Until the TV show Once Upon A Time, the Disney movie was my only exposure to Snow White's story and, to be honest, I was not a fan. I'm not sure if it...moreUntil the TV show Once Upon A Time, the Disney movie was my only exposure to Snow White's story and, to be honest, I was not a fan. I'm not sure if it was her voice or how she was drawn, but Disney's Snow White really annoyed me for some reason. But I love the TV version of Snow, and was intrigued by this books premise of what happens once your Happily Ever After is over.
Poor Snow White is still grieving Prince Charming's death over a year later. Even though her daughter's impending marriage should be a happy time, she is deeply depressed and can't seem to begin healing. Looking for a quiet spot in the bustling castle, she finds herself in her evil stepmother's old apartment and stumbles upon the Magic Mirror.
Half convinced the mirror is an evil demon, it insists that it is just a mirror and only shows a person's reflection. It's not the mirror's fault if the person isn't happy with what they see, but is Snow White brave enough to examine her reflected life closely? The mirror then takes her on a journey of reflection, reminding her of all she's survived.
This story shows a much darker version of Snow White's life than the Disney fairy tale. Her stepmother wasn't just cruel, but incredibly abusive. That Snow survived the mental, emotional, and physical abuse is amazing! And the mirror has even more to show her, as Life With Stepmonster isn't Snow's only memory to reflect upon.
I'm a little torn about my reaction to this story. On the one hand, I really like the idea of a magic mirror helping you reflect upon your life by reliving memories, both good and bad. But on the other hand, I'm still not a fan of Snow White and this version didn't help change my mind. She seemed a little too self-pitying for my tastes and my impression was that she relied on men to save her instead of saving herself. That's a major pet peeve of mine! I also didn't like how she treated the mirror afterwards.
All in all, I did enjoy the story. I thought it was an original premise and I liked the tweaks the author made to the fairy tale. Snow White still isn't my type of fairy tale princess, but this story is worth reading for all the unique touches.
Would love to hear from anyone else who's read this one! Am I taking Snow's weepiness the wrong way? And am I the only one bugged by the mirror's ultimate fate? I know it's just a mirror, but it's a magic mirror and deserved better! Plus, I want one....(less)
Ashyn is a Seeker, who finds the spirits of the dead and puts them to rest. Her twin Moria is a Keeper, who protects the empire from unsettled spirits...moreAshyn is a Seeker, who finds the spirits of the dead and puts them to rest. Her twin Moria is a Keeper, who protects the empire from unsettled spirits.
On Ashyn's very first solo trip into the Forest of the Dead, something goes horribly wrong. When the signal flare isn't sent at the agreed upon time, Moria joins a search party to find out what happened.
Members of Ashyn's group start disappearing during the Seeking, and then Ashyn is briefly taken hostage by some surviving exiles. They are attacked and stumble upon the search party while fleeing. Then the search party is attacked. Only the twins, one of the exiles, and a guard make it back to the village alive. The village is attacked soon afterwards.
The twins are separated during the attack and both decide to make their way across the Wastes, heading towards the nearest village for help. Unfortunately, things do not improve on their journeys.
What an exciting story! I love the world that Kelley has created, and the twins are both great characters! Ashyn is the quieter twin, while Moria is fiery and impulsive. They are both strong in their way, but a little out of their depth as they are still only teenagers.
The story was well paced, with lots of action and an interesting plot. Kelley is one of my favorite authors, and she doesn't disappoint with this new series! (less)
This book has an original, unique premise that I haven't come across before - what if you were reincarnated every time you died, but reborn as yoursel...moreThis book has an original, unique premise that I haven't come across before - what if you were reincarnated every time you died, but reborn as yourself and retained your memories? Stuck in the same timeframe during each lifetime, but with the memories and experience to change your path however you chose? I found this concept fascinating!
Harry is a kalachakra, described as one who loops perpetually through the same course of historic events. Most of the kalachakra eventually discover (or are discovered by) the Cronus Club, a loosely organized group where the members help future generations deal with their unique situation. Harry is a little unique among the unique because he remembers everything. Called a mnemonic, the kalachakra who retain everything are considered not only rare, but also a little dangerous.
Most of the members of the Cronus Club are self-indulgent and unconcerned with the outside world. While there is a plausible explanation why they don't get involved in the big events (like killing Hitler), I couldn't help but feel they were frittering away this wonderful gift. What's the point of endless lives if you just spend them partying your time away? But that's a philosophical discussion best left for another day....
While the story bounces around a bit between Harry's different lives, I never had trouble following the plot and actually enjoyed connecting the puzzle pieces! Harry is an interesting character and made a good narrator, but this is one story where I wouldn't have minded multiple narrators to get other POVs about the life of a kalachakra.
Highly recommended reading for anyone in search of an interesting story! It was not only a good read, but left me wondering how I'd respond in a similar situation. I hope I wouldn't fritter my life away, but guess I'll never know. Unless that sense of deja vu means.... (less)
This story has an interesting premise, but I'm not entirely sure if the Great White Room is a real place or somewhere you visit while dreaming. I foun...moreThis story has an interesting premise, but I'm not entirely sure if the Great White Room is a real place or somewhere you visit while dreaming. I found it intriguing that they could help make your deepest dreams come true, but was left with several questions: how did they know your deepest dream? How exactly could they make them come true? Who were the other people in the Great White Room? How were the dreamers chosen? Inquiring minds want to know!
