Don't say Beetlejuice three times.
.Dreaming of Wonderland : Living in reality.
This review can also be found at MissKatiEllen.
How in the heck is it September already?! It’s completely insane that Summer is nearly over, but as it’s that time of the month let’s have a look at what I’ve been reading in August.
READ THE LUNAR CHRONICLES!! If you love fairy tales and love fantasy then do it, part of me is sad that I didn’t read Cinder when it was first released, but I don’t know how I would have survived waiting a year between each book. This has definitely been a series worth waiting for. But the most important question of all, do I read the latest Harry Potter?? I really have no clue where I stand, I think I’m put off with the idea that it’s a script. I feel like so much magical detail will be missing. If you’ve read it let me know your thoughts, I kind of feel like I should give it a read.
My latest buys this month are, The Beast Within by Serena Valentino and A Whole New World by Liz Braswell. After reading Fairest of All by Valentino I was delighted to hear she had another two books on the way, the third being based on Ursula the sea witch. I loved Fairest, and what she did with the character and background of The Evil Queen. So I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one. The second book I bought I discovered when I found The Beast Within. There are three books all based on the idea of what if, in this case; what if Aladdin never found the lamp? I really love the idea of this as it’s different to all the fairy tale based books I’ve been reading.
"Harry heard Phineas Nigellus's voice. 'You know, Minister, I disagree with Dumbledore on many counts...but you cannot deny he's got style...'"
"When Rapunzel saw the prince, she fell over him and began to weep, and her tears dropped into his eyes."
"The cat has caught the bird, and she will scratch out your eyes as well. You will never see your Rapunzel again."
This post can also be found on my blog MissKatiEllen.
I didn’t get a chance to talk more about Vampire Academy as I had so much to cram in. Although I struggled with Rose to begin with I love how she developed and matured, I especially loved that Mead separated Lissa and Rose. It completely changed the game. Rose had to deal with the choices she made, deciding to leave her life behind to track down the man she loved without so much as a explanation could have broken the girls friendship. And choosing to leave meant she could not longer be there to protect Lissa, but being bonded through spirit Rose had to share every moment she couldn’t be there for her. And for Lissa it meant putting her trust in someone who didn’t share a bond, trusting that Rose would come back. Not to mention dealing with the responsibilities and pressures that come with living at Court.
So now it's time for you to help me, your vote is desperately needed as I have next to no clue on what to read next. The first vote is for what to read once I finish Vampire Academy, your choices are:
Blood of Eden by Julie Kawaga.
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
The second vote is for what I should read on my lunch break, your choices are of two:
Time Lord Fairy Tales by Justin Richards.
Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
So get to voting!! Your help is sorely needed.
This series has been on my list for so long, and before I read them they got turned into a TV series on Lifetime, annoyingly it got cancelled. It was one of the few shows about witches and had some fun. Although I knew it wouldn't be the same I was still looking forward to reading the series. The book centres around the Beauchamps, Joanna, Ingrid and Freya banned from using their magic. The story focuses on the three witches slowly breaking the rules and the odd goings on in their town. Surely a little magic can't hurt??
Once the ladies begin to practise their magic things start to happen. Weirdly enough this is almost a sub plot, the main plot of this book is the woman themselves. The chapters alternate between the three. Freya is the youngest of the sisters and far more wild, working in the local bar she begins to whip up a special menu offering love potions which have an instant effect. Freya radiates warmth and a good time, hard to believe she's about to settle down and get married. But when you've found the one you've found the one, right??
Ingrid is practically a middle aged woman, and she knows that's how she comes across. You want her to embrace just a tiny bit of Freya into her life, throw caution to the wind and let her hair down. Literally. Ingrid does come to life when she starts practising magic during her lunchtime, helping out the locals in need of a bit of help. Ingrid can't help but take herself so seriously, she avoids any real 'normal' life. She has few friends and no love life. She has accepted her life as an immortal living among man and throws herself into her work rather than truly living.
Finally, Joanna. Her girls have grown and don't really need her anymore, they spend so much of their lives at work that the three of them are rarely in the house together, Ingrid at the library during the day and Freya at the bar at night. But when she gets to the indulge little Tyler and share her magic with him her heart is fit to burst.
But maybe they got careless with there magic. Maybe Freya mixed too many of one ingredient in her potion or Ingrid tied one of her knots wrong? With a disappearance and a suicide it sure looks like the girls may have done something wrong. The downside to this book is that you don't get to learn much about their background and how they come to be stuck on Midgard. The only obvious thing is that their history is to do with Norse mythology. Not very much really happens in this book, but it does give off the vibe that there is something more to come. In general it's an okay first book, but things don't really pick up till near the end.
