Author: Betsy Cornwell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
My Rating: 4 Stars
Amazon (Contains my affiliate link)
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
The Forest Queen gives me all the nostalgic feels of my childhood favorite fairy tales. It is a Robin Hood retelling with a girl named Sylvie, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. I loved the adventure to be had here!
The Story. For being a shorter book than what I usually read, the story was actually pretty well rounded. There were a few questions I had, and when I re-read through some paragraphs to see if I missed something, I didn’t find what I was looking for. But they weren’t any major plot holes, more like how did this character get from A to B.
The Writing. I liked Cornwell’s writing but it wasn’t my favorite. She is a good storyteller, but I feel as though the story could have gone to higher places if she had added more descriptions. Sometimes I was confused when Sylvie dreamed but then it turned out to be real life. Or if she was imagining something or not. I had to re-read paragraphs a few times.
The Characters: I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I thought that Sylvie’s character progression was actually quite good! The romance was cute but not an essential part of the story. The side characters were really likable and had personality. Especially Little Jane! And Bird is just the cutest! I also have to say that I felt as though Cornwell threw in LGBT characters at the last moment to try and give it some diversity. It just seemed random, like she was like, “Whoops, forgot to add diversity. Let’s just quickly add in some new side characters at the end here.”
Final Thoughts. I almost gave this book 3 stars but the nostalgic feel of it along with the ending bumped it up to 4 stars. I had a good time reading this retelling, and would love to read more of her work! Also, that cover is completely drool worthy.
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
My Rating: 3 Stars
Amazon (Contains my affiliate link)
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
Alright lovelies (Ha. Ha.), here’s the deal. I didn’t love this book, I just liked it. I honestly have half good things to say and the other half things I didn’t really like.
The Story. The premise and story of this book is insanely interesting. The story itself kept me hooked until the last page. Shepherd is an excellent story teller with an eye for extravagant details. She paints Paris through the eyes of someone who has never been outside before. How incredibly beautiful. Makes me want to go to Paris more than ever now!
The Writing. I can’t say enough good things about Shepherd’s writing style. It’s descriptive yet she doesn’t lose you in it. Like when you read some paragraphs about each tiny detail about a house and four pages later you don’t remember where you were in the actual story (looking at you, Game of Thrones…). She’s not like that. She built a magical world that didn’t leave me hanging but at the same time left a little mystery to it. And y’all, she’s actually quite funny. I wrote down a few quotes and lines that actually made me laugh out loud. “Goblins take their tea very seriously.” And they do. And it’s funny.
The Characters. This, sadly, is the part I didn’t really enjoy that much. I felt as though they weren’t developed enough. Even at the end of the book I still didn’t know who they actually were as people. I think Cricket was the best out of the five, but she just showed more personality that the others. That could change in the second book, but for now, I just didn’t really care for them that much. And the romance? Nope. Wasn’t a fan. I for once wanted the main character to remain single. Beau was too whiny and weak.
Final Thoughts. I definitely liked this book enough to continue with the series. Like I said, the story is very compelling. My best pitch for this would be if Stephanie Garber wrote a story that Cassandra Clare pitched.