Review: Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriot

Posted October 24, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Walker Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe MarriotTitle: Barefoot on the Wind
Author: Zoë Marriott
Publisher: Walker Books Limited
Publication Date: September 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 313
Format: Paperback
Source: Walker Books
four-stars

A companion title to Zoë Marriott's critically acclaimed Shadows on the Moon, BAREFOOT ON THE WIND is a darkly magical retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" set in fairytale Japan.
There is a monster in the forest...
Everyone in Hana's remote village on the mountain knows that straying too far into the woods is a death sentence. When Hana's father goes missing, she is the only one who dares try to save him. Taking up her hunting gear, she goes in search of the beast, determined to kill it - or be killed herself.
But the forest contains more secrets, more magic and more darkness than Hana could ever have imagined. And the beast is not at all what she expects...

Review: As soon as I heard about Barefoot on the Wind, I was intrigued. Beauty and the Beast was probably my favourite disney film as a very young child. Seriously, my love of this knew no bounds; I’m talking clothing, seeing the musical in London, singing all the songs, seeing it on ice… No bounds, I tell you, no bounds. As I grew older it became clear there were some parts of the story that were a little less magical. Zoe Marriott explained it really well at the recent Walker Blogger event when she said -and I’m paraphrasing here – it didn’t seem right that the Beast got rewarded for making very little change or compromise while Belle seemed to be the one making those compromises and changes.

Barefoot on the Wind has been billed as a feminist Beauty and the Beast and is set in the Moonlit Lands world Zoe Marriott used for Shadow on the Moon.  I hadn’t read Shadow on the Moon but it stands on its own perfectly -in fact, this was my first Zoe Marriott book. I was sold on feminist Beauty and the Beast though, as the above paragraph demonstrates and this delivers while still having its own story and unique style.

Barefoot on the Wind is gorgeously written and I really liked Marriott’s writing style.  The prose is dreamy with just the right amount of creepy where appropriate and really draws the reader in. Marriott immerses you in another world and the detail really works here without making you feel like you’re been inundated with information or the author is trying to show off their knowledge. At points, the plot went to places I didn’t quite expect but as the book developed I wasn’t lost or pulled away by this.

Hana is a great narrator and felt real; I couldn’t help but be drawn into her life and root for her. She is strong and brave and intelligent and this not only helps her but the ‘Beast’. While this was a different imagining of Beauty and the Beast it worked. You could see the roots of inspiration but it stood on its own as it own story. I thought the way the plot developed was interesting.

If you are already a fan of Zoe Marriott, you will most likely love this book but the great thing is even you, like me, hadn’t read Marriott’s previous work you can dive right into this one and it’s great!

four-stars

Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Review: Cuckoo by Keren David

Review: Cuckoo drew me in from the concept and I had a strong feeling this would be a great read for me.  Karen David tells the story of Jake,  a teenage actor who used to be on a popular soap, until it got cancelled.  Now he’s setting the story straight over events before the cancellation via a vlog. I liked the format of the novel being told through vlog transcripts and comments.  Keren David utilises a quite restrictive narrative device to great effect. Even in the comments there are small subplots and stories that really add to the book. I devoured Cuckoo and didn’t want to put it down. Jake really came off the page and I felt for his problems. I hadn’t personally seen explored in YA before in this way but Karen David looks at teenage homelessness without judgement. On the surface, Jake is not a character […]

Posted August 24, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicole Doherty

Review: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicole Doherty

Review: I have always had a soft spot for contemporary YA. It’s probably one of my favourite genres and it’s always been one of my default writing loves as well. While some people may feel the US have the edge on contemporary YA, I think YA based in the UK and Ireland has so much to offer and is seriously underrated.  When I read the summary for Love and Other Man-Made Disasters on Netgalley, I had to read it. The ski resort setting also reminded me a little of the film Chalet Girl which I secretly loved. Juno is a slightly anxious teenager who worries a lot. Now Juno is being forced to go on a skiing holiday with her mum and her mum’s new husband and his twin boys. This is a great, easy to read, enjoyable summer read (despite the chilliness of skiing) and I […]

Posted July 11, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Mini Reviews #6: It’s Thriller Time

Mini Reviews #6: It’s Thriller Time

Review: I’m always intrigued by cults and new religious movements so The Special Ones definitely appealed to me when I saw it on Netgalley and sounded like a slightly different YA thriller. The Special Ones is told through Esther’s perspective. Esther is one the four ‘Special Ones’ who live in an isolated house away from the modern world after He has chosen them. Each of them has a skill, expectations and are expected to promote their lives through online chats to their followers. On renewal day, He chooses one of them to be replaced and the cycle continues. Until something happens and things begin to change. I think it’s best not to delve too deeply into the plot intricacies as I don’t want to spoil it. However, what really makes this book work is Esther. Her character comes through well and carries the […]

