Archive for Fairy Tale Retellings
by Alex Flinn Series: Kendra Chronicles #2 Published by Harper Teen
in 2012 Pages:
Bewitching can be a beast. . . .
Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn't.
I go to a new school now--one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I'm not still here because I'm stupid; I just don't age.
You see, I'm immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years--except for when to take my powers and butt out.
I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don't even want to think about it.
Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn't get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl--and it isn't an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.
I loved loved LOVED Beastly, the first book in this series, and I was so looking forward to reading this one. I love fairy tale retellings and Alex Flinn’s are usually particularly full of fluffy cute fun-ness! Unfortunately, though, Bewitching just didn’t compare. Read more »
Author: A.G. Howard
Summary: [from GoodReads]
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
So many people have said such good things about this book, and yet going into it I somehow had no idea what I was in for. Splintered is a modern “sequel” to the classic Alice in Wonderland. Alyssa, great-(great?)-granddaughter of the original Alice must go back and fix everything Alice screwed up the first time.
One of the things I really loved about this book was the inventive re-imagining of the original. I have never read it, but now that I think about what I know of it from the movie (which was probably Disney-fied) it makes sense that the things she did were incredibly destructive from the point of view of Wonderland’s people. I never really noticed it before, because the original is from Alice’s point of view, and the focus is on her confusion, panic and fear
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Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Summary: [from GoodReads]
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner
You know those books that you know will keep you up all night reading, and it’s 10 pm, but you start them anyway? Yeah. That. I had been on the waitlist for this one at the library for a few months before it came out and I was so excited when it came in that I dropped everything I had started reading and devoured it in the space of 24 hours.
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Title: Scarlet (Scarlet #1)
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Summary: [from GoodReads]
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.
It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
It’s funny – as much as I love retellings and the era of Robin Hood, I have never been able to get myself that excited about a retelling of his story. I’ve tried many times in all different formats, but mostly I just get bored and give up halfway through. So, when I say I finished this one, that’s saying something (whether about the book or my own determination, I’m not sure. Probably a little of both.)
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Image belongs to SyFy
Title: Alice (Syfy)
Media Type: TV Miniseries
Director: Nick Willing
Genre: Drama / Fantasy
Summary: [from IMDB] (unavailable)
So, Anne is pure evil. Every few days I get a recommendation of some sort from her for a TV show I should watch, or a movie to rent, or a book to read. BUT after falling madly and deeply in love with Doctor Who (one of her awesome recommendations), I have learned to trust Anne with ALL things she urges me to dive into.
Alice was one of those things and, oh my gosh, what a ride that was! I absolutely love retellings of classics, from Grimm fairytales to classic novels, and have been a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland for years. I’m sad to say that I’ve never actually read the Lewis Carroll original, but I’ve seen enough movies to know what’s going on.
Really, Alice in Wonderland is one of those stories that is so crazy and strange, that any retelling of it will be equally crazy and strange, if not more so. I mean, falling through a rabbit hole, a mad hatter, a Cheshire cat, the Queen of Hearts – it’s all so imaginative that in order to make a movie out of it, or in this case, a miniseries, the writers better have a darn good knack for the weird.
I was a little worried when I popped this movie into my player, seeing that it was 240 minutes long – I was certain that at some point I would be bored and ready for it to end, but it was such fun to watch! I loved how modern it was, that it wasn’t the same old little girl falling through the rabbit hole kind of story, but a grown woman following her boyfriend who looked to be kidnapped through a mirror to another world.
And oh, that world! The whole place just looked fantastic on the screen and I couldn’t tear my eyes away! The colours were magnificent and the story moved at quite a quick pace that by the time I knew it, the movie was already over. I was sad because I didn’t want it to end!
Of course, I can’t write a review about the movie without mentioning some of the actors. Catarina Scorsone was brilliant as a grown up Alice. She had the perfect look for the role and even the outfit to boot! Kathy Bates was unrecognizable as the Queen of Hearts – well, I knew it was Kathy Bates, but the whole time I was watching, I couldn’t believe what an amazing actress she was! And then … <insert swoony sigh here> … there’s Andrew Lee-Potts, or Hatter (a.k.a. the MAD hatter in the original story). A special place in my heart is reserved for him because he stole it right from the get-go. He was charming and quirky and I couldn’t help but smile whenever he was on screen!
