Monday, July 16, 2018

Review: All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s StepmotherTitle: All The Ever Afters: The Untold Sory of Cinderella's Stepmother
Author: Danielle Teller
Publisher: William Morrow 
Publishing Date:  May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Retelling
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  Audio

In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s “evil” stepmother.
We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?
As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .
A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.

Ash had this on her delightful discoveries one week and I thought it sounded marvelous. I was right it was marvelous. I love a good retelling, a retelling of the known villain's side... even better. I really did enjoy this book. It wasn't quite what I expected, although I really didn't know what I expected, anyway, it was a really good read. 
This is the story of Cinderella from the evil stepmother', Agnes,  point of view. The story starts when Agnes is a little girl of 10 and is sent away to find work because she was one extra mouth to feed. her family couldn't afford to feed her... so she is sent away to work for food and boarding. Her life is hard from the very start, however, she perseveres by making her own way and climbing the status ladder. The story goes through her growing up, meeting Cinderella's father, raising Cinderella, and the truth to what really happened.

There were many things to love about this book. The first would be the cover. I think it's just beautiful, and the inside is just as beautiful. I really did enjoy so much about this story. There is only one thing that kept this from being a higher rating... I will get that out of the way and then go on about all the stuff I loved. 

The only issue I had with this read was the pacing. The beginning was very slow at times and it was hard to keep going at first. The story really picked up once Agnes was about 15- but from 10-15 in her childhood, very slow at times. I was glad I stuck with the book and I know that her past, all of it, was a build-up to the story and it really was important to the end story. So I am happy it was there but just would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been so slow. 

Now on to all the good stuff. The characters. They were so complex. Every single one of them but really Agnes. Agnes was so complex and so multi-layered. She made so many ill choices, but the reasons were to survive. I couldn't fault her for that. I can't even say she may have had another way. I am not sure this would have been true. She had a hard life, times were difficult, and she didn't come from the right kind of family. So there were times she had to do what she had to do to survive. 

Agnes was smart, strong, independent, resourceful, and so much more. She was one of the strongest characters I have read in a while. She loved her children. Even the one she raised that was not hers. She had resentment sure, but it didn't get in the way of her love for the children or trying to make them better. 

The evil stepsisters... well they had a hard life too and they were so jealous over Cinderella, but even at that, they wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for the hate from other. In this story, Cinderella wasn't all that nice herself and really quite a brat. 

What I also loved... there was no good or evil or wrong or right. It was just what it was and everyone had to deal with what they were dealt. 

Now, most of the book is Agnes and her life, so we don't get much romance or much of Cinderella. Which was fine by me. I was totally into Agnes and her life. I did miss the romance a little bit but this was more about the strength of women and not falling in love and being whisked away. 

The story was told from multiple timelines... one the present after Cinderellas has married the prince, the other from Agnes past. It was quite a journey and in the end, I really loved it. The ending was perfect for the story... not perfect for a happy ending, but perfect for the story. 

If you love retellings and ones from the villain's POV, try this one out. I don't think you will be disappointed if you like stories that involved strong female leads. 

Pretty awesome read!

Danielle Teller

Danielle Teller (formerly Morse, née Dyck) grew up in Canada, where she and her two brothers were raised by the best parents in the world. As a child, she was a bookworm who dreamed of being a writer, but she chickened out and went to medical school instead. In 1994, she moved temporarily to America, and she has been living temporarily in America ever since.

Danielle attended Queen’s University during her undergraduate years, and she received her medical training at McGill University, Brown University and Yale University. She has held faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University, where she investigated the origins of chronic lung disease and taught in the medical intensive care unit.

In 2013, Danielle quit her job to pursue her childhood dream of being a writer. She lives with her husband, Astro Teller, and their four children in Palo Alto, California. She is currently working on her second novel.

Genre D&R: Horror

Genre Definition and Recommendation is a feature where we will define a genre or a sub-genre definition, have a discussion, and the make some recommendations.  


