*A quick note about notes: I've debated for sometime about whether I want to mention any closing thoughts on books as I finish them. While I don't want anything I say to appear as a book review, I thought I could share my thoughts just to say how I liked it and what really drew me in or turned me off. Simple enough, right? That being said:
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
I was captivated by this book both for story and characterization. While the style is definitely that of the age in which it was written, once the character's mental state gets rolling downward, there's no stopping from becoming part of the character's life. Plath's character is justified, rationalizing, and two-faced all at the same time while still being sympathetic, and that is hard to craft. I found Plath's use of language and ability to describe the world around her character so clearly through her character's eyes remarkable. I've never seen a writer stay so consistent with who their character is at their core while always challenging and altering that character's mental state. Genius.