CATCHALL So, I went into dancergirl (You have no freaking clue how hard it is for me not to capitalize that. It is just...more***FINAL RATING: 3.45 STARS***
CATCHALL So, I went into dancergirl (You have no freaking clue how hard it is for me not to capitalize that. It is just wrong on SO many levels.) not having any idea what to expect. I'm a dancer, so that's really the thing that drew me to this book so much. I never expected to find it so thrilling!
THE HEROINE ALI I had a difficult time with Ali sometimes, but for the most part I could relate to he. She's every teen, really. Not invisible, but definitely nit one of the best-known girls in the school. And like many teens, she has a passion for something. For her, like me, it's dancing. Ali loves dancing more than anything. So when there's something that threatens that, she stands up and tries to solve the mystery. She's really strong heroine.
THE LOVE INTERESTS JACY So. Jacy. For a long time, we don't really know what's going on with Jacy. There's obviously something going on, but we don't know what it is. But even so, we know that he's not his usual self. When we finally find out what is wrong, I was completely shocked and surprised. That was one twist that I never saw coming, and I loved the twist of tragedy and everything it added. LUKE Honestly, I'm not sure I get the point of Luke. It's like authors have to throw in a second pointless love interest in every book to show that the heroine is really desirable or something. I don't get it. What is interesting, though, is that Carol gives Luke a backstory with not everything filled in.
THE FRIEND CHARLIE Charlie is actually a pretty central character. He's the one who starts the whole dancergirl (ahhhhhh!) thing, and really rockets Ali to her overnight fame, the fame that attracts her stalker's attention. And he really tries very hard to help Ali—or at least he seems to.
THE PLOT So, the plot! It was marvelous!
I'm totally gushing, but it really was. I don't really read mysteries very often, so of course this one was a really great one to read. Every aspect of it is done so beautifully! I was always on the edge of my seat.
Because goodness, was this book suspenseful! Even though I was fairly certain Carol wouldn't kill anyone, I didn't know for sure! And I think a lot of that is what really helped to keep me going.
What I didn't like: the pacing was awkward. Some things went by really quickly, and others dragged. I really think this unfortunately made this book significantly less enjoyable for me than it would have been otherwise.
Also, I had a few problems with some random side plots that kind of showed up and then fizzled and went nowhere. That was weird.
But overall, I absolutely adored the plot of this book. It was definitely glittering, and absolutely worth reading.
THE ROMANCE Ah, the romance. To be honest, not a whole lot of romantic development, but it somehow still works. Jacy and Ali have great chemistry and an awesome dynamic form the very first page and that definitely reflects in the novel. I don't know what Ali was doing with Luke, but I guess it kind of somehow did work in the story. Still, I was glad when that was over, and I loved the romance at the end.
THE WRITING Carol's writing is actually something really unique, but still totally awesome. Ali's voice is very mature but not overly so, and the description is absolutely marvelous. It's always a good thing when I can really picture a character and the world they live in. Carol did that for me. I fell in love with Ali' entire universe and was totally sucked into her story, courtesy of my being happily trapped in her mind.
THE ENDING dancergirl (Oh. My. GOD. Going crazy, I swear.) was an absolutely thrilling read, and I loved the ending. Everything was very climactic and I never even vaguely guessed the attention of the stalker, even though of course there were clues when I went back and looked. I also loved the happy ending aspect. I did think it was a bit rushed, but that's forgivable.
WRAPUP I adored dancergirl (Last time I am typing that word. EVER.) and I've already read Circle of Silence (Which, thank God, is properly capitalized.). After reading these two books, I'mm willing to follow Carol Tanzman wherever she takes me. Her romantic young adult thrillers are unbelievably suspenseful and extremely fun. This book was excellent, and I definitely recommend it.
CATCHALL I love, love, love Jessica Day George. Her entire Princess trilogy has been fantastic, and this book was no...more*****FINAL RATING: 4.65 STARS*****
CATCHALL I love, love, love Jessica Day George. Her entire Princess trilogy has been fantastic, and this book was no exception. It was romantic and sweet but also a bit daring and dangerous, and overall fabulous. Though I didn't love this one as much as the previous two and it is my least favorite book in the trilogy, I still absolutely loved it. It was a fantastic conclusion and it excited me to my very bones. Every danger was very real, and the mystery was intense. I fell in love with the story and didn't want it to end.
