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Disney Princesses Reimagined as Books

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The Princess Book Tag

Since Disney Princesses have been reimagined as pretty much everything under the moon (like hotdogs, really?!), it was inevitable that the reimagining would come around to something I’m passionate about–books!

(Although, I’ll admit, I do love a good beef hotdog.)

Thanks to my good friend R. Q. Woodward for tagging me in this fun reimagining!

The rules: 

  • Mention where you saw the tag/thank whoever tagged you
  • Tag Zuky’s and Mandy’s posts so they can check out the wonderful Princess fun throughout the blog world (Book Princess Reviews & Book Bum)
  • Play a game of tag at the end

 

THE PRINCESSES AND THE BOOKS:

🍎Snow White – This Book (like the Movie) Started It All

Favorite debut book from an author:

It’s not technically a first book, but a first fiction book: Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet. This book is an enchanting tale of an unappreciated, special girl (Auralia) that I think artists of any genre can relate to. It instantly struck a chord with me and will always have a place on my shelf.

 

👠Cinderella – A Diamond in the Rough

Just like Cinderella, you didn’t expect much out of this character in the beginning but they turned out to be a total gem.

I don’t know about a specific character, but there was a book I happened across recently that turned out to be an unknown gem for me. Still Life With Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen. I picked it up as I was rifling through random books at a used bookstore and started reading the first couple pages (to see if it was something I’d want to read, not knowing the author). I read through the whole first chapter and knew it was something I was going to love. It’s homey but different, with enough elegant prose to satisfy but a plot that’s easy enough to be comfortable.

 

😴Aurora – Sleeping Beauty

A book that makes you sleepy or just could not hold your attention

Allegiant (and Insurgent) by Veronica Roth. I liked the first in the Divergent series, but after that came a big mess of a second and total disaster of a third book. I finished them all, but after a few chapters into Insurgent, it was a miserable experience. I couldn’t understand the characters’ motivations or mood swings. The science felt flimsy. And I definitely couldn’t believe it when characters repeatedly claimed “this is the only way” when they wanted to rush from one bad idea to another (when other options had not been decently explored beforehand). Ugh.

 

🌊Ariel – Under the Sea

A book with a water/ocean setting

This one took me the longest to think up. While there are many books written in proximity to the ocean or water, I feel like I haven’t read many where it’s central to a lot of the story.

One of the first to come to mind was Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, the unfortunate story of a gentleman frog who goes fishing and gets himself caught. Then I thought of The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare and had to mention that one. It has a lot of the sea in it, especially at the beginning and with the main character Kit’s upbringing in the Caribbean being an integral part of who she is.

 

📚Beauty and the Books

Name a book with the best bookworm/book lover

Not sure if you could call her a bookworm, but I’m going with Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Heck, that’s part of the reason Darcy deems her of worth, so yeah. Moral: read books and the right significant other will appreciate you. 😉

 

❤️Jasmine – The Thief and the Princess

Name a book with an unlikely love story (either in terms of romance or a book you didn’t expect to love so much.)

I’m going with Bathsheba Everdeen and Gabriel Oak in Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd. They are two very different people, who are constantly thrown together but kept apart until finally *spoiler* Bathsheba comes to her senses.  Plus, I’m pretty sure Gabriel Oak is the quintessential perfect man.

 

🌎Pocahontas – The Real Life Princess

Name a book that is based on a real life person you want to read/have read

Okay, this is a man’s book, so hopefully he doesn’t take offense to being listed in a princess tag (should he ever come across it), but I have On Writing by Stephan King on my “to read” stack at my desk. It’s a memoir and his take on the craft of writing, and I’ve heard it’s an amazing book for any prospective writer to read.

 

🐉Mulan – The Princess that saved her Country

Name the fiercest heroine you know

It’s hard to pick just one here, but I think I’ll go with Mara from Mara: Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Mara starts out as a slave, desperate for her freedom and jumps at a risky opportunity to gain it–not once, but twice. She works as an agent for both sides of a cause before realizing (too late) that she truly wants to make a choice between them.

 

🐸Tiana – The Princess With The Coolest And Most Diverse Crew

Name a diverse book whether it is a diverse set of characters (like Tiana’s group of Naveen, Louis, Ray, and more) or just diverse in general

Winnie the Pooh. You have the chronically depressed Eeyore, an attention-deficit-disorder Tigger, anxiety-ridden Piglet, OCD Rabbit, and absent-minded Pooh-bear; what’s more diverse than that?

As far as human diversity: like Robin, I thought it was very well done in Rysa Walker’s The Delphi Effect, but it wasn’t central enough to the story for me to really nominate it in this category.

