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Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

Title: Flower Fables

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Genre: Classic fairy tales

Pages: 140

Rating:    2 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling Tales; Mount TBR; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: I own it!

Flower Fables is a treasury of six different stories penned by Louisa May Alcott. These old-fashioned fairy tales have been compiled and edited by Daniel Shealy, who has done editing on several Alcott books. The text is very readable, and has magic flavor added via the font’s joining together of several letters. Today’s children, like many children of the past, will enjoy meeting Alcott’s fairies, sentient flowers, and other real and imagined characters. Illustrator Leah Palmer Preiss has filled the book with delightful and interesting fairies and other creatures. The illustrations are bright and full. Readers may want to watch for the bonuses of quotations and tiny portraits of those who influenced Louisa May Alcott. This book would make a good bedtime storybook, and like many tales of old, has good morals that children could take away with them perhaps without even realizing there was a lesson involved. The afterword is also interesting as it shares interesting details about Miss Alcott. For example, she wrote these tales when she was 16. Another bonus at the end of the book is the biographies that go along with the quotations and miniature portraits. — FromIndependent Publisher –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Bored.  That’s my initial thought after reading this volume.  I’m bored.  These tales just aren’t interesting or exciting to me.  I don’t want to read anymore.  And I love old fairy tale stories.  These just lacked any oomph.  That’s all.  Boring.

  
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Title: The Goose Girl  (The Books of Bayern #1)

Author: Shannon Hale

Publisher: Bloomsbury 2005

Genre: Fairy tales

Pages: 400

Rating:  5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling tales; Mount TBR; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: I own it!

She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother. When she is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom as a bride, her scheming entourage mounts a bloody mutiny to replace her with a jealous lady-in-waiting, Selia, and to allow an inner circle of guards more power in the new land. Barely escaping with her life, Ani disguises herself as a goose girl and wanders on the royal estate. Does she have the pluck to reclaim her rightful place? Get ready for a fine adventure tale full of danger, suspense, surprising twists, and a satisfying conclusion. The engaging plot can certainly carry the tale, but Hale’s likable, introspective heroine makes this also a book about courage and justice in the face of overwhelming odds. The richly rendered, medieval folkloric setting adds to the charm. Anne O’Malley

I was wary at the beginning of this book.  I haven’t had much luck with retellings of fairy tales.  They’ve been way too shallow with uninteresting characters and predictable storylines.  I just wasn’t loving them at all.  And then Shannon Hale comes along and renews my faith in fairy tales.  She crafts a beautiful growing up story of a shelter princess betrayed and left to fight on her own.  I loved Ani (or Isi) and her fight to survive.  I grew to love the other workers.  I especially loved Finn and Enna.  Great characters!  Even though I figured I knew the ending, the story still kept me on my toes until the very end.  I’ll be sure to grab the other books in the series for next year’s reading.

Books of Bayern
  1. The Goose Girl
  2. Enna Burning
  3. River Secrets
  4. Forest Born

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison

Title: The Princess and the Bear (Princess #2)

Author: Mette Ivie Harrison

Publisher: HarperTeen 2009

Genre: Fairy Tales

Pages: 327

Rating:   3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling Tales; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: Library Loan

He was once a king, turned into a bear as punishment for his cruel and selfish deeds.

She was a once a princess, now living in the form of a hound.

Wary companions, they are sent—in human form—back to a time when magic went terribly astray. Together they must right the wrongs caused by this devastating power—if only they can find a way to trust each other.

But even as each becomes aware of an ever-growing attraction, the stakes are rising and they must find a way to eliminate this evil force—or risk losing each other forever.

Meh…  It wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad.  It was just meh.  I think I might have liked this book more if I read it back in middle school.  I wasn’t a big fan of either main character.  I didn’t necessarily like the back-and-forth points of view.  I wasn’t that emotionally invested with anyone.  I just didn’t love the book.  I think I will be stopping with the series now.  On to better reads…

Princess

  1. The Princess and the Hound
  2. The Princess and the Bear
  3. The Princess and the Snowbird
  4. The Princess and the Horse

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison

Title: The Princess and the Hound (Princess #1)

Author: Mette Ivie Harrison

Publisher: HarperTeen 2007

Genre: Fairy Tales

Pages: 410

Rating:  4 /5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling Tales; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: Library Loan

He is a prince and heir to a kingdom threatened on all sides, possessor of the forbidden animal magic.

She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from all except her hound.

In this lush and beautifully written fairy-tale romance, a prince, a princess, and two kingdoms are joined in the aftermath of a war. Proud, stubborn, and bound to marry for duty, George and Beatrice will steal your heart—but will they fall in love?