THE HEROINE PETUNIA Petunia is again, probably my least favorite of the three princesses featured in this series, but I still adored her. She was brave, and although she could be impulsive and a bit dense, she still was fun to be around. She was far from perfect, although I still had a difficult time connecting to her for whatever reason. She wasn't entirely relatable. Even so, she never whined, which was a relief. There wasn't one defining thing about her that I disliked, and overall she was a well-developed character.
THE LOVE INTEREST OLIVER Oliver is introduced as somewhat of a bandit. Cheated by the war with Analousia, his land has been taken away and in order to feed his people and survive, he's had to steal and trespass. Even so, he's far from bad-hearted. He only does this for survival. He's angry, but he still doesn't take hard vengeance where he could, not when he knows it's better not to. And he's fiercely loyal. He'll do anything for Petunia, take any risk, if it means keeping her safe. He puts others before himself no matter what.
THE PLOT Oh my, the plot. Fantastic, of course. When I first read about it, I feared that it might be too similar to the others. I could not be more pleased to be wrong. It was definitely a unique tale in its own right and a pleasure to read. I loved the fairytale aspect and the way it was woven into the story, all while remaining true to itself.
It's a retelling of Red Riding Hood, but there were some other fantastic things mixed in. The King Under Stone is back, and he'll do anything to get Rose and his sisters trapped in his realm. There's an elderly grandmother whose plans may not be all innocence, and a handsome prince who might only be in this for his own gain. There are also wolves, but they may not be the enemy.
There was mystery, which was awesome. Gotta love mystery. You don't really know who is on what side until the end, or where everything is going.
There are appearances by several older and much-loved characters who end up having surprisingly major roles. Everyone is important in this story.
More than that, though, is that there is tragedy, and that's what really opened up this book for me. I cried. I cried my eyes out. For while there was happiness and love, there was also great sacrifice. And that sacrifice broke my heart. I love that it wasn't all simple, and that there was pain.
THE ROMANCE So, the romance. Eee! Well, to be honest, it was a tad instalovey. Even so, it wasn't horribly instalovey and I did like it. For the longest time I had a difficult time seeing what they loved about each other, but eventually it really did become apparent. It wasn't perfect, but it could have been worse. I also think that a different path in the romance might have been interesting, but it was barely explored. Even so, I do like Oliver and Petunia together. I like the bond they share. We also get glimpses at the other princess' romances and I adored that too.
THE WRITING Jess' writing is fantastic. It really is. It uses alternate POV from Petunia and Oliver. It's third person, and yet we still get very deep insights into the person. It's awesome being inside their heads and amazing how she manages to give each character such a unique voice. I could always tell who was speaking. Also, the description was marvelous. I love the way she describes the different worlds and places. It's like they literally come to life, real places that truly exist.
THE ENDING The ending was marvelous. For the longest I was worried, wondering how she was going to make it into a happy ending. There as so much trouble and drama that it seemed like things could never be resolved. But of course, they were! There was happy fairy tale magic that thrilled me and was absolutely perfect. There was so much sweetness and happiness I thought that I would burst (in a good way!). There were other characters too who finally get their own happy endings, and it was basically just perfection.
WRAPUP So, did I absolutely love Princess of the Silver Woods? Um, heck yes! I'll definitely be rereading it in the future, as well as whatever Jessica decides to publish. I am totally a fan for life. I also wholeheartedly recommend this book. It's a sweet, cute fantastical romance with a bit of mystery and a dash of magic, making it fun and gorgeous. It is a truly enjoyable read that I think will find its way into many reader's hearts. I absolutely adored it, and I think if you give it a try you will, too. You can also read any of these three books without reading the others, but it's preferable to read all three!
CATCHALL Well, this was certainly an interesting book. I enjoyed it more than my rating probably implies. I actually rea...more***FINAL RATING: 2.55 STARS***
CATCHALL Well, this was certainly an interesting book. I enjoyed it more than my rating probably implies. I actually really did like this book. It was definitely enjoyable and had a wide variety of very different characters. I love dance, and naturally stories about dance appeal to me. love the twelve dancing princesses fairytale, and this retelling was really good. It was definitely a unique take, and I load that.
