Category Archives: Retellings

Book Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Flatiron Books
TBP: Sept. 5th, 2017
400 Pages

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass.

When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina.

Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all. -Goodreads

This is a Snow White retelling and it doesn’t become apparent til about half way through the book. I do not have any issue with this at all because this book was a really surprising and good read.

Before dipping into the story, there needs to be an appreciation for how the author was able to use magic within this story. It wasn’t a run of the mild magic as stated in the summary one girl has a heart of glass while the other is made of snow. The magic in this story isn’t slap in your face from beginning and end but it was powerful and there was always a thin layer of when the explosion is coming. I liked that about this book; although it had a slow start once Mina’s voice got stronger the book picked up.

I liked Mina better than Lynet. Mina was stronger, she wasn’t sheltered nor did she whine a lot. Mina has a purpose and eventually Lynet finds hers and she does become a different person but there is a strength about her that still isn’t there especially compared to Mina.

But what I really enjoyed about this book was the relationship between Mina and Lynet. There is love… genuine love between them as a mother and daughter and it was everything that I wanted in any Snow White retelling especially in the book “Fairest of All” by Serena Valentino. I really really loved seeing their relationship from the beginning to the end (I guess).

The romance in the story was alright. I would have appreciate more love and less obligation. It wasn’t a strong or even close to the mother daughter fierceness. Therefore, I didn’t feel that the romance was love and more something new,

Overall, this book is creative, I loved how it references the original fairy tale but it isn’t the original fairy tale. Although it started off slow, when it picked up, it got good.

4 Pickles

Book Review: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

TBP: Dec. 18, 2017
380 Pages

Alainn’s father has good intentions. As a genius inventor, he is hired to create a robot for a picky client. This is a mistake. Rose, who looks like Alainn is not a robot pretending to be human but is much more. 

To save her father from going to prison, Alainn takes Rose’s place believing that her life will be nothing but serving the reclusive billionaire until a replacement is built. But nothing about this is as easy or black and white, Alainn hopes it to be. 

*Short Review*

I don’t really care for Beauty and the Beast. It is not one of those fairy tale movies that I actually feel is any good. However, I do love a good retelling of it. But this book wasn’t a love for me. Creative but not a love.

I liked this book because it focuses technology to the fullest. Robots are the thing of now and the future and the idea of robots no longer following their program is something you see constantly in the movies. I appreciated this in book, although there were times I found it myself rolling my eyes because it was s stretch that she can pass for a robot.

What I didn’t like about this book and what ultimately made me give it a low score was the fact that the author was trying too hard to make it real. Building the robot and having her not fulfill her intention that is real but having a human, who is loud, not that bright and emotional. The writing overall seemed really basic and although I really enjoyed the idea behind this story, nothing in me believes it was executed in its best form.

2 Pickles

Book Review: Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch (Villains) by Serena Valentino

Disney Press Published July 26, 2016 196 Pages
Disney Press
Published July 26, 2016
196 Pages

This is the third novel to the Villains series staring Ursula and her perspective from the Little Mermaid. 

I love reading the viewpoint of the villain. It makes them human to me. But in this particular story, there wasn’t enough for me to have an opinion about Ursula, other than the girl is evil.

There wasn’t enough detail into Ursula. The book showed a little bit of her past. I would say about 10 pages total and everything else focused on the Ariel and the three witches. So technically Ursula was not even the main focus of this book, although she caused all the issues.

I was disappointed because Ursula deserves a story to be told. The pace of the novel was slower compared to the previous books. There wasn’t a whole lot going on other than talking and trying to find out everyone’s true motive. And although the author tried to tie in 4 different stories into one book, it wasn’t the easiest transitions. It complicated things and there was no need because all I wanted to know was more stuff about Ursula. I wanted to see her humanity or some kind of light.

The surrounding character did add flare to the short read but again it wasn’t about them. I did appreciate the tie-ins from the other books and how every Disney story is connected. The imagery was great. But at the end of the day, there wasn’t enough history on Ursula for me to truly enjoy this book.

 

2 Pickles

NetGalley Review: The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher

Self Published Published Nov. 11, 2014 183 Pages
Self Published
Published Nov. 11, 2014
183 Pages

Rhea is a miller’s daughter set to marry a  high-ranking man she has never met. Although uncommon, what is mysterious is the man himself. With a house full of women and unknown magical powers, Rhea has no idea what her soon to be husband is up to.

