The Bloody Chamber ~ Angela Carter


The Bloody ChamberThe Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I must admit I don’t think that I am intelligent enough for Angela Carter. I have for a while believed that my own intelligence is slowly diminishing. Perhaps it is a simple case of growing up, I don’t know, but I am sure this book confused me far less as a young 20 year old. Now I feel like I didn’t particularly understand most of it. Of course there is no doubt that Angela Carter is an accomplished writer deserving of the utmost respect. I just cannot help but feel a slight bit of pressure while reading her books because they make me feel incurably stupid.

 

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Through a Tangled Wood


Through a Tangled WoodThrough a Tangled Wood by Jamie Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m giving this collection of stories a four star review simply because I enjoyed reading it. Most of the stories stretched far outside of their traditional counterparts and I absolutely loved the creative retelling. If I were to meet any of the contributors I imagine I might just get a little bit gushy. I especially loved that almost none of them we “obvious” in the beginning and I found myself racing through each tale, enthusiastic to discover which story was being retold. A definite must-read for anyone who love retellings.

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The Trials of the Woodsman ~ Cassie Wright


The Trials of the WoodsmanThe Trials of the Woodsman by Cassie Wright

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So this is what happens when you decide to furnish your reading list with free stuff from Kindle: You end up reading a whole bunch of sorta weird stuff that you would otherwise never have glanced at before. I guess that is a good thing in the spirit of expanding one’s horizons…

Anyway – here I was exposed to a bit more “Fairytale Erotica” which I must admit is still kind of weird as all hell to me. For instance, with this story you’re merrily going along reading about a man and his son living in the woods and then there are a couple of lions and other creatures and it’s all sort of lovely….and then all of a sudden you find yourself reading the word “cock” and suddenly all is no longer right with the world. Now don’t get me wrong, as much as I don’t usually choose erotica as my default genre, I certainly have no issue with graphic sex scenes should they find their way into a book that I actually want to read (this almost never happens by the way). It is usually as impossible to read about sex without getting randy as it is to watch porn (or a particularly steamy non-porn-but-still sex scene) without getting a little randy….but this? I can’t say it did much for me at all. It was just kind of icky. And not because of the throbbing vein on the engorged member (*snortlaugh*) but because again I found myself reading about a sort of rape fantasy. The fact that the usual gender role was reversed in this situation didn’t really make it any better. It was still a bit yucky. Basically, Circe (a goddess) forces the huntsman to sexually gratify her in exchange for the return of his son.

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The Queen and the Honey ~ Maddy Raven


The Queen and the Honey (Beauty Awakened, #1)The Queen and the Honey by Maddy Raven

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So…. fairy tale erotica is something else then, huh? *shuffles feet awkwardly* Ok – so this story was about some random chick who decided that shagging a stranger in a library was a good idea. Obviously it was a bad idea a because apparently his…erm….finger skills…somehow made her pass out and then wake up in an enchanted realm of sorts. There she was captured by the Lord of the realm and made to join his harem. A bit of rape fantasy-ish stuff happens. It’s a bit odd and I have to wonder if this particular story was influenced more by Fifty Shades than by Grimm’s The Queen Bee as was stated by the author. Not the best book I’ve read in a while, but it was definitely better than some of the many other fairytale retellings I have read. The storyline was kind of interesting at least, even though the writing style was a little meh. Is it customary in erotica to refer to a vagina as a “rose”. I found that slightly odd. And i don’t know…. I get that it’s erotica blah blah blah….but it’s in a fiarytale setting. I sort of feel like the writing language should perhaps try to reflect that. References to “Ass cheeks” and “doggy style” just seemed a bit weird to me…

My Goodreads rating is only 2 stars, but here I’m giving an extra half star because I did appreciate the imaginative storyline (although technically I should remove it again as punishment for the cover that doesn’t match the book at all!)

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Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood ~ Timothy Tocher


Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding HoodLittle Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood by Timothy Tocher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A sweet children’s retelling of the classic Red Riding Hood tale. A bit dorkishly snarky in some places but I imagine that children would appreciate the silliness. I quite liked the idea of the wold preceding to be Little Red instead of the grandmother, but it didn’t quite work out like I was expecting it to. I guess that means that it gets points for not being too predictable?

