Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

February 24

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Short Story Review: The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link

by Ann-Katrina

Pretty Monsters coverThe 25 page short story The Faery Handbag is from the anthology Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link or you can read it for free on her website.

Short Synopsis

A grieving Genevieve is searching for her recently deceased grandmother’s very special handbag. As she does so, she explains who her grandmother was, where she came from, and what makes the handbag so special.

My Thoughts on The Faery Handbag

Like ‘The Wizards of Perfil‘ I’m left unsure of what I feel.

As with Link’s other stories this one was readable. It flowed well and before I knew it I slammed into the end. And I do mean slammed. The end was so abrupt that it felt unsettling, but similar to ‘The Wrong Grave‘ it left you with plenty to ponder. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t like it, the abruptness (I like the plenty to ponder part).

One aspect of the story that I found skillfully mastered was the unreliable narrator. Enough doubt is cast about Genevieve’s story to keep you guessing about whether she’s telling the truth, whether she’s outright lying, or whether she’s just a girl trying to cope with the loss of her beloved grandmother and missing (boy)friend Jake. It even cast enough doubt to question the existence of her grandmother and Jake. This story certainly isn’t what it seems.

Despite loving Link’s writing style and her dexterity with voice, I wasn’t in love with this story and that’s mainly because of the denouement…there wasn’t one.

Final rating: C+

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February 22

Comments: 4

Teaser Tuesdays: Those Are Pretty Dancing Shoes

by Ann-Katrina

Teaser Tuesdays Happy Tuesday! It’s time again for another edition of Teaser Tuesdays…

Here are the rules:

  • Grab your current read
  • Let the book fall open to a random page
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • You also need to share the title of the book where you get your teaser from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given
  • Please avoid spoilers

entwined This week’s teaser:

"Azelea ran through the gardens, her black skirts billowing in the breeze of honeysuckle and lilac. She had forgotten how fresh and alive the gardens felt, with bright flowers bursting all over it like fireworks." pg. 207 Entwined by Heather Dixon

I followed Heather Dixon’s blog (before she made it private) and adored her illustrations and stories, so when she revealed that she’d be working on a full length fairytale retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses I knew I wanted to read it and I consider myself lucky to have gotten my hands on an ARC.

So far, though, I have to admit that it’s slow going. Then again, I’m only halfway through the second chapter, which means it should definitely pick up (if the the hints she gave her blog readers are any indication).

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January 31

Comments: 1

Wish Giveaway Winner

by Ann-Katrina

Wish Book Cover I’d like to start by thanking everyone who participated in the Wish giveaway. I also thank Alexandra Bullen for writing the book and Sheila for making this giveaway possible.

And without further ado…

Here’s the group story that the contest generated (and I have to admit, I’d love to see what becomes of it):

I never believed in fairy godmothers until one showed up on my doorstep with a broken wand.

With a purple frilly dress and hair all done up in wringlets, she truly looked like something out of a children’s fairy tale book.

Sparkles even covered her entire body, making her shimmer as she shifted her weight from foot to foot.

I stood in shock, not sure what to do or I was supposed to invite her inside or not.

I let her in, unsure of what to say, I offered her some honey tea and crackers.

The fairy godmother kindly refused my offer, she asked me to come with her, it was a matter of great urgency.

She reached for my hand and pulled me into the dark and icy night.

As my feet flew out the door, the most amazing thing happened, I never touched the ground, we were flying!

“Just enjoy the flight, you’ll find out soon enough,” she smiled.

Ever since I was a child I had dreams of flying over the New York skyline, but nothing compares to the real thing.

The lights below, shining in the buildings, sparkled like a million stars.

All of a sudden, the wind beneath me started to calm and I realized we were coming to a stop.

I panicked a bit, as I feared for the landing.

To my surprise it was a very soft landing in a strange place I’ve never seen before.

So, I asked my fairy godmother, “Where are we?”

Her answer was one I was definitely not expecting.

She told me that although our surroundings might look familiar, we were actually in an alternate realm known as Magictasia. (Congratulations, Emily!)

She also told me to get ready to expect the unexpected within this realm.

Because beneath the breathtaking appearance of Magictasia lies the truth and history of what she really is.

With that said, we departed deep into the realm of Magictasia.

We knew we had many grand adventures yet to come perhaps many important lessons yet to learn.

I was ready to take on whatever was in store for us because I had a gut feeling that here, in Magictasia, something extraordinary was going to happen.

And I knew I was bound to find out sooner than later.

We stepped through a giant door I had not seen until now.

A warm golden light washed over us and for the first time in my entire life, it felt like I was at home.

Which after the year I had had, I didn’t realize how much I craved that until now. Wish Giveaway Results Using the power that is, I popped in the total number of approved comments on the giveaway post and asked it to show me the winner—not including my own summary comments. (I’ve made the winning sentence bold.)

I’ve sent an email to the winner. If I don’t receive a response within 72 hours, I’ll select another entry.

That’s all for now. Thank you again for participating and keep an eye open for upcoming giveaways!

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