Announcement

Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews is currently on hiatus. I hope to return to blogging sooner rather than later.

I will still be posting mini book reviews on Goodreads and talking books on Twitter so feel free to find me there.

Thank you and happy reading1


Friday, February 28, 2014

KINDLE DEALS!!

I haven't done one of these in a long time so I decided to go hunt up some great Kindle deals for you all!  Please remember to check all prices before clicking that awesome button because they are subject to change.

The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5)
The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan -- A prequel novella that is an amazing story on its own.  It tells the story of a governess who is removed from her position and is determined to seek revenge for her termination.  I gave it 4.5 stars and my review can be found here. (FREE)

The Wicked Wallflower (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #1)
The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale -- First in a historical romance series.  This focuses on a couple whose engagement is surprisingly announced in a newspaper (even though they are definitely not engaged).  I found it delightful and thought the Fortune Games was a great homage to the Hunger Games phenomenon.  I gave it 4 stars and my review can be found here($1.99)

Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance (Knitting in the City, #1)
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid -- A hilarious contemporary romance with a quirky (but not annoying) heroine and a sexy hero nicknamed Sir McHotpants by the heroine's friends.  I gave it 4 stars and my review can be found here.  ($1.99)

Heart of Iron (London Steampunk, #2)
Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster -- The second in a very creative steampunk series.  This particular installment focuses on a werewolf and a lady spy.  I gave it 4 stars and my review can be found here($2.99)

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer -- The beginning of a series of fairy tale retellings with a sci-fi twist.  This version of Cinderella has the titular heroine as a cyborg.  I gave it 5 stars and my review can be found here.  ($2.99)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1)
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares -- Start of a popular YA contemporary series about a group of friends and their "magical" pair of blue jeans.  I gave it 4.5 stars and also really enjoyed the movie adaptation.  ($2.99)

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare -- First in a very popular YA paranormal series that deals with vampires, angels, demons, and a wide variety of other supernatural creatures.  I gave it 4 stars.  ($2.99)

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast by Hannah Howell -- One of the first historicals I ever read.  It is a pretty basic Medieval-set retelling, but it just connected with me for some reason.  I gave it 4 stars.  ($1.80)

Hook's Pan (Kingdom, #5)
Hook's Pan by Marie Hall -- The fifth book in a series focusing on the bad boys of the fairy tale world.  I read the first book last year (The Mad Hatter) and thought it was very original. (FREE)


Wicked (Medieval Trilogy, #3)
Wicked by Jill Barnett -- Conclusion of a medieval-era romance trilogy.  This book apparently has a lighthearted tone and involves a heroine trying to break out of a designated path.  ($0.99)

If You Deceive (MacCarrick Brothers, #3)
If You Deceive by Kresley Cole -- The conclusion of a historical romance trilogy.  It has a Highland setting and scarred hero.  I haven't read it, but I do love KC's paranormals and YA fiction. ($1.99)

Summer Is for Lovers
Summer is for Lovers by Jennifer McQuiston -- Historical romance that features a heroine in pursuit and a reluctant hero.  I haven't read this, but I do own it. ($1.99)

It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8)
It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long -- Part of the popular Pennyroyal Green series.  This installment features a heroine with a big secret and a hero desperate for a wife.  ($1.99)

Skies of Gold (The Ether Chronicles, #5)
Skies of Gold by Zoe Archer -- Fifth in a steampunk series that seems to be pretty popular among this author's fans.  I haven't read it, but I enjoy Archer's writing style.  ($1.99)

Uglies (Uglies, #1)
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld -- First in a very popular YA dystopian series where everyone is ugly until they go through an experiment to make them 'pretty."  I do own this, but haven't gotten to read it yet.  ($1.99)

Her Ladyship's Curse (Disenchanted & Co., Book 1, Part #1)
Her Ladyship's Curse by Lynn Viehl -- Start of an steampunk series where America lost the Revolutionary War.  The heroine is an investigator of magic crimes.  ($2.99)

Delirium (Delirium, #1)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver -- First in a popular trilogy that deals with the eradication of love from a society.  ($2.99)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)
The Selection by Kiera Cass -- First in a dystopian series that is inspired by the Bachelor.  ($2.99)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY-HISTORICAL ROMANCE EDITION (15)

Happy Thursday, everyone! This is a new feature hosted by Buried Under Romance and Love Saves the World.

