When I was in writing school, my teachers always said the best way to get past writer's block, was to write straight through it. It was never prescrib...moreWhen I was in writing school, my teachers always said the best way to get past writer's block, was to write straight through it. It was never prescribed as something for us to actually publish or give to our readers. This book, is the physical embodiment of someone writing their way through their writer's block,...and then making loyal fans read it.
I was not pleased at all with this particular entry to the Fables universe. It rambled on and on about nothing for seemingly ever, and I just couldn't make myself care. Aside from some kickass "new" characters, and some pretty funny Bigby moments, I could have passed on this one.(less)
This installment of Fables was pretty intense, but mainly because it was completely unexpected. We've jus...moreLittle Boy Blue, come blow your horn. Please.
This installment of Fables was pretty intense, but mainly because it was completely unexpected. We've just finally finished the war, buried our fallen, and attempted to move forward. None more than our loveable siren, Rose Red, who has moved on in some very interesting ways.
Meanwhile, back in the homelands, the war has caused some rather "dark" events to unfold. Two treasure-hunting thieves have stumbled upon a find that will change everything for our friends in Fabletown. The proverbial Boogeyman is coming.
I really enjoyed this edition, though it was a bit light compared to the past two. The effects of the war on Boy Blue were hard to watch, but done in a really touching way. And to finally have something come up that even Frau Totenkinder had to quake a little about, was just the right bit of frightening.
A jungle book crossover, and another look at Bigby's meddlesome brothers gave a much needed bit of comic relief, also. I'm curious to see what our exiles from the 13th floor have discovered about the role of Mundy's, and also to find out just how far the Boogeyman's wrath will reach. Perhaps we're finally about to get to the bottom of how powerful the Mundy popularity health theory is.(less)
This installment was a bit heavy-handed in terms of merging religious "folklore" to fairy tales and fables, but in retrospect, in the tradition of thi...moreThis installment was a bit heavy-handed in terms of merging religious "folklore" to fairy tales and fables, but in retrospect, in the tradition of this series, it made perfect sense.
This edition finds our beloved Fly, one of the sweetest and most spotless fables, finally casting aside his beloved ignorance in Fabletown to return to the Homelands and become the fly in the Empire's soup (a great bit of wordplay that finds itself in the book). Bufkin's hasty moves towards the Forsworn Knight set into motion a crapload of biblical nods that include a John the Baptist-like figure, a grand exodus, a pair of Judases, and a sweet Jesus that we never saw coming in all the books before. Meanwhile Prince Charming, continuing to prove himself a worthy winner over King Cole and brilliant strategist, begins to prepare the present-day fables under his care for the battle they now know is coming. There's also a pretty interesting look at just what it is that Frau Totenkinder has been knitting together all this time.
Fables has always done a great job of merging folklore from every realm, and I guess it was only a matter of time before they chose to weave in the bible stories that mean so much to so many. Again, for those of us familiar with them, some of the similarities were almost overpowering to the Fables world we have grown to know, but in the end, everything balanced out in a really satisfying way.
I wanted to come up with a fancy review for this title that matched how much I wanted to like it,...but alas, I cannot. So here's the gist. Gemma and...moreI wanted to come up with a fancy review for this title that matched how much I wanted to like it,...but alas, I cannot. So here's the gist. Gemma and Harper are two sisters who live with their dad, after a tragic car accident has caused their mother to lose much f her grasp on reality. Gemma, the younger sister, is beautiful and loves the water. She swims daily and is hoping to make it to the Olympics. Harper, is eighteen and trying desperately to make sure her father and sister are taken care of before she goes away to school in the fall. She's sweet, but overprotective and skeptical, much to Gemma's dismay. Recently, Gemma has struck up an unexpected flirtation with Harper's friend and literal boy next door, Alex. Oh, and there's Daniel, the boy who Harper hates, but seriously protests too much about.
It's tourist season, and three beautiful and flirty girls, Penn, Thea, and Lexi, have been turning heads all around town. Harper and Gemma can't quite put their fingers on it, but something seems a little "off" about them. Not to mention there has been a rash of missing teen boys lately to get everyone on edge, and the fact that everyone is sure there was once a fourth girl.
