Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: Immortal Beloved

Immortal Beloved
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

HOLEY MOLEY...I did NOT expect to like this as much as I did. Need to go off for a few minutes and contemplate exactly how to tell you how fantastic this book was.


Ok I have returned. Ok. So listen. I am only going to say this once. (Maybe) This book was aaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwessssssssssssommmmmmmmmmmme. First let me set the scene. We have Nasty (short for Nastasya) who in her 450 plus years of immortality has gone by many names and changed her appearance many times. But the main constant in her life has been her almost reckless abandon of caring or even wanting to deal with the bad parts of her life or the lives of her fellow men/women. Then one day it hits her like a slap in the face when she sees her best friend commit an action of such unspeakable cruelty that..there are no words to describe it.

So Nasty takes a chance and runs away from everything and every immortal she has ever truly known. She seeks an immortal she met once, for a mere moment in the expansive life she has lived. Nasty finds herself in BFE, Massachusetts. Feeling out of place and woe is me, Nasty embarks on a journey of inner peace, goodness, and MAGIC!!!

This is book is totally worth dealing with the adolescent mindset of Nasty you will experience for a decent majority of the book. This book is totally worth dealing with the oh so overused "Oh Em Gee He is so HAWT! He is so GODLIKE! He is so *insert every adjective to describe an astoundingly sexy and attractive guy*!" There is the good guys, the bad guys(girl), and the shades of gray.

I loved the flashbacks. Usually when an author does a flashback, it goes awry somewhere and ends up being info dump in the worst kind of way. But this time the flashbacks were done in a manner that made sense, gave me some background on Nasty, and didn't make me wish I could skip them. (How many times do you find yourself skipping the flashbacks or at least skimming over them cause they are so dull and drawn out?)

Basically what I am saying is read this book. This book is definitely not your average immortality tripe. This gives to immortality the pizzazz that IMO My Name is Memory gave to reincarnation. Now I am off to tear through the second book. [b:Darkness Falls|7977037|Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved, #2)|Cate Tiernan||12307536]

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Kill Me Softly

Kill Me Softly
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mira never knew her parents. They died in a fire when she was three months old. Her guardians took her away from her birthplace and raised her under their protection. They kept her safe. Now she is throwing it all away. She is running away to the town of her birth, to a town where fairy tales come true, and where secrets abound. Mira is running away to her destiny.

The setting of this book was interesting. Imagine a world where fairy tales are real and they take place in the present. What would it be like? I imagine it would be something like this story. I liked the idea of this book. I liked trying to find out which characters belonged with which fairy tale.

I didn't like Mira for the most part. She seemed so intent on putting herself in danger. Even when it was not her fairy tale she was playing a part in, even when her destiny was entwined with someone else. Blue struck me as the real hero here. He was the voice of reason at times when Mira was trying her damnedest to face danger for no other reason than lust. Poor Freddie seemed like your typical nice guy, always in the friend-zone. I would have liked to know more about him. Alas that is not how the story goes.

The pace was surprisingly fast in my opinion. It seemed that things escalated in a rather quick manner. I blame it on the curse. Things happened to fast and too intensely for it to make real sense. I mean who buys sexy lingerie at sixteen less than 48 hours after meeting a guy...who is 21!!??

But I loved the ending. I loved that you can change your destiny, yet still fulfill your curse. You can risk it all to help someone else. I loved that there was a somewhat happy ending.

However it just didn't reach me like I hoped it would. I just couldn't bring myself to feel more strongly about this book. But I would not kick it to the curb. It's just one of those books I will read once and leave it be afterwards. But don't let that stop you from checking out Kill Me Softly. I will be looking for more from this author in the future.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Sweetly

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this re-telling of Hansel and Gretel. The main characters Ansel and Gretchen are trying to carry on with their lives after being kicked out by their stepmother. Unfortunately, fate has a way of stepping in and re-routing destiny. For years after the disappearance of Gretchen's twin sister, they have feared the woods and the witches they believe live there.

I liked the detail of this story. I haven't read Sisters Red by the author yet. So some of the connections between this book and Sisters Red were lost to me. The plot flows along at a steady slow pace until the last few chapter. At this point the pace picks up and we find out the secret that the candy lady, Sophia, has been hiding.