What is Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition?
Traditionally, Throwback Thursday celebrates nostalgia, asking participants to post a personal photo or an image from their past -- usually from 5 to 10 years ago. There are a lot of book blogs that also do a book-related Throwback Thursday.  Since Tin and Mary C. are unapologetic lovers of historical romances, they've decided to focus on this beloved genre.

Here are the rules:
1. It must be posted on a Thursday.
2. It must be a historical romance novel published before October 2008.


THIS WEEK I AM FEATURING...

And Then He Kissed Her (Girl Bachelors, #1)

Then He Kissed Her (Girl Bachelors #1) by Laura Lee Guhrke
Originally Published in February 27, 2007

Supremely sensible Emmaline Dove wishes to share her etiquette expertise with London's readers, and as secretary to Viscount Marlowe, Emma knows she's in the perfect position to make her dream come true. Marlowe might be a rake with a preference for can-can dancers and an aversion to matrimony, but he is also the city's leading publisher, and Emma is convinced he's her best chance to see her work in print...until she discovers the lying scoundrel has been rejecting her manuscripts without ever reading a single page!

As a publisher, Harry finds reading etiquette books akin to slow, painful torture. Besides, he can't believe his proper secretary has the passion to write anything worth reading. Then she has the nerve to call him a liar, and even resigns without notice, leaving his business in an uproar and his honor in question. Harry decides it's time to teach Miss Dove a few things that aren't proper. But when he kisses her, he discovers that his former secretary has more passion and fire than he'd ever imagined, for one luscious taste of her lips only leaves him hungry for more.


***********
This was a book that I originally read based on a recommendation on Julia Quinn's website.  I loved the premise with the heroine being a working woman and the hero being her boss and a publisher.  Emma is a very admirable heroine with her independent spirit and her obsession with etiquette.  Harry took some getting used to, but I did really like the way that LLG developed his character through his past experiences.  Plus the fact that this book took place in the late 19th century helped make it stand out among all the Regency-era historicals.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

REVIEW: "Cress" by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)
Cress by Marissa Meyer
For Ages 13+
Young Adult -- Science Fiction/Dystopian

Feiwel and Friends -- February 4, 2014
Hardcover, 550 pages

THEMES
Fairy Tale Retelling

SUMMARY
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
 

FIRST LINE
"Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours."

MY THOUGHTS

Warning!  This review contains minor spoilers for earlier books in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Scarlet.

This series is getting better and better!  Marissa Meyer has definitely found a niche for herself in the world of YA fiction and I am so glad to have discovered her.  The characters (especially the titular heroines) are all well-developed and given plenty of opportunity to grow as people.  The plot is action-packed and continues to throw twists at readers when they least expect it.  Overall, I found this installment to be just as good as its predecessors and am eagerly anticipating the conclusion of the series next year. 

Cress takes place almost immediately after the end of Scarlet with Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, and Captain Thorne in a spaceship trying to figure out a way to overthrow the evil Levana, Queen of Luna, save the Earth.  They come across Cress, a shell (Lunar without powers) who has been living on a satellite orbiting Earth for seven years and seems to have sympathies for Earth's plight.  Their attempts to meet up with Cress result in a variety of adventures for all the characters including crashing satellites, treks across the Sahara Desert, attempts to stop a wedding, and even a trip to Luna itself.

One of my favorite parts of this series is seeing how the author takes classic fairy tales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, etc. and retells them with a science fiction twist.  The concept of Cress (Rapunzel) as a hostage living on a satellite is very original and really works.  I also loved the way that Meyer interpreted the parts of the fairy tale such as when the evil witch tricks the knight in shining armor.  These little tidbits are creatively thrown in with the continuation of the overall series story line: preventing Queen Levana from marrying Emperor Kai and restoring the mysterious Princess Selene to her rightful throne.  I don't want to say much more about the plot to avoid major spoilers, but I have mention some of my favorite aspects like the new discoveries regarding the plague and how the Lunar community is really set up.

