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review 2018-02-09 22:21
4.3 Out Of 5 "Cinder & Ella" Stars
Cinder & Ella - Kelly Oram




A super sweet modern-day retelling of Cinderella.  This has it all; evil step-sister(s), a famous guy that every girl wants, and a sweet blogger girl, who just needs to cut a break in life.  Early on, when reading this, I was worried that it was going to be one of those sappy, eye-roll-inducing kind of YA reads.  I soldiered on and it paid off because it ended up being quite good.  It deals with some heavy subjects in a mostly realistic manner, without being too grievous. 


There is a second book to this and I guess it adds more to their love story, I'm not sure that I'll read it, though, because overall this ended quite nicely for me.









Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4.2/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.2/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4.2/5

Ending~ 4/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope.


Book Cover~ I don't really like the old cover (above), but I do like the new one (below).

Setting~ LA, California

Series~  Cinder & Ella #1

Source~ I Own Kindle eBook



My Cover looked like this:



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review 2018-02-06 19:39
Jack (of Beanstalk fame) and Rapunzel save fantasy!New York
Calamity Jack - Dean Hale;Shannon Hale

This second entry keeps all the fun, humor, action, and social commentary of the first but shifts the setting east for an urban makeover. It's the late 19th century and giants are pulling the strings of the city in this revolutionary spin on Jack and the Beanstalk. Art continues to be appealing, funny and a little manic.

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review 2018-01-29 18:07
The YA fairytale retelling you've never heard of but need to read
Duckling Ugly - Neal Shusterman

This series is begging for fresh covers and a grand rerelease. There's such a wave of fairytale retellings making the rounds in YA right now, and these offer a sharply insightful modern day variation with more chilling horror than sparkly princesses which seems like it'd be fresh and well received. They're pretty short reads, borderline novella, so maybe that's holding them back a little (and yeah, those covers *shudder*) but the human, social, and cultural insight explored through a sort of twisted magical frame is spot on. This one picks up on the ugly duckling primarily, with a dark hook centered around the idea of beauty - or ugliness - being skin deep vs. all the way through, and drawing from or contributing to its surroundings. Not to get too spoilery, but it almost heads into YA paranormal territory; not quite vampires, but shades-of. Murder and abuse and Carrie-like bullying abound in a depressed smalltown (southern?) America setting.

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review 2018-01-24 16:03
The Soldier Who Killed a King: A True Retelling of the Passion - David Kitz,Barry Buzza

The Soldier Who Killed a King by David Kitz
Wasn't sure I could get into reading this but so glad I got a review copy.
What an awesome read. Starts out with Marcus and he's the Roman soldier in charge as life comes to the city for Passover week. Growing up Catholic I was able to follow so much of this story.
Some parts of the story really helped me understand what really happened during that week and the resurrection that is commerated as Easter Sunday.
Like following the solider around as things are explained in words I can understand-just had to click on some words and the online dictionary would load up and tell me what the word meant.
So many details and very descriptive you can see in your mind what's going on. Wish they had taught us this version when we were growing up-it's so understandable and clear.
Wasn't able to read the print version due to my poor vision after trying all my other glasses and magnifiers so got a kindle version that I could control the font size of the text. Would highly recommend this book, enjoyed the read.
Espeically liked the ending.
I was given the review copy by the author via Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest opinion

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review 2017-12-27 23:26
Saucy, twisty fairytale retellings
Grimms Manga Tales (English) - Keiko Ishiyama

Disclaimer: Reviewing the digital proofs on NetGalley


The digital galleys make it a bit hard to see what's happening sometimes, and so I'd give a qualified thumbs up on that angle; the art seems generally attractive in a sharp, saucy manga style where the girls are cute, the women are foxy, and the boys are improbably hot and know it full well. I did find it hard to figure out what was going on in terms of movement, but the final versions may be easier to keep up with. On the plus side, art and even backgrounds are detailed and lush, to suit the fairytale surroundings.


On the story side, the first few stories in particular feel a little too abbreviated to me, but the latter, multi-part stories were more satisfying. Greater emphasis on character motivation and emotional responses than in the fairytales you may have heard in the past makes them more engaging and sometimes adds a fun twist. Little bit spicier or romance-y in some cases, while in others, a gender-swapped cast adds some freshness. Generally enjoyable and nice to look at.

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