Genre: Retelling

ARC / Anthology Review: His Hideous Heart

Posted October 23, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC / Anthology Review: His Hideous Heart

I can’t lie: unlike most anthologies I request or read, I don’t have a lot of experience with this “topic.” I like to read retellings in general and have been so curious about this compilation of Edgar Allen Poe reimaginings since Dahlia first spoke about it on Twitter years ago. I thought, why not give it a shot? I saw that the original stories by Poe were in the back of the book in case I wanted to read those too, but I figured I’d read quick synopses online for each instead. I also decided to break this up over the course of October to (a) not pressure myself too much and (b) break up the spooky across the whole month! With there being 13 stories, I needed to complete a story every 2-3 days to finish by the end of the month. Therefore, I decided to read one story approximately every other weekday and move things around if I knew I had plans that wouldn’t allow for much reading. I ended up really liking the vast majority of these though, which led to a bit quicker of a read time than I expected! As usual, here are mini reviews for each story in the anthology and the overall rating (above) is an average of all the stories’ ratings. She Rode a Horse of Fire by Kendare Blake | Inspired by: Metzengerstein This was nice and spooky! I was invested and curious without knowing as much about the original tale. […]

Blog Tour | Review: Romanov

Posted May 13, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: Romanov

When I signed up for the Retellings Challenge this year, it was definitely intended to be an actual challenge for me. I love retellings in theory and have read a decent number of them, but I still focus so heavily on contemporary fiction. Add in the fact that ROMANOV is also historical fiction, and I knew it would be a great push out of my comfort zone. I’m a fan of the movie Anastasia of course because WHO ISN’T? so I signed up quickly for this blog tour. Killing a lot of birds with one stone! I digress. I was right: this book was definitely different than the other stories I have been reading this year! The Russian folklore/themes were a really nice change of pace for me. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy other genres ūüė≥ It’s clear that Brandes did a lot of research on the history of the Romanov family and what the setting would have been like during that time. The story begins with Anastasia ‚ÄúNastya‚ÄĚ Romanov and her journey, with her family, into exile. She is tasked with stealing an ancient spell (through a doll) along with them. The first half or so of the book involves their travel and the rest of the book involves the more ~magical~ elements. I loved that the spell was connected to the Russian nesting dolls I’m familiar with. It personally took me a little while to get into this, but I feel it’s for a lot of […]

ARC Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

Posted June 25, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

After absolutely loving MY LADY JANE (despite not knowing much about the actual history/true story inolved), I was incredibly excited and optimistic about MY PLAIN JANE. Like the first book, I’m actually not well-versed in Jane Eyre, the heroine for this retelling. I’ve never read the book and actually, in hindsight, it would have been nice to read that beforehand (considering it’s on my “classics I might want to read soon” list). I can’t speak to how it compares to the original source. I can’t lie – this book was a bit disappointing compared to MLJ. I know it had big shoes to fill since I loved it so much, but I found myself slogging through it sometimes (mostly in the first half).¬†I had to start and stop this one quite a few times for other reading commitments, but when I did have time to read it, I was never really compelled to pick it up. It wasn‚Äôt as funny for engaging as MY LADY JANE was. I started to get into it a little more in the second half of the book but this definitely felt too long. I never read JANE EYRE so I have no idea how it compares but I have to say I‚Äôm a little more interested in reading it now.¬†Jane, Charlotte, and Alexander were interesting main characters and I liked being inside each of their heads. Despite all of those complaints, MPJ got more interesting as it went on and I really enjoyed the […]

