Tag Archives: fairy tales

Fairy Tale Book Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Two reasons why this book completely threw me off. Its predictable but not completely as such and not to seem sexist this fairy tale was written by a man.

Before you get all the defensive let me give my review and then plea my case :)

        Harper Collins   Published May 14, 2013             488 Pages
Harper Collins
Published May 14, 2013
488 Pages

Best friends Sophia and Agatha live in a town in which fairy tales are real. The story goes two children are kidnapped and taken to the School for Good or the School of Evil in order to become the villain, the prince, or the princess of a fairy tale. Sophia wants to be kidnapped. She is unhappy with her life at home and plus she is the most beautiful and should be trained to be a princess at the School for Good. Agatha doesn’t believe a word of it but being dressed in all black and not caring what she looks like she would be fitted for the School for Evil.

However, when both of the girls enter the beginnings of this fairy tale you find out that Agatha is placed at the School for Good and Sophia is at the School of Evil. Sophia and Agatha think this is a mistake and they need to simply switch places and all is good. Things aren’t that easy for the ladies and they need to find out who they truly are and how their fairy tale ends.

This book was amazing. The storyline took me by my surprise because there were something that were very expected however, I believe the author wrote it that way to drag into the story so he can prove you wrong. I also loved the fact that although there was an underline to the some of the old fairy tales but it didn’t completely make the story. This is a new fairy tale on its own.

I also liked the fact that it showed the obsession girls have with not only a happy ending but making sure there is a prince in the story. Sophia and Agatha were perfect. I honestly can’t complain or find anything to complain about because they each played their part very well.

I didn’t like the prince . . .  annoying. ANNOYING!

What is not an issue but it didn’t need to be that way . . .  was the length of the book. I didn’t feel the story was dragged out but I wouldn’t have complained if the book was shorter.

Overall, the book gets a perfect score 10 out of 10. Now I was surprised because the author was male because most modern fairy tales are written by women. When I picked up this book or any book there is no attention to what the author looks likes. It is just by chance I looked up this goodreads account.

Anyway perfect book must read. Do I think there needs to be a book two? No, I do not. But I will read it.

Book Review: Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

   Margaret K. McElderry Books         Published Oct. 6, 2009             308 Pages
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published Oct. 6, 2009
308 Pages

Judging a book by its cover can be a good thing sometimes.

Since she was a little girl Cassie has been told a fairy tale by her Grandmother stating that her mother made a deal with the Polar Bear King and because of this deal was blown to the ends of the earth. Now hours away from her 18th birthday Cassie, living with her father at an Artic Research Center, comes face to face with this fairy tale.

The polar bear tells Cassie her mother is alive. So Cassie makes a deal to marry the polar bear if he saves her mother. Deal struck Cassie goes with the polar bear to a place she never would have imagined.

This book was wonderful and cute spin off of the Beauty and the Beast (to me) and the Nordic tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. When I initially saw the cover I didn’t have a lot of hopes for the book *shrugs* I just didn’t like the cover. But because I didn’t like te cover I was pleasently surprised with the book.

What I loved about the book was the longitude and latitude at the beginning of each chapter.  It was different and cute and it kept the reading aware that this girl is/was a scientist and her life was fact not fairy tales. Even at the end she was still scientific because that was who she was.

Cassie was a likeable character. She had her bratty moments but they weren’t too bad. She was a fighter and she fought and did what she had to without complaining! That was the best part. I liked her relationship with Bear (polar bear) it was a gradual love that formed. It made me appreciate it. But there was a creepy part of their relationship that had me stop and was like WHAT? Without giving too much away all I can say is  I don’t blame Bear. He didn’t know and it was a misunderstanding on both their parts.

 Durst wrote the story very well. I wanted more and I didn’t have a dull moment. At one point I did think okay so now what but that is not because I was bored but merely rushing. The book felt magical from the beginning and the imagery was perfect.

Overall the book gets 9 out of 10. Great fairy tale retelling and highly recommended.


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For the Kids Book Review: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

    Walden Pond Press    Publsished Sept 27, 2011               312 Pages
Walden Pond Press
Publsished Sept 27, 2011
312 Pages

Hazel and Jack have been friends since they were six years old. They are now in fifth grade and still really close of friends sharing books and stories created by their imagination. That is until one day Jack stops talking to Hazel. Just completely stops leaves her for other friends and begins acting mean to her. Hazel doesn’t understand why the sudden change.

