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Author: Joan Holub

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Review: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost by Joan Holub & Suzanne WilliamsRed Riding Hood Gets Lost by Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams
Series: Grimmtastic Girls, Book 2
Also in this series: Cinderella Stays Late
Published by Scholastic on 25 March 2014
Genres: Adaptation, Adolescence, Fantasy, Friendship, Girls & Women, Middle Grade, Mystery & Detective, People of Color
Pages: 192
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Cinderella Stays Late

Places Traveled To: Grimm Academy, Grimmlandia

First Line(s): “Red Riding Hood?” The voice of Tom Thumb, Grmm Academy’s drama instructor, cut through twelve-year old Red’s thoughs like a woodcutter’s ax slicing into a willow tree.

Red Riding Hood Gets Lost by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams starts about a week or so after the events in Cinderella Arrives Late take place. Red Riding Hood Gets Lost is a companion novel to the first book in that it has a different POV character but it is very much a direct sequel as you do need to read the first to understand what’s going on in this book. The girls are in much the same place as we left them and they are still trying to figure out just what E.V.I.L. is up to and who might be in the group. As with the first book, Red Riding Hood Gets Lost is a quick read with a simple premise that I am sure those in the target audience will enjoy.

Red is a likable character and I enjoyed her story and how she interacted with her friends. Though I think that I enjoyed Red and Wolfgang’s scenes the most. The two characters were adorable together and I sometimes found myself wishing that this book was more YA than MG so that there could be some kissing scenes. Wolfgang was a sweet character who liked to tease Red and he had a bit of that bad boy edge to him in that he may or may not be a part of the E.V.I.L. society. (I guess even tweens like the bad boy trope or maybe this is where the love of the redeemable bad boy begins?)

As with Cinderella Stays Late there are plot points that are resolved but so many more that aren’t. The ones that are resolved are the more minor ones of the story and the bigger one is left open. Which means that to find out what happens next you really need to read the next book in the series. This just makes me sigh as it draws out the story too much and I hate being forced to read the next book just to see how it all closes out. Especially since the next book will be from a new POV and so there will have to be a bit of background to introduce this character and she’ll have her subplot/drama to deal with that will take time away from the bigger story ARC.

I do think that the Grimmtastic Girls series is cute and worth reading but I just wish that there was a little more to each installment. It seems that just as we are about to learn something about the big mystery that the book ends which makes me fear that the whole thing is going to be very rushed when we reach the conclusion. I will be reading Snow White Lucks Out when its available as these are fun books but I don’t think they’ll ever be a must read series for me.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: Cinderella Stays Late by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Review: Cinderella Stays Late by Joan Holub & Suzanne WilliamsCinderella Stays Late by Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams
Series: Grimmtastic Girls,
Also in this series: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost
Published by Scholastic on 25 March 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Adolescence, Fantasy, Friendship, Girls & Women, Middle Grade, Royalty, Social Issues
Pages: 192
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost

Place(s) Traveled To: Grimm Academy, Grimmlandia

First Line(s): Twelve-year old Cinderella clutched her school supplies and cloak in one arm as she walked down the hall in Grimm Academy.

I’ve been trying to diversify my reading a bit and part of that is to explore the middle grade genre a bit more so when an opportunity arose to read Cinderella Stays Late by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams I took it. Cinderella Stays Late is the first book in a new series by Holub and Williams that re-tells the fairy tales that we know and love. This book, like The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, takes place in a land where the characters of those fairy tales attend a fairy tale boarding school. Each student has their part to play and they are also uniquely their own person separate from their story. Cinderella Stays Late focuses on Ella as she is finally able to attend the Grimm Academy and her first days are a bit rocky thanks to her stepsisters. Luckily for Ella she meets up with Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White and the four become fast friends.

Cinderella Stays Late is a quick read and definitely one for the younger middle grade audiences (The School of Good and Evil is more upper MG or young YA). Its a cute read though some of the names are a bit hard on an older reader as they are a bit ridiculous but I don’t think that younger readers will mind as much. Cinderella Stays Late is the start of a mystery about the rise of a secret society, an E.V.I.L group, that Ella and her friends stumble upon as Ella learns the ins and outs of the school. The girls take it upon themselves to try and determine just what this society is about and just as the mystery really starts the book ends. There isn’t a huge cliff hanger to the story but there isn’t a ton of resolution either. Fortunately for readers the next book in the series, Red Riding Hood Gets Lost, releases on the same day and so readers can easily dive into that book to see what happens next.

I enjoyed Cinderella Stays Late and liked Holub’s and William’s writing style. I thought that the setting and and the adaptation of the various fairy tales was well done making them unique to this world and yet recognizable at the same time. There are no great surprises in this book but I think it will appeal to younger audiences. The main group of friends all have their flaws but they learn that when they work together they are stronger and can turn those flaws into something positive. Cinderella Stays Late is a fun read and this is a series that I look forward to reading more about.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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