Genre: Fairytale Retelling

Review Round Up | The Goose Girl, The Cottingley Secret, and Everything Must Go

Posted April 12, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Goose Girl, The Cottingley Secret, and Everything Must Go

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! When planning out my books for the retellings challenge this year, I knew I needed to attempt THE GOOSE GIRL. This is a classic fantasy novel that everyone seems to love. It reminded me a bit of ELLA ENCHANTED or STARDUST when it got started, with the princess/girl heading out on some kind of adventure/quest/etc. It honestly took me a little while to get into this and see what all the fuss was about, but it was worth it. I should also mention that I started with the audiobook, which has a full cast (!!) and was pretty adorable as a result. The latter half of the book was pretty fantastic, honestly. I’m glad I wasn’t fully aware of the original Brothers Grimm story, or else I wouldn’t have gasped as much as I did LOL. I didn’t see certain things coming and was honestly on the edge of my seat, deciding to finish the book off as an ebook instead of an audiobook. Ani was a great character to watch grow up and learn about life outside of being a princess. Her experience as a goose girl definitely shaped her into a more well-rounded person. I loved the bit of romance, even though it definitely wasn’t […]

ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Posted March 21, 2019 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Initial Excitement & Summary I adored GEEKERELLA and was SO excited to see a companion sequel. I already need there to be a million books in this series. The first book was basically a love letter to being a fan, attending cons, and geek culture as a whole. I’m not QUITE as into fandom things (for anything really) as many of my friends, but I totally get it. While the first book was a Cinderella retelling, this was a Princess and the Pauper retelling – the classic situation where two people look like each other and switch lives for a few days. In this case, the actor who plays Princess Amara in Starfield (Jess) switches place with Imogen (a Starfield fan and leader of the “Save Amara” movement). The two switch lives so Jess can track down who leaked the new Starfield script. Storytelling & Characters Just like the first book, this was filled with geeky references that I loved. (Sometimes it feels like a little too much, but not bad! – I liked that Jess was not really a geeky character so the references were only during one of the POVs.) The Princess and the Pauper trope was really well done and super fun to follow in a con setting. I enjoyed both Jess and Imogen as main characters. Jess was hard to get used to in the beginning because she didn’t like Starfield; it was off-putting to hear her grouchy inner monologue. This definitely changed throughout the book […]

ARC Review: Geekerella

Posted March 29, 2017 / Book Reviews / 12 Comments
ARC Review: Geekerella

Initial Excitement I heard a bit of buzz about this one early on from some bloggers, so I immediately requested it… then started it that same night! I’m not AS fandom-y as a lot of my friends (minus a couple of things) but I had a feeling this book would resonate with me anyways. I’ve only been to one Comic Con but love the feel of cons. I love that people can be themselves and geek out without being judged. I’m also a big sucker for Cinderella retellings! Quick Summary Elle is in the classic Cinderella situation – her stepmom is terrible and her stepsisters are just as bad, her dad (and much earlier, mom) passed away, and she’s constantly forced to do things around the house. She and her dad bonded like crazy over Starfield, a sci-fi TV show, and she has a popular-ish blog about the series. There’s a new movie reboot coming out and she’s not very happy with the main character’s casting, but that doesn’t stop her from entering a cosplay contest at ExcelsiCon (a con that her dad created). There were countless connections between Elle and the lead actor in the Starfield movie, Darien, without them actually knowing each other. LOTS OF CUTE THINGS HAPPEN. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels I loved how fandom-centric this book was. I haven’t read many “geek” books like this but my sister has (you bet your ass I preordered this for my sister). I have to say, it covered pretty much […]

