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review 2019-07-15 17:24
When Mothers Do Curses...
As Old as Time - Liz Braswell

Wow. This was a great re-telling of "Beauty and the Beast". I loved the whole idea behind this book with the great enchantress from the stories being Belle's mother. And reading about magical people who were afraid since they were being persecuted by those who were "normal". The development of Belle and the Beast was great and I actually bought that Belle fell in love with him in this one. They were a great duo. Braswell changes things up a bit with the introduction of the magical people (les charmantes) so you find out that people from the Disney movie (the bookstore seller) are not what they first appear as. I also loved more of a backstory to Mrs. Potts in this one too. The ending surprised me and I thought it was well done. I went looking for the other "Twisted Tales" but they are retellings of Snow White, Mulan, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, etc. So you don't get to read these characters after the separate stand-alones. I may revisit this series when I get some breathing room later in the year. 

 

The book starts with a man named Maurice who likes to invent things. He sees a beautiful woman named Rosalind who is one of the les charmantes that live in the village. Though the les charmantes and others have lived togeter in harmony, fighting starts after two boys (one a les charmanates) gets into a fight over a girl and kills the other. The kingdom starts to persecute the les charmantes and many go missing. Rosalind and Maurice though marry and have a daughter named Belle. The story switches back and forth between Rosalind and then Belle. Belle we already know, but in this one she's even more head strong then the Disney counterpart. She's also horrified and a little flattered that Gaston wants to marry her. She wants adventure and to see the world though. When her father goes missing she then comes across the Beast.

 

Braswell does a great job with showing us the two women until Rosalind disappears from the story. We find out later on what happens to her. When Belle realizes what has happened and what her own mother did (seriously who curses a 11 year old boy) she wants to do what she can to help the Beast and the enchanted servants. I also liked Rosalind though I agree with everyone else, what she ends up doing is kind of a jerk move. We get why she did it, but you realize she was not as she could have been. We get into a bit of the les charmantes that want to leave the kingdom and go somewhere safer and others who just want to be "normal."

 

The writing and flow was good I think. This is a familiar story to so many people so we get different set up scenes. For example, we don't get a be our guest scene, but we do get a here's some food and wine and no we are not talking to you about anything. We get the scene with Belle and the rose, but it goes totally different. 


The setting of this kingdom is still in France. But a France that is focused on driving out the different and to keep things "pure." 

 

The ending leaves things on a totally different note than the Disney movie and I wonder how much better the movie would have been if it changed things to what Braswell did. I think a lot more people would have been happy. Not all of us thought the Prince was sexy. 

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review 2019-07-05 18:01
Review: The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
The Healer's Apprentice - Melanie Dickerson

Title: The Healer's Apprentice
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim, 1
Format: ebook
Length: 690 pages (iPhone)
Rating: 3 stars

 

Synopsis: Two Hearts. One Hope.

Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

 

Favourite character: Hildy
Least favourite character: Rupert

 

Mini-review: I don't quite understand yet why this series is the most popular YA Christian fiction series. Maybe they get better as the books go on, but I didn't enjoy this as much as I was hoping or expecting.  

Rose annoyed me. Hildy was written as if she were thirteen and not seventeen. Rupert was in a sense absolutely unnecessary. And yet it still had it's saving graces. The last battle and the whole retelling, even if it follows it to a tee and is very predictable. I haven't even seen Sleeping Beauty and I knew what was going to happen.

 

Fan Cast:

Rose Roemer - Florence Pugh

Wilhelm Gerstenberg - Timothée Chalamet

Rupert Gerstenberg - Charlie Rowe

Frau Geruscha - Zoë Wanamaker

Hildy - Mimi Keene

Peter Brunekherst - Ray Stevenson

Osanna Gerstenberg - Daisy Waterstone

Gunther Schoff - Grayson Russell

 

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review 2019-06-11 20:42
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS for Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Stepsister - Jennifer Donnelly

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏ Highlights ๏ ๏ ๏

 

YA, That's Heavy on the Y...Light on the A
Children's Fantasy & Fairytales
Beauty Isn't Always Pretty
Continuing Cinderella's Story Through Her Stepsisters
Darkish...No Bippity, Boppity, Boo Here
Ultimately Uplifting

 

 

 

With Audio Performed by Jayne Entwistle

 

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏ MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏

 

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

 


๏ ๏ ๏ My Thoughts ๏ ๏ ๏

 

Full disclosure...I was contemplating DNF'ing this one...but only because it felt kind of juvenile to me. I'm thinking, it appeals more to the Middle-School-Age Child than the Adult who is a child at heart. It had me rolling my eyes a little too much. That being said, Izzy and crew eventually won me over, and I couldn't help falling for their inspirational tale. Even the narration is notable.

