Saturday, August 01, 2015 06:00

August link-up challenge.

September has started. Are you still on schedule? It the end of this post you can put links to your challenge page/post and every review you post on your blog. Please make this easy to navigate by putting it like this:

UPDATE  @ your name/blog name.
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.

Also, don't forgot to add the hash tag #fairytaleRC to all your tweets.

I sometimes get questions about fairytale retelling recommendations. Today I’m going to list all the favorite retellings I’ve acquired over the years.

1. Jodi Lynn Anderson - Tiger Lily.
I’m not someone who cries over books or movies, but there are still a couple of stories that manage to touch me in such a way that I get teary eyes. Even thinking about this book makes me want to crawl into bed with a cup of Ben & Jerry ice cream. Tiger Lily features, like the title says, Tiger Lily from Peter Pan. We see how she finds love – and how she loses it. The writing-style is what got me. Beautiful prose and it’s told from the interesting POV of Tinkerbell.

2. Rosamund Hodge - Cruel beauty.
Hands down one of the best debuts I’ve ever read and by far my favorite retelling from Beauty and the beast. Cruel beauty is dark and the mythology based world is so well-crafted. I feel like I could reread this book a thousand times and every time I will discover something new. This is not the kind Belle we know from Disney. Nyx is broken and tormented, which makes her fascinating to follow. Her chemistry with Ignifex *SHIP IT*

3. Marissa Meyer – The Lunar Chronicles.
This series opened up the world of sci-fi. It’s so unique and I’m impressed with the characters. I think Scarlet is my favorite installment so far, because it introduces Scarlet and Thorne. If you haven’t heard of this series (where have you been all that time?) it’s mainly about Cinder, an important cyborg, Prince Po, dealing with his crumbling world, Scarlet, looking for her grandmother, Wolfe, Thorne and Cress, recently escaped from her satellite, who are fighting against Queen Levana. The plot thickens with each book and they are fast-paced and filled with action and intrigue.

4. Anna Ursu - Breadcrumbs.
This might be a Middle Grade book, but please don’t diminish it as one. Breadcrumbs is a beautifully written retelling of The Snow Queen and it’s an enchanting story about friendship with a strong heroin I would like children to read about.

"Unfortunately Mr. Penbrook was the sort of gentleman Mother had told her about. You could poison their horses, steal their pins, set their manors on fire, chop off their fingers and they would still think you the sweetest little thing."
5. Heather Dixon - Entwined.
Entwined features a big cast (since it’s a retelling from the 12 dancing princesses), but I like how they all got their unique features. The dark twist around their curse was a nice touch.

6.  Sarah J. Maas – A court of thorns and roses and Throne of glass.
Believe it or not, but TOG is actually based on Cinderella. ACOTAR takes a complete new spin on Beauty and the beast. Sarah deserves all the attention. Her masterfully written books with kick-ass heroines, super hot guys and thickening plots must be read by everyone.

7. Kate Danley – The woodcutter.
It has been a while since I’ve read this book, but I remember being charmed by The woodcutter and the use of different fairytales. It was complex and this is a book I see myself re-reading soon.

"You do not get to be some goddamn martyr, you hear me? You are a pigheaded, stubborn, stupid boy and you are not going to put more people in danger."
8. A.C Gaughen – Scarlet.
MY DEAREST SCARLET. This girl has to endure a lot through the story, especially in the darker Lady thief. Scarlet is someone you have to fall in love with. Tough, big mouth, easily annoyed, but there beats a caring and soft heart underneath those layers.

9. Juliet Marillier – Daughter of the forest, Wildwood dancing  and Heart’s blood.
Don’t make me choose between a retelling from the Six swans, the 12 dancing princesses or beauty and the beast. Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite authors and I HIGHLY recommend picking up one of her books. She is a master in recreating that magical feeling. She spins a whimsical world with Celtic details and strong (yet flawed) main characters.

