Oh, what absolute glorious beauty and fun and rapture! I’m all in a flutters, I can’t stop smiling and swooning and laughing. I had absolutely no doub...moreOh, what absolute glorious beauty and fun and rapture! I’m all in a flutters, I can’t stop smiling and swooning and laughing. I had absolutely no doubt that I would love this book, and I did, oh so very much. So much more than I imagined. Immensely, completely, utterly. It captivated me from the very beginning, and kept a tight hold throughout the entire story! I’m still caught up in it! This book is without a doubt one of my new absolute favorite books ever!! And rightly earned. Just so. The dancer inside me danced and soared and leapt with the princesses as they danced, as they lived and grew and loved. The fairytale lover I am was enchanted with this beautiful retelling of my favorite fairytale. And the absurdly hopeless romantic in me swooned at the heart fluttering, brilliant, joyful, beautiful romances. I loved this book. I loved it so so much!
You know the telling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, or The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces by the Grimm Brothers. Entwined was a beautiful, fresh take on this tale of old. It stayed true to most of the tale, but differed in a few things, and adding an intriguing, magical, dangerous twist. 12 Princesses, whose mother just died, begin their year of mourning with the King, their father. Donning black dresses every day, curtains pulled to smother any sunlight, no going outside, no dancing, no suitors, no talking of mother. The King is utterly disheartened and depressed at the death of his beloved wife and queen. He offs to war leaving his daughters, one of which just newly born the night her mother died, bitter and saddened at his abrupt departure. It is while the King is away that they find the enchanted staircase leading them to the captivating pavilion where they dance their hearts out and shoes to pieces every night. An oath is taken that prevents any girl from telling where they go to anyone. But danger lurks in this enchanted world under the castle, and the girls have to find a way to thwart it, finding all sorts of love along the way. Love for each other, for their papa, for dancing, and for men;)
Each princess is named after a flower alphabetically, starting with the oldest at Azalea, and ending with the newborn Lily. I loved each and every girl. They all had a part, each one was able to show her colors and to let the reader get to know them. Some didn’t have as much spotlight, but they were never forgotten. And they all shared such a strong sisterly, loving bond, deepened through dancing and holding their secrets close to their hearts. This book is told from Azalea’s perspective, but each sister’s lives were entwined so much you always caught a glimpse of all the sisters no matter who the story was focusing on at the moment.
Now for the romance. Ooh, the romance! There were several here, for the eldest sisters, each one as breathtaking and beautiful and romantic as the next. As the eldest, Azalea doesn’t really get a say in who her husband will be, since parliament votes on who will be the new king, and hence, chosen as Azalea’s husband. So naturally she fears that she’ll never find love, but she finds herself falling in love with a handsome, swoon worthy, disheveled man. Bramble feared she would never marry for love because who could love someone as headstrong and loudmouthed as she. But she did, with the sweetest, most endearing, funny man. Even Clover, the shyest of the bunch finds love with an unsuspecting man.
Entwined is a divinely beautiful fairytale full of magic and love and humor. Oh my gosh, the humor! It was downright hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing at the silliness of it, it just had those perfect moments tweaked, or drenched with humor that for some reason just caught me and threw me into a giggling and burst out loud laughing frenzy. I don’t know if others will find it as hilarious as I did, but it was such an amusing, frolicking ride for me, I don’t care if I’m the only one :D I give most of the credit to Bramble. Thank heavens for her ill-mannered, unruly, outspoken, fiery personality. It definitely livened up the reading.
The ending was superbly beautiful and perfect and heart melting. I read it like three times, and then hugged the book to my chest, grinning, and couldn’t even stand the thought of putting it down to write this review. Ah, I just want to read it again! If you love fairytales, of any kind, READ THIS BOOK!! Read Entwined. Glory in it, swoon over it, laugh at it, smile, love, lose yourself in the magic and enchantment. I was absolutely and utterly riveted and enchanted. This book was perfect for me, and I will forever love it and treasure it.
Warning: this review is long and gushing because I love the book so
The Girl with Glass Feet is a beautiful, achingly romantic tale, full of breathless...moreWarning: this review is long and gushing because I love the book so
The Girl with Glass Feet is a beautiful, achingly romantic tale, full of breathless wonder and untold promises. It captured my heart, and I became a part of the story, part of the enchantment. And I loved it, oh so dearly. This book is like a fairytale, a poetically beautiful fairytale. Yet it’s more reminiscent of the original fairytales, with the flow of the writing and the very detailed descriptions. Ali Shaw, though, is modern, so this fairytale has more of a modern feel, with more developed characters and more emotion. But he still manages to make it feel like an old, graceful captivating tale, and it swept me away with its magical allure.
The story begins as a young man, Midas, is in the forest taking pictures. He comes upon a young woman, whose name is Ida, sitting on a rock. He finds her perhaps a bit odd, with her drab and strange appearance, and her rather large boots. Yet he is intrigued with her, of the picture she could pose in a photograph with the right lights and scene. After they part, he keeps thinking about her, about wanting to photograph her, but mostly of her strange boots. She finds him the next day, and they start spending time together. And then he discovers the truth about why she wears those boots. He feels compelled to help her, not necessarily because he feels that he should, but because he sees that she needs help, and he finds he wants to help her. He senses something beautiful from her, and feels drawn to her. But he’s unsure of these awakening feelings.
As their story develops, he starts to find himself, made possible by Ida. She brought light to his life, though he was always searching for it, when taking photographs to create the best possible picture with any light he could find. And he begins to realize that photographs are just captured memories. Nothing more. Those captured memories can’t bring back pleasant memories, not like the ones he remembers when he’s with Ida. He starts to look at life more closely as he is slowly brought out of his camera shell he introverts himself with. As the story progresses, they try to find a cure to Ida’s ailment, supposedly caused by a strange creature that turns everything it looks at pure white. As I kept reading, and was nearing the end, I realized where it was heading, where it had to inevitably go, and I feared for what I knew it would be. I pled with the book to not let it happen, to have a perfect, happily ever after ending. But I realized that that can’t always happen. Happy endings are far and few in between. It’s more the journey that makes the story, the trials and emotions the characters go through, that make them the person they become at the end, no matter the bitter ending it may hold. And I found I was pleased with the ending, though tears were streaming down my face.
I thought the development of the characters was done brilliantly. I connected with each character, I felt for them, I understood them and their plights. Ali Shaw stealthily works a way open for the reader to see into each characters minds, and to understand them better, especially through someone’s else’s eyes who may not think so highly of them. Ida was perhaps my favorite, although I love Midas, for his endearing qualities. He is a sweetheart. Ida is not afraid to let her guard down or to show people that she doesn’t care what they think. She never thinks that she isn’t good enough or beautiful enough to let someone love her. And she cares about people. Not everything is about her, though she still is desperately trying to find a cure. The best description of her is thought by Midas. He was amazed at how she took a moment to encounter the fear, then shouldered it and moved on. She is a strong heroine. She doesn’t let the presence of impending doom reduce her to a pathetic whisper of herself, or purge out the love she could feel for Midas.
The ending was heartbreaking, but amazingly done, with so much emotion and love. So perfect. I am in love with this book. I was enchanted with it. The writing was often thought provoking, infused into the characters minds and words and relaying them to the reader in a delicate, yet deep manner that made me stop and think some times. I didn’t expect to connect so fully with this story, but I did, and I enjoyed every last bit of the journey, and I’m still breathless at the wonder of it.
This is the type of book that everyone should read. It should be loved, and reread and praised for the truly breathtaking novel it is. It’s an engrossing, brilliant read. But it’s a quiet engrossment, that slowly wraps around you, tying you up in knots until you are completely bound, utterly captive to it’s allure, and you find you don’t even want out. You want to stay within the enchantment and never let it go. This is what happened to me. The Girl with Glass Feet is a brilliant jewel in my treasure chest, that will always stay close to my heart. The intriguing enchantment and endearing love story, the heartfelt moments of self realization and discovering one’s self and learning to love and trust others, the beautiful writing that flows slowly, unfolding the entire scene and background, and then flowing smoothly to the next scene; the entire story, every word and thought, stole into my heart, leaving me breathless with wonder and in utter awe with the poignant emotion interwoven into the story. Ali Shaw is a brilliant storyteller, and I praise him for his talent and stunning ability to weave such a heartfelt, beautiful tale.
