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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 58/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Gary Groth
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes
Fairest of All  - Sarah Mlynowski The very first thing I wrote in my notes for this book was: “Exhausting.” The story is told in the first person, from Abby's perspective, and I kept imagining her saying everything in a breathless and hyper voice. She had very particular ideas about how her world should be, and even went so far as to create a list of everything in Smithville that was uncomfortably not like how things back at her old home in Chicago were. A lot had changed in her life, very quickly, and she wasn't happy about it. Actually, being somewhat resistant to change myself, I could relate to that aspect of her quite a bit.What Abby came to realize, via accidentally messing up and then helping to fix Snow White's story, was that change isn't always for the worse. Sometimes the end result is different, but still good.Or at least that was Abby's thoughts on everything that happened. Whether readers will feel the same about the changes to Snow White's story is another matter. I'm on the fence about it all.On the one hand, I was surprised about the number of very unexpected things that happened, and those surprises at least made for an interesting read. The detail about Abby's parents' law books being sucked into the fairy tale world along with Abby and Jonah turned out to be very important. Also, Snow White's reaction to the prince was amazingly level-headed, once she got over her shyness and tendency to squeak when she was around him.On the other hand, I kind of missed the magic and romance I was expecting. If I remember correctly, the only magical thing in the whole story was the mirror (mirrors?). As far as the romance went, Snow White turned out to be too practical for love at first sight, which is all the story would have had time for.Others might find an injection of realism into a fairy tale to be refreshing, but I should probably mention that it's a very simplified realism. At one part in particular, I think it would have actually been more believable if magical explanations had been trotted out instead. An excerpt from my notes: “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation cannot heal a chest wound.”This wasn't a bad book. Abby was a vivid, likable character, and the story was the kind of light, fluffy read I needed after finishing Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers. Some of my favorite scenes involved Abby interacting with her brother – I particularly liked the bit in the beginning, when Abby quizzed him about what he'd supposedly seen and heard in the basement and why he was up so late (Jonah's color-changing alarm clock sounds awesome). If it weren't for the fact that I usually read books aimed at YA and adult audiences, not middle grade, I could see myself at least trying the next book in the series. I don't know if I'd read further than that, though, if the next book turned out to be as magic-less as this one.My grade for this: C+. Keep in mind, this is my personal grade. I have absolutely no idea what the book's intended audience (children ages 8 to 12?) would think about it, although I suspect they'd enjoy it more than me.(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)