Monday, 12 November 2018

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

So... I haven't written a proper review in so long, that I don't even know if I can do it anymore...

In my case, the thing that mostly draws me to retellings is that magical element. The anything can happen vibe mixed with a dash of serendipity. That is not the case with this story, because it removes every magical/serendipity element and gives its readers a cold hard reality.
A cold harsh reality of people living difficult lives in dangerous and bleak times, especially for women.
That was not what I was expecting, because it ended up being a boring narrative most of the times.
Like I mentioned in one of my updates for this book, this could be called 'Agnes: A Tale of Drudgery'.
There's a lot of 'not going anywhere, and not specifically interesting' details!
Most of those details are right at home in a literary fiction work, but with a retelling? o_O
So, what kept me reading, you might ask?
 Well, unfortunately for me, it is extremely well written. -_- So, even when I was mumbling to myself, 'please, no more hair descriptions...', I was reading it!
And I think I finished this in less of a week; which for me lately is almost a miracle! Ha!!

So, what can you expect from this?
Well imagine if a fairy tale was deconstructed of all of its interesting/magical/loving details and Ella was actually a spoiled brat, you'd pretty much have this. :D
Oh, and all the 'bad things' that the stepmother is rumored to have done to the Cinder girl ?
Yeah, actually they were just misunderstandings. -_-

 And people needing therapy for all the lying they do!!
But, it is really well written!

Monday, 5 November 2018

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn


This book is absolutely brutal. Crime books usually are, but they don't usually throw us into the dynamics of such a messed up family as this. 
It was so emotionally trying to read about the things little Amma was doing at such a young age, the things Camille went through at that same age, and Adora's vile parenting. 
The crimes were awful, but being in the midst of that family was suffocating and nightmarish.
I literally can't say much about this book without giving away major plot points, but suffice to say I loved it and highly recommend it to anyone. 

Gillian Flynn's official website
Buy Sharp Objects @The Book Depository (with free worldwide delivery!)

Thursday, 26 July 2018

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

This is one of those books that I read ages ago _ okay, it feels like it was a long, long time ago _ and that got me so mad, that I thought 'what the hell, I'm not even going to bother to write a review for it'... unfortunately it seems that I'm still mad about it, so here it goes!

Great premise, but extremely poor execution with the story entering cliché land with over used and abused plot lines...
Thing is, when the blurb talks about the three sister's witches?
Yeah... no. The author couldn't even be bothered to develop likeable characters who actually liked one another; no, she had to follow the harpy route, in which each sister pretty much hated/ despised or just plain ignored one another.
Highlight for spoilers...They were not witches, just plain stupid.

Then there's the main character who is as interesting as white bread.
The writing started out decent enough, but then definitely takes a swift turn at purple land.
The "romance"...
Ugh, ugh and ugh. :/   #ConsentWhereAreThou

The guy appears out of nowhere, and she just takes him home to the island where she lives _ ALONE _ with her mother. #ThisIsHowPeopleGetsKilled
Of course romance ensues _ not really, but (they just start having sex ) because why not, Love of my life. And the whole thing was strange and icky.

Honestly at this point I just wanted to know what had happened to her father, because the rest was so ludicrous that I was getting migraines from constant eye rolling.
The guy had the emotions of a sociopath and she was basically a leech; worst couple ever!

So, yes, this is one book I definitely cannot recommend. 
p.s. The cover is pretty though.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Sunday, 22 April 2018

The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais

ARC provided by Diamond Book Distributors through Netgalley

I've wanted to get my hands on this book since I read Amélie Fléchais' Le Petit Loup Rouge so when I saw it on Netgalley I did not hesitate!
Sadly, it was very disappointing...

I'm not the first reviewer (and I doubt I'll be the last) to mention how the manga influences made the reading of this book feel extremely uneven. 

If there is one thing Fléchais excels at it's artwork, but how can you go from this:

To this:

That is not to say that the artwork is bad - the fully coloured pages are stunning, to say the least:

But then it's incredibly jarring to go, in the same scene, from this:

To this:

And the plot was completely nonsensical. I was really hoping to see some of the Over the Garden Wall influences advertised in the summary, and while, visually, they were somewhat there, the plot was completely disconnected and confusing and might as well not have been there.
The boys get lost and stumble upon events about to lead into a war in the forest... and then they leave. 
How disappointing...

Still the artwork, the one in colour anyway, is really pretty.

