*Enters room filled with cobwebs and dust*
Uh... hello? Is anyone still here? *Coughs from ball of dust*
Phew! It's been a while since I've been able to sit down and read anything. Life has not been kind to me. The beginning of 2018 was so peaceful and productive... for about two weeks. Then Hell came and slapped me in the face and I've been trying to get back on my feet ever since. And let me tell you, it has not been easy. However, I am back and I am ready to tackle my TBR head-on! With that said, I was able to read a short story which I enjoyed quite a bit.
Now, seeing as how it's been a while since I've read anything, I decided starting off with a short story to ease me back into reading was a good move to make. And I was right. I read Burning Girls from Tor.com and it was such a harrowing read. It follows a Jewish girl's life living in Poland where she faces discrimination from the Cossacks and how magic can be a double-edge sword for the young witch. This short story covers so many topics. From Jewish tradition to history to even mythology. I was intrigued by the story from the very start.
Schanoes's writing style is very crisp. Since her main character is rather blunt and cold-hearted, her writing showed that very same bluntness without ever becoming bland. She has an incredibly flowing writing style and I really am interested in reading more of her works in the future.
As for her characters, I felt that a lot of them didn't have enough time to develop into fully fledged beings. I suppose that's what happens sometimes with short stories. Her main character, Deborah, was the only one that actually showed any type of growth. Although she is someone I consider to be highly unlikeable, she does learn to empathize a little with those around her and learns not to judge as harshly as she did at the beginning of the story. Shayna, Deborah's sister, throughout most of the story acted like a petulant child, which annoyed me greatly. I did, however, enjoyed her transformation towards the end of it. Still, I wish I got to know these characters a bit more before reading the end of the story.
Speaking of the ending, wow. That was well done and fit well with the rest of the story. I liked how it grabs you and reminds you of the harshness of reality. Life is rough and you don't always get what you hoped for no matter how hard you try... and that sucks. Man, this story made me feel so many emotions!
In short, read this story. It's really good. I did have my problems with some of the characters but I did enjoy the magical and fairy tale elements. If you love learning about Jewish culture, fairy tales, and a bit of history, read this story. It's quite the harrowing, dark read, but a good one nonetheless.
MY ONE SENTENCE REVIEW
A post-Ensnared collection of three stories—available in both print and e-versions.
Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland.
In Six Impossible Things, Alyssa recalls the most precious moments of her life after Ensnared, and the role magic plays in preserving the happiness of those she loves. Alyssa’s mother reminisces about her own time in Wonderland and rescuing the man who would become her husband in The Boy in the Web. And Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories of the events of Splintered in The Moth in the Mirror, available in print for the first time.
This collection expands upon Ensnared‘s epilogue, and includes some deleted scenes to provide a “director’s cut” glimpse into the past and futures of our favorite Splintered characters.
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
I haven’t seen the series on Nickelodeon, so I am coming to this as a newbie.
The story is a high school for the children or grandchildren of famous fairy tale characters. We are introduced to Rose who has a thing for shoes and literally falls though the rabbit hole. She discovers her relationship to Cinderella and is introduced to new friends, including a young woman who likes creepy crawlies but can also turn into a frog. There is a male Snow White too.
In many ways, the story is a mash up of Harry Potter ideas and a show like Disney’s Descendants. The fairy tale kids learn how to use magic, including pumpkin magic, and there is even some dragon riding.
While the mean girl and crew trope is used here, the story is largely about friends working together to succeed. Additionally, while the female characters are stereotypical drawn (in some cases without enough room for a stomach), there is no emphasis on looks. While Rose’s parents don’t look old enough to be her parents, her grandmother at least has wrinkles.
The stories are engaging, and the female characters do not need saving. In fact, it’s fun to read stories where female leads are feminine, friends, and not simply guys with boobs.
There are some nice cute nods to other versions – including a wonderful mouse character, Rose’s intense desire for shoes, and Rapunzel’s hair.