Tuesday, September 01, 2015 13:01

September challenge link-up post. In defence of Disney Princesses.

September has started. Are you still on schedule? It the end of this post you can put links to your challenge page/post and every review you post on your blog. Please make this easy to navigate by putting it like this:

UPDATE  @ your name/blog name.
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.

Don't forget to tweet with the hashtag #fairytaleRC

I often hear people complain about Disney princesses and how they give ‘the wrong image and idea to younger children.’ I talked a little about it in my discussion posts whether fairytales and Disney are done. Today I want to go ahead and defend my beloved Disney princesses.

Belle suffers from Stockholm syndrome, where you fall in love with your kidnapper. I say bull shit. Let’s go back to the basic of this story: her father is lost and enters someone else’s castle. The Beast thinks he is only there to gloat at him, so he locks him away. In the original tale it’s because Maurice steals one of his precious roses. If someone comes into your house, would you accept that? I know that Maurice had no wrong intentions, but I can see where the Beast comes from. He doesn’t kidnap anyone and Belle only comes into his life because she trades her life for her father. He never truly mistreats her and over time they grow a friendship that blossoms into something more. I don’t think it’s unnatural of Belle to fall in love with him. I was applauding when I read this article about Why beauty and the beast isn’t about the Stockholm syndrome. This story is all about finding beauty inside. Yes, the beast was an unkind person in the beginning, but he developed into a likable person.

Cinderella is often portrayed as spineless and stupid, but I honestly understand where she comes from. I think we all want to feel accepted and loved by the people around us. I know I always look for that feeling of belonging, like I said in my I am socially awkward post and my bullying story. Imagine you have lost two of the most important people in your life and suddenly you have three new people left. You look for their appreciation and that makes you vulnerable. So yes, Cinderella is abused and horribly treated and she doesn’t do anything against it, but spineless? I see it as a way of her to TRY to be loved by them. She wants them to notice her and that does mean she accepts their treatment, but is it really that strange? She always try to maintain her kindness. I think that it’s a beautiful trait, even when it’s a little naive. To always try to see the good side of someone can be a strength too. In the end she does stand up for herself and realize how strong she was. She managed to survive and she was still able to see the beauty in others.

Ariel is portrayed as that stupid girl who fell in love with a guy after one glance and she traded everything to be together with him. The first thing we must remember is that she longed for a life on land even before she met her Prince Charming. I think meeting him, finally seeing a human up close, was just the last push she needed. I think she was struck by the fact he was the first one she met and that gave a special connection to her. I think it was brave of her to go through the transformation and to go after something she wanted. I would be terrified to leave everything I know behind. Even if that decision meant that her story ended unhappy in the real tale, I think Disney gave her a strength by showing that fighting for what you want pays off in the end. This story is NOT about a girl changing herself for the love of her life. She changed herself to become part of a world she ached for and Eric happened to be there too (not to mention the fact Eric never said he wouldn’t have loved her if she was a mermaid. This also shows in the sequel with their daughter Melody).

I think these Disney princesses shaped me and I am welcome I had them in my life while growing up. I still love them, because they all have their good features and flaws. I loved this article that explains, with some examples, why Disney princess are NO bad role model and also this second article does a good job at portraying why Disney princesses rock. I also applaud this article for showing why Disney princesses are great role models.

How do you feel about Disney princesses? Do you think they are good or bad role models and why?

Monday, August 31, 2015 12:33

Monthly recap. August.

This post recaps my month, from personal life to books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.
I was in Spain until August 9th. It was hard to say goodbye to the easy and warm life there, because now I had to deal with a couple of things that still bug me. There are some changes in my life and it has been beating me up, but I know for sure it will work out. For now, I have found a job for two months, so that is motivating!

The rest of the month has been quite uneventful. My boyfriend left for 10 days to Greece, so I was stuck in the rainy and cold Netherlands. I definitely missed him a lot. I went to the Firework event with my sister and brother in law. This is an event we have every year here and different countries are competing for the highest score. I went game-hunting with my dad and we found an amazing store. It was a very fun day and we came home with an Extension set to a card game that is quickly becoming one of our favorites (Machiavelli) I also went grocery shopping with my mum and we discovered this Healthy & Organic store with all kinds of yummy treats.  I went to the beach with my boyfriend to enjoy one of the few sunny days we’ve had and we celebrated his birthday.

I guess this was just one of those sucky months, but I have a good feeling about September.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 12:39

Fairytale News 50. Favorite book or favorite author?

