Calendar Girls, Read-a-Long

Calendar Girls Read-A-Long! Chap 20-24


Welcome back to Calendar Girls’ very first read-a-long! As a monthly blogging event, we strive to welcome all bloggers and readers and to find new ways for them to engage with each other (over books, of course 😜).

Since the read-a-longs follow the monthly theme, July’s read-a-long theme is Fairytale Retellings! And the wonderful bloggers popped over to Twitter where they voted for which book they’d want to read this month. The winner was….

A. G. Howard

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Chapters 20-24 Discussion Questions

  • How do you feel about the scientific explanation for Rune and how she obtained her voice?
  • Was Erik’s plan what you were expecting? If not, how was it different?
  • Were you satisfied with the ending? If not, what would you have liked to be different?
  • As a retelling, do you think this story did a good job of staying true to the original?
  • Were there any loose ends you felt should’ve been brought together better?
  • Any other commentary so far?

Answer a few. Answer them all. Come up with your own! 😀


July 10th: Discuss chapters 1-7
July 12th: Discuss chapters 8-13
July 14th: Discuss chapters 14-19
July 17th: Discuss chapters 20-24 (The End!)

Oh! And while you’re reading, feel free to share your progress and/or non-spoilered thoughts (because Roseblood just pubbed in January) on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CGBReadalong so other readers can see what you think and chime in.


13 thoughts on “Calendar Girls Read-A-Long! Chap 20-24”

  1. I have finally finished this book!

    How do you feel about the scientific explanation for Rune and how she obtained her voice?
    I think that the idea that the music was trapped and released by the violin was pretty cool. It’s an interesting concept and it worked within the story.

    Was Erik’s plan what you were expecting? If not, how was it different?
    I thought he had Christine’s body, which would be considerably less creepy than keeping a baby. Not un-creepy but less creepy. There was a lot to this plan, and so much could have gone wrong that I don’t think it was the most well thought out or executed plan. He had over a hundred years, he could have come up with something better.

    Were you satisfied with the ending? If not, what would you have liked to be different?
    I mean, the happily ever after part did feel sort of satisfying. Thorn got to escape his prison, Rune learned who and what she was and is able to live a rather normal life now that she knows how to deal with it. I kind of felt like Erik should die. I mean, his plans have been foiled, and he was shipped away, but whose to say he won’t try to do something similar again?

    As a retelling, do you think this story did a good job of staying true to the original?
    I’m not super familiar with the original. But there was an underground tunnel, a man in a mask, a kidnapping of sorts, and a falling chandelier. So It had all the elements I know from Phantom of the Opera. I think it was an interesting story and a different take than the original, but I can’t say whether or not it was true to the original.

    Were there any loose ends you felt should’ve been brought together better?
    I feel like there were many elements of this book that could have been executed better, and if I start to type them I will be typing for the next couple hours. Overall I think it was a pleasant read, with some cool supernatural elements.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, the plan was not only not well thought out, but SOOOO poorly explained. There were a ton of things that didn’t add up: the requirement that she come willingly, yet he’s going to slice her wide open to take an essence from her that should supposedly keep the baby alive. Or whatever. But then Christine’s soul was split between Rune and Thorn and yet he only needs the voice from Rune. I dunno. It didn’t add up in my mind.

      THANK YOU! I completely agree that Eric should’ve died. He honestly had NO reason to live and the whole purpose of him finding unconditional love and acceptance from Thorn (who should honestly hate him at this point for trying to kill his twin flame but for no apparent reason doesn’t), just didn’t add up. Because that would imply that Eric and Thorn will be together forever, but they blatantly comment on how Eric can’t be near Rune, which means the three can never be together and that foils the love plot entirely. Ugh!

      Hee hee! Well, i’m glad you enjoyed the book better than myself (and possibly Adrienne). Personally, I couldn’t find myself able to enjoy it because of all the inconsistencies and flaws and lack of active characters, etc. It just… wasn’t successful in my opinion. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like we got jipped with the explanation of where she got her voice. It didn’t feel right or make as much sense as I wanted it to.

    The further I read the more I began to pick up on Erik’s plan, and again, it didn’t feel right. It didn’t make sense to both have to surgically cut out her vocal cords and emotionally make her want to give up Christina’s soul. Plus, the whole keeping the baby alive in an incubator thing was weird.

    I was not satisfied with the ending, but I don’t know what I would put in its place.

    As a retelling, at least from the movie, it had a lot of similarities, but I don’t know if that was a good thing because that took away from the originality.
    I still don’t feel like the grandma situation was resolved, and if Rune and Thorn were meant to be lovers, why did they not end up together?

    Now I feel like I want to lower my rating even more. Your questions really help me realize just how disappointed I was with the book. It had so much potential!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear. I’m sorry for making you even more disappointed with the book, but I do feel like so much was just… left out. It was underdone and not planned appropriately. It’s like… the story wasn’t fully developed before it was written and released. It’s such a disappointment.

      Oh! We totally got jipped. She’s a succubus/psychic vampire thing, but she got Christina’s voice by CHANCE because of a magical violin that stole Christina’s voice and belonged to Rune’s family. Her father just happened to have it and play it. I dunno. It all seemed a little coincidental if you ask me. And it doesn’t explain the twin flames thing. If Christina’s soul was split, then why does only Rune have her voice? Why wasn’t the voice split between Rune and Thorn? Some of that just didn’t make sense.

      Yeah… If he was going to cut it out, what difference did it make whether Rune gave it willingly or not? Does it have some effect on whether she dies or something? And even if she does, who cares? Not like Erik wanted Rune anyway. Psh.

      As to the baby. The baby was dead. They said it couldn’t breathe. Thus it was never alive. So the whole idea that the baby was being kept alive is just awful! It doesn’t make any sense at all.

      And then Erik gets some redemption?! Are you kidding me?! Erik has been a corrupted, darkened soul since BIRTH! There is no good in him. There is no redemption. That whole idea is GARBAGE! Sorry, but no. He should’ve died. At the very least (since no one else in the entire freakin’ story did), Erik should’ve died.

      As to the retelling part, I think it was attempted, but too much was changed for it to be a true retelling. It was like it was trying to be its own story while remaining true to the original and it really didn’t work.

      The grandma? No freakin’ idea. Apparently she was trying to scare Christina’s voice out of Rune by attempting to kill her?? Frankly, it sounds like NO ONE had any idea what was going on, but then everyone has the answers at the end. (which, by the way, are just dumped on the reader in copious amounts, making it near impossible to absorb everything.)

      As to Rune and Thorn being together. They did end up together. I mean, they had sex at the end, but again it comes down to Erik. Thorn seemed unwilling to leave Erik and therefore can’t fully commit himself to a life with Rune, at least not yet (nor ever given that Erik’s CRAZY!) If Erik had died, everything would’ve been PERFECT. But no. We can’t kill anyone in YA. -.-

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You helped me re-analyze my feelings. I liked having that chance to re-think with your questions.

        I agree with everything you have brought up this time, lol. Not much of a discussion from me, but I don’t know that I could add anything else to the great points you brought up.

        And I know they had sex but it just didn’t feel like them coming together forever like he claimed they should be, you know?

        Liked by 1 person

                1. Bitch, please. Your petty demands for cookies from the Queen of the Dark Side are but wasted breath. Prove yourself, young minion, and those cookies may be granted upon you. Impress me and you may just be allowed to select your flavor of cookie.
                  😈 Mwahahahahaha!

                  Liked by 1 person

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