Honestly, Hamlet wasn’t a play I liked very much. I always thought Hamlet was whiny and a coward. He was 30! Either kill yourself or kill your uncle....moreHonestly, Hamlet wasn’t a play I liked very much. I always thought Hamlet was whiny and a coward. He was 30! Either kill yourself or kill your uncle. Just stop whining about it.
Then, there were all those other characters whose lives seemed to be ruined by Claudius’ greed and Hamlet’s insanity/indecision. This book is about the role Ophelia played in the story – from her point of view. Well, three of her points of views. There is the tough Ophelia who is interviewed by police, the sympathy seeking Ophelia who is interviewed on an Oprah-like talk show, and then there is the real Ophelia. It’s the real Ophelia who tells us her story – all the unflattering facts and all the heartbreaking details.
Ophelia is a girl who can’t seem to make her own choices. There seems to be a part of her that is almost happy that her father and the others in the castle make the choices for her. But, she’s also madly in love with Hamlet. It’s that all powerful love people feel when they are young. It’s not healthy and it’s rocky, but the thought of being without it makes you ill.
Ophelia is a girl stuck. She’s a pawn for all the adults around her. She has to listen to them or face not seeing Hamlet or being kicked out of the only home she’s ever known. Plus, she’s confused and scared by her boyfriend’s odd behavior. This is Ophelia’s story, but it could be almost any girl’s. Any girl whose found herself in a bad position, and every time she tries to fix things, they just get worse and worse.
Knowing how the story ends didn’t help matters. I really did want things to end better than they did. But they didn’t; they couldn’t. And for that, I feel sorry. It was a great debut novel, and truthfully, I’d love for Ms. Ray to try her hand at retelling more Shakespeare plays from the points of views of the heroines or minor characters.
**spoiler alert** Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella. Instead of Cinderella being a maid, we have Cinder as a mechanic and cyborg. We also have Princ...more**spoiler alert** Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella. Instead of Cinderella being a maid, we have Cinder as a mechanic and cyborg. We also have Prince Kai instead of Prince Charming. And, an evil queen from the moon. But, it isn’t as silly as it all sounds. Trust me.
It is however, slightly predictable. That’s not to say the story doesn’t have unique ideas, because it does. And, there is some lovely world building and characters here. It’s just that the moment the missing princess is mentioned, you know who it is. I believe it was meant to come as a shock, but it isn’t so much a shock as it is a predictable plot point.
I liked that the author slipped in hints of other fairy tales. Like the stepdaughter of Queen Levana, Princess Winter, whom Levana was jealous of. In her jealously, she used mind control to make Princess Winter cut up her own face. Snow White shout-out? Or the girl with the unruly hair. . .I thought of a few princesses with her.
Also, I really loved that Cinder was independent and could take care of herself. There was no real fairy Godmother here. And, Cinder only went to the ball to try and save Prince Kai (and Earth) from Queen Levana’s evil plans.
There are three more books in this series. I honestly hope they don’t all focus on Cinder. Yes, there are some dangling plot points, but I really don’t think Cinder’s story can carry on for three more books. I do hope that the last book, Winter, focuses on Princess Winter. Her story could be interesting. I like where Meyer is going with this world and its characters. So, I do hope she tries her hand at retelling a couple of more popular fairy tales. I’d look forward to them.
My score: 3.4 out of 5 stars. A solid read with a likeable heroine. I’d wait for the paperback if you plan to buy. (less)
While charming and clever in places, this novel lacks a certain something. It falls back on a few tired cliches and lacks the magic that fairy tales -...moreWhile charming and clever in places, this novel lacks a certain something. It falls back on a few tired cliches and lacks the magic that fairy tales - even the retellings - usually have. As a 'Sleeping Beauty' retelling, it works well. But, as a story in and of itself, it falls a bit flat. I've no doubt that fans of Alex Flinn will enjoy it. But, a casual or new reader most likely won't.
I know the Meg Cabot is considered on the better (and older; longer lasting) YA authors. I remember reading many of her novels/series when I was young...moreI know the Meg Cabot is considered on the better (and older; longer lasting) YA authors. I remember reading many of her novels/series when I was younger. And to a younger me, her books were really well written and had fun characters/plots/romances. But, I'm older now. I understand that my being older doesn't mean I cannot enjoy YA novels. . .it just means I have less time/interest in mediocre novels.
I fully admit that I picked up this series because I've always had a fondness for the Hades and Persephone myth. The first novel sort of gave us a similar story and the second novel continues on with the 'it's more based on than a retelling' plot. The thing about this novel is that it isn't horrid or terribly written. It's just middle of the road. I'd expect more from Meg Cabot. But, she seems to have given into the popular paranormal cliched fad that is taking hold of YA novels.
John is supposed to be cool and dangerous and misunderstood - a woobie: destroyer of worlds, if you will. In reality, it comes off as a jerkass who won't tell his girlfriend valuable info because he's trying to protect her. Well, she'd be better off if she knew the truth about everything. Our heroine is a whole different matter. There were times when I liked her, but there were times when her motives and desires seemed confused. That's find for a seventeen year old whose been through a lot. . .however, there was something about her 'voice' that didn't sit well with me. The side characters are all more or less the usual fare of paranormal YA side characters, and though they do do things and are somewhat interesting, it's not enough to keep me interested. As for the story line, it didn't really get going until about 100 or so pages into the 318 page novel. And it was rather lackluster. I expected more. Maybe Meg Cabot is saving it all for the thrilling conclusion?
In the end, I think (no, I know) this novel will appeal to a lot of people. It just doesn't work for me. 2/5 a stars, borrow it. (less)
Oh dear, this book was just not for me. The main characters were just so. . .dumb and googly-eyed at one another. I loved the idea behind the novel, b...moreOh dear, this book was just not for me. The main characters were just so. . .dumb and googly-eyed at one another. I loved the idea behind the novel, but it just didn't work for me. Thank goodness I only paid seven dollars for this instead of the eighteen dollar cover price. (less)
- The writing style can be lyrical and fairy tale-like. The dialogue can be witty at times. - The pacing is fast. - There are some amazing hi...more The Good:
- The writing style can be lyrical and fairy tale-like. The dialogue can be witty at times. - The pacing is fast. - There are some amazing hints that make me believe that this series will be great. - The side characters! Trix, Wednesday, Friday, Monday, Saturday, Thursday, the Pirate King, Erik, Jack Jr, and Velius are all great. I hope to see more of them in the other Woodcutter Sisters novels. - The early scenes with Sunday and Grumble were actually a little adorable and sweet.
- Even if it is a series, there are several large plot holes and dangling plots at the end. I'm sure the other six planned books will sort most of these out. However, as this was originally sold as a stand alone. . .I can see how this could annoy some. - Sunday and her love interest don't really feel like a real and true love. Then again, most fairy tales are a bit shallow in the love department. - Sorrow, Joy, and their story line is just odd. - The ending - defeating the 'bad guy stuff' felt rather rushed. I spent the last fifty pages or so thinking: "Wait, what? Okay, I guess."
- As much as I did like Sunday and Rumbold, they are probably the more boring of the characters. (less)