Faraway Collection

Posted 16 August 2021 by Kim in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Faraway CollectionThe Prince and the Troll by Rainbow Rowell
Series: Faraway #1
Published by Amazon Publishing on 15 December 2020
Genres: folklore
Audience: young adult
Pages: 25
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Format: Audio
Buy/Shelve it: Amazon | BookBub
Goodreads
Rating: three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

synopsis

A charming everyman and a mysterious something-under-the-bridge cross paths in a short fairy tale by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and the Simon Snow series.
It’s fate when a man accidentally drops his phone off the bridge. It’s fortune when it’s retrieved by a friendly shape sloshing in the muck underneath. From that day forward, as they share a coffee every morning, an unlikely friendship blooms. Considering the reality for the man above, where life seems perfect, and that of the sharp-witted creature below, how forever after can a happy ending be?

my review

As a lover of fairytale retellings, I wanted to fall in love with this story. There were parts of it I did love, but there were others that just felt… odd.

What I did love…

The story was poignant, beautiful in its own way. The symbolism was meaningful and very much on point for today’s world. There was commentary about overdevelopment in The Road that was beautiful but also less than ideal. There was commentary about climate change, in the usual lack of rain and the oddness of the Troll’s mud. There’s critique on society’s too easy acceptance of the status quo. I love a book that says something, and this did that in an interesting way.

What I didn’t love…

I didn’t love that it felt like an ad for Starbucks. It was more than a little off-putting. And while I love the social commentary aspect, it felt a little underwhelming, a little underdeveloped.


Faraway CollectionHazel and Gray by Nic Stone
Series: Faraway #2
Published by Amazon Publishing on 15 December 2020
Genres: folklore
Audience: young adult
Pages: 30
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Format: Audio
Buy/Shelve it: Amazon | BookBub
Goodreads
Rating: four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

synopsis

Two anxious young lovers lost in the woods. A beckoning mansion in a dark clearing. A short modern-day retelling of Hansel and Gretel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin.
It’s bad enough that Hazel and Gray have defied the demands of Hazel’s foul stepfather. The Monster has forbidden their romance. Now they’ve awakened in the forest, phones dead, hours past curfew. But not far away is a grand estate in the middle of nowhere. The door is open. In this short story about choosing your own path, the fury of the Monster that awaits them back home may be nothing compared to what lies ahead.

my review

This, too, was a social commentary packaged into a retelling, one that was very dark. This one spoke on sex-trafficking, pedophilia, drugs, and family dysfunction. The main characters are two teenagers who’ve lived hard lives, and they suddenly find themselves in even more danger. Yes, it was dark, but it is everything I love in a twisted fairytale retelling.


Faraway CollectionThe Princess Game by Soman Chainani
Series: Faraway #3
Published by Amazon Publishing on 15 December 2020
Genres: folklore
Audience: young adult
Pages: 53
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Format: Audio
Buy/Shelve it: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

synopsis

There are no happy endings for the Princesses of Chaminade High in this short, twisty tale of teenage murder games by the New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil series.
The victims are the most popular girls in school, each murdered and arranged in a grim fairy-tale tableau. To find the killer, rookie detective Callum Pederson has gone undercover where the Princes hold court. He’s found enough secrets among the bros to bring them in for questioning—but he could very well get lost in the games the Princes play.

my review

If you read other reviews of this book, there is a lot of hate. And I understand that. The topics are hard, and on the surface, it could seem gratuitous. I didn’t see it like that at all. Was it easy to read? No, it wasn’t. The Princess Game touched on tough subjects, on toxic masculinity and the rape culture, as well as misogyny and bullying. I enjoyed the way it wove those topics into the tale and twisted them.


Faraway CollectionThe Cleaners by Ken Liu
Series: Faraway #4
Published by Amazon Publishing on 15 December 2020
Genres: folklore
Audience: young adult
Pages: 27
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Format: Audio
Buy/Shelve it: Amazon | BookBub
Goodreads
Rating: three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

synopsis

Touch the past or wash it away? Two sisters have a choice in this unforgettable short story of everyday magic and the power of memory by the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author Ken Liu.
Gui is a professional cleaner at A Fresh Start, scrubbing away the unpleasant layers of memory that build up on the personal objects of his customers. Memory-blind himself, he can’t feel those wounds. Clara can, and she prefers them irretrievable. Until her sister, Beatrice, ultrasensitive to memory, raises one that could change Clara’s mind. For Gui, the past is gone. For Clara and Beatrice, deciding what to remember reaches to the heart of their shared history.

my review

This story explores the ideas of feelings and compassion, about the power of memory. I loved the concept of this story, that memories are a tangible substance that, for a price, could be cleaned… wiped away. But for a story about emotions, this fell pretty flat for me, unfortunately.


Faraway CollectionThe Wickeds by Gayle Forman
Series: Faraway #5
Published by Amazon Publishing on 15 December 2020
Genres: folklore
Audience: young adult
Pages: 33
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Format: Audio
Buy/Shelve it: Amazon | BookBub
Goodreads
Rating: three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

synopsis

The reviled villainesses of Snow White, Cinderella, and Rapunzel team up to set the record straight in a subversively funny short story by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay.
Envious queen? Evil stepmother? Kidnapping hag? Elsinora, Gwendolyn, and Marguerite are through with warts-and-all tabloids, ugly lies, and the three ungrateful brats who pitted them against each other and the world. But maybe there’s more to the stories than even the Wickeds know. Is it time to finally get revenge? After all, they’re due for a happily-enough-ever-after. Even if they have to write it themselves.

my review

This one told the stories of some of the wicked “stepmothers” of fairytales… the stepmothers of Cinderella and Snow White and the witch who kidnapped Rapunzel. Instead of the girls’ perspectives, the story is told from the perspective of the Wickeds. There were some rather witty moments, some funny ones, along with a few more fairytale characters. But the ending felt so rushed that it made the story feel very one-note.


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