Honestly, I'm not entirely sure I want to keep reading this book. My only other experience with Holly Black was an audiobook I tried to listen to earlHonestly, I'm not entirely sure I want to keep reading this book. My only other experience with Holly Black was an audiobook I tried to listen to earlier in the year but gave up on—it was a book about a sleeping faerie prince who was somehow awakened after centuries asleep, and became both the love interest of a brother and a sister. The title escapes me. I know that Holly Black is a wildly popular YA author, but because of that other book and now this one, I can't really imagine I'll read anything else of hers.
So far, I've read the first two stories. The first one was absolutely utter crap. To me, it read like exceptionally bad fanfiction, though it started off interestingly enough. It was about vampires, a closed off town called "Coldtown" where all the vampires "lived", and about a girl named Matilda (or, for a couple of paragraphs in, Melinda) who is trying not to turn into a vampire by staying as drunk as she can so she doesn't crave human blood. The story fell apart after the arrival of Dante, a character who's apparently friends with Matilda but whose arrival makes him seem like he's a character well-known from another of the author's books. I kept turning back pages, trying to see if there was something I missed. The story was just goobleygook, told in all this stupid fragments that did nothing to enchance the story, which told more than it showed.
The second story was marginally better, and had more potential for being better, but it too turned out to be a load of crap. I just have to wonder, how dumb are the teens that pick up these books? Can they really not see through the bad writing, the terrible plot lines?
I bought this book thinking I was going to get the quality of Francessa Lia Block's "The Rose and the Beast", one of my very favorite fairy-tale retellings book. The summary seemed promising, even the title was intriguing. I will give one more story a read and then see where I stand. I can't help but feel like this was a waste of $5. ...more
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending), I decided not read this book past its 3 or 4 opening pages. As it was, I was highly put off by the prologueUnfortunately (or fortunately, depending), I decided not read this book past its 3 or 4 opening pages. As it was, I was highly put off by the prologue and my eyes glazed over before I even made it to the end of it (and I got really hung up on the detail in the prologue of the "grocer shining the apples with his flannel shirt", come on, that's disgusting). Frankly, I was very put off following that by the first paragraphs of the story where the narrator feels the need to insert her own explanations and defenses (or defensiveness, perhaps?) into the story she's trying to tell.
Why not just say, "Once upon a time, there was a king and queen who lived in a palace of snow and ice" and leave it at that? But no, the narrator has to tell the audience that "though you might think it strange, the king and queen have always lived in this world", etc. It was annoying! Plus, the subtitle for the opening character was highly ridiculous. I got the notion that either the author wasn't playing with a full deck when she wrote this book, or she was trying to be ironic and humorous, which surely isn't the intention in what's supposed to be a dramatic retelling of "The Snow Queen".
I know that this is awfully judgmental and nitpicky for just the first few pages, but I just can't suspend my disbelief enough to read further. I don't want to waste my time reading crap, and this is crap. Maybe it's just too middle-reader, dumbed-down, patronizing bullshit, but whatever the reason, it's not for me, but I have to say I wouldn't even recommend it to a child. Go read the Harry Potter series for quality "children's" reading. ...more
This was the novelization of the TV mini-series of the same name. There were subtle differences, which were somewhat unnecessary, especially given theThis was the novelization of the TV mini-series of the same name. There were subtle differences, which were somewhat unnecessary, especially given the fact that the novelization followed (presumably followed) the release of the mini-series. It's probably better to just watch the mini-series, instead of actually reading this. ...more
**spoiler alert** This was a very enjoyable read, light and fun. It's a retelling of the classic Hans Christen Anderson story "The Little Mermaid", to**spoiler alert** This was a very enjoyable read, light and fun. It's a retelling of the classic Hans Christen Anderson story "The Little Mermaid", told from two points of view: that of The Mermaid, Lenia and that of The Princess, Margrethe, of the North, who both fall deeply in love with Prince Christopher, of the South. Lenia gives up her voice and her family to become human in order to marry the prince, while Margrethe is determined to unite both kingdoms—North and South—in order to avoid another civil war, by marrying Christopher.
It was interesting to see the side and hear the voice of "the other woman", in this case, Margrethe, who longs for magic and love after seeing a mermaid bring a half-drowned, half-dead Christopher to her shore. It was also interesting to consider the idea of the mermaid Lenia fascinated with the concept of a soul and eternal life.
While the prose was lovely, there were also many repetitious phrases and paragraphs—the constant reminder of what Margrethe witnessed: watching the mermaid swim the prince to shore, bending over him, kissing him, singing to him as well as Margrethe's plan to marry the prince, because "as a woman, it's all she can do", and so on. The ending itself was a little weak; I would have liked to see more of what became of Christina, the hybrid baby of Lenia/Astrid and Prince Christopher (which was part of the twist on the classic), maybe have an epilogue chapter from her point of view. Still, I did enjoy the plot and the characters and it was a fun read. I would rate this a 3.5 just because of the rambly, repetitious ideas though. ...more
I loved this book! Carol Goodman has never disappointed me with her plots, characters, atmospheric thrillers or murder mysteries with so many interlocI loved this book! Carol Goodman has never disappointed me with her plots, characters, atmospheric thrillers or murder mysteries with so many interlocking twists! Her stories are so well-written with each seemingly minor detail coming later to fruition and unlocking a new secret that helps pull the reader towards full closure. Her writing is dream-like; I feel, each time I read one of her books, that I'm falling under a spell. They are the most perfect books and I am always drawn in immediately and never want to put her books down.
As I just finished this, I'm still processing and will review it further later. ...more