Book Review, Re-Telling, retelling

A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary via Amazon:Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends. But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.”

My Review: A fun, fast paced YA retelling of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. 

Save for a few long-winded paragraphs of narrative, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. I really liked Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson together. It’s great Holmes is a girl in this story. And though some readers criticize her as having the same personality and characteristics of Sherlock, I think that’s what I liked most about her. 

For those who know the Holmes and Watson stories well, this might not be as exciting to read–or maybe you’ll like it even more. I can understand the desire for something new in a retelling. But, for me, this was a riveting adventure. I didn’t mind how it followed some of the original stories, since I didn’t know them well to begin with. 

I picked this book up, read half of it in a day and finished it in only a few hours. The pacing is phenomenonal and the writing style makes it easy to read. There were a few info-dumpy paragraphs I skipped, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

Book Review, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult

And I Darken by Kiersten White

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Short Summary: A fictional retelling of Vlad the Impaler, with a gender flip. Lada is a brutal princess. She bides her time in the Ottoman Empire with her brother, Radu, until she can return home to claim her throne. 

My Review: Pleasantly surprised, though not at all what I was expecting it to be. I’ll be honest, I preordered this one for its beautiful cover and was hooked by the first few pages of the sample. 

I love the idea of gender swapping Vlad for Lada. She’s ruthless as a child. However, as she gets older there’s a bit of a lull where her character starts to change because of a potential romance building. I think this tenderness takes away from the unlovable Lada, who the readers are hooked by in the beginning. I’m hoping book two brings back her fiery passion, the unrelenting princess–since, in the end, she’s decided to sacrifice the one thing that might have tamed her. 

I didn’t enjoy Radu nearly as much as Lada, though I did appreciate the feelings he develops for a man close to him. I thought this conflict added great tension to the story and pushed Radu to be braver and stronger. 

There’s nothing I didn’t like about the author’s writing style. However, there were times the pacing slows, and I skipped full paragraphs of drawn-out explanations or backstory, which I would have cut out completely. 

Overall, the writing is fantastic, the story is unique, the title is badass and so is the main character. I’ll be purchasing the second book (and repurchasing this one since it’s full of sand and salt water from the beach). 

Book Review, Fairytale, Fiction, Magic, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Short Summary: A retelling of how Peter’s favorite and first lost boy became his enemy, Hook. 

My Review: I read this book in a day. I couldn’t put it down. The pacing and excitement of Neverland mischief and battles doesn’t slow down. 

Getting into Jamie’s head, seeing his compassion for the boys Peter doesn’t care about, and feeling his anger over Peter’s betrayal was emotionally provoking. I was cheering on Jamie the whole time, routing for Peter to fail. 

The story is dark, like Barrie’s original Peter Pan, since it leads up to Pan and Hook’s rivalry. If you didn’t like Peter’s character in the original, you probably won’t like him in this book. Though, I have to say, I enjoyed this story ten times more than I did the original. If you’re like me, and Hook is your favorite character of the two and you like the dark twist of Peter Pan, then this is the perfect book for you! 

Overall, this is one of my new favorites I’m adding to my bookshelf. I bought the paperback from Amazon for my own enjoyment. 

Uncategorized

Packing for Camp

My current goal for July is 50k word count for a Dystopian Tinker Bell retelling.
Working Title/Cover temporary.

Pixie Dust

 

It’s been a challenge working on this outline. I went back and read Peter Pan by JM Berrie, but as fun as it was to read, it wasn’t much help. I’ve also binged watching the Disney Tinker Bell movies for inspiration. So far, I have a beginning and end, but the middle is lacking. I’m also struggling to decide if this will be a pure dystopian tale, or include some fantasy and/or sci-fi. My thoughts are all over the place, and I’m scrambling to figure it all out this week. But, I’m excited to get writing! Tinker Bell is my favorite character ♥

Seeing how this will be the first time I’ve ever participated in Camp Nanowrimo, I’m pretty excited. I’ve somehow managed to herd the #witlingwriter gang on twitter to join me in a cabin. We are looking forward to getting started on current or new works-in-progress. If you’re interested in joining our cabin, contact me for more information or message me on Twitter @annhlynn.

Camp-2017-Participant-Twitter-Header (1)

Book Review, Fairytale, Fantasy, Re-Telling

Of Cinder and Madness by Nicole Zoltack

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Kindle Version. 

Short Summary: A dark Cinderella re-telling. Finding her happily-ever-after and falling in love prove difficult for Angelique when her stepdaughter, Eleanore, threatens her life and the lives of her two daughters with dark magic.

My Review: Exciting dark twist to a normally happy story, this book kept me glued to the page from start to finish. Its fast pace makes it a quick read. There wasn’t one time where the narrative slowed or interrupted me. The backstory, the time jumping from past to present and the dialogue were well written and well executed.

This might be one of my new favorite Cinderella stories. I didn’t want it to end, and look forward to reading more from Nicole Zoltack.

I read this book for my own enjoyment.