 

💇Rapunzel – Let Your Longggggg Hair Down

Name the longest book you’ve ever read

I’ve just started (and paused for CampNaNoWriMo–I’m awesome with my timing) Tolstoy’s infamous War and Peace. Because I actually enjoy long epics with numerous storylines, political subtexts, and cultural implications.

🏹Merida – I Determine My Own Fate

A book where there is no love story/interest or it isn’t needed

The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I remember this being one of the first “difficult” books I read as a child. Not to say that the books I’d read up to that point didn’t have difficulty in them, but they hadn’t affected me to the same depths that this book did. I need to go back and reread it to see if it still holds the same poignancy I remember.

 

❄️Anna and Elsa – Frozen Hearts

A book in a winter/cold setting

 

George R. R. Martin’s infamous A Song of Ice and Fire series has a good deal of Icy settings, especially as the series progresses with Winter coming and the threat of white walkers looming with it.

The Willows in Winter is probably more fitting a choice, but it’s been so long since I read it as a child that I don’t remember much from the story.

 

⛵Moana  – How Far I’ll Go

A character that goes on a journey

 

Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. I know it might be more of a quest than a journey, but the trip to the Lonely Mountain is more than half the book, and the journey of the mind that Bilbo undertakes is just as much of an accomplishment.

 

A Game of Tag

I tag…whoever is reading this (ha, I have you now!). 😉 Give your own book reimaginings in the comments below or feel free to make your own blog post! I’m always eager for some good book recommendations. And Disney Princess reimaginings.

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The Fifth Doll–Book Review!

Happy Friday, everyone! Since I almost always have a book I’m reading (whether or not I actually register it as “currently reading” in my goodreads account), I thought I’d start sharing personal book reviews now and again.

And what better way to start than with this gorgeous book (both inside and out) of Charlie N. Holmburg’s, The Fifth Doll.

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Seriously, how gorgeous is this cover?!

It’s clear from the get-go that something is not quite right in Matrona’s village, though she herself isn’t aware until a fateful action sets her on the path to unraveling the mystery. Charlie N. Holmberg’s latest book, The Fifth Doll, fluctuates between the romance of an old Russian village, the beguiling spell of a fantasy tale, and the compelling lives of the characters brought to life throughout its pages.

The main character, Matrona, is a dreamer who longs for love, but with realist parents and an impending arranged marriage, it seems she’s destined for a life devoid of it. When she happens upon the collection of painted nesting dolls in the mysterious Slava’s house, she can’t resist the urge to touch one–one with a remarkable likeness of her father painted on it! But when her father starts acting strangely, she realizes there must be more going on in tradesman Slava’s house.

But when Matrona goes to confront Slava, he turns the tables on her and decides Matrona is going to be the next keeper of his secrets–whether she wants to or not! Matrona must follow Slava’s demands…or else. Between his dictates and her parents’ and betrothed’s expectations, Matrona soon finds herself in a whirlwind of conflicting emotions. But with each action she takes, and resulting consequence she endures, Matrona grows in strength and resolve: she will learn the mystery of the dolls. And perhaps she might find the love she longs for after all…

Reading this book was itself very like opening a set of Russian matryoshka dolls. Each layer of the story had a new problem, a new hope, a new secret to learn, and every time I thought I knew where things were headed, another layer broke open and took the plot in a new direction. The Fifth Doll is incredibly unique, quite refreshing to read, and genuinely hard to put down! It only took two days to fly through it, and I could have easily read it all in one sitting if I hadn’t had the mundane distractions of everyday life plaguing me.

What made this story go above the average tale for me were the vivid characters and the beautiful language employed skillfully by Charlie N. Holmberg. Matrona is a very believable and likeable character–super important in a main character. I was able to easily sympathize with her without feeling like the author was manipulating me to do so. She does have real faults but they are understandable and true to her character. Slava walks the appropriate tightrope for his good-guy-or-bad-guy-? persona; menacing but weary, demanding but regretful. And the character of Matrona’s mother also stood out to me as a very realistic portrayal. Her harsh demeanor and sharp words were very believable traits, due to her situation in life and its toll on her.

As for the language, here are a few lines that I absolutely loved!

“It sent moth wings up her arms and over her shoulders.”

“By the time she reached the church, her lungs blazed like two oil lamps.”

“Serpents coiled around her chest, thinning her air.”

“Her entire body became a heartbeat.”

“A good sign, yet Matrona’s nerves stung her limbs like hornets.”

“Matrona’s skin burned like he was the sun.”

All in all, this is a gem of a book, with enough mystery, magic, romance, historical notes and action to please readers from virtually any genre. This is probably the best book I’ve read so far this year—I don’t give out five-star reviews easily!

I was given an advanced reading copy of this book, but my opinion is 100% my own and I’m already planning to purchase and give physical copies for myself and friends of mine after the July 25th release of this book. It’s that good. 😉

Check it out here for yourself!

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