Smart for her age Hazel knows in time they may not be friends anymore but this was too sudden.  And she’s right Jack goes missing. Comes to find out a woman dressed in white that lives in a castle of ice has taken Jack and it is up to Hazel to get him back in the deep mysterious woods.

This book was a surprise because it didn’t contain action although it feels like it should. Not to say that it is a bad story because of this because it is not. In actuality it was a very cute story about friendship and what the heart truly desires.

For Hazel, Jack is what makes her life worth living. She is adopted, her parents divorced and she had to go to a new school in which everyone acknowledges the fact that she is an Indian girl with a white mother. Jack doesn’t make her feel different and he is helping her through these changes.

Now Hazel’s mother was getting on my nerves. She didn’t want Hazel to spend all her time with Jack. She wanted Hazel to have female friends so she forced her to go hang out with another little girl. Although Hazel did branch out a bit, her mother was a bit of a mess. She wanted Hazel to do different things but when she asked to do something different she told her no.

When Hazel enters the forest she is told constantly to return home and not approach the witch. She is also told constantly throughout the story that even if Jack came back he wouldn’t be the same and at some point she would be a pleasant memory to him. I liked the fact that Hazel acknowledge that but didn’t care she wanted him home and safe.

What I didn’t like about the book how there weren’t any real challenges. All she did was say no throughout the entire story and push through. Even when she reached the Queen she wasn’t evil nor was there a fight or a trick, it was simply if you can convince him to leave then I won’t stop you. I thought that was too easy even for a child.

Overall the book gets 8 out of 10. A slow but recommended read for children who do not mind the non violence.

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Book Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

To be perfectly honest, this is my first science fiction book. I’m not exactly sure why I have never picked up a science fiction book before but . . .  yea I just never did until Cinder.

Cinder by Marissa Meyers (goodreads)
Cinder by Marissa Meyers (goodreads)

Cinder is a cyborg and she lives in a world where most if not all people do not like cyborgs. But Cinder is special she is the best mechanic known in her land and she also happens to be 16 years old. But that is not the only thing that makes her special. To Cinder her past is unknown and her future becomes even more cloudy when the Prince comes to her stand looking for her services.

Cinder seems to be a play on Cinderella but in science fiction. She has the mother that hates her and the evil stepsister (she actually happens to like the other one).  What I loved about this book was Cinder herself. She was strong but not that strong in which she makes things difficult for herself or those around her. She also had a plan for her life and I don’t mean college or anything of that matter. I mean she knew she wanted to get from under her Stepmother and didn’t cause her any harm or mistreatment to do that. I thought that showed Cinder as a thoughtful and overall a person of good heart.

What the author was able to do for me (since I usually stay away from science fiction) is make me like Cinder so much I kept reading. Also the ending was actually really good; you find out the biggest mystery of Cinder’s past but I am not sure about how exactly that information helps her because when I previewed the second book she doesn’t seem to really do anything with it. Like it is really a huge piece of information.

Overall, I think if you’re into science fiction perfect read. This book gets a 8 out of 10.


Book Review: Troll’s Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Before I begin to speak about this collection of short stories, let me explain why I picked it up. I love fairy tales and I love twisted fairy tales; so when I saw the cover of this book I said “WOW! I have to read this; it looks like it can scare me.”  The cover is perfect for a twisted fairy tale or for any horror book.


With that being said I was disappointed with the book because there was nothing scary or even gross within any of the short stories. The authors range from Wendy Froud, Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Jane Yolen and plenty more.

I am going to take the time to mention three stories. “Wizard’s Apprentice” written by Delia Sherman was the first story that had a lot of potential about an evil wizard, who wasn’t really evil at all. Mean? Yes, but not evil. The story was well written about a boy who runs away from an abusive uncle and end up at an evil wizard’s bookshop. But the story feels cut short, obviously it’s a short story, but it doesn’t need to feel that way.

Another story called “Rags and Riches” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman and this story was disappointing because it was done before. A princess takes her servant to go a new kingdom in which she is to marry the prince. The servant, when they are alone, forces the princess to swap clothing and horses, so she can pose as the princess and get all the riches and of course the prince.  This is the one story that I thought lacked originality.

Finally, my last short story spotlight wasn’t a story after all but a poem called “Faery Tales” by Wendy Froud. I wasn’t expecting a poem in a short story collection; a cute poem but in my eyes not suited for a supposedly twisted fairy tale.

This collection of short stories was a bit misleading due to the title. Although there were some good stories most just didn’t click. This book gets an

 5 out of 10.