I decided to rate this from the perspective of the target audience.
Unlike other R.L. Stine books, not every chapter ends on a cliffhanger, which was aI decided to rate this from the perspective of the target audience.
Unlike other R.L. Stine books, not every chapter ends on a cliffhanger, which was a welcome relief. And furthermore, the book didn't end with a twist, though I found that slightly disappointing. After all, what's a R.L. Stine novel with a surprise twist?
One thing I liked about Stine's books while growing up is that they provided a progression for children. From Goosebumps to Fear Street, Stine provided increasingly adult books for children to read. This one is somewhere between the two. There's the short, supernatural elements of Goosebumps, but it's set on Fear Street, allowing the reader to progress to the more teen-directed stories....more
This is probably one of the few Francesca Lia Block books that I didn't have a mind-bending issue with after reading it for the first time. It still hThis is probably one of the few Francesca Lia Block books that I didn't have a mind-bending issue with after reading it for the first time. It still has that distinctive Block touch about it, and it definitely has that majestic, mystical, faerie-magic tint all over it, but it flows in a chronological order and it's easy to follow.
These stories, like most of Block's short stories, flow into each other. They're all linked, except the finale, which I felt was the low point of the series. I liked wondering how the next story was going to link in with the rest, how it was going to relate. So when the final short story didn't fit in at all, I was let down.
Still, this is a beautiful book, and perhaps one of my top ranking FLB books....more
I'm stuck between rating this a two and a three. I decided to go for the two for my general view of the book.
For the most part, it's okay. There's noI'm stuck between rating this a two and a three. I decided to go for the two for my general view of the book.
For the most part, it's okay. There's no distinct reason as to why I disliked it because, for the most part, there's nothing horrible about it. There's no one point where I sat up and found myself saying, 'aha, this is why I don't like it'. It's just a bland piece of work that doesn't quite pick up anywhere. There's no crescendo, no rise of tension. There were parts that I liked- Ranuccio and Bianca's conversation in the woods for instance- but they were little.
This was just Snow White. That's it. Despite the historical context, despite the stone dwarfs, this was just Snow White. Unlike Maguire's retelling of The Wizard of Oz (Wicked being my favourite of his works and the only thing that leads me back to him in hopes of finding another masterpiece like that), or Cinderella (which was moderately better), this has no charm, no quirks. Historical fiction and fantasy can be worked together, but this just didn't mesh. Did he want history or fantasy? He seemed to switch between the two far too often.
That's not to say this is a bad novel. There's just no charm to it that I could sink my teeth into. Perhaps it's just a series of unsatisfying novels that I've been reading recently that left me uninterested in this, but given other reviews here, I'd say that's not the case. If you're interested, please, read it, but it just didn't work for me....more
Before reading any further, I must state that I am not a fan of the original Pride and Prejudice. While I don't entirely dislike the work of Jane AustBefore reading any further, I must state that I am not a fan of the original Pride and Prejudice. While I don't entirely dislike the work of Jane Austen, I find her novels to be difficult to read, and romance stories tend to bore me. And, in saying that, I'm not one for zombie stories either, novels and films alike. What attracted me to this book was the quirkiness (which is the attraction to the book across the board I suspect), and for the whole, I tend to enjoy reading retellings of famous stories.
First off, I liked the slight change in Elizabeth's character. I never liked Elizabeth in the original story, so to see her view her youngest sisters with such disdain was amusing. That, and I liked the change in Wickham's fate. Does Lydia still love Wickham in the end, or still see him as much as fun as she once did? Well, it's hard to say. But I did enjoy the passing of words between Elizabeth and Wickham towards the end of the novel when all the scandal comes to light.
I also liked the Shakespearean-like innuendos at some points (such as Elizabeth and Darcy discussing the latter's balls and the ownership of them), and the gradual decease of Charlotte.
There were parts where the change of Austen to Grahame-Smith is a bit difficult to accept. After all, Regency era and the undead don't typically go hand in hand. I would have preferred more ultra-violent zombie slaying, but for the most part, it all worked rather well. I'm not sure who I'd recommend it to, but if you're interested in reading it, and are a fan of retold stories, give it a go. It's an easy enough read and won't take too much time....more
One of the better books I've read recently. I was quite surprised, honestly. I'm a fan of post-apocalyptic books, for whatever reason, and this one juOne of the better books I've read recently. I was quite surprised, honestly. I'm a fan of post-apocalyptic books, for whatever reason, and this one just seemed to suit my tastes. There's no particular reason why. The book is poorly written in parts, and in some areas, it's never exactly said what's going on (such as the events in the cave and what exactly Elspeth is doing). But apart from these areas, it seems to work.
