Marshmallow reviews Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess

Almost exactly a year ago, Marshmallow reviewed Thornwood by Leah Cypess, a neat retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, which started the author’s Sisters Ever After series. Today she reviews the second book in this series, Glass Slippers, which adds some interesting twists to the well-known Cinderella story.

Marshmallow reviews Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess.
Marshmallow reviews Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about sisters, magic, and mystery, or if you enjoy retellings of fairy tales, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Tirza is the youngest stepsister of Queen Ella or Cinderella. After Ella became the queen, she banished her two older and wicked stepsisters to a different country but kept Tirza with her because Tirza was only five when Cinderella went to the famous ball.

Queen Ella is always very kind to Tirza, though it seems very artificial. Nobody else in the castle even tries to act kind; they all mistrust her and are cruel to her. Tirza is used to all this, but then she makes a bad mistake. One day, she finds the famous glass slippers out in Queen Ella’s room, and tries them on. Of course she puts them back where she found them, but this doesn’t matter because the slippers disappear and Tirza becomes the only suspect. Naturally nobody believes her when she says that she didn’t do it. Queen Ella nonetheless tries to continue to be nice to her.

Eventually the evidence against her becomes overwhelming and Tirza has to leave the kingdom. She decides to join her older sisters and plan a way to defeat and overthrow Cinderella. But the truth is much more complicated than it seems. Tirza must find out who is really evil: Cinderella or her real sisters or maybe someone else? Along the way, she must also come face to face with the fact that magic is not as nice as she had believed it to be.

Marshmallow is reading Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess.
Marshmallow is reading Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that Glass Slippers is a very interesting book. Readers of this blog know that I love retellings of fairy tales. But the plot here was so unpredictable! I had no idea that things were going to be so different from the original fairytale. It was also strange to see the fairies and the famous glass slippers of the original story become scarier and actually sort of bad as things evolved. I can’t say more than that because I don’t want to give away too much, but quite a few surprises are on the way for those bunnies who end up reading this book.

I also found it interesting that the characters were all realistic. In fairy tales some people are purely good and you know from the start. And others are really bad and you know from the beginning, too. In Glass Slippers, you don’t know who is good and who is evil until the end. Even so, the ending was quite different than I had expected. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess 95%.
Marshmallow rates Glass Slippers by Leah Cypess 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Last week Marshmallow reviewed Smile by Raina Telgemeier. This week she continues her Telgemeier streak with the next graphic novel by this prolific author: Sisters (2014). Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Marshmallow reviews Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow reviews Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

Sprinkles: So Marshmallow you have been reading graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier for a while now. And finally you got to Sisters.

Marshmallow: Yes.

S: The cover says this book accompanies Smile. I seem to remember that you wrote that that book was quite self-contained. How is this related to it?

M: They are related by the fact that both are about the same characters. The main character is the author herself, once again. But the main story line of this book is different. And it is a different time in her life. Instead of the school year, this is about summer time, about a summer when the author and her family took a road trip from California to Colorado to visit relatives.

S: I see. What is the main challenge this time?

M: The author and her sister are arguing too much. They are not in good terms. And there is a snake in their truck. And there are some problems between their parents.

S: I see. Seeing how the title mentions the sisters, I am assuming the book is mainly focusing on them getting their relationship in order?

M: Yes mostly.

S: So did you enjoy reading this book?

M: Yes. I always like Telgemeier’s drawings. She has a unique style. The faces of the characters are always very expressive. I like the color palate too. There is someone else who adds the coloring I think, Braden Lamb. I think the color choices add to the specific moods in each panel.

Marshmallow is reading Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow is reading Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

S: Did you find this book helped you think about your relationship with Caramel a bit?

M: No, not really. Caramel is my brother, and we don’t fight that much.

S: Really? So these two sisters fight more than you two? Hmm, that is some serious discord in the family then. Okay, so what else do you want to tell our readers about this book?

M: If you do have a sibling, this book might be helpful to you to think about your relationship with them, and see if you can be a better sibling yourself. So actually, maybe the book did make me think a bit about Caramel and me. I am thinking of how I can be a better big sister to him.

S: That is nice Marshmallow. I think you are a good big sister. And Caramel is a good little brother. So is the author the older sister or the younger?

M: She is the older one, like me.

S: I see.

M: But she is not totally like me. She is detached from her family at the beginning of the road trip. But through the book she starts feeling closer to them.

S: That is nice.

M: Yeah, I thought the book was pretty good. One thing I was not too keen on was that one of the story threads, the one about the parents and their problems, was not completely resolved. I wanted some more closure.

S: Well, you said this is a book about the author’s own life. Sometimes in real life, we don’t get closure, especially on big issues.

M: Yeah, I guess I wanted that part to be more like a book than real life.

S: I can see that. So the book was at times too much like real life! Anyways, it seems like this was all around a very good book. How would you rate it Marshmallow?

M: I’d rate it 95%.

S: Cool. And what do you want to tell our readers as we wrap up this review?

M: Stay tuned for more amazing book reviews from the book bunnies!

