Monday, March 12, 2012

Top Ten Fairytale Retellings


Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. As lovers of books and of lists, they post a list each week. Check it out for other lists, and to link up your own list there.

This week’s topic is:

Top Ten (choose your own genre) Books

In my case, I’m going with fairytale retellings since that was one genre I knew I’d read more than ten books in that I could recommend!


10. Entwined by Heather Dixon-Retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I’m always glad when there are so many princesses and the author alphabetizes their names so I can tell who the oldest is :)


9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer-Retelling of Cinderella. I was thrown off at first by the cyborg element, but even for those, like me, who aren’t sure if they’ll like the science fiction bit of it, it was well worth it :)


8. Beauty by Robin McKinley-Retelling of Beauty and the Beast (middle grade fiction).

Ella Enchanted

7. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine-Retelling of Cinderella (middle grade).

Violet Eyes

6. Violet Eyes by Debbie Vigue-Retelling of the Princess and the Pea. Anyone else always wondered why a pea proves that you’re a princess, and who would want the queen for a mother-in-law after that treatment? This story finally gives a good background.

Wide Awake Princess

5. The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker-Retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Middle grade fiction. Sleeping Beauty’s parents don’t trust fairies at christenings anymore, when their second daughter is born, they ask for no magical pronouncements or gifts. The result is that their second daughter is immune to magic, and therefore able to help break her sister’s spell. A fun adventure, and a bit of romance.

Sun and Moon

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow-Retelling of East of the Moon and West of the Sun (or something like that). It’s the polar bear king story. Anyway, not told often, but a gem among fairytales.

Goose Girl 3. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale-A retelling of, you guessed it, the Goose Girl. There’s a whole series and world built off of this story, but the first book here is by far the best.

Wildwood Dancing

2. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier-Retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and the Frog Prince.

My Unfair Godmother1. My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison-Retelling of Robin Hood and Rumplestiltskin. Unbelievably funny and sweet.

Anything you’re dying to add to my list?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review of Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

PrettyCrookedBasic Info:

Release date: March 13, 2012

Pages: 358 (hardcover)

Interest: Debut author, Robin Hood-like thievery

Source: Debut Author Challenge ARC tours

Rating: **** 4 stars

Summary (from

High school sophomore Willa and her artist mother move to Arizona where Willa starts attending an elite prep school after her mother finally sells some paintings, and Willa attempts to even things out by stealing from the rich students and giving to the poor ones.


Willa has been living in small trashy apartments with her mom her whole life.  Suddenly, her mother is successful as an artist and they start over in a new community with a nice house and money!  Willa is almost immediately accepted by the popular girls (“the Glitterati”), and thinks that life can’t get any better.  Then, she starts to see how the scholarship girls at the school are treated because they can’t afford all of the trendy clothes.  She also realizes that she doesn’t know or like her new best friends at all.  Here comes the Robin Hood plot: Willa decides to steal from the rich, undeserving, kids at her school and help out the less fortunate.

A little cliché at times, and often predictable, but a fun read.  Some reviews I’ve seen criticize Willa for her way of evening the playing field, and her not having more sense.  Really, at sixteen, I don’t think any of us are at our brightest…

I wasn’t sure what to think when I read the prologue.  I’m so used to movies like Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13, the Italian Job, and books like Ally Carter’s Heist Society.   I’m used to rooting for the thieves, and then catching myself later and saying, “wait a minute, isn’t stealing wrong, illegal, etc.?”  Pretty Crooked started you out knowing that Willa was likely to be caught.  While this put me off for a minute, it wasn’t what I’d expected, I wanted to know how she got to the point of stealing, and running from the law.  Really, that’s the draw of the book. 

So, if you are looking for clever, successful criminals, read Ally Carter.  If you want a story of the haves and have-nots, with a cute, cocky, persistent boy, and a protagonist who’s still learning about herself, then read Pretty Crooked.  There are some loose ends to the story that definitely set it up for a sequel, but no looming cliffhanger.

Content issues: teen drinking, I can’t recall any swearing