And, furthermore, none of the characters really pulled me in. I liked the limited screentime Rosamunde had before she returned, and Cameo. To be honest, I'm not sure if I'll actively pursue reading the other books, but I did enjoy the first novel, for what it's worth. It seemed to fall apart towards the end, but everything else worked, surprisingly well.
Overall, rather enjoyable and perhaps suited to someone a little bit younger than myself....more
It wasn't as magical as I was hoping it would be. It's neither a child's nor adult's book. It's a bit too deep for a child but as an adultIt was okay.
It wasn't as magical as I was hoping it would be. It's neither a child's nor adult's book. It's a bit too deep for a child but as an adult reading it, I'm not sure if I'm feeling the joy and wonder that would necessarily go with it. I enjoyed the parts where the prince visited other worlds, but once he hit earth, it was all lost.
But it was nice. Simple, easy to read, and nice. And isn't that really the point of childrens books?...more
I'm honestly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book.
I've never read anything by Oscar Wilde before, admittedly. When I picked up this book, I expI'm honestly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book.
I've never read anything by Oscar Wilde before, admittedly. When I picked up this book, I expected a difficult styling with language, purple prose, unrelatable characters and an over-the-top story. What I found was a very easy to read story, with sympathetic characters and an almost believable storyline. I found Dorian Gray to be nice, albeit very young and naive at the beginning. I found his proclamations of love to be amusing and believable of someone so young. The way he followed Lord Henry around at the beginning was also realistic. I can see why Wilde has been a cherished author for years because his stories can be read by anyone and his view into the mind of a character who descends into a hellish egocentric realm can be related to.
There was only one point where I found myself mentally begging for him to get on. I can understand what he was trying to do in Chapter Eleven, with his musings on art, music and fashion, but I felt it dragged on a little too much. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have seen the previews for the new movie, starring Colin Firth, Ben Barnes and Rachel Hurd-Wood. It doesn't seem to be a faithful adaptation, but I may check it out, simply on enjoying the book so much alone....more
I'm honestly surprised I enjoyed this book so much. I suspected I would (I'm a bit of a sucker for faerie novels), but I enjoyed it a lot more than II'm honestly surprised I enjoyed this book so much. I suspected I would (I'm a bit of a sucker for faerie novels), but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I'm not going to lie; the cover is what dragged me in, and then the promise of 'faerie romance', but this book is a lot more than girl-meets-faerie-boy, girl-and-faerie-boy-fall-in-love.
Maybe it's the fact that Aislinn doesn't fall in love with Keenan. Maybe it's the fact that Keenan is really an arrogant jerk. Maybe it's the fact that Seth and Aislinn stay together at the end. Or maybe it's the different Courts, or the fact that faeries are pretty freaking ugly and scary. Or perhaps it's the fact that Donia looks like a corpse. Or maybe it's the fact that Marr writes about oral sex.
Actually, I'm pretty sure it's the fact that Marr writes about oral sex.
This book is advertised as being for 13+. While I was reading it, I picked up pretty early that although faeries as a whole typically is a genre for pre-teens, the subject matter in the books goes far beyond that. Aislinn and Seth are rough around the edges, and a lot of the book deals with piercings, tattoos, suggested drug use, and ultimately sex. While the first two aren't necessarily adult only, and teens (and quite commonly, unfortunately, pre-teens) know about the latter two, Marr's frank approach about them is ultimately for middle to late teens.
This is more of an adult approach to faerie tales. No, it's not an adult book, but it's definitely in that direction. A better rating would be 15 or 16+. And that's what makes it so enjoyable....more
I enjoyed the retelling of this. The start was a lot more believable- a desperate mother giving uSNOW
An adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
I enjoyed the retelling of this. The start was a lot more believable- a desperate mother giving up her child because she realises she's unable to take care of it. I also liked the twist at the end, with Snow staying with her makeshift brothers/fathers.
I didn't quite understand why the mother decided to poison her child, but that's partially because sometimes I find Block's style hard to read and understand.
A retelling of Thumberlina.
This is my favourite of all the stories in this book. I loved the depth of the descriptions, and the names of the babies lost at the beginning. Of course, this is the most unrealistic of all the stories in the book, but it was still enjoyable.
I loved the lush descriptions of the garden, and Tiny's journey down the road. I also liked the ending, with how the boy she meets turns into her height, and how she is his muse.
Definitely my favourite.
A retelling of Cinderella.
I didn't particularly enjoy this one. I'm not sure why, but it just didn't click with me. It was nice, yes, but I didn't understand the point of it. It rang too much of the original Cinderella to me, and the heroine didn't have the same feminist strength as the other protagonists in the book. Or maybe I just missed the mark with this one.
This one is a version of Sleeping Beauty.