ARC Review: Heartless

Posted November 28, 2016 / Book Reviews / 9 Comments
ARC Review: Heartless

Initial Excitement I think it’s pretty obvious why I was excited for this one! I adored the Lunar Chronicles series by Meyer and was SO ready to see how she would work in a different world! I love that she is staying with retellings, because clearly she’s great at them, but I am definitely intrigued to see where she heads from here. Will she keep them going?! Anyways, I have been waiting for an Alice in Wonderland retelling that I’d love. I had super mixed feelings about the last one I read but I kind of loved that world. (I need to reread one other Alice retelling series again because I LOVED it back in the day.) So, in any case, you could say I was pumped for this book. I saw lots of people who were excited because of Marissa Meyer, but nervous because they don’t enjoy Alice retellings as much. Quick Summary Cath is just a normal girl in Wonderland when the King of Hearts sets his sights on her for marriage. She quickly determines she isn’t interested him and instead wants to open a bakery with her best friend/maid Mary Ann. She also (just as quickly) falls for the court joker, Jest. They have a bit of a secret love affair while the king continues to court her. She has to find a way to break it off with the king and make her ~dreams come true~ instead. BUT we all know how the Queen of Hearts turns out, right? Storytelling, Setting, and […]

Review: Cruel Beauty

Posted October 13, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: Cruel Beauty

Initial Excitement I was really intrigued by this book when it was first released, but I hesitated on reading it for a while. Cristina and I chose Crimson Bound by the same author for one Book Buddies month but I ended up DNFing it (so we chose another book). That made me nervous for this story. However, it was randomly picked by my book club using our new book selection method and I was ready for the push to read it finally. I was cautiously optimistic because I know a lot of people loved this one compared to Crimson Bound or really any others by Hodge. Summary in a Second Nyx has been set to marry the Gentle Lord, Ignifex, since she was a baby. Her father made a selfish deal with him and Nyx’s plan is to kill him to set her people free. (It’s kind of a long, complicated story, so I’ll let you investigate that on your own.) It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling so there are definitely similar elements woven through – the castle, being kind of a prisoner, the non-human man thingy keeping you hostage, etc. Storytelling & Setting I have to say, I’ve never read a story quite like this one. The world was so vast and explored piece by piece. The writing was gorgeous and somehow way more interesting than Crimson Bound‘s prose. The plot itself was unveiled slowly as Nyx uncovered new secrets and opened hidden doors throughout the castle. She found herself falling for a […]

Mini Novella Reviews: Fairest and Stars Above

Posted March 2, 2016 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Mini Novella Reviews: Fairest and Stars Above

I don’t have a lot to say about this one overall. I liked it and am glad it exists, because Levana’s point of view is fucking crazy, but it wasn’t at the same level of the rest of the books. Obviously the entire series is ridiculously epic and twisty and turny. This book was really just a summary of Levana’s life before Cinder technically takes place. I think this would make more sense as a 0.5 instead of 3.5, but what are ya gonna do? My Goodreads review successfully sums up my feelings on this book: I’ve been looking forward to this epilogue foreeeeever. Oh yeah, and the rest of the novellas in there 😉 I actually hadn’t read any of the existing novellas for this series yet, so the whole book was new to me. It was an absolutely great way to wrap up the series. Here are some very mini reviews on each novella included: The Keeper: I loved seeing Michelle and Scarlet’s relationship develop! Getting a little background about how everyone came together pre-Cinder was awesome. And I loved seeing her become Cinder (and why that name!) Glitches: I’m pretty sure this one was previously released, but I’m reading all of these novellas for the first time! It was heartwarming to see how Garan and Peony really did care for her, unlike the rest of them. Made me sad/happy. Also IKO! The Queen’s Army: Really interesting (and terrible) to learn about how the queen acquired her army. I felt […]

Mini Reviews: Of Beast and Beauty and Second Time Around

Posted February 8, 2016 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Mini Reviews: Of Beast and Beauty and Second Time Around

A couple of very random mini reviews for you! Both backlist: one YA retelling and one Adult “chick lit” type. Here’s what I thought of Of Beast and Beauty and Second Time Around.I definitely expected a lot from this book, and I think that wasn’t very fair of me. The biggest fault with this was comparing it too much to Princess of Thorns. The other story I read by Stacey Jay featured non-stop twists and new information and swoooons, even after a very slow beginning. With this one, there were less twists and turns and jaw-dropping moments…and I just expected too much. It started off slow but I kind of thought that might just be Jay’s style? But, it took about 75% of the book for me to really make me eager to keep reading. The ending was solid and interesting, for sure. If I try to be a little more objective, this was REALLY good. Same slow-burn, complex story with great world-building. I totally need more Stacey Jay in my life. I’m not sure if this was a case of the right book at the right time, or if I just really loved this one, but either way- so glad I read it. I needed something with no hype and non-YA, and this delivered in spades. I loved the cozy, college campus vibe (even though they were all 10 years out of college, just living somewhat on the campus) and the theme of second chances. There were four main characters […]

