Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 240

Series: The Hazel Wood, Companion

Genres: Fantasy; Young Adult; Fiction; Horror; Fairy tales; Short Stories

Publication date: January 12, 2021


Journey into the Hinterland, a brutal and beautiful world where a young woman spends a night with Death, brides are wed to a mysterious house in the trees, and an enchantress is killed twice―and still lives.


There was once a rich merchant who lived at the edge of the woods, in a tiny town in the Hinterland. Though he spent most of his days traveling, he was at home long enough to give his wife two daughters, the eldest dark and the youngest golden, born one year apart.

Their father was distant and their mother was strange, often shutting herself up in her room for hours. Her daughters could hear her speaking to someone when they pressed their ears to the door, but only the eldest, Anya, ever made out an answer. The voice she heard was so thin and rustling, she could almost believe it was leaves against the window.

On a winter’s day when Anya was sixteen, their mother locked her door and did not open it again. After three days the servants broke it down, and found – an empty room. The windows were shit, winter howled outside, and the woman was gone. But she’d left something behind: on the floor, in a puddle of blood, a bone dagger.

The Door That Wasn’t There


First, can we all just appreciate how gorgeous this book is? And I’m not just talking about the front cover of this beauty. If you flip through the book, you’ll be greeted with gorgeous illustrations on virtually every page. I’d highly recommend getting your hands on a physical copy of this book if you can manage it, if only to flip through and see the detail that was put into it. This is certainly one of the pretties books I’ve ever read, and I’m thrilled to have its beauty in my collection.

The beauty of this book plays in stark contrast to the darker stories held within its pages. We get beautiful boarders that tie into each story. We get beautifully creepy cover images for each tale. The imagery ties in perfectly with the contents of each story and gives the stories more weight, more depth. They enhance the reading experience. At least, they did for me.

While I’m not going to say pick this book up solely for how gorgeous it is, its looks don’t hurt. I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case please do. If you find this cover page just as beautiful as I do, go pick up a copy for yourself. Go enjoy the other detailed images the books has to offer.

Continue reading “Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert”

Better Together by Cristine Riccio

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 448

Goodreads: Better Together

Genres: Contemporary; Young Adult; Romance; Fiction; Magical Realism; LGBTQ+; Retelling

Publication date: June 1, 2021


Jamie’s an aspiring standup comic in Los Angeles with a growing case of stage anxiety.

Siri’s a stunning ballerina from New Jersey nursing a career-changing injury.

They’ve both signed up for the same session at an off the grid Re-Discover Yourself Retreat in Colorado. When they run into each other, their worlds turn upside down.

Jamie and Siri are sisters, torn apart at a young age by their parent’s volatile divorce. They’ve grown up living completely separate lives: Jamie with their Dad and Siri with their Mom. Now, reunited after over a decade apart, they hatch a plot to switch places. It’s time they get to know and confront each of their estranged parents.

With an accidental assist from some fortuitous magic, Jamie arrives in New Jersey, looking to all the world like Siri, and Siri steps off her flight sporting a Jamie glamour.

The sisters unexpectedly find themselves stuck living in each other’s shoes. Soon Siri’s crushing on Jamie’s best friend Dawn. Jamie’s falling for the handsome New Yorker she keeps running into, Zarar. Alongside a parade of hijinks and budding romance, both girls work to navigate their broken family life and the stresses of impending adulthood.

Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap in New York Times bestselling author Christine Riccio’s Better Together, a sparkling and heartfelt story about sisters, second chances, finding romance, and finding yourself.


I’m losing my shit over here. I know 100 percent of my focus needs to be on reconnecting with Siri right now, but I’m spiraling out about Zarar. It happened. I sat there with him and spilled my whole life story. We got up, we had lunch together, and I told him everything. I broke my own fucking rule. My shit is mine. I can handle it myself.

Chapter 20, Page 82


Christine Riccio found a place in my heart through her silly antics on her YouTube/BookTube channel PolandBananasBOOKS. When she released her first book Again, But Better, I happily picked it up. While I wasn’t sure if I’d like the story going into it, the book certainly grew on me. If you’d like to read my thoughts on this story right after I read it, click here.

While this isn’t a review for Again, But Better, I do first want to touch on it and how my opinion of the story changed. Briefly, I promise. The primary thing I want to touch on is the staying power of this story. I first read this story in 2019, and I’ve read quite a few books since. Yet this book’s plot and characters have popped into my mind multiple times over the years – each time with fondness. Sure I might not have had the most profound reading experience while reading Again, But Better, but the staying power of this story speaks for itself. For a debut novel from a personality I was already aware of, this was a great experience for me.

