Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Book Review: After Alice

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Strange, delightfully strange. If you are a lover of Wonderland and all the stories that go along with this, you'll adore this story by master-storyteller Gregory Maguire. If, however, you aren't much of a fan and don't know the real, original version (aka, not Disney but Lewis Carroll), you might feel a tad bit lost.

At the beginning I was a smidge annoyed, feeling like Ada's adventure into Wonderland was simply a retelling of Alice's adventure. Even worse, Ada is an unfortunate character with all sorts of physical issues and a total lack of imagination. I nearly stopped reading. Obviously Ada's adventure was going to tire me out.

However, bouncing back and forth to the "real world" and Wonderland made the journey feel so much more realistic. After all, not that much was happening, but it was only a mere afternoon.

I suppose Alice's original journey was much the same, but it felt longer.

I digress. Although Ada isn't much of a stellar character at the beginning, she definitely grows on you and becomes quite the heroine. In fact, the end was a bit delightful.

The book isn't long, but was fun. I enjoyed it.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Book Review: A Corner of White

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF (Did Not Finish) at 53%

Okay, this book is beautiful. The language is lovely and the world is interesting ... but there are a million characters, who don't seem to be connected. Plus, here we have an issue of ZERO PLOT.

I just can't keep reading. There is nothing driving me forward. I even got to the point of the little papers, but I still don't care.

If you are looking for a winter read that is beautiful, beautiful descriptions and writing, then this is your book. But if you are concerned about plot and knowing what is going on then this one to skip.


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Saturday, January 6, 2018

All the Books in 2018



Oh 2018, you are bringing so many amazing books that I know I will be well entertained. Here are some of my favorites that are coming out soon.

Aces of Shades / Amanda Foody
          Proper young lady has to partner with a street lord to find her mother in the "city of sin"
Ash Princess / Laura Sebastian
          The protagonist has been compared to Sansa Stark ... yes please!
Between the Blade and the Heart / Amanda Hocking
          Malin is a Valkyrie ... her mom does something crazy, a guy needs help ... it's bound to be angsty and wonderful.
The Boneless Mercies / April Genevieve Tucholke
          A reimagining of Beowulf? Yep, I'm there.

Book Review: Birthmarked


Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was FANTASTIC. I don't want to oversell it, but seriously it was good!

I actually skipped a Target trip to read this ... yep, I couldn't put it down.

Okay, so it is a semi-typical Dystopian world where there are two major class differences, those inside of the wall, and those outside of the wall. However, in a horrifying turn of events, the people outside of the wall have to "advance" the first three babies born each month into the city. Seriously.

Gaia is becoming a midwife, just like her mother, and the story opens at her first birth where she does everything just right and advances a fresh newborn. If you aren't a little horrified yet, you are a braver soul than I.

However, things soon get, complicated and Gaia's parents are kidnapped and the plot thickens. Actually, the whole story was really intricate. Although the world building was a little thin, it was mostly just fine. There were a few "Hunger Games" type flashes that could have been fleshed out a lot more, but mostly it was really awesome.

Between truly 3-dimensional characters and a complex plot this was the best dystopian read I've had in a LONG time.


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2018 Reading Goals


Why do I do this every year? Probably because GoodReads prompts for it, but I do like tracking things. Last year I was TERRIBLY short of my goal, but that was mostly because of life getting in the way.

This year I plan to attack my goal and conquer it totally. Well, we shall see.

My goal this year is 100 books. What's yours?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Book Review: As Old As Time


As Old As Time by Liz Braswell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was SO much better than I expected it to be! I expected it to be just a silly retelling, but it was more than that. I expected it to be somewhat terrible like the Aladdin retelling, but it WASN'T.

Okay, about the story.

So the backstory part is BRILLIANT. Maybe that happens in the old French tale, I don't remember it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. The detail and setting to build up to the story we all know and love is exactly the kind of "fleshing out" fairy tales need for adults to enjoy them. I was blow away by how Maurice and Belle's mother (sheesh, her name escapes me right now) met.

About Belle. She is a lot like the movie version, curious and brave. She is very princess-y in that she cares for everyone and everything. She is not the most interesting character here, but I think that is because we KNOW her so well.

The Beast. I liked this rendition of him. He is much more animal-like in this story and I like how that makes him more difficult to "fall in love with" in reality. He isn't a big humanlike puppy, but rather a scary monster.

The animated household. They take the cake. I love all of the descriptions that Braswell gave to them. All of Belle's double takes as she thinks Lumier put a hand to his face, but then realizes he neither has a hand nor a face. Brilliant. All of their interactions with Belle really make the story come to life.

I was a little disappointed on how unenchanting the library was made to seem. I mean, that is my FAVORITE part of the whole story (hello, princess booknerd). Blah, but overall that wasn't enough to make me disappointed.

Overall I cannot believe that this was written by the same author as the Aladdin retelling (I'm too lazy to look up the title) because it was terrible and this was honestly delightful.

The ending, well, no spoilers, but it's brilliant.


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