I laughed, I swooned, and when it was all over I wanted to watch it again. There’s adventure, fantasy, and romance – surely something for everyone! Big thanks to Anne for the wonderful recommendation!
I know. I’m crazy. I’m rereading three books already, and I want to add a fourth to that? But, but, BUT! Cinder is THE BEST, and I just got my copy, and I need an excuse to read it (since I now have MY OWN), plus I really REALLY want to! SO, I am joining the Cinder Read-Along! It is being hosted by Tt at Neverending Stories
and Alice at Rotten Apple Reads
and the schedule is as follows:
Here is the Schedule:
1/15- Read to Chapter 2
1/16- Read to Chapter 4
1/17- Read to Chapter 6
1/18- Read to Chapter 8
1/19- Read to Chapter 10
1/20- Read to Chapter 12
1/21- Read to Chapter 14
1/22- Read to Chapter 16
1/23- Read to Chapter 18
1/24- Read to Chapter 20
1/25- Read to Chapter 22
1/26- Read to Chapter 24
1/27- Read to Chapter 26
1/27- Read to Chapter 28
1/28- Read to Chapter 30
1/29- Read to Chapter 32
1/30- Read to Chapter 34
1/31- Read to Chapter 35
2/2- Read to Chapter 36
2/3- Read to Chapter 37
2/4- Read to Chapter 38
2/5-Done (Last day to tweet) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Released!
The best part is 2 winners will be chosen to receive a signed copy of either Cinder or Scarlet at the end! I probably won’t be updating here that much, but I’ll definitely be tweeting about it! Anyway, click the link above to sign up and join us!
It’s that time of year again! Time to scour the TV listings for new shows to watch and eye candy to drool over. As I’m still pretty far behind on all of the shows either from before I started watching TV regularly or that are on cable so I have to wait for DVDs (like Buffy, Smallville, Supernatural etc.) I’ve narrowed it down to three different series to try. [Click on the images to be taken to the imdb page for the respective shows.]
Image belongs to NBC
Anyone had a chance to watch the pilot of this yet? It’s available for free on Hulu, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. It looks a lot like an attempt at a Hunger Games television show. Except not really. I’ll admit I don’t know much. But it looks cool and I’m really looking forward to trying it! (Pilot officially airs 9/17)
Image belongs to CBS
As a devout fan of the BBC’s Sherlock, I’m a little worried about this one. It has the potential to be great. It has the potential to be epic fail. And we all know what making Watson a woman is going to mean, which I’m not sure I’m entirely on-board with. So, I’ll be giving this one a try, but I’m perfectly willing to call it quits after a few episodes if I have to. (Pilot airs 9/27)
Beauty and the Beast
Image belongs to the CW
Dear CW. DON’T screw this up. Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite fairytale of all time, and if you eff this up I will cry. So no pressure or anything. Love, Me.
Sadly, as I do not have cable I will be catching this whenever I can online. (Pilot airs 10/11)
Image belongs to ABC
And of course we have all of our returning faves that I couldn’t live without. In no particular order, I plan to keep up with Once Upon a Time, Castle, Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, and Merlin.
What shows, new or old, are you looking forward to this fall?
Title: The Grimm Legacy
Author: Polly Shulman
Summary: [from GoodReads]
Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library? a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles.
When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime?or captured by the thief.
What if there were libraries that didn’t just lend out books? What if they leent out artifacts instead? And what if they devoted an entire floor to artifacts that most of the world wouldn’t believe in?
The Grimm Legacy takes that idea and runs with it, creating the mysterious library that houses the Grimm Collection, as well as collections based in William Gibson’s Neuromancer and the works of H. G. Wells. Elizabeth is asked to be a page in this wonderful place, and let me tell you, I’m beyond jealous!
