Now that I have finished reading Cress, I would like to immediately get my hands on Winter.
We meet Cress at the very beginning of the book, and the p Now that I have finished reading Cress, I would like to immediately get my hands on Winter.
We meet Cress at the very beginning of the book, and the poor girl has been stuck on a satellite by herself for a long time. She’s extremely tech savvy, but her social skills need work. She sometimes doesn’t have the most realistic expectations for her interactions with others, and I could hardly blame her. Her awkwardness combined with her genuine desire to help people made her all the more endearing.
Scarlet is the sequel to Cinder, and while I sometimes take a breather between books one and two in a series, in this case I jumped right in. Meyer adScarlet is the sequel to Cinder, and while I sometimes take a breather between books one and two in a series, in this case I jumped right in. Meyer added lots of interesting new facets to her world while still doing a great job of building on the existing ones. Scarlet was still immensely enjoyable, though it did touch on a few of my personal pet peeves.
Scarlet is our main character in this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Wolf is the love interest and we meet him right away. While I could see some appeal in him, the romantic plotline kind of drove me crazy for two reasons. Scarlet is drawn to Wolf, despite being well aware that she shouldn’t trust him. We all have our lapses in judgment, but I thought she was playing a bit too fast and loose on a life or death matter. I also didn’t like the fact that it all felt super instalovey.
I loved the fact that we still got to see what was going on with Cinder, Prince Kai, and Iko. Seeing how all of their lives were changing is part of what kept me turning the pages of Scarlet so rapidly. I particularly enjoyed meeting Captain Thorne.
Even though Scarlet didn’t quite live up to Cinder, I still wholly enjoyed reading it. Meyer has created a world that I love to read about. Do we seriously have to wait until 2014 for Cress?...more
Although my humor can be quite sarcastic and dry, I actually love puns and cheesy jokes. Incidentally, I also enjoy fairy tale re-tellings and fantas Although my humor can be quite sarcastic and dry, I actually love puns and cheesy jokes. Incidentally, I also enjoy fairy tale re-tellings and fantasy novels, so when I got an e-mail to review The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, I jumped at the chance. Healy’s novel had me chuckling in a few places, but it wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be.
This re-telling tackles four major fairy tales: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. I know and like all of these stories, and Healey gives each prince a name and distinct personality. Maybe I am alone in this one, but it took me about 75 pages before I could remember which prince went with which story. Once I had it straight, I loved watching the dynamics between the princes.
I’m not sure how I feel about the story itself. I thought it got a little convoluted at times. There were also times when the book felt slow or oddly paced. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a book ten-year-old Liz would have adored. Twenty-four-year-old Liz liked it, but was unsure of a few things. That said, I’m looking forward to passing Healy’s novel on to some younger readers I know. ...more
Cinder is the type of book that makes me want to cry tears of joy. Sometimes a great book idea gets put into the wrong hands and the whole thing justCinder is the type of book that makes me want to cry tears of joy. Sometimes a great book idea gets put into the wrong hands and the whole thing just crashes and burns, but that wasn’t the case with Cinder at all! Cinder far surpassed my expectations and is a book that I am eager to fanatically shove into all of your faces.
Being a cyborg isn’t easy for Cinder. Although she’s respected as a mechanic, a lot of people look down on her for what she is. Cinder was a great character because even though she was angsty about who she was, she also tried to change her life for the better. While we’re on the note of characters, I loved Prince Kai! He was down to earth (no pun intended) and a sweet guy who was decidedly worthy of my swoons.
The plotting and the world in this book are both incredible. While Cinder still would have been an interesting read without the Lunars, having that extra threat gave it a nice element of political intrigue. There were also a lot of twists and turns that kept me glued to the page.
Romance, world building, and political intrigue are often three places where books go horribly awry, yet Cinder didn’t. It was a fantastic read all the way to the final page and I immediately picked up Scarlet, the sequel, which is a rarity for me. Meyer perfectly juggles these three elements so that none of them take over the story and make it feel too contrived.
I was hoping I’d like Cinder, and I wasn’t at all disappointed! I was blown out of the water, and it left me so satisfied and wishing I could feel this way about every book I get excited about it. Cinder will almost definitely be one of my favorites of 2013....more
I will be totally honest with you and say that for most of Dust City, I wanted to swap it out for another book or take a nap (then again, I can fall aI will be totally honest with you and say that for most of Dust City, I wanted to swap it out for another book or take a nap (then again, I can fall asleep reading ANYTHING, so that really isn’t saying much). This novel definitely had a few entertaining moments, and by the end I thought the romance plot was cute. Overall, however, I was disappointed.
