The Looking Glass Wars, written by Frank Beddor, is a retelling of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.
Beddor takes Carroll's classic tale of a young girl who falls into a rabbit hole and completely reinvents it into a world of adventure pinning good vs. evil. The original does the same with Alice vs. the Red Queen. The difference with this book, Alyss is from Wonderland and Red is her aunt.
Princess Alyss is next for the thrown of Wonderland which is currently run by her mother, that is until her Aunt Redd comes into the picture. Furious about being overthrown by her younger sister, Redd gets revenge killing both the Queen and King, leaving Alyss orphaned. Alyss escapes with Hatter to our world. Separated, Hatter feverishly searches for the princess, while Alyss is must conform to the reality of her new life.
One of my favorite parts, she gets adopted by the Liddells and meets Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the author of the original tale of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll himself. Beddor actually takes real life events and plays them out in his retelling. Just like real life, they go on a boat ride together. The difference, it's Alyss who tells him the tale of Wonderland and he takes her stories to create Alice in Wonderland and it's through this book that gives Hatter the clue he needs in finding the lost princess.
My absolute favorite part of this story is the idea of imagination being a form of magical powers. In Wonderland there are two forms, White Imagination and Black Imagination. No doubt which categories Alyss and Redd fall into. What makes me like it so much is that one of the main themes in Carroll's version was imagination. The fact that imagination can be so powerful it makes a little girl believe she was in fact in a fantasy world where a queen wanted to cut off her head. In Beddor's version, he uses imagination as a form of a weapon, away for Alyss to avenge her parents and get back the crown that belongs her.
Here are some more interesting twists:
And that is juts a taste of the fun retelling this trilogy offers you.
Peter and the Starcatchers, written by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry, is a retelling of the Peter Pan story.
Ever wonder how Peter Pan learned to fly or where Tinkerbell came from? What about Neverland and Captain Hook? Well in this retelling of a classic story, Barry and Ridley explore just that. In this version, Peter is an ordinary orphan boy traveling to a new country with his friends (the "lost boys") on a ship called Neverland. He meets a girl name Molly who introduces him to a world of star power. In this world, how do people fly? Not with fairy dust, but with starstuff, the remains of a shooting star. With this starstuff, people not only fly, but creatures are created, like the loch ness monster.
As Molly explains the battle of the starstuff, two halves: one designed to protect it known as the Starcatchers, the other dying to use it, a pirate called Black Stache (aka Captain Hook before the hook) is after the trunk in which the starstuff is being held, a trunk leaking out this powerful dust. A battle ensues and the group crashes onto a remote island, inhabited by a native tribe called the Mollusks.
So how does this story become the Peter Pan we know. Here's a rundown:
The best part, the story doesn't end there. This is the first in a series involving the boy we know as Peter Pan, an official website you can view and a Broadway play you can see.
Juliet Immortal and Romeo Redeemed, written by Stacy Jay, is a retelling of Shakespeare’s classic love story Romeo and Juliet.
* If you have not read these books and don't want me to spoil anything, please stop reading. As a book lover, I hate to ruin anything for anyone. *
While the plot was a little confusing (alternate universes?), here’s what made this retelling interesting:
1) In order to become an immortal dark Mercenary, Romeo tricked Juliet into killing herself.
2) Juliet became an Ambassador of Light, forever becoming an enemy of Romeo and working to save soulmates from his wrath.
3) To help his cause of breaking up soulmates, Romeo spun the story of his and Juliet’s love for Shakespeare. Thus helping the author to write Romeo and Juliet.
4) The Friar who married Romeo and Juliet was actually a Mercenary himself and Juliet’s Nurse was the Ambassador sent to save the star-crossed lovers. The Friar won that battle.
5) The Friar and the Nurse were soulmates themselves.
6) Ben Luna is also Benvolio who is a second soulmate for Juliet and Ariel Dragland is also Rosaline who is a second soulmate for Romeo.
I think if you can get past some of the supernatural confusion, these stories are quite interesting in how Stacy Jay plays around with the original Shakespeare tale to tries to make it her own.
I know . . . it's been far too long . . . and I've missed you to.
With the expansion of the Children's Corner brand, I decided it was time I came back to this website I so love. It has been tough the last couple of years, so much has changed in my life. I have a new job, my furry friend got sick and I have been knee deep in writing my book.
That's right . . . Glasses and All is just about complete. I finished my last round of revision and I have one more (small) one left to go. I cannot wait til it's done. I am so proud of it.
I am also researching by next book which will be about witches. There is so much to learn. How do I write spells and create potions? What do the colors and moon cycles mean?
So, yeah, my days have been full, but I am here now and I will try my hardest not to disappear again.
Here are a few things I've been thinking about:
What do you think? Is there anything else I can add to the list. I will do my best to get to all of these this year.
I will do my best . . . I promise.
That's the title of this blog post by Rachelle Gardner and as I read the post, my first response to the question was: YES!
Of course, the comments in the post reflect my gut reaction. Most every writer who commented said that writing for them is a way of life and what isn't worth it is the risk of not writing. I have to admit, sometimes I have my doubts. When the rejection letters keep pouring in, I think, maybe I should find something else to do. Maybe I should focus on my day job and make a career out of it because that I seem to be good at. But, instinctively, I reach for the pen.
