Friday, December 29, 2017

Faerie Tale Friday: Rumpelstiltskin by K.M. Shea (Timeless Fairy Tales #4)

The Book:
side+crop+of+paperback+image+TSTME (1)
Book Title: Rumpelstiltskin
Book Author: K.M. Shea
Page Count: 236
Publishing Date: December 11,, 2014
Publisher: Take Out the Trash
Date Read: December 28th, 2017
Synopsis: When 17-year-old Gemma, a seamstress, is ordered by the insane King Torgen to spin straw into gold or be put to death, she knows her life is forfeit. Unwilling to give up, Gemma tries to escape her prison, earning her the respect of the mysterious mage, Stil. Stil offers to complete the impossible task…for a price. Greedy and unsatisfied, King Torgen demands more and more straw to be spun into gold, and decrees that he will “reward” Gemma by marrying her. With death or marriage to a crazed king clouding her future, Stil offers Gemma a bargain that seems too good to be true. Will Gemma’s trust in Stil be her downfall, or will he defy the entire country to save her?
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The Original Faerie Tale:

The original tale of Rumpelstilzchen originated in Germany about 4000 years ago! It was collected by the Brothers Grimm in 1812.

Fun Fact: "The name Rumpelstilzchen in German means literally "little rattle stilt", a stilt being a post or pole that provides support for a structure. A rumpelstilt or rumpelstilz was consequently the name of a type of goblin, also called a pophart or poppart, that makes noises by rattling posts and rapping on planks. The meaning is similar to rumpelgeist ("rattle ghost") or poltergeist, a mischievous spirit that clatters and moves household objects." (Quoted from Wikipedia)


                     Illustration by Walter Crane from Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm (1886)

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The Review:

"A friendship is filled with only as much love as you give."
Rumpelstiltskin is magical, whimsical, and enchanting! It's a truly beautiful tale for faerie tale lovers! With bits of humor, intrigue, and the power of true love, this one is sure to have you turning the pages!

 Ah, do you hear that? That is the sound of satisfaction from another beautiful read! I absolutely adored this version of Rumpelstiltskin! It was full of charm and fascination! If you haven't noticed by now, K.M Shea is becoming my favorite author! Her faerie tale retellings hold all the best pieces of the original tales, but also offer originality and beauty that you can't find anywhere else! Her version of Rumpelstiltskin is a perfect example of this!

 Her writing style has continued to impress me with each tale. This one drew me in with elegant imagery and plenty of humor and love. The story flowed effortlessly, and Shea's faerie tale world has continued to flourish and become realized! I loved the fact that this could be read as a stand alone, but also held glorious bits of her past tales to initiate the notorious reading "oohs" and "aahhs".

 When compared to the original tale, Shea kept a few aspects that seemed to be key to the story, such as the boasting father, the threatening king, and the exchange of trades offered to Rumpelstiltskin for spinning the gold. But, she also threw her own twists in that not only surprised me as a reader, but also felt like they fit the story. The tale was changed, in a fantastical way, to feel like a different tale from long ago.

 And, who could get over the starring role of Gemma, the seamstress? She should have been in the tale from the beginning of time. She was beautiful, intelligent, determined, kind, and caring. She was strong and brave, and shined with a noble personality. She was my favorite because she handled everything with such poise, and her character was truly admired by all!

 I also loved Lady Linnea! Shea truly understands the importance of girl power, strong friendships, and women uplifting women, because she has written another fabulous friend in her tale! Linnea was the image of grace and beauty, not only because she was beautiful on the outside, but because she was beautiful on the inside. She was a fiercely loyal friend to Gemma, and never let their social class differences stand in the way. Linnea represented true love in a sisterly kind of way.

 And, of course, there was Stil. His character was truly magical. No, really, he was a mage. He was so fascinating and striking in comparison to the original Rumpelstiltskin. When I said Shea made this tale her own, she made Stil her own too. His character was kind, determined, and loyal. He contrasted the original in so many amazing ways, and I loved him!

Like her past three tales, this one had an old world charm, swirled with magical enchantment and moral beauty. I loved the elegance of the writing and the mix of humor and fantasy. If you haven't picked up any books by K.M. Shea yet, you are seriously missing out!
"She's expressive all right. But its in her eyes- the way they shift from ice whens he's upset to sapphires when she's happy..."

Thank you to the author for sending me this free e-copy in exchange for my honest review, and as part of my Faerie Tale Friday posts.

Quotes used are from the book, written by the author.
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gold faerie

I edited the coloring of a Miss Fluff original to go with the story.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Book:
Chasing Nirvana
Book Title: Chasing Nirvana
Book Author: Ellyn Oaksmith
Page Count: 208
Publishing Date: November 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Emoticon Publishing
Date Read: December 25th, 2017
Synopsis: Everybody thinks Fran Worthy should just step down from the prom queen nomination. After all the nomination was a mean joke because Fran’s gay. In 1993 Aberdeen, Washington, faced with a room full of angry parents, Fran hears herself saying something unbelievable. Something that will change her life forever. “Tell your kids that I’m going to get Nirvana to play prom. That’s why they should vote for me. Thank you.”
Now all Fran has to do is convince her friends and her sexy mysterious girl crush to ditch school and drive 800 miles to a Nirvana concert and talk the most famous band in the world into playing a small town prom.
No problem. Unless something goes wrong.

