Quick Takes #2

Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Deadly Pink, Past Perfect, Corbenic, City of Bones & City of Ashes, The Freedom Maze, Cinder, Thumped, and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

I’m going to write some quicker-than-normal reviews regarding several books.  Some of these are shorter than my normal book, some of these I might just not have as much to say about, and…I might just have way too many books in my read-but-not-yet-reviewed queue.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

How It Made Me Feel:

Orenstein wondered if her daughter was being harmed by the extreme girly-girl-ness that she had latched onto (school and daycare introducing her to things intentionally left out of her own home), so she went on a research mission.  Some of the stuff that she found out about the “girly-girl industry” was fascinating and disturbing.  For example, the Disney Princesses, when pictured on merchandise together, never make eye contact.  It definitely made me feel like there’s a lot about that industry to hate, but on the other hand, I’m not convinced that just letting a girl be girly (if she wants to) is harmful in any way.

Deadly Pink by Vivian Vande Velde

How It Made Me Feel:

You should have seen the results I waded through to get this gif.  The girly-girl marketing demographic is alive and well in this novel, where a young woman working on a magical fairyland total-immersion video game changes the programming so that she never has to leave (effectively committing suicide by sparkle fairy).  As a last resort, the company asks her little sister to go in after her (since she’s the only friend/family member they can reach who also has experience with games of the type).  I appreciated the sister-rescuer role, but other than that, this book was pretty slight, with the best part being the descriptions of the over-the-top pinkosity that is this video game.

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

How It Made Me Feel:

This book about a girl with a summer job at a Colonial Village in Virginia who falls in love with a boy from the Civil War Land (who are sworn enemies of Colonial Village, natch) felt like watching a Hallmark Original romantic comedy.  It’s fun enough, but you might not pay real close attention, you begin to forget details as soon as you’re done, and you don’t really have any desire to watch/read it again.  Also, I have no clue what is happening with that cover.

Corbenic by Catherine Fisher

How It Made Me Feel:

A modern retelling of the legend of Parsifal and the Holy Grail?  That should be exciting and magical, right? Honestly, this is most joyless, sad retelling of any fairy tale/myth that I’ve ever experienced.  There just wasn’t any heart.  The main character was unlikable and I didn’t actually care what he did. The peripheral characters and sheer determination got me through it.

City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

How They Made Me Feel:

I know I’m late to the party on these books, but they didn’t take long to addict me!  Clary suddenly finds out that she can see people and creatures that others can’t–a common enough conceit in urban fantasy, but the writing is snappy enough to keep you reading through any small issues (and the one REALLY BIG ONE).  Something about these stories just hit the right spot for me, and make me an addict almost immediately. I will definitely finish this series, and probably go ahead and read the prequel and sequel series, too.

The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman

How It Made Me Feel:

Sophie (a young 1960s teen) finds her way magically to her family’s plantation in the time just before the Civil War–and is mistaken for a biracial slave.  Sherman spent a lot of time making all of her characters realistic, field slave, house slave, free, and plantation family.  As Sophie learns, she has a lot to be thankful for in 1960–and that’s what I felt as well.  Of course 1960 is the end of the story in the book, but it is never implied that anything is perfect then–and I’m not implying that things are perfect now–but there’s still a lot to be thankful for.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

How It Made Me Feel:

Great concept: cyborg Cinderella; cute execution: lots of fun twists on the classic Cinderella story; surprises: the whole Lunar colony thing; awful cliffhanger ending.

Thumped by Megan McCafferty

How It Made Me Feel:

If you’ve ever read a series that made you super frustrated because of the way it was broken up into pieces, when it should have just been one book (and who hasn’t?), you understand my pain here.  This is the worst example of this that I can think of, because the second book read like an epilogue to the first, padded out to fill the space in another book.  Probably a publisher decision, but still super annoying.  I just wanted to say, “hurry up and be done!”  Happily, it was short.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

How It Made Me Feel:

This is actually my second time reading this book, in preparation for reading the sequel–I originally read the pay-what-you-will website version (the illustrations are new, and they alone are worth the reread), and there is nothing about it that is not delightful.  I mean, I’m not going to deny that I’m a little bit of a Valente fangirl ever since this, the first work of hers I ever read, but this is so wonderful.  I really want someone good–probably the Henson workshop–to do a movie of it.

Disclosure:

Borrowed all except Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, which I bought.

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