*Short Review*

This book had gotten a high rating on Goodreads, so when I saw it on NetGalley I had to request it. The summary it self didn’t really draw me but I was open minded. Firstly, I am not sure what fairy tale, this is supposed to be a retelling on, but yeah *shrugs*

I couldn’t get excited with this book. It was slow. Rhea was slow and she did a whole lot of complaining and not a lot of action without the help of others. She also didn’t have much personality.

The author was creative. Without giving too much away, the story behind the six other wives and their husband was great to read. I wish there was a bit more of it. Their stories was actually more interesting than Rhea’s story.

Although I thought the concept of this book was enticing, the book itself didn’t really do anything for me. Rhea lacked a personality from beginning to end and she lacked emotions other than being tired and fearful. Oh yeah and wanting to give up. For a girl, who knew nothing of her husband, she didn’t do enough investigation to find out anything.

This book wasn’t my cup of tea.

1 Pickle 

What Tanya Wants: April 2016

 

April is going to be one expensive month.

Book Review: A Stolen Kiss (Stolen Royals #1) by Kelsey Keating

Swanifide Publishing Published March 1, 2016 346 Pages
Swanifide Publishing
Published March 1, 2016
346 Pages

Derric Harver is nothing more than a palace stableboy or at least that is all he should be. When Princess Maria’s curse stops her from accepting a Prince’s proposal, she ask Derric for his help and as if a knight in shinning armor, he gladly assists.

With the help of his sister, who is the Princess’s maid and a Prince, Derric and Maria embark on a journey to find the sorceress that cursed the Princess. Although the journey is dangerous, the secrets that will be reveled will be the most dangerous of them all. 

This isn’t a YA book. Just because the characters at 17 years old doesn’t make the book YA. In most cases, it does but not in this case. Why? Because of the way the book was written.

The main characters, Derric, his sister, the Prince and Princess were all very childish. The decisions that they made, they way they spoke and addressed each other were simple minded. I appreciated this because they showed each other respect and care but it made the journey a bit too easy. Overall, the story was fairly easy. There were complications but it was nothing that they didn’t get over by the next chapter.

I felt that this story could have been more dramatic, which is why I get the middle school vibe. In regards to romance, I didn’t feel it from anyone. Attraction? Yes, that was there but not love.

The story was too cute and I did like it. It just wasn’t what I thought it would be. I loved how the author incorporated magic into the story, where it didn’t seem like a stretch or that she was completely relying on it to move the story. I also have to give credit to the shocking twist of events. It was nicely done.

The book moved slow and it was long, which bugged me out but it is finish-able. Although I felt the book was written for a younger level, I was drawn to it and completely believe it is an adorable read.

Overall,

3 Pickles

 

Book Review: Wendy Darling: Stars (Wendy Darling #1) by Colleen Oakes

Sparkpress Published Oct. 13, 2015 256 Pages
Sparkpress
Published Oct. 13, 2015
256 Pages

Wendy Darling lives a comfortable life with her parents and brothers in the wealthy part of London. But when she begins to fall for a bookseller’s son, she realizes what her family is willing to do to keep their status in society.

One night when her parents are off at a ball, a boy comes into the room Wendy shares with her brothers through the window. The boy is Peter Pan and he promises them an adventure like no other. 

Falling completely over his charm, Wendy and the boys follow Pan to Neverland. But all isn’t what it seems once they get there. Wendy has a hard time remembering the life she had before she flew out the window and as Pan captures her heart she realizes there is a darker side to the magical world and the boy who controls it.

*Short Review*

I never understood the hype over Peter Pan. *Shrugs* it isn’t one of my go to classic children tales. But I was intrigued by seeing the darker side of Pan. I was hoping for some creepiness not a lot considering that is not the type of book this is but something that would make me go “ooooo.” There is a certain type of excitement seeing the good guy finally showing the jerk he really is.

While reading this book you have to keep in mind that Wendy is a child not a child adult but a child, who for most purposes, lived a privilege life. So like any child if you don’t get what you want you have a fit but when you find a new toy you forget what you had a fit about. That is Wendy in regards to her love life. I just wanted to put that out there.

I didn’t like the pace of the novel. The story was creeping by with each page. Wendy didn’t provide much help because she didn’t have much of a personality. I didn’t care for her relationship with her brothers because they turned on her the moment they could, especially John.

I felt that the story needed more than just Peter Pan and although the author does eventually give more life to the story, I couldn’t get into it. I also felt the author used Peter Pan way too much as a clutch for the story; there wasn’t enough originality.

Overall,

2 Pickles