Because of that, when I saw Better Together in the bookstore I had to pick it up. And I’ve got to tell you – I’m glad I did. And having read Better Together, I’m seriously considering picking Again, But Better up again.


Better Together gave me everything that Again, But Better fell just short of. The characters felt more real, more like individual personalities instead of extensions of Riccio herself. The world was more flushed out, containing more depth and layers to it. She touched on the emotions of grief and hopelessness, of finding yourself and coming to terms with a new future. And she did all of this organically.

It was clear to me from page 1 that Riccio has matured as an author.

It’s been years since I’ve watched either Freaky Friday or The Parent Trap, but I still remember them with fond memories. Going into this read, I wasn’t sure how Riccio was going to bring these two stories together. I wasn’t sure how true she’d stay to the source material, how many liberties she’d take with the plots.

Dear reader, I’m happy to report that I loved how she handled combining these stories together. The liberties she took helped enhance the source material and allowed these two strong plotlines to coexist. Some of the changes she made even helped the stories feel more real, more plausible and seeded in reality.

If you’re looking for a story with a cookie cutter ending, I’m afraid this isn’t going to be book for you. But if you’re looking for a story with a positive, open ending with endless possibilities, then I’d recommend giving this story a try.


Continue reading “Better Together by Cristine Riccio”

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pages: 507

Series: Cursebreakers, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult; Fantasy; Romance; Retelling; Urban Fantasy; Fairy Tales

Publication date: January 20, 2019


Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


I sigh and begin leading the horse toward the stables, but then stop and turn. “Whose blood made the trail?”

Grey raises an arm and draws his sleeve back. A long knife wound still bleeds down into his hand, a slow trickle of crimson.

I’d order him to bind it, but the wound will be gone in an hour, when the sun is fully up.

So will the blood on my hands and the sweat on the horse’s flanks. The cobblestones will be warm with early fall sunlight, and my breath will no longer fog in the morning air.

The girl will be gone, and the season will begin again.

I’ll be newly eighteen.

For the three hundred twenty-seventh time.

Rhen, Chapter One


This book has been on my radar for a while. I honestly have no excuses for not picking it up before now, as it’s got so much that I look for in books. I’m glad I stumbled across this title at my library and that it was available. If this book has told me anything, it’s that I’m going to have to continue on with this story quickly.

One of the things that this book did so right is the romance in it. Without getting into too much detail, this book contains a romance trope that can either make or break a story for me. Thankfully, the trope was handled beautifully and has left me wanting more.

On a less vague note, I cannot get enough of the characters in this story. This story is teeming with strong personalities, something that draws me in. Harper and Rhen clash heads near constantly throughout this story, but in the best way possible. It’s great to see two people getting to know each other while still holding strong to their own personal beliefs. Of course there’s some give in their interactions, but neither one constantly gives in to the other. And that’s the important part.

Aside from Harper and Rhen, the secondary characters in this story also have strong personalities. First we have Grey, Rhen’s loyal guard and companion. And he is so much more than this. Honestly, Grey might be my favourite character in this whole story. We also have the dastardly enchantress that got Rhen into this whole mess in the first place. She is absolutely deliciously cruel and twisted. We’ve also got Freya, a gentle soul who only wants what’s best for everyone and will mother you whether you realize you need it or not.

It was the character interactions that got me hooked in this story, for sure, but it’s the plot itself that got me to stay. If you have an endless amount of chances to set things right, how hard are you truly going to try? If you’ve given in to the despair surrounding you like a cloud? If the your last chance wants nothing to do with you?

This story is about fighting the odds and coming into your own. It’s about understanding your strengths and weaknesses, about learning how to play them to make yourself as strong as possible.

Harper might have been born with cerebral palsy, but she’s not going to let that define her. She’s stronger than her family gave her credit, she’s worth more than Rhen and Grey realized when they first met her. Her enemies aren’t going to walk all over her like they expect. And I love her for it.


Continue reading “A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer”

Bluebeard and the Outlaw by Tara Grayce

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pages: 190

Series: A Villain’s Ever After, Book 3

Genres: Fantasy; Retelling; Romance; Fairy Tales; Young Adult; Novella

Publication date: August 27th, 2021


Marriage: the ultimate heist.

Robin of the Wood spends her days robbing from the rich to feed the poor. But she and her merry band of brothers never seem to get anywhere. The more she steals, the more the evil Lord Guy “Bluebeard” taxes the villagers.

