This post can originally be found at MissKatiEllen.
Although slightly later than usual I bring you my reads from February. I didn't get to finish as many as I would have liked, but that's what happens when you take a week off work for your birthday. As it was my birthday I decided that it only be right by picks were Disney related.
The first book I finished was Poor Unfortunate Souls by Serena Valentino. This is unfortunately the last in her villains series, which I'm absolutely gutted about. I love the world she's created, the references to other Disney Kingdoms, how some characters lives are already entwined. This story was about Ursula, but due to this amazing world that's been created I felt her story lacked compared to the previous two books. The story was kept interesting changing from different people's POW but I felt like there was so much more being hinted at, begging to be explored.
The second book I finished was Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell. This is her second Disney 'what if' retelling, this is completely unlike her first book. Due to the nature of Aladdin the beginning was quite literally the film and things only changed when Jafar got the lamp, whereas in this book we are in the dream world that Aurora thinks is real and we got chapter versions of what happened and 'what happened'. This book is much slower by comparison, A Whole New World was filled with constant fighting and things happening. Aurora getting to grips with the dream, with herself, coping with two sets of memories. Discovering so much was a lie in both worlds. The books downfall is that you will her to be this strong girl but she keeps pulling this poor me routine, her life was a lie, she was abandoned, she grew up in the woods away from her family. Thank God Prince Phillip is there to throw in his point of view, growing up as a royal isn't everything either.
My final book was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I loved this book, I don't know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't this; and that's not a bad thing either. What I enjoyed the most about this aside from the whole thing is her relationship with Zuanna. Their friendship is so believable, even if Zuannas over the top personality isn't. Although Karou never technically lies to anyone, flashing that smile she has and everyone shrugs off the weird things and chalks it up to it just being Karou. And Zuanna is like that too, but everyone has a breaking point and pushes the issues. Where does she go, what are these errands Karou is always disappearing on?? There is only so much a friendship can take until a smile no longer makes the cut. It's hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. Two worlds, one consisting of Angels and part human part animal, the other the world as we know it. Both as real and as the other.
I love Ursula, but, alas, this was not the Ursula novel I desperately wanted it to be.
What annoyed me about the book was that it was not a "standalone," which I really feel like the books in this villain series should be in order to give each villain's potentially complex backstory and motives their full due. About half the book was focused on follow-up to events from the previous book in the series, The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince, which I wasn't really invested in. Overall, it felt more as if the author was more interested in continuing the story with the auxiliary characters that she had made up for the series than really delving into Ursula's story, which felt somewhat tangential to the story Valentino seemed to REALLY want to tell about the "odd sisters" machinations regarding the various villains in the Disney-verse. Overall, this gave the book a somewhat disjointed feel of two stories being told in parallel, one about Ursula's perspective of The Little Mermaid, one about Valentino's own characters that never appear in the Disney movies and thus don't garner a ton of investment from me.
Despite these issues, I still gave the book three stars because the parts that were focused on Ursula's backstory, especially her relationship with King Triton, were well done. The book was also a fun, quick read and an enjoyable bit of escapism. The writing is passable, and despite my disappointment with this series (and other Disney novel spinoffs overall), I know I will keep reading them because, well, Disney.
“I want to fix an image of him in my head, but all I can see when I close my eyes is his body, still and lifeless in my arms. I let him go, and I will never forgive myself for that.”
I stumbled across I Let You Go a few days ago after I took an interest to psychological thrillers. I needed something that could keep me in my toes,and I'm very thankful to Clare Mackintosh for delivering it.
The first half of the book was both sad and calming,in a weird manner. Jenna seemed to be finding her peace,and I grew to admire her strength and ability to keep her calm. This part was slow paced,but still my favorite. Jenna was a woman desperately in need of a hug,and all I wanted was to give it to her.
Everything changes in party two. All bets are out,everything you know is crushed along with your poor feelings. I had to take the book down a few times for the mix of surprise and anger at what was happening in the narration,but I couldn't keep myself from going back to reading after a few hours. I felt like an addict,aching for my next share of anything the book could give me.
The ending of this book was painful. I'm still questioning my own beliefs about what happened. Clare,you are an evil thing to leave me wondering like this. But you gave me a great time,so you are forgiven until I get to your next book.
SENTENCE: What a great debut! Definitely left me wanting more. Can't wait to become a Clare Mackintosh addicted once again.
P.s: This book has very strong passages relating domestic abuse. If you feel that might affect you somehow,I recommend caution when reading it. Below is the National Domestic Violence Hotline site.
What happens to someone when they have been wronged by another? Usually we feel hurt. We feel lost. We get angry and try to get back at the other. But when they apologize for wronging you, you may be able to forgive but you will never forget what they have done. And it may ruin a good relationship, or you could move on and try to rekindle the love you have that other person.
Or you could have a heart full of rage and hatred that no matter what anyone tells you, you will have blood. Either their blood or someone close to them. But somehow, somewhere you will get your revenge and nothing will be sweeter.
That is the basis of The Sea Witch, Ursula. She was wronged all those years ago by humans for being different. She was tossed aside like she was nothing by her own brother. And now more then ever, she wants blood to exact revenge on those who wronged her. Doesn't matter who she uses, she'll kill them in the end. No matter who she hurts, no one could match her pain. She sees red, and the world better see it too.
Only problem: she wronged the wrong sisters.
There are three witches who are powerful, full of hate and can do wonders for anyone who has a villainous mind BUT there must be a reason. A reason for the hatred. Not just a feeling of "because I want to". No, there has to be a bloody well good reason for this kind of illicit hatred for them to help. But now that one of their own is missing, the three sisters feel lost and can't think straight. Ursula knows their pain and knows how to use it to her expanse. The three sisters go along with the her plan without question.
Till someone comes along and tells them Ursula's big secret. A secret that will answer the three sister's answers. A secret that could have been useful to Ursula but damaging to the sisters.
Now that the three most powerful sister witches know Ursula's secret and how she was going to use them, well let's just say they aren't very pleased.
Pleased to the point of ruining Ursula's big plan of revenge and stopping her from taking over the world in her hatred. Even allowing a princess....a PRINCESS mind you to get away with love...once again. But this time, the three sisters don't care. They care for one thing and Ursula tried to have her captured and killed. Not while the three sisters still live will they allow this.
Serena has done it once again with these fairy-tale re-tellings from the villains point of view. This time, Serena dives into the Little Mermaid story with the Ursula's point of view.
You poor unfortunate soul for not have read this yet.