Crescent "Cress" is, I guess, the main character of this particular installment though the story does jump around from character to character.  As mentioned above, she has been held captive in a satellite for years with only her screens as company.  This solitude has allowed her to become an expert at technology especially hacking both Earthling and Lunar systems.  I love it when a heroine has such a unique skill and I came away very impressed with all the details that Meyer provided.  Despite her technological skill, Cress is a very socially awkward person who obviously spent a lot of time in her own head which made her seem, at first, naive and idealistic.  Later actions showed that this was an incorrect assumption as Cress showed how strong she really was to have survived such a situation without major mental issues.

And then there's the swoon-worthy and hilarious Captain Thorne who I fell in love with from the moment we met him in Scarlet when he helped Cinder escape prison.  Thorne has been Cress's dream guy since she started tracking Cinder & Co. and I loved getting to see her meet him and realize that his complexity.  Thorne's sense of humor is tested when he is forced into a difficult situation with Cress and I thought it really showed what a decent guy he is underneath all the swagger.  Cress and Thorne's relationship is still in the early stages, but I like the potential. 

Besides Captain Thorne, Marissa Meyer continues to develop and focus on the rest of her Lunar Chronicles cast.  Readers of the series will be excited to see the return of Cinder, Wolf, Scarlet, Iko, and Levana.  I won't spend much time commenting each of these characters, but I love where most of their story lines are going.  Cinder and Kai are moving closer to a reunion while Scarlet and Wolf's relationship is sorely test.  Iko is as delightful as always and even gets some focus of her own.  And Levana continues to be a fascinating and complex villain.  Meyer also increases the size of the cast by introducing readers to characters that I am excited to see more of in the next book.  I am especially interested in Jacin, a Lunar guard whose loyalties seem to change with the weather, and Winter, Levana's stepdaughter, whose sanity is a little suspect.

Another part of Cress that I really enjoyed was the variety of settings that the characters visited.  The satellite and Thorne's Rampion sound so intriguing and work well in a science fiction story line.  A small village in Africa reveals some startling truths about Luna and its relationship to Earth.  Readers also get to return to New Beijing as Kai's wedding to Levana approaches.  And my favorite part was definitely getting to see Luna for the first time and learning more about their society...as scary as that may be.

All in all, I loved almost everything about Cress from the characters to the settings to the plot.  I can tell that things are barreling along towards quite a conclusion and I can't wait until 2015 when we finally get to read it!


5 STARS



STEAM LEVEL
Blush -- Kisses with no/minor touching.

 FAVORITE QUOTE
“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Cinder
2. Scarlet
3. Cress
4. Winter (Coming 2015) 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY (REWIND): Minor Characters


Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

~REWIND: Top Ten Minor Characters~

For my rewind, I decided to do a list that I haven't gotten to do yet: Minor Characters.  I did do a list of memorable secondary characters here, but wanted to show off more of these great personalities that tend to steal the spotlight from the main characters.


1. Lassiter -- Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward
A mysterious fallen angel who helps bring one of the Brothers back from the destruction and always makes me laugh with his Oprah and romantic comedy obsession.

"This is Lassiter, the fallen angel. One of the last times he was here on Earth, there was a plague in central Europe-"
"Okay, that was so not my fault-"
"-which wiped out two-thirds of the human population."
"I'd like to remind you that you don't like humans."
"They smell bad when they're dead."
"All you mortal types do.” --Lover Enshrined


2. Nix -- Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole
A soothsaying Valkyrie who has been a major player for the entire IAD series.  Her visions have made her mad and has earned the nickname, Nucking Futs Nix, from her family and friends.

Nïx clasped her hands over her chest, sighing, “He gave you his heart. That’s so romantic. So much better than a candy heart. Those get stuck in the fangs, you know.” -- Lothaire


3. Oberon -- Iron Druid Chronicles series by Kevin Hearne
An Irish wolfhound who is the loyal companion of druid, Atticus, and loves bacon and French poodles.

"French poodles! All black and curly with poofy little tails! And every one of them in heat. Oh, WOW! Thanks Atticus! I can't wait to sniff their asses!" He bounded over to the door and pawed at it because the doggie door was closed to prevent the poodles from entering. --Hounded


 
4. Christian Ozera -- Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
A Moroi with the power to create and control fire.  I loved his sarcasm and his dark past.