Example of the writing I loved: It was a humid night, later to become a hated night, played over in his thoughts until he could watch it like a theater, retrospect’s dramatic irony making him scream at his younger self to see sense, see what his father had planned. Gray clouds had hung like dead petals in a spiderweb. In the far distance a lighthouse had pulsed. A haze of moonlight covered everything.(less)
In a land ruled by Vampires, and overrun with rabids (creatures and humans bitten by vampires and turned into rabid beasts with absolute no control or...moreIn a land ruled by Vampires, and overrun with rabids (creatures and humans bitten by vampires and turned into rabid beasts with absolute no control or reason), a young girl fights against the odds to preserve her humanity, and to accept what she has become. Allison lives in a Vampire City. She has a fierce hatred for these soulless creatures who put humans on registers and feed off them at the humans designated time. But in a moment of desperation, when Allison is facing the inevitability of death after a brutal attack from rabids, Allison chooses life over death, to become a vampire, the very creature she despises. But her will to live, even a life as a dead creature, overrides her hatred. And so begins her new life.
So. Vampires. I really have no love for them. There are too many vampire books, rip offs of Twilight, trying too hard to be the next Twilight. If I’m to read a vampire book, I want it to be more like, say, Dracula *evil grin*. I mean, what’s a vampire story without bloodthirsty, vengeful, distasteful monsters? Give me no charming, swooning vamps that can control their desire for human blood, and sparkle and shine like they’re Prince Charming themselves. Well, Kagawa created the perfect bloodthirsty vampires, and boy did she deliver! This story gives no apologies. It makes you cringe, it makes you hate vampires. And Kagawa is not shy with the violence and deaths. She brings you into the intense fights and scrambles for life, and it’s like you’re right there witnessing the atrocity. So, for this, for Julie’s willingness to describe the horror in detail, I thank her.
Allison was a pretty strong character. She’s dependent and fierce, and knows that to survive in a world of monsters, she must look out for herself, and not become attached to other people. But all this changes when she leaves the city as a vampire herself, and finds a group of people who are looking for a “promised land.” She finds something worth living for with these people, and though not all of them accept her, she understands them, because she used to be just like them. Haters of vampires, and understanding that sometimes to survive, you need to leave people behind you. But now Allison is that monster, and may very well kill these people if she lets her Hunger overcome her. Allison has to fight this wild desire in order to preserve some semblance of her humanity.
Now, I can’t say that I loved this book. While it was original and interesting, it didn’t enrapture me like Kagawa’s fey series did. Those, were fantastic. This, was just good. So I can’t say that fans of the fey series will love this new vampire series. Because I am one of the biggest fans of the fey series, but I didn’t love this book nearly as much. But most of the fey series fans who have read this book love it, so it may just be me. I think one thing that was a factor of my not loving it, was the amount of time it took for me to really become involved in the book. The first half of the book was kind of slow going for me. Sure, there was stuff happening, but there just was something that was holding me back. It wasn’t until about 60%, (view spoiler)[you know, the scene, when everyone finds out what she really is (hide spoiler)], that I finally perked up, and thought that finally! things were happening.
Another thing I did not like, sadly, was the romance. Oh, Zeke. Well, I did like him. He was a good character, with good qualities. He looked out for everyone and cared for them. He accepted Allison when others treated her with unkindness. As a character, he was alright, as the love interest, he fell flat. I felt no spark between the two, and, one thing that really annoyed me was that one part (view spoiler)[when they kissed (hide spoiler)]. It was at an inappropriate time, and all I was thinking was “Guys, really? Shouldn’t you be doing something that is more important? *rolls eyes*
Alright, enough with the bad. Immortal Rules was a pretty good novel. I would recommend it to fans of Kagawa’s fey series, and other people who are tired of vampire books. Because I think this is a vampire book that we readers have been looking for. It’s different and is unforgiving with its dark tone. And Kagawa’s writing is still amazing. That’s part of what kept me going, her flowing writing style that can paint vivid scenes and draw the reader in. So, while this may not have been what I was expecting, (both good and bad), I still enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to the sequel.
Thank you to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the arc. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The Harp of the Grey Rose was a wonderful folklore tale. Like a ballad of old, suffused with magic, love, friendship, pain, and evil. It read a little...moreThe Harp of the Grey Rose was a wonderful folklore tale. Like a ballad of old, suffused with magic, love, friendship, pain, and evil. It read a little like The Lord of the Rings, the adventure and the friendships bonded tightly through the journey, and the mythical and dark creatures found within. I found that I was enchanted with the story, I became attuned to the characters and found them endearing. De Lint’s storytelling gave the perfect feel of fantasy and folklore to this tale.