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The Seer’s Seven Deadly Fairytales ~ Elizabeth Marx


The Seer's 7 Deadly Fairy Tales: A CompendiumThe Seer’s 7 Deadly Fairy Tales: A Compendium by Elizabeth Marx

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So I decided to read this because a.) it has “fairy tales” in the title and b.) it was free on Kindle. I seem to be a little lost though. It seems this book is supposed to be read alongside another book and that the intro to this book is possibly supposed to make you want to read the other book. Unfortunately the only thing this book did was make me question my sanity a little because I just couldn’t really wrap my head around anything that was going on. Now I imagine that leaving some stuff to the imagination is not the worst thing a writer can do, but this was a bit weird. The narrator kind of speaks as if you’re supposed to know what is being spoken about. I have no idea what was being spoken about. Perhaps I’m not so clever….but the cover is really pretty!  (It may have helped to read the Goodreads blurb: “Okay, let’s start out by saying this book is a compendium, not a novel. I had no idea what a compendium was until my good friend Merriam Webster informed me. Compendium: 1) a brief summary of a larger work or of a field of knowledge; 2) A collection or compilation.” —-always read the manual!)

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Cinderella is Evil ~ Jamie Campbell


Cinderella is EvilCinderella is Evil by Jamie Campbell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I do appreciate the effort of this particular story I must admit I didn’t love the writing. I do however admit that this is possibly because I recognise within it the same infuriating immaturity that I cannot stand in my own writing. Things like using the same words and phrases too often and in such a short space of time drive me insane. It is something I desperately wish that editors would pick up on. I try to see it in my own writing but often fall short because that is kind of how it works – the glaring faults stop glaring at you after you have spent too much time with a piece of writing. In this case, the case of this story I mean, the word “sulky” was used to death, as was “drama”. There were also too many cliched phrases – another thing that I am guilty of. There were other silly mistakes too. At one point Cinderella’s dress was “butter yellow”. In the next chapter it was pink. The dress she ended up wearing to the ball was described as “brilliant light blue”. Can a colour be brilliant and light? Anyway, bygones. Like I said, I did appreciate the effort. The classic Cinderella story is told from the perspective of one of the ugly stepsisters and of course the feel of it is much different. I did kind of like the idea of Cinderella not being the victim so much as playing the victim. Unfortunately, in pointing out that Cinderella was merely someone who loved to play the victim, the narrator took on the role of playing the victim instead. Then again… it is kind of very difficult to balance precisely on the line between victim and outright cow, isn’t it?

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Cinder ~ Marissa Meyer


download (1)I was quite surprised to find myself giving this book five stars – especially since I kind of expected to hate it.

Cinder is a futuristic re-telling of Cinderella (obviously) but Cinder is not entirely human – she is part robot. The prince keeps flirting with her but he is not aware of her cyborg status and of course she finds this part of herself shameful enough to keep it from him. Also there is a bit of a threat to all the earthlings because the Lunian (totally used the word incorrectly – too lazy to go back and check it out) queen is set on marrying the prince and if she doesn’t get her way bad things are going to happen. Sounds a bit cheesy, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

The only thing that REALLY bugged me in the book was that she kept referring to her adoptive parents as her step parents which I thought was just weird. Otherwise this is a brilliant re-telling of the classic Cinderella. It does have a few places where some stuff is supposed to be a bit of a revelation, but I kind of figured it out in the beginning so I wasn’t surprised…and then I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to have been surprised or if it was supposed to be figured out so early. My five stars comes from simply enjoying the book. It wasn’t brilliant and the writing style didn’t make me want to lock myself up in a tower and dedicate the rest of my life to prose, but it was still nice. I like it when I read good YA that makes me feel like I could happily hand it over to my daughter without worrying about her being influenced in a negative way. Stuff like that is important.

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The Curse Girl ~ Kate Avery Ellison


The Curse GirlThe Curse Girl by Kate Avery Ellison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Curse Girl is a pretty decent retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale. I liked the idea of The Fey Lands as well as the origami magic and other magic at play in the house. Unfortunately I didn’t love the main character too much. The hot-headed feisty-for-barely-any-reason female doesn’t do it for me anymore. I found her a little unnecessarily dramatic. As a whole I liked the idea of the story, but the constant use of the word “jerk” and the slamming of doors and stomping out of rooms in a huff became redundant very quickly. I must admit though that YA is not my genre at all and my thoughts on the book do not in any way mean that others might not enjoy it. It is relatively well-written (apart from a few cases where continuity and actually making sense might be a bit questionable) and I imagine it is definitely a book that teenagers might enjoy reading.

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