’t enjoy this book, but please don’t let my negative review spoil the fun for you! Who knows, you could love this book, and if that’s the case, you may call me crazy all you want. This is just my honest review of Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, and I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know what you thought about the book, and any constructive criticism on my review would be greatly appreciated.
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