Buy The Lost Path
@The Book Depository (with free worldwide delivery!)

Codename Villanelle (Villanelle #1) by Luke Jennings

I decided to read this after watching the first two episodes of BBC's Killing Eve and was not disappointed.
In fact, Jennings' descriptions and obvious knowledge of what he's writing give a more realistic feel to the story than the show's visuals have managed to do. 
Jennings has a true gift for descriptive prose, you can't help but see in your mind's eye everything he writes, and he really nails the European atmosphere of the surroundings in the book. 
I loved Villanelle (as much as you can love a sociopathic assassin) and from her backstory to her training nothing was skipped, yet it was always engaging. 

I definitely recommend this!

Luke Jennings' official site

Buy Codename Villanelle
@The Book Depository (with free worldwide delivery!)

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Ghost, The Owl by Franco, Sara Richard (Illustrator)


Three stars exclusively for Sara Richard's illustrations, because the story is underdeveloped and mediocre.

And even Richard's illustrations, though absolutely amazing when depicting the forest animals, were a bit incongruous when it came to the ghost girl, who looked like some kind of manga fanart.

The dialogue was very simplistic and sometimes grammatically unsound, like when the owl refers to something as "more strange" instead of stranger. 

All in all, Richard's art deserved a much better story. 

Monday, 5 March 2018

Releases To Look Forward To

 Tricks for Free (InCryptid, #7) The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday HorrorIce Wolves (Elementals, #1) Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava #1)
 Along the Indigo The Wicked Deep Inkmistress (Of Fire and Stars, #0.5) Daughters of the Storm (Blood and Gold, #1)
The Mermaid's DaughterChildren of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)The Astonishing Color of AfterReflection (Twisted Tales, #4)

'Tricks For Free' by Seanan Mcguire (Incryptid #7), pub. by Daw Books, March 6th - genre: urban fantasy
I am normally a fan for everything that Seanan Mcguire writes... tapeworms and zombies excluded, although I still haven't started with the Mira Grant's series. This one? I am way behind it!

'The Wicked Deep' by Shea Ernshaw, pub by Simon Pulse, March 6th - genre: YA Fantasy

'InkMistress (Of Fire and Stars, #0.5)' by Audrey Coulthurst , pub by Blazer+Bray, March 6th

'Children of Blood and Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi, pub. by HHB for Young Readers, March 6th

'The Mermaid's Daughter' by Ann Claycomb, pub. by William Morrow, March 7th

 The Merry Spinsters by Mallory Ortberg; pub by Holt McDougal, 13th March
Genre: Fantasy/Retellings/ Horror
A while back I read Ortberg's book 'Texts From Jane Eyre' and I pretty much loved it; so of course I'm curious about this book. Also, Isn't 'The Merry Spinster' a great title?

'Along the Indigo' by Elsie Chapman, pub. by Amulet Books, 20th March  _genre: Contemporary YA

'The Astonishing Color of After' by Emily X.R. Pan, pub. by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 20th March

'Ice Wolves' by Amy Kaufman; pub. by Harper Collins, 27th March - Genre: Middle Grade

'Aru Shah and The End of Time' by Roshani Chokshi; pub by  by Disney/Rick Riordan Presents, 27th March - Genre: Middle Grade

'Reflection (Twisted Tales #4) by Elizabeth Lim, pub. by Disney Press, 27th March

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

This is such an odd book to rate...

I honestly love to learn about the plague so I was really excited when I read this book's summary, and to be fair for the first few chapters it was very satisfying, but then it all devolved into ignorance and silliness. And I don't mean from the part of the characters, I mean from the author.

Brooks claims in the afterword to have studied these events extensively, but she shows very little knowledge of the medieval day-to-day reality of 1666. 
It's not as if a quarantined plague village lacks for drama on its own, but Brooks had to bring in more sensationalistic drama, which would be more at home in a Hollywood movie that portrays medieval times as simply dark, ignorant, and hopeless,  refusing to acknowledge the true historical facts of the time period.

I was especially upset at how Brooks brought up witchcraft into a story that didn't need it. I hate it when the wise women of those times are cast as witches or as adhering to satanic beliefs - just leave that kind of thinking to the insane misogynistic ramblings of the clerical women-haters of the time, there's no place for that sort of thing in a book written in modern times.

All in all it was entertaining enough, but Brooks seemed to have more of an intention to shock than to write in an informed way.

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