It is my home, the place I go to when all else has failed. When I'm down and feeling lonely, the pen is always there to comfort me. The characters I create never let me down, they don't end the relationship because they don't feel anything for me anymore, they don't walk out of my life unaware as to the regret they may feel later. They are there, always and forever.
Not being published will never stop me and even if I never get published, I will never stop writing. Just today, I finished writing the draft of my second book and it is an accomplished feeling I will never let go. I sometimes forget this feeling is there. When I struggled through some of the scenes, I forgot about they joy that's waiting for me when I pushed through. Now here I am, ready to take the manuscript to the next step. Here I am, a pasted smile on my face because I did something I love to do. I wrote a story that means something to me even if it doesn't mean anything to anyone else and it is something I will never give up.
Is the writing life worth it? I think the more appropriate question is: Is breathing oxygen worth it? Because that is what writing is, it is oxygen giving me life.
I loved this book when I was reading it and I loved the play when I was watching it. I couldn't stop smiling the whole time. It's no wonder Peter and the Starcatcher has won Tonys.
My first cred has got to go to the set people. It can't be easy turning a small stage into large ships and islands, but Starcatcher did it beautifully. I think my favorite moment was when they used ropes as stairs.
My second cred goes to the writer in turning a 451 page paperback middle grade book into a two and a half hour theater production. The book definitely had plenty of material to work with and the show pretty much stayed true to the story, with the exception of naming Peter "Boy". This is more towards the Disney version when Wendy calls Peter "Boy" in the nursery. In the book, Peter is actually named Peter with no last name, but in the show, he is called Boy until Molly helps him come up with a real name to call him by. A minor change that didn't effect my loving of it. Peter is also the leader of the group in the book always taking command and making himself older than the oldest boy in the orphanage. In the show, they portrayed Peter as more of a loner, a quiet type until he meets Molly. I'm okay with that too.
When I watch any kind of book adaption (TV, Movies, Theater), I always look for the core values of the book. If the basic principle, what makes the book good and likable by it's readers are still there, then I'm generally happy with it. I also base it on my personal feelings toward the story. If the book made me feel like a kid again, then I want the adaptation to make me feel the same way. As for Peter and the Starcatcher, it made me never want to grow up, both book and show.
In all honesty, we reviewed this book 2 weeks ago. I know, I was supposed to post our review sooner, but I'm finding it harder to write these days. I'm no longer training it to work and it's kind of hard to do any writing while driving. But enough excuses, here's our review.
We were split down the middle on this one: two of us loved the book while the other two liked the book but had some concerns with it. First of all, we all loved the writing of it. We thought it was well written and considering the story line, we also thought it was handled tastefully.
Once concern we had was the ending. We found it hard to believe that Deanna would be able to get away with kissing her best friend's boyfriend without some kind of reprimand. It was almost like "new school year, new start." kind of mentality when really we felt something should have happened in that regard.
We did like some of the realistic approaches Zarr took, like Deanna falling into her old traps again when it came to Tommy. Sometimes old habits do die hard and lord knows we are not perfect. I think it's definitely one thing we all liked about the book, the honesty of it.
For our next meeting, we are reviewing Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I just picked up my copy yesterday. This time, I will try my damnedest to keep you posted.
Over labor day weekend, my best friend and her husband took me to see the Harry Potter parody show called Potted Potter. The show is performed by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner and the premise is "7 books in 70 minutes." My review: freaking awesome.
I laughed the entire time. What was great about the show was not only the fact that it was hilarious, but that no two summaries were alike. The 3rd book was done with PowerPoint, the 7th was a song and the 4th was a large quiddich game. How you ask? They placed two quiddich rings on either side of the audience, split the audience in two and we had to hit a beach ball back and forth to try to get it inside the rings. Then there was the snitch. They called upon two kids to play the Gryffindor and Slytherin seekers, had Jess dressed as the snitch and the two kids chased him around the stage. The Gryffindor seeker was this little girl who tackled Jeff to the ground. The crowd went wild. And as the comedians that they were, Dan and Jeff played it up for the rest of the show.
Unfortunately, the run ended on September 2nd otherwise I would advise everyone to go see it as soon as possible. Instead, I will say, if they ever do come back, catch the show as fast as you can.
Before I go, one last photo of me at the show. Boy was I happy.
After some vacation time, the book club met two weeks ago to review Lisa Schroeder's Far from You. I know what you're thinking, "what happened to my status posts?" I couldn't help it. I've been doing a lot of personal writing with my book. It's been an up and down ride, where the ups had me writing nonstop for two months straight. But enough about me, I'm here to tell you about the book club's thoughts.
We didn't mind the book too much. We had a hard time believing the snow storm and the fact that no one found them in the 5 days. We also thought it was a little like Dessen's Along for the Ride with the girl going to stay with her dad and his new wife and new baby . . . only in verse. Speaking of the verse, it didn't hinder anything. For me, I found myself still being able to picture the scene in my head without the need for detailed paragraphs.
Next up, Sara Zarr's Story of a Girl. I'll try to keep you informed this time. I promise.
Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘Blog’ is a fool’s errand.