He shrugged and leaned casually against the sloping wall. "So am I. I love pity parties. I wish I'd brought the hats. What do you want to mope about first? How it's going to take you a whole day to be popular and loved again? How you'll have to wait a couple weeks before Hollister can ship out some new clothes? If you spring for rush shipping, it might not be so long.” --Vampire Academy


5. Iko -- Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Cinder's best friend is an android with a very human personality.  She is obsessed with fashion and Prince Kai.

"Scarlet and Wolf are saying gushy things in the galley," Iko said. "Normally I like gushy things, but its different when its real people. I prefer the net dramas."
 --Scarlet


6. Grimalkin -- Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
A Cheshire Cat-like character who thrived on providing snarky, mysterious warnings to Meg and her friends.  He always disappeared and then reappeared at the most random moments.  

"I could have taken a nap instead of waiting for you to finally show up. What took you so long human? Did you walk?" --The Iron Daughter


7. Daphne Cruz -- Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep
Gwen Frost's Valkyrie best friend who shows that girls can like pink and still kick major ass.

"Oh, please," she scoffed. "Like I need a guy to protect me. I'm a Valkyrie, remember? I could pick you up and break your back over my knee, Spartan. Like you were a piñata." --Touch of Frost



8. Lilly Moscovitz -- Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
Mia's best friend who wasn't always the most supportive when it came to the princess thing, but she comes around and is Mia's most staunch supporter.

Lilly says I have an overactive imagination and a pathological need to invent drama in my life. --The Princess Diaries


9. Ian McNab -- In Death series by JD Robb
The fashion-obsessed electronics detective who has a major crush on Eve Dallas's assistant, Peabody, and always knows when to crack a joke.

[Peabody:] "Bite me."  Though Eve managed to swallow a chuckle at her aide's use of her own standard response to annoyances, she didn't quite make it over McNab's cheerful, "Where?” --Holiday in Death

Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2)
10. Isla -- Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
The princess and temporary ruler of the island of Albion who is best friends with Persis Blake, the Wild Poppy, and is trying to keep her country together under major pressure.  I lent my copy of this book so I'm not able to find any quotes to showcase how awesome Isla is.


Monday, February 24, 2014

REVIEW: "Prince of Shadows" by Rachel Caine

Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet
Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine
For Ages 14+ (language, violence)
Young Adult -- Historical
NAL -- February 4, 2014
Ebook, 368 pages
Received from Edelweiss

THEMES
Male Narrator, Shakespearean Retelling, Stand-Alone

  SUMMARY
In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…

…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

FIRST LINE
"I stood in the dark corner of my enemy's house and thought of murder."

MY THOUGHTS
I have heard great things about Rachel Caine's writing and am planning on trying her popular Morganville Vampires very soon.  But, I decided to try out her style by reading her newest release, Prince of Shadows.  This is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet from the point of view of Romeo's cousin, Benvolio Montague.  This was not a perfect book, but I found it to be really interesting and it definitely kept my attention.

Benvolio Montague, for those not familiar with the Shakespearean play, is Romeo's calmer cousin.  He is considered the responsible one among his family which makes it even more interesting that he has a double life.  As the Prince of Shadows, Benvolio goes through Verona and steals from his family's greatest enemies, the Capulets.  I liked Benvolio's personality and how the author developed him from such a stock character in the original play.  He was used as a balance compared to such hot-headed and not so intelligent characters like Romeo and Tybalt.

The hardest part about reading this book was the fact that it was really hard to like most of the characters.  Romeo and Juliet is a fascinating play to me because of the lack of sympathetic characters (to me, at least) and I was glad that Rachel Caine kept that aspect in this book.  Almost everyone had a major flaw that helped shape their ultimate destiny whether it was Romeo's temper, Tybalt's cruelty, Juliet's naivete, or Mercutio's sarcastic nature.  For me, the two most intriguing characters in Prince of Shadows are Mercutio, whose cynical views on romance are explained through an ill-fated love affair, and Rosaline, who served as Benvolio's convent-bound love interest.