When Robin discovers that Lord Guy plans to marry yet again, she conceives a plan for a final, big score. As Guy’s wife, she will have access to his wealth. The lord is notorious for killing his wives shortly after he marries them, but Robin has no plans to be dead wife number four.

The only problem is that Lord Guy is devastatingly handsome, brooding, and nothing at all what she expected. If she isn’t careful, she might just find that he steals her heart before she can rob his riches.

Bluebeard and the Outlaw is one of twelve short novels in A Villain’s Ever After, a collection of stand-alone stories featuring villainous twists on some of your favorite classic fairy tales. Read the series in any order for magical adventures . . . and fall in love with villains as you’ve never seen them before. Who said villains can’t have happily-ever-afters?


Perhaps you have heard the tale of the blue-bearded man and his murdered wives. Maybe you’ve wondered how a girl could be so foolish as to marry him. She must have been forced, you say. Or incredibly desperate.

Well, dear reader, I married him. But the legends don’t tell the whole story. I might have been a fool. But I was the most reckless kind of fool, who believes she is a daring hero with legends of her own to make.

Chapter One


I really enjoyed reading this story. I’ve noticed recently that I’m enjoying series of novellas by multiple authors more and more – A Villain’s Ever After being no exception. I love the way it introduces me to different worlds, different characters, different writing styles. It also helps me discover authors that I might not otherwise have stumbled across.

In fact, that’s the way I stumbled across Grayce’s works. Not through this story, like I thought going into this read, but through a different collection of novellas by multiple authors. While I thought “man, this writing style seems really familiar” multiple times while reading this story, it wasn’t until close to the very end that I realized exactly why this writing felt familiar. And that’s because I’d read Stolen Midsummer Bride back in July (review here).

In case it hasn’t been made obvious at this point, or if you’re new here, I truly love a good retelling. More often than not, I’ll look for a new retelling when I’m looking to pick up a story from a new author. That way I might not know how the writing style will be, but I’ll know what to expect from the story. Plus it gives me a chance to experience characters I know and love, even if their characteristics and temperaments might be different from usual.

Both the tale of Robinhood and the tale of Bluebeard aren’t tales that I’ve read many retellings for, so it was quite the treat to pick up this story that deals with both of them. I went into this story knowing the basic traits of both of these story, but not much more. And I was thrilled with what I managed to find.

Bluebeard and Robinhood are names that are pretty well known. Their stories are all but legend, their strengths and weaknesses known by the masses. But what if they were to tell the story themselves? What if you got to understand both sides of the coin, rather than just hear about the story from the victor? Sure these tales are often told as solo stories, but I adored the way the two tales were woven into each other. The way both parties can be considered the villain in the other’s tale.

This story shows me that I adore Grayce’s writing style and need to read more from her. Having stumbled across her writing twice now, there is no doubt in my mind that I’m going to enjoy her writing in her other works. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I picked up her writing in the near future to read more from her….


Continue reading “Bluebeard and the Outlaw by Tara Grayce”

Stolen Midsummer Bride by Tara Grayce

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 193

Series: Stolen Brides of the Fae, Book 3

Genres: Fantasy; Romance; Fae; New Adult; Retelling; Fairy Tales

Publication date: May 21, 2021


Steal a bride. Save the library. Try not to die.

Basil, a rather scholarly fae, works as an assistant librarian at the Great Library of the Court of Knowledge. Lonely and unwilling to join the yearly Midsummer Revel to find a mate, Basil takes the advice of his talking horse companion and decides to steal a human bride instead.

But Basil never expected to find a human girl waiting for him, wanting to get snatched. Nor had he expected a girl like Meg, an illiterate farmgirl who has no use for books.

With the barrier with the Realm of Monsters wearing thin and the chaos of Midsummer Night about to descend, will this unlikely pair put aside their differences long enough to save the Great Library from destruction? And maybe find a spark of love along the way.


“Today, Lysander suggested I steal a human bride. Can you believe it?” Basil shook his head, staring at the ceiling. Why was he struggling to laugh the thought away? He should not find it intriguing.

“Actually, it isn’t a bad idea.” Buddy bobbed his head. “Get yourself a nice girl. Someone who can help you in the Great Library and provide a buffer from the antics of the Foolish Four. Besides, stealing a bride would raise your status, you know. Most fae take the easy route of joining the Revel or arranging a marriage nowadays. Your fellow librarians will be impressed if you steal a bride.”

Chapter 3


In case I haven’t already said it, this was a fun read. Meg gave up a lot to try and protect her family. She didn’t know what she was getting herself into, but she was willing to do it for her siblings. Basil had his heart broken in the past and never expected to find love again. Desperate times call for desperate measures and a stolen bride – right?

This story contained so much of what I love – libraries, the fae, fighting monsters, and saving the day. (I apologize for that but I’m not taking it back.) Meg and Basil might not have expected each other, but both knew what they’d need to survive and protect what they hold dear. The fae realm is twisted, the courts not always getting along or playing by the rules. It takes someone strong of heart and mind to be able to navigate the courts and not lose themself in the process.


Continue reading “Stolen Midsummer Bride by Tara Grayce”

TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey


Welcome to the book tour for time-travelling, sci-fi, TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey! Read on for more details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway– A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card!




Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Publication Date: February 25th, 2021

Genre: Time Travel/ Thriller/ Historical Fiction/ Sci-Fi

Publisher: Dammaged Productions


It is the year 2288, and Earth is reeling from the most horrific terrorist attack it has ever endured.The Quest, a pseudo-religious splinter group, have taken a stance against the Earth Alliance’s authority of the planet.It is down to Youssef Haseem, now the highest-ranking official left in the EA, to build a team to face the threat of total inhalation if he doesn’t stand down and bow to The Quest’s demands. Then the leaders of The Quest disappear, and a legend emerges in the year 1888. But just who is the mysterious stranger stalking and viciously killing women on the streets of Whitechapel, London?A mission is launched! A battle of wits against time itself. A fight to be played out in the present and the past, with the fate of humanity at stake.Legends can happen anytime…

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Available on Amazon


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The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pages: 406

Series: The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, Book 1

Genres: Fantasy; Mystery; Historical Fiction; Young Adult; SciFi; Horror; Retellings

Publication date: June 20, 2017


Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular points towards Edward Hyde, her father’s former assistant and a murderer, being nearby. Knowing about a reward for information leading towards his capture, Mary knows this reward would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

When the hunt heads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, she finds a feral child left to be raised by nuns. Assisted by Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for Hyde and the truth about her father’s life. She soon befriends more woman, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

Their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power crazed scientists, causing the horrors of their pasts to return. Now it’s up to these “monsters” to triumph over the monstrous.


Diana: Why do women have to wear such rotten clothes? I mean, you’ve got the chemise, and then the corset and then the corset cover. And that’s before you’ve even put on the shirt waist. What’s the point?

Beatrice: Clothing is one means of enforcing women’s social and political subordination. That is why we must support rational dress.

Catherin: Are you seriously going to have an argument about this in the middle of my book?

Beatrice: OUR book. As you keep reminding us. And I know you agree with me, Catherin.

Chapter Eleven


I went into this read not knowing much of anything about it. Truth be told, I hadn’t even read the synopsis before I picked the read up. I’d heard a lot of BookTubers talk about the book recently, and many of them that I tend to have the same general taste in books have recommended it. On top of that, the cover is gorgeous and I absolutely love fantastical retellings of classic novels. So, naturally, I had to pick it up.

And I’m so glad that I did. I fell in love with this story almost instantly. The way that this story is told is unconventional, but made it even more enjoyable for me. As well, if you have the opportunity to listen to the AudioBook version I would highly recommend it. Kate Reading did a phenomenal job narrating this story and making it feel alive. Each character is distinct – both in tone and voice – and makes it truly feel like a group of friends talking over each other. It was perfect.

Goss herself did a phenomenal job at making this story feel real. I could picture the scene’s in my mind’s eye perfectly. I could see Mary’s calm anger or disappointment as it was described. I could visualize Diana’s rowdy behaviour and her scampering over the rooftops. Justine’s gentleness was clear as day, her unwillingness to be the monster she thought herself.

The only thing I didn’t enjoy about this story is the fact that it ended. Sure I’m lucky enough that I can jump straight into the second story if I chose to – and believe me, I plan on picking the next story up state! – but still. This mystery was thrilling and I loved every second of it. I loved the clues slowly making their way known. Even having previously read all of the classic stories that are referenced in this one, each character felt new to me. Each story felt unique and new. Beloved characters took a new twist and I loved every new characteristic that Goss gave them.

