Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Book Review: Rosemary's Baby



Author: Ira Levin

Pages: 302

Genre: Fiction/Horrow

Personal Rating: 4

**MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

From the back cover:

Rosemary Woodhouse is a housewife – young, healthy, blissfully happy. Her husband Guy is an actor – charismatic and ambitious. The spacious, sun-filled apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side is their dream home – a dream that turns into an unspeakable nightmare...

The elderly couple. The amulet. The Laundry room. The suicide. The dream. The doctor. The herbs. The anagram. The baby.

Rosmary’s baby.
Pray for it.
I guess I was so hyped up for this to be a terrifying book that I was slightly disappointed when it ended up being a “really good” suspenseful book. It’s pretty hard to write a truly terrifying book. I’ve only read a few in my days.

To keep it short Rosemary’s husbands agrees to have Rosemary impregnated by the devil during a Satanic ritual. He does this so that he can become successful in his career, but passes it off as if he’s doing it for them (at the end). As the reader you know what has happened, in a way, so the suspense comes from having to wait the nine months to see what actually “comes out” and then what ends up happening.

I enjoyed the read. I was hoping it would scare the “you know what” out of me. It didn’t. It is however a classic horror read and I know Levin is credited with giving “horror a new face”. One theme that is covered quite nicely is paranoia. Poor Rosemary “knows” what is going on, but since everyone is part of the satanic cult they are able to convince her she is just feeling “blue” or having “normal pregnancy pains” or that she is just being plain old silly! She even starts to believe she may be going crazy.

Rosemary’s Baby was a quick suspenseful read. You’ll enjoy it if you like horror or “classic” books.

“Suspense is beautifully intertwined with every incidents; the delicate line between belief and disbelief in faultlessly drawn.”—The New York Times
I picked this book as one of my reads for the Young Adult Challenge. Joy (who is hosting the challenge) and I had an interested chat today about whether it was really a young adult novel. I assumed since I found it from THE ULTIMATE TEEN READING LIST at teenreads.com that it was. Here is how they picked the books for the list.

One of our goals each month is to inspire you to read --- and to keep reading. We have found that required reading lists for school --- especially summer reading lists --- are not exactly inspiring. Thus we have created what we think is the Ultimate Teen Reading List --- more than 250 titles that we think are perfect choices for reading and discussing. Our dream is that schools will use this list to help them make their own for summer reading or, even better, suggest that students just read what they want from this list.

How did we create our list? We compiled entries from Teenreads.com readers who weighed in with their selections and we also asked our staffers for suggestions. Titles range from young adult books to books that we read on adult lists that we think would be enjoyed by teens.
So I would have to say that, no I don't think this is a young adult novel, but I do thing that many teens would enjoy reading this book.

5 comments:

Joy said...

Hi Juli! I can't seem to find anywhere that states that this is a YA book. Supposedly it's a classic horror book. ??? I'll wait until you respond before I make any changes. :)

Juli said...

i pulled it from one of the sites you recommended on your lists for the challenge. i was surprised myself. I don't feel like relooking so if you don't think it should count i'll just read something else. you can take it off the page if you want. Perhaps its more of a should be read be YA than a YA genre book???? It doesn't matter. Just let me know if I should remove it from my list.

Juli said...

Hi Joy! I finished my work abd I actually found it quickly

http://www.teenreads.com/features/2006-reading-list.asp

I'm not sure if its a young adult novel but it is on the list that you directed us to so I just assumed it would count for the challenge. If it doesn't thats OK. Let me know and I'll find another one.

Joy said...

Thanks, Juli for finding it. I'm not concerned in the least whether it "counts". That's up to you. My questioning thoughts were based on others viewing the links and thinking it was an acceptable choice for a "YA". Do you know what I mean? I'm not trying to be picky, just more "motherly" I guess. I'm going to leave it on there and let others make up their own mind. :) Thanks again!

Juli said...

I can completely see where you're coming from. Like I said I was surprised myself it was on there. Looking back at the teenreads info they said they picked both YA and adult books that they thought teens would enjoy. I'm not sure if that makes it a YA novel or not! But I like that you want others to decide for themselves and not impose a decision for them.

I may go add a little blurb to my review about reading it for the YA challenge.

Have a good night!

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