I almost feel like it’s unfair for me to have been chosen to pick the winner between Outlander and Wuthering Heights. I read Outlander for the first time the summer before my junior year of high school while on vacation. I LOVED it! I devoured every word and went on to devour every book in the series. Although, not the most recent two novels, so no spoilers. Since I’ve become a youth services librarian, my time spent reading adult books has decreased dramatically. I basically now only read adult books that are some take on Jane Austen. Eligible, yes please. Longbourn, sure, I’ll make time for you. Whereas with Wuthering Heights, I’ve tried to read this novel many a time and have never been able to push through it. I first was assigned to read it in high school and like many high school students, I did not finish it and made do with Spark Notes/Wikipedia. I tried again the summer before I went off to university. I went on a kick where I only read classics. I didn’t finish Wuthering Heights that time either. The last time I tried to read it, I listened to the audiobook. The narrator was awful and I definitely didn’t finish it that time. All of that to explain that this didn’t feel like a fair fight for me to begin with.
And after that introduction, to no one’s surprise, I still did not like Wuthering Heights. I can’t stand Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship. It ruins the entire book. They’re so gross and can’t see beyond themselves. Nothing changes and everyone is horrible throughout the entire novel. Why would anyone want to read that? I don’t mind a gothic romance. I love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, but there is character development in that book! Really the only thing that I actually enjoyed about Wuthering Heights is the language. It can be beautiful at times and is by far the novel’s only saving grace.
Outlander is such a compelling read. Galbadon blends different genres together effortlessly to create a story that has a little something for everyone. While it’s definitely a romance, it also includes some military history and adventure. You get pulled into the novel with Claire’s spunk and ability to cope in extreme circumstances. After a forced marriage, you get to see Claire and Jamie get to know each other and fall in love. I love how Claire and Jamie’s relationship builds throughout the novel. It reads as genuine, sweet and very steamy at times. They support each other, but they’re also able to be separate people. (Unlike Catherine and Heathcliff...blehh.)
Without further ado, drumroll please……the winner is Outlander by Diana Galbadon!
Basically, I can’t recommend Outlander highly enough! Go read the book! Then, watch the TV series. Save yourself and skip reading Wuthering Heights.