 

This is a continuation of Cinderella's story but from the point of view of one of her "ugly stepsisters", Isabelle. All the fairytale-ness of Cinderella is here...with fairy godmothers and animated mice, goofy monkey's and a fox, it was kind of ludicrous at times. Ludicrous and yet, at some point, it became completely uplifting. There is quite a lot of talk about how this is about female empowerment and loving yourself for who you are, and it is all that, all that and more, even. This will make an excellent movie, one the entire family could enjoy, despite the darkishness of it.

 


๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏

 

Plot⇝ 4/5
Narration Performance⇝ 4/5
Main Characters⇝ 4.2/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 4.3/5
The Feels⇝ 4.3/5
Pacing⇝ 3.7/5
Addictiveness⇝ 3.8/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 4.5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 3.8/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4.2/5
Originality⇝ 4.5/5
Ending⇝ 5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Not Really...
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Gorgeous
Setting⇝ France
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
๏ ๏ ๏

 


๏ ๏ ๏ Links ๏ ๏ ๏

 

Goodreads | Booklikes | BookDigits

Amazon | Kobo | Scribd 

GooglePlay | IndieBound 



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video 2019-05-07 22:01
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review 2019-04-27 17:09
.Insanity 3 : Circus Book Review.
Circus (Mad in Wonderland) - Cameron Jace

 

“My insanity is my sanity. I am both, but I am one. If any of this makes sense.”

 

After being locked in an asylum for killing her friends in a bus crash and not remembering who she is, why she did it or anything before the asylum it's fair to say Alice Wonder starts to question her sanity when she is approached by fellow inmate Pillar to help hunt down and find Wonderland monsters. That's the premise of the first two books, Wonderland characters we know wreaking havoc on the streets of London leading to the impending Wonderland Wars.

 

I love the idea of this series, it takes the idea of the weird and wacky Wonderland we love and runs with it, full tilt crazy. The second book ended with Alice really starting to question things when she wakes up and discovers she paralysed and that the 'reality' she thought was real is really a figment of her imagination to escape the awful truth. She really did kill her friends and Wonderland and its monsters are a way for her to bury herself in her mind.

 

“The world is such a useless place, that’s all I can think of now. It’s full of hypocrites, liars, and selfish people.”

 

My biggest worry about this book was that we would still be left in the dark about a lot of our main characters past and what's to come. In the previous books, and this one Alice is constantly talked about like she's not there, people know about her and her past but won't tell her because she has to discover it for herself.  After realising that there are 8 books in the series I got a little worried how long it would be before we found out anything.

 

So, pros and cons, we got get a bit more information, although still focusing on the villain of the week story we get a first real look at how Wonderlanders came into our world and their motives, plus finally we get a glimpse into who Alice is. This book is told via multiple view points thank goodness because we learn more than Alice does. The biggest downside, there felt like endless filler chapters that felt very repetitive. Joe blogs is waiting for some big reveal, a chapter back to Alice and then back again to Joe Blogs and still nothing is really happening. I get wanting to build suspense and for the character to be emerged in the crazy atmosphere but it felt so unnecessary.

 

Mad is beautiful,” I say. “It has its flaws, but when shared with the good-hearted it’s beautiful.”

 

This series still has some great potential and doesn't shy away from the madness, which really works in its favour. There is a lot of second guessing to be had, especially once the idea of her really being paralysed and in denial cropped up, but I feel like that plot thread is going to be under used and forgotten about. For me; it needs to cut the pointless two page chapters and get on with it. But despite that I still gave it 4 stars because I got about half way and suddenly found myself really gripped and wanted to keep reading on my lunch break.

 

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