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review 2018-02-03 13:02
New Charity Blues
New Charity Blues - Camille Griep

New Charity Blues is marketed as a retelling of the Trojan War, but as such, the comparisons are rather subtle and I wouldn't recommend it being read like that. After a devastating plague survivors have scrambled together to form two communities, one poor, one relatively rich. When one girl is allowed into the New Charity from the City, she is surprised to see the riches there and she might hold the future of the entire world in her hands.

This was an interesting read. The focus was not so much on the post-apocalyptic setting of the story but more about relevant questions of good and evil, what we would like and what we should do. As such, very interesting. The dual POV was not my favourite but I enjoyed reading the novel nevertheless.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-09-03 18:13
Review: Letters to Zell by Camille Griep
Letters to Zell - Camille Griep

Enjoyable, but only just alright, on the lower end of three stars. I liked the format, but thought that the book only uses it to minimal effectiveness (most of the "letters" just read exactly like prose as CeCi, Bianca or Rory recount events line-for-line, and it's too easy to forget that it's supposed to be in letter form at all. This isn't how people recount stories to one another.)

 

There's no new ground covered here; anything in this, you can read done better in the likes of Fables (specifically Fables, actually, as the entire book sort of has a... Sex in the City meets Fables vibe.) It tries to have the emotional resonance of an Into the Woods, but it fails. Terribly. And it doesn't necessarily have to do anything new, but the biggest problem I had was how little I actually cared about the main story. I liked Cinderella's (CeCi) story, because it was the most related to her fairy tale, both the mentality CeCi struggles with, too scared to tell her husband the truth even though he's completely understanding, and also directly in that she's dealing with her stepmother, and her desire to return to cooking, but not as a servant this time.

 

Bianca's (Snow White) story is sketchier. Who the hell cares about Snow White's father, anyway? I've read the fairy tales, and can't even remember if he's one of the fathers that's just around. The emphasis put on him is so strange and a little off-putting, while her desire to go "off-Page" and live on the Outside ensures that she could basically be any fairy tale story. Her personality has more to do with "she's the ---friend!" than it does her assigned fairy tale.

 

The same with Rory (Sleeping Beauty). Oh, Rory. You're just a bad person. If Bianca's the Samantha, Rory is the Charlotte, uptight, judgmental, and romantic to the point of actual insanity. Romantic to the point of delusion, because books about fairy tales for adults always have to make optimism cynical.

 

Rory's story could have been the emotional punch of the book. The fact that she sleeps more and more because she's getting increasingly depressed could have been a perfect way of working her fairy tale into psychological disorders and illnesses. But the fact that the source of her depression is her insane devotion to trying to get her obviously horrendous marriage to work made me want to beat my head against a wall.

 

It feels shallow, where these issues should feel profound, but they're so mishandled. At one point, CeCi observes that "grief is a selfish thing." No, it's not. I've had a lot of experience with grief, and I've never felt it to be. Must just be you, guys! And they are, they're so self-absorbed.

 

I'd also be remiss if I don't mention the fact that, despite the princesses visiting Disneyland on the Outside, and laughing over the inaccuracies of the way their stories are being told, the author seems to have only a tentative knowledge of what takes place in the original versions, and to be unsure what version she's using; Sleeping Beauty does seem to be closest to the Disney version. Not that you can really tell, because she avoids actually explaining what happened with Rory. The world building kinda sucks, honestly. It gets overly-complicated and confused, because Griep doesn't generally explain it.

 

So, I didn't hate the book. A lot of it was really entertaining. Its biggest sin is not living up to its potential. Fun, light fluff, that tries to be more, and fails.

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text 2015-06-11 21:16
Fairyland Housewives
Letters to Zell - Camille Griep

 

 

Drama, backstabbing, cheating, lust, desire, broken dreams, Los Angeles and Unicorns. This was the Jerry Springer version of Fairyland. The Princesses lives are not the happy ever after the books suggested and the Fairy Godmothers don't seem to really have anything positive to give. It all spills out of their hearts in letters written to Zell aka Repunzel after she leaves Fairyland to find herself on a Unicorn reserve. The Princes are untrustworthy meat heads or codependent unfulfilled stories. Walt would not approve.

 

So how did I feel about it ? I hated the drama, the emotional turmoil, the heartache, the gossip, the cheating, the lack of self esteem. I avoid all the above items as much as possible and this book had them in excess. So how did I feel about the book ? Hard questions don't have easy answers ! It was all letters, disjointed and sometimes I didn't care who's letter I was reading. I had points in the books where it was just "wah wah wah, I'm so unhappy, wah wah wah, I want____ so badly, wah wah wah" I wanted to stomp on their fingers to get them to stop writing these whine-a-thon letters. It was not an easy book for me to finish. I am an emotional sponge absorbing sad broken feelings and carrying them off into the real world where I gloat and glower for hours afterward. I was a heavy sodden sponge, when I finished and was thrilled to squeeze this book's drama out and take a deep breath.

So Yoda how did you like the book ? Well I didn't like it, but, (isn't there always a but) is was genius. The way the author twisted these sweet fairytales into real life made for TV drama-rama would take over the TV reality with the highest of ratings. I have to recommend it to fans of this type of drama. 

 

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text 2015-06-11 19:15
Reading progress update: I've read 99%.
Letters to Zell - Camille Griep

I finished finally !   Wahooooooooo,+    It was a very good book but not my style of entertainment this made it a long read

Review to come

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text 2015-06-09 22:27
Reading progress update: I've read 49%.
Letters to Zell - Camille Griep

Crazy Fairytale Princess Housewives- This is a made for TV Drama- I'm not hating it and I'm not liking it very much

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