Review of Not Cinderella’s Type by Jenni James

Not Cinderella’s Type
By Jenni James

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 186
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Indy Zimmerman has a new stalker who won’t leave her alone, no matter what she says to him. Never mind the fact that he’s one of the most popular guys at school—she’s positive Bryant Bailey is only trying to appease his own conscience after pretty much destroying her life. But when Bryant doesn’t back down and insists on having some sort of bizarre friendship with her, his magic works, and her walls slowly start to crumble. He’s not her type. She’s never been into guys like Bryant, but then again, she’s never really known anyone quite as stubborn, or caring, or who can get her to confess stuff she wouldn’t even tell her best friend.

Review:
No. Just… no. There wasn’t a lot of depth to this novel, and while the relationship is sweet, the beginning is a bit forced. I did like the twist of HOW Indy becomes “Cindy”, but unfortunately most of the characters are flat and there doesn’t seem to be any motivation behind (at least never shown/seen) what they’ve done. The ending is very expected but sweet.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Jenni James is the busy mother of ten kids (7 hers, 3 her hubby’s) and has nearly thirty published book babies. She’s an award-winning, best-selling author, who works full-time from home and dreams about magical things and then writes about what she dreams.

Even though she was born in Arizona, went to high school in New Mexico–and loves Mexican food more than anything–she lived so many years in England that when she and her children finally returned home she couldn’t for the life of her remember how to speak truly American anymore. She gets teased relentlessly on her British accent and connotations–and there are sometimes altogether where she only speaks like a true Englishman for several hours at time without having any idea until someone points it out. Hence the relentless teasing.

Oddly however, when she returns to Britain and no one can tell she’s American, she doesn’t mind it one bit. The weather, the rolling green hills, the incredible architecture, the immaculate cottage gardens, the memories, the many lifelong friends and houses and villages she’s lived in, the balls/galas/parties she hosted while she was there… it’s all a second home to her now and a place that has always and will always capture her heart.

Some of her works include The Jane Austen Diaries (Pride & Popularity, Emmalee, Persuaded…), The Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection (Cinderella, Snow White, Rumplestiltskin, Beauty and the Beast…), the Andy & Annie series for children, Revitalizing Jane: Drowning, My Paranormal Life, Not Cinderella’s Type, and the Austen in Love Series.

When she isn’t writing up a storm, she is chasing her kids around their new cottage and farm in the tops of the southwestern mountains, entertaining friends at home, or kissing her amazingly hunky hubby. Her life is full of laughter, crazy, and sunshine.

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Review of Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
A Maximum Ride Novel (Book 3)
By James Patterson

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult, Young Adult Sci-Fi, Young Adult Fantasy
Number of Pages: 431

Date Started: November 8, 2016
Date Finished: November 10, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)james-patterson-saving-the-world-and-other-extreme-sports
In MAXIMUM RIDE: SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS, the time has arrived for Max and her winged “Flock” to face their ultimate enemy and discover their original purpose: to defeat the takeover of “Re-evolution”, a sinister experiment to re-engineer a select population into a scientifically superior master race…and to terminate the rest. Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them–but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?

Review:
This book is full of very realistic feelings of our flock towards what they are up against.  Tensions are high and the flock is on edge wondering why someone would want to end them, and end the world.  There are very realistic relationship developments through this novel, with characters having to step aside and pause because they are unsure of what they should be doing– something that everyone should feel is okay to do in a tense situation.

Stronger united, no one wants the flock to split apart, and they realize how much of a liability it can be.  Another great lesson one learns from this book is that children have power.  Being young doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice.

I just realized this book isn’t listed as YA on Amazon, but I can assure that is its classification.

This book is a great continuation of the last book, and the wonderful ending makes me wonder what is in store for the flock in book 4 and on.

618wcp0vm9l-_ux250_Author Biography: (From Amazon)
James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 2015 National Book Awards. His other awards include two Emmys, the Edgar Award, and the Children’s Choice Award for Author of the Year. He is a tireless champion of the power of books and reading, exemplified by his new children’s book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, whose mission is simple: “We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say: ‘PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.'” He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and has over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at 24 colleges and universities. He has also donated millions to independent bookstores and school libraries. Patterson will be investing proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives.

Review of School’s Out – Forever by James Patterson

School’s Out – Forever
A Maximum Ride Novel (Book 2)
By James Patterson

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult, Young Adult Sci-Fi, Young Adult Fantasy
Number of Pages: 448

Date Started: November 7, 2016
Date Finished: November 8, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)c7c07bc87f36b238f3d257ff5d1dee20
Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride and the other members of the “Flock”–Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel–are just like ordinary kids–only they have wings and can fly. It seems like a dream come true–except that they’re being hunted by half-human, half-wolf “Erasers” who can fly, too.