Fairytale Retellings by Jackson Pearce: I've really loved this series, so much is always happening, whether it's fights, chases or taking the bull by the horns, Jackson Pearce has put her own stamp on things. Books one and two can easily be read as standalone books, any connections made to the first book aren't obvious, so anyone who has read Sisters Red will appreciate the little links. The only downside to the first book being so good is that I missed all the action and the hunting, but that being said Pearce expanded the supernatural world and really fleshed out a story regarding the wolves, or fenris.
Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz: It's such a shame that this series lacked the pow it deserved, I really felt like it was going to gear up to something. Sticking to the positives though Cruz makes the witches her own by using Norse mythology as their background, something I loved about the Blue Blood novels. In the first and second books Salem is mentioned quite a bit but nothing comes of it until the third book, and thank goodness it did otherwise I'd have very little to say about this. For me the TV series was far more enjoyable, it's just a shame it got cancelled.
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: I'm so annoyed at myself when it comes to this series, because of a personality clash I struggled to get into the series as I wanted to throttle Rose at times. Thankfully she's grownup a lot and come a long way, although her temper has a bad way of getting the best of her she'll go down swinging till the bitter end. So much happens in each book, with seeds being planted and being revisited on and off until it becomes the main focus. This gives the series a great sense of consistency, making each book flow, and reminding me of real life. I was worried that one of the main themes, Moroi politics, would be mentioned and then forgotten about till a book where it would be the main focus, but instead the topic crops up here and there until it's a main focus.
You've no idea how good it feels to be blogging once again!! With the stress of moving, mostly, behind me I can finally get my hands on a laptop and share with you guys once more. The next in our Fairytale retellings by Jackson Pearce is Sweetly based on Hansel and Gretel. This book is set in the same world as Sisters Red, although there are links to the previous books, character and supernatural element you don't have to have read the first instalment. But for those who have the little easter eggs are quite nice as it's not made obvious how the characters link, you just realise. Making a nice touch.
Our story begins, like with the previous book, with the event that shapes their lives. In Ansel and Gretchen's case whilst out playing in the woods as young children their youngest sister is taken from them by the witch. Years later no one believes there was something in that woods chasing them down. Left guilt ridden and scarred of what lies beyond Gretchen and Ansel leave in the hope to make a new start, leaving the terrifying woods behind.
As the older brother Ansel is very protective of his sister, and tries to encourage her to push the fear of the woods away, to embrace the new start, but for Gretchen this is easier said than done. The woods causes her to shut down, and the biggest question haunting her is why her and not me?? Most importantly, is it still out there waiting?? This book gives the impression that the siblings are still mourning in a way, whilst growing up they didn't talk about the sister they lost, like she never existed, so even when their older and standing on their own two feet Gretchen still finds it hard to talk about her, in fact they don't even say her name.
What I love the most about Gretchen is her strength, although not physically strong like Rosie and Scarlett in Sisters Red, Gretchen is determined to face her demons. Especially when her and her brother end up living slap bang in the middle of the woods. There's no escape of the claustrophobic forest around her. Once presented with an opportunity Gretchen takes it, she's determined to find out what out's there and how to defend herself.
There is so much more I want to discuss but I don't want to give away too much, this story is so cleverly retold and leaves you with so many questions both you and Gretchen are dying to have answered. In comparison to the previous book this is more of a slow burner, because the sisters were hunters it meant there was always a fight scene round the corner, whereas this story is built with questions, always more questions.
I really loved this book, it was so good!! I am glad this was told in a different way, I loved that were was constantly another question, you wondered if Gretchen would ever find it all out. As much as I love a fast paced book full of action it's nice to see that an author can pull you in a completely different direction. As always I'd love to hear from you in the comments below, don't forget you can share the love by liking this post and following if you'd like. Until next time.
For all my extra thoughts on these books, then head to my blog MissKatiEllen.
"And so I went into the water. I didn't understand anything, I didn't feel anything; my memories were already fading. I let them fade. I let myself forget. The present didn't make much sense, but it made more sense than the fragments of past floating in my mind.
I became an ocean girl."
After hearing about The Sleeper and the Spindle (review HERE) I was so excited when I heard Hansel and Gretal was also on its way, plus Gaiman had teamed up with a different illustrator. I don’t want to say I was disappointed, because I did enjoy the book, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.
First the story, I thought like The Sleeper and the Spindle it would be a bit different, but it was basically the same story, what I did like was the inclusion of the stories history; a nice touch. But in the end I guess I was expecting more, I feel the only way you could change the story up a bit would be, like the other book, introducing a character from another fairy tale.
Don’t get me wrong I really did love Lorenzo Mattotti’s illustrations, but I’m not used to the lack of detail. For their journey into the forest I felt it worked well; gave the illusion of the enclosing forest. Darkness creeping in. I feel like the detailing was need most when it came to the witches cottage. Again, this is down to personal preference.
"Why do you believe in angels here on shore? Because they have to, I guess. They have to believe in something, or it means we're all just sea foam when it's over-"