Review: Secret Beast

I read Secret Beast with #EnchantedReadsBookClub in July – and I was so proud of myself that I actually finished a book club book in time for book club! Woohoo!

Secret Beast is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, although, in the beginning I felt a little like the story was going to lean Romeo and Juliet-esque with the feuding families.

I had a lot of issues with some of the plot points in the book. For instance, the feelings between Leo and Haley escalate super fast – and I believe the author was going to a Stockholm Syndrome idea, but it didn’t work for me as Haley had only been in Leo’s home for a few days.

I also wanted to know more about Leo’s background, because I feel like ti was left very vague. I assume it is “job” is mob related, but the reader isn’t given deeper understanding of his history or business.

And the ending! Ugh. Just – ahhh! Without spoilers, the ending was NOT what I expected. If you’ve read this and want to discuss the ending, message me!

All of that said, I couldn’t stop thinking about this book as I read it and would stay up way past my bedtime to read “just one more chapter.”

Thank you to the #EnchantedReadsBookClub and @beautyslibrary for discussing this book! This was definitely one of those books where talking about it made me enjoy it even more (even if I still have issues with some plot points).

Review: A Spindle Splintered

A Spindle Splintered was a fun and unique retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale. After an industrial accident when she was young, Zinnia was left with a rare condition. The one thing that is known about her disease is no one has lived past the age of 21.

Growing up, she has had an almost obsession with the Sleeping Beauty tale. For her 21st birthday, her best friend surprises her with a birthday bash and tops it off with a spinning wheel. When Zinnia pricks her finger, though, rather than falling asleep, she is transported to another dimension and meets another cursed girl.

I really liked how the author didn’t just use the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty – there are so many more interpretations of this story.

This was a short read and I am definitely looking forward to more if Alix E. Harrow writes more fractured fairytales.

I listened to this as an audiobook thanks to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley.

Review: The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice

Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and Page Street YA for hosting this tour!

I LOVED this The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice! The story was so immersive and I enjoyed the gender swap retelling of Pinocchio. 

Set in an old world German-style town, I felt like I could walk right in and become part of this town. The town, the shops, the maker’s, even the local pub felt so real. 

And the makers – I loved them all, especially Nan who felt like the big sister to everyone. Taking care of them all, but also a little sassy.

As Pirouette works for the Margrave and she enlists the help of the makers, I fell in love with each of them all over again. Their friendships are so beautiful and honest and the way the come to each other’s aid is heartwarming.

The use of forbidden magic in the town was used well. The tension between Pirouette’s existence and what brought her to life was palpable. And use of magic and its consequences throughout the book helped to thread the tension throughout the story.

I found myself reading through this story quickly; Lisa DeSelm’s writing is engaging and easy to read. I loved that the elements of the Pinoccio story came through, but DeSelm made the story her own.

BLURB

Impressed by the work of the puppetmaster and his apprentice, Tavia’s ruler, The Margrave, has ordered dozens of life-size marionette soldiers to be sent to Wolfspire Hall. When the orders for more soldiers come in with increasingly urgent deadlines, the puppetmaster’s health suffers and Pirouette, his daughter and protégé, is left to build in his stead. But there is something far more twisted brewing at Wolfspire—the Margrave’s son wants Pirouette to create an assassin. And he wants her to give it life.

With Tavia teetering on the brink of war and her father dying in the dungeons, Pirouette has no choice but to accept. Racing against the rise of the next blue moon—the magic that will bring her creations to life—she can’t help but wonder, is she making a masterpiece…or a monster?