Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Tale Dark & Grimm By Adam Gidwitz

A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1)A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Tale Dark & Grimm follows the adventures of young Hansel and his twin sister Gretel. Well I should say Prince Hansel and Princess Gretel as it is revealed in the first chapter that they are the children of the King and Queen of The Kingdom of Grimm. (See what the author did there? Very cute.) This isn't the usual "parents leave children in the woods because there is no food" Hansel & Gretel. No this is something much more exciting. Hansel and Gretel take off on their own because they are not happy with their parents. The book follows their adventures and ties in many of fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Each chapter is a different fairy tale and they involve our young protagonists. 

     Hansel is kind of foolish in the first few chapters. He does some really silly and dangerous things but by the sixth chapter Hansel has decided to be good so...magically he becomes good. Gretel seems to be the brains of the operations in my opinion. She is always the one with a plan and sacrifices in order for the children to accomplish their goals. As for the parents, the son is definitely the offspring of his father. The King is rather foolish in the beginning, also sort of a kidnapper but that is beside the point, but he redeems himself in the end and seeing the error of his ways makes a very generous gift to his children. The Queen, she is just there, she is like the draperies and carpets. She just exists because she has to exist. I'm sure she is a nice lady and all that jazz but girl is a static character through and through. But the story isn't about her so that is totally understandable.

     I really enjoyed this book because of the integration of so many less familiar tales. There were a few that I could pick out easily but some I had to look up. Gidwitz wove these tales together so well that it reads not as separate tales just stuck into a collection, but as one continuous adventure. Some of my favorite parts come from the interruptions of the narrator. The narrator breaks into the story every little bit to give advice to readers to hurry small children off to bed cause things are about to get "awesome", to explain something to the reader, or to give spoilers. The narrator was the funniest part of this book. Some of the comments made me giggle and some made me laugh out loud, which then made my husband look at me like I was insane because it is 3am and I should really be asleep. 

     I would highly recommend this book to preteens who love fantasy and adventure, parents who don't mind reading stories with a little bit of violence to their children, and adults who first fell in love with fairy tales not found in the Disney vaults. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series. I checked out the synopsis of the next book, In a Glass Grimmly, which features a new set of children, Jack and Jill. 

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My Favorite Quote: "You see, to find the brightest wisdom one must pass through the darkest zones. And through the darkest zones there can be no guide. No guide, that is, but courage."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Latest DNF : Gruesomely Grimm Zombie Tales

"Read" April 20 - 22 but ended up as a DNF.

Gruesomely Grimm Zombie Tales (Volume #1)Gruesomely Grimm Zombie Tales by T.W. Brown
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Seemed like a great idea, but poor execution. Some of the tales you can guess what they are from the story line and some just didn't not seem like anything recognzable at all. And you can't tell what story is a retelling of what cause the Grimm title is entirely in German. It wasn't horrible but I sure did not like it.

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I tried and tried to rouse the interest to finish this book. I just could not do it. I love Grimm's Fairytales because they are dark and thrilling. I thought if the author added zombies, these stories would be even more awesome. But they were not. In some stories the pacing felt off. In some the characters just felt like cardboard cut outs of their original selves. Some of the stories seemed a little too silly. (A beefy bodybuilder woman holds a young lady hostage.) It was a good idea but it just didn't come off as well as I hoped.

Reviews: 4 Novellas And One Comic

URUR by Stephen King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This novella started out interesting. A man orders a Kindle and ends up with a different, pink device instead. Then he notices the strange previously unpublished works by well known authors and news articles for days not yet past! And that is all that I enjoyed. Usually King has strong, complex characters. But this Professor, I don't even remember his name anymore, is a schmuck. He is just there it seems. And his unrequited love bothered me. The story was a motivational tool only.

I feel most of King's short stories are captivating and make me want to hide my head under the covers. This one was just a fluke. One out of hundreds of stories.

The Guard (The Selection, #2.5)The Guard by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was interesting to see what was going on in Aspen's head and what his motivation was throughout the second book. The excerpt from The One, first two chapters, made me grind my teeth at Maxon. I mean that guy is such a jerk. Honestly. But now I really want to read The Prince novella. I wanna see why this guy is such a immature a-hole.

What Once We Feared (The Forest of Hands and Teeth)What Once We Feared by Carrie Ryan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This just didn't turn out as well as I hoped. It did not have the intensity of Ryan's novels. Admittedly, it could have been because it was so short. I think it was the unrelatability of the characters. I did not feel for any of them. And I did not feel the story truly showed the terror they felt in a whole gone chaotic.

I'm Starved for You (Positron, #1)I'm Starved for You by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This characters...man oh man. The sexual tension...so intense. This was interesting. The world set up by Atwood drew me into the story. A world where people switch places between prisoner and community service. Now that is how I imagine one sets up a true utopia. People would truly understand one another. The only thing I took issue with in this short story was the twist. It felt so blah. I felt more sexual tension when the main male character was fantasizing. Then at the end it just seemed hurriedly concluded.

The Walking Dead, Issue #1The Walking Dead, Issue #1 by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was free on Google Play books. I have not read many comics or graphic novels, so this review is from the POV of a noob.

I, like millions of other people, love the Walking Dead TV show. So I found it impossible to pass up the first issue.

This is the beginning of Rick Grimes journey post-apocalypse. After being hospitalized, Rick awakes to a world changed, a world gritty and raw.

This issue did a good job aquainting the reader with the world Rick has awoken to, a world where the walking dead are around every corner. We learn very little about Rick in this issue. The sole purpose of it is to introduce the reader to the premise of the series.

It wasn't action packed, the amount of zombie attack left me a little underwhelmed, but it is engaging. it made me want to buy Vol. 1 so that I could continue the adventure. That will have to wait though, I would prefer to read something like this in the physical form rather than digitally.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning


When my husband and I moved into this house we had an agreement. He gets 50% of the room for his stuff and I get 50%. However, recently his space has bled into my space and now I need feel suffocated.  So I decided today to tackle a small piece of spring cleaning.



You can see the before and after and also how much nicer my bookshelf looks.



Only took me two hours and a piece of glass in the foot. And I may have rebroken my finger.