10. Heidi Schulz – Hook’s revenge.
Thanks to Debby for introducing me to the adorable Hook’s revenge. It is so cute, there are illustrations and we get to see Jocelyn’s journey when she tries to avenge her father’s death. The sarcastic storyteller and feisty Jocelyn made me fall in love with this series.

Other "retellings" I love:
-Bridget Zinn - Poison. It's not really a retelling, but it certainly has a fairytale-ish feeling to it.
-R.C Lewis - Stitching snow. A recent addition to my favorite list.
-Naomi Novik - Uprooted. Fantastic tale inspired by Beauty and the beast and folklore.
-Robin LaFevers - Dark triumph. Has Beauty and the beast vibes.
-Jessica Day George - Princess of the midnight ball. Based on the 12 dancing princesses.

A few retellings I look forward with no/few hype:
-Catherynne M. Valente - Speak easy. Based on the 12 dancing princesses.
-S. Jae-Jones - The goblin king.
-David Hammons - Alice takes back Wonderland.
-MarcyKate Connolly - Ravenous. Based on Hansel and Gretel.
-Bridget Hodder - The rat prince.
-Melanie Dickerson - The golden braid. Based on Rapunzel.
-Brianna Shrum - Never never. Based on Peter Pan.
-Jessica Khoury - The forbidden wish. Based on Aladdin.
-Sara Saedi - Never ever. Based on Peter Pan.
-Lisa Maxwell - The stars turned away. Based on Peter Pan.
-McKenna Ruebush - Enter a glossy web. Based on Alice in Wonderland.
-Nicole Castroman - Blackhearts. Based on Blackbeard.
-John Claude Bemis - The wooden prince. Based on Pinocchio.

Popular upcoming retellings I NEED in my life.
-R.C Lewis - Spinning starlight.
-Liz Braswell - A whole new world (I don't care that almost everyone hate it)
-E.K Johnston - A thousand nights.
-C.J Redwine - The Shadow queen.
-Meagan Spooner - Hunted.
-Wendy Higgins - The great hunt.
-Marissa Meyer - Heartless. and Marissa Meyer - Winter.

Some of my favorite original fairytales:
Beauty and the beast (Belle et la Bête) Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont rewrote the story from Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve to the story we are familiar with.
The goose girl by the Brother’s Grimm.
One-eyes, Two-eyes and Three-eyes by the Brother’s Grimm.
Thumbelina by Hans Christian Anderson.
The twelve dancing princesses by the Brother’s Grimm.
The snow queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
Bluebeard by Charles Perrault.

No link-up this month.

What are some of your favorite retellings? What are some of your most anticipated retellings? And what is your favorite original fairytale?
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 10:51

(See you later)

I am taking three weeks off. I’m definitely going to read lots of books in my hammock at the side of a pool. This vacation also gives me enough time to practice with my new camera.

I decided to take a complete break from blogging, so I’m not pre-scheduling any posts besides the Fairytale link-up challenge post. These past few months were very busy for me and I haven’t been able to catch up with blogging – and I didn’t miss it that much. I noticed that I need some time off and I believe this will be my first break in almost 2 years.

I'm also adding CAPTCHA to the comments during these weeks, because I've been getting a lot of spam lately and I don't want to return to an overrun blog.

So, see you later guys!

Sunday, July 12, 2015 20:04

Review 234. Megan Shepherd – The cage.

23215450Title: The cage.
Author: Megan Shepherd.
Pages: 400.
Published: May 26th 2015 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Sort: The cage #1.
When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone. Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans. As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

Shepherd’s previous series, The madman’s daughter, had its up and downs. I loved her writing, so I had hope for this book. It started as a promising story, but it went downhill and ended up being nothing special.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 11:13

Review 233. Sharon Biggs Waller – A mad, wicked folly.

18079501Title: A mad, wicked folly.
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller.
Pages: 448.
Published: January 23rd 2014 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: A Sinterklaas gift from Daisy.
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl. After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

This book came highly recommended by one of my friends and book club members: Debby, so I was thrilled when I got a copy from Daisy last December. I always like historical fiction (and I don’t read enough of them!) and look at that pretty cover. This book didn’t disappoint with all it’s women power.
Sunday, July 05, 2015 23:15

July link-up reading challenge.