When it comes to fantasy, fairy tales, sci fi, paranormal, dystopian etc. I love to see good world building, because otherwise I feel like I sit through the novel with a vast array of unanswered questions, ultimately distracting me from the plot and whatnot. Unfortunately, I feel like Dust City threw me into the plot without sufficient explanations which I wanted. I think the gritty atmosphere didn’t work for me somehow. It just never drew me in.
Henry was a somewhat likable character. However, nothing about him really stood out to me. I felt like I had a hard time reaching to the heart of his motives. He was just meh.
I think much like people, books and readers have chemistry. A relationship won’t work unless there’s some kind of spark. Dust City and I just never clicked. Everyone has those books, and this is one of mine. I recommend giving this a try for yourself, though, as you might get into more easily than I did....more
It’s pretty hard to tell from the synopsis of this novel what it’s going to be about, but the term “fairy-tale mash-up” is incredibly apt. There’s anIt’s pretty hard to tell from the synopsis of this novel what it’s going to be about, but the term “fairy-tale mash-up” is incredibly apt. There’s an authors note at the end of the ARC where Flinn talks about her love of Grimm’s fairy tales and she says “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” “The Frog Prince,” “The Six Swans,” “The Golden Bird,” “The Valiant Tailor” and “The Fisherman and His Wife” are all incorporated in Cloaked. Phew! Sounds like with all of that background, things could get messy, right? On the contrary, friends. Flinn’s novel is a fast-paced read that had me wanting to know what happened.
I have to admit that when I first started reading Cloaked, I was a little confused, but the sense of espionage surrounding the story intrigued me. It seemed like Flinn was trying to connect a couple of vastly different storylines, and I had no idea how she was going to do it. By the end of the novel, each element of the story fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. There were definitely a couple of curveballs that I did not see coming, which I think is a result of not being especially familiar with any of the fairy tales included in this story. Maybe someone who is a hardcore Grimm brothers fan would fill totally different.
Unfortunately, what stopped me from really enjoying this novel was Johnny, the main character. I loved that he was a straight guy who was so into shoes. Thank you, Alex Flinn, for breaking a gender stereotype! Yet as he ventured and looked for the frog, I kept wondering when he was going to learn. He seemed a bit too quick to trust others, and after a while that got frustrating. While this is certainly understandable once or twice in any given plot, Johnny’s behavior felt too repetitious for me to feel sorry for him. He also frustrated me a bit in terms of the romance of the story, but at least he eventually caught on there. However, I thought Meg was a great character, and I adored several of the minor characters. Flinn definitely gave them some snappy one-liners.
While it may not look like it from the cover, Cloaked is a quick, feel good read. However, it may not satisfy those who know Grimms’ fairy tales really well, because they might be able to guess everything that’s going to happen. I was glad to remember some stories that I had forgotten about and escape into Flinn’s world for a couple hundred pages. If you like light-hearted fairy tale spin-offs or reading about shoes, be sure to pick this one up. ...more
The moment I saw the cover of Entwined I knew that I had to read it. The gorgeous dress, the garden and the castle give off a this-is-the-ultimate-magThe moment I saw the cover of Entwined I knew that I had to read it. The gorgeous dress, the garden and the castle give off a this-is-the-ultimate-magical-fairy-tale feel. It turned out to be an okay read. Unfortunately, I spent a good deal of this novel thinking of how it dragged onwards. I will say right now that I read an ARC, so the final version could vary slightly from what I read.
Entwined is based off of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses and focuses on the oldest sister, Azalea. The story takes place in the year after the death of the princesses’s mother and is about the chaos that ensues when they use dancing, an activity forbidden during mourning, as an escape. I loved the world and setting Dixon created, but wasn’t as fanatical about how she developed her characters.
At the beginning of the novel, the way Dixon described the girls made them all unappealing as characters to me. They all seemed so virtuous and well-behaved, especially Azalea, and Dixon’s descriptions of them often rubbed me the wrong way. Her writing also had a tendency to get redundant, which is a particular pet peeve of mine. Other times I would read a sentence and be like, “Wait, why did she spend forever on that other thing and barely mention this?” I wish that the story had been more condensed overall, because I felt that it took a while to get to the action of the story.
I have to say, though, I think Dixon got something right: the romance. At first it felt like a light undertone beneath the real story, yet by the end it was both nicely incorporated and compelling. It definitely made me chuckle at unexpected points and had me smiling as I turned the final pages.