I liked the comparison of heroin and the needle being what sets Sleeping Beauty (Rev in this case) to 'sleep', and how her going through withdrawal is what wakes her up.
I didn't quite make the connection between what it is that links Rev and Charm. Are they sisters? That's how I read it, with the stepfather and the reconnection between the two. Or were they simply best friends who meet each other once again after a lengthy period of time? I'm more likely to go for the former- Block has written about incest before- but I'm not so sure.
I really enjoyed this one, too.
When I first read this, I thought it was based on The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but it appears to be Little Red Riding Hood, which makes more sense, given the end.
I think it suits The Boy Who Cried Wolf, though, from another angle. What if the girl had been saying her stepfather had been raping her for some time, and nobody believed her until it swallowed her up and she had to pay for it? It doesn't fit in very well with Block's other stories in this set, but I thought it was in interesting twist.
Although, reading it from a Little Red Riding Hood perspective, it does make the journey make more sense.
Based on Snow White and Rose Red.
I would have liked this tale. I like the story of Snow White and Rose Red, if only for its relative obscurity, but I found it to be too much like the original story for my liking. There's not much to say about this, because I found it to be too much like the original.
A version of Bluebeard.
I didn't know anything about this fairytale until I read this and did a Google search on it. This is one of the more imaginative of the retellings in this book. It's been completely modernised and the only thing that struck me as being out of place was that Blue had never been caught, but that in itself is not the odd.
I liked the implication at the end that she was telling the story in court or to the media. It's not there, but when I re-read it, that's how it sounded like.
This probably isn't a good story to start off with if you've never heard of the original fairytale (I kept reading it, wondering where the fairy-part came into it), but it's still really quite enjoyable.
A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
I once read a version of this fairytale, based from the Disney version of it. It focused primarily on what happened on the end of the story. Every night, when Belle and the Beast had sex, she would lay on her stomach and the Beast would be on top of her. His hair was always coarse, and his nails too long. His penis would tear her open due to its girth, and he would howl when he came. Belle tried to think nothing of it, but she had her concerns. It wasn't until she overheard Chip telling Mrs Potts he sometimes dreams he's in the cupboard that she realises the curse hasn't completely gone away- at night, the Beast transforms back into his animal form.
This is what this story reminded me of.
A version of Snow Queen.
Honestly, I didn't like this one. It lacked the magic the other stories did. The one part I did like was when the narrator spoke to the birds and flowers and they responded. Other than that, it fell flat for me and was a rather poor way to end the book.
There are aspects I like of the Weetzie Bat series. I liked the magical reality, I liked the style the first book was written in, and I liked the bondThere are aspects I like of the Weetzie Bat series. I liked the magical reality, I liked the style the first book was written in, and I liked the bonds the characters had with one another. But in a world of genies, ghosts and goats, I felt there just wasn't enough to propel it. It worked in some areas, such as in Missing Angel Juan, the style Weetzie Bat was written in and aspects of Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, but overall, I fell it couldn't keep going. It worked as one novel, maybe two, but not five.
The first book was written in such a way that it could be seen as a hyper-reality. There's aspects to it that don't make much sense, and such emphasis is put on Weetzie, Dirk, Duck and My Secret Agent Love Man that when they don't make such a strong appearance in the following books, it feels a bit lacking. Nothing particular happens, but it seems to work. It doesn't seem to follow through with the following books. I understand that they were written at different points in time, but I feel Block should have followed through with the style. The most successful follow on, I feel, is Missing Angel Juan. It has a similar style and goal.
I don't think the books are bad- I enjoyed bits and pieces of them, especially the hyper-reality aspect of them- but they're not my style. ...more
This actually wasn't too bad. I wouldn't go and say it's the best ever and it's so awesome and what else, but it was pretty okay. I enjoyed it, anywayThis actually wasn't too bad. I wouldn't go and say it's the best ever and it's so awesome and what else, but it was pretty okay. I enjoyed it, anyway.
Light is a bit of an arrogant prick, isn't he?
Also, I couldn't look at Ryuk without bursting out laughing at every point. It's just not the face one would expect a death god to have. You go, Ryuk.
Anyway, I might go check out the second volume if I can find it and it's reasonably priced. I'm not jizzing over the series, but it's fun anyway....more
I like reading about fairies and the like. I like indulging my childish side, what can I say. I also enjoy reading about various mythologies and religI like reading about fairies and the like. I like indulging my childish side, what can I say. I also enjoy reading about various mythologies and religions, and this book also indulges that side.