Pretty soon, it's clear to see that the girls have taken a liking to Gemma, and they will stop at nothing to show her how much.
So... I liked to story, but...
I felt like maybe the author had a really great love of Greek mythology and mermaids/sirens, etc., and really wanted to nerd out about it, but didn't know how to properly do so. The story was better than the actual book, if that makes sense. I felt that there also may have been a desperation to compact the story into a YA genre, with mentions of someone having a Kathleen Turner voice in one chapter, but then talking about a Ke$ha song in another. Most teens have no idea who Kathleen Turner is.
There were also parts of the story that had no relevance, or could have been sacrificed for a more gruesome and exciting story. The girls' visits to their mother, for instance, could have been left off. I would have much rather seen more of the sirens themselves, rather than the author keep trying to lead us into great reveal moments.
All in all, it was a nice story, and the brief explanation of where sirens come from was honestly the best written and most engaging part of the book. :/
I get it Sarah, and I too want teens to love the "real" fairy-tales. However, force-feeding them snippets of historical tales inside a Twilight and Go...moreI get it Sarah, and I too want teens to love the "real" fairy-tales. However, force-feeding them snippets of historical tales inside a Twilight and Gossip Girl-esque plotline, is just not the way to get it done.
I'm so confused at how this book has gotten such high reviews. For the outstanding description, I was expecting something much more engaging and sinister. The story was full of promise, but the tale left much to be desired.
After losing her parents in a fire as an infant, Mirabelle has been raised for 15 years with her godmothers. Loving but extremely overprotective, Mira hasn't been able to do much. No riding in cars with boys, no returning to her hometown of Beau Rivage, and no touching sharp objects. Whoa, guess you'll never figure out which fairytale character she is now.
Well 15 years is a long time to not know much about where you really come from, and Mira has had quite enough. She decides to run away home, to see what is so bad about Beau Rivage, and discover where her parents are buried. To throw her godmothers off, she pulls together an elaborate false trail of emails with a fake boyfriend, and heads off.
Upon reaching Beau Rivage, we find that Mira didn't really think to plan beyond actually arriving in the town. She hasn't pulled together any plans on food, lodging, or connecting with people who could possibly help her find her parents. Instead, after a few hours in, she finds herself to be hungry and hopeless, and sitting inside of The Dream casino where there is apparently no security to escort underage people from the premises.
While sitting there, she has a gruff introduction to a blue-haired boy named, surprise, Blue, who tells her to get out before she runs into his dangerous brother. She's instantly offended, (not worried or cautious), and while fuming about it in the rose garden outside, she meets, you guessed it, his brother Felix. A handsome, charming 21 year old casino owner, who just happens to be on a date with another girl but is so intrigued by sad Mira, that he gives her a SUITE in the hotel.
Pretty soon, Mira is not only back in the hotel where Blue told her not to be, but sleeping in Felix's room. Because it's totally plausible and uncreepy that a 15 year old girl would sleep in the room of a strange 22 year old she just met AFTER being warned about him by his OWN family. Makes perfect sense.
The rest of the book is all about how Beau Rivage inhabitants are actually cursed fairy tale characters (Once Upon A Time, anyone), who are destined to meet the curses of their tales no matter what they do. A town full of angry, depressed, and self-damaging young people who face their futures with about as much zeal as can be expected when you know you're one day going to become a beast, or choke on an apple. Meanwhile, the only characters we don't learn fully about are Blue and Felix, although anyone who has read more than the usual fairytales, will quickly figure out who they are supposed to be.
I was extremely underwhelmed with this book. Mira was the Bella Swan of the new year with her whiny, "I want what I want and that's all I want" attitude when it came to Felix. Warnings from all over the town, and she was still "in love" with this older man she just met. Not to mention, she's just gallivanting all around this strange town without once actually asking people for information about her PARENTS, without a care in the world because her food, clothes and shelter have been provided by Felix and Blue.
I also found it hard to care about the characters. They were miserable, boring, and unresolved. They were SO uncareaboutable, that at some points, I forgot which character was which. That's bad.