In Book 2 of the series, the Flock members are taken under the wing of an FBI agent and try to live “normal” lives by going to school, making friends–and continuing their relentless search for their parents. But the Erasers return, forcing the Flock to abandon their search and make their escape once again. The voice inside Max’s head keeps telling her that it’s up to her to save the world, but this is especially challenging to do when she is faced with her ultimate match: a newer and better version of herself, Maximum Ride II. Max’s heart-stopping quest to investigate the mind-blowing mystery of her ultimate destiny continues in the scariest, strangest, and funniest James Patterson novel yet.

Review:
This book does so well at showcasing what most adolescents want in life: freedom, fun, security.  Max is like most other teenagers, uncertain of herself, unsure what she is doing and how to get there, yet with the added fantasy elements of her amazing life.  This book also shows that adults often underestimate the abilities and desires of younger people, disregarding how capable they can be, and what they would be willing to do to get what they think they need to feel whole.

The characters really drove this book more than the action, in my opinion.  The issues of trust were very well laid, especially trusting yourself/your instincts versus people you’re uncertain of.  Everyone has a point in time when they aren’t sure they can trust others, or what they are doing.

Though the fantasy parts of this novel are random sprinkled about, the humanizing and deep characterization of our flock makes this book more than worth the read.

 

618wcp0vm9l-_ux250_Author Biography: (From Amazon)
James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 2015 National Book Awards. His other awards include two Emmys, the Edgar Award, and the Children’s Choice Award for Author of the Year. He is a tireless champion of the power of books and reading, exemplified by his new children’s book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, whose mission is simple: “We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say: ‘PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.'” He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and has over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at 24 colleges and universities. He has also donated millions to independent bookstores and school libraries. Patterson will be investing proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives.

Review of Beauty and the Beast by Jenni James

Beauty and the Beast
By Jenni James

Star Rating: 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling

Number of Pages: 260

Date Started: January 5, 2016
Date Finished: January 6, 2016

Synopsis:(From Amazon)13570639
A prince by day and a wolf by night -Prince Alexander has been turned into a werewolf and has one year to find someone to love the beast and break the spell, or he will be a wolf forever. He has nearly given up achieving the impossible, knowing no girl would ever fall in love with such a monster.

Just when he is about to abdicate the throne to his cousin, he meets Cecelia Hammerstein-Smythe, while a wolf, and begins to hope for the first time in months. Can he balance both worlds as a human and beast, gaining the love and trust of a girl who has every reason to despise him?

Cecelia detests the prince. She only knows Alexander as the arrogant monarch the tyrant who has made her life miserable though perhaps he’s changed right before her eyes. He’s not as full of himself as he once was. The prince is gentle now… but then again, so is the beast.

Review:
Beauty and the Beast is perhaps my favourite fairy tale of all time, and more than less likely that has been influenced by my love of the Disney animated film.  This book and the animated film share several similarities, but more in imagery than actual content.  Disney’s enchantress is James’ witch, and the enchanted rose the enchantress offered is instead Cecelia’s mother’s rose garden.  That is where the similarities end.  Though the story is written much like the style of Disney tales, that style is not conducive to a full novel.

James does create an almost believable plot line, but unfortunately, her characters fall completely flat.  Cecelia is a Mary Sue whereas Alexander is a stock character– whatever growth he has is not actually shown.  While the characters lack depth, there also lacks action.  Almost everything is moved entirely along by the dialogue, of which there is an overabundance.  The reader will learn more about the various garments Cecelia wears than about Cecelia’s relationship with her father, and how he used to be the one person who was always there for her (of which the novel has one line about, making it seem like a thrown in afterthought).

The names Cecelia and Alexander may seem like they were just chosen at random– but no!  The author chooses to have the characters explain what their names mean, completely unnecessarily, and how that has played into their characterization the entire time (so perhaps that is why there is a lack of characterization, as one trait cannot make up an entire personality).  There is a stark lack of subtext and foreshadowing– everything is completely stated for the audience.  The true villain and his reasons for treachery are quite believable however given that he, like all of the other characters, seemed to have no depth, it was hard to maintain interest in him.

All in all, there seems to be no true purpose to James’ retelling.  There is no driving force, no true stakes at risk.  The tale is retold and finished the same way expected by anyone who has seen the Disney film.

41T2k4NvaHL._UX250_Author Bio:
Jenni has 7 kids, and an obsession with Pride and Prejudice.  The majority of her novels are retellings/reimaginings.

See her amazon page here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you!