Monday, August 02, 2010

A Tale Dark and Grimm (MG/YA)


A Tale Dark and Grimm. Adam Gidwitz. 2010. November 2010. Penguin. 192 pages.

Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.
I know, I know. You don't believe me. I don't blame you. A couple of years ago, I wouldn't have believed it myself. Little girls in red caps skipping around the forest? Awesome? I don't think so.
But then I started to read them. The real ones. The ones from that dusty, clothbound book way off in a neglected corner of the library. Those are darker. Very few little girls in red caps in those.
Well, there's one. But she gets eaten.


I loved this book. I just loved, loved, loved this book. I loved the narrator. I loved the storytelling. It was so rich in detail. The atmosphere, the setting, was just right. I loved the connections. How Gidwitz bases some of his book on Grimm's original fairy tales. (The book begins with Faithful Johannes. You can read an online version here.) But he also expands upon the original. He connects these tales, these stories by making them the story--the complete story--of Hansel and Gretel. Instead of Hansel and Gretel being the children of a poor woodcutter and his wife, they are royalty. They are the prince and princess of the kingdom of Grimm. But. After a gory incident with their parents (the King and Queen), the two decide that they can find better parents. So they set out on a search for a good adult--a caring, compassionate, understanding adult. The journey will bring action, adventure, danger, and magic into their lives. They will never be the same.

What did I love best about this one? The writing. The storytelling. The narration. The characters. It was so compelling. I couldn't put this one down. I just loved everything about this one!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

9 comments:

Carol 10:26 AM  

Sounds like one I definitely need to add to my list. I've been in a fairy tale mode lately.

Steph 11:56 AM  

Sounds right up my alley! I'm kind of a sucker for anything fairytaleish. Heh. :)

Thanks for the review, Becky!

alexandra george 12:55 PM  

wow!! this sounds really good. thanks, Becky.

Willow 6:16 PM  

You made me want to read this one. Thanks for the review!

Chris 11:03 PM  

I was drawn in by that cover, but then you went and love love loved this one ;) Must get it! Sounds like this will be a good one for RIP!

Becky 11:11 PM  

If not RIP (just noticed the November release) then Once Upon a Time. It's GREAT when books this good can count for either of Carl's challenges :)

Rhinoa 1:34 PM  

Sounds awesome and just my kind of read :)

Bibliophile By the Sea 5:45 AM  

This sounds like a fun read; something about the cover I love as well.

Annie 2:20 PM  

This one sounds great! I love the cover too.

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

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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