A Grimm Curse (Grimm Tales #3) by Janna Jennings

A Grimm Curse

Long before Andi woke up in a world that was not her own, her grandmother, Cynthia was entangled in the palace’s circle of glitter and privilege. Explore the dramatic history of Elorium in this standalone prequel to the Grimm Tales series.

Lady Wellington’s obsessive quest to thrust a crown on one of her daughters’ head at any cost has ensnared Cynthia in a scheme that has her sidestepping the arrogant Prince Wilhelm who is determined to make her his bride. With a twist that could only transpire in a fairy tale, Cynthia rescues her own prince, Remington Landry III—cursed by a spiteful witch into the form of a frog.

In the search for a willing princess to lift Remi’s curse, things do not go as planned. The frog-prince disappears, leaving Cynthia wondering at the state of their friendship. Without Remi, Cynthia finds herself a pawn of the ruler of Elorium and imprisoned by his henchman, Prince Wilhelm, who won’t take no for an answer. Cynthia’s life in Elorium is upended as revelations of who she is and the truth about their world comes to light in this stunningly reimagined fairy tale.

A Grimm Curse by Janna Jennings
Published November 17, 2015 by Patchwork Press
Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Format: e-book from Netgalley for review; 174 pages
Also By This Author: A Grimm LegacyGrimm Memories
Goodreads Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

I really like Janna Jennings’s Grimm Tales series. The world building is intriguing and the fairytale aspect is fun and exciting. A Grimm Curse is a prequel to A Grimm Legacy, and it follows Cynthia, who is the grandmother of one of the characters from later in the series. Cynthia was a lot like Cinderella, but a lot of her story also resembled The Princess and the Frog.

Even though this book is part of a series, it could be read as a standalone. It’s been about a year and a half since I read the original series, so I had forgotten some of the details about Elorium, but that only made me want to reread A Grimm Legacy and Grimm Memories!

I do wish there had been some deeper character development in this book. Although I really enjoyed Cynthia and Remi, I found myself questioning the motivations of some of the secondary characters. Prince Wilhelm started out charming and amiable when we first see him but in his next scene he’s suddenly a jerk, to put it mildly, and Princess Marcella started off rather snobby and disinterested but by the end she was helping Cynthia and Remi and we never really got to see a plausible explanation.

But despite my few issues with the holes in the character development, this was a fun addition to the world of Elorium and I’m really glad Janna Jennings gave us this prequel to her Grimm Tales series!

Read This Book If…

…you like fairytales and fairytale retellings!
…you want an adventure book that’s also a quick read.
…you enjoy intriguing and magical world building.
…you’re looking for a new series to start.

“What’s waiting for me on the other side?” Cynthia asked, her voice lower than a whisper.
Her mother smiled, leaned over and gave her a ghostly kiss on the forehead. “Freedom.”

Final Musings

If you enjoy retellings, especially fairytales, the Grimm Tales series might be enjoyable for you! It’s a Young Adult series, but I feel the writing is appropriate for Middle Grade, too. I really liked the characters, especially Remi, and I can’t remember if he shows up later on in the series (another reason why I want to reread A Grimm Legacy and Grimm Memories). The way his storyline ended surprised me, and I was sad about that twist in my expectations, but it’s also nice when books don’t follow my predictions :)

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October Highlights

October was a big month for me. I dealt with a lot of different transitions as my husband and I entered our second month of living in the States. I revamped my blog, I discovered a lot of things about myself, and I came to some conclusions about where I want the future to take me.

Here are some of my highlights from the month of October:

I read 10 books this month!
thegeographyofyouandme dearmrknightley Adobe Photoshop PDF peterpanannotated
   lola isla grimmlegacy grimmmemories
I have now exceeded my 2014 reading challenge goal of 45 books by reading 65 total.

Favorite Read:
secondchancesummer

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

As always, Morgan Matson’s writing impacted me deeply. This book more so than her other two. It’s one of those books that I label as “life-changing.”

Least Favorite Read:
theoneandonly

The One and Only by Emily Giffin

Normally I don’t post negative reviews, but I couldn’t even finish reading Emily Giffin’s latest book. It’s really long, slow-moving, and morally questionable.

Favorite TV Show:
As hinted at by this post, my husband and I started watching Supernatural and we’re hooked! We’re already halfway through the second season. I love Sam & Dean!

But on a lighter note, Green Gables Fables is my favorite current YouTube series and a couple of weeks ago they released this video which has been my favorite of the series so far. If you’re not familiar with Anne of Green Gables, this is the follow-up to my favorite scene from the book.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/r732LUuTiEk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Most Popular Post:
Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Totally Want To Be For Halloween
But my post on Sleepy Hollow last year was also really popular this month.

