A bullet point review of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

As soon as I finish a book a write out my thoughts in bullet points, I’ll write the words I associate with the book, what I thought of the characters and anything that jumped out at me. Then a few days later I use that as an outline to write my review, this time I’m not doing that last step. I’m leaving my bullet point list practically the same as when I first wrote it and that’s going to be my review. It’s as comprehensive, but it gets the main points across.
Review
  • So short: it made it super quick to get through, and there was always something happening, but it leaves you wanting more.
  • I think every book is going to be focused on a different character, but tie into one another. I’m practically always a fan of series that are like this.
  • Reminded me a of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but not as slow, and I liked this better. They do both have a similar vibe, and are set in wonderful magical boarding schools, run by similar women.
  • Whimsical, charming, and diverse.
  • All the characters are wholly developed, and likeable. Even though there’s a not much time to develop them they felt completely developed, I loved the main cast of characters.
  • Asks such an interesting question what happens when the adventure is over? What do you do after traveling to a wonderful place and ending up back in the ordinary boring world.
About Every Heart a Doorway

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost. 

I hope you enjoyed this different style of review, I have seen other people do reviews this way and liked reading those, so I thought I’d give it a try. It took much less time doing it this way, I might do more bullet point reviews in the future simply to save myself some time.
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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Trigger warning for rape and sexual assault.

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human

The name of this book just about says it all, it’s perhaps my favorite book title and if it doesn’t make you want to read this I don’t know how I’m going to convince you. But I’m going to try anyway.

This book is equally beautiful and tragic, it’s ultimately a story about love, and it’s exactly what I wanted it to be. I love this book it’s filled with wonderful characters who each have great names that suit them perfectly. It has elements of magic that are excellently woven into the real world, it’s the best magical realism novel I’ve read. It is extremely atmospheric, and I become completely absorbed in the story forgetting about the world around me.

This is a generational tale about a family where all the women are peculiar, the book starts with Ava’s great grandmother and Ava doesn’t come into the story until halfway through. It’s definitely odd to introduce the main character so late in the story, but it undeniably works. Learning about her ancestors makes the story more vast and intriguing. All of the women in Ava’s family are strange, she’s the most obviously so because of her wings, and like most people who are considered different she wants to fit in. There is a lot of character’s however they all are interesting, and have distinct personalities, so it was surprising easy to keep track of them all.

This reminded me a lot of a fairytale and that’s a big part of why I loved it, many modern fairytales are not dark like the tales there inspird by, but this one doesn’t shy away from tragedy. The writing style is so lovely, and lyrical, that’s what ultimately makes it feel like a fairytale, and what pulled me in. The entire book is expertly crafted it didn’t take me long to become lost in it. I have a feeling this story will stay with me, and become a favorite, I already want to recommend it to everyone.

The Changeling’s Journey

Ailsa is dead. Leaving Morven the last surviving changeling in the village. Everyone knows it is only a matter of time before she too is dead. Desperate to find out why the fairies steal human babies, and to save her own life, she leaves her family behind, travelling north into the fairy kingdoms with her best friend. 

They soon find that making their way through vast magical forests, across kelpie-ridden lochs and over seemingly endless mountain ranges is more than they were prepared for. Despite the countless evenings spent listening to stories about adventures, fairies and magic, they find themselves out of their depth. Fighting to stay alive. 

Meanwhile in the fairy kingdoms, Princess Freya of Culhuinn struggles to cope with life now that her love has been taken from her. Whilst Queen Euna of Norbroch spends more time lost in her memories than she does ruling her kingdom. 

One changeling’s journey to save her life will alter their world forever


This book took a while to get into, but I’m glad I kept reading because it dose have many good qualities. It’s told in three points of view and that element was done well. You follow Morven and Glen on their adventure to the fairy realm, to get answers about changelings. Then you have Princess Freya who is separated from her lover by her cruel father, and finally Queen Euna whose chapters are mostly flashbacks. They each have individual stories that connect in the end. Their all interesting characters, but they could have been flushed out more and been even better.

