I am going to try and keep track of the books I read throughout 2010. Hopefully will it not only fulfill my OCD need to keep lists of things - but perhaps you will discover a book you might want to read. Or not read depending on the review.
So my first book of 2010 (finished just short of midnight on January 1) is ...
"The Heroines" by Eileen Favorite
I loved this book! While the ending leaves you wondering "how would that happen" the whole book is based on a fantastical premise anyway - so why not!
Penny lives with her mother in their bed and breakfast in rural Illinois. She has never known her father but is told he was a high school football star who died at 17 never knowing he had a daughter. Hard enough for a young girl but her life is further complicated by the unusual guests of their bed and breakfast -- heroines from various novels throughout history.
While the mental hospital scenes are disturbing, it was necessary to provide some fragility to Penny's character. Penny is - in effect - one of the heroines who visit the house. And aren't all heroines at some point driven to brink of sanity? She stands in strong contrast to her mother who seems to be a passive bystander of all the events. (Except, of course, until the end when the reasoning for her passivity is explained.)
A lot of reviews I read complained that the heroines weren't utilized enough. I say hogwash. Their presence was there to merely further Penny's story. She is the heroine of this novel, not them. I say if you want to know more about them, read the original books in which they appear.