Cerin, a lowly harpist, lives in the West Downs of Eldwolde with his foster mother, a witch-wife and a tinker. Cerin feels out of place in the village, like he doesn’t belong, and begins to feel the stirrings of wanting to go out and travel on the road. One day, he sees a maid in the market. She steals quietly into his heart as he watches her. In her hair is a grey rose, therefore, not knowing her name, he dubs her his Grey Rose. One day he is in the Golden Woods and his Grey Rose chances upon him. She invites him to her cottage, and they begin to spend time together. And he realizes he’s falling in love with her. But then the Grey Rose’s betrothed finds her, a terrible creature called a Waster, a child of the Dark Gods, that she had escaped when she found out something horrible he did. He takes her away, and Cerin, desolate with grief, but newly determined with a fiery passion to save his Grey Rose, sets out to save her. And thus begins the journey of Cerin, where he finds his destiny, and himself. Along the way Cerin finds and makes a few friends that quickly become like blood brothers, for the unbreakable bonds that they form. I especially loved Hickathrift, and wish he could have been in more of the story. The ending surprised me, but was done very well.
The ending was sad, but full of hope and a new, wonderful future for our hero Cerin, the songweaver. (view spoiler)[I liked that because Meana was immortal, she knew she and Cerin could not be together. Though they both desired it -they both loved each other- they had to part ways. De Lint didn’t feel the need to find some way of making Meana mortal, or Cerin immortal so that they could be together and have a happily ever after. I respect him for that, and I was pleased with the ending (hide spoiler)] Cerin is a strong young man. In the beginning of the story, he started out hesitant, and unsure of himself and what he was and wasn’t capable of. He felt inadequate. But through his friends faith in him, and the love he had for the Grey Rose, he discovered hidden magic and song inside him, which he wove into his harp playing, which filled him with strength and hope. The journey he took helped him to grow, and he realized the potential he had, and that he was worthy of being the songweaver.
This book was part light Lord of the Rings reminiscant, part folklore intrigue, with the mythical song of the harp and crowning glory of love threaded beautifully into the story, but not deviating from the danger, and not shying away from the darkness and the violence that such danger possesses. It was written well, with well developed characters. Reading it, my heart was warmed, it cried out to the characters, and I was quietly captivated with it. De Lint is indeed a gifted storyteller, being able to create a wonderful tale of sorrow and peril, and of love and triumph. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm really intrigued with this cover. Love the rainbow tint, and the light and darkness together, kind of mysterious looking. Title's pretty cool too...moreI'm really intrigued with this cover. Love the rainbow tint, and the light and darkness together, kind of mysterious looking. Title's pretty cool too :)(less)
This sounds almost exactly like Fallen. Even same names! (though it's Lucy here) Same plot of reincarnated lives, falling in love over and over and ov...moreThis sounds almost exactly like Fallen. Even same names! (though it's Lucy here) Same plot of reincarnated lives, falling in love over and over and over again, and Daniel remembering everything and Lucy/Luce nothing. Only differene I can see is that there are no angels in My Name Is Memory. Hopefully this won't be a reincarnation of Fallen, (though I liked Fallen well enough, who wants the same story, names and plot, twice?). I love the title though!(less)
There’s a kind of holiness to love, requited or not, and those people who don’t receive it with gratitude are arrogant beyond saving…I held fast to th...moreThere’s a kind of holiness to love, requited or not, and those people who don’t receive it with gratitude are arrogant beyond saving…I held fast to that fact too, held fast and then, in the last seconds, let it go. I released my thanks into the air like birds, with the hope that, if they didn’t find Martin, they’d at least add themselves to whatever accumulation of goodness might be out there.
Love Walked In wasn’t what I was expecting, I was expecting something sweet and cute, and it was, but it was so much more. This is the type of book that you read for a light read, that has fluff and sweetness, but you come away with so much depth. It was achingly beautiful, smile inducing, thought provoking, with beautiful messages that delved into my mind. I just loved this book! It was such a beautiful treat, scrumptious and elegant, inquisitive, mouthwatering in its grace and beauty soaking the pages, infused in the characters minds that just bled onto me, melting my heart.
