The Other Boleyn Girl

Happy Tuesday!! 

So over the past few weeks, I have been a little bookworm. Out of all of the books that I've read, though, I think that The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory was probably the most unique.
Obviously if you're awesome, you know that this book was our pick for January's historical fiction genre for Blogger Book Club.
Before I get into my actual book review, I'd like to make one thing clear - I almost never read historical fiction, and when I do, it's always, always WWII. ALWAYS. I think that this book was the first book I ever read that focused on the Tudor period.

That being said, I thought it was a great book. You are all probably going to make fun of me, but I had no clue which King Henry this was, and if the book hadn't given us years, I would have been clueless as far as when this was taking place.

I've been trying to figure out how I want to approach this review, and I thought I would focus on the characters rather than the plot, because, well.... those characters got me very fired up.

CONTAINS SPOILERS... but then again, so does your history book. 

FIRST OF ALL. That Boleyn family. How evil, self-absorbed, and manipulative can one family be? Obviously very. You practically force your 14-year-old daughter into an extra-marital affair with the king of England just so you can get ahead in society. When she is PREGNANT with his son, you allow her sister to take over the affair and try to manipulate the king into divorcing his wife so that you can take over the throne?!?! WHAT THE EFF IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?!?!?

Anne Boleyn. WHAT. A BEEP. Seriously. There were so many times I wanted to jump into the book and give you a high five. In the face. WITH A SPIKE-COVERED METAL BALL. Words cannot describe how much I hated that little beepitybeepbeepbeeper. What a manipulative, cunning, heartless, soulless person you were. You stole your sister's son and banished her from the kingdom. You convinced the king to have his wife (the lawful queen) banished from the kingdom. You deserved to get your head chopped off. I may have cheered at that part.
Mary Boleyn. Okay, you're not quite as bad as the rest of your family, but my gosh are you a freaking idiot. I mean, really??? After all that your sister did to you, you go back and indulge her and her stupid games? You make some really bad choices, Mary. I suppose I can't totally blame you since you were so manipulated by your family, but holy balls. I'm just glad that, in the end, you were intelligent enough to stay away. I appreciate that you eventually figured out that true love was more important than power.

George Boleyn. You disgust me. I'm pretty sure you were all up into making a monster baby with your sister Ann. That's right, you slept with your sister to get her pregnant. You. are. NASTY. Let's not talk about your relationship with little boys, either. I have no words. I'm glad your head was chopped off, too.

King Henry. You suck at life.

Overall, I'd give this book an A-. The author did a very good job of developing the characters and turning a part of history into a very engaging and entertaining story. I guess the only reason it didn't score higher is because there were parts where it was fairly slow-moving and I got bored.

What did you think? Feel free to link up both book and movie reviews below! Don't forget about the video chat on Thursday!! 


kim @ a positive peace said...

Omg! How can our feelings towards George be so different? I definitely did not believe the insuations that the author made towards the incest even tho they were obvious and I didn't read anything about little boys!! Inft bad for him that he was gay and couldn't be free to love who he wanted to love and was basically killed for that!

What a great choice for book club though! So much to discuss!! Xox

Unknown said...

Loved this choice for this month's book club! I completely agree with your reviews. Anne Boleyn is always painted as such a tragic character in history but this book made me ABSOLUTELY HATE HER.

Anonymous said...

I read this book YEARS ago when it first came out. It's actually fairly accurate. There is some speculation about whether Anne & George actually did the deed... no proof. And Anne was a very self-serving. Mary was caught, I think. In the middle. You have to remember the duty of families that were asked to be at court. It wasn't really a choice. It was an order. And you sort of had to do the King's bidding or be killed or screwed. I actually feel pity for all of them. What a tense life you live EVERY DAY.

Maggie B. said...

bahahaha. If you think these people are bad, go look up the Borgias. Extra extra crazy people. =) But it's what makes history so awesome! Well, that and knowing we don't have to live that way anymore. =)

meet.make.laugh. said...

I read this book years ago.... but still remember really enjoying it! Have you seen the movie? ~Stephanie

rooth said...

Hahah, your review is making me laugh - you get as worked up as my mom does about the 'bad guys' in tv shows and movies

Why Girls Are Weird said...

I totally need to add this to my to read list!

sHeRrY said...

hmm never read the book but I was like Anne Boleyn sounds familiar then it hit me how she's like the 3rd/2nd/whatever wife of a king from 2 years ago from History class and I think I did some kind of class presentation on king Henry before or was it another classmate? hahah my brain's retard!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

Hahaha I loved your review!

Sara Louise said...

I loved your review, mostly because this was your first Tudor book, so your insights were fresh (and very funny!. I'm a huge historical fiction fan, but I mostly read England between the 12th - 18th centuries so I love Philipa Gregory books. She's written loads and if you liked this one, you'll love them all :)

Unknown said...

I don't know where the heck I've been but I haven't sat down to read in a while. So thank you for the reminder, it's honestly like health food for my soul :)

RadiantKristen said...

"I wanted to high-five her. In the face. With a metal ball with spikes"

You are hilarious. I love your commentary.

Honestly, I think that Gregory took a few liberties in the telling of this tale. I don't think there's a very clear picture of the chain of events leading up to Ann losing her head, and so she filled in the gaps with some really... unpleasant things. I loved this book a few years ago, but I remember being totally grossed out too.

Katrin said...

You are awesome, Alyx! I will definitely check this out!

cynthia said...

I read this a few years ago and it led me into a couple years of almost exclusive Tudor related reading! I, also, knew NOTHING about the Tudors, Henry, or his 6 wives when I started it. It definitely keeps you reading. Even though some of the historical info is not necessarily totally accurate, who cares. It's historical FICTION. :)
I'm glad you liked it.

Unknown said...

I really liked the book. The movie not so much. I would have hated to live back then. So dangerous catching the eye of the king.

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