Mirrored by Alex Flinn

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Mirrored by Alex Flinn

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Mirrored marks my final Retelling in the Retellings challenge I participated in this year. It has been fun. And I met the challenge goal of 12 retellings since January 1, 2016!!

Mirrored is the retelling of Snow White and her evil, wicked Step Mother. This book as the fairest of them all (Celiene), the wicked stepmother who is uber jealous (Violet), Kendra (from the book Beastly), various dwarves (including Jorge–pronounced George, Stacey, and Goose), the prince (British rock star named Jonah Prince), and a mango (instead of an apple…because they live in Florida).

I gave it only 4.5 stars because I felt like there was so much build up, creating the story and back drop, that by the time the “Big Kiss” happens, it was not as spectacular as it could have been. The whole situation felt awkward and forced. I also feel that the last few chapters were just kind of “bleh.” I was hoping for just as much excitement in the end as the story had at the beginning.

Either way, this story was wonderful. It is the 3rd book in the series. I didn’t read the second book, but it appears they can be read out of order. There was one comment regarding Beastly that threw me off. Kendra mentions the boy she turned into a beast during a conversation with a young Violet in the 1980s….but Beastly was more recent…they had technology such as Instant Messenger and cell phones, that it would be impossible in a LOT of ways that Beastly occurred before 1985. I am still trying to wrap my hand around it.

Stealing Snow

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Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige, Narrated by Bailey Carr

Goodreads Rating: 2 stars

Narrator Rating: 3.5 Stars

 

Going into this book, I had mixed hopes. I had high hopes that it would be a fantastically interesting story and be different than Dorothy Must Die series. I was mistaken.

This story starts out with Snow being in a mental institution. She has a lot of inner conflict, and is a whiny baby. Seriously. Plus…3 love interests. Seriously?  Three. She came into Algid after a boy from the hospital she was at, a boy she loved more than anything. Then, after she met Kai, she wanted him. They shared a kiss together, she freaked out a bit. She kept thinking about that kiss, and Bale (the first boy). Then after she left the River Witch she got to know Jagger, of the Robbers, better she started thinking about him romantically, while thinking about Bale and Kai. It got really disturbing. It felt like I was reading or was a part of a drama queen teen’s day dream because she is bored with her life and wants to think it would be more exciting if she was the Ice Queen.

The story eventually got interesting at the end. I think if you removed Snow’s character entirely, the story would have been much better. That is very sad. I will probably eventually continue on with the series as it comes out, but it just did not excite me.

I wish my review could be more positive, so I will end on some good notes. The Narrator worked, even though i feel some of the male characters sounded a little similar. I thought the  narrator’s voice sounded childish to fit the character of Snow. (That is a positive…it worked, I believed she was Snow). The excitement at the end was good. Honestly, I am waiting for the shoe to drop that when the series is over, Snow is going to wake up as if the whole series was a dream, and be right back in the insane asylum.

Lock and Mori

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Lock and Mori by Heather W. Petty

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars

 

I started reading this book in March, and finally finished today, October 1, 2016. I had a lot of hopes for this book, and have been wanting to read it for a while. The story was slow for more than 100 pages out of a 245 page book. The last 100 pages of the book really sucked me in though, and that is why I gave this book 3 stars overall for the rating.

Sherlock and Mori are in high school, and they meet for the first time at a crime scene in Regent’s Park. From there, they go on an adventure trying to solve the murder, which turns into a string of murders. On this adventure, Mori learns the history of her mother’s past while trying to deal with an abusive father who is a DS on the police force in London.

I wasn’t a fan of Mori’s character, but I LOVED Sherlock. I thought his character sketch was well written. Mori was very secretive, and tried to keep everyone, especially Sherlock, out of knowing her life and what was going on. She was very sneaky, and tried to do things that she could have gotten hurt or killed

I loved the last 100 pages of the book. They were fast paced, gripping, and heart wrenching. If you pick this book up, just hang in there. The first half of the story is really slow but gets better.

The Book Of Lost Things

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The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, Narrated by Steven Crossely

Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Narrator Rating: 5 stars

 

When I first started to read this book, I found I couldn’t get into it; so I went off and got the audiobook in hopes that maybe I could listen to it better. I was right. It still took a little time to get into the book as a whole, but I ended up really enjoying it.

It took me a while to determine if this is a retelling, and I have decided that yes, it definitely is a retelling. In this story the reader will enjoy interactions with the Woodsman and the Wolves (Red Riding Hood), Snow White and the Dwarves (but we won’t talk about Comrade Number 7, the traitor), Sleeping Beauty, Roland (The Song of Roland), and The Crooked Man (Rumpelstiltskin… I have to say, I was most excited when this connection occurred).