This book is about a long Journey and it felt long, there isn’t much dialogue, and it was slowly paced. The story is character driven normally I’m all for that, unfortunately, I didn’t like the characters enough. The side characters especially needed more development, I felt like many of them hardly had a personality. Even Glen who is Morven’s best friend wasn’t developed enough for me to care about. I think Fraya was the most interesting and likable, but her love interest was boring, and that detracted from Fraya’s arc.

I’ve never been to Scotland, and I don’t know much about Scotland, but I could tell that everything about this book is very Scottish. The descriptions of the landscapes they traveled through are beautiful and detailed, it was easy to visualize them, and to wish I was there. I adore how many different fairies are featured, there’s Changelings, Will-oh-the-wisps, fea and more. All the folklore was integrated into the book so wonderfully, the world is fantastical and charming. The writing is lovely as well, however the story sadly wasn’t as compelling as the word.

The Language of Thorns 


Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

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I love short stories it fascinates me how an author can tell a complete and satisfying story in only a few pages. Every word has to count in a short story and therefore I think it requires a lot of skill to write a good one. All of books I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo have been well written but this is written in a different style then her other works that is particularly lovely. The writing is elegant and bewitching. The spectacular illustrations definitely help to immerse you into the stories, they complement them wonderfully.
I enjoyed all of the stories however I do have a clear favorite, The Witch of Duva, it felt very classic and timeless with an ending that is far more satisfying then the traditional happily ever after. All the stories had elements of notable fairytales but took turns that made them far more interesting. Each story is gripping, classic and original. It feels like your reading an age old tales.
It’s to interesting to read the tales that the characters from Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows would have heard growing up, and fun to speculate on what their favorites stories would be. Each of these tales stands on its own and can be read without reading any other books in the Grisha verse they also add a lot of depth to the world. I love how vast the world is becoming and am so excited for more books set in this wonderful, magical world.

Book review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

synopsisBeauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

my-thoughtsI had high hopes for this book but I had no idea that I would completely adore it and that it would end up being so special it’s definietly favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling, maybe even my favorite retelling. I love retellings and I always have high standards for them this one exceeded my expectations it blew me away. It kept the heart of the original tale while adding a unique spin, it has that perfect balance between classic and new that ever fairytale retelling should strive for. Beauty and the Beast retellings can easily get strange or even problematic but this one was pulled of masterfully and the romance was especially handled well and developed so well. Both Beauty and the Beast felt familiar and similar to other versions of the characters but they were each distinct and good characters with something new to offer.

I very much like this version of Beauty she’s called Yeva in this and she is clever and loves fairytales this is a great help to her, having a vast knowledge of fairytales is a valuable thing when your in one. Yeva is not quite nice as Beauty usually is she feels restricted by society she loves hunting but it’s not proper for a lady to hunt, she’s someone who longs for more. I understood her so well I could relate to feeling unsatisfied with your life even though you don’t have much reason to be, this book made me feel so unexpectedly understood. I’m not sure I’ve ever resonated with a charecter as much as I do Yeva, our personalities are different but I could relate to her loyalty towards her family, I can relate to not knowing what it is your searching for and merely knowing you want somthing more. You don’t get to know the Beast or any of the other characters nearly as well as you do Yeva but each character is in it just enough and I adored her sisters.

The writing is absoultly lovely it seemed like there was magic woven between the words, sometimes you read a book at the perfect time and it ends up being so specel that you struggle to find the words to deescribe how and why its so meaningful to you. I know this review isn’t objective in the slightest, but I actually can’t think of a single flaw everything was so carefully thought through, its magical, the charecters are fantastic and pacing was perfect the story moved fast but not too fast each storyline got just enough attention. Everything about this book is so good especially the ending I did predict the twist but that didn’t make me love it any less and it didn’t seem like it was meant to be that surprising. What a perfect book, with perfectly imperfect characters. This is a amazing fairytale retelling and a fairytale in its own right, it’s timeless, and utterly enchanting, read it.

