Saturday, July 07, 2018

Keep It Short #26

This week I read two tales from Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book.

Hansel and Grettel

First sentence: Once upon a time there dwelt on the outskirts of a large forest a poor woodcutter with his wife and two children; the boy was called Hansel and the girl Grettel.

Premise/plot:  One day the children overhear their father and stepmother plotting together. The stepmother claims that great famine has driven her to this mad scheme: to lose the two children in the woods so that her and her husband won't starve as quickly. (Should he be worried that he's next?) Hansel comes up with a plan. But will that plan work indefinitely?

Can Hansel save Grettel? Can Grettel save Hansel? Will these two make it out of the woods alive?

My thoughts: This story doesn't really get less creepy no matter how many times you read it. And there are plenty of variations from storybook to storybook. Perhaps it was complete and total overlook on my part but I'd not noticed it was a stepmother and not a mother involved. I'd also never noticed the aid of a white duck who ferries them across--one at a time--a lake so they can return back home.

Last sentence: My story is done. See! there runs a little mouse; anyone who catches it may make himself a large fur cap out of it.

Can I just add, NO thanks.

Snow-White and Rose-Red

First sentence: A poor widow once lived in a little cottage with a garden in front of it, in which grew two rose trees, one bearing white roses and the other red. She had two children, who were just like the two rose trees; one was called Snow-white and the other Rose-red, and they were the sweetest and best children in the world, always diligent and always cheerful; but Snow-white was quieter and more gentle than Rose-red.

Premise/plot: Snow White and Rose Red live a good life but perhaps not a great life. But their luck might change after befriending a bear and welcoming it into their home.

My thoughts: I have read a novel adaptation of this one. But this is the first time I've read the original story. OR it's the first time as an adult blogger that I've read the story and can recall it. The length is just right for a fairy tale, but after reading the novel it feels short.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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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.
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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.
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