By Adventures in Obsessive Reading 

Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul 

Author: Nikita Gill
Page Count: 172
Rating: A
Format Read: NetGalley e ARC
Genre: Poetry and Short Stories
Keywords: Fairytales, Feminism, Life Lessons, Dragons
Kid Appropriate: Preteen and older

I requested this ARC on NetGalley from Hachette Books mostly because I am a fairytale addict and the cover strongly reminded me of the cover for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay. Despite looking forward to reading it, I was completely nervous when I picked up this ARC. First, I have not read much poetry since graduating from college and what I read then was pretty dense. Second, I was afraid that my favorite fairytales from when I was a little girl were about to be completely shredded the way I have seen other writers handle them when going for a modern makeover.

This fear was completely banished as I began to wade my way through the stories and poems. As I was reading the first fifty pages I had a nagging feeling that there was something familiar about what I was reading. Slowly it began to dawn on me. This modern makeover was reminding me of the Fables comic series from Bill Willingham. Instantly my worries were gone and I was excited to see the reimaginings and twists that the tales would take.

Rather than altering the bulk of the tale, there were twists taken on the beginnings and the endings of my favorite stories or small details added or looks into the minds of the characters that we all know so well. I was smiling, laughing, and even tearing up while reading this book.

And there was a good mix of tales from different cultures and mythology. I recognized a lot of the characters I saw but there were a few that I had not heard before that I enjoyed. It didn’t feel stale in any way. And even though not every short story or every poem was my favorite, the collection as a whole really resonated with me.

I do not often give books as gifts. Most people I am close to are not avid readers. But, this book was the first time in a long time I wanted to gift one to someone. The stories have something for everyone and I would have loved to receive this and read it as a preteen or teenager even. It has everything that people really deal with from feeling small, to abuse, to eating disorders, to neglectful parents, to lost loved ones, to the pain of first heartbreak. And what I loved was it never felt like this book was preaching something at me, making me want to turn away. Instead it felt like it cared about you. Like reading a friend.

This was an amazing collection that I can’t wait to add to my physical library in the near future. It is a work that I think will become incredibly important in so many people’s lives. If you are looking for a gift for someone in your life or a treat for yourself I highly recommend checking this one out.

The Hobbit 

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Page Count: 389
Rating: A++++++
Keywords: Magic, Fantasy, Classic, Adventure
Genre: Fantasy
Narrator: Rob Inglis
Duration: 11 hours and 8 minutes
Younger Readers: Great for children

The Hobbit is an amazing read! From page one it feels as if you are being told a story by a kindly grandfather and you completely lose yourself in the tale of Bilbo Baggins leaving the Shire. If you have only seen the movies, this is going to be bit different. The main difference is that you do not see as much of Gandalf’s journey in the book. Despite this, it is amazing. Rob Inglis was an absolutely perfect choice to amplify the feeling of being told a tale. I quickly lost myself in the book, hours disappearing before I even noticed.

While I thoroughly enjoyed reading this as a tween, and again as an adult, I think that this would be a great choice for a younger reader/listener. It is enchanting and has the comforting feel of a bedtime story. It was especially enjoyable during a road trip, adding to the sense of adventure.

As a side note, my dog absolutely loves listening to Rob Inglis’ reading. Every time I opened my Audible app at home, I’d hear the click of nails running towards me and then she would follow the phone for hours. This is sure to be an instant favorite for everyone.

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