I liked the characters but Ansel seemed a little secondary, Gretchen is the main star of the show. I feel she really grew as a character and found a strength that wasn't too far fetched to be believable.

Overall I enjoyed Sweetly and I can't wait to read what Jackson Pearce has lined up next. (After I read Sisters Red of course.)

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Finished This Season of Once Upon a Time? Check Out These Retellings!

So now we have all seen the spectacular season finale to ABC's Once Upon a Time.  Are you begging for more? Can't get enough twists and re-tellings of our favorite myths, legends, and fairy tales? Well never fear, I have a very short list compiled to help you scratch that itch until the beginning of next season. Some of these books might be considered Young Adult but don't let that deter you. They are good as Gold..... we all know deep down he's a good guy, his methods are just questionable.

So here is the list in no particular order:

  1. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier - A retelling of The Six Swans. This retelling is detailed and beautiful in the world building. Partially based on historical Ireland and Britain, Daughter of the Forest weaves a tale of magic, commitment, and the power of familial love. 
  2. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George - A retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. This retelling gives a back story as to WHY the princesses had to dance every night. I don't wanna give away the reason but lets just say the old Grimm lesson to never make a deal with a magical creature is reflected in this tale of Twelve princesses in the flower of their youth forced to dance until the spell is broken. 
  3. Bewitching by Alex Flinn - This is kinda of a mash up of a lot of tales in the form of a young witch who participated in each tale either as a participant or as the antagonist. Flinn is known for her book Beastly which was a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. (And made into a somewhat mediocre movie IMO.)
  4. Spindle's End by Robin McKinley - A retelling of Little Briar-Rose (Sleeping Beauty). McKinley is well known for her reimaginings of the tales we hold dear to our hearts. A long favorite of mine is Deerskin, a retelling of Charles Perrault's Donkeyskin. While Spindle's End is not as dark as Deerskin in content, there is some gender-bending and a great surprise at the end. 
  5. Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales by Ellen Datlow - This is a collection of short stories, written by many awesome authors, told from the VILLAIN'S side of the tale. All is not black and white in the world of Fairy Tales. Sometimes the bad guy is actually a good guy. 
  6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer - A futuristic retelling of Cinderella. This time the little cinder girl is a cyborg mechanic. You will notice other fairy tale characters cropping up if you look closely. I liked that the author gives the tales new life by re-imagining them and weaving them all into a brand new story line....sort of like OUAT.
  7. Ash by Malinda Lo - A retelling of Cinderella. I am not going to give anything away cause this was such a great book. Really I am not just saying that because the author and I have the same first name spelled in the same way....really. ;)
  8. Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire - A retelling of Snow White. What I loved about this story is that Maguire ALWAYS seems to surprise me with his re-imaginings of tales we all know. (This is the guy who wrote Wicked...I mean seriously the man is the best thing since....Neil Gaiman.) The setting and the reworked characters made the historical side of me squeal in excitement. While not a good as some of his works.....this did make me smile. 
Here are a few more that I haven't read myself but I plan to read or I am currently reading: (Sweetly and Kill Me Softly)
  1. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce - A Retelling of Hansel and Gretel . So far I am liking this. I choose to read it before Sisters Red because...well the cover is purple and I have it in hardcover. (Thanks to my awesome little brother.)
  2. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross - A mash up of many fairy tales. Basically a girl runs away from home and goes to the town of her birth where Grimm's Fairy Tales are real life.
  3. My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison - "Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah's class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. " <-----This summary from the Goodreads page says it all. I hope it lives up to my expectations. 
  4. Hatter by Daniel Coleman - OK so it's not a Grimm Tale...but it has THE MAD HATTER!!!! I will not feel ashamed imagining the hatter looking exactly like Jefferson. And just like on OUAT we get to see what causes his trip down the dark rabbit hole to madness. 
So these are just a few stories I have on my list of read and to read....what tales do you plan to consume waiting to find out what Mr. Gold is really up to?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review: Daughter of the Forest

Daughter of the Forest
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was awesome. I loved the slow pacing and it was full of detail. My only issue was that her brothers were a tad overprotective and over critical of Red. But to be realistic I suppose it was needed. Wish I had Internet here so I could gush more but hopefully this little review will do.

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