Puss without Boots: A Puss in Boots Retelling by Shari L. Tapscott


I have to say – what a cool cover!

And the name is intriguing to say the least. How many of us actually know the fairy-tale Puss in Boots? Growing up in Russia it was one of many French tales I enjoyed, and so I had to get this book.

It reminded me a lot of the Faerie Tale Collection Series by Jenni James. Cute and feel-good with insta-love and magic and just all those sweet and wonderful things fairy tales should be. It was gender-swapped with a few twists along the way, and I enjoyed reading it, wondering what would happen.

There were quite a few things that felt incomplete, like the point of Puss’s boots. I feel like if the author took just a little more time to think through the plot, it could have been a really great book. For a quick novella it was a fun read, but it left me wishing for more explanations, more development. A worthwhile between-books filler, well written and cute, but not quite satisfying.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas


Let’s rewind.

A Court of Thorns and Roses was good, but not great. I only picked up the second book because everyone said it was amazing and way better than the first.

And it was. A Court of Mist and Fury was probably my favorite book of 2016. I loved it so much I couldn’t wait for book three.

A Court of Wings and Ruin did not disappoint in terms of giving us a great conclusion to the story. We got it all in an epic fantasy format. No more Beauty and the Beast shadows lurking in the background. This was all out war. However, I can’t go into greater detail without spoilers so here’s my warning – spoilers ahead!

Continue reading

Geekerella by Ashley Poston


I did not expect to love this book so much.

Modern day fairy tale retellings have a huge caveat for me. They either make it so the fairy tale never existed, which feels fake, or they make it too close to the original storyline (or its retellings) where it’s more eye-roll worthy than unique.

If I had to categorize, Geekerella was the latter, with the modernized name ‘Ella’ a staple in these kinds of stories, and yet it was still so fresh and wonderful and inspiring I would read a hundred more of these.

I could list all the ways I relate to her in terms of geekery and fandom, from my /played on WoW to my horde tattoo, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the comradery in the geek world that really made the book for me. When everyone came together at one part I teared up because that’s what it’s like to connect with people without ever knowing them.

This book was a fun and adorable read, and if you’re geeky and looking for something short and sweet this is perfect.

Thanks to Netgalley for giving me this ARC!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer


I’ve had my eye on this for a long time now, it being a huge hit fairy-tale retelling, and finally decided to sit down and read it. My main drawback was that I’m not a huge fan of steampunk – it just bores me – but I liked The Third Daughter so I figured I’d give it a try.

What’s crazy is that the cyborg infusion ended up being the best thing in the book for me.

I really loved all the tinkering and the way a cyborg thinks and acts and just is in the book. The conversational writing style is a huge plus, making me fly through pages. Of course there’s the magical and sinister plots and love at first sight and everything that makes fairy tales what they are and I should have really enjoyed this book…


There were just too many things that bothered me in order to read any more of the series.

  1. I could not, for the life of me, figure out who was Asian and who was not. Was Cinder Asian? But Cinder is said to be from Europe, so she’s not Asian? And if she’s not, then why is everyone so surprised when she says she’s from Europe? Why is that not a BFD? And if she is, then do the Lunars look Asian too? But they’re blonde! And from the moon! But but but…*brain explodes* And the book trailer shows Cinder as non-Asian but most of the reviews say she is sooooo…yeah. Even the writer herself doesn’t know (according to her website) so how can she possibly show us?
  2.  The ‘place’ is Beijing but there’s nothing to tie the people to actual Asian roots or traditions or food or culture. The way they spoke and things they did were just so…whitewashed. The only times I was reminded that this was, indeed, an Asian country was the addition of Linh to the names.
  3. This book suffered horribly from the MC not making obvious connections. We are literally told, by her, about the lost Lunar princess fleeing a fire in chapter one. She often thinks about it, and even goes as far as helping find her. And yet, not once does she wonder if she’s the princess, even though she’s adopted, dreams of being on fire, and is the right age. Not once, you guys. Even after finding out she’s Lunar. It’s worse than Princess of Tyrone, because there at least she made the connections but dismissed them. Apparently, Cinder’s cyborg brain couldn’t put 2 and 2 together. This really killed it for me.
  4. I just could not believe that a person is classified as a cyborg if any tech is in his/her body, and is then suddenly not considered human anymore. You have to suspend disbelief in sci-fi, I get it, but that’s just silly. A guy had a chip in his leg so we can kill him like a dog now! Nope, sorry, I don’t think so.
  5. No ending except Cinder finally catching up to the reader. What a letdown.

I wish I had more good things to say. I did enjoy reading the overall story and there were times I was surprised and others where I smiled. I really liked the plague angle too. I just…wish it was better. There’s a ton of people that liked it, though, so maybe it’s just me.

An interesting twist on an old classic, but I just could not connect with it.

Drown by Esther Dalseno


There’s only one word that fully describes the feel of this book: eerie.

From the very start to the very finish, it is cold blooded, beautiful, and bizarre.

Not quite a retelling of ‘The Little Mermaid’ as a ghostly expansion of the original, Drown shines a light into a new world of mermaids, one that is cruel to the point where feelings are fatal. Literally.

This book was written in such a masterful way I could not get enough of it. It never strayed from the uncanny way of each character, especially the mermaids. I loved the depiction of God as the sun. A part of me wished for a happily ever after, but a part of me hoped it would stay true to the original. I was not disappointed.

I loved and hated the prince. He was so broken, something you very rarely see in fairy tales or retellings. He acted like a fool and a child, but who was he to know better? He wasn’t prince charming, no. When he fell in love, true love, my heart sang for him. It truly was perfect.

Overall, wow. Usually, a ‘dark twisted retelling’ means blood and war, but this…this was so different. This was heartbreak until the last page, but not in a depressing way – in a cold and eerie way. It left me not sad, but in amazement, kind of like reading a Greek myth. Wow. Just wow.


Cross-posted to My Trending Stories.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


I should re-name this blog to ‘Anna’s retelling reviews’ with how many of these I read. Take a guess on what next week’s is (hint: it has a fish tail). Anyway, on to the book!

Beauty and the Beast takes a demonic twist in this strange but captivating retelling. The writing was fantastic and I loved the idea of the demons-who-are-not-fey even though they’re fey in every sense except being called demons.

I loved the idea of the magical house and different rooms always changing and burnt books and just wow! The magic of the world is incredible. The deal making was perfect. It’s like Rumpelstiltskin, Peter Pan, and Beast all melted together into one person and became Ignifex, kind of like in the Once Upon a Time TV show.

I loved that the romance grew from hate, not love. From acceptance of that darkness, not the need to drown it. They didn’t make each other better people – and it was ok. Having an unlikable MC is hard work (and a big risk) but this book did it well.

I had two issues with the book. The first was that it felt a bit stitched together from too many different cloths. Are we in a fairy tale? Is it religious or magical? What’s up with the Greek Gods and sacrifices? What time period is it? It wasn’t confusing, per say, just didn’t feel well rounded. When I think of Zeus, I think togas not parasols. It was weird.

The other issue is the MC’s random outbursts of random feelings when she got to the castle. I was just like…what? She’s gonna try and stab her husband and then rip her clothes off? She hates demons but goes to kiss one out of nowhere? Like…I don’t even. It evened out after a bit, but for a little while there I was debating my opinion of the book.

Overall, a great read, and a very interesting retelling that I would recommend to anyone who likes the darker ones but still enjoys shows like Once Upon a Time.


Cross-posted to My Trending Stories.