I didn't like this as much as My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories and skipped a few stories which didn't grab me. But there were several dI didn't like this as much as My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories and skipped a few stories which didn't grab me. But there were several definite winners which made it worth reading: Stephanie Perkins' "In Ninety Minutes, Turn North", a continuation of her story from the last anthology; "The End of Love", by Nina LaCour, a lovely story of two people reconnecting; "A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong", by Jennifer E. Smith, about a girl interested in an unusual guy (not spoiling it); and most especially, Lev Grossman's "The Map of Tiny Perfect Things", a gorgeous, emotional time-loop story....more
I'm often not a fan of short stories, but I picked this up from the library on the strength of some of the authors. As it turned out, I liked the wholI'm often not a fan of short stories, but I picked this up from the library on the strength of some of the authors. As it turned out, I liked the whole collection more than I thought I would. There were a couple of stories which interested me less, but I read all of them (unusual for me, as I'm prone to skipping if I'm bored by the first few paragraphs of a story).
I especially liked Kelly Link's "The Lady and the Fox", because I love her writing and am a sucker for Tam Lin stories; Stephanie Perkins' "It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown", which packed a lot of great characterization into a few pages; and Kiersten White's "Welcome To Christmas, CA", which had a charming touch of magical realism and some good character work....more
A bit disappointing compared to Cruel Beauty. As an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, it's clever, and as well-written as Hodge usually is, but I neverA bit disappointing compared to Cruel Beauty. As an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, it's clever, and as well-written as Hodge usually is, but I never felt as though I really understood the worldbuilding. I did like that the Romeo and Juliet relationship is seen through flashbacks and interactions with other people, so it doesn't weigh down the story and the characters; in fact, I thought that might have helped the "love at first sight" trope feel more realistic, as other characters see its reality from the outside. (If that makes any sense at all.)
I must say that I was very irritated to get to the end and find out that it's apparently the first of a series (a duology, as best as I can tell). There's quite a cliffhanger there, and I don't like those in the best of cases, much less when I'm not warned in advance that there might be one. I will certainly read the next one, but I'd have been happier if I'd known there'd be one. (And I realize this is almost not the author's choice of marketing, so this is not at all a criticism of her.)...more
I'm so pleased this finally came out. It's a lovely and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, wrapping things up while leaving the door open for furthI'm so pleased this finally came out. It's a lovely and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, wrapping things up while leaving the door open for further adventures....more
Tell the Wind and Fire is a reimagining of Dickens' classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. In a world divided between Light and Dark, Lucie is a child ofTell the Wind and Fire is a reimagining of Dickens' classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. In a world divided between Light and Dark, Lucie is a child of both cities, born in the Dark to a Light father and Dark mother. When she meets her beloved Ethan's magically created doppelganger Carwyn, the secrets they keep threaten to destroy them all.
What I liked most was the writing. It's not as funny as Rees Brennan usually is (though there's some entertaining dialogue), but that fits with the tone of the book. Her descriptions are often beautifully lyrical, and evocative to the point that I could visualize them in my head (not usually a strong point of mine).
Lucie is named after her analogue in Dickens, but is far more intelligent and has more agency. Even her dumb decisions (and blindness concerning others) seemed to grow out of a convincing teenage shortsightedness. I wish that Ethan (and some of the supporting cast) had been more developed, but I was reasonably happy reading along in Lucie's POV.
However, when it comes to worldbuilding (often a deal-breaker for me) I liked the concept, but not so much the execution. The worldbuilding is very slender -- how did the world divide into Light and Dark? Why? Was there magic before that, or did it come out with the division? I do get tired of YA dystopias with artificial divisions which aren't explained or which don't make any sense (I'm looking at you, Divergent).
I did get pulled in at the end, almost in spite of myself and in spite of knowing what the ending had to be. For that and for the writing, Tell the Wind and Fire was worth my time reading. I hope, though, that next time Rees Brennan has a potentially interesting concept like this, she gives herself a little more space to develop it....more