Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Getting Creative


One of the things I loved about Lisa Mantchev's Eyes Like Stars was the premise. It was imaginative. It was playful. She took familiar (or familiarish) characters and breathed new life into them. Mantchev's characters are based on some Shakespearian characters. Some may be familiar to readers. (Some Shakespeare plays are still required reading after all.) Others may be new to readers. But this isn't one of those instances where you'd be helplessly lost if you weren't familiar with Shakespeare's plays. And Mantchev doesn't only refer back to Shakespeare. Her Theatre Illuminata houses all the characters from all the plays.

I'm sure you've noticed this trend like I have--of writers drawing from past characters and breathing new life into these stories. Two examples from children's literature that I can think of are Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. But even Anne Shirley and Winnie the Pooh are getting revisited these days. And in the world of adult literature, can anyone doubt the trendiness of Austen prequels, sequels, and retellings? Zombies and vampires, oh my, and all in one year.

How do you feel about these retellings, these reimaginings, these prequels, sequels, and companion novels?

Do you have a favorite you'd hold up as an example of a job well done? Do you have a least favorite?

Are these books you tend to avoid or seek out?

Supernatural creatures have begun to invade classics recently, which classics would you like to see zombiefied or vampired in the future? Which classics do you think could be made better by adding a werewolf or two?

Throw out a premise or two if you like! How would you like to spin a familiar story?


Other stops on the tour:

The 160 Acre Woods, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, A Patchwork of Books, Abby the Librarian, All About Children’s Books, And Another Book Read, Becky’s Book Reviews, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, The Friendly Book Nook, Homeschool Book Buzz, Homespun Light, Hyperbole, KidzBookBuzz.com, Never Jam Today, Reading is My Superpower, Through a Child’s Eyes

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Kailana 9:43 AM  

All I keep thinking is that I really want to read this book... Until you started talking about it, I didn't even know what it was about... I think I am judging a book by a cover, which can end badly for me!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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