Genre: retelling

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Feb 18
{Review} Never Never by Brianna Shrum

{Review} Never Never by Brianna Shrum

Never Never is a Peter Pan retelling told from Captain Hook’s perspective. This standalone novel is Brianna Shrum’s debut book and I thought she did a really good job with it. I loved that it was Hook’s story. It was reminiscent of the kind of hook and pan from Once Upon a Time, so if you love Hook in that show as much as I do, this is a book you will want to check out. It features an evil Pan, and a more nuanced, but very much bent on revenge Hook. This Hook doesn’t hold a candle to Storybrook’s Hook, but it did come much closer than I expected it to. Never Never follows Hook throughout his life, starting out when he was a small boy. This was his first run in with Peter Pan, and it was clear that as soon as Peter tricked Hook that his hatred started. And it only grew throughout the story. Hook is a very different person than many of Peter’s lost boys…. Read more »

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Dec 07
{Interview+Giveaway} Never Never by Brianna Strum @briannashrum

{Interview+Giveaway} Never Never by Brianna Strum @briannashrum

Describe Never Never in a Tweet (140 characters or less) Trapped in Neverland, in love with Tiger Lily who loves another, obsessed with going home. The story of Capt. Hook What do you think is the hardest part of writing a retelling? I’d say the hardest part for me was that I REALLY wanted to stay very true to the original. I wanted the events of PETER PAN to play out exactly as they had in the original, but to show you a completely different side of things (as well as a whole new backstory), and there were several events from the original that were realllly difficult to write and still portray Hook as the protagonist. So staying true to the original while still spinning it to be your own is tricky! What are some of your favorite fairy tales? (or their retellings?) I love Beauty and the Beast (so say we all), and I have a deep love/hate relationship with The Little Mermaid. (I’m blergghhhh on Ariel, but ADORE… Read more »

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Dec 01
{Interview+Giveaway} A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas @RhiannonKT

{Interview+Giveaway} A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas @RhiannonKT

1. Describe A Wicked Thing in a Tweet (140 characters or less) The story of what happens after Sleeping Beauty wakes up. 2. What do you think is the hardest part of writing a retelling? Finding the balance between the traditional story and your own ideas. I’ve definitely read retellings that seemed to be held back by the need to include certain familiar elements, but if you wander too far from the familiar, is it really a retelling any more? 3. What are some of your favorite fairy tales? (or their retellings?) My favorite fairy tale has always been The Little Mermaid. The imagery really stuck with me, like the description that every step felt like she was dancing on knives… which is a pretty morbid detail for a kid to find compelling, now that I think about it. As for favorite retellings, I have to gush over Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell. It’s such an amazing, magical, emotional book. 4. Did you plan your novel out or did you let… Read more »

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Oct 26
{Review} Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas @sprineas @harperteen

{Review} Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas @sprineas @harperteen

Ash & Bramble is the perfect embodiment of everything I love about fairy tale retellings. It is a wildly imaginative take on not only the classic story of cinderella, but also on the fairy tale world in general. I love the dark atmosphere, and all of the moving parts to Ash & Bramble. There is a whole lot going on, but they all fit together in such a fascinating way. The reader is given just enough information to be tantalizingly confused. Not overwhelmingly so, just enough to make you want to get to the next page a little bit faster. And as with all of my favorite retellings, there is a wonderful mixture of classic fairy tale elements put into a wonderfully imagined world, and spun around and mixed up to show the authors creative take on it all. I loved the main character Pin. I love how inquisitive, brave and independent she was. And I love that her bravery and spunk inspired Shoe to be braver. That is the… Read more »

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Oct 01
{Review} Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons @CuriosityQuills

{Review} Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons @CuriosityQuills

Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David Hammons is a young adult fairy tale mash up, that will remind fans of a younger version of Once Upon a Time. I have a love for all things Wonderlandian, so it is no wonder that I was immediately drawn to Alice Takes Back Wonderland. The book starts out when Alice is about 7 and is somehow in Wonderland. But she is not the Alice from the story, she is an American Alice from the Midwest. Her first trip in Wonderland is short, but it left a lasting impression on her. Fast forward 10 years, and she Alice has almost convinced herself that it was just a dream. But then the Rabbit shows up at her door and takes her back to a very different wonderland. Although I found the start of the story a bit slow, I really did love the set up. I loved that this was not the Alice from the story, and I loved the idea that the Villain in… Read more »

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May 15
{ARC Review+Giveaway} Spelled by @BetsySchow @SourcebooksFire

{ARC Review+Giveaway} Spelled by @BetsySchow @SourcebooksFire

Spelled is one of those books where I fell in love the first time I saw the cover. I have always loved The Wizard of Oz, and I have been loving fairy tale re-tellings, so I knew this would be a match made somewhere over the rainbow for me. And I was so right. Spelled is so much fun that I want to pick it up and read it again right now. Betsy Schow has taken a classic tale that is already so fantastical and turned everything on its’ head. Who you know as good might turn bad and vice versa. And Betsy was not satisfied with just the land of Oz, so she took all kinds of fairy tale worlds and created a delightful mashup. Dot, or Dorothea is a the princess of the Emerald city, and because of a curse-gone-wrong on all the major fairy tale families long long ago, she isn’t allowed to leave the castle. Someone in her line of women is rumored to be more… Read more »

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Dec 16
{Excerpt+Giveaway} Figment: Insanity Book 2 by @CameronJace

{Excerpt+Giveaway} Figment: Insanity Book 2 by @CameronJace

This series looks awesome. I have a review of the first book coming up early next year (in Feb. I think) and I can’t wait to start reading it. Book 2 is out now, so if you love book one or if you are new to the series, check out this excerpt and enter the giveaways to win a copy for yourself. There is also a grand prize of a $100 amazon gift card so don’t miss that!   “Are you wearing this dress for me?” He has his arm resting on the doorframe, a seductive gleam flowering in his eyes. “Jack!” I tiptoe like a young girl meeting her loved one after he has been away for long. “With a dress like that, I could get on my knees and propose.” I am sure I am blushing, so I lower my head and lace my hands. Slowly, Jack’s finger nudges me back to look at him. “You know I am poor and can’t afford a ring, right?” “You’re just… Read more »

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Jul 29
{Review} Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard @LesaBoutin

{Review} Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard @LesaBoutin

Phantom’s Dance is a contemporary re-telling of Phantom of the Opera. The story was great. I thought Lesa Howard had a beautiful dichotomy in her writing between the young, upbeat, and sweet feel of the teenagers in the story, along with the dark vibe that is the Phantom. Fans of the Phantom of the Opera should not mist Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard. It was really cool to see the Opera and music get substituted with dancing. They so often go hand and hand, but Ballet is an excellent art to see woven into the story of the Phantom. Christine moves to Houston to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. She is clearly an excellent dancer, but things in her life are holding her back from moving up to join their second company. I will admit that I didn’t know very much about the technical side of Ballet, except for a few phrases I have seen thrown around in movies and tv. But Lesa Howard made the world of dance… Read more »

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May 19
{Review+Giveaway} Only With You by Cecilia Gray

{Review+Giveaway} Only With You by Cecilia Gray

I’m going to be honest with you. I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like this book before I started it. I read it because I have loved all of the other books in the Jane Austen Academy series, but this one was about Emma. And because we started the series with Lizzie, Emma was the “mean girl”. I just wasn’t too sure how I was going to connect with her. But I am super pleased to say that I ended up really, really enjoying her story. Each book in the Jane Austen Academy series focuses on a different friend from the school, and each of the books can be read as a standalone. When I first started reading Only With You, Emma seemed like a completely different person than I remembered her. She was such a do-gooder; nice to everyone and she seemed really selfless. But then as the story continued, I started to see more and more of the Emma I remembered, and oddly enough it… Read more »

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