Saturday, June 10, 2017

Popcorn Reviews // Five Enchanted Roses

I've had this book around the top of my TBR for a while and finally decided to read it. Unfortunately, it took me longer than I had hoped since, well, it was a bit of  letdown.

Five Enchanted Roses is a collection of Beauty and the Beast short story retellings.

I went into this book pretty excited. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales, but what I wasn't expecting was the meh writing. Not all the authors wrote the same. But most of them wrote in that style that always makes me suspect the writer believes he or she must write in this manner to be considered a writer. It's that style that's akin to stuffy, old literature that moves slowly and contemplatively, tells after it shows, or just tells and forgets about showing.

Don't get me wrong. I like some classics, but when I pick one up, I expect the style to be a bit long-winded. Occasionally, I find a modern author who does know how to pull off the classical style properly, but not often. [In fact, I beta-read for a friend whose style is YA and classical mixed, and it's done well]. The writing is good, just not my taste.

Also, and this was on me, each story was doused with romance tropes [so annoying]. But since this was a fairytale retelling, I should've expected to see a lot of modern romance tropes. I don't know why I didn't realize this.

So if you like romance/romance tropes, you'll probably love this book.

Although some of the stories renamed the "Beast" or "Belle/Beauty," for the sake of avoiding confusion, I'll call them after whom they represent.

Esprit De La Rose

The first story placed our beloved B&B on a pirate ship? And in an alternate universe of where the Fee punish and banish sailors. The character development didn't seem very realistic for the Beast. But I think that's because his change of heart was a little rushed. The characters were ok. The ships and pirates idea was interesting, but for me that was its redeeming factor.


This story was by far my favorite of all five! Again, the style was not exactly my taste, but the story was good. And I enjoyed the characters. I loved the idea of it, and I definitely want to know more about the world of the story. The Spooks seemed to be people who would protect the townspeople from the evil spirits that lurked in the forest. Also the Beast was different and why he was a beast. The CASTLE was alive! And all the Lonely were like the invisible spirits, I guess, that served in the castle. Even the ending was different and interesting. The world-building made this story stick out.

Stone Curse

This story was also interesting. It varied more in plot, and Belle's origin was different than the traditional Belle/Beauty. The Beast was written well too. It did get rather sappy though, mostly at the end. This could be in part because the ending was rushed. I wish the author would've taken more time with the romance twist at the end because it would've been more believable. I kinda left this one with some dissatisfaction because the ending was wrapped up just so. But that's ok, right? It's a fairytale.

Rosara and the Jungle King

This was probably my least favorite even though it was the most different. The plot was loosely based on B&B. I did like how it took place in the jungle, how the curse came about, and that the Beast was actually a jaguar. Buuuut the whole plot seemed to hang on the second plot event which just so happened to be an attempted rape which the Beast saves Belle from [enter romance trope].

The romance made me wince, but considering that it is romance genre, it's probably done well then? [Don't look at me; I haven't the faintest.] Despite the different setting, the plot and events were a little predictable.

The Wulver's Rose

The Scottish setting was enjoyable as well as the obvious Scottish accent in the dialogue. There were a few other tiny differences. This particular retelling made me realized that in B&B story, the Beast is technically very old, like hundreds of years older than Belle. Sure, he is kept from physically aging and in most stories part of the curse keeps him from mental intelligence. But still, he's had the experience of hundreds of years. And, honestly, that's a little disturbing. I know there's going to be a huge age gap, but a hundred years is a bit much, don't you think?

So yeah, this book was not exactly my cup of tea [except Wither, Wither was great!]. But maybe you might like it? And if you're a Beauty and the Beast fan [as I am], it's at least worth a try!

What's your favorite fairytale retelling, B&B or otherwise? What's your least favorite and why? I'd love some recs!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Wisteria Writer Tag

Thank you so much Eve @ Edge of Night for tagging me for this! It's a lot of fun.

You should definitely go check out her blog, people! She post some awesome poetry.

1. What current story or book are you working on?

I'm editing Oddball the First.

This is how I'm feeling with some of my stories!!

2. What is your favorite genre to write in?

Fantasy. Anything not normal. Anything that can be funny and loaded with dialogue.

3. Have you been published? If not, do you plan to be?

Eh, sorta? This website published one of my short stories.
I do plan to be a published author, yes.  

4. Which aspect of writing are you best at (mood, theme, plot, etc.)?

So these are hard questions.

 Dialogue maybe
 Awkward scenes [not that I have real life experience in this, never]

 Really? I have to smile too? Society asks too much of me.

