Poor Unfortunate Soul

 

Title: Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch 
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 3/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: July 26th, 2016

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows Ursula, while the book cover itself shows her as Vanessa. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me.

Additional note: This post reviews the third book of the Villains series. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Fairest of All and The Beast Within, before reading this book. However, these books can be read as stand-alone stories. 

Maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough, but it seems like good retellings of The Little Mermaid are hard to come by. I was pleasantly surprised by this story in the Villains series. This Little Mermaid retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of the Sea Witch and understand her motives a little better. Like the Evil Queen in the first book of this series, you may not like her any more than you did before, but you may never be able to look at her in quite the same way again.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale villain retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

The Beast Within

 

Title: The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince 
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 2/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows the Beast, while the book cover itself shows him as the selfish prince. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me. 

Additional note: This post reviews the second book of the Villains series. You may like to read the first book in the series, Fairest of All, before reading this book. However, these books can be read as stand-alone stories. 

With all the Beauty and the Beast retellings out there (and there have been a lot), I can confidently state that I haven’t come across one quite like this. The reason being? This one is all about the Beast. This Beauty and the Beast retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of Beauty’s Prince. What was Prince Adam, and the servants of his household, really like before the curse? Brace yourself for a twist on this beloved fairytale that is nothing like the classic. As long as you can accept that – and the fact that Adam and Gaston are friends in this version – this book might win you over.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Fairest of All

 

Title: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 1/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: August 18th, 2009

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows the Evil Queen, while the book cover itself shows her as the evil hag. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me. 

How did the Evil Queen become the Evil Queen? What did the King see in her that Snow White did not? Was he merely fooled by her fair face? Did she always hate the young princess and wish her dead? Or is there more to this classic tale we all thought we knew so well? This Snow White retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of the Wicked Queen. You may not like her any more than you did before, but you may never be able to look at her in quite the same way again.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale villain retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Crimson Bound

Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe 2/2

Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 5th, 2015

First of all, let me just state that I do not understand how this can be labeled as a Little Red Riding Hood retelling. It’s a stretch, for sure.

Since she was fifteen, Rachelle was marked as one of the bloodbound – tied to the forest and the evil that infests it – and forced to live in servitude for the past three years. But even though she has been turned into a monster, she wants nothing more than to destroy the Devourer – a legend, supposedly – and prevent an eternal darkness from settling over her world for the rest of time.

Rachelle finds an unlikely ally in the prince of her realm, Armand – the last person she ever thought would help her. Together, they seek a lost sword that might be the only thing with the power to defeat the Devourer and save their world. But defeating the evil of the forest means making one sacrifice after another – sacrifices of both the heart and the flesh.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you, Victoria, from Victoria’s Reads for nominating me for this – looks fun!

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you’d like to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them, providing a link to the post you’ve created. (Please make sure you do this step! Otherwise they won’t know you’ve tagged them until they check the referral portion of their stats.)

How I got started…

I started this blog in August of 2016 in an attempt to write more consistently. I think it worked, because I have posted weekly ever since! The primary purpose of this blog, however, is to build a platform of followers and readers as I pursue publication for my own works. Book reviews sort of seemed like a no-brainer. By reading and reviewing one book per week (a daunting goal), I was forced to immerse myself in the genre that I hope one day to add my own books to – Young Adult. It provides the perfect excuse to get my hands on as much YA as possible, and familiarizes me to what’s on the shelves today. Win-win.

My advice to new bloggers?

  1. Use WordPress! I’m serious, guys. I started out on Blogger, and I soon realized how restricted I was with the templates. Not only is it difficult to customize and personalize, it’s really hard to make it look professional. Once I compared my blog on Blogger to those on WordPress, I was kicking myself for not choosing WordPress. Thankfully, there is a way to export your blog from one site to another, but save yourself the hours it took me to do this step and just use WordPress from day. Learn from my mistakes!
  2. Find a blogging schedule that works for you. Once a week might not be a realistic goal for posting on your blog, and that’s totally fine! Find a pace that is doable for you… and stick to it, no matter what. Once you start blogging consistently, it becomes a priority. I try to never miss a Monday, so when Mondays roll around, I keep the day as free as possible because the one thing that needs to happen that day (besides my job, duh) is blogging. Even if nothing else gets done that day, at least I blogged and met my goal. Find what works for you – once a week, once every two weeks, once a month – and stick to it! I promise, it is so rewarding.

I would like to nominate:

Emily Rose from Rose Read (why didn’t I think of that? Love it)

Jenn, Eden and Caitlynn from Thrice Read 

Kiersten from Once Upon a Spine

Azia from The Uncharted Word

Michelle from Book Adventures

Ashley from What’s She Reading 

Mary Kate from Wanderlusty Writer 

Lydia from Noveltea

Christine from Wee Reader

Angelica and Rosie from The Book Cover Girl

Ava from Bookishness and Tea

Kyera from Kyera’s Library

Larkin from Wonderfilled Reads

Danissa from Booklandia

Mandy from Book Princess Reviews 

Cruel Beauty

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe 1/2

Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 28th, 2014

You may have read one or two (or ten) retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but chances are you haven’t read one quite like this. Cruel Beauty’s fresh take on this classic tale was unexpected, captivating, and at times downright twisted. Here’s how it goes:

Seventeen-year-old Nyx had been groomed from birth to grow up to be the wife of a monster – a demon – because of a bargain made by her father in desperation. But when she finally fulfills her destiny and marries the Gentle Lord, she gets more than anyone bargained for. Her plan to break the curse he has held over her people for nine hundred years proves to be more difficult than she ever could have imagined, especially when she begins to think he might not be as much of a monster as she had always assumed him to be.

As more and more secrets are brought to life, Nyx uncovers the hold her demon lord husband has over the last prince of her people from long ago, but she cannot deny the hold he has over her. In a realization that there is darkness in every heart, not just the heart of a demon, she makes a sacrifice of her own heart for the sake of her people – a sacrifice that could turn out to be the key to the undoing of an age-old curse.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Forest Born

Title: Forest Born
Author: Shannon Hale
Series: The Books of Bayern, 4/4
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 1, 2009

Note: This post reviews the fourth book of The Books of Bayern series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and River Secrets before reading this review.

Rinna knows there is something different about herself – but she has no idea what it is, or what it means. Having spent her entire life in the forest, she feels comfortable amongst the trees. She begins to realize that she can listen to the trees, and learn from them. But her abilities go beyond tree-speaking. Like Isi’s animal-speaking, and Enna’s fire-speaking, and Dasha’s water-speaking, Rin learns that she has a speaking power of her own – and it comes with a power more dangerous than she ever could have known.

These three girls she has come to think of as “the fire sisters” set off on a quest of their own when the kingdom of Bayern has been threatened once again. Rin joins them, desperate to get to the bottom of the speaking power rising inside herself. The four women with the speaking powers may be Bayern’s only hope of victory against the kingdoms who plot against them.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: