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Book Bites: YA & Fantasy

Updated on March 4, 2018

Looking for light reads full of magic, dancing, and romance?

This fairy tale retelling of The 12 Dancing Princesses is fantastically brilliant. Our library system classifies it as Y, but it could by all means be YA, considering the age of the eldest sister, Azalea, at 16. She and her sisters are adorably all named after flowers and alphabetically. Even though told through Azalea’s perspective, each of her sister’s personalities have a moment to shine, along with discovering how deep their sisterly bond is. It mostly follows the original German fairytale, the twelve princesses find a mysterious passage in their bedroom that leads them to a silvery forest where they can dance to their heart’s content, while having to mourning their mother’s passing for a year, with the addition of the mysterious Keeper. “The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.” Full of magic, mystery, a few sweet, subtle romance(s) and strong female characters. The audiobook is wonderful as well, Mandy Williams’ australian accent suits Azalea perfectly and really adds to the fantasy setting.

Other Notes:

I wanted to keep it a bit vague cause a lot of the writing, some descriptions and such, are vague for imaginative purposes, which is one of the things I love about the book, some YA authors rely too heavily on character or setting description to get you into the story, which can make the story drag a bit. But the writing here is very smooth and open to interpretation, which I feel is the whole reason for books! Everyone reads it but it’s different in your mind than I would be in mine, then discussion ensues! You can watch the book trailer, the author made it herself, as she had worked at Disney for some time.

Heather Dixon's Book Trailer for Entwined

From the author of the Delirium series and Before I Fall comes a very beautiful, lovingly whimsical, and most importantly, ineffable tale to read. Finding out how each strand of a character’s story get weaved together and connecting all the way to The End was magical. We follow a lot of different characters over the course of this journey but mostly Liesl, her only ghost of a friend, Po with his pet Bundle, who may or may not have been a cat or dog in his past life, and Will, an alchemist's apprentice. After Will mistakenly switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world, he sets off a wild chains of events involving a warm-hearted guard with a name as slow as molasses, the very materialistic Lady Premiere, and the greedy Alchemist, whose hunger for glory. Dotted with penciled illustrations and Jim Dale’s voice will never fail in giving you some Harry Potter nostalgia.

Book Trailer

This middle-grade Clue meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory mystery is a wonderful adventure to read, Tabitha Crum is a smart girl with a big imagination and a love for mystery novels, especially the very Sherlock Holmes-esque, Inspector Percival Pensive. When she receives an invitation to the country estate of the wealthy but reclusive Countess of Windermere, whose mansion is rumored to be haunted, along with 5 other unique children, a secret that will change their lives forever and put Tabitha’s investigative skills to the test. The narrator’s voice from the audiobook was lovely and perfectly captures Tabitha’s personality.

This fairy tale retelling is an enchanting treat. In the crumbling kingdom of Anglund, Emmeline Thistle is an outcast amongst her fellow Flatlanders for being born with a curled foot. After surviving the night of being left for dead as a baby by the help and comfort of four local cows, she is forever seen as undesirable and strange. With her village washed away by a raging flood one day, she is the only survivor, rescued by Owen Oaks. When his family takes her in, she discovers her rare talent of being able to churn butter into chocolate, a delicacy more precious than gold, suddenly she’s the most sought after woman in the country. Full of strong characters and good lessons, enter a magical world where true love and chocolate conquer all.

© 2018 BrownEyedQueen


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