Marshmallow rates Sisters by Raina Telgemeier 95%.
Marshmallow rates Sisters by Raina Telgemeier 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Thornwood by Leah Cypess

Marshmallow has reviewed several books inspired by fairy tales before. See, for example, her reviews of A Tale Dark and GrimTuck EverlastingElla Enchanted, and Half Upon A Time. She has also enjoyed the whole School for Good and Evil series, which also explores fairy tales and their characters in depth. Today she writes about Thornwood by Leah Cypess, a book inspired by the story of Sleeping Beauty.

Marshmallow reviews Thornwood by Leah Cypess.
Marshmallow reviews Thornwood by Leah Cypess.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books that retell classic fairy tales, or if you enjoy reading books about sisters, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Briony’s sister Rosalin was cursed when she was a baby. The evil fairy queen said that when she turned sixteen, she would prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Luckily, Rosalin’s fairy godmother changed the curse slightly, so instead of dying, she would sleep for a hundred years, along with everyone else in the castle.

For her entire life, Briony has been the less important princess. Briony is always only an accessory to Rosalin’s story, or only an annoyance. Everyone pays more attention to Rosalin. Even so, Briony really likes her sister, and Rosalin likes her back, though as an older sibling, she is often dismissive of her.

On her sixteenth birthday, Rosalin pricks her finger on the spinning wheel. And she falls asleep, along with everyone else in the castle.

Marshmallow is reading Thornwood by Leah Cypess.
Marshmallow is reading Thornwood by Leah Cypess.

Years later, Briony wakes up and goes to Rosalin’s room. On the way there, she discovers that there are thorn branches that move which have grown around the castle. Briony comes to Rosalin’s room in time to see the prince wake her up. Rosalin is happy to see the prince, but when she sees Briony, she seems terrified for a moment and she quickly returns to a normal expression.

When Briony meets the prince, Prince Varian, she is suspicious of him because his story is a little fishy. He says that he cut through the thorn branches with a magical sword. He claims that he no longer has the sword because the thorn branches wrested it from him. He claims to have fought through the remaining thorns with his hands. Briony finds it suspicious that he has scratches on his hands but none on his face. And it turns out that Varian is not who he says he is, and it remains to be seen whether he can get them out of the Thornwood, or whether they will be stuck there forever. 

Marshmallow’s Review: The plot of Thornwood is well thought out, well-written, and full of twists and turns. I was very surprised by one of the big reveals.

I really like how the story is based off of a fairy tale that many people know, but the plot sort of changes from the original tale. It also introduces Briony, the sister whom we do not know about from the usual telling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, and things get a lot more complicated than expected.

I think that the characters are realistic. They have realistic and relatable personalities, and they all have their habits and their flaws. 

This is the first book of a new series Sisters Ever After, where the author Leah Cypess reimagines several different fairy tales. Thornwood is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty. I am curious about the next book, which is apparently about Cinderella. If I do end up reading it, I will definitely write about it.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Thornwood by Leah Cypess 95%.
Marshmallow rates Thornwood by Leah Cypess 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series)

Marshmallow loved all ten of the Ivy + Bean books written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophia Blackhall when she first read them. She even reviewed one of her favorites for the Book Bunnies blog: you can check out her review of Book 9: Ivy and Bean Make the Rules. So when she heard last year that there would be an eleventh book, she just could not wait to get her paws on a copy. Today she reviews this eleventh book in the series: One Big Happy Family.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series).
Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series).

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you enjoyed Annie Barrow and Sophia Blackhall’s Ivy and Bean series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Ivy is worried that she is becoming spoiled. Her classmate Vanessa says that only children are usually spoiled and she implies that Ivy is spoiled. Ivy starts to believe that she is spoiled so she and her best friend, Bean, search for a way for her to become unspoiled.

Ivy first tries giving away a lot of clothes at school, but then she gets in trouble and has to take them back. Then Ivy and Bean try to find a different way to “unspoil” Ivy. They realize that if it is only children that are supposed to be spoiled, then if Ivy is no longer an only child then she won’t be spoiled. Therefore, they ask Ivy’s mom to have a child, and when she says no, they try to find a different way to get a sibling for Ivy. For example they try asking the gods for help and bringing one of Ivy’s dolls to life. None of these ways works. They even tie their hands together thinking that their skin will grow together and make them conjoined twins. But then they will have to decide whose house to stay at. Ivy wants to rotate, but Bean wants to stay at her house. After some time being “conjoined twins” they decide that it is a bad idea.

Ivy continues to look for a way to be “unspoiled”. Read the book to find out!

Marshmallow is pointing to the page in Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) where Bean is interrupting her sister Nancy's yoga session.
Marshmallow is pointing to the page in Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) where Bean is interrupting her sister Nancy’s yoga session.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a really funny book, a great followup to all the other Ivy + Bean books that have entertained many young readers.

These books all have many characters that are relatable and funny. Ivy and Bean are funny to read about because they always have funny ideas, like when they think that they can become conjoined twins by tying their arms together, their whole theory being that when their skin grew it would grow together and they would be joined forever. Another weird idea of theirs is that by eating “brainfood” (strange combinations of foods), they will think unusual thoughts, helping them brainstorm ideas of how to “unspoil” Ivy.

This is a very good book for children of ages 5 and up. It is funny and the problems the kids are worried about are very funny and young bunnies can even see themselves in similar situations.

This is one of the few books in a series that I have reviewed that you could read without reading the earlier books. Still I think reading all the Ivy and Bean books would be good because they are all really fun!

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) 100%.