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Search tags: RBTL-World-of-Books-Blog-Tours
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review 2015-12-01 15:29
My God the writing is beautifully dark!
Eleanor's Gift - Isis Sousa,Isis Sousa,Clare Diston

After reading the first sentence of Eleanor's Gift, I thought, my God, Sousa's writing is beautiful! And it's not the kind of writing that's just beautiful for the sake of beauty without going anywhere - no, the story is enriched and propelled forward by it. The characters are richly drawn and come to life on the pages, and you can imagine what they would be like in real life. 

There is a subtle sense of horror underlying the events that happen in Eleanor's Gift, a creepiness that you can't outright define, an insidious danger lying in wait. At first, I thought the mysterious stranger was walking into danger at the hands of her rescuers, but then I began to sense that there was something mysterious and indefinable about her. She's found with strange marks on her neck, and I couldn't wait to find out how she was the only survivor and where those marks came from. 

Sousa is a master at weaving a Gothic tale and leaving you satisfied though Eleanor's Gift is a short story. If you tend to shy away from short stories, I really think you should pick this one up because it's exactly the way a story should be set up and told.

 

I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

Check out more of my reviews at my blog, Donnie Darko Girl!    

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review 2015-02-12 17:44
a gender flip fairy tale masterpiece!
The Stillness of the Sky: A Flipped Fairy Tale (Flipped Fairy Tales) - Starla Huchton,Jennifer Melzer

I received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

The Stillness of the Sky is a gender flipped take on "Jack and the Beanstalk" with originality. I ADORE Starla's Evolution series and her other gender flipped fairy tale, Shadows on Snow. I not only wish I had thought about this, too, but also wish for her to gender flip everything! XD

In this rendition, Jack is short for Jacqueline. Jack's mother is tired of dealing with her father so she tries to convince Jack to leave with her. Jack chooses to stay with her alcoholic father because she worries he won't be able to take care of himself. He's abusive to her and one day orders her to sell their cows to cover his debt. On her way to town, she stops to rest, falls asleep, and wakes up to find the cows are gone and in their place is a pouch of beans.

Jack ends up leaving, wondering if it would have been kinder to have left earlier so her father would have been forced to face his demons a long time ago. She doesn't have a clear plan or idea of where she's going, but that's what makes her departure so adventurous and exciting. Not to mention that she's finally free - away from her father's abuse and only has to worry about taking care of herself rather than someone who doesn't appreciate all that she does.

I was so excited for her! She's setting out on this journey this for herself, no one else. To me, the journey she embarks on was also symbolic of the kind young people take to discover themselves. Along Jack's way she meets different people whom she helps because she truly embodies kindness, and they recognize the quality in her.
One stormy night, the beans are accidentally planted, and she wakes up to find a towering beanstalk. From there, everything becomes magical.

I love the characters, especially Jack, and the adventure and romance woven into this tale. Starla has the imaginative chops to take this well known story and make it her own. From now on, I'll look at "Jack and the Beanstalk" with a new and fresh perspective. Every time I think about it, I'll think of The Stillness of the Sky and how beautiful and uplifting Starla retold this tale.

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review 2014-12-31 18:25
a delicate soul & a selfish one = fire & water
Fire and Water - Andrew Grey

I received a review copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

I haven't read too many M/M romances but plan to start, and Andrew Grey is a wonderful author for me to start with. Fire and Water is just one of many books he has written, and I definitely plan on reading more of his novels. When I checked out his page on Goodreads, I was impressed with the number of books he's written! I'm so glad to have been introduced to this author.

Red is a delicate soul which sharply contrasts with his hardened physical build and presence. He's such a good guy and has faced terrible tragedy with losing his parents and dealing with people's reactions to his disfigured face. He's been living an isolated life, keeping his distance from other people out of fear they'll judge him based on his appearance, which most do.

Terry is younger than Red and less experienced in life overall. He's left a bad relationship behind him, but his ex just won't let go. He's extremely attractive and knows it, using his looks so far to get what he wants in life. Once he meets Red however, he begins to question the choices he's made.