We first encounter the Great White Room the same time we meet Andy. She's the first to arrive, but is soon joined by six others. They introduce themselves, all wondering where they are and how they got there. The Guardian appears, but leaves them just as confused as they were before his arrival. And then their adventure begins!
While I did enjoy this story and am looking forward to the sequel, the writing felt a little young to me. Nothing I can put my finger on, but I got the impression that this story was written with a younger audience in mind than your usual Young Adult book. Some of the dreamer's issues were resolved rather quickly and a little simplistically in my opinion, and I would have liked it if some of the dreamers stuck around a little longer.
Overall, not a bad introduction to a new series. Some of the characters could have been fleshed out a little more, but I'm still interested in seeing where the author takes this series next! New dreamers? Or will she pick up where this one left off? Looking forward to it!(less)
At less than 200 pages, this was a quick read for me. While I enjoyed the story, I would have liked more information about the future, devastated worl...moreAt less than 200 pages, this was a quick read for me. While I enjoyed the story, I would have liked more information about the future, devastated world Preena came from.
The story seemed a little light on details at times, when I would have liked in-depth descriptions of certain people, places, or events. Because of its short length, some of the secondary characters weren't fully developed. There were also a few situations I found a little unbelievable and in need of more explanation.
Preena has no special powers or abilities, which is a nice change from so many of the YA heroines out there. While she is supposed to be highly intelligent, she's also a typical teenager who chafes against the strict rules of her community.
Ethan makes a good love interest, and I appreciated that there was no insta-love. While she doesn't understand his initial interest in her, we do. I really liked that they were friends first, as that seems rare in YA nowadays.
There were a few plot points that didn't make sense to me (such as the future plague), and it annoyed me when so many of the adults reprimanded Preena by calling her stupid. I thought she was supposed to be super-smart? While she didn't always act intelligent, she did act like a teenage girl so give her a break!
While a little thin in places, I think this would make a good beach read. (less)
This book was a big bag of mixed emotions for me because, while I was excited to see what happens next for Gwen and her friends, I was also sad that i...moreThis book was a big bag of mixed emotions for me because, while I was excited to see what happens next for Gwen and her friends, I was also sad that it's now coming to an end. We've been through so much together and now it's over.
We start off with Gwen and Logan on a double date with their friends Daphne and Carson. I like the nod to Crimson Frost, which started with Gwen and Logan's first date. Gwen is a nervous wreck, convinced that something horrible will happen. I really wish that poor Gwen could have a normal teenage life once in awhile, but guess that's too much to ask for Nike's Champion.
I appreciated that the bad guys are really bad in this story, Loki especially. I love really evil villains, as you never know what will happen next! Sometimes in YA the bad guys are more than a little whitewashed, as heaven forbid you scare the young readers! Not in this one. Loki and the Reapers are Bad with a capital B!
Suffice it to say, there is tons of action, a fast moving plot, and an absolutely fabulous ending to one of my favorite series! And yes, the story brought tears to my eyes a few times. So sue me, I get emotionally involved with my favorite characters every now and again. *L*
There are only six books in this series and I think that they're pretty fast reads, so I recommend reading them all. This way you'll get to know Gwen and company and have a better understanding of all that they're up against. Very worthwhile reads!(less)
This is one of those rare collections where almost every, single story is good! I could usually guess which classic fairy tale inspired each story, bu...moreThis is one of those rare collections where almost every, single story is good! I could usually guess which classic fairy tale inspired each story, but have to admit that a couple had me scratching my head. That didn't take away from enjoying the stories, but the ones I recognized seemed just a little more fun.
One of the stories, Thinner Than Water by Saundra Mitchell, actually gave me chills and really stayed with me. Others were amusing, some were tender, and some, like Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan, made me laugh out loud!
Better by Shaun David Hutchinson and A Real Boy by Claudia Gray were nice compliments to each other. Figment by Jeri Smith Ready was a sweet tale of what muse might inspire artists, and The Brothers Pigglett by Julie Kagawa was an amusing take on the Three Little Pigs.
It's hard to review an anthology like this without giving too much away, but I can highly recommend this one to anyone who likes fairy tale retellings, YA, talented authors, or just plain good stories!(less)
Book #4 picks up soon after #3, with Jenny trying to track down an evil witch in Houston. She not only finds trouble, but jumps in with both feet! The...moreBook #4 picks up soon after #3, with Jenny trying to track down an evil witch in Houston. She not only finds trouble, but jumps in with both feet! The girl really should learn to look before she leaps. On the plus side, she meets a hot, new guy. On the negative side, she might not survive the experience!
Really like Jenny, as she's not your typical heroine. She's not really sure what she's doing, she makes mistakes, and she gets hurt. I've always gotten annoyed with heroines who learn that they have powers one day and are uber-ninjas the next! I mean, really?
Also really like that she's a tall, skinny girl with a purple faux-hawk and a tattoo. Not your typical main character. And her BFF Marshal is proudly gay, another unusual character that we don't see enough of in urban fantasy. Love these two!
This is a fun series if you're looking for original characters and an interesting storyline. I recommend reading them in order, but they're all quick reads so it shouldn't take long to catch up.(less)
When Marshal's father disappears in book 3, Jenny fears the worst. She's afraid that there might be a monster on the loose and that her BFF's father m...moreWhen Marshal's father disappears in book 3, Jenny fears the worst. She's afraid that there might be a monster on the loose and that her BFF's father may be one of its victims. When a despised bully heads out with a posse to track down the "animal" after the official search party is called off, Jenny tags along to try to rescue dad. Things don't end well...(less)