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review 2017-08-23 01:37
One last trip to the candy store...
Tart and Sweet (Candy Man) - Amy Lane

I loved reading this series from start to finish each story had something sweet and  unique to offer and this last book in the series was no exception. It was a 5 star read for me and thanks to Philip Alces, it was a 5 star audio experience.

 

So let's start with the original review...no changes there loved it, loved it, loved it and here the link to my original review to verify that...Tart and Sweet - Original Review 

 

'Tart and Sweet' was my first listening experience with this narrator and I definitely appreciated it. I enjoyed the character voices as interpreted by this narrator and my basic list was ticked.  

 

The voices gave me depth of emotion, they were expressive and unique to each character so that I knew who was speaking without being told.  I honestly felt like Mr. Alces was enjoying this story as much as I was and that's an important quality for me. I love it when it feels like the narrator's just a friend in the room telling me the story.

 

Most of the time when I'm listening to an audio book I'm also doing other things...cross-stitch, quilting, etc. but sometimes it's nice just to sit back and listen and it's when I'm enjoying a story as much as this one that I feel most inclined to do this. Just sitting back, relaxing, closing my eyes and letting things come to life. It's a really relaxing way to pass the time on a hot summer's afternoon.

 

********************

An audio book of 'Tart and Sweet' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-10-03 19:17
The Grimmer Retelling of A Grimm Stories
A Tale Dark and Grimm - Adam Gidwitz,Khairi Rumantati,Lala Bohang
In a Glass Grimmly - Adam Gidwitz
The Grimm Conclusion - Adam Gidwitz

Title: A Tale and Dark Grimm (#1); In A Glass Grimly (#2)and The Grimm Conclusion (#3)

Series: A Tale and Dark Grimm Series

Author: Adam Gidwitz

Publisher: Dutton's Children Books; Gramedia Pustaka Utama

Publication Time: 2010-2013

Blurb:

Book #1

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

 

Book #2

More Grimm tales await in the harrowing, hilarious companion to a beloved new classic

Take caution ahead—
Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound.

Lest you enter with dread.
Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true.

Step lively, dear reader . . .
Happily ever after isn’t cutting it anymore.

In this companion novel to Adam Gidwitz’s widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm, Jack and Jill explore a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm and others, including Jack and the Beanstalk and The Frog Prince.

 

Book #3

Widely praised and beloved by children, adults, and critics alike, Adam Gidwitz delivers a third serving of eerie new landscapes and fear-inducing creatures in a story sure to delight and frighten fans old and new. In the final book in the series, Adam's brilliantly irreverent narrator leads readers through a fresh world of Grimm-inspired fairy tales, based on such classics as The Juniper Tree, the real story of Cinderella, and Rumpelstiltskin.

 

What I Thought

I'm not used with retelling stories, but this one is too hilarious to be ignored. Yes, there were so many blood, decapitations and on the top of that, infanticides. In the first book, Hansel and Gretel must faced the fact that their parents killed them to raised their royal servant, Johannes. They also should faced the cannibal baker, cut a finger to made a key and the moon in their world ate children. This is kind of a retelling that the princess must be kidnapped first before married the kidnapper. And this is also kind of stories where children could live happily ever after with their parents after beated the dragon. 

 

In the second book, Jack and Jill (and the frog which is not a prince), met the Giants from the story Jack and The Beanstalk. This part quite disgusting for me, even though it was the part of Jill's clever plan. But in other hand, this book also the most hilarious book among others. It because of The Eidechse von Feuer, der Menschenfleischfressend a.k.a Eddie. This lizard and the Frog were the most interesting duo of this series. And the last book is the worst book of the series, at least for me. Before our MC's Jorinda and Joringel met someone unpredictable in the history of the retelling stories (okay, I'm babbling...), the story went awesome. But when the most surprising cameo on the retelling universe

(ok..ok...it's Adam Gidwitz himself)

(spoiler show)

I thought he would be a regular cameo. But of course, he was not. He influenced the plot so much and for me it was super weird!  I mean, this retelling basically are weird, but it's a FUN weird.

 

Well, for those who don't bother with a retelling with disturbing things I've mentioned above, I recommended this series. Besides, this series still has the most important things in the world of fairy tales: the moral of the story. 

 

(I've read the translation version for the first book but the other two were in English)

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review 2015-08-09 02:32
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan #3)
Goliath - Scott Westerfeld,Keith Thompson

Okay, wow.

 

This book was an amazing conclusion to the series! After I put this book down, I felt like a little kid who’d eaten more chocolate than considered legal and now has a terrible stomach-ache! Or, you know, aka, book hangover.

 

Like I’ve said before: my favorite thing about this series is it’s world building. The way it’s intricately described, and the way Keith Thompson manages to illustrate such amazing pictures (which get better and more detailed with every installment) makes you wonder, “How?! How is this amazingness even damn possible?!”

 

As usual, I’ll just say it. You have a set stage, the props are amazing. You have the great cast and a span of main characters. And then there’s the star of the show—YOUR star to be specific. The one that you bought your ticket for! For me, that star is Deryn Sharp. Forever and always (actually, Bovril is pretty close as well).

 

I liked the political tactic and intrigue behind the premise of this book! It felt like you could trust no one at a certain time in the book, and I LOVED it!

