Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Something Strange and Deadly Book Club: Week 4

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
If you're a member of Epic Reads (HarperTeen's website), you know that each month they have a Book Club pick. And for August, they picked one of my *favorites,* the absolutely amazing Something Strange and Deadly. It's hard to believe that it's already the last week!!

This week's question is about choice:

“‘Eleanor, you have a choice,’ [Jie] said softly. ‘You always have a choice’” (p. 166, Something Strange & Deadly)
How do you think this quote relates to the overall theme of Something Strange and Deadly? Do you think Eleanor behaves as if she has a choice at the start of the book? What about at the end of the book? And do other characters behave as if they have a choice or do some see themselves as victims of circumstance? 
*Warning: Spoilers for Something Strange and Deadly ahead!*
Eleanor behaves like she doesn't have a choice at the start of the book. Her goal is clear: get Elijah back, save her family, and then go back to doing all the things young ladies are supposed to do. But can you blame her? The alternative is turning her back on her mother, the one family member she has left (since Elijah, as far as Eleanor knows, is off galavanting across Europe). It's not like there are an abundance of alternative paths for women in the 19th century and, until she meets Jie, Eleanor wouldn't have imagined becoming a Spirithunter.

By the end of the novel, Eleanor sees that she is capable of anything. She's changed tremendously and yet she doesn't go with the Spirithunters. Why? She still can't abandon her mother. While Jie is right and there is always a choice, abandoning a mentally unstable, older woman is not the morally correct choice. So Eleanor has to wait and get things settled before she can go after what she wants. The difference, however, is that Eleanor knows what she wants.

She isn't just her mother's daughter, or Elijah's sister. Eleanor is her own person. She makes her own decisions and trusts in her own mind.

Do you feel Eleanor has a choice?


  1. I took soooo long answering this last discussion question! Seriously, I can't believe its the last week already :(
    Love your view by the way! I really hope we'll keep contact when this ends! I loved reading your posts and the replies you left me on my blog!
    X Iris

    1. I know- it's gone by so quickly!!

      I hope we stay in touch, too! It was so fun talking SASD with you!

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