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Sue's Reading Corner

where YA books are reviewed

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fairy tales

Review: The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: green1-5

(DNF at 33%)

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hello, again! Another day, another review! This one is on The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. Now,  I don’t believe I’ve ever written a DNF review, but there’s a first time for everything. The story is based on The Little Mermaid and follows Evangeline, a ward of King Richard, as she tries to escape her a political marriage by running away and pretending to be a mute servant. Along the way, she meets Westley, whose kindheartedness and good looks she falls for. But things get complicated as the truth about Evangeline’s true standing becomes known. When NetGalley granted my wish for this request, I was really excited. Especially since I enjoyed the author’s previous book, The Merchant’s Daughter. I’m sorry to say that I had to DNF this book at 33%. The reason behind this was that I didn’t want to read a book that I had a lot of problems with. For instance, I felt as if the book had more potential to be uncovered by the author. The amount of dialogue in this book compared to description is a lot more, and I didn’t think it was that developed. The story premise was intriguing to me, so maybe if the book is worked on a bit more, then it would have reached its potential.

Then, there was the insta-romance. When it comes to love and romantic relationships, I really hate instal-romance. I feel as if it’s a quick way to get characters to connect with each other for the purpose of the story. It didn’t seem like Evangeline and Westley were really attracted to each other, but more of their ideas of the other. I’d rather have a build up when it comes to emotional attachment, instead of characters liking the first pretty face they saw and just trusting them because of that. In fact, what really bothered me was the fact that in this novel, pretty equaled good guys and ugly equaled bad. If this was simply meant to be a fairytale set in the 1300s, I get it, but come on; this is a fairytale adaptation. It should be at least more complex than that.

Other than that, it just didn’t feel real enough to me. The story depends on people being kind hearted to Evangeline in a time where things were really tense since the peasants’ Uprising happened recently. And I’m not just talking about respecting others. I’m talking about how no one minds that she can’t really work even though she’s pretending to be a servant. Wouldn’t anyone be suspicious of her real talents? Overall, I think that I was expecting more from the premise, but the book didn’t meet my standards.

That’s all I have to say about The Slient Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. I didn’t really enjoy it, but maybe it gets better in the second half of the book. Who knows? If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

My rating: green3

(2.5 stars)

Hello, everyone! It’s review time again! Today’s review is on The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins, author of The Sweet Trilogy, which I loved btw! This book is actually a retelling of a Grimm brothers fairytale and is about a beast who terrorizes the land of Lochlanach. In order to motivate the men to kill it, the king gives away his daughter as a reward, as well as inheritance to the entire kingdom. Along comes a guy named Paxton, who wants nothing to do with royalty, thinking them as merciless and haughty,  merely wanting the beast gone. However, he is thoroughly surprised when he meets Princess Aerity, and a spark of interest ignites between them. When I heard that Wendy Higgins was writing a new book, I immediately added it to my TBR pile, just waiting to read it! But then all the other books on my TBR caught up to me, and so it took me a while to get to this book. Upon reading it, however, I felt differently towards this book.

There were some things I liked about it, though. What I liked about The Great Hunt was that it had an interesting mythology around the story. I was really invested in reading about the history rather than the present with the boring and predictable characters. When the Lashed Ones were mentioned, I always wanted to know more about them. It might have been one of the reason why I wasn’t interested in reading about Aerity’s royal life. That and the fact that I didn’t feel like she was doing anything worthwhile.

I mean, yeah, she was selfless enough to sacrifice her future for Eurona’s (the continent in which Lochlanach is located), but I don’t know if it’s the same as the hunters and people of Eurona who are sacrificing their own lives to hunt the beast. Everyone and their grandmother likes to mention Aerity’s sacrifice for the kingdom and how brave she is, but they rarely say anything about the hunters’ sacrifice. It just kind of irked me. Other than going on and on about her sadness or how she somehow liked somehow who held her in contempt, Aerity didn’t have much going on as a main character. Not that Paxton was much better as a love interest. Once the mystery surrounding him was revealed, I immediately grew disinterested in him, finding him way too prejudiced for my liking. Overall, I didn’t really like Aerity and Paxton’s story, but the other stories surrounding them.

That’s all I have to say about The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins. I don’t think I’d recommend reading this unless you are thoroughly interesting in reading a fairytale retelling of the Grimms brothers. If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

30 Day Disney Challenge #2

Back with the 30 Day Disney Challenge. For those of you who don’t know, it’s easy. Just follow the instructions of the chart above depending on which day of the challenge you’re in.

For me, it’s Princess day! Since 1937 till now, Disney has been using princesses and their stories to entertain us. There are so many and some are similar while others are really different. Today, I choose my favourite Disney princess and out of all the movies I’ve watched, I’m going to have to pick Belle from Beauty and the Beast, who is also a notorious bookworm. 🙂

belle5

Now, that I’m done answering that question, I’ll ask you: who’s your favourite Disney princess? Tune in for tomorrow’s challenge!

-Sumaya

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