Tag Archives: Retelling

It Started With Goodbye

I’d been hearing about this book EVERYWHERE. I’m not sure I’ve seen a more aggressive publicity campaign by Blink. For real, I can’t think of one.
 
So, I was REALLY looking forward to this book, especially because I tend to enjoy books by Blink.
 
Unfortunately, It Started with Goodbye wasn’t one of those books.
 
This was touted as a Cinderella-ish retelling. You know, A girl with a stepsister, a step-mother and a grandmother as a fairy godmother. But that’s a liberal description of It Started With Goodbye. It meets the qualifications, but barely.
 

The book’s biggest problem, was lack of commitment.

The antagonist was nonexistent in this book. In the book, Tate has issues with her stepmother, stepsister and even her father. She even falls into the wrong side of the law. But all that tension dropped, right after it arose. One moment, she would be mad at her stepmother for some injustice or unfair treatment. Then, a paragraph later, Tate would say “but I can see where she was coming from”. It wiped away all of the emotional momentum in the novel.

 
It DROVE ME NUTS. Because it meant that the book had no plot. None at all. In Cinderella, Cinderella escapes her stepmother and step sister’s cruelty. She gets a gown, goes to a ball, meets a prince, and falls in love, right?
 
But here, she wanders around aimlessly for the entire book. Finally, in the last thirty pages, she goes to a festival and meets the ‘prince’. True, she does a few other things, like start a graphic design business…. Which would be great, except it failed to carry any conflict into or out of the novel. While it did serve the purpose of bringing her in contact with the ‘prince’, that’s the only purpose it served. It all seemed so pointless…so directionless and never ending.
 
The writing was okay. However, combined with the plot, the book is less than satisfactory. Dare I say it, it seemed mediocre. It makes my heart ache knowing that the potential of this book was wasted away. There are so many other amazing books out there! Ones that I haven’t even read or heard about.
 
Another huge problem for this book was empathy.
 
I haz none.
 
Not here anyway. I didn’t feel for her, her problems…nothing. A BIG part of that, was the previously mentioned weakness in the plot. Because, if a character isn’t against anything, it’s hard to be for something. In the end, it was kind of like a “shrug” moment where “all is well that ends well”. So unfortunately I can’t recommend the book. Just literally can’t. I so wish I could. But I don’t.

Stealing Snow

I have a challenge question for my audience today. What shape comes after a love triangle?

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

Omg. I don’t know where to start. When I first heard of this book, I just lost myself for a bit.


I mean, Beauty and the Beast……Plus STEAMPUNK?! Yas. Yas please. I needed it, like, yesterday.

So I set my sights on getting a copy at ALA!

Unfortunately Shadow Mountain was not giving copies to reviewers/bloggers at the convention.

It broke my heart, but alas, some lady I met later was like,

“Do you want this? I don’t think it’ll be my thing.” And I was like.

So I came home with an arc after all!

It took me a month to get to it, but I finally did. I started reading at about…. 1 in the morning and all of the sudden, a GHOST APPEARED. (in the novel, not IRL.)

ScArEd Me HaLf To DeAtH. sCaReD. WHY. Why did I decide to read this at 2 in the morning?!? While I was home alone?! With freakin vengeful ghosts in it?! I’m a scared-y cat. I haven’t even read most horror books gifted to me, because I’m such a chicken. (a Bloody Mary incident as a child left me scarred for life. XD)

Someone quick, I need a Miles to hide behind.

Also, Miles = Wounded Hero. Ah. You know how those are my weaknesses. The part where he helps Lucy take care of her…..wounds? Awwwwww. Probably my most favorite moments. Beside the inebriated Miles. That was one of my favorites too.

Of course, as this is regency inspired (as regency as steampunk can get, I imagine..) the romance was mostly explored intellectually rather than physically.

It was refreshing, though I’ll admit, I wish there were a few more stolen moments than there were… But it was still highly enjoyable.

One thing that I savored was the amount of steampunk. Some books say they are steampunk and then usually end up having a pitiful amount of actual steampunk. This book had a healthy variety, which was engaging. While at the same time, it didn’t go overboard in the mechanical department.

Same for the flipside, I felt that the fantasy was well balanced, and wasn’t overwhelming the steampunk. It’s very rare that I’ve seen the two elements balanced just right with each other.

My only hangup? I didn’t really feel much for the characters. Sure, I got the fuzzies when Beauty had her moments with The Beast… but as far as deeply loving characters? Eh. Not sure it was there.

Nevertheless, I was excited to see a character cut from the same cloth as the characters from Stranje House for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin. (Another romance, though a bit fluffier, with still awesome strong ladies, and amazing wounded-heroes to die for.)

I also felt like the pacing was a smidge slow. Not super super bad, but just a smidge. But maybe it’s because I don’t usually read adult? Maybe it’s stellar pacing in the adult world? Or in the regency world? I don’t know.

So overall, I’d say I enjoyed the book and that I will most definitely be picking up book #2!