Favorite Memories From October:

  • Trick-or-Treaters!! This is probably the first Halloween I was able to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, and I never thought I would enjoy it so much! At first I was worried we wouldn’t have any kids come by, because this neighborhood is fairly small and out in the middle of the woods. But we actually had quite a lot! And they all had such amazing and cute costumes. And Solo was there to greet each kid that said “Trick-or-Treat!” and I think they were more into petting him than getting any candy :)
  • This month I also got to spend a lot of time with my family, which I really needed. Even though we didn’t do anything big or exciting, it as a lot of fun just watching football with my dad and brother, going shopping with my mom, and going to the movies or out to dinner with everyone.
  • Earlier in October Matt finally received his green card! Now if only we could find jobs…

November To Be Read:

thetroublewithflirting thebeautifulamerican waroftheworlds
                    loveunexpected amostinconvenientmarriage

Things I’m Looking Forward To In November:

  • This week I have a job interview! It’s my first positive result from my job search so far. I’ve applied to so many jobs and received a few negative responses, but yesterday I finally received some good news. I know nothing is guaranteed yet, but it’s still encouraging to make it this far.
  • Next weekend is YALL Fest! It’s my first book conference/event and I’m going with my friend Regina @ The Sunflower Pages. There will be several of my favorite authors there, but I think I’m most excited about Rainbow Rowell and Ann Brashares. I’ll post all about it afterwards!
  • This is the month of THANKSGIVING! Last year I did my daily 30 Days of Thankfulness posts, which I won’t be doing again this year, but I encourage you all to think about what you’re thankful for this month & to share those things with others :) I’m thankful for my family, because without them I’d be lonely, miserable, and homeless.

What were some of your favorite highlights from October?

Grimm Memories by Janna Jennings

grimmmemories

The nightmares were getting worse, plaguing her more and more over the last six months. Images, sharp and vivid as a recent memory, invaded her dreams until the lines of reality melted together.

Grimm Memories by Janna Jennings
Published Oct 29, 2014 by Patchwork Press
Young Adult Fantasy
Format: e-book; 337 pages
Also By This Author: A Grimm Legacy
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

(spoilers below for A Grimm Legacy)

Synopsis:

It has been six months since Quinn and her friends returned home after barely escaping Elorium—but no one ever really leaves the world where fairy tales are born. Not a day has gone by where they haven’t thought about returning to save Jack. Even their dreams are urging them to return to the strange world.

Falling back into the fairy tale world, they find the situation more dire than the way they left it. Jack has disappeared, and he’s not the only one. Elorium’s citizens are near panic as characters are missing and rumors are spreading about massive creatures roaming the sky. A rising darkness is enslaving the dreamers, and in a land filled with water nymphs and malevolent mazes, it’s hard to find any allies.
Despite the risks of their rescue mission, Fredrick is determined to bring back his grandfather, no matter how personal the cost.

Thoughts:

“Far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!”

If you’re a fan of Beauty and the Beast you’ll recognize that line from the opening song. It’s the line that kept playing in my head while reading The Grimm Tales series by Janna Jennings.

Grimm Memories, the sequel to A Grimm Legacy, picks up six months after Andi and her friends escape Elorium. The group devises a plan to return to the fairy-tale world after Andi and Dylan begin having strange nightmares. Frederick is determined to rescue his grandfather, Jack, who they were forced to leave behind during their escape. But when the teenagers return to Elorium, they find things a lot stranger than they had left them.

Our four heroes and heroines have changed a bit since we last saw them, although their distinct personalities remain intact. Frederick, Andi, and Quinn are still stubborn in their own ways, but they return to Elorium prepared to fight, both physically and mentally. Dylan, in an appropriate fashion, didn’t even bother to brush up on his knowledge of fairy-tales before deciding to come back to Elorium, something that Quinn hilariously calls him out on more than once.

While our group of fairy-tale descendants are back and better than ever, the world of Elorium has changed for the worse. Houses have been destroyed and left destitute and many Elorians have mysteriously disappeared. Grimm Memories is a lot darker than A Grimm Legacy. The nightmares that Dylan and Andi suffer through every night are haunting, and the new creatures and story book characters the group encounters during their second visit to Elorium are more dangerous and unfriendly than before. This added so much suspense which I thoroughly enjoyed. There are several scenes in this novel where Andi and her friends’ lives are in peril and often people were gravely injured. Suffice it to say that the suspense was killing me during several of the more intense chapters!