Review Round Up | They Both Die at the End, Foolish Hearts, Top Ten, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Posted January 24, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 6 Comments
Review Round Up | They Both Die at the End, Foolish Hearts, Top Ten, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I‚Äôve 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! I definitely DID expect for this book to wreck me, based on what the last Silvera book did to me, and that doesn’t even consider the countless reviews of THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END where people talked about it wrecking them. I was totally prepared for it and not nearly prepared enough at the same time. The story is set in the near-future world, where a company called Death-Cast calls you on the day you’re going to die. You don’t know how or when specifically, but just that you have less than 24 hours left. Rufus and Mateo both receive the call and meet up through the Last Friend app. I’m so happy that I ended the year with this book. Can you ask for a better rating to finish a reading year?! Adam Silvera writes such compelling stories with characters I grow to love so quickly. Seeing people just go through one 24 hour period and feeling connected to them in that short of a timeframe is really powerful to me. I love stories where people are connected in ways you don’t understand at first. The first part of the book alternates between Mateo and Rufus as they learn their fates. The following parts include […]

Review Round Up | The Language of Thorns, Every Heart a Doorway, and War of the Cards

Posted January 5, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 11 Comments
Review Round Up | The Language of Thorns, Every Heart a Doorway, and War of the Cards

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I‚Äôve 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! Ayama and the Thorn Wood ¬†This story really hooked me after the first couple of pages; what an interesting collection of stories this already is shaping up to be! I liked this story a lot. I always struggle with reviewing short stories but Bardugo‚Äôs writing style is gorgeous and addicting. The Too-Clever Fox¬†¬†Another excellent one. This one was very clever (lolz) and I didn‚Äôt expect that ending. Loved it. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be ~learning lessons~ from these but I am so bad about fables haha. The Witch of Duva¬†¬†Another excellent one. This one was very clever (lolz) and I didn‚Äôt expect that ending. Loved it. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be ~learning lessons~ from these but I am so bad about fables haha. Little Knife ¬†I liked the message of this one. Bardugo is really good at surprising me when I reach the end of each story. The Soldier Prince ¬†Gorgeous writing as usual but I‚Äôm not 100% sure what happened there, or what the message is? The concept overall was interesting but still don‚Äôt know what any of it means or what really happened haha. When Water Sang Fire ¬†I wish I had a better memory of the other Grisha […]

Review Round Up | Blacklist, Once and For All, Blood of Wonderland, and The Hate U Give

Posted June 23, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Blacklist, Once and For All, Blood of Wonderland, and The Hate U Give

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 reviews of already published books (either older/backlist or newer releases) that¬†I‚Äôve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews¬†usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini¬†reviews! After enjoying UNRIVALED and being incredibly interested to see what would happen next, it felt like BLACKLIST would never arrive. I checked it out from the library and stashed it under my bed (where I unfortunately keep and forget about all of my library books). I finished up what I was reading and suddenly remembered that I had BLACKLIST to dive into. Let me tell you, it was exactly what I needed at the time. Like its predecessor, I couldn’t put this one down. I don’t see many differences in my feelings between the two books, to be honest. I felt the same way about the characters (didn’t really care about or for them). I felt the same way about the pacing (awesome). I felt the same way about the mystery (really interesting; I have a few theories!). I don’t know why but I think I liked this book more than the first. Maybe it’s because the stakes feel higher? I can’t put my finger on it. Long story short, I stayed up late to finish one night and had to wake up at 4:30 AM the next day. On my way home that evening, I was so excited to think I had more to read when I […]

ARC Review: Dark Breaks the Dawn

Posted May 22, 2017 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Dark Breaks the Dawn

Initial Excitement I haven’t read Larson’s other series (yet) but this one really intrigued me. I do have a tendency of requesting books or signing up for ARC tours even when they’re not¬†exactly in my wheelhouse. Regardless, I started this one pretty quickly once I received it to see how it would work for me. It was nice that there were almost no reviews to go on so I could form my own opinion. I didn’t even realize it was a Swan Lake retelling either, so that added to my excitement when I noticed! Quick Summary The Light and Dark kingdoms have been at war because the King of the dark kingdom wants to rule them both. Evelayn is the Princess of¬†Eadrolan, the Light kingdom, and suddenly has a lot of power thrust into her lap. The goal is to get to King Bain of¬†Dorjhalon and make sure peace is achieved in any way necessary. I don’t really want to say anything else because honestly this book could be summed up in three sentences and be over. All the Things So… yeah. I’m struggling to remember much about this one and I finished it a day ago. I think it’s kind of a mixed bag for me. There wasn’t a lot of plot at all but it was incredibly easy and quick to read. I usually find fantasy books with complex magic systems to be very slow-going for me, but this one was fast. There were LOTS of elements involved […]

