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review 2019-03-12 15:16
ARC REVIEW The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross
The Beast's HeartThe classic version of Beauty and the Beast as told from the Beast's perspective. What I love about this book, because I do love it, is that this is more like the traditional version of the fairy tale and not Disney's version. Instead of their being an overall villian with an exciting fight scene at the end it's more man vs. self. The internal struggle of Beast fighting with who he perceives himself to be and who he wants to be and adding Beauty (in this case Isabeau) to the mix he wants to be a better person for her all the while trying to show her he's worthy of her love.

The story starts off with Beast in the woods living as an animal would until he's led back to his home and the iron gates lock behind him. Slowly he starts to remember thing and the magic slowly starts to repair the house and gardens. Beast is there so long he loses track of time the enchantment keeping the grounds in an eternal summer. Beast relearns how to dress and act like a man. The details of his curse still remain foggy in his mind all he knows is that a fairy cursed him to be the beast he is inside.

Isabeau comes along quite like she always does, to save her father after he tries to steal a single rose from Beast's gardens after everything else was given freely. In this we see Beast's side of it, when he allowed her father in he was longing for company but changed his mind at the last moment, but he saw into her father's dream a had vision of his youngest daughter. Beast manipulated the situation to bring her to his home; as soon as he did it he felt bad and after she got there he admitted what he did and told her she was free to leave but he was so lonely. So they struck up a deal she stays for a year and keeps Beast company and she will be free to leave after that. Everything else plays out Isabeau has her dreams she keeps to herself but the Beast when he's not with Isabeau is watching her family through his mirror, first out of guilt for what he took from them but then he started to care about them.

Overall, the slow and steady narration of the Beast is wonderful. I loved this version of the original story and I love how she didn't just end it after the curse was broken. Another thing I liked was how Beast didn't know until almost half the year was over that there was a way to break the curse, the details and the why of the curse slowly get revealed to him as he remembers more about his life before the curse. I loved the small details the descriptive narrative was spellbinding, I didn't want to put this book down.



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review 2019-02-24 03:15
Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White & the Seven Dwarves
Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - Liesl Shurtliff

Audience: Middle Grade

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy



I was born just feet from the surface of the earth, completely unheard of for a dwarf, but it couldn't be helped.

- first sentence



The dwarf's name is Borlen and his nickname is Grump. This story is set in the same world as Rump, Jack, and Red and written by the same author, Liesl Shurtliff. I really enjoy this series and I am always happy to see a new book come out. The series takes fairy tale retellings to a new level. The characters are all part of the same larger world and I love the way Shurtliff weaves them all together.


Borlen is obsessed with the surface even though most dwarves are terrified of it. He always feels like a bit of an outsider. When he finally finds himself above ground, his first friend is Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.). Readers know she is the Evil Queen, but Borlen is fairly naive and thinks she is his friend (his only friend). And so, Borlen gets caught up in the Queen's plot against Snow White.


I loved the characters in this story and the story itself. Grump is so complicated and conflicted but also very clever. At first Snow White seems like a self-centered, spoiled brat, but later we find out she is more complex than that. The crew that Borlen is a part of consists of seven dwarves - of course, one of whom sneezes a lot - go figure.


I highly recommend this book to readers in grades 4 and up, especially fans of fairy tale retellings. I read this as part of the Goodreads HA A-to-Z Challenge and for space #1 in the Snakes and Ladders game (book with a female author).





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review 2019-02-24 02:29
Part of Your World: A Twisted Tale
Part of Your World - Liz Braswell

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Hardcover/Owned



What if Ariel hadn't defeated Ursula? Hmmm.... Well, Ursula would be married to Prince Eric and in control of the kingdom. Triton would be gone and Ariel would be the queen of Atlantica. Ariel also wouldn't have a voice. The book opens 5 years after Ursula wins and she has Eric and the kingdom under a sort of hypnosis.


I have a confession: I love fractured fairy tales. I love the way authors take these stories that everyone knows and turn them into something different and in some cases, wildly entertaining. And this was definitely one of those cases. It was fascinating to see how the responsibilities of being queen changed Ariel; she is no longer the flighty young girl who fell in insta-love with a human.


I enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the rest of the Twisted series (A Whole New WorldOnce Upon a Dream, and As Old as Time all by Braswell; and Reflection by Elizabeth Lim).

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review 2019-02-16 02:21
THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villenueve
The Beauty and the Beast - Minalima Ltd.,Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve,James Robinson Planché

Beautiful illustrations, pop-ups. and 3D art telling the story of Beauty and the Beast by the first published author the tale.  I enjoyed it.  There are not as many villains in this version but Beauty agrees to take her father's place at the Beast's palace for the rose.  Beauty must fall for the Beast to break the curse on him. His story is told and so is hers.  I was a bit confused at times as no one has a name.  Each person has a description of who she or he is but no names.  This is my favorite fairy tale.

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review 2019-02-03 04:51
The End of Oz
The End of Oz - Danielle Paige

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Hardcover (Owned)



The first time I flew, it was under very different circumstances.

- first sentence


It was just my luck to find the person of my dreams in a war-torn world where I was in danger of losing him any minute, I thought.

- Chapter 17

This is the final book in the Dorothy Must Die series (not including the prequel and other world enhancing novellas - I think there are nine now). But, you can read the four main books and totally enjoy the series without them.


This final book is full of action and twists, and I loved the ending. There is a bit of a cliffhanger, but just enough to let you know that there will always be strife in this magical world. (Some reviews mentioned an epilogue in the hardcover version, but there wasn't one in the kindle version, so *shrugs*.)


Some chapters are from Amy's point of view and others from Dorothy's. Seeing Dorothy's pov didn't make me despise her any less, but it was interesting to see her reasoning. It seems like she started out with good intentions, but the magic corrupted her to the point that she isn't even slightly recognizable as the girl from Kansas we all remember. Even so, she seems to have no redeeming qualities left. So, I felt fine about hating her character throughout the book.


Most of the characters are not all good or all evil. They do what they have to in order to survive and protect their friends and family. Sometimes their actions are shocking and sometimes completely understandable. 


I think the end may bother some people, but it made perfect sense to me and I loved it. If you like retellings or fantasy, give this series a shot.





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