David is a child when his mother dies. His father soon remarries and a half brother comes along. This causes a lot of unrest for David, and he starts seeing shadows of The Crooked Man around the house, which scares David. Eventually, David starts hearing his mom call for him to save her. He enters into a special passageway which brings him into another land, where he meets the Woodsman. From there, David goes on an epic adventure and goes from an angry, selfish, afraid, child to a strong, understanding, and confident young man.

There were parts of this book that really did feel like it took forever. And to be honest, for an 11 hour book, it felt like ages to get through. With that being said, I am glad I read this and recommend it to anyone. It is a bit dark. There is a lot of blood, and gore…but let’s face it, all the best fairy tales are 😉

 

Spoiler ahead!! I loved this scene:

“I came back,” said David.

“Most people do,” said the Woodsman.

“Come on, we’ve been waiting for you,” said the Woodsman.

Everland

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Goodreads Rating: 2 stars

I received a copy of Everland in the May Owl Crate. This story is a steampunk retelling of Peter Pan. I started reading it in May, and literally finished it on September 22nd. This story held so much promise. I love the story of Peter Pan, and this story fell short and could not keep my interest peaked.

Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer (Captain Hook) is ordered by his mother, Queen of Germany, to bomb London, providing specific locations to drop the bombs. In doing so, a deadly virus call the Hologia Virus is released killing almost all of the adult population, and almost all of the female child population. There is one girl who is immune, Gwen Darling, who has been taking care of her two siblings, Joanna and Michael Darling. One night, Joanna is kidnapped by Hook and his men to bring to the Professor in hopes of creating a cure. Gwen and Mikey meet Peter, and the spunky Bella (who has mechanical wings) and are brought back to the Lost City where the rest of the Lost Boys are held. Peter, Gwen, and a few other Lost Boys prepare to go into Buckingham Palace in order to find Joanna, but there are a few twists and turns along the way.

This story seems like it would be interesting, however, execution fell short and the majority of the story was spent in the Lost City with minimal milestones accomplished. As far as Steampunk, aside for a few elements, I didn’t feel it really qualified as a steampunk novel. It had the wings Bella wore, clockwork tattoo on Peter, and some airships, but other than that, there just wasn’t much. I wished there was more clockwork, and it may have come across stronger if the description had been more detailed.

I still gave it 2 stars for the rating because it was original and I haven’t come across many retellings of Peter Pan. I just wished it was stronger.

Flunked

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Flunked by Jen Calonita, Narrated by Kristin Condon

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Narrator Rating: 5 stars

 

I picked up the audiobook for Flunked at the library. At first I wasn’t sure about it, but as time went on it became a great listen and I finished it pretty quickly.

I like the idea of a fairy tale reform school for the bad guys or villains of fairy tales. I liked how the teachers were all reformed villains from various story platforms. I like that Gilly was smart, inquisitive, and caring. I think for the age range of this book, having a strong female lead is super important. I also liked that the story taught Gilly that though it is okay to be independent, sometimes having a group of friends you can trust is just as okay.

The premise around this book follows Gilly, the Cobbler and Old Woman Who Lives in a Show daughter. Gilly often steals in order to support and feed her family, who often goes without food. Eventually, after getting caught several times by the Dwarf Police Squad, Gilly is ordered to go to FTS to change her villainous ways. While Gilly is at the school, she discovers something evil is afoot and begins to secretly investigate.

Overall, the story was unique and original. It was well executed and the narration helped bring this story to life. In the time of Gilly’s stay you meet various fairy tale characters such as Snow White, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, as well as their villains. Characters also include the Big Bad Wolf, fairies, trolls, and mermaids. I definitely recommend this story!

The Wrath and the Dawn

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Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

 

I read The Wrath and The Dawn after I read A Thousand Nights. Both books have made me want to read Arabian Nights, of which, I bought the Barnes and Nobles Classics Edition (it is a difficult read).  I still feel that, like A Thousand Nights, this book just did not do any justice. I was just as disappointed. Everyone seemed to LOVE this book, and I struggled through it.

The positive to this book, is I liked the love story. I also liked the play out of the curse. I thought it did have the upper hand compared to A Thousand Nights but I still didn’t get why everyone has been so obsessed with it. I look forward to reading how the love story progresses.