Review: Sometimes We Tell The Truth

Posted January 19, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: Sometimes We Tell The Truth

Initial Excitement I’ve been yelling about this book for a while.¬†The Canterbury Tales is one of my all-time favorite classics. I love the book’s¬†setup, how each character told a story that was some kind of lesson about what was currently happening at the time. I was hoping that this book would be a close retelling and use many of the same elements in each individual story. Andi let me borrow her copy because she’s the best, and I didn’t waste much time before starting! Quick Summary As I mentioned, this is a YA retelling and modernization of¬†The Canterbury Tales.¬†The teacher on the bus decides to make the kids tell fictional stories and whoever tells the best one gets an A in his class. Each student was pretty quick-thinking, which impressed me. I would have stood there like a moron with no story at all. I was curious to see how closely the book would relate. Would the setup be the same, but not the individual stories? Or would the author modernize each individual story from the¬†Tales and spread them around to the kids? Well, from what I could tell, it was the latter… and I loved that! The first few stories were obvious, direct correlations to the originals. Even the in-between segues, prologues, and interruptions were the same. After finishing the book and reading the Afterword, the author explained all of the tales and how each kid correlated to them. I wish I flipped to the back to see the […]

Mini Reviews: The Forbidden Wish and Just a Girl

Posted June 24, 2016 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Mini Reviews: The Forbidden Wish and Just a Girl

After I saw the early reviews for this book, I bumped it up even higher on my TBR. I requested from the library and decided to read it as soon as possible, even with a million other more priority books waiting to be read. Unfortunately I kind of wish I didn’t bother reading it right away, because it didn’t grab me like I expected it to. The story was really great and the writing was lovely, but I was left slightly disappointed. It took me FOREVER to read this book. I never really wanted to pick it up and read it, and my attention would wander while I was reading. Khara was a really interesting main character because of her strength, backstory, and magic. I just loved reading about her. Aladdin was also a fantastic love interest and I kind of loved him. I definitely shipped them. However, there just was a little spark missing. The other side characters (the princess and her watchmaidens) were amazing too! The biggest issue, for me, is the general lack of plot. I could summarize the book in a few bullet points and call it a day. The ending had a lot more action, so that was a great change of pace. Overall, this book didn’t really meet my expectations, but I really did enjoy it. The gorgeous writing, lovable characters, and ending definitely sealed the deal for me. Here’s a nice age-level switch for you – a New Adult book I finished but […]

ARC Review: Queen of Hearts

Posted April 21, 2016 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
ARC Review: Queen of Hearts

This was overall an interesting retelling set in Wonderland, from the perspective of the soon-to-be Queen of Hearts, Dinah.¬†Something happens very early in the book that still feels like a spoiler (it’s not said in the synopsis), so I won’t mention it… although it’s central to the rest of the plot. Anyways, I have mostly mixed feelings about this one? It’s kind of hard to explain this story… mostly because not much happens. I was about 60% of the way through and was able to explain the entire plot to my boyfriend within three sentences. Part of this is because it’s very info-dump-y in the beginning. There were little conversations where side characters would be explaining something to Dinah even though she already knew these random facts about Wonderland. I know these existed to cleverly explain things to the reader, but it felt SO forced. It really just read like an info-dump about the world. A lot of the early chapters involved this so the book had not a lot of action for a loooong time. Along those same lines, the pacing felt weird. The story seems to happen over the course of a year. The first scene happens, then the next chapter is six months later. Then another scene happens, and it jumps ahead a month or two. I don’t know why this was necessary because I feel like everything could have just happened in a more natural timeline?¬†I saw Khanh’s review where she says the book feels like […]