Review: Winter

Posted November 26, 2015 / Book Reviews / 12 Comments
Review: Winter

Well well well, Marissa Meyer. I see what you did there. You made each book get increasingly better than the last until I finally said holy SHIT this is one of my favorite series. When I finished Cinder, I wasn’t totally convinced. When I finished Scarlet, I said “that was very good, not fantastic” yet again. When I finished Cress, I thought she was headed towards something excellent. I loved being introduced to more and more characters who were special and important in their own ways. With the introduction of the ultimate bae Carswell Thorne, I was pretty sold in general… but I knew that the final book would have to blow me away to make up for my this-is-great-but-not-a-favorite feelings that I was working with from the first two books. AND THEN SHE DID IT. There are so many wonderful things about this book and about the whole series that come to a head in this finale. I would venture to say that it’s my favorite series-ender ever. (This may be because I haven’t finished a lot of series like this, but seriously it’s gotta be top three at least!) How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… 1. SQUAD GOALS Has there ever been a group of people this perfect before? Prob not. As each book progressed, we were introduced to more and more characters to make up the final crew of saviors. Book one brought us Cinder and Kai, the smart cyborg and the emperor. Book […]

Reviews: Scarlet and Cress

Posted November 5, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Reviews: Scarlet and Cress

I think my feelings for this book can be summed up in my Goodreads review, which is usually just a quick snapshot of my gut reaction: Okay yeah, so I am really enjoying this series so far! It’s not what I was expecting (in a good way) but somehow I’m not in LOVE with it like most people. I’m sad about that. I’ve heard that a lot of people count Cress as their favorite, though, so I’m feeling really good about the next book. As for Scarlet, I feel like I didn’t get enough of SCARLET! I love that these books alternate around between some of the main characters, but Cinder’s story from this book is sticking more in my mind than Scarlet’s chapters. I don’t know if it’s because I was more interested in Thorne than Wolf – or something similar – but damn. I kept itching for Cinder’s chapters. I loved the end of the book, when all of the stories connected and everyone came together. I can’t wait to see how they mix in Cress and other new characters in the next couple of books! Stories that have characters whose lives are connected (usually without them personally know each other) are always fun for me. These books, so far, feature a decent amount of action throughout, and then a little uptick towards the end. Usually that climax is what keeps me interested and prepares me for the next book. I’m really glad that I started Scarlet late in the readalong, so […]

Review: Cinder

Posted September 18, 2015 / Book Reviews / 11 Comments
Review: Cinder

Let me start out by saying, YES I finally read this book! Yes, for the first time. No, I’m not sure what took me this long. When Brittany mentioned a Lunar Chronicles readalong for this year, in preparation for the newest release, I knew that this would be my reason to finally read the series. I’ll say quickly: I’ve never had this much trouble coming up with a Friends connection for my GIF below! It usually takes me forever to find or create the right GIF, but the reference itself comes right into my brain. Regardless, I think this book is just so unique and hard to classify that – for once – my Friends-obsessed brain had some trouble! Well, what did I think? This was a really great series-starter! I’m so intrigued with this world and can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment. Cinder was an interesting character – she’s a cyborg who dealing with the prince’s sudden interest in her and her sister’s sudden illness, all while slowly learning some insane things about herself and her past. I didn’t fully connect with her for some reason, but that didn’t really damper my enjoyment for the book overall. It seems like her story is going to be the one carried through the rest of the series, all while highlighting new characters and, probably, locations. There’s this phenomenon that happens to me sometimes while I’m reading that I call being “mockingbirded.” When I was in high school reading To […]