At the end of this post you can put links to your challenge page/post and every review you post on your blog. Please make this easy to navigate by putting it like this:

UPDATE  @ your name/blog name.
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.

Don't forget to tweet with the hash tag #fairytaleRC so we can see all your updates.

Last time I found a new collection of Disney wedding dresses and it inspired me for this month's topic. Today I want to make a modern look based on my favorite Disney princess:

Belle, of course! When I think about her, I think about simple, clean and elegant clothes. I decided to go with a pretty grey coat that still shows off her lovely figure. Her hair is in a bit of a messy ponytail with a golden hair cuff in it. I decided to stick with simple black for her bag, skirt and shoes. I wanted to bring the gold from her hair cuff back by adding a watch with golden tones. Her simple yellow top is of course based on her dress from the dancing scene and I wanted to add some colour and Beauty & the beast details into the outfit, hence the rose earrings. It will look great in combination with a red lip and red nail polish.

Belle wears different clothes during the movie. She starts out with her simple white dress with blue accents, later on she adds a coat to it. She wears a green dress in the library scene, a pink one with a cape when they are having fun in the snow (later also without cape) and there is the yellow gown in their dancing scene. Here is a funny chart where you can see all the different dresses:

Released by Disney. Look at Tatiana by the way!

If you like, you can go ahead and create your own modern version from one of these Disney princesses. I used the website Polyvore, but you can use whatever you want. Let me know in the comments what your favorite dress/outfit is from a Disney princess and how would you modernize it?

Thursday, July 02, 2015 17:05

Monthly recap. June.

This post recaps my month, from personal life to books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.
A lot of exciting things happened this month, with as highlight: I AM GRADUATING. I got my last grade (8 out of 10 for my internship) and I will receive my Bachelor of applied science somewhere in September. It is really strange that, after four years of hard work, it is all over now. I got some awesome compliments during my last review and it was nice to hear they were so happy with me. If there was a budget they would have hired me. There is still a small chance though *fingers crossed* Today was my last day and I’m sad to go. I feel a little emotional right now, but I am also happy to have some well deserved vacation time.

If you are interested in what I am going to do with my diploma: there are several titles for my job, but I think you call it a Medical technologist, in my case specialised in Microbiology. If you don’t know what that means, in short: There are different types of microbiology laboratories like in a hospital or food industry. My job is to detect en identify infections from (patient) specimens, which can be from all kinds of materials. I determine from the samples if particular microbes are present, like pathogen bacteria or fungi. I have a video to give you some examples. She doesn’t speak with much enthusiasm, but this will give you a general idea: Overview of a microbiology lab. I think I have a wonderful job with very challenging cases.

And that brings me to the next topic: I was invited for two job interviews! I sent out two applications: one to an Academic hospital and one to a public health care laboratory. It’s hard to find a job because there is a lot of cuts in my section lately, so imagine my surprise when they both replied! I had my first interview yesterday and I found out that the place just isn’t my thing, but it was a good experience and I’m happy I gave it a shot. I really want to work in a hospital, so wish me luck this Friday!

imageOther memorable moments: I went to the park every sunny day with some colleagues to get a tan, we ate ice cream provided by the microbiologists, I went to the beach with my boyfriend, I went to diner for my Mother’s birthday and my parent’s anniversary. I had a diner with my sister at a World restaurant. Very cool concept. There are chefs from different specialisms, so you can order all kinds of food: from sushi to fast-food. It was very tasty. We ordered Chinese for my dad’s birthday, sushi to celebrate my graduation, I went to a home-made market and I had a shopping trip with my mom and sister. I had a fun book club meeting where we mainly raved about movies and TV shows. I went to the beach with my boyfriend, sister and her boyfriend. And, my Kobo Glo HD and new case arrived. I am still testing it out (spoiler: I LOVE IT), but keep an eye out for my review.

It was a good month.
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