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A Tale Dark & Grimm is a middle school novel by Adam Gidwitz. Another novel suggested by the beautiful Emily that I decided to pick up when we were in New York last spring for our mission trip. It’s a fairy tale gone wrong in all the oddest ways.
You may think you know Hansel and Gretel, but you have no idea. This story follows Hansel and Gretel as they battle their way through gory fights, menacing witches, and all sorts of fairy tale beasties.
The story is interspersed with asides from the narrator, which I found interesting, but totally distracting. I was also shocked by the gore found in a novel for middle schoolers. Definitely gross at some points. Mostly I found it as somewhat cute, but nothing special. Which is odd because you know me and fairy-tale rewrites! It was alright, but I wasn’t interested enough to keep reading the series.
The novel begins with a young man waking up in an elevator; he does not know who is he or where he is. He only knows his name – Thomas. When the elevator opens, he finds himself among a number of other “lost boys” of sorts. None of them know why they are there or where they came from. All they know is that there is a maze right next to their home base, a maze that opens each morning and closes each night. Some of the boys are maze runners, going into the maze each day to scope it out and possibly find an escape. The maze is dangerous, though, and nobody wants to get caught inside when it closes. Everything changes when a girl comes up the mysterious elevator. Why does she look familiar to Thomas and why are they all there?
Honestly, I was bored. There were too many questions, not enough answers. And truly, I didn’t really care about any of the characters. The danger seemed lackluster and I just couldn’t get into this one, which is a shame, because I really wanted to like this one. Not recommended if you are like me and have to like the characters to enjoy a novel.
I kind of just happened upon Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Time by Emma Trevayne. I saw the cover on Goodreads and was intrigued. Intrigued enough to pick it up at my local library! It was definitely an odd read, to say the least.
Jack Foster is a ten year old in 19th century London. One day he follows a mysterious man through a doorway into an alternate, mechanical London called Londinium. The air is dark and smoky and almost everyone he meets has mechanical alterations. Jack befriends a wind-up fairy and her creator, before meeting the Lady. The Lady rules over all of Londinium and decides to adopt Jack as her own son. At first, the Lady spoils Jack and he is beyond happy, but it isn’t long before the Lady’s darker nature becomes apparent. How is Jack to save Londinium and his friends from the Lady’s wrath?!
This novel was so inventive and strangely dark for a middle-schooler novel. It reminds me of anything from Tim Burton… very Nightmare Before Christmas-esque. Magical and intriguing. Would definitely read from this author again.
-Finally catching up on some of my reviews that I’ve let lag since the wedding! It feels good to get some of my writing out (because mostly I feel like it’s stuck inside of me)!
-My brother got me a Chocolate Frog for Christmas. The nerd in me (just kidding, it’s ALL OF ME) was superbly enamoured with the wizard card inside! I got Severus Snape!
-Fun new games on my phone… Trivia Crack. Seriously, if you’re not playing it, you need to download it already and get addicted!
-Audio books. Don’t know that I’d survive my daily drive without them.
The island of Galatea is under turmoil, as the revolutionaries give the Reduction drug (which inhibits brain function) to any remaining innocent aristocrats. The innocent’s only hope for rescue is The Wild Poppy, a mysterious spy who has save numerous aristocrats from being given the Reduction drug. The Wild Poppy is really Persis Blake, a young woman whose cover as a spoiled and frivolous socialite is working very well to keep her identity a secret. On a rogue mission gone wrong, Persis finds herself saved by Justen Helo who is looking for safety far from Galatea.
Once back on the neighboring island of Albion (Persis’ home), Justen reveals he is a runaway from his home. Can Persis help protect Justen without revealing her secret identity?
This Scarlet Pimpernel-inspired adventure is full of action, humor, and wit. Double identities always prove to be fun reads! I enjoyed the mystery abound in Peterfreund’s latest novel about a dystopian Earth.