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Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede - Retelling of the fairy tale set in Elizabethan England. A nice variation on the tale that adds a lot to a disjointed story. Although perhaps not one of my favorite retellings, this book has convinced me to seek out some of Wrede's other work.

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler - Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, now with a bonus princess who helps figure out what's up with her sisters. I liked it, but I didn't like this retelling as much as I liked Princess of the Midnight Ball. It wasn't quite as well-crafted, somehow.

The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson - Annika, who was adopted by a cook and housemaid as a baby, is happy in her life until a beautiful aristocrat appears and claims to be her mother. I heard about this book from this comm! This was a fast & fun read. From the start, you could kind of tell certain things about certain characters (trying not to spoil anything), and also there was quite a bit of scenery description - more than I really like in a book. But it was still a fun book. And, if you would like to read about Vienna in the early 1900's, this is the book for you.

The Safe-Keeper's Secret by Sharon Shinn - About Fiona and Reed, two children (one natural, one adopted) of a Safe-Keeper - a person charged with keeping the secrets of a village - who turns out to have some secrets of her own. Once I got towards the end of the book, I realized that I *think* I have read this book before. That's okay, though, it was a good (re?)read. The only thing I didn't like about it was a certain part of the ending, but otherwise, another quick book with a fairy-tale-esque story to tell.

Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff - Based on the blog of the same name, Acuff takes a semi-sarcastic look at the often strange stuff modern Christians like and do. I literally laughed out loud a few times reading this book. Just as awesome as the website. The only complaint I have is that it could have used more original material (since I've been reading the blog since the beginning), but since I only paid around $8 for the paperback on Amazon, I can't complain too much.
[identity profile] sonneta.livejournal.com
A Book by Mordicai Gerstein - Meta picture book about a girl trying to find her story. This book had been soooo hyped to me through job stuff that I suppose it was almost inevitable that it fell short of the hype. I like the drawings, but the story wasn't quite what I had expected from the reviews. Okay book, not one I'd look to reread or recommend to kids.

The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams - When Helena becomes a counselor at the summer camp she's been attending for years, will it change her friendships and even herself? Okay, first of all, they should have called this The Last Summer, since the girls keep going on about it being the last summer in various ways. Second of all, this book was okay I guess until it took a really weird and bad turn near the end. Not a good resolution.

Gateway by Sharon Shinn - Daiyu, an adopted Chinese teenager living in St. Louis, travels to an alternate world where most people are Chinese. After reading a friend's ravings about Sharon Shinn, I finally found one of her books at work. I liked it a lot - it uses a few familiar fantasy tropes (e.g. passing through a magical gateway to another world), but not so many that the story seems tired or cliche. I liked Daiyu's adventure, and even her mistrust, and how it all ended very nicely.

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson - A gateway between worlds that only opens once every nine years leaves a boy accidentally on the wrong side; a wizard, an hag, a giant, and a fairy are sent to rescue him. Is it requisite of British fantasy fiction that a subway platform lead to a magical world? Kidding, although I have seen that one a time or three. I think someone in this comm had recommended this author previously. This book was fairly decent, though it was also really predictable. But it's also for kids, so maybe if you hadn't read too many fantasy-type books, it wouldn't be as predictable. A cute little story.

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (reread) - With the Hogfather (think Santa Claus) out of commission, it's up to Death and his associates to save Hogswatch (Christmas) - and possibly the human race. Why yes, I do read this one practically every Christmas. So much fun stuff here, with spoofs on pretty much every Christmas song and tradition you can think of. (Like this year, I realized this one part of the book was a spoof on "Good King Wenceslas". You don't hear that song much here in the States, is how I missed it previously). This book is Exhibit A in Why I Love Terry Pratchett.

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