Sunday, March 31, 2013 00:37

Review 144. Francesca Lia Block – The rose and the beast.

The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales RetoldTitle: The rose and the beast: fairytales retold.
Author: Francesca Lia Block.
Pages: 229.
Published: August 7th 2001 (first published September 19th 2000)
Publisher: Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins Publishers
Sort: Stand-alone.
With language that is both lyrical and distinctly her own, Francesca Lia Block turns nine fairy tales inside out. Escaping the poisoned apple, Snow frees herself from possession to find the truth of love in an unexpected place. A club girl from L.A., awakening from a long sleep to the memories of her past, finally finds release from its curse. And Beauty learns that Beasts can understand more than men. Within these singular, timeless landscapes, the brutal and the magical collide, and the heroine triumphs because of the strength she finds in a pen, a paintbrush, a lover, a friend, a mother, and finally, in herself.
Rating
1 star
The only reason why I managed to read this book was because of the shortness of the stories. I kept hoping that one of them was good, but I was disappointed by all. The first story is by far the best one. It’s a retelling of Snow White and it’s the only one with a fairytale feeling. There is still something strange going on, because her mother’s new husband is the one who awakes her with a kiss..

The one from Beauty and the Beast wasn’t that bad either (otherwise I would have been very sad). Beauty is starting to turn into a beast and when he is starting to change into a human, she is a bit disappointed. That was a fun twist.

All the others were strange and not what I expected. There are several stories about rape, there is one with a drug addiction; not really stories you would expect in a fairytale retelling. It’s so harsh and realistic. I want magic, faeries, romance – hell, I even want instant-love. There is no fun in a retelling where Sleeping Beauty is made addicted to opium and where she is used by several men at the same time for pornographic photos. That is just wrong in my eyes and it doesn’t do justice to the real story.

Another thing that also bothered me was the fact that there are no quotation marks. It’s very confusing and I was sometimes lost in the conversations. The only positive thing I can think of is that I like the cover. It’s a shame that it doesn’t match the inside. The high ratings on Goodreads are a mystery to me.. And I don't think I will be reading anything from this author soon.

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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

19 comments:

  1. Bummer about these dark sounding stories. I don't mind a dark twist but I tend to prefer the lighter stories as well. I will probably skip this collection.

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    1. I don't mind dark twists, but this was just.. weird to me.

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  2. Sad you didn`t like it. Love the cover:)

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  3. It seems like all the books you've been reading lately were horrible, Mel! :/ I don't like the sound of this either. I don't mind strange stories, but realistic fairy-tales? That's a no-no. "...hell, I even want instant-love." Bahaha! That cracked me up. xD I once read a book that had no quotation marks either - the author used dashes instead - and it was SO confusing. Totally ruined my experience for it.

    I'll be sure to stay away from this one. Great review as always, Mel!

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    1. I know! But the good ones I've read this month made up for it :D

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  4. Oh I like this one but I do like darker takes on classic stories!

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  5. I try to avoid retellings as a general rule, and the fact that these are short shories (which I also usually avoid), doesn't help matters at all. I'm sorry not a single one of them worked for you, Mel.
    Great review.

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    1. I love most retellings and it's one of my favorite genres, so I'm always disappointed when I come across books like this.

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  6. Oh gawd, that sounds so weird! I'm sure I would hate it too! At least you tried, but it sounds like something that would be very difficult to enjoy.

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  7. I haven't read any of this author's books but I'll be sure to avoid this one which is too bad because I love retellings, especially fairy tale ones. Thanks for the review, Mel.

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  8. Aw, sorry this one didn't work for you, Mel! I have to say, including rape and drug addiction into a fairy tale retelling is interesting... but definitely not for me either.

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    1. It is interesting... but it doesn't work for me.

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  9. Well this one looked promising, but I can't say these gruesome ideals appeal to me either, which is most definitely a shame. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one, but lovely honest review! :)

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  10. Huh, this one sounds pretty weird. I like to read fairy tales and retellings to escape from the real world, not to be confronted by it. Rape and drugs in fairy tales? Hmmm, no thank you :\

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