5. Which part could you improve upon most in your writing?

Not adding too much dialogue
Not making sad things funny
There could always be more dragons. Always.

6. Do you prefer to write fiction or nonfiction?

What is this nonfiction that you speak of?

7. Do you remember the title of your very first work?

Story length

The Surprise.
[It was a stupid, predictable story about a rainbow, if you care to know. I was probably 7.]

Book length

The Sandy Series
I promise it's a fantasy and not some MG school drama. 
[Yes, I know. The title burns your eyeballs. Just run some cold tap water over them. That's what I do.]

8. Are you typically a planner or a panster?

I'm a bit of a hybrid, but I lean heavily on the pantsing side. 

9. What is your definition of a "successful" writer?

 Gee, this is subjective. Sure, by nature of the question of course. But don't go away thinking that what I consider "a successful writer" to be is the firm and immovable definition of a successful writer.
Success is different for everyone. [So by nature, subjective?] Figure out what it means to you. Go on now. Be free!


So for me? Gosh, I know, but I don't know. Like I don't want to tell you.
I hate telling people my "plans." My plans are always subject to change, and they will most assuredly change if I tell them to people. Plans are funny like that. They're like secrets. You tell them to people and everything blows up in your face. End of action movie.

Smaug blowing out windows in 221B Baker Street.

10. What would you say to someone wanting to be an author?

"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an Artist." Pablo Picasso:

Write a lot, man. Write everything. Read a lot. Read everything.

Experiment to your heart's content.

You don't have to use big words to talk about deep stuff.

Make 'em laugh. [That's a song, by of way.]

Make it worth your time by having fun with it. Have so much fun other people get jealous.

Be addicted to writing [but you didn't hear that from me].

Steal the tag if you'd like!

Do you make a mean outline? Or are you a panster through and through? And what is the title of your first work? Do your plans turn on you when you tell people about them?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Around the Circuit World // of sorts // life update

It's been ages, I know. But guess it! This week I will finish my final exams, and then summer vacation will be on!

I composed half of this post a long time ago, so here's some older reccomendations.

Some excellent Paper Fury posts are Unrealistic Happenings in YA Books. This made my day. Cait's posts always make me laugh. (Her metaphors are the best outrageous stuff of ever.) Also, Should Author's Agree With Everything They Write? Awesome discussion that!

I love iravenwings' instagram account.

Miriam's Motley Crew post talks about coordinating a large cast of characters and everyone's deep love for a quirky cast.

This Penslayer post called Is the Hook of a Great Novel Actually Criminal? is great!

And this instagram post by Maggie S. XD She's awesome.

I recently started follow Andrea's a surge of thunder and enjoyed her post on the ingredients of hype.

So I don't often recommend book review posts. They're not my favorite type of post. But poetree's is definitely worth mentioning. :)

This is my awesome and beautiful friend covering a Third Day song. [Check out her youtube channel.]

Wanderer's Pen has this awesome series called "So Your Character Is. . ." and the blank is filled in an ethnicity, mental illness, you get the idea. In this post, Victoria interviews someone who's blind.

Love, love this post about keeping your eyes on the horizon by Tim Foreman! [If you don't know, he's a Switchfoot band member. And if you don't know who Switchfoot is, then, friend, you've not been here long.Welcome and here's a good taste.]

I wish I could give you all the Switchfoot songs, but instead here's a video about how a theremin works. You know those weird, eerie sounds on old sci-fi movies? Yeah, that's a theremin.

For school, I've actually had a lot of non-book related internet wanderings (like the above theremin). Here's a crazy , but cool article about berserkers. There's a lot of weird theories out there about how they would go into battle rage [I don't fancy the mushroom theory; it's possible but a little far-fetched]. Some people have proposed that it could be some extreme case of something akin to PTSD [I lean toward this theory; it makes more sense]. But since there are no records found on how and why they'd go into battle rage, any possibility is probable since there's little to no way to rule anything out.

I took an ancient Germanic literature course, and we read books like Beowulf. I LOVE Beowulf, guys! If you've not, I definitely suggest reading it especially if you like fantasy.

We also read Icelandic sagas. Soooo much sass. Grettir's Saga had a lot of otherworldly beings like trolls, monsters, and ghosts. But Njal's Saga I think was my favorite. Lots of fate and foreshadowing. The Germanic and Icelandic cultures were revenge cultures, and revenge is fascinating to read about.

One of my friends let me borrow her book Stealing Like An Artist. It's a fun and creative book. It's full of quotes and just looks snazzy.

Also, Layers is a pretty cool blog with comics. Like this and that.

What have you been reading lately? Have you had any interesting internet wanderings?