Saturday, July 21, 2018

Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an excellent story, and although I am NOT a graphic novel fan, the writing is what kept me poring over the pages. A dressmaker with grand dreams meets a cross-dressing prince with his own, possibly grander, dreams of fashion, and the pair has a wonderful friendship, which eventually falters when the dressmaker realizes that by supporting the prince's dreams, she is not fulfilling her own... Layers of meaning and pathos, this richly illustrated story turn inside-out the fairytales about princes and wayward maidens. There is an emphasis on acceptance, friendship, and family love. There was a quiet scene where the dressmaker and the prince might have kissed... but they don't - and the soft, poignant moment captures a myriad of emotions, which, due to the lack of words, allows the reader to make their own interpretation of their relationship at that point.

With all that being said, being that I prefer words for details, the lack of written words and descriptions left me a little unsatisfied. In general, it's a strong, fascinating story and I would be willing to read her next novel... despite the graphic novel approach. ;)

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: The Steep & Thorny Way

The Steep & Thorny Way The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although I was prepared to be unimpressed with the very frank and bold connections to Shakespeare's Hamlet (a writer's ploy to wow his or her readers, I thought), I was pleasantly surprised and ultimately enjoyed this version of the Shakespearean plot very much!

The writing was smooth and fluid; the characterizations were a tiny bit shallow with the limited perspective of Hanalee, the main character, but the storyline, although borrowed, kept me engaged from beginning to end. The surprising placement and setting, 1920s Oregon; the twist of characters with the involvement of the KKK and a biracial young lady altogether combined for a heady story which left me saddened and satisfied.

I even accepted the ghost involved!

I can hardly wait to read her other books!

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Review: Alone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean

Alone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean Alone: Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean by Brett Archibald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an incredible story of strength and faith in humanity. It was beautifully written in a powerful, raw way and although I know the ending, it didn't stop me from being enthralled by the horror-stricken tale of a man, adrift alone on a furious ocean. The writing was surprisingly good. The emotional powerhouse of this experience will never leave you.

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Review: The Tiger's Child: What Ever Happened to Sheila?

The Tiger's Child: What Ever Happened to Sheila? The Tiger's Child: What Ever Happened to Sheila? by Torey L. Hayden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story might be unbelievable. Sadly, it's based on a true story. Torey Hayden's brutally honest account of her experience with an emotionally, sexually and mentally abused child makes for a painful page-turner.

I cheered for Torey as her long-standing dedication and sustaining love brought the child out of the darkness, and the story should have blossomed with hope and golden lilies. Yet as life would have it: there were twists and turns out of that dark place.

Although this is apparently the second (and last) account of the story of Sheila, I pray she continues to find her place in this world and I am thankful that her heart has been healed a little bit by the dedication and love from Torey, her teacher.

God bless and keep you both.

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