In terms of plot, I thought the first half of the book was really slow-going.  Caine was having to introduce all the characters (original and new) and explain the complex relationships between them.  She definitely makes a go at providing detailed evidence of the feud between the Capulets and Montagues though it takes quite a few pages to do so.  The second half really picks up in terms of action and romance and it kept me reading later into the night than I originally expected.  I just wish that pacing had been present the entire time.

Overall, I came out of reading Prince of Shadows being interested in Rachel Caine's writing style and enjoying her original retelling of such a classic story.  I always love it when an author takes a minor character and devotes time explaining their thought processes and how they end up where they are by the end.  I just wish the pacing hadn't been so slow at the beginning and that I could have had more sympathy with some of the other characters.

I received a free e-ARC of this book from NAL via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


3.5 STARS
STEAM LEVEL
Blush -- Kisses with no/minor touching.


FAVORITE QUOTES
"Madness or love, done is done, and this is very thoroughly done.  Whatever passes now is beyond our ability to change."

CHALLENGES READ FOR

Friday, February 21, 2014

FOLLOW FRIDAY (101)

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. Feature & Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q:  What is the last book that made you cry?

The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)

Here's an excerpt from my review:
"The honest depiction of a woman trying to balance her love of science and society's expectation of her was both heartbreaking and revitalizing. Violet is obsessed with her genetic theories, but her self-worth was damaged so badly by her late husband that she believes she should hide her true nature so as not to be "selfish." There were many moments in this book that I wanted to just hug Violet as she struggled to save her friendship with Sebastian, help her niece decide about her future, and make sure no one ever found out what a mess she was inside."
And here's a quote from the book that really explains why it made me cry: 
"She was a blacksmith's puzzle without a solution. Her faults never lay in the beginning of her acquaintances, but at the end--when she drove everyone who cared for her away. It was only a question of how long it took them to ferret out the truth. Nothing was what she was; nothing was what she gave to those foolish enough to care for your. Nothing was what she deserved, and so nothing had been what she got. It didn't matter how hard she tried or what she did. At the end of the day she was a selfish, pointless, lying coward."

*******

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY-HISTORICAL ROMANCE EDITION (14)

Happy Thursday, everyone! This is a new feature hosted by Buried Under Romance and Love Saves the World.

What is Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition?
Traditionally, Throwback Thursday celebrates nostalgia, asking participants to post a personal photo or an image from their past -- usually from 5 to 10 years ago. There are a lot of book blogs that also do a book-related Throwback Thursday.  Since Tin and Mary C. are unapologetic lovers of historical romances, they've decided to focus on this beloved genre.

Here are the rules:
1. It must be posted on a Thursday.
2. It must be a historical romance novel published before October 2008.


THIS WEEK I AM FEATURING...

The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy, #1) The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy, #1)

The Raven Prince (Prince Trilogy #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Originally published in November 2006

There comes a time in a lady's life...
Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.

When she must do the unthinkable...
The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior.

And find employment.
When Anna becomes the earl's secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his "manly" needs. Well! Anna sees red—and decides to assuage her "womanly" desires...with the earl as her unknowing lover.


***************************
Elizabeth Hoyt's debut novel was a Georgian-set romance that showcased her style early on.  There are two unconventional protagonists: an impoverished, mousy widow and an arrogant, pox-scarred lord.  Neither Edward or Anna is typical of this genre with their looks and personalities, but their love story is full of as much passion and romance as a thousand other books I've read over the years.  I especially enjoyed the epigraphs before each chapter which tells a fairy tale that directly relates to the original story.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Reasons I Love Being a Blogger/Reader


Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

~Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Blogger/Reader~

Why I Love Being a Reader...

1. Learning new things.

2. Extending my vocabulary.

3. Using my imagination for something besides overthinking things to death.

4. Unique experiences that I will never get to try in my real life.

5. Escape my real life if only for a few hours.

Why I Love Being a Blogger...

6. Meeting people that love books as much as I do.


7. Learning about new books that I never would have found on my own.



8. Thinking deeper about the books I read and my feelings about them.


9. Interacting with my favorite authors and getting to know more about their writing process.

10. Writing practice.