Book Review: Nordic Tales by Chronicle Books & Ulla Thynell (Illustrator) #NordicTales #ChronicleBooks #FolkTales #FairyTales #BookReview

Nordic Tales

By: Chronicle Books

Illustrator: Ulla Thynell

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My Review:

Nordic Tales by Chronicle Books and illustrated by Ulla Thynell is a beautiful collection of 17 folk tales from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. Every tale varies in length, but most are fairly quick and easy to read.

The book is divided into three sections: Transformation, Wit, and Journeys.  Under each title, the author has included where it originates, and a few tales have more information attached at the bottom of the page for more clarification of a word used, or a historical fact; for example, the word jöjking is a Finnish word which means to sing songs.

Many of the tales in this book were unfamiliar to me, while others reminded me of tales from childhood; for example, “The Old Woman and the Tramp” was very similar to “Stone Soup” with the concept and the lesson it teaches of kindness and sharing. Another familiar tale was “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”. Most contain  folkloric characters we’re all familiar with including trolls, witches, dragons, giants, and talking animals of course. Some tales end happily, while others don’t.

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Book Review: The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events #10) #BookReview #ChildrensBooks #Fiction

The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events #10)

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By Lemony Snicket

My review:

The Slippery Slope, book number ten in A Series of Unfortunate Events, begins right where book nine left off. It’s as terrifying as ever with poor little Sunny Baudelaire now separated from her older siblings and in Count Olaf’s clutches. Not only is Sunny in danger, but Violet and Klaus are in their own horrifying predicament: speeding down the Mortmain Mountains in an uncontrolled caravan. As they descend further and further away from Sunny, they scramble to concoct a plan, and contemplate when and if they’ll be reunited with Sunny again.

Violet and Klaus moved closer to one another, and felt the icy winds of the Mortmain Mountains blow down the road less traveled and give them goosebumps. They looked at the dark and swirling waters of the Stricken Stream, and they looked down from the edge of the peak into the mist, and then looked at one another and shivered, not only at the fates they had avoided, but all the mysterious fates that lay ahead.

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Book Review: Stranger Things: The Other Side by Jody Houser #BookReview #StrangerThings #GraphicNovel

Stranger Things: The Other Side

By Jody Houser

 Stefano Martino, Keith Champagne, Lauren Affe, and Nate Piekos (Illustrators)

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My thoughts:

I was super excited to read this book which contains Stranger Things: The Other Side comics #1-4. Stranger Things is one of my favorite Netflix series (all three seasons), so I grabbed this as soon as I saw it.

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These four comics are basically Will’s story from the Upside Down, which is something you don’t get much of in the series. It was neat seeing some of the different events that were happening with Will, but some of it seemed like speculation to me; for instance, I don’t remember Will finding Barb’s glasses or helping her in the Upside Down. Maybe I’ve forgotten some flashbacks in season two, but I don’t think so. I also don’t remember Will having his gun in the Upside Down once he was taken from home either. Little things like this niggled me, but it’s neat to see someone else’s perspective. I may need to rewatch the first two seasons to see if I missed some things because these scenes are thought-provoking. Other parts in the book are exactly like the series.  Continue reading “Book Review: Stranger Things: The Other Side by Jody Houser #BookReview #StrangerThings #GraphicNovel”

Book Review: The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events #9) #Book Review #ChildrensBooks #Fiction

The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events #9)

By Lemony Snicket

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In this installment, the Baudelaires arrive at Caligari Carnival after hitching a ride in Count Olaf’s trunk. Their plan, as usual, is to seek safety from Count Olaf, but they soon discover that there’s nowhere to go, and Count Olaf will be in the vicinity for some time to come. They take a huge chance by disguising themselves as freaks in order to participate in Caligari Carnival’s freak show (Violet and Clause as a two-headed freak, and Sunny as Chabo the Wolf Baby), which lands them working right alongside Count Olaf.

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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.

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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.

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