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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller
Due or Die
Jenn McKinlay
Progress: 128/273 pages
Making Arrangements
Progress: 44 %
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
Peter Godfrey-Smith
Progress: 41/255 pages
A Rational Arrangement
L. Rowyn
Progress: 179/537 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 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.)