Posted in Book Review, Fairy tale retelling, Grades 4-6, Grades 6-8

Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White & the Seven Dwarves

Review:

Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - Liesl Shurtliff

Audience: Middle Grade
Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

I was born just feet from the surface of the earth, completely unheard of for a dwarf, but it couldn’t be helped.
– first sentence

The dwarf’s name is Borlen and his nickname is Grump. This story is set in the same world as Rump, Jack, and Red and written by the same author, Liesl Shurtliff. I really enjoy this series and I am always happy to see a new book come out. The series takes fairy tale retellings to a new level. The characters are all part of the same larger world and I love the way Shurtliff weaves them all together.

Borlen is obsessed with the surface even though most dwarves are terrified of it. He always feels like a bit of an outsider. When he finally finds himself above ground, his first friend is Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.). Readers know she is the Evil Queen, but Borlen is fairly naive and thinks she is his friend (his only friend). And so, Borlen gets caught up in the Queen’s plot against Snow White.

I loved the characters in this story and the story itself. Grump is so complicated and conflicted but also very clever. At first Snow White seems like a self-centered, spoiled brat, but later we find out she is more complex than that. The crew that Borlen is a part of consists of seven dwarves – of course, one of whom sneezes a lot – go figure.

I highly recommend this book to readers in grades 4 and up, especially fans of fairy tale retellings. I read this as part of the Goodreads HA A-to-Z Challenge and for space #1 in the Snakes and Ladders game (book with a female author).

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Posted in Book Review, Fairy tale retelling, Young Adult

Part of Your World: A Twisted Tale

Review:

Audience: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover/Owned

What if Ariel hadn’t defeated Ursula? Hmmm…. Well, Ursula would be married to Prince Eric and in control of the kingdom. Triton would be gone and Ariel would be the queen of Atlantica. Ariel also wouldn’t have a voice. The book opens 5 years after Ursula wins and she has Eric and the kingdom under a sort of hypnosis.

I have a confession: I love fractured fairy tales. I love the way authors take these stories that everyone knows and turn them into something different and in some cases, wildly entertaining. And this was definitely one of those cases. It was fascinating to see how the responsibilities of being queen changed Ariel; she is no longer the flighty young girl who fell in insta-love with a human.

I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the rest of the Twisted series (A Whole New WorldOnce Upon a Dream, and As Old as Time all by Braswell; and Reflection by Elizabeth Lim).

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Posted in Book Review, Fairy tale retelling, Fantasy, Grades 3-5

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood

Review:

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood - Liesl Shurtliff

Audience: Upper Elementary/Middle School

The first time I tried my hand at magic, I grew roses out of my nose.

– First sentence

Red’s granny is sick (maybe dying) and she is determined to find a way to save her. She sets off on an adventure that brings understanding, knowledge, fear, excitement and even unexpected friendships.

Other books in this series include Rump, Jack, and Grump. They all come from the same world, but see it from different perspectives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. I haven’t read Grump, but I’m sure it won’t disappoint. Red is a great character though a bit naive and sheltered. She learns a great deal during her adventure and grows into a stronger person.

Bottom line: A fresh take on the story of Red Riding Hood that will take you on an exciting adventure filled with danger and unexpected friendships.

 

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Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Fairy tale retelling, Horror

Alice by Christina Henry

Review:

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“One day, long ago, she’d gone seeking an adventure and found terror instead. That day had changed the course of her life, and left her hands awash in blood. It was not her fault, but this was how it must be. She understood that now.”

Poor, trusting Alice. She went with her best friend on a supposed adventure and ended up in an insane asylum. She doesn’t remember what happened, only before and after. Before, she was a sweet innocent girl who lived in the New City, and after, she was found wandering the streets of the Old City with blood on her thighs muttering about a rabbit. Now, she has the chance to escape the asylum with Hatcher (who was living on the other side of the wall for 8 years) and she is about to embark on an even stranger adventure, dark, bloody, and frankly a bit disturbing.

This is not the Alice you remember from the Disney movie, some of the characters are here: Alice, Cheshire, the Rabbit, the Caterpillar, but they are not as you remember them. This book is full of violence, human trafficking, and rape. Women are treated as objects at best and as sex toys or killing toys at worst. Sections of the Old City are owned by ruthless gang lords, and women are never safe there. But, this is also a story of justice and revenge. Believe me when I say Alice & her friend Hatcher (from the asylum) are no slackers when it comes to giving people what they deserve.

So, should you read it? Well, if you like dark, creepy, retellings which are more horror than fantasy, and if you won’t be disturbed by the violence, then go for it. If you are the tiniest bit squeamish, then I suggest you pass.

 

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