What is Horror? (Found here)

In literature, horror (pronounced hawr-er) is a genre of fiction whose purpose is to create feelings of fear, dread, repulsion, and terror in the audience—in other words, it develops an atmosphere of horror. The term’s definition emphasizes the reaction caused by horror, stemming from the Old French orror, meaning “to shudder or to bristle.”

Horror is one of those hard genres to define. There is so many different types of horror. You can have thriller, or slasher, psychological horror even.

But to me, horror is bloody. It involves death and action. It's a constant go go go. 

Where as with thriller it's almost like a slow build up. Nothing really happens but it has you on the edge of your seat anyway. We'll do a genre definition of thriller at a later time. 

There is such a thin thin thin line between horror and thriller. Never mind that there's a million sub genre's in between. 

I'm really picky over what I consider "horror" I can look at the genre on goodreads, but that doesn't mean that's what *I* consider horror. 

Horror anything is some of my favorite things. Movies, books, games, etc. If it's bloody or scary I'm there. 

Some of my favorite horror books:
Screams You HearCampfireThere's Someone Inside Your HouseOne Was LostNailbiter, Vol. 1: There Will Be BloodThe Waking DarkAsylum (Asylum, #1)The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone ByeWhat Waits in the WoodsI Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)

So what about y'all? What do you consider horror? What's some of your favorite horror books that I just HAVE to read?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme to share our reads. Just in case you are curious about what book is in our hands and waiting on our shelves.


Audio just Finished:

Murder Notes

Current Audio:

If We Were Villains

Up next: 


One S'more Summer (The Campfire Series, #1)Big WoodsGame of Secrets


The Supervillain and Me


Just finished audio:

Over Raging Tides (Lady Pirates, #1)

Current Audio:

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Audio next:

Rebel (Reboot, #2)

Kindle Current:

The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall RiseTwice Dead (The Zombie Crisis #1)

Kindle next:
Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1)

Just finished:

Reading Current:
The One (The Selection, #3)

Reading Next:
The Darkest Path

What's on your current bookshelf and what's in your hands?    


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tag, You're It! Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt Tag

Stolen from A Book Loving Nut

All you need is access to your bookshelf. Tag 3 people when you’re done.

1. Find an author name or title with a Z in it.

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence (Zodiac Legacy, #1)

 Wizard for Hire (Wizard for Hire, #1)

2. Find a classic.


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

3. Find a book with a key on it.

How about key in the title? I don't own any books with a key on it. 
The Initiation

The Initiation

4. Find something on your bookshelf that is not a book.

I have lots of stuff. On one shelf I have funkos, the other shelf has pictures and candy dishes and other knick knacks. 


5. Find the oldest book on your shelf.

Oldest... like that I've had the longest? Or that was published the earliest? 

I am going with the oldest published.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

6. Find a book with a girl on it.


The Wendy (Tales of The Wendy, #1)

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 (Paper Girls, #1)

7. Find a book that has an animal on it.

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)

The Changelings (Changelings, #1)

8. Find a book with a male protagonist.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)

9. Find a book with only words on the cover.

Girl in Pieces

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

10. Find a book with illustrations in it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

Dragonbreath (Dragonbreath, #1)

11. Find a book with gold lettering.

Olivia Twist

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)

12. Find a diary, true or fictional.

I don't have one.

Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves

13. Find a book written by an author with a common name (like Smith).

Children of Icarus

The Naturals (The Naturals, #1)

14. Find a book with a close up of something on it.

The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors, #2)

The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)

15. Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period.

The Complete Stories and Poems

No clue 

16. Find a hardcover book without a jacket.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Barnes and Noble)

Wires and Nerve (Wires and Nerve, #1)

17. Find a teal/turquoise colored book.

Losing Brave

Icons (Icons, #1)

18. Find a book with stars on it.

The Wicked Deep

Written in the Stars

19. Find a non YA book.

The Last Time I Lied

The Queen Is Dead (The Immortal Empire, #2)

Imagination Designs