Author: Allyse Near
Published by: Random House
Source: I bought it! Thanks Bookworld 🙂
There’s a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That’s not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other people don’t. But when the girl appears at Isola’s window, her every word a threat, Isola needs help.
Her real-life friends – Grape, James and new boy Edgar – make her forget for a while. And her brother-princes – the mermaids, faeries and magical creatures seemingly lifted from the pages of the French fairytales Isola idolises – will protect her with all the fierce love they possess.
It may not be enough.
Isola needs to uncover the truth behind the dead girl’s demise and appease her enraged spirit, before the ghost steals Isola’s last breath.
First you must know that the movie Wild Child is my favourite movie of ever, and that this was what I thought of the first time I read the title of the book:
But Isola is not at all like Emma Roberts. She reminded me a bit of Alice in Wonderland if she was in modern times.
So first off I loved this book. Let’s not draw that out.
THE WRITING. IT WAS JUST. DUDE. SERIOUSLY. I APPARENTLY CAN’T STRING TOGETHER A COHERENT SENTENCE BECAUSE ALLYSE NEAR HAS STOLEN THEM ALL.
This review is, from here on in, not going to make any sense. If my review is lacking in any way, it’s because this book has used all of the most amazing phrases in the English language.
I seriously considered inhaling the words.
You’ll be pleased to know, however, that it remains un-eaten and on my shelf, next to all my other fairytales or retellings.
It’s a great shelf.
So let me tell you some of the great things about this book. First of all we have the awesome structure.
Lots of short, choppy sentences in short chapters. There are illustrations (LOVE. IT). There are brief excerpts from fairytales (which aren’t your ordinary fairytales, just FYI). There are “dramatis personae” (you might recognised something similar in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making).
So that’s awesome and different, and it kept me flipping pages.
Plus we have the DARKNESS of the fairytale.
It’s nothing like what you think…
IT’S NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL.
Oh gosh, I’m over-using the caps again. Bear with me. It’s not your whole “good and evil are two separate things” kind of…thing. It’s very dark, and there’s a lot about death and loneliness, and it’s sad in some parts, but then you’ve got this amazingly beautiful writing and just…it’s so good, guys.
It’s a strange kind of genre, too.
You’ve got these fairytales and these brother-princes (and yes, some of them are girls…it’s okay, I was confused too. That gets explained). There are fairies and unicorns and a bunny-gargoyle…don’t ask.
But then it’s also contemporary, with a girl called Grape and a boy called Edgar and lots of swearing and references to modern things. It’s a bit jarring in some places, but it works really well.
Plus!! The ending!!
I was kind of confused, but I think that’s because I read it too fast. But gosh, guys, my mind was blown. Didn’t see it coming at all (maybe I should have…all the signs were there). You have to read it just for this marvellous ending.
For a gothic fairytale with beautiful writing and a unique format, look no further than Allyse Near.
Rating: 4/5 Wonderkitties
And tell me: what’s your favourite fairytale? Or fairytale retelling?