Book Review: The Circus Rose

Hello Everyone,

Such a beautiful cover!

Title: The Circus Rose

Author: Betsy Cornwall

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retelling

Publisher: Clarion Books

Published: 2020

Page Count: 300

Goodreads Summary:

A queer retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” in which teenage twins battle evil religious extremists to save their loves and their circus family.

Twins Rosie and Ivory have grown up at their ringmaster mother’s knee, and after years on the road, they’re returning to Port End, the closest place to home they know. Yet something has changed in the bustling city: fundamentalist flyers paper the walls and preachers fill the squares, warning of shadows falling over the land. The circus prepares a triumphant homecoming show, full of lights and spectacle that could chase away even the darkest shadow. But during Rosie’s tightrope act, disaster strikes.

In this lush, sensuous novel interwoven with themes of social justice and found family, it’s up to Ivory and her magician love—with the help of a dancing bear—to track down an evil priest and save their circus family before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

Magical, lyrical, told in two parts, one part being poetry and the other part being story this was beautiful, sad, enchanting and wonderful. Betsy Cornwall has won me over with her beautiful prose and elegant writing. Such strong characters though I admit to Ivory being my favorite compared to that of Rose. A retelling of Snow White, Rose Red this is one of my new favorites.

My Review:

I’m always a fan of circus stories. I’m sad that they are mostly gone now. The circus to me was always magical and exciting. I even tried joining one once but was unsuccessful. This book I put off reading for at least two, three years now, I devoured in a single sitting. It was half told in verse, split between two characters, Ivory (who was my favorite) and Rose. While I’m not a big fan of novels in verse, I still felt that this was handled well for a retelling of Snow White and Rose Red. While short, this definitely didn’t hold back it’s punches, in proudly displaying Rose and Ivory and their mother, all together struggling to get by daily. The characters felt so real it was as if I was there amongst them, enjoying the show.

This was one of the first YA books I’ve read in a while, and I’m so glad it was a high rating for me. I’m also glad that I own a physical copy. I hope to get through more of the authors backlist titles at some point though no clue when that will be. This book is recommended for those that want representation for bisexual characters, nonbinary characters, sapphic love interests and a satisfying ending.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

1st Promo Post: The Beast’s Heart

Greetings all,

Today dawns snow and ice on the ground and the beginning of changes here on my blog. I mentioned in my January stats post that I wanted to do more than just book reviews this year. I wanted to do promo posts for books I love, author interviews, guest bloggers. This is all a slow learning process for me but I hope it goes well. If you have advice as more experienced bloggers I would be happy to hear it!

The Beasts Heart

Today’s Promo Post is for an upcoming release called The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shellcross.  This was one of my favorite reads for the beginning of 2019, and I love how it reads, the characters, the world, all of it. I’ve a review coming up soon, but felt that it was only appropriate to do a promo post first.

A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France–and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . .

-As Seen on Goodreads

Having already read this, I can say that this is well worth buying on Amazon, and that it’s less than $10 in paperback format. Here’s the link to that, if you’re interested:

Now, please let me know if the links don’t work because I’m still figuring out how to do all of that, despite being on my blog for nearly three years. I also hope you all go and check out this beautiful work, because it’s well worth it.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book.

ARC Review: The Hawkman

The Hawkman

Title: The Hawkman
Author: Jane LaForge
Genre: Historical, Magical Realism, Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 318
Series: Don’t Think So
Publisher: Amberjack
Type of Book: Netgalley, Kindle Ebook, ARC
Rated: 5/5 stars!

The Hawkman is a retelling of a mix of Beauty and the Beast meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales (look up certain title). It’s a fascinating, bewitching tale of a man that’s a beggar on the streets; abused by children and adults alike because of how ugly he is perceived to be, as well as how dangerous. He doesn’t talk, only screams at people-much like a hawk-which is where the name originates from.

It is described as a “fairy tale of the great war”, and it certainly doesn’t flinch from telling the dark stories of how men survived while fighting enemies, and deserting, and struggling just to get by. It’s a harsh look at the war, and at how some soldiers were treated during these times of strife. It wasn’t my favorite part of the book, but it was still lyrical in its own, unique way.

My favorite part of the book is the bit with the swan king and his lake. It was beautiful, yet tremendously sad at the end of it as well, well written, and yet strange. It definitely spoke volumes to me, and this will be one of my favorite books of the year, because of its originality. I don’t recall it being a part of the Brothers Grimm or not (clearly, I need to re-read those stories), but I still loved it regardless.

Miss Williams was easily my favorite character in the whole of the story, though the Hawkman was curiously interesting, she was kind and considerate, and acted like a real human being in taking him in when everyone else just wanted to treat him as some kind of terrible disease that needed to be gotten rid of. He was a strange individual, but as Miss Williams pointed out, he was still human and therefore deserved care and respect as much as anyone else.

There are several more things to talk and think about in regards to this book. While only sixteen chapters, it was a huge story and a well-told one at that. I will likely do a re-read of it in the future, when I’ve the time to do so, because I read this far too quickly, despite trying not too. I just had to know what would happen to poor Miss Williams and her Hawkman.

In this Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children meets All the Light We Cannot See, I’m sure fans will adore the beautifully written prose and stories that are told within this gorgeous edition.

Five out of five stars for a splendid job well done!

Now,
-Pass Me That Book.

Indie Book Review: Don’t Look At Me

Don'tLookAtMe

Title: Don’t Look at Me
Author: J. P. Grider
Series:
Page Count: 340
Publisher: Fated Hearts
Type of Book: ARC Copy, Indie, Kindle Ebook
Rated: 5/5 stars

Don’t Look at Me is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, where instead of the guy being the beast, it’s the girl who turns ugly. I thought that a unique perspective, and a refreshing one, because-as the author puts it-why can’t the girl be ugly and have the guy fall for her regardless?

The story tells the tale of a girl named Haven who fell in love with a bookshop at the age of nine and goes there every time she gets the chance since. As an adult, she frequently buys books there whenever she gets her paycheck and can afford to after paying rent and taxes and being an adult. She loves to read anything and everything.

Quest is a young man who is freshly back from being in the Army, where he was released due to a painful secret. After his grandfather passes, he is shocked to discover his grandfather left the books that were originally his-signed Earnest Hemingway first editions-to a girl that he’s never met before. Convinced she managed to somehow trick his grandfather into giving the books to her, their first meeting is less than ideal.

Fast forward a bit, and while arguing over books, and Haven trying to convince him to keep the bookstore going, she is attacked by the Slasher, a hooded guy going around and slashing women’s faces, and making the ugly. She is now stuck at home, with plenty of time to read, because of how ugly she is.

Vanity is one of the few things I never understood about people, so Haven’s choice of ignoring the world because she’s ugly-though people tell her she’s really not-really bothered me. To me it seemed a bit of an overreaction…you have a deep scar on your face, and that makes you instantly unattractive? Scars can be beautiful, but it took most of the book for Haven to realize this.

I also identified the Slasher right away, but I was surprised to find that it was also *SPOILER*. I really liked the bit of trickery that the author did there.

The ending of the book was a happy one, sweet and warm. I liked how there were little nods towards the original telling-the bookstore, the beast, the love between the main characters. It was a well written retelling of the original, and my hat goes off to the author!

Overall, I give the story 5/5 stars for a job very well done!

Now,
-Pass Me That Book.

 

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