Beyond the setting, though, I was a little disappointed. The plot is fine, if a little too easily wrapped up. The narrative voice reminded me pleasantly of Harry Potter (I loved the Doctor up in his office with his strange tests – such a Dumbledore!) But the characters all felt a little flat to me, with mostly a single defining character trait, and very little complexity. I could describe most of the characters (and by extension their goals) with a single word. They all fit neatly into their own little archetypal box and didn’t move out of it much.
Looking at it a little differently, my complaints mainly boil down to one thing: this is a middle grade novel. I’ve said many times that I’m not a big fan of MG lit, mostly because I’m well past that stage and those problems. I also believe MG novels shouldn’t be “dumbed down” or made less complex just because they’re for a younger audience, but that’s a rant for another day.
I guess what I’m saying is that I really loved the concept, and all my complaints are really my own fault for not doing my research and figuring out this was an MG before starting. If you like MG, and you like the idea, then please don’t let me put you off!
Title: Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2)
Author: Aimée Carter
Summary: [from GoodReads] Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she’ll have to fight for it.
Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person whom she would really rather not meet. Henry’s first wife, Persephone.
My Review: I love, love, LOVED The Goddess Test. It was one of the very first ARC’s I received, and I raced right out and bought myself a copy soon as it came out in stores. It took me a little longer to get to the second one, because I just don’t keep up on series the way I wish I could. (Jamie has a post over at The Perpetual Page-Turner that pretty much sums up my entire problem.)
Once I did though, I flew straight through it in a matter of hours. These books are such nice vacation reads because they’re lightweight paperbacks and aren’t too difficult – but they still have a lot of issues that make you think. Right at first I was a little lost getting back into it, probably because of my issues with series, and I kinda skipped Goddess Hunt (the short story released between the two). But once I got into it, the action was fast paced, and the twists and turns kept me intrigued through the end.
I have to say, I had some issues early on with representation of the characters. Hera is the goddess of fidelity after all. She shouldn’t be getting her panties in a wad over Henry! Not that I blame her, and all, but being faithful is kinda her thing. But then, once it was explained, I started kicking myself. Carter makes even the parts that make the least sense make the MOST sense by the end, and I absolutely love that!
Add to that the teaser at the very end and I’m just itching to get my hands on the next book!
Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Summary: [from GoodReads] Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
My Review: *WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead* I am such a sucker for fairytale retellings. I’m also a huge sucker for Steampunk (which this isn’t quite, but it’s close), so this is a formula that should have worked for me. Boy did it ever! I want the next book like NOW! Of course, it doesn’t help that it ends on a mega-cliffhanger – if you don’t want to be annoyed for the next year while we wait for the second book to come out, I’d suggest holding off on this one. But don’t forget about it, because it is an AMAZING read that you don’t want to miss out on!
The first thing I loved was how relatable Cinder was. I think Meyer balanced the fact that Cinder was a cyborg and therefore distinctly not like us, and the fact that she really was more like us than any of the other characters wanted to admit very well. Our access to Cinder’s thoughts made us see how prejudiced the other characters were towards her. While some might call this a genre book (you’ll have to imagine the distasteful tone the literary snobs would say that with) I think that the way it deals with prejudice alone makes it an important read for “teens” of any age.
What makes Cinder a favorite for me, though, isn’t any of these things. What makes it, is the fact that this book never had to be a fairy tale retelling. I mean, sure, Cinderella is culturally encoded into all of our brains and nobody is going to read this without noticing the ways the two stories are connected. But instead of changing her story to fit as closely as possible with the original Cinderella tale, Meyer warps the Cinderella story to fit the needs of her story. Instead of a carriage made from a pumpkin, Cinder goes to the ball in a rust orange, ancient Jeep. Instead of losing a shoe, Cinder loses an entire mechanical foot. I could see the following books continuing the story without any reference to fairy tales, and not being disappointed in the slightest (though I have read somewhere that they are each based on fairy tales as well, which I’m sure will only enhance the reading experience).
Bottom line? All those good things people are saying about this book are true. But don’t take my word for it – read it and find out for yourself!