Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Why We Love: Sleeping Handsome and the Princess Engineer

It should come as no surprise that I love a fairytale retelling, especially one with gender reversals! 

Sleeping Handsome is cursed. If he ever touches a pointy thing he will fall asleep for a hundred years, and can only be woken by the gift of cleverness. Luckily, Princess Anya is clever enough to find his castle - now she just has to wake him up. 

Sleeping Handsome was a really funny take on the original tale. It was modern and feminist - especially the twist at the end. I will definitely be looking out for the other stories in this series. 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Why We Love: Use Your Imagination

I had been eyeing this one up in Waterstones for a while, so was pleased when I found it in the library. Use Your Imagination is the story of a bored little bunny rabbit and the wolf who offers to help entertain him with a story. A story where rabbit is the hero and wolf is the bad guy. Can rabbit use his imagination to get himself out of a tricky situation before it's too late? 

We had a lot of fun reading Use Your Imagination. We especially liked the end and the large, pull out page. 

Noisy Crow also includes a QR at the front of the book which will take you to an audio version of the story. This was a really interesting way to enjoy the story and was useful after I'd already read so many books that my voice was beginning to go!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Why We Love: Rain

Rain is a story about patience, and learning that waiting for the right time to enjoy something can make it even more fun. It is a story that any child who has been stuck inside watching rain pour down the window outside will be able to relate to and the beautiful artwork makes it a real treat to read. 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Crown

The Crown by Keira Cass

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined. {goodreads summary}

The final novel in the selection series was everything I hoped it would be.

As with the Heir, I really enjoyed seeing the selection process turned on its head. Eadlyn is a great character and the outcome of her selection is exactly what I wanted. I'm really disappointed that this series has come to an end, but I can't wait to see what Cass works on next.

“Maybe it's not the first kisses that are supposed to be special. Maybe it's the last ones.”

The boys in the selection were well developed and even though I had a strong favourite, I still really liked the rest and cared about what happened to them at the end. Probably due to the change in perspective, it felt as though there was less animosity in the group than in America's selection.

“I’m Eadlyn Schreave, and no one in the world is as powerful as me,” I blurted without thought.

He nodded. “Damn right you are.” 

I also enjoyed Eadlyn's character development in this book, although she was still flawed at the end (which is great because perfect YA heroines can get a bit annoying - I like someone I can find fault with).

“It was a delicious feeling, falling in love. I'd had so many luxuries in my life, and I thought I'd had a taste of this before, but I realized now it was merely a cheap imitation of something not meant to be imitated in the first place.” 

The world building and politics is really strong and had me thinking about the way realms are ruled in YA novels for some time after I'd finished reading. I wonder what the obsession with monarchies is? Interestingly, fantasy seems to be the home of kings and queens, while dystopia and sci-fi are normally ruled by dictators. Politics is such an integral part of so many YA novels, which is one of the reasons I love YA books so much, but it would be great to see more democracies represented in YA fiction - especially as they can have just as many flaws as monarchies and dictatorships, and I think discussing these would be of real value to teenage readers; particularly in the current political climate.