By the end of the book, I found myself trying to force my way through the final pages because I honestly couldn't care less about what was going to happen with Mira, her love dilemmas, or any of the rest of them. Things just didn't make enough sense. You're smart enough to come up with a plan to run away, but not enough to do anything else? Your godmothers are actually your "fairy" godmothers but they don't find you immediately? It was annoying.
For those who are really interested in some great fairy tale retellings, I'd recommend Cinder by Marissa Meyer, A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, or Cinderella, Vol. 1: From Fabletown With Love by Chris Roberson. These stories, for three separate age groups, speak to a number of familiar characters in new ways. Each prseented a fascinating and mature reimagining of classics without trying too hard, which was the unfortunate downfall of Kill Me Softly. (less)
Not bad. Of all the fairy princess tales, Cinderella and Snow White have always seemed the lamest. Finally we have a Cinderella who is bold, interesti...moreNot bad. Of all the fairy princess tales, Cinderella and Snow White have always seemed the lamest. Finally we have a Cinderella who is bold, interesting and outspoken. I truly enjoyed her. I have a bad habit of unraveling loosely wound plot-lines, however, so I was well aware of how the book was going to play out in the first 60 pages or so. That sucked. I would have liked a little more intrigue. The hardships that this Cinder endured seemed somehow more painful than those I've seen in other Cinderella stories, with death being brutal and unexpected at times.
I was also interested in this prince. He seemed smart and genuine, and not just a whiny young man avoiding an arranged marriage. LOL
What threw me most of all, was the fact that the book ended in prime "prepare for the series" fashion, and I'd have rather finished this whole ordeal at once. I can't imagine what story elements the follow-up will have to add for it to be an adequate sequel.
Have you ever read a story where you wanted to save the main character from certain fate? Wanted to stop Little Red Riding Hood from believing the wol...moreHave you ever read a story where you wanted to save the main character from certain fate? Wanted to stop Little Red Riding Hood from believing the wolf or Pinocchio from telling a lie? Well Chicken obviously has.
It's bedtime for Chicken, but as Papa begins reading the evening stories, Chicken just can't stop jumping in to tell the truth to the unsuspecting characters. All with good reasons, (can't just let Hansel and Gretel run off with someone Chicken knows is a witch, right?).
Kids will love hearing the familiar stories they know, with Chicken's sweet and often hilarious interjections. Adults will love the cute twist at the end. The illustrations switch back and forth between the vivid look of Papa and Chicken snuggled in bed, and the soft sepia tones of the fairy tales, as do the fonts and typeface.
Perhaps the best advice found in this book was written in the author's final note: "Trust the stories, and trust that children can handle it, whatever...morePerhaps the best advice found in this book was written in the author's final note: "Trust the stories, and trust that children can handle it, whatever IT is."
I've been convinced of this very thing since I began studying story years ago. Too often we have watered down these tales in the interest of making US more comfortable while robbing children of the stories that they would love. If they can handle the idea of a wretched pair of parents leaving them out in the woods to starve to death or be eaten by a cannibalistic witch with a gingerbread house, then why not hit them with the "real" story of how they fought dragons, cut off heads and fingers, and were almost chopped to bits by their first real crush?
In this anthology written as one fluid tale, Gidwitz gives readers a glimpse at his extensive knowledge of brother/sister tales of Grimm and doesn't leave out any of the juicy bits...even when those bits are bits of flesh.
Aside from the sheer delight readers will have from feeling as though they're getting the inside scoop on the lives of Hansel and Gretel, they will also enjoy the humorous asides by the narrator when he reminds us to "have the younger kids leave the room", or when he apologizes that "things just won't be getting better any time soon for these two." These little notes and one-liners were not only funny and quick-witted, but also said a lot of the things I found myself thinking. Questioning why it was perfectly alright for a woman to have a house made of candy in one story, but totally ridiculous for rain to talk in another. Aren't these the things we all think when reading different folktales?
There's a great pleasure in realizing which Grimm tale we've fallen into at each chapter, and it will leave those with a less than hungry appetite for folktales starving for more. (less)