Audiobook Review: Grimm’s Fairy Tales

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Grimm’s Fairy Tales

by Brothers Grimm

Narrated by: LibriVox Community

My Review:

I wasn’t able to find anything on the audiobook on Goodreads, but I don’t think a summary is necessary.

We’re all familiar with the lovable stories of Disney such as Cinderella and Snow White, even the non-Disney remakes such as Hansel and Gretel. Grimm’s Fairy Tales are the root of all these stories.

While I greatly enjoyed hearing the originals of stories I’d heard when I was a child, sometimes going back to the roots is just… boring. I feel that I was supposed to enjoy these stories immensely, and it isn’t that I didn’t enjoy them, they just fell short of what I expected. First, I was under the impression that these stories would be more violent, the stories would have more of a punch. I thought they’d be more… grim.

Regardless, the stories were for the most part entertaining. I especially enjoyed listening to the stories as an audiobook. I could listen while cooking, on the bus, doing my nails, or doing the laundry. Audiobooks are really incredible. I think my favorite story was that of the bird who tricked the farmer into getting himself murdered. There were a few surprising moments, but otherwise the stories were mostly predictable.

Unfortunately there isn’t much else to say about the stories themselves. They were fairly standard bedtime tales, mostly happy endings. I will talk briefly about the voice recordings. The most obnoxious thing was the introduction all of the volunteers had to read, but other than that they were mostly good readers. One volunteer that told several stories was a bit monotone, but I remember one story that was read by a mother and son, which was by far the best storytelling. There was some diversity among the storytellers as well, which created a nice variety.

Overall, I give Grimm’s Fairy Tales a 2.5 out of 5 stars. I wish I could have given it more, but the stories didn’t quite leave me satisfied.

2.5 Stars

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Book Review: Jenny Pox by J.L Bryan

 

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the “Jenny pox.” She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth…but if she’s going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

My Review:

To start, this book is not for the faint of heart. It was in several instances, graphic and horrific. Second, it’s fiction with a sharp edge. That is to say the author, Mr. J.L Bryan, has some ideas about humanity, life and the afterlife, that that not all readers may agree with.

I thoroughly enjoyed Jenny Pox. It had several jaw-dropping, completely mind-shattering moments that I couldn’t have predicted. It covers all topics of the teenage dilemma with complete casualty – sex, drugs, romance, peer pressure, fashion, even death.

Jenny, with her sickly touch, is terrified of her power. The only other person who knows her secret is her drunkard father, whom she loves deeply but has never even touched. Now imagine for a moment the devastation of zero human contact, knowing that if you did touch someone, even for a second,their skin would erupt in hideous boils that ooze and burn. Imagine being ostracized from society. Imagine knowing your mothers death was your own doing. Now imagine all of this and going to high school. What J.L Bryan does best is captures the complexity of Jenny’s situation and the heartbreak she copes with every day.

Things become interesting when you learn that the antagonist, Ashleigh, is evil and intelligent – a deadly combination. Ashleigh seems to have a power much more wicked than Jenny. Her manipulations are getting out of hand. It seems almost impossible, ironic if you will, that Ashleigh, the dear golden child with the bright smile would be the villain to this story. She is loved. Jenny is not. And yet that love turns sour, and the entire town will pay the price. The juxtaposition of Jenny and Ashleigh, the reversal of light and dark, is what makes Jenny Pox a complex and twisted story that will make readers fear what has always been known to be true.

To add to the already confusing mix, we have Seth. Coming from the popular, golden side that Ashleigh rules, he’s not to be trusted. But as the story progresses, readers will realize he is the first character with completely pure intentions. He is selfless, and perhaps his struggles are far heavier than those of Jenny, whom we already developed a deep sympathy for. The romance between Jenny and Seth isn’t awkward. It seems unnatural in the beginning due to reader suspicion and the looming wonder of Ashleigh’s pending chaos. But Jenny and Seth are matched for each other in ways the reader doesn’t even fully comprehend, not yet anyway. It’s not long before you are rooting for them. And then the gut-wrenching realization. And all hell breaks loose.

Jenny Pox was a captivating story with a riptide of teenage emotions and more. While I didn’t agree with all of the views expressed by the author (though not explicitly stated), I enjoyed the complexities of the characters, the challenge of traditional roles, and the strength of the Jenny, particularly the fact that as a female protagonist in a high school drama, she wasn’t completely overtaken by romance or reliant on others to make decisions for her.

I give Jenny Pox by J.L Bryan four out of five stars.

4 stars (2)