If you’re looking for a fun and thrilling YA fantasy story, I would highly recommend this one. You don’t have to have read the classic stories – like Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, etc – in order to enjoy this story. While I adored being able to compare and contrast this “retelling” with the classic tales, it’s a fantastic read all on its own without needing to compare it to the source material. You can certainly believe that I’ll be reading the next story – and posting about it – soon.


Continue reading “The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss”

The Oracle of Philadelphia by Elizabeth Corrigan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 222

Series: Earthbound Angels, Book 1

Genres: Fantasy; Urban Fantasy; Paranormal; Angels & Demons; Mythology

Publication date: March 20, 2013


Carrie works at a diner in South Philadelphia, dispensing advice to humans and angels wise enough to seek her counsel. But there are some problems that even the best advice can’t solve. Her latest supplicant, Sebastian, is unique among those who have sought her aid – he sold his soul to a demon to save his sister’s life. Yet his heart remains pure.

Carrie has lived for millennia with the knowledge that her immortality is due to the suffering of others and she can’t bare to see another good man damned while it’s within her power to prevent it. In order to negotiate his contract, Carrie must travel the depths of hall and parley with the demons that control pathways. As the cost of her journey rises, Carrie must determine how much she’s willing to sacrifice to save one good soul.


We’d had what passed for a lunch rush – two whole tables occupied at once – and I was clearing off the tables when I heard the words that were going to change my life: “I’m here to see the Oracle.”

Chapter One


I stumbled upon this read while looking at one of Corrigan’s other reads, and I absolutely felly in love with the cover. Not only is the cover fantastic, but I’ve always been drawn to stories about oracles and the different planes of existence. In this case, the mortal realm and the hell realm where the demons reside – my terms, the book just calls this being alive and in Hell. 

Even further than that, I’ve always been interested in tales about fallen angels and how the war between Lucifer and God impacted them. While the same characters always play a role – they were, after all, the angels that fought on the opposing sides in the way – I enjoyed the way that Corrigan dealt with them all. I loved the different personalities. Like Bedlam not always trying to cause chaos but always being the chaos that he stands for. Or Gabriel being so pure of heart that he makes Michael – right hand of God – feel inferior at times.

Carrie’s own story took center stage over the story I thought this book was going to tell – the tale of Sebastian and how Carrie was going to travel to Hell in order to save his soul. Don’t get me wrong, the synopsis wasn’t lying when it said that Sebastian’s request for help would be the driving force in Carrie’s life. But I expected more of an epic quest into Hell than what we’re given. Instead, the story is filled with flashbacks into Carrie’s long life and the events that led her to be the person she is.

Although it took me a while to be okay with the lack of an epic hellscape adventure like I was expecting, I ended up enjoying Carrie’s story much more than I think I would have had this story been exactly what I was expecting. Jumping between timelines isn’t always something I follow too well, but Corrigan did an amazing job at it. It not only helped make Carrie’s decisions make sense, but it also made her willingness to change her behaviour for one good soul that much more impactful. I can’t wait to dive back into this story and see when Carrie and her friends take the world.


Continue reading “The Oracle of Philadelphia by Elizabeth Corrigan”

The Peasant’s Dream by Melanie Dickerson

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Pages: 311

Series: Hagenheim, Book 11

Genres: Romance, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Retelling, Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling

Publication date: July 7, 2021


Adela, the daughter of the Duke of Hagenheim, is rarely allowed outside of the castle walls. But longing for freedom, she sneaks out to the marked disguised as a peasant where she meets a handsom woodcarver named Frederick.

Frederick, a poor farmer, is the sole provider for his family and often his mother’s defender from his father’s drunken rages. He dreams of making a living carving wood and is thrilled when the Bishop of Hagenheim commissions him to carve new doors for the cathedral. As he works on the project, he and Adela meet almost daily and it doesn’t take them long to fall in love. Yet her true identity remains hidden from him.

When disaster separates the two, Adela and Frederick find themselves caught in the midst of a deception far more dangerous than innocent disguises.


“I am spoiled, I suppose.”


“I am used to having everything I need and almost everything I want.”

“You aren’t spoiled. You are loved and blessed. And love is much more important than wealth. If you have to live without wealth, you might have some difficulties, but living without love… that would be tragic indeed.”

Chapter 5


As this is a reverse Cinderella retelling, I didn’t think that I’d need to have read the rest of the series before diving into this story. I’d originally hoped to read this story in January as another read for the Buzzword Readathon/Reading Challenge, but the copy from my local library wasn’t available until mid to late March. So, I waited until the book was available and enjoyed the read.

