Showing posts with label retellings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retellings. Show all posts

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Recommendation: The Seafarers Kiss - Julia Ember: Bisexuality and Mermaids

In THE SEAFARER'S KISS, mermaid Ersel falls in love with shieldmaiden Ragna and causes lots of trouble back home at the ice castle.

What intrigued me: I absolutely loved her debut UNICORN TRACKS.

Action-filled intricate world

I knew I'd love THE SEAFARER'S KISS after about five pages. Just like with her fantastic debut UNICORN TRACKS, Ember writes fast-paced and action-oriented - just what I like.

It's absolutely amazing how Ember painted this intricate world with its own customs and little sayings - THE SEAFARER'S KISS doesn't read like paranormal romance or mythology - it truly reads like a contemporary set in a mermaid kingdom. And you guys, this is the best.

I absolutely fell in love with the characters. Especially Ersel's best friend and now king's guard Havamal - the swoon is real. Even though this isn't really a book with a love triangle, I found myself rooting a bit for him and Ersel. You'll ship everyone while reading this book, that's the beauty of everyone being bisexual! The characters are all just so lovely, you'll find yourself wishing that they'd all just get along. It might also be relevant to your interests to know that Loki is genderfluid with they/them pronouns in this and that there is an amputee. The marginalized identities representation is fabulously refreshing and fun to read about. 

The Little Mermaid gone dark


THE SEAFARER'S KISS is a roller coaster of emotions. The first half of the book presents you with super cute contemporary romance fluff and all the feels, and towards the end it gets so dark that you'll find yourself wanting to turn the lights on. The two halves that THE SEAFARER'S KISS is divided into are without a doubt my favorite thing about this book - it manages to flawlessly combine a cute bisexual romance with an exciting fantasy adventure.

Filled with plot twists, THE SEAFARER'S KISS explores the moral shades of gray between good and evil while being an absolute page-turner. Ember managed to get me with every single twist. I saw none of them coming and am thoroughly impressed with the way she magnificently managed to make this The Little Mermaid retelling absolutely 100% her own.

THE SEAFARER'S KISS stuns with intricately developed character relationships, a fantastic world, and an action-filled plot that'll probably tempt you to binge-read this in one sitting.



Rating:

★★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

THE SEAFARER'S KISS is the bisexual Norse Little Mermaid retelling you've been waiting for. Trust me, you want this. I think I have a very strong contender for new favorite LGBT+ writer. Julia Ember's one to watch.



Additional Info

Published: May 4th 2017
Pages: 230
Publisher: Duet Books
Genre: YA / Mythology / Norse Mythology
ISBN: 9781945053207

Synopsis:
"Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies."
(Source: Goodreads)



What's your favorite mermaid book?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

[Review] Loving - Katrin Bongard

In LOVING, book blogger Ella has to do a school project with the hottest boy in her year. It doesn't really help that her best friend Zoe is in love with the school womanizer Luca as well. 

A Book Blogger Portrayed Accurately, Hallelujah!

I love how smoothly and fittingly Bongard incorporates Ella's pastime blogging hobby. I've only ever read one novel starring a book blogger before and in that one, it didn't even play a role for the plot. It absolutely makes sense for Ella, the introverted book nerd, to do this and to prefer it to going to parties and going out in general.
It's so fun to find all the things that we are concerned with in the novel, even accompany her to a major book expo! She's a thoroughly well-developed and absolutely believable character and her being "one of us" makes it even twice as remarkable that Bongard pulled it off realistically. In general her characters don't really seem to act their age.

Especially Ella is very mature and down-to-earth and even the so-called teenage meltdowns she has regarding Luca don't even seem dramatic enough. High schoolers don't keep it together and are always quiet and collected like her. I would have loved more major drama that really gets ugly, because that's what high school is like. Luca and Ella seem like new adult characters in college to me. I recall that some people have even labelled this a New Adult novel. I don't really agree, it's set in high school and the language is comparable to Middle Grade, so it's somewhere inbetween and a mash-up of all three genres.

Problematic Character Development

During the course of the novel protagonist Ella goes through the typical ugly duckling transformation which ends in her being the object of desire for a lot guys. I'm not a fan of that. I know that in reality high school boys are that superficial and will start to notice girls the second they take off their glasses and dress a little more extravagant - however, does this really have to be the topic of a novel for teenagers? I would have loved this way more if Bongard left out the whole lasik surgery thing and the makeover and just made Luca fall in love with Ella for her personality. Maybe he does fall in love with her because of who she is, but he would have never been interested in her in the first place, had she not become a swan.

The way that Ella develops in the novel and completely turns her habits inside out (starting to do sports, makeover, extroversion) doesn't make her sympathetic and frankly, it doesn't give off a positive vibe for teenage readers her age. You don't have to live up to society's expectations to be happy and fall in love. That's exactly what the novel advertises for - change everything about you and the hottest boy in school will like you - yay.
To me, that's a very problematic view point. However, if we're not talking about deep matters and all, I can fairly say that I enjoyed this novel a lot. I read it really quickly because of the easy writing style and because I loved that Ella is a book blogger and talks about the little things we bloggers worry about a lot.

Rating:

★★


Overall: Do I Recommend?


LOVING is absolutely not what I expected and that's a good thing. It's a cute, quick, but probably easily forgettable read. It's nice if you're a blogger yourself and one of those books you can read over and over again when you're on a vacation. It's beachy somehow, it's light and it's entertaining. Well-deserved four stars and a recommendation to all you book bloggers out there.


Synopsis:
"Ella's not really into the party scene at her school; she'd rather read or blog about books. When her best friend Zoe starts crushing on Luca, the school Casanova, she can't understand it... until she gets to know him better and discovers that he's not just hot, he's also intelligent and sensitive. How could a person not fall for him?"

Have You Read A Novel Featuring A Book-Blogging Character Before?

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