Book Review: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Hepperman

20483085Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Hepperman

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre:Fantasy and Poetry

Release Date: September 23, 2014

Pages: 128 (Hardcover)

good good

Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Greenwillow Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinionPoems are awesome and I love seeing them more and more in the novels I read. Poisoned Apples has a story that will connect with most people. I really liked some of the poems, especially the ones that are modernized retellings of some very classic tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Beauty and the Beast. Overall, a fun, very short read that takes no time to finish at all.

Although for the most part, I liked this book, I didn’t like how random it is between the good parts. Some of them are very short and about nothing more than, like, Abercrombie or something. Adding onto that, in the middle, the book starts to dwindle down and I found myself skimming through some of them to get to the better, retellings parts.

Poisoned Apples is a short read. I breezed right through it in less than an hour. From the stories that I did enjoy, I liked them also because of their freakiness and the art work that goes with them. The hands acting like trees and water and whatnot is very cool and caught my attention.

I understand that some people believe that life is a fairy tale but I loved how Hepperman decided to make these retellings as realistic as possible and adding in problems that many people face today. I recommend this one to anyone looking to read either some short poems or fairy tales.

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

15839984Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Genre: Fairy Tales (Retelling), Mythology and Young Adult

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Pages: 352 (Hardcover)

good good

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Balzer & Bray for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

If someone told me that I would love this book as much as I did after reading the first chapter, I would have laughed. I thought, because of me attachment to the original fairy tale that I would find every flaw and compare this book to the classic. But before I knew it, I couldn’t do that because I fell hard into the world of Arcadia and fell even harder for The Gentle Lord.

However, I did find some things that drove me a little crazy. So let’s talk about those things first. Nyx has been training to defeat The Gentle Lord (mmmm) for roughly eight years, ever since her father has told her about her arranged marriage she has allowed resentment and hatred fill her heart. With that being said she must have a lot of anger and killer skills to defeat this guy, right? No. Besides her petty attempts to kill him, whenever these two are near each other there’s a lot of planning and even more kissing. On top of that, Nyx has a lot of trust issues because of the fact that her father is so willing to give her up yet, the first night at the castle, she’s already kissing and trusting this other guy! Who tells her ‘not to trust him too much’. Come on, Nyx! I thought you were better than that!

Cruel Beauty is still beautiful. The idea behind it is nicely planned out, as well as setting, the castle that Nyx stays in is described throughout the book with gorgeous detail that I felt as if I were right there in the house. The mythology is creatively woven into the story with a few different tales other than The Beauty and the Beast like French Tale, Bluebeard for one. For the most part, characters a very well-developed. I especially liked Nyx because she’s so very flawed yet she finds ways around it and accepts them as a part of her. My favourite character though, has to be The Gentle Lord because well, he’s amazing. He’s a realistic character in the sense that he’s very flawed, yet readers see both sides of him, he’s complex and super sexy and…I fell for him hard.

And by fell for him, I mean,

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And then times it by a gazillion.

Rosamund Hodge was an author I was very skeptical about. I was afraid that she would  majorly mess this up because Beauty and the Beast is my favourite ever. Like, I got a set of Disney Princess, and I painted on all of them except for Belle so that she could be the prettiest (I was only ten!), but I’m happy to say that her story has satisfied me, and I’m excited to see what she comes out with next. I recommend this to everyone who likes mythology and retellings.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds
3.5 Dreamy Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.