Red and Terry make a good match, cheesy at times, but I thought they were good for each other with Terry bringing out a braver side of Red and Red bringing out a less judgmental side of Terry. I enjoyed Fire and Water quite a bit and would have have rated it higher than a four but felt the characters rushed into a physical relationship before they got to know each other. I had been hoping their attraction would simmer for a while longer while they learned more about one another.

I love Andrew Grey's writing style and am looking forward to delving into more of his titles. I recommend Fire and Water to anyone who enjoys M/M romance and to anyone who is looking to start reading the genre as long as you don't mind the characters jumping into a physical relationship. I think you'll agree with me that Andrew Grey is an author you'll want to read more of like I do.

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review 2014-11-10 02:50
I could not have asked for a more imaginative & satisfying re-imagining of Snow White!
Shadows on Snow: A Flipped Fairy Tale (Flipped Fairy Tales) - Starla Huchton,Jennifer Melzer

I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

When I saw that Starla Huchton had another book up for review, I automatically signed up didn't need to know anything else about it, not even the synopsis. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but after reading the first three books in her Evolution series which I'm now obsessed with, she's become an author on my auto-read/auto-buy list.

Starla's writing is magical, inventive, and unique. It transports you to places you didn't even know you wanted to go, and once you get there, you don't want to leave. Her novel Shadows on Snow is no different as a re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale. I describe the novel as a re-imagining rather than a retelling because while elements of Snow White are present, Shadows on Snow is quite different and stands on its own.

First of all, Snow White is male (Prince Leopold) instead of female! Prince Leopold is born to parents who had tried to have children for a long time. When he's born, they rejoice over their miracle baby, and he's described as having an almost ethereal and otherworldly beauty and grace surrounding him. Everyone in the kingdom instantly loves him. He's the personification of all that is good and positive in the world.

The story is told in first person not from Prince Leopold's POV but from the POV of a boy working in the stables. Prince Leopold's father has died, and his mother is gravely ill. The boy from the stables is tasked with finding out why the Queen is so ill. This is really all I can say to give you an idea of how Shadows on Snow begins because anything more and I risk giving away too much. And I definitely don't want to ruin any of the surprises coming your way!

There's so much awesomeness in this story! It's full of magic, romance, suspense, and hope. There are some dark times, but I kept holding onto the hope that everything would turn out okay. I desperately wanted them to turn out okay! It's amazing to me how the same author can create completely different characters and completely different worlds - a testament to the talent of Starla Huchton. It's my mission to read every book she has written and will write.

I had sky high hopes for Shadows on Snow - the title, the cover, the synopsis, the author, and the promise of great writing heightened my anticipation of starting this book. I'm so glad I'm one of the first to read it because now I can recommend this novel as well as Starla's Evolution series. Shadows on Snow needs to be on your TBR today!

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review 2014-11-05 18:47
wow, just wow
Paper Souls - Allie Burke
I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
 
Imagine if dreams were tangible, allowing you to walk through them at will. Reading Paper Soulswas like that for me - I felt like I was walking in someone else's dreams, namely those of Emily Colt, the protagonist. Without using quotation marks, the dialogue seemed muted, further lending to the novel's dreamlike quality, and I liked the way it read. 
 
Emily is a character I'll still be thinking about long after the end of this book. She's certainly flawed, but we all are and this made her even more likable to me. It's annoying to read about a protagonist who's made out to be basically perfect. Emily has been in some extremely dangerous situations where, really, she's lucky to still be alive. Anything could have happened to her those times.  
 
I have my B.A. in Psychology, though I'm currently not doing anything with my degree, and I was always fascinated by schizophrenia in my classes. Schizophrenia is easily misunderstood, and the media doesn't help with the general public's confusion surrounding it. This illness is complex and multi-layered, just like Emily. Allie Burke handles this topic with the utmost sensitivity while simultaneously laying bare the illness and what it can do to one's quality of life.
 
If you've been curious about schizophrenia and want to find out more about it without having to read a textbook, I highly recommend Paper Souls. The way this book is written is exquisite, and I could never hope to come close to adequately describing how beautiful and utterly heartbreaking this story is. You'll have to read it and find out for yourself.  

 

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