Broken up into areas such as forests, deserts, domiciles and psyche, this 'guide' presents demons and the like that inhabit the world and where they live. It is also highly multicultural, with demons et al from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, America and Australia. This wide-ranging research comes along with religious ideals, dating from Babylonia to today. In the Psyche section, it also presents ideas from Freud and Jung, along with stories such as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
There are a few points where Mack&Mack confuse certain mythologies. In the Water section, while talking about Mermaids, they briefly mention Selkies without acknowledging it as such. However, this is a minor complaint, and in scope of the wider text, just a small error.
What I particularly liked is that although it is essentially a young adult novel, it's written in an adult manner. Like other reviewers have stated, this would be a good guide for authors, as it is not only split into regions, but it also has the country of origin, the behaviour and ways to dispel the demons.
It's been a long time since I've read a book that I can say I really enjoyed. Having seen the movie some six months ago, I had f**spoiler alert** Wow.
It's been a long time since I've read a book that I can say I really enjoyed. Having seen the movie some six months ago, I had forgotten bits of it, but I remembered having enjoyed it quite a lot. Although the movie isn't a direct copy from the book, I can see why changes were made so the film wasn't as convoluted as the book. If they told the full story in film, it would be over four hours long and it would be extremely difficult to follow. Even while reading there were moments where I had to pause, go over what I read, and think about it to clarify it. This may be just a case of translation, though. There were times when Staffe and Staffan were mixed up, for instance.
I loved the interaction between Oskar and Eli. This is what sucked me into the movie. Lindqvist is able to delve into the twelve-year-old mind and make it so poignant. I also liked Virginia's change into a vampire. In the film, the scene in the hospital is one of my favourites, and although it wasn't fully fleshed out in the novel, the point is still there. There was also the development of Håkan's character. His paedophilic nature is much darker in the novel (obviously this would cause issues if it made it into the film), as well as how he came into Eli's services.
One issue I did have was towards the end of the novel. After Håkan's fall and his transition into the undead (a development I really did enjoy), he finds Eli (and Tommy) and all he wants is sex. I read that all he wants is sex, given his throbbing erection. I felt this was out of place with the rest of the scene and the build-up. Although it didn't pull me out of the story, I felt it was somewhat out of character, as although Håkan clearly wanted to stick it in, it didn't quite sit right. This is my only major complaint with the book, though.
As many people have stated, this is Twilight revamped (pardon the pun) and for adults. In many ways, all the characters are somewhat unsympathetic. For instance, Oskar, although bullied horribly and tormented and abused and twelve, would quite possibly commit murder. At one point he even seriously considers it. He shoplifts, hitchhikes and sets fire to his school. Eli is a vampire. S/He kills- it's his/her nature, yes, and it's hinted that s/he knows in her human way that it's not right, but s/he still does it. There's the group of alcoholics, there's Tommy the glue-sniffing thief, and on and on. And in all of that, they're relatable. And this is why I enjoyed the book so much. The interaction between the characters, and the realism.
**spoiler alert** Finally, I read a book given to me by Peter that didn't make my head hurt! Let The Right One In doesn't count because I had wanted t**spoiler alert** Finally, I read a book given to me by Peter that didn't make my head hurt! Let The Right One In doesn't count because I had wanted to read it anyway.
Anyway, where to start.
I really liked Nell, especially at the beginning. Stephenson's portrayal of a young girl letting herself get sucked into a fantasy world when her real world isn't all that great. I really liked her relationship with Harv, and how Miranda starts to care about her a great deal more than she initially intended to. Towards the later stages of the book, when Nell is in Dovetail and is attending school, I started to miss the younger version of her. Stephenson did a good job of having her grow up, though. Even when she was nearing her adulthood, she still held onto some of her younger beliefs, such as the Princess Nell story. I don't think Nell ever truly believed the story of her father the fisherman and her wicked step-mother, but seeing as she believed the Primer(/Miranda) to be her true mother, it makes sense. I also liked the way the Primer's story and the real world were intertwined. I also really liked how Fiona and Elizabeth's experiences with the Primer were vastly different to Nell's, and how it shows that not everyone, given the same tools, will acquire the same result.
I found Hackworth's story to be a little more boring. I never got into it as much as I did Nell's, but I can see why it was important. After all, it was half the story. I will admit to being very confused about the whole Drummer storyline, and although I have somewhat figured out what it was all about, this part of its science-fiction is lost on me. I don't fully understand computer sci-fi, and so this just falls into that pile.
I loved the neo-Victorian aspect of society, and yet how it seems to be just a small, prestigious minority. Nell and Harv's home life struck me as being very poverty-line, lower New York. I'm not sure what I think of the phyle-type society, but I can see how it emerged. Overall, I found Stephenson's portrayal of 2050 - 2070s society to be something that the world could really evolve into.
In short, very enjoyable (despite the abrupt, mildly unsatisfying ending)....more