Friday, June 14, 2013


I've been a bit absent from blogging for a little while and here's why:

Baby librarian, born on Tuesday and weighing in at a hefty 4 lbs 15 oz; she was about 3 weeks early and apparently anxious to make her debut!  We are smitten with our miracle baby!  Hopefully I'll be back in the swing of things in a month or two, but no promises :)

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer AND Little Red Riding Hood

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: February 2013
Pages: 464
Source: Purchased
For: Classic Double Challenge
Series: Lunar Chronicles, Book 2

Summary for Scarlet:
*Spoilers are inevitable for Cinder*
Scarlet's grandmother has been missing for weeks and the police aren't helping much. Scarlet decides she's better off searching by herself and sets off, in the uneasy company of Wolf, a street fighter with more than a few secrets. Cinder is breaking her way out of prison and hopes to escape the wrath of the lunar queen. With the help of the quirky Captain Thorne, she goes in search of someone who might know more about herself than she does. When Cinder's and Scarlet's paths cross, they will discover a lot more secrets than either one knew before.

Things I Liked (about both):
I am not sure I can pinpoint one specific thing about this book and series that makes me love it so much.  Maybe it is the fantastic way the original fairy tales are incorporated into the story.  I read a few versions of Little Red Riding Hood (or Little Red Cap) and I just loved seeing how Meyer took such a short, sometimes annoyingly simplistic story and made it into something fabulous.  I kind of hate the original tale, because Red Riding Hood seems to just be so stupid and the moralizing is pretty annoying.  Perrault's version didn't have the mother telling Red Riding Hood to be careful and not stray from the path, but it also did not end with her being freed from the wolf.  She dies at the end.  In the belly of the wolf.  And then Perrault discusses the moral for young ladies to avoid wolves, even the ones that don't appear to be wolves.  The Grimm version does have the moralizing mother and Red Riding Hood is saved from the wolf by a woodcutter.  Either way, not one of my favorites.

I love how the details of the original fairy tale, the significant ones that everyone recognizes, make their way into the story.  We have the girl with her ubiquitous red hood(ie) and a journey to grandmother, the wolf (who may or may not be a bad guy), and even the fantastically iconic "what big teeth you have" scene.  It's absolutely perfect.  Not only does Meyer have these elements incorporated into her story, but the world she built is fascinating and deep and completely stands on its own.  Our favorite characters from the last book come back for more and I loved seeing both old and new interact.  I can't wait to see what happens to Cinder and Scarlet and all their friends next.

Things I Didn't Like (about both):
As I mentioned, Little Red Riding Hood is NOT a favorite fairy tale for me.  The moralizing, the stupidity of the main character, even the obnoxious fact that she has to be saved by some random woodcutter, just make me not like it.  Although, I did hear there are a few versions where she actually gets wise to the wolf and avoids death on her own smarts.  Still, I think the most familiar version of the story is the one where she's eaten and then hacked out of the belly of the wolf.  Bravo to Ms. Meyer for making a version of this story that not only I can stomach (and I LOVE Scarlet) but that I loved every minute of!  I really can't think of anything I didn't like about her book.  :)

Start with Cinder by Marissa Meyer
There are loads of other fairy tale retellings, though none quite like this series!

s-factor: !
maybe one or two

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
there are a few brutal scenes near the end

Overall rating: *****

If anyone is looking for a nice pair for the Classic Double Challenge, these two stories went down real easy (at least the original fairy tale is short :)! (Also, check out my guest post from Marissa about writing fairy tale retellings!)

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Classic Double Challenge: June

Another month has flown by! Hopefully your enthusiasm for the Classic Double Challenge hasn't :) June is the month of the baby (I hope). My progress on the challenge, however, is once again pretty slow.  I did manage to finish Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, but I haven't read any Little Red Riding Hood stories yet.  I really ought to do that right away, as they are all pretty short and easy.  I also read one very short version of Bluebeard that skimmed over the horror of the story.  I'm thinking I'll try another version of that soon too.  I'm also still slogging through The Turn of the Screw, which is much less accessible than the retelling, but far more nuanced and better written.  I think I'll finish it before the baby comes (fingers crossed). 

I've no idea what kind of reading progress I'll be making once baby librarian arrives, but I'm hoping a few months will see me back in the groove and reading like crazy (when I possibly can).  Until then, I will continue to devour as much as possible and I'll hopefully get to read about your classic double readings!

Any Classic Double suggested readings that are perfect for summer?  I might need to try a beach read or something light soon.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Armchair BEA, Day 5, Fresh and Young

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

 It's day 5 of Armchair BEA and I'm back for more!  To find out more about this fun event, check out the Armchair BEA site.  

Today's topics are Keeping it Real, Fresh, and Fun, as well as children's books.  Since I've struggled with fresh content for a long time, I haven't got much to say.  The best thing I ever did (though I haven't persisted well) is to create original features.  The two I do occasionally are Listless Monday and Name That Book.  It is fun to have something that just you do (well, plenty of others do similar Listless Mondays) and that can help you avoid the meme or same old review rut.  Mind you, I haven't been doing those two things for a few months straight now.  So, in theory these are some good ideas :)

And since I adore and read almost exclusively in children's lit, I have no trouble thinking of favorites.  The trouble is limiting the number.  Also, because there are so many fabulous blogs out there that do YA lit so well, I thought I'd list some of my favorite reads for a slightly younger crowd: the MG/tween group.  There is a lot of fantastic stuff being published for kids and here are just a few of my faves:

For laughs:
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson 
A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck 

For reals:
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

For sheer faves:
Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Savvy by Ingrid Law

For fabulous fantasy:
The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge
Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull

What are your faves or tips for keeping content fresh?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage
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