THE HEROINE AZALEA Actually, I did not like Azalea. She was really annoying and self-centered and pretty much the perfect example of a spoiled brat. She was really irritating and I did not like her at all. In fact, I kind of wanted to slap her. I really dislike her and while I love the way she takes care of her sisters, she is very often blinded by her own desires. She doesn't always pay attention to what others are trying to tell her when she is unwilling to listen.
THE SISTERS Well, two of them BRAMBLE I really liked Bramble, actually. Girl has an attitude! I love how she's not afraid to say what she thinks and speak her mind. Still, she's still a dancer, just not an irritating one like Azalea. CLOVER I liked Clover a lot, too. She's like the polar opposite of Bramble and reminds me of myself when I was younger. She's quiet but sweet. I love way she sort of becomes alive and more brae about halfway through the novel.
THE LOVE INTERESTS LORD BRADFORD Actually, Bradford was incredibly boring. There was nothing even vaguely interesting about him at all. I was so bored of him, even only after just a few pages. He's just so…boring. There's nothing special about him that I can see, and there's nothing I can really see to like about him. LORD TEDDIE I adored Lord Teddie. For one thin, he has the same name and nickname as my boyfriend, even if he spells it differently (but come on, who spells "Teddy" with an "ie" anyway?), so that gives him points in my book. Also, he has the most amazing bubbly personality. He's also really sweet in his own way. LORD FAIRWELLER I liked Fairweller a lot, too. He's quiet and sober in his own way, but not in a boring way. Instead, it's a part of who he is and it's rather admirable. I really like the way he treats the princesses, even when they're misbehaving and really don't deserve it.
THE FATHER THE KING Actaully, I think the king really tried to be a good father. Although being blinded by grief is no excuse to ignore his daughters, it is actually kind of understandable. Near the end of the book, though, he really does something that raises him in my eyes.
THE PLOT I liked the plot of this. It sticks to the basics of the twelve dancing princesses while still being its own original fairytale.
It's original. The fairytale concept is still there, but Heather puts her own twist on it and really makes it something special. I absolutely adored the plot and thought it made for a fantastic story.
What was lacking in the characters was more than made up for in the plot and I really enjoyed it.
The tale is told beautifully, one thing weaving effortlessly into the next. A little bit of unnecessary event, but all in all satisfying. The plot had a good standing and was well supported.
THE ROMANCE I love the romance in this book, actually. Sure, it moves a little too quickly for my taste, and often borders on instalove. Still, it's actually really sweet and in fairytale-type stories, I'm more lax on instalove and such. I really enjoy reading about the couples, even if they're a little predictable. So what? It'ssuper cute and super cute romance is my favorite! It's really adorable to read about.
THE WRITING Actaully, I went back and forth on Heather's writing. On one hand, I kind of liked it. On the other, the way she writes Azalea's thoughts turns her into a total brat. Which is sad. I mean, sometimes her writing is beautiful and flowy and so descriptive. And then sometimes, she says things like this:
She stared at his offensively green bow tie.
Like, what? I mean, what? This is just so random and dumb and really makes no sense. Which is a shame, although I do admit that her writing isn't awful. It just needs time.
THE ENDING The ending was pretty predictable and a little cliché, but I still really liked it! It was the perfect ending. I do wish it had been a little less predictable, but it definitely could have been worse. I think that all in all, it wrapped the book up pretty as a present and I did enjoy seeing that. Everyone gets their own happy ending and things turn out beautifully for everyone involved!
WRAPUP This book was incredible. Despite what my rating may dictate, I actually really loved this book. I would definitely recommend it and I'd happily go back and read it again. It wasn't my favorite book of all time, but I still adored it. I think that other people would too! Overall, for all its faults, it was a wonderful book.
I was simply thrilled when Poppy got her own book! It was fresh and new, and I loved the fairytale take. The plot was amazing, and the characters were...moreI was simply thrilled when Poppy got her own book! It was fresh and new, and I loved the fairytale take. The plot was amazing, and the characters were developed through different sets of eyes. I would absolutely love it if more books like this were released by Jessica Day George. They're simply brilliant, and I love the plots AND the characters! And the romance is nice, too, because it's understated and subtle.(less)
I really loved this book! I loved the easygoing romance that didn't dominate too much of the story and there was definitely a happy surprise at the en...moreI really loved this book! I loved the easygoing romance that didn't dominate too much of the story and there was definitely a happy surprise at the ending. The plot is just original enough but still connects enough to the original fairytale. It's a definite worthwhile read!(less)