Posted July 4, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: I adored Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door, and while I liked What I Thought Was True it didn’t quite grab me in the same way, so I was really looking forward to the chance to return to the Garrett family and Tim. My Life Next Door did a wonderful job in introducing a wide range of characters I felt deeply invested in. I really cared about the Garrett family, who felt realistic to me, I rooted for Sam and loved her development throughout the book. There were subplots and characters I cared about, like Nan and Tim. The Boy Most Likely To is definitely not My Life Next Door. It’s a little darker and moodier, not a ‘typical’ contemporary romance novel and this worked for me and felt right for her characters.. For me, The Boy Most Like To was more ‘Tim’s’ […]

Posted June 8, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Review: The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi

Review: The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi

Review: I’d heard a lot of positive things about Paolo Bacigalupi’s YA novels however hadn’t had the chance to really delve into his books, so when Hayley at EdPR offered me a review copy of The Doubt Factory I was thrilled. The Doubt Factory tackles a subject I’ve not really seen explored in YA: PR and the power of a cover-up or spin. It specifically looks at companies which are employed by large corporations or powerful people to essentially create doubt; hence the doubt factory. While this may not sound a particularly exciting subject for YA, Bacigalupi frames it like a Hollywood thriller. Alix is a girl who has a seemingly perfect, privileged life: she attends a highly selective private school, her parents are financially solid, she lives in a big house. However when an activist, Moses, comes onto the scene […]

Posted April 18, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Review: These Shallow Graves was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. From the moment I read about it in the Bookseller, to hearing the enthusiasm from Hot Key Books at their 2015 blogger brunch, I knew this would be a book I couldn’t wait for. It has taken me a little time to review it however do not think this is because it’s not met my expectations or I didn’t enjoy it. I did. Jo Montford wants to be a writer, however that isn’t what her family or society expect from her. Everything changes when her father is found dead after supposedly accidentally shooting himself. However, Jo knows her father wouldn’t clean a loaded gun so tries to uncover the truth behind his death and is later joined by keen reporter, Eddie. These Shallow Graves is a brilliant historical […]

Posted March 30, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter

Review: I heard about the Serpent King on twitter (from the lovely Carly at Writing from the Tub whose review is here) and it sounded completely up my street so I was really pleased when I was able to obtain a review copy on Netgalley. I love books set in the Southern US states, there’s something about them and the Southern Gothic movement I find completely fascinating and the summary seemed to suggest a True Detective style atmosphere. The Serpent King is beautifully written and the small Tennessee town Dill, Lydia and Travis live in is bought off the page and feels so real. Dill, Travis and Lydia are defined, compelling and well-drawn out characters each of whom has their own story and arc within the book. Dill in particular really stands out as the main character who loves Lydia but knows […]

Posted March 28, 2016 by chooseyabooks in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Mini Reviews #5: It’s Getting A Little Creepy

Review: I love a good creepy read and Daughters Unto Devils definitely delivered with its historical setting, mountain location and distinctly sinister plot. After Amanda’s family move to a remote cabin, she hopes she can leave her past behind, including the fever that she’s worried has caused her to lose her mind. Only, the cabin is soaked in blood and there are stories about the area – about murder and unhinged minds. Oh, this book is delightfully creepy and Lukavics writes a sinister, disturbing tale with an intriguingly unreliable and very often unlikeable narrator. The plot develops and becomes even more horror-filled and disturbing by the end and has this feverish quality to it. The horror and gore is not sanitised so I would recommend this to younger readers personally. Books like this aren’t for everyone; that said fans of books with […]

Posted February 10, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Review: I had heard a lot about Huntley Fitzpatrick from US book bloggers so was very excited to see that Egmont are finally publishing My Life Next Door in the UK and even more so when I was able to snag a review copy from Netgalley. I adore YA contemporary and I think most people who regularly visit this blog know that. While I try and review all types of YA, and while I admit I sometimes need a little break from contemporary, it’s the YA genre I return to the most. My Life Next Door feels like the perfect YA contemporary read. It’s set in the summer, it has romance, family drama, a main character trying to forge her own identity and some heartbreaking moments too. Samantha Reed has watched the Garrett family next door for years; noting the […]

Posted February 8, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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