Not My Brand of Feminism, Not My Cup of Tea | Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

9:37 PM

I waited so long to read Stalking Jack the Ripper, but it wasn't what I expected. And definitely not for me.

About

Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco 
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

“There’s nothing better than a little danger dashed with some romance.”

Ready your pitchforks! Gather your strength! It's time for another unpopular opinion. Feel free to knock me out on this one.

Look. I seem to be in a bit of a reading slump that is on/off as the year comes to an end. It's fine. It's seriously putting me down a path of more misses in literature. It blows. Stalking Jack the Ripper has been on my TBR for so long and I've heard nothing but great things about it. Those great things, however, didn't really impress me and at the end of the day this wasn't my cup of tea. All that anticipation felt more lively than this novel did.

That came out wrong. Let me try again.

There were SO many things I liked about Stalking Jack the Ripper: the premise, the many nods to true crime, the mysterious air, the setting, Kerri Maniscalco's writing, etc. Yet, by the end of the story, I was left feeling drastically underwhelmed and found that I didn't care enough about it. (Seriously, this is where you sharpen your pitchforks and come at me.) And some of the more memorable things about the story were things that I wasn't terribly keen on.

Take the use of 'feminism' in Stalking Jack the Ripper. I'm not like MOST girls. I'm better girl. Rah-rah, fake feminism, blah-blah-blah. I was warned about it, but it was way more blatant than I expected and it caused me to cringe, scoff and roll my eyes so frequently I'm TIRED. That's not feminism. I tried to overlook it--due to the timeline, the setting, the way the character carried herself--but I couldn't.

This isn't the only issue I had with little and big things throughout the novel, but I am sure other reviewers have already tackled the general messiness. So, we'll move on to my expectations merely not being met.

I think part of my biggest issue with this was that Stalking Jack the Ripper is written in a way that is immensely more romantic than its premise led you to believe. The tone was bleak and atmospheric and mysterious, but I felt like the biggest draw of this should have been the mystery but it just wasn't. Which is on me: I expected something else. That's fine. It's jut that I wanted so much more from this and thought the balance of things was set off a little more than I'd hoped.

Ultimately, this book didn't work for me. I think it has some great qualities to it. It just wasn't my cup of tea, and that is okay. I probably won't be reading any sequels in the series, but never say never.

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