The novel’s resolution is sweet and well-done. Some of my lingering questions were answered (always a plus), and while I don’t think there are plans for a third book, there is an epilogue at the end that leaves us with a bit of a cliffhanger, so who knows? :)

Also…once again, I adored this book cover! So pretty!

Read This Book If…:

…you’ve already finished A Grimm Legacy (this is not a stand-alone novel)
…you’re intrigued by darker fairy-tale characters
…you’re in the mood for a good suspense novel
…you like happy endings :)

Final Musings

As much as I enjoyed the first Grimm Tales book, I liked the second one ever more! There was more action, more mystery & suspense, and more adventures with the characters I’ve come to love. Grimm Memories deals with sacrifice, love, and friendship, and it is full of surprises in every chapter! If you like reading stories that can make you laugh, swoon, and bite your nails, this book is for you!

 

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings

grimmlegacy

“I’m a girl of many hidden talents.” She gestured to her filthy, damp clothes. “Keeping myself out of trouble is not one of them.”

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings
Published Oct 28, 2013 by Patchwork Press
Young Adult Fantasy
Format: e-book; 308 pages
Also From This Author: Grimm Memories
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Enchanted castles and charming princes thought to exist only in stories come to life in this classically twisted fairy tale that combines the timeless quality of folktales with the challenges of the modern world. 

The woods of Elorium appear ordinary to Andi…until the birds start to talk and elves answer doors. Whisked out of her world along with three strangers, Andi finds herself the reluctant guest of Mr. Jackson, a perplexing millionaire who claims to be able to help them get home. The secrets he harbors, however, make it difficult to know just who to trust. 

When the group of teenagers discover that in this new world, fiction is anything but, and that they all have unexpected family ties to this fairy tale land, they must learn to rely on each other.

Faced with characters short on whimsy and bent toward treachery, Andi, Quinn, Fredrick, and Dylan are forced to play their parts in unfinished fairy tales. But in Elorium, happily ever after is never guaranteed.

Thoughts:

loved A Grimm Legacy! The fairy tale world had me captivated instantly and I was rooting for the four main characters the entire time. Andi is the unwavering leader, the main link between the other characters and the fantastical world of Elorium. Fredrick, a compassionate southern boy, is the brave protector. Quinn, strong and selfless, is always quick-thinking in stressful situations. And Dylan, a stereotypical Californian surfer, has a secret soft spot beneath his persuasive exterior.

This story begins when these four teenagers from different areas of the country mysteriously appear in a foreign world. As the plot progresses, we discover that Andi, Fredrick, Quinn, and Dylan each have a connection to the world of Elorium.

One of the coolest things about this novel is how it echoes popular Grimm fairy tales, but with a twist, of course :) Even if you aren’t too familiar with fairy tales (which I am not), you’ll still recognize references to the major stories. For the lesser known tales, Janna Jennings summarizes them in a fitting way that still leaves you anxious to find out what happens next.

“Don’t say impossible, not after the day we’ve had.”

This book is suspenseful and intriguing! During the more mysterious plot lines I found myself devouring every page. And let me just comment on this gorgeous cover: I love it! I am a sucker for beautiful book covers even though I try not to ignore or judge books with horrible covers (I fail sometimes). This cover is great–it’s simple yet it pulls you in at the same time.

Read This If:

…you enjoy fairy tales
…you are a fan of the TV show “Once Upon A Time” (this book is exactly like that)
…you’re into reading adventure novels
…you love books that leave you hanging in suspense until the last page

Final Musings:

This book exceeded my expectations. It was full of mystery and suspense, and several of the big reveals really surprised me. I can’t wait to read the sequel, Grimm Memories! Check back for that review next week :)

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

readathonEarlier this year I found out about Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon and I really wanted to participate during the next one. Well, today is the day, and unfortunately my morning did not start off the way I thought it would, and because of that I have only now started reading.

But that’s ok! I never intended for this read-a-thon to be an obligation or to be full of pressure; I wanted to participate to have some fun and to spend some time getting through my TBR stack.

So here are the books I’m hoping to finish or make a decent dent in:

readalong

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – This book is due back at the library next week! I’m already nearly halfway through and if I can finish it soon I will probably start the final novel of the series, Isla and the Happily Ever After.

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings – To help get me into the Halloween spirit I picked up this book and it’s soon-to-be-published sequel, Grimm Memories, by Janna Jennings. I’m almost a quarter of the way into it and it’s definitely intriguing :)

peterpanannotated

And if I need something shorter to take a break with, I have this beautiful annotated edition of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie to satisfy the classics-lover in me.

I’ll post updates later as I get more into my reading time. Honestly there’s still 16 hours left in the Read-a-Thon…plenty of time to get a lot of reading done!