'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

There is a difference between a favorite book and a favorite author for me.

Definition of a favorite book:
You can’t stop thinking about it, you recommend it to everyone and you want to reread it as soon as possible. BUT, you don’t feel the need to read every other book written by that author. Sometimes you even dislike their other work.

Definition of a favorite author:You read and love anything they write. Their new books are standard on your wish-list, because it doesn’t even matter what it is about. You even read books outside your comfort zone, because they wrote it. This author can hardly do anything wrong for you.
Monday, August 24, 2015 00:34

Review 236. Stacey Jay – Princess of thorns.

18782855Title: Princess of thorns.
Author: Stacey Jay.
Pages: 400.
Published: December 9th 2014 by Delacorte Press.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago. Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

”Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.” Game of Thrones? Not really, but the twisted fantasy-adventure description comes close my thoughts.
Friday, August 21, 2015 18:17

Recap: vacation in Spain.

You might have noticed that it was quiet on my blog. I decided to take a complete hiatus during my 3-week vacation in Spain. It was great to take some time off for the first time in years. I have new energy and ideas for blog posts, so it’s good to be back with new inspiration! If you want to see some other pictures, look at my Instagram Mel_1704

Today I want to show you some pictures from my vacation. We went with a total of 10 people. We rented a huge mansion on top of a hill, with a private swimming pool and the most beautiful view I’ve seen in a long time. It was close to a village 50 minutes from Barcelona. This was my first time in Spain and I’ve completely lost my heart to this country, the weather, the surroundings and the people. I always love to look at the food in different countries. I can’t believe how big the fruits and vegetables are! Also, the water is magical! My hair has never been so soft and shiny. (Random information, very interesting Mel) 

The first day consisted of a road trip with the car for 12 hours. We had a break in a hotel in Clermont-Ferrand (France) Then 7 more hours and we almost immediately jumped into the pool when we arrived. The house was fantastic. We had a big garden and a covered terrace where we hang our hammocks. Every day was around 32 – 40 degrees, but inside the house it was cool. The forest was right behind our house, so we had some pretty walks there. Here are some pictures of the view (I took too many of them, because I couldn’t get enough of it)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 13:28

Let it go #6. All the books I read in Spain part 2.

Let it go is my new feature, where I will spotlight all the books I DNF and the ones I read, but don’t want to review. And yes, the name is based on the wonderful song from the movie Frozen, hence the snowflake and the reindeer. This feature is based on several other DNF features.

This Monstrous ThingIron Hearted Violet17 & GoneElla Enchanted

Mackenzie Lee – This monstrous thing. 2.5/5.
This is a retelling of Frankenstein. Alasdair brings his brother Oliver back to life because he feels guilty. I liked how this book gives a different look on bringing someone back. It’s not solely about a crazy professor and Frankenstein didn’t turn out to be the monster we know. The steampunk feeling was nicely done. The rating is based on the fact that it’s not a memorable story and overall, it wasn’t that spectacular.

Nova Ren Suma – 17 & gone. 3.5/5.
Books with unreliable narrations can be so intriguing. I liked The walls around us and I was curious about this book. Lauren has visions of 17-year-old girls who disappeared and she has a feeling they want to tell her something. Lauren believes one of the girls, Abby, is still alive and she is the one to save her. I had a feeling at the beginning of the book that there was something wrong and Nova didn’t let me down. It’s a haunting story and I flew through the pages.

Kelly Barnhill – Iron-hearted Violet. 4/5.
Gorgeous book! It is filled with artwork that really added something to the story. Violet is smart, witty and loved by her people, but she is described as downright ugly. This is starting to become a problem when she wakes the Nybbass, who fills her head with lies. He makes her believe that true princesses are beautiful and he can help her with that problem. I liked the friendship between Violet and Demetrius. I also loved the presence of the dragon and the message in this book.

Gail Carson Levine – Ella Enchanted. 3/5.
I love the movie, so I thought it was time to finally read the book. And I was surprised, because this story is NOTHING like the movie. It’s like they only took the concept and created something entirely new; and definitely more enjoyable. The chemistry between Ella and Charles is much better on screen than in the book – and they made the story much more fast-paced. It’s still a good book, but this is one of those moments where I prefer the movie. (And if you don’t know the story; Ella got a ‘gift’ from a fairy at her birth. Obedience. This brings her in some difficult situations)
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