What am I reading this week? #Reading #AmReading #BookLovers

Because I’m not reviewing very much right now, I thought I’d do another post highlighting what I’m reading this week.

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Last week I finished Depravity by M.J. Haag and shared my review on Friday. I enjoyed the book (despite some niggles) and went right on to book two in the series titled Deceit. I DNFed the second book about half way through and won’t be finishing the trilogy. It became too weird for me. I normally don’t DNF books, but I just couldn’t handle this one. I liked that the characters were developing more and the beast was more understood, but the details were too much for me. I’m not going to tear the book apart though, and I didn’t rate it because I didn’t totally finish it.

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I’ve decided to finally read Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which is now a movie releasing on Friday. I bought the book from Barnes and Noble and will be starting it today.

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Continue reading “What am I reading this week? #Reading #AmReading #BookLovers”

Book Review: Depravity (Beastly Tales #1) by M.J. Haag #Retelling #2019ReadingChallenge #BeautyandtheBeast

Depravity (Beastly Tales, #1)

By M.J. Haag

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My thoughts:

While searching for retellings on Amazon, this book popped up: Depravity by M.J. Haag. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings, and this being categorized as an adult romance pulled me right in. I was able to get the ebook on Amazon for free and ended up purchasing the Audible version as well.

The story begins with Benella, a teenage girl living with her father (Bernard) and two sisters (Bryn and Blye). Her mother has passed away and the family struggles to make ends meet. Her father works as a teacher, and one sister as a seamstress, but they still have little money or food to eat. The sisters try to save as much coin as possible, even if it results in the family starving. The girls are coming of age and old enough to marry, but depsite their father’s hope’s, struggle to find suitable husbands that they approve of.

Benella forages for food along an enchanted estate, finding crops to either share with her family or trade for other goods.  She eventually encounters the beast who lives at the estate. The beast is angry and has been known to capture people, but he allows Benella to go free, yet consistently asks her to stay with him at his estate. The beast perplexes Benella as she strives to care for her family, and tries to stay safe from two village boys who are relentlessly trying to beat her up.

It’s been mentioned that this is an erotic and seductive tale; however, I surely didn’t think it was very erotic at all. When the story first began there was a sexual scene, but it was vaguely described. As the book went on, it wasn’t until the last third where some other sexual scenes came about (one very uncomfortable one including a sexual encounter with a wood nymph), but most others were on the light side in my opinion. I expected romance here between Benella and the beast to eventually develop, but instead the ending was left wide open, resulting in me feeling compelled to read book two and three.

As far as the worldbuilding and character development, I found it just okay. There really wasn’t much imagery at all. Naturally, I wanted to know more about the beast, but hardly any information was given besides him being extremely angry, and of course having a tail.  He’s not well understood, but maybe the characters will flesh out in book two and three. With that said, I did find it unique how the author wrote scenes in her own way, making this retelling stand out from other Beauty and the Beast retellings. I was also on the edge of my seat during a few parts.

I did enjoy the author’s writing, but wish the story was more of a romance as labeled, and that it had more detail. As a retelling as a whole, it was enjoyable, and the Audible narrator was great.

I’d rate this one 3.5 and round up to 4****. My plan is to move right along to book two to discover what’s to come of Benella and the beast.

Continue reading “Book Review: Depravity (Beastly Tales #1) by M.J. Haag #Retelling #2019ReadingChallenge #BeautyandtheBeast”

Book Review: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly #BookReview #Stepsister #ReadingChallenge #2019ReadingChallenge #Retellings

Stepsister

By Jennifer Donnelly

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I read Jennifer Donnelly’s Lost in a Book which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and I truly loved it, so Stepsister was highly anticipated. There’s a special place in my heart for fairy tales, especially Cinderella. To be honest, I haven’t read that many Cinderella retellings.

Will my review spoil this book? Not totally…although I do mention the plot and certain themes which lead into the ending.

Stepsister begins right at the end of Cinderella as the prince seeks the girl to fit the slipper. Isabelle and Octavia–the evil stepsisters–will do whatever it takes to get the slipper to fit, even if it requires cutting off parts of their feet. Once everyone notices what the sisters have done, they are shamed and hated throughout the kingdom, and their sister Ella now sits with the prince.

Continue reading “Book Review: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly #BookReview #Stepsister #ReadingChallenge #2019ReadingChallenge #Retellings”

A to Z Challenge “P” The Princess Bride “Storybook Love” #AtoZChallenge #ThePrincessBride

I’ve joined in for the A to Z challenge this year which runs from April 1st to the 30th. My choice of theme is Music from Favorite Films. I’ll be sharing the songs in order of film title and will write a little about my thoughts on the movie as well.

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The Princess Bride is a classic fairy tale adventure which shares a story within a story. It begins with a sick grandson (Fred Savage) and his grandfather (Peter Falk) who reads him the story The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

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As the story is told, we’re introduced to Wesley (Cary Elwes), a young farm boy, and Buttercup (Robin Wright), his one true love. There isn’t anything Wesley wouldn’t do for Buttercup.

Buttercup: “Farm boy, polish my horse’s saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning.”

Westley: “As you wish.”

Buttercup: “Farm boy, fill these with water – please.”

Westley: “As you wish.”

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Book Review: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer #BookReview #2019ReadingChallenge #EchoNorth #Retelling

Echo North 

By Joanna Ruth Meyer

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My review:

The first quarter of Echo North was wonderful and had me captivated as everything was setting up, but the rest of the book was up and down for me. I wanted to fall in love with this book, but it turned out to be just an okay read for me.

The story begins with Echo, a young girl who lost her mother at birth and now lives with her father and brother. After attempting to help a wolf in a trap escape, Echo is attacked and her face is permanently scared. She’s treated differently because of her scars and ends up working in her father’s bookshop with little belief in herself. After being reunited with the wolf who attacked her, she agrees to live in his magical house for one year which will spare her father’s life. The wolf intends for her to be the new ‘keeper’ of the house because he’s dying and there is no one to tend to it. Echo wishes to find a way to save his life as she struggles to help keep the house from unbinding, with more rooms disappearing each day.

“Everyone is searching for their true selves. But everyone hides their true selves from each other. Look for the truth. If you find it, you will see through the enchantment.”

I love retellings and did feel the similarities (although subtle) to Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, but the book had some definite uniqueness to it. I can say with certainty that I haven’t read a book with a library of enchanted ‘book mirrors’ in it before, where you enter a mirror and become part of the story within it, visiting all different sorts of book-worlds, all containing different adventures. The idea is unique to me and what I found most interesting in the tale. I also had questions throughout the story with certain parts that were puzzling, but appreciated that everything was nicely wrapped up by the end of the book.

Continue reading “Book Review: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer #BookReview #2019ReadingChallenge #EchoNorth #Retelling”

Shabby Sunday: Hans in Luck by Paul Galdone – 1979 (Brothers Grimm) #ChildrensBooks #VintageBooks #ShabbySunday

Shabby Sunday

I have a bunch of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every now and then sharing one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use my meme image if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Last time I shared:

Cabbage Moon 

Today’s Shabby Share:

Hans in Luck by Paul Galdone

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Hans in Luck is a children’s book I found at a sale many years ago. It became a favorite right away and now remains on our shelf. This fairy tale is German in origin and was recorded by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. This is a retelling that’s simplified, but the author stays true to the original. Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Hans in Luck by Paul Galdone – 1979 (Brothers Grimm) #ChildrensBooks #VintageBooks #ShabbySunday”