I liked that it had some action, conflict, and violence on top of the underlying story. I do think the author was able to portray why it was such a big deal Shahrzad remained alive, and her fear of when her time would come. I also liked the attempt that were being made on her life. I think it was interesting she was fine with dying for her purpose, but I liked that when the time was coming, and the attempts were made, she started feeling a bit differently.

Overall, I liked the writing style of the author. I felt this book had a lot of promise, and feel maybe the author had to cut out some scenes so the book wasn’t super long. I wished there was more emphasis on the story telling aspect and include a few more stories than it did.

The Bitches of Everafter

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Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Narrator Rating: 3 stars

 

I found this book on kindle randomly. I decided I would listen to the audiobook version because lately, I have a hard time reading any books because of work and school.

I want to start off with the Narrator. Erin Fossa is just okay for me. I found the voices to be kind of off and sometimes couldn’t tell who was talking. I also felt like some sentences were forced and it felt like the chapters suddenly ended, but the narrator’s voice inflection made it feel as if there was more to come.

The story does end on a cliffhanger. I repeat. The story does end on a cliffhanger. I would like to continue the story eventually. I feel that there were some characterizations that needed to be further developed.

So what is this story about? Basically, Snow White, Belle, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Aurora are all sentenced by Red Riding Hood (who is Judge) to this boarding house for various crimes they have committed. Then, Snow White figures out she is Snow White, and slowly the other girls figure out who they are. It turns out, that some other person has brought various characters of fairy tales from fairyland to a town called Everafter. Judge Red Hood is set out to permanently lock up these “Bitches” in order to keep, what you eventually learn is a curse, from being broken. Each character, except Snow White really, has some weird twisted storyline. I hate that Rapunzel is called Punzie and Aurora is called Aura. I think the behaviors of the princesses were also super far fetched to the point where the story was not believable at points, even for a fairytale. I think the book ended in an interesting twist, but it does not look like the other books are yet released? This book came out in 2014. So I will need to do some digging eventually 🙂

The Wicked Will Rise

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The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars

First, let me explain, that I think 3 stars is being pretty generous. I have had a lot of hope for this series, I really have. My issue with this story, is similar to my issues with Dorothy Must Die, in that a LOT of information was given, and none of it was necessary. In fact, this book was 293 pages of What the hell?, and felt pointless.

This review is going to be super short. Like, so short it is less than 200 words short. I want to not give any spoilers, even though there aren’t really any spoilers to give. However, of all the ways I could have predicted this book ending, how it ended, was not even on the radar. I am really not sure where this story is going. It is not that I want a predictable story, but these stories goes from point A to point Z and not hit any points in between. I cannot remember the last time I felt this confused and this frustrated from reading a book or series. I feel it held a lot of promise, but somewhere it is just not connecting.

Dorothy Must Die (May contain Spoilers)

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Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Goodreads rating 3 stars

Actual Rating 3.5 stars

I read this book as a buddy read on Goodreads, it is also a book to tick off of my read list for the Retellings Challenge I am currently participating in.

I want to start off by saying, I had a lot of hopes for this book. It felt new, different, and edgy. Yes, it is different, and it is very edgy/dark, which is good. I feel that it some how fell short in multiple places.

First. On the back of the book, it states: Remove the Tin Woodman’s Heart, Steal the Scarecrow’s Brain, Take the Lion’s Courage, and then Dorothy Must Die. Here is where I have issues with this. I was waiting for this information the ENTIRE book, and where did it end? At the end of the book. The majority of this book was Amy being trained by the Wicked witches to kill Dorothy. Amy has her chance, and of course, she isn’t able to. It is then, that she is informed by the Wizard himself that she has to do these other tasks first BEFORE she can kill Dorothy. Lame. To be honest, I am actually convinced that Dorothy may not die at all in this series..that somehow she will be given retribution for her evilness she brought with her to Oz when she returned.

Next. Nox. I can’t place it yet, but he is NOT to be trusted. I can sense betrayal coming a mile away. I also want to put out, whatever Amy is feeling for him, will get her into trouble. We know how she feltish about Pete, and look what happens there! (Which I saw coming a mile away, to be honest).

Finally, this book is written in such a way you question EVERYTHING. I get it, truly, Amy is not supposed to trust anyone but herself right now, but, the two people that I felt could be trusted, get killed off rather quickly. Also, just so it is made known, this is not your mother’s Wizard of Oz. This book is dark, edgy, violent, and will crush your soul. I want to also take a moment to point out, that for as thick as this book is, and for what all happened, it did not feel like much happened at all.

I will continue on with the story, I am intrigued on how this will play out. I can only hope more happens in the next book, however, it is half the size of Dorothy Must Die, so I think it probably will not answer much either.