Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mini Reviews (9)

Chook Chook Saving the Farm - Wai Chim.
By the time I closed it, I had enjoyed Saving the Farm, but it was a struggle of a read, overall; being for an early MG audience, the writing felt like it was aimed at a very specific age group, and it didn't captivate me like I'd hoped. The story of Chinese vilages being demolished to make way for roads is one I am interested in, and that made this seem to be a really interesting read, but though there would certainly be a level of truth to it, I could't distinguish all that well. It is a pretty sweet read, though, just not one that suited me patricularly, writing-wise, and with a plot that fell a bit flat.

Thank you to UQP for this review copy!
Image Credit: UQP.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin- Russell Brand.
To me, this sounded like a funny, peculiar story, one I would laugh along with and enjoy (especially as it's illustrated by my all time favourite illustrator, Chris Riddell), and so I sat down, ready for something enjoyable to happen... only it really, really didn't.
Rather than amused I was disgusted and throughly put off. It was a book where gross things happened again and again, and my horror at how different it was to my imaginings and how endlessly it seemed to delve into the disgusting- I had been under the impression it was aimed at children, but now I am under a very different assumption. I really wanted to turn away and look at something else rather than continue to read about where the defecation of the rats that spilt into Hamelin went and what other atrocities were written about in a manner that was supposed to be humerous but only made me full of horror and annoyance. This was very far from a pleasant read for me, unfortunately.
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for this review copy!
Image Credit: Allen and Unwin.

I loved Neil Gaiman's The Sleeper and the Spindle, so I felt hugely excited to see where he went with a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, a fairytale I've never been hugely taken with but felt I could be drawn to in this retelling- for me, though, it wasn't really anything special. I didn't feel the need to savour the experience. I'm not familiar enough with the original to notice any big differences between it and this, which made it feel very akin to the story I already knew. I had hoped for soaring highs to go with the bitter lows of the story, alterations that I would pick out by the handful and remember, think of in the future rather than the ways of the original, but none of that was true, sadly. It's written nicely, certainly, but though niceness should be well enough to make something remarkable, it didn't feel that way. I suppose you could say it was a niceness that didn't transcend, didn't lift off the page. And though they are interesting and more detailed than I imagined, the illustrations... I needed something more, for this story. Absolutely they suited the tale, but not so much me. And I suppose that's just how this went.
Thank you to Bloomsbury for this review copy!
Image Credit: Bloomsbury Australia.


  1. The only one I'm really really keen to read is Neil Gaiman's. ;-) I REALLY love his style although i'm sad it's not particularly original/different. I've read a few supposed "retellings" where I felt I was just reading the old version reworded. GAH! I like something fresh with my retellings. XD
    Sorry all these were mediocre or awful for you. hope your next read is more awesome!

    1. Here is a sad story for you, Cait: I have been offline for two months, and I went to the airport three weeks before coming back online. I innocently picked up a "what's on" kind of magazine and saw that I had missed Neil Gaiman doing a reading of The Sleeper and the Spindle not three hours away from me by car, by A WEEK.
      *Endless tears*

    2. Oh my god! That is so tragic! Sorry for intruding in this conversation but I can't help it. You WHAT? Tough luck, mate! My heart goes out for you. I will be terribly devastated too if I'd known that my most favorite author was in the same roof as me just moments ago. :/

    3. Oh, anyone is welcome into the conversations here! (:
      Aah, it was so sad and shocking. I didn't realise until... two or three weeks later why he'd actually been here, so that just made the blow doubly bad because TSatS was one of my favourite books of last year. I was very rueful!

    4. Hahah just your luck. xD I guess you and him are not destined to meet? xD
      *sigh It must suck so bad to have miss that chance! But, there will be other time, right? I hope so, for your sake. :D

    5. Oh no, I hope we are! I'd love to go to an event he was speaking at! I'm sure there'll be another chance! (:


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