 

It seems like Scott Westerfeld explores a lot of unknown ground in the build-up/beginning in the first World War. Well, at least for me. He manages to take real characters that I didn’t really know about and turn them into such important parts of Deryn and Alek’s world! And I liked how he clarifies this fact at the end, so you can see how these characters played out in the real world. :D

 

Personally, I still was weirded out by Alek’s “my destiny” because I agree more with Dylan about how your destiny is in your hands, but whatever. Alek at least got over that in the ending, because my oh my, did he shine at the end (literally . . . almost *winky face*)!

 

I liked how the Goliath itself was a really big deal in this book! With the previous book, Behemoth, we saw how the Behemoth was meant to be a peace kind of trade, but we never really saw much of it. I feel like in this book, the Goliath was much more involved.

 

AGH! THAT ENDING! I LOVE IT!

 

Overall, Goliath, is the stunning conclusion to a great series! You will find an attachment to the characters, and the world-building that is highly ambitious but made stunning with the illustrations by Thompson! I think all fans of alternate history should read this! This is a great series that everyone should try out!

 

Thanks for reading my review everyone, and until the next one! :D

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review 2015-05-07 00:00
The Book of Merlyn: The Unpublished Conclusion to The Once & Future King (cloth)
The Book of Merlyn: The Unpublished Conclusion to The Once & Future King (cloth) - T.H. White,Trevor Stubley According to what I've read about the Once and Future King books, this volume was initially intended to be included with the other four books in the omnibus printing. It was rejected due to wartime paper shortages, and was finally published a few years after White's death. I wanted to read this because I had liked The Once and Future King so much, and I was disappointed to find that this book was less a conclusion to that Arthurian tale, and more a philosophical look at war and its causes and effects.

The Once and Future King ends unresolved, though White sets it up so that we're pretty sure that the downward trend of the story will continue. He ends that story definitively here, but he does so really with the first chapter and the last two chapters. Arthur is despondent on the night before his final battle with Mordred, but he is then reunited with Merlyn, who takes Arthur off to the cave where he was imprisoned by Nimue. There, the two of them meet with the animals Arthur met through his transformations to discuss the nature of war. This convinces him of the futility of war, and when he returns to the battlefield, he convinces Mordred to make peace. Unfortunately, even that victory turns sour when a knight draws his sword to kill a snake, which is seen by the other side as treachery, and the battle erupts anyway.

The conclusion of the legend is appropriate and tragic, but it doesn't really tell us much more than what was revealed in The Once and Future King, and the rest of the book is more philosophical in nature. In addition, Merlyn has Arthur undergo two additional transformations, but when the book was initially rejected by the publisher for inclusion into the book, White went back and added the two scenes to The Sword in the Stone, making those chapters redundant here. In fact, I wonder if the book was initially rejected for its content and not for the paper shortages, since much of the book seems superfluous at best. Much of the discussions of war could have been included in an essay or a non-fiction book.

Those who enjoyed The Once and Future King might want to read this for its curiosity value, but I don't see it as an essential part of the Arthurian tale. It just doesn't add enough to the story to make it worth reading, unless you're curious to see what White thought about war before having to participate in it himself.
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review 2015-02-19 23:18
And they lived happily ever after (fingers crossed!!!)
The Grimm Conclusion - Adam Gidwitz,Hugh D'Andrade

I am sad that this series is over, but it ends in such a satisfying way. I do think that this series is required reading for those who like fairy tales and especially clever retellings. Each volume ups the ante on the grim aspect of fairy tales. Each book seems less appropriate for a younger audience. I'm torn on that. Mr. Gidwitz is obviously a teacher, and he understands the young minds he writes for. I mean, he has to in order to teach them. I'm going to trust that he knows what they can handle, but my personal limit would be 12 or older for these books. There is way too much dark violence and subject matter for kiddos younger than twelve, to my thinking. Also, the cruelty of adults against children in this book is highly disturbing.

I also think this is the saddest out of the series. Wow, the things that our young protagonists are faced with really tore at my heart. And how the cruelty and neglect they experienced warped something inside of them. Gidwitz deals with the psychology of abused/neglected children in a poignant way without getting too soapboxy.

There are some great life lessons here. Family, loyalty, honor, integrity, kindness, and making moral decisions. These kids have to raise themselves and that leads to some issues when they are faced with adult moral decisions. Along the way they make mistakes and have to learn from them and 'face the music.'

This book breaks the 4th wall in a way that the other ones in the series did not. At first, I really didn't like that about the book, but then I saw how integral it was to the story. It was also good because Gidwitz doesn't follow the predictable pattern I expected.

Johnny Heller truly is an awesome narrator. If he didn't win an award for narrating this series, then he was cheated. He deserves it. He was all in, and you would have to wonder how he didn't get emotionally affected by this book as he read. Not just in horror or sadness, but in hilarity, because this book involves all those emotions.

I am biased. I love fairy tales a lot. Yet, I think that increases my standards for fairy tale retellings. Gidwitz is a writer who clearly loves fairy tales just as much as I do, if not more. He respects the genre, and it clearly is a huge creative influence on him in crafting these marvelous books that add very much to the cultural relevance of fairy tales.

If you have not checked these out and you like fairy tales, what are you waiting for?

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