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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-04-24 06:23
Review: The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag
The Sisters Grimm - Menna van Praag

***Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Harper Voyager!***

 

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I mean, look at it. It is probably one of the most gorgeous book covers that I have ever seen. Then the title. The Sisters Grimm. Immediately my mind is drawn to fairy tales. I love fairy tales. And I love fairy tell re-tellings. But this book is a perfect example of a good idea that got beaten to death with poor writing and poor execution.

 

***SPOILER ALERT: Be aware, this is a spoilery review. The ranty ones typically are.

 

 

The basic idea of this book is that a demon (Wilhelm I think his name was) has fathered thousands of sisters Grimm on earth. I am not sure if this is metaphysical thing or a biological thing, but some of the daughters have mothers who are also Grimm sisters. So, ew, I imagine at some point in the history of this world we had some incest. As children, the Grimm sisters can come and go from “Everywhere”, a magical forest, as they please. But as they age they forget this place until about a month before their 18th birthday, which is when they start to remember and get their powers back. Wilhelm also has soldiers, who are transformed into babies from stars (WTF?), and their life’s mission is to kill Grimm sisters on their 18th birthdays. Then something about the Grimm sisters who survive have to choose good or evil and then their father kills them if they choose good and then….well, the author didn’t both to tell me what happens then.

 

That was my first big problem with this book. Despite being 400 pages long, the author didn’t bother to explain anything to me. I have no idea how the world works, how the magic works, why things are this way, or what the rules are. I am not even clear on what the sisters’ powers are. Scarlet can start fires, Liyana can telepathically listen in on other people’s minds, Bea can transform things with her mind. And I have no idea what Goldie can do except mentally tell people what to do and they sometimes listen. And all of them have other powers that randomly appear and don’t seem to relate to anything else they can do, at all.

 

Since we’re talking about the girls, let’s talk about how utterly devoid of personality all of them are. I honestly could not tell the difference between any of them until someone used their name or until Bea or Liyana would occasionally throw in a non-English word into an otherwise entirely English conversation….seemingly in order to remind me that they were the book’s representation of other ethnicities and cultures.

 

Now let’s talk about the technicals of the writing. It was bad. It was the single most confusing book that I have ever read. There are SO MANY narrators. Everywhere (yes the forest is a narrator), Goldie, Scarlet, Bea, Liyana, Leo, Wilhelm, Liyana’s aunt….and I am pretty sure there were a few others in there that I’m forgetting too. Between these narrators, some of them are told in first person, some in second person, and some in third person. And the narrator changes approximately every page and a half. With me so far? Now let’s throw in some chapters in the past for some extra fun so that we have past tense, present tense, and future tense. It was so difficult to read. It gave me a headache when I actually tried to concentrate on who was speaking and what time period we were in.

 

I also don’t appreciate what the author did to poor Vali. He was a nice guy. And despite the book’s message of empowerment, all Bea did was belittle the poor guy. She called him fat, called him all sorts of other names, made fun of him for being a virgin and then ultimately killed him! Then she has the nerve to get upset about him dying because she didn’t mean to. Way to go Bea, you bullied him to death. The author did him dirty and I am still mad about it.

 

I finally gave up on this book after 245 pages. My brain couldn’t handle it anymore and I found that I really didn’t care how it ends. Leo is not going to kill Goldie, Goldie will probably choose good. Liyana and Scarlet will probably die because they were entirely expendable in the rest of the book so why not? And Bea will probably live and choose evil. Or maybe all four of them survive and choose good in order to challenge their father. But really, who cares? The author hasn’t made me care about their upcoming battle or told me why the outcome matters, so why should I spend any more of my time finding out?

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review 2018-10-01 18:46
Retelling of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty
The Sleeper and the Spindle - Neil Gaiman,Chris Riddell

Not much to say besides how much I adored this one. It's fairly short, about 80/90 pages with illustrations (e-book version). The illustrations are really what sold this book to me though. They make the story come alive. 

 

"The Sleeper and the Spindle" begins with some dwarves who have gone into a neighboring kingdom and heard about a castle where everyone is sleeping. Through the years the sleep spell has spread and now many people feel they are all doomed to sleep. The dwarves go back to their own kingdom and meet with the Queen (otherwise known as her Majesty) and she is told about the sleep spell. Though she's to be married (like the next day) she decides to ride off with the dwarves to see about breaking the spell.

 

I loved that Gaiman never gives you anyone's name. He pretty much treats it as if you should know who people are at this point.


Hint, it's Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. What I thought worked really well is that it is heavily implied and then shown that Snow White's battle with her stepmother and all that entails has left her marked in a ways. She's not exactly jumping up and down to rule. 

 

I loved the twist ending since I thought it was heading in a different direction. Now I need a follow-up to this story. 

 

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review 2016-10-25 22:53
A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

First off I just want to say that I personally believe that this book was far more enjoyable than 'A Court of Thorns and Roses', the first book in this series.

 

I understand that the first one had to be written in order to introduce the series as well as the characters and allow the readers to get immersed in and understand the world. However, I personally found that this one had more character depth and more relatable themes than that of the first. We learn more about who the characters are and what their past's hold and get a more in-depth look in general as to the mental states of the characters than we did with the first one.

 

Without giving away too much I would like to state that I even found the main characters of this book to be more interesting, more funny, and overall better characters to get to know than some of the ones that appeared in the first book. I'm not at all trying to say that the first book was terrible and should not be read or anything like that, but, if you are one of the people (like me) who has a habit of judging a series after reading the first book in a series and found that you yourself did not like it, then I suggest you at least give this one a go.

 

This book had an un-put-downable feeling that I personally believe that the first one lacked to an extent, and it was easier to lose track of time while immersed in the story than it previously had been.

 

I personally recommend this series to people that are a fan of twists that can only occur from loose fairy tale retellings, as well as those that are fans of fantasy novels with relatively large world's to explore and love.

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review 2016-09-29 06:00
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

This book was not what I expected. From all of the hype I had heard about it over the past two-ish years, I expected a retelling of 'Beauty and the Beast' with more mystical/modern concepts. To be honest I don't believe that assumption wasn't entirely wrong but it wasn't exactly correct either. 

 

The story followed our protagonist of Feyre, a mortal human who makes a big mistake and now has to go to the land filled with Faeries, people her kind had grown so much to hate over the years in order to fulfill her debt. Towards the beginning, the novel seems very repetitive with Feyre's thoughts and motivations as to constantly being on edge and wanting to leave, which she keeps up for the majority of the novel. Although those thoughts are warranted it does become the overall focus of the book for a time with constant thoughts to what traps she could set and different things she could do to protect herself should she be in danger.

 

I personally found the book to be very slow towards the beginning with few things happening in the middle, and the bulk of the excitement occurring in the last 100-150 pages of the book. This does not at all mean that I did not like that book at all, even though I found it difficult to get into, to begin with. 

 

The portion of the storyline that held similarities to 'Beauty and the Beast' became fairly obvious within the first quarter of the novel, but only held vague similarities continuing on. However, with all of my criticism, the novel as a whole was very well written and I look forwards to picking up the 'Throne of Glass' series.

 

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text 2016-07-27 04:46
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
Before the Snow: A Stealing Snow Novella - Danielle Paige

The idea of memory and lost memories that connects these fairy tales is interesting.

 

Also, this is adorable, and despite feeling moderately burned by the last Dorothy Must Die book, I'm probably going to suck this new series down as well.

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