I actually grabbed the second book in this series, but stopped before reading it.  I went back to the library to grab the first one in the series.  A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  I wasn’t expecting that, but was pleasantly surprised.  The book is told mostly from the side of George.  it took me many pages before I figured out that this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling.  I was thrown by the concept of animal magic and the gender role switch.  After settling into the idea, I started to really like the story.  I loved George’s struggle between who he is and who he thinks he should be.  It was a nice internal struggle.  I wish that we could have gotten to know Beatrice/Marit better.  It seems that George falls in love with her, but I couldn’t pinpoint why.  For the ambiguous love, I dropped the book a star.  I just had too many questions at the end of it.  Maybe the second book will answer some of those for me.

Princess

  1. The Princess and the Hound
  2. The Princess and the Bear
  3. The Princess and the Snowbird
  4. The Princess and the Horse

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love

Title: Cinderella Vol. 1: From Fabletown with Love

Author: Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus

Publisher: Vertigo 2010

Genre: Graphic Novel; Fantasy

Pages: 144

Rating:  5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fables Series; Mount TBR

When supernatural artifacts from the Homelands begin surfacing in the modern world, it falls to Cinderella, Fabletown’s best kept (and best dressed) secret agent to stop the illegal trafficking. But can Cindy foil the dark plot before Fabletown and its hidden, exiled inhabitants are exposed once and for all? Whether she’s soaring through clouds, deep-sea diving, or cracking jaws, Cindy travels from Manhattan to Dubai and hooks up with a handsome, familiar accomplice who may be harboring secret motives of his own. Meanwhile, trouble brews back home in Fabletown when Cindy’s overworked, under appreciated assistant decides to seize control of The Glass Slipper, Cindy’s exclusive shoe boutique.
A spin-off from the regular series, we get to know Cindy the spy just a bit better.  I loved the spy novel/Bond movie feel to the entire series.  Cindy is sarcastic, smart, funny, and down right dangerous.  I love her.  As much as I like Snow White in the regular series, Cindy is a whole new breed of Fable.  And I love how her cover in Fabletown is an affair with Beast and the vapid owner of a shoe store.  Nice cover Cindy!  It makes her real personality so much more fun.  I will definitely be adding the other Cinderella series, Fables are Forever, to my TBR list for next year.
Cinderella:
  1. From Fabletown with Love
  2. Fables are Forever
 
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Adrianna’s Fairy Tales by Adrianna White

Title: Adrianna’s Fairy Tales

Author: Adrianna White

Publisher: 2011

Genre: Erotic fairy tales (I’m calling this a genre)

Pages: 147

Rating: 2 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling tales; Mount TBR

How I Got It: Free ebook from iBook store

Adrianna’s collection of novellas take the classic story of fairy tales that we’re all accustomed to and throws it out the window in an erotic retelling of our beloved princes and princesses. The characters are hot and the action is steamy, these stories will titillate both the mind and the nether regions. Be warned, these stories rarely end as we would hope.

I downloaded the free iBook version complete with all three tales. I sped through these stories, but overall was really disappointed.

1. Naughty Cinderella: So Cinderella is a prostitute.  I can deal with that.  It makes sense. But the Prince is such a white knight on a horse that he’s boring.  And the most graphic sex scene is one of her clients.  Not very sexy at all.

2. Riding Red Hood: I was confused through most of this story.  Was Red a werewolf?  Was the Big Bad Wolf really a werewolf?  What about Red’s fiance Fredrick?  It felt like an abusive relationship to me.  Not sexy at all.

3. Beauty and the Beast with Two Backs: Ugh!  I’ve always issues with Beauty and the Beast storylines (see my review of Beastly and Beauty).  This one really just intertwined Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty and it just didn’t work.  And none of the sex scenes were sexy.  They just made me uncomfortable.

  
 
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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Beauty by Robin McKinley

Title: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

Author: Robin McKinley

Publisher: Harper Trophy 1978

Genre: Fairy Tales

Pages: 247

Rating:   2 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Semi-Charmed Challenge — Pair of Antonym Books; Telling Tales; Support Your Local Library

How I Got It: Library Loan

A strange imprisonment

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.

When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”

I am disappointed.  To be fair, I have always had issues with the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.  Why does Beauty love the Beast?  I understand that the Beast must make someone fall in love with him so that the curse can be broken.  But why does she love him?  All he’s done is take her from her family and then try to “care” by giving her books and clothes.  Blah!  For that matter does the Beast even love her?  He could be using her to break the curse, but drop her the minute it’s done.  And there lies my issue with the fairy tale.
This retelling is the same except for the first third.  I had high hopes.  The first third is spent with Beauty and her family.  They are wealthy, they lose the wealth, they try to make a name for themselves in a small town.  Interesting story.  And then Beauty goes to the Beast’s castle and everything falls into place.  I was bored. Just bored.  I am regulating this fairy tale to the bottom of the barrel.
  
 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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