The Review:
“For a moment we’re all rock stars, singing along, chasing love and adventure and most of all, chasing Nirvana.”
Chasing Nirvana is fast paced and engaging! It is spectacularly edgy and full of wild twists and turns! For anyone who has never quite fit in, this one will touch your soul!
Oh man, did I love this one! It was gritty and emotional with a true 90’s feel! It was gripping and thought provoking, and definitely surprising!
The plot was so rich and satisfying! The idea of the road trip to a Nirvana concert in hopes of talking Kurt and getting the band to play at prom just blew my mind! I loved it, and I could totally relate to Fran’s love for the band, and their music, in such a way that it shaped who she was. The whole point of the story involving Fran, her love for Nirvana, and her self discovery as a high school aged lesbian in a closed minded town was beautiful and heartbreaking all at once.
The story just felt so real! It had diversity, low income families, and plenty of 90’s teen angst! Was I watching an episode of My So Called Life (<3)? I adored the fact that the teenagers had real world problems, and were fleshed out so incredibly well. They were quirky, dynamic, and entertaining!
Fran was the total star of the book! She was so misunderstood, and had a less than desirable home life, but was such a good person. She was beautiful, brave, and insecure all at once. I LOVED her passion for Nirvana. This really made her a unique YA character for me.
“Do normal people stand at their own front door, wondering if they should turn around, jump on a bus and move into their best friend’s basement?”
Fran’s best friend Nikki was a total bad-ass when it came to friendship. She was protective and loving toward Fran. She was confident, witty, and determined to not let anyone step on her or Fran. I admired her strength and character!
I enjoyed the comic relief of the story, Mike. He was such a humorous stoner. He had some great qualitie, but mainly brought laughter to the book.
Paul was our small town good guy. He was a little reserved for a bit, and had an extremely awful girlfriend (think Cheryl from Riverdale), but he was kind, caring, and had a really big role in the road trip.
I also really loved the new girl, Allison. I loved her punky style. I loved her intelligence and oddness, and I loved that she could see the good in Fran and was secretly adventurous and bold.
This one truly touched on what it feels like to “not fit in.” It was intense and emotional. It had humor and an entertaining story, but also touched on some important, tragic issues that are still being encountered today. I loved the way the story was told and how captivating it was.
“Song after song, time blurs in to one big joyful moment.”

Thank you to the author for sending me this free e-copy in exchange for my honest review!
Quotes used are from the book, written by the author.
Content warning for language, racial and prejudicial slurs, mild drug use, violence and threats and attempted rape.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Book:

side+crop+of+paperback+image+TSTME (1) Book Title: Reign of the Fallen
Book Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Page Count: 384
Publishing Date: January 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Date Read: December 23rd, 2017
Synopsis: Without the dead, she'd be no one. Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their soul from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised: the Dead must remain shrouded. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, a grotesque transformation begins, turning the Dead into terrifying, bloodthirsty Shades. A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears around the kingdom. Soon, a crushing loss of one of her closest companions leaves Odessa shattered, and reveals a disturbing conspiracy in Karthia: Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?  Fighting alongside her fellow mages--and a powerful girl as enthralling as she is infuriating--Odessa must untangle the gruesome plot to destroy Karthia before the Shades take everything she loves.

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The Review:

"Our magic is love triumphing over death."
Reign of the Fallen is dark, edgy, and suspenseful! It is full of passion, betrayal, and danger. For a book about Necromancers and death, this one is definitely full of life!

This book had such depth and imagination! I loved it! For a book that was about necromancy it offered a vast amount of beauty about life, love, and heartache. And, it was just so good! I thought the story-line was quite unique and highly intriguing! There was a fair amount of danger, horror, betrayal, and excitement, along with some fascinating twists and turns! The idea of employing necromancers in the kingdom to bring the royalty and nobility back to life was genius. I really loved the darkness of it and the consequences of the Dead being seen without their shrouds.

The writing, and world building, was incredible. The imagery used was descriptive and captivating, and I could see the world of Karthia in my mind while I read! I was pulled in from page one and couldn't stop reading. There was beauty, horror, and human connection within the pages. The kingdom of Karthia was highly imaginative, and the creation of the mages, and their classes, was outstanding. I loved how everything was laid out so elegantly, making me feel like I was a part of the story!

And, the characters, oh, how I loved the characters! Odessa was such a fascinating main character. She was kind, caring, and powerful, but also had a sense of vulnerability deep down. I loved her as a Master Necromancer, but also felt like she was a strong symbol of irony, as she dealt with death as part of her career, but spiraled down an emotional hole of guilt and self pity with the loss of someone dear to her.

Princess Valoria was my favorite. She was such a beautiful character. She was a great friend, and always tried to find the good in people. She represented strength and true friendship, and she was also brave and intelligent!

Meredy was also a top character for me. She was brave and strong, and had an amazing mage ability. She was witty and sassy, but also represented true friendship and beauty!

I loved the girl power represented in the book. I felt like that was an important aspect of the story, along with the strong friendships and loyalties found within the story. I also loved the diversity and LGBT representation! I felt like the more I read, the more involved I became.

As a whole, this book was dark and beautiful. All the pieces fit and added to the atmosphere of the story. It had some nice horror and paranormal aspects to it, as well touches of humor and sadness. I did not want the story to end, but I was relieved to find out there will be a sequel! 4.5 stars (or 5 faeries because Odessa may be too busy to bring one of my faeries back to life)!
"But there's no denying our magic can be deadly."
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Thank you to First to Read for providing me with this free e-ARC in exchange  for my honest review!
Quotes used are from the book, written by the author.

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