Thursday, March 12, 2015

Book Review: Alyce by Sarah Scheele

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Title: Alyce

Author: Sarah Scheele

Series: The Princess Vignettes #1

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Audience: Young Adult

**2.5 stars**

Before you gasp over my low rating, do take time to understand that I didn't hate Alyce or anything as drastic as that. It simply wasn't my style. I've seen some brilliant, five-star reviews for this book by friends, so I've come to the conclusion that Alyce just isn't my type of novel.

A subtle retelling of the fairy tale, Cinderella, this story introduces us to Alyce and tells some about her world where her people are snubbed by the king and his line, and thus, everybody else. But this year, she is invited to the ball by King Timson, and is obliged to go. Little does she know the unexpected adventure that awaits within the royal castle walls ...

My biggest complaint would probably be that I couldn't figure out when/where Alyce was taking place. I conclude that it is fantasy, yet it did have this dystopian/sci-fi feel to me a lot of the time. There were some modern terms: "Mom" and "Dad" instead of "Mother" and "Father", and overall, some of the characters just talked like now-days teenagers (namely, one of Alyce's tutoring students). But then there were carriages and ballgowns and plows. Once, a car was mentioned, but maybe I understood it in the wrong context. And was I right in seeing something about a "steel mini skirt"?? Overall, I was just a little confused. This aspect may not bother most people ... but I just happen to have trouble with it!

It was an interesting, fun twist to Cinderella for sure. I don't want to keep sounding like I know it all here, because obviously I don't(!!!), but I felt like the story was a bit rushed/not enough in-the-moment FEELS. I know I can do that with my stories (especially when trying to stay within a word count). Or maybe that's just Sarah Scheele's style of writing, and that's completely okay of course. We all have different likes and dislikes. So yeah. I feel like Alyce was a good story overall ... fun storyline and all ... but for some reason or another, I personally just didn't connect.

Alyce didn't have any romance, until a bit of sweetness at the end. There was no violence or ghastly scenes. One conversation where a character misused God's name twice. No faith aspect to speak of.

Like I said, it was interesting. And this tale was obviously meant to have a dry humor note to it. I found myself giggling time and again at the strange, funny moments that came up. *smiles* The ending was cute. Probably those with a taste for non-romantic, unusual adventures and lots of wry humor would really enjoy this book!

So, though I didn't care for Alyce, it might be just the book for another person. I find that different readers' tastes vary so much. Some of my friends, we love a lot of the same books, but then a few here and there, we're just total opposites. In the end, you just have to try the book out for yourself and see what you think!

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