This book wouldn’t have made such an impact if not for the endearing, lovely characters. They were all so superb, with so much emotion and depth and feelings that I felt so acutely. I loved Cornelia for her look on life, for her love for the people around her, for her spunk, for her big heart inside her little body. I loved Teo for his, hmm, swoon worthiness, for his shyness, for his quality of listening to people and not saying what is expected, but letting them know that what they feel is right, because it’s what they feel, and to not be afraid to show it. And I loved Clare, for her sweetness, for her childlike nature, yet her adult like look on life. She see’s deeper than other eleven year olds, but her heart still cries out for her mother like any other child, despite what the mother does to them. Such a natural, binding feeling and instinct between any mother and daughter. I ached for Clare for her loneliness and pain, but I smiled at her for her strength and determination and love.
This book slowed me down markedly. Because I found the captivating need to savor every single word Marisa wrote. Each carefully constructed word chosen with such care. The prose was beautiful, strung into an oh so beautiful story that captured my heart. The writing was just so incredible, stellar, shining like a star in the bleak trials of life, shedding light into the characters lives, giving them something to love, to look forward to, to have a reason to not give up.
Marisa has a round about way of getting to the point she’s trying to show, but she does it skillfully, amazingly. I didn’t mind one bit her veering off course a little because of the added information. I became engrossed with these little details and stories, I lingered on every word, and when she finally got back to what she had started talking about before she went off on a tangent, the added details made the point she was getting to more meaningful, giving the point some background, supplying the reader with information that the character knew that we would have to know to really understand the point.
This book is just beautiful. It’s lovely, and sweet, and heartbreaking. It isn’t a stunningly brilliant read, nor does it have incredibly deep messages that will change your life. But it does have it’s moments of inspiration and depth, and so much love. It really is based on love, and that is partly what made the book so endearing to me. The love the characters felt and showed, the love they already had and knew, and the love that grew in their hearts as they met someone new. Hence the title. Love Walked In. Because love does walk in, several times in the course of the book, in different ways. Each character is affected by it, and made stronger and better because of the love walking into their life.
Content warning- There is swearing (almost to the point of taking the enchantment out of the story for me, as incessive swearing usually does when I read it in any book), and some talk of sex, but nothing explicit.(less)
Gail Carson Levine, I must say, is one of my favorite authors (at least when I need a cute, light fairytale type read). Her books are sweet, and encha...moreGail Carson Levine, I must say, is one of my favorite authors (at least when I need a cute, light fairytale type read). Her books are sweet, and enchanting, and just purely fun little fairytales. A Tale of Two Castles was no exception. It had that special magical quality that Levine’s other books all possess, simple in its light fairytale esque feeling, yet beautiful with its engaging writing and endearing characters, complete with an intriguing plot, at first perhaps simple, but at the end, quite brilliantly played out and executed.
Elodie is a 12 year old girl, traveling to the kingdom of Lepai in hopes of becoming apprenticed as a mansioner, an actress. After arriving at Two Castles, with an excess of cats roaming the streets, she is unable to acquire an apprenticeship, and is instead employed to the dragon, Mastress Meenore, the Great, the Unfathomable, master of inducing and deducing, able to find any lost object, solve any riddle. When his Lordship’s, the ogre, dog goes missing, Elodie assists IT (the dragon, which is called IT as only ITself knows ITs gender) in finding the dog. And thus ensues the mystery of finding who stole the dog, who poisoned the king and set the cats on the ogre, who mauled the ox, with a rather surprising ending to keep you on your toes.
Elodie is a strong young girl, who starts out attempting to fulfill her dream of mansioning, but finds her true calling in inducing and deducing, which she acquires by interacting and being with IT, and hearing IT’s own deducing of mysteries. For a 12 year old, she is quite astute and determined.
The world Levine created was delightful and enchanting. The writing will strike some people as too simple, but I love it for its simplicity and the magic found within. And it’s just Levine’s style of writing, with stories geared toward younger teenagers and children, and not older teenagers or adults looking for epic stories with a lot of depth and stark, passionate emotion with though provoking messages. This book isn’t for everyone, but fans of Levine will surely love it, and those looking for light fairytales. (less)