If you’re a huge fan of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, it’s probably worth it for you to pick up Entwined and see how you like it. Otherwise, this might be a fairy tale retelling to let pass you by. However, ever reviewer has a different opinion, so I've included links to some other reviews down below so you can get a variety of perspectives....more
I heard the title and premise of The Near Witch months before it came out, and knew right away that I’d be purchasing a copy. My desire for this book I heard the title and premise of The Near Witch months before it came out, and knew right away that I’d be purchasing a copy. My desire for this book only became greater when I heard that it was a Gaiman-esque fairy tale with lyrical writing. Those reviews were spot on. Schwab’s debut is haunting and lovely, and the type of story I didn’t know was missing from young adult literature until I read it myself.
The Near Witch has an incredible atmosphere. Schwab’s writing is gorgeous, and I could feel my feet walking over English, misty moors as I read. I expected all of this based on summary and other reviews.
However, Schwab also caught me by surprise. I expected the plot of this book to be similar to that of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern—slow and sweet, like syrup. Yet as I read, I could not stop turning the pages. The events of this story will leave chills running up and down your spine. I had to know what twists Schwab was going to unfold and how it would all tie together.
As debuts go, The Near Witch is simply exceptional. Schwab managed to write a great story at a pace that I wanted to follow, which can be a tough balance to find. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, do so. If you have, allow me to assure that The Archived is also exceptional, and that I’ll be reading everything Schwab publishes in the future. ...more
Reading about the Arctic in the midst of a Minnesota heatwave proved to be a decent idea. The description of ice and snow helped distract me from theReading about the Arctic in the midst of a Minnesota heatwave proved to be a decent idea. The description of ice and snow helped distract me from the humidity and the blistering heat. In spite of this relief, Ice proved to be only an okay read for me.
The strongest element of Ice is easily the premise. While it’s based off of the East of the Sun West of the Moon fairy tale, I find that this particularly story is not often adapted or retold. Even when it does pan out perfectly, I love when authors add something fresh and new to their genre. My main problem with the plot of Ice was actually the ending. I liked the idea of it, but it felt a little bit too convenient and rushed to be genuine to me. I would happily pick up a sequel to Ice if one was published.
In some ways, Cassie is an admirable main character. She’s assertive and loyal to her family and loved ones, although I was occasionally frustrated by how stubborn she was. However, I think her character arc moved a bit too quickly to feel realistic at times. I have to wonder if I would have enjoyed it more had the story been told from Cassie’s point of view.
Overall, Ice is an enjoyable and swift read, but it lacked the depth I was hoping to see. I was glad to see something different, and think the novel was really well written, so I’ll definitely read ore by Durst in the future. I know others will disagree with my opinions, so you if Ice intrigues or if you live someplace really warm, you should definitely check it out....more
This is my first Angela Carter book and I have to say that I am definitely interested in reading more by this author! I really enjoyed her style and tThis is my first Angela Carter book and I have to say that I am definitely interested in reading more by this author! I really enjoyed her style and the plotlines themselves. I absolutely loved her dark twists to the stories, which I feel can sometimes come across as a bit cliched, but she did it so well. I didn't feel that it was so much the plot as the narration that was twisted. She made it all feel so real to me, esepcially in the story it's titled after, Bloody Chamber. I am just really wowed by this book. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in reading fairytale retellings or in Gothic literature....more
I loved this book. Despite the fact that it took me a while to get through, when I picked this up, I was engrossed by Gaiman's plot and prose. I feltI loved this book. Despite the fact that it took me a while to get through, when I picked this up, I was engrossed by Gaiman's plot and prose. I felt that this was the ultimate fairy tale, but with a bit of Gaiman added to make it stand out, namely a couple of aspects that were vaguely horror-esque.
It's hard for me to review this book, because I honestly wouldn't change anything about it. I thought Gaiman's writing, prose and descriptions were absolutely beautiful. Dare I say that he enchanted me? This isn't quite your average fairy tale, as its more adult in terms of the sexual content and violence. I also have to say that I liked all of the characters, and thought they were fairly relatable. Who hasn't had a crush like Tristan's? I actually thought the star had her irritating moments when we fist met her, but I grew sympathetic towards her. I would not have been happy had I been in her position! One aspect of the ending may have been a tiny bit predictable. I was okay with that, however, because it was what I wanted for the characters, and I felt that Gaiman did a really good job of creating a feasible ending which tied all loose ends of the story together. Other than that, he had me on my toes all throughout
Stardust exceeded and surpassed my expectations. I think Gaiman has done a fantastic job of creating a captivating and original story. I can't wait to continue reading his work....more
This book is based off of myth of Shaharazad (sp?). It's written for young adults, one I'd had on my shelf but never read before. The plot and the chaThis book is based off of myth of Shaharazad (sp?). It's written for young adults, one I'd had on my shelf but never read before. The plot and the characters are both very well done, but since the style is meant for like seventh graders I wouldn't call it amazing....more