Tag Archives: Abby Grahame

Wentworth Hall – Abby Grahame

Wentworth Hall – Abby GrahameTitle: Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame
Publishing Info: January 1, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 23, 2012

    Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for.
    It’s 1912, and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just the extensive grounds to maintain. As one of Britain’s most elite families, they need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been… even as their carefully constructed façade rapidly comes undone.
    Maggie has a secret. And she’s not the only one… the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something. Passion, betrayal, heartache, and whispered declarations of love take place under the Darlingtons’ massive roof. And one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever.
    When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, everyone is looking over their shoulder, worrying their scandal will be next. Because at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long.  

bookreview1I think the best way I can sum up WENTWORTH is Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey. I really think it had a lot of promise but failed to deliver on several different levels.

First: I actually didn’t feel very connected with the characters. It seemed like a lot of them were very basic, cookie-cutter versions of an idea that really could have been developed much more. They need to grow a bit more, to be more well-rounded. Each character had an idea of how they should be but didn’t really go much further beyond that basic idea. I also have no idea what the purpose of Jessica and Teddy were except for being the subjects of a few finger-pointing situations. I think their roles could have been easily pawned off onto other characters without them actually living in the house. I didn’t feel like their roles in the house were disruptive enough to stir up a lot of different conflicts. I also felt like there were just too many characters and the focus was spread out too far instead of concentrating on Maggie and Lila a bit more. I didn’t feel like there was really a core one/two/three main characters to settle on because it kept skipping from one person to the next.

I also think it could have been a lot better if the author had spent more time developing certain plot points and twisting mysteries into the story instead of silly things. For instance, I didn’t really care for seeing the ENTIRE newspaper satires (I didn’t even read some of them since it was essentially repeating what I had just read but in a silly way). The clues for the mysteries weren’t subtle enough to make me wonder what was going to happen. As soon as a clue was revealed, that pretty much exposed the whole secret instead of just revealing a piece of the puzzle.

There were some really great ideas and some excellent dramatic twists, but the whole book just felt a little rushed to me and I just really would have liked to see a lot more development overall.

character_breakdown1Maggie: Maggie was kind of a strange main character for me. The very beginning of the book started with her being quiet and cold towards everyone. Then in the second half of the book, we find out WHY but it was too late for me by then. I already didn’t like her. I had a hard time feeling sympathetic for her and thought it was too little too late.
Lila: I felt like Lila’s character was a little too immature for me. She was sixteen and after reading so many YA novels, I had hoped for a bit more maturity from her (although I know, I know, many sixteen-year-olds are quite immature…….. Myself for example)! I just wanted a bit more development from her and I just felt like her character was lacking quite a bit.

addiction_factor1

Skip it

This book was just…. not good. Pass on it.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE WENTWORTH HALL

           

The Selective Collective features Wentworth Hall – Casting Call

The Selective Collective reads WENTWORTH HALL by ABBY GRAHAME

This the first of our January posts for The Selective Collective, we read WENTWORTH HALL by Abby Grahame, sent to use by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for review and book club discussion. For my part in this month’s Selective Collective post, I will be doing Casting Call – Picking a few actors who I think would be great in the hypothetical movie version of WENTWORTH HALL.

Before we get started, here’s a brief synopsis from Goodreads.com:

Book Synopsis:  Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for.
     It’s 1912, and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just the extensive grounds to maintain. As one of Britain’s most elite families, they need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been…even as their carefully constructed faÇade rapidly comes undone.
     Maggie has a secret. And she’s not the only one…the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something. Passion, betrayal, heartache, and whispered declarations of love take place under the Darlingtons’ massive roof. And one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever.
     When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, everyone is looking over their shoulder, worrying their scandal will be next. Because at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long. (Summary from Goodreads.com)

CASTING CALL

Here are my choices for Casting Call, picking some actors who I picture as the main characters from WENTWORTH HALL (and thanks to Kristina at Gone Pecan for helping me find some British actors – I didn’t know many before)!

Maggie (Imogen Poots): According to the book, all of the Darlingtons have blonde hair and light eyes. Imogen Poots looks like a great choice for Maggie. I could easily see her in that role and bringing a lot of depth to her character.

Lila (Jessica Barden): Okay, I know she’s a brunette, but she’s so stinkin cute! The casting directors might have to dye her hair blonde for the role, I think Jessica Barden would make a great little sister as Lila Darlington. I feel like she’d be spunky and inquisitive and could pull off a really great Lila! She seems like she would be great in the little sister role.

Adele Haenel as Nora

Therese (Adele Haenel): It took me a while but I finally found a French actress for Therese, but I think Adele Haenel would be a great addition to the cast. I actually haven’t seen much of her work since she’s mainly in French films, but provided she speaks English (which I now realized I’m not even sure), I think she’d be great as the French nanny with a few more secrets hidden in her closet.

Michael (Jeremy Irvine): Okay come on. How could I not pick Jeremy Irvine! (And thanks to Kristina for helping me with this one because once I saw it, it was an obvious choice) Jeremy Irvine with a HORSE. Maybe most known for his role in War Horse, it was only fitting to cast him as the stablehand Michael and the romantic interest of Maggie. It’s just perfect.

So that’s it! Those are the actors I would cast in WENTWORTH HALL. If you’ve read the book, what do you think? Who would you choose? 

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of WENTWORTH HALL so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush Author Interview: Abby Grahame
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA Wentworth Hall Style
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks Round Table: Book Club Discussion
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan Review: Wentworth Hall