While this was a decent story, I wouldn’t really call it a “Cinderella retelling” per say – or even a reverse retelling. While there was a very brief ball scene, the main Cinderella storyline doesn’t really happen in this story. While there’s nothing to say that a retelling has to stay true to the original – in fact, one of my favourite retellings ever is a twisted story that only follows the original bones of the source material – I still prefer the story to clearly pull from the source material.

It felt more like a traditional Historical YA read than a fairy tale retelling to me, but that’s a personal perspective. Historical fiction isn’t my favourite genre – unless it’s got a fantastical twist or is further broken down into the Steampunk subgenre – which also impacted my enjoyment of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why some people would enjoy the historical aspect of this story. I’m just not the intended audience for this story (no matter how much I thought I was going into this read).

It was a cute story if you’re not trying to force it into the confines of a retelling, but I found the side storylines and characters more compelling than the main plot of this story. While I don’t regret reading this story, I don’t know if I’ll bother reading anything else from this series.

That isn’t to say I won’t read more of Dickerson’s works, I will. I enjoyed the writing style of this story immensely. It’s just the specific series that I don’t think is my speed.


Continue reading “The Peasant’s Dream by Melanie Dickerson”

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

Rating: 3.5/5 stars The Princess and the Fangirl

Length: 320 pages

Series: Once Upon a Con, Book 2

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT, Retelling

Publication date: April 2, 2019


Minerva cracks open an eye when she hears us approach. “Ah, so my prodigious progeny returns,” she purrs, although there’s only one prodigious child between us, and it’s not me. “Did you save the world or did you get lost?”

“Both?” I glance at Milo.

“Both,” he agrees.

“Both is good,” we say together.

(Ch. 4 (Imogen), p. 43)

Imogen Lovelace is your typical fangirl on a mission to save her favourite character from being killed off. The problem is the actress playing her doesn’t want to reprise her role. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, Jessica Stone will consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. Yet when the script for the Starfield sequel gets leaked, all signs point to Jess and she must turn to Imogen to find the person responsible. As these “princesses” race to find the script leaker, they need to learn how to rescue themselves from their own expectations and learn what it means to live happily ever after.



My first thought when I started reading this book was that Geekerella could have lived forever as a standalone and I would’ve been happy. I’m more than happy to say that Poston changed my mind on this and I found myself enjoying this read. Sure I didn’t love it as much as I adored Geekerella when it first came out, but I’m always happy to fangirl with others. Since Anime North – the convention in Toronto, Ontario I go to every year with my best friend – was cancelled this year due to quarantine, I gladly jumped into this fantastical convention in its place.

I knew I was going into this read with a favourite retelling of The Prince and the Pauper so I tried not to judge this read too harshly. (If you’re curious, yes Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper is still the best retelling of this story to be made.) I’ll be the first to admit that I couldn’t help but compare the two retellings from time to time, though I tried not to let this taint my experience in this story.

Overall I found The Princess and the Fangirl to be an enjoyable read. It’s not the most poetic or scholarly read I’ve ever read, but it doesn’t try to be. This book promises a fun read with a lot of nerdy stuff thrown into the mix and that’s exactly what it delivers. If you go into this read expecting a fun, nerdy read you won’t be disappointed.

This book covers a wide variety of fandoms and I was excited to see one of – if not my top – favourite fandoms represented throughout this story. If you’ve read the story and are wondering who that character with the umbrella is that’s mentioned, I would highly recommend you check out The Adventure Zone by the McElroy family. This is my favourite podcast of all time (but all of their podcasts are great) and so far two graphic novels have been released based on the events of this story – Here There Be Gerblins (review here) and Murder on the Rockport Limited (review here). I was absolutely thrilled to find all the hidden nods to this series thrown in.

In fact, my favourite nods to fandoms were the ones that Poston threw in subtly. While most of the fandoms were simply mentioned – Harry Potter, Yu Gi Oh!, etc – it was nice to see more subtle nods in the story. That being said, I would have loved a list of fandoms to be at the end of the book. The nerd in me would love to have seen the list and given the chance to go through the book as a sort of scavenger hunt of nerdom.

I could continue to gush forever about the fandoms mentioned in this story, but that’s not the main point of this story. If you know the story of The Prince and the Pauper then you know the bare bones of this story. The characters and the meat of the story are what make it unique.

I believe that Poston did a great job at making this story its own. It stands apart from the other retellings of this story I’ve read – not only because it’s a modern retelling or because it’s got a nerdy twist to it, either. Poston put life into this story and made it her own.


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