Book review: Geekerella

I received this book from the publisher through Netgally in exchange for an honest review, this in no way effects my opinion.

dividersynopsis2Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

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This book is delightful, these light reads I’ve been reading recently have not disappointed and I keep waiting to read more and more of them. This one gave me all the warm and fuzzy feels. This is very much a love letter to Geek culture the acknowledgments literally are, I don’t usually mention the acknowledgment (but I always read them) is this case however I really liked them. The below quote is from them I completely agree with it, it’s great and it wonderfully captures the spirit of the book.

“Never give up on your dreams, and never let anyone tell you that what you love is inconsequential or useless or a waste of time. Because if you love it? If that OTP or children’s card game or abridged series or YA book or animated series makes you happy? That is never a waste of time.”

This perfectly captures nerd culture and was a pleasure to read, there’s so, so many references, including ones to Firefly, Star Trek, and The Princess Bride. Starfield is the fictional fandom the story centers around and the author did such a great job creating it. I became extremely invested in how the movie was going to turn out, I fell in love with a TV show that doesn’t even exist that says a lot about how good the writing is.

As a retelling it manages to stand out from the dozen of other Cinderella retellings, it stayed true to the original tale but I didn’t find Elle to not be that Cinderella like. Elle was a good character but she was inconsistent towards the end and not the best Cinderella. I liked the other protagonist, Darein but Elle’s friend Sage was my favorite character. All the relationships are well developed, the romance is cute and the characters are all likable except the evil stepmother of course. The nerdy aspects are amazing and that’s pretty much the whole plot, the book felt like a teen movie, like a really good classic Disney channel movie. I would love to see a movie adaptation and a actual Starfield TV show.

“Look to the stars. Aim. Ignite.”

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A guide to fairytale retellings

Top five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Gingerreadslainy and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes you can find more information on the goodreads group. This weeks prompt is gateway books to your favorite genre.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this Top Five Wednesday when I saw the prompt I instantly thought of fairytale retellings! I love rettellings of any kind but fairytale are my favorite and I’ve read a lot of them. There was one year were I read almost nothing but fairytales, writing this really makes me want to get back into the genre. I tried my best to choose books that aren’t that popular, some of them are by popular authors but I chose their lesser know books.

Beauty and the Beast

  • Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

It is the heart of this place, and it is dying, says the Beast. And it is true; the center of the Beast’s palace, the glittering glasshouse that brings Beauty both comfort and delight in her strange new environment, is filled with leafless brown rosebushes. But deep within this enchanted world, new life, at once subtle and strong, is about to awaken

I don’t remember that much about Rose Daughter, what I do remember is that it’s a imaginative and beautifully written novel.

Add it on goodreads

Goose Girl

  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny.

This stinks very close to the original fairytale it just expands upon it and it’s not as weird. This is a series but the other books are about different characters and aren’t retalings, I read the second book but I don’t remember anything specific about it just that I didn’t like it very much.

Add it on goodreads

The Twelve Dancing Princesess

  • Princesses of the Midnight Ball

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above. 

The Princes of the Midnight Ball is predictable at times and the characters are a little flat but overall it’s a well written, fun and enjoyable read. I haven’t read the other books in the series but I plan to soon.

Add it on goodreads

Sleeping Beauty

  • Spindles End by Robin McKinley

All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep-a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her. 

This is my favorite retelling by Robin Mckinley, maybe even my favorite retelling ever. It does a amazing job of staying true to the original tale while still adding a unique spin, all rettellings try to do this but they often don’t succeed, Spindles End pulls it off splendidly.

Add it on goodreads

Snow White

  • Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

In the kingdom of Ayortha, who is the fairest of them all? Certainly not Aza. She is thoroughly convinced that she is ugly. What she may lack in looks, though, she makes up for with a kind heart, and with something no one else has-a magical voice. Her vocal talents captivate all who hear them, and in Ontio Castle they attract the attention of a handsome prince – and a dangerous new queen. 

Almost everyone has read and loved Ella Enchanted but I hardly ever hear anything about Gail Carson Levine’s other books, Fairest isn’t as wonderful as Ella Enchanted but it’s still good and it’s set in the same world which is neat.

Add it on goodreads

 

Have you read any of the books on this list? Do you like fairytale retellings? Recommend me your favorites!