2020 Book #66 – The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter

Title: The Glass Queen
Author: Gena Showalter
Date finished: 9/22/20
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, fairy-tale retelling
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Pages in book: 415
Stand alone or series: #2 in the Forest of Good and Evil series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley/Publisher
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Once Upon a Time meets Game of Thrones in book two of New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter’s magical, romantic dark fantasy series, in which the fairy tales we know and love are prophecies of the future. Welcome to the Forest of Good and Evil, where villains may be heroes and heroes may be villains…it all depends on who you ask.

Ashleigh Ansklelisa may be called the Glass Princess due to her weak heart, but Saxon, king of the Avian, knows she is more dangerous than broken glass, in this Cinderella retelling that sweeps readers into the magical land of Enchantia, filled with treacherous enemies, unexpected allies, forbidden love, and dangerous magic! Can destined lovers find their way to each other, or will evil win the day? Everything changes at the stroke of midnight as one determined princess fights for her legacy, her love, and the crown that is her destiny.

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I thought the premise behind this book sounded pretty interesting, and since it’s the second in a series I decided to read the first beforehand also (The Evil Queen). I read both around my birthday and I am so glad that I did! These were great stories and were just perfect for me. I love fairy tale retellings and these were SO GOOD. I liked the first book in the series a little better just because I loved Everly’s character, but The Glass Queen was also excellent. I’m not sure if the author was influenced by her friend Kresley, but there are ALOT of things in both these books that remind me of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. The Glass Queen reminded me a lot of Thronos’ story from Dark Skye combined with both main characters stories from Dreams of a Dark Warrior. And the oracle Noel reminds me almost too much of Nix. Which isn’t a problem for me because I adore that series. There was obviously less steam because these are young adult and not romance but there was still great tension and chemistry between the main characters. I loved all the world building and details, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out! I’d definitely recommend this series!

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2018 Book #34 – All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

61NMINqPepLTitle: All the Ever Afters
Author: Danielle Teller
Date finished: 4/26/18
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, fairy-tale retelling
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Pages in book: 373
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss and Library Thing NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss and Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s “evil” stepmother.

We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?

As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .

A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.

Lyrically told, emotionally evocative, and brilliantly perceptive, All the Ever Afters explores the hidden complexities that lie beneath classic tales of good and evil, all the while showing us that how we confront adversity reveals a more profound, and ultimately more important, truth than the ideal of “happily ever after.”

My rating:  4.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I have recently enjoyed the influx of fairy-tale retellings and the tales that are told from a different point of view. I loved the movie that came out a few years ago, Maleficient, and of course one of my all time favorites in this vein was the musical, Wicked. From these stories we learn that evil is not born but made, and truthfully is decided by the story-teller. Tales are exaggerated and told to paint the story teller in a sympathetic tone so that the reader will empathize with their plight. Agnes as a character was much easier to empathize with than I expected, especially considering how well the Cinderella story was ingrained in my mind prior to reading this book. Agnes as a character though was so strong-willed and determined to find a better life both for herself and for her daughters that it was easy to root for her success. And while many things in her life could be defined as “unfair,” her logical approach never let that fact weigh her down and instead she persevered in spite of the unfairness of her circumstances. At first I found the narration to be a tad overly wordy but after a little bit of adjustment it was easy to read, and the words painted such a vivid portrait that infused the text with emotions and feeling. I enjoyed this book immensely and I love that by reading it the reader is made to re-think the truths of good and evil. This was truly an enjoyable novel and I would definitely recommend it, especially for fans of the Cinderella story.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #31 – Geekerella by Ashley Poston

41vbwsnJrILTitle: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Date finished: 4/9/17
Genre: Young adult
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale. 
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Danielle Wittimer, a girl with a positively awful stepmother and two equally awful step sisters. Ever since her father died Elle has felt alone in the world, just trying to sludge through the days and save up enough money to move to LA. Her only outlet for her frustrations is her blog where she writes about Starfield, a show that her and her Dad would watch together. Her Dad even started a convention nearby in Atlanta years ago, a convention that Elle hasn’t been to in years. This year though there is a contest and the winner gets $500 and a chance to meet the new star of the upcoming Starfield movie, Darien Freedman. Elle could care less about meeting the previously unknown actor, she wants to win the cash prize to help her on her way to her dream. But she also wants to meet the boy that she’s been talking to for weeks, her own Prince Carmindor. But he turns out to be who she least expects.
Overall I really liked this book. It was an interesting and modern retelling of the Cinderella tale. The cast of characters in this book was awesome, I loved each of the characters and what they added to the story. There were a couple of frustrating points in the book for me and one of them was that I felt the villainous characters in the book, specifically Chloe, should’ve gotten a bit more punishment for their wrongs. At one point Chloe steals Elle’s life-savings (which is about $700) and NOTHING HAPPENS. If someone stole $700 from me I would call the cops and have her ass arrested. So there were certain points that I thought Elle (and Darien really) should’ve fought back a little more. But the parts about Elle’s Mom and Dad and keeping their memories alive were truly touching. And I loved the ending, how Darien came riding in on his “white horse” (LOL) to save the day. This was a really cute retelling of Cinderella’s tale with all the modern twists that will attract a fandom of its own.

The bottom line: I thought this was a cute novel with an interesting twist on the Cinderella tale. There were a couple of frustrating points for me but other than that was a great book.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book #61


The sixty-first book I read in 2014 was A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James. This is the first book in the Fairy Tales series by this author. I finished this book on 7/28/14 (just past midnight). I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of a girl named Katherine Daltry. Kate has lived practically as a servant in her own household ever since her father died and left her step-mother as her legal guardian. Kate has been managing multiple pieces of her father’s estate on her own for the last few years, as her step-mother has a tendency to fire most of the servants on the estate.

Prince Gabriel bundled up all the people who were thrown out of his country by his over-zealous religious brother and brought them all to his castle in England. The only problem with this is that now he has to find a way to pay and support this horde of family and friends. While the income from the estate will fund the castle’s needs in future years, the estate won’t make any income for the first year. Therefore the prince decides he must wed a wealthy heiress in order to care for the people living under his roof. When Kate arrives at the castle for the ball that is to be held in a few days time, Gabriel has a princess on her way from Russia with a significant dowry.

Kate ends up taking her sister’s place at the Prince’s betrothal ball through a twist of Fate, but she must attend while posing to be her step-sister Victoria, along with Victoria’s fiancee Algie. The whole thing reminded me slightly of a comedy of errors and it was very entertaining and funny. Once the prince figures out that Kate is.. well Kate and not Victoria, he begins to pursue her in earnest even though he is betrothed to a Russian princess. 

Overall I thought this was a great book and I look forward to reading more books in this series. As Kate goes through the story she realizes she has many people she can consider family who support her. The story was very sweet and also was interesting. 

Link to author website: http://www.eloisajames.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-at-Midnight-Eloisa-James/dp/0062232568/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1406561491&sr=8-1