Saturday, March 2, 2013

"The Grimm Chronicles" Review

The Grimm Chronicles Vol. 1The Grimm Chronicles Vol. 1 by Isabella Fontaine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the past several months, I have read several books based on fairy tales.  While I am not an true fan of fantasy fiction, I have often been pleasantly surprised at the ingenuity of fiction based on Grimm fairy tales on the like.  And this is another such book that puts forth a similar idea--what if the Grimm fairy tales were real?  What is the Grimm brothers had magic?  The premise of the book is intriguing.  The actual writing of the book, the characterization, and even the details in the book are quite interesting and well-written.  For this, I commend the author.

I have to admit that some things in this book give me pause, and I have to be somewhat critical because this is put forth as a young adult book.  I come in contact with young adults as I teach on a regular basis, and before long, my daughter will be one.  I feel that if a book is marketed as a young adult book, it should teach appropriate young adult lessons and contain appropriate words and scenes for young adults.   If any negative messages are introduced, I believe it is imperative to show these negative behaviors for what they are.

I don't wish to be critical in any way, but I have to admit that I was somewhat concerned with the language used by the characters.  I always find it ironic when young adult books contain words that most teenagers are not supposed to use in high schools most places.  But I can excuse the language.  I am pleased that there are no bedroom scenes, however, I was quite concerned in the first story when it was assumed that the main character would do it and was even expected to do it.  The outcome of that story was what concerned me most since it had all sorts of somewhat graphic violence.  I understand the reason for the violence, but I would not want my daughter reading this as a teenager.  I didn't feel that all the detail was necessary.  And the fairy tale characters are so frighteningly evil and "crazy," that I felt it was just too much for a young adult novel--especially a fantasy.  One other thing that concerned me was the underage drinking.  I don't know why the message of avoiding alcohol and drugs was not more srongly encouraged.  I didn't see too many consequences for these individuals involved.

Now, don't get me wrong.  The book is fine, and for many young adults, this would not be an issue.  Most parents would figure that I am going to a ridiculous extreme.  I know my standards are high, but I struggled to find any redeeming messages in the book.  And perhaps that was the wrong thing to consider, but it is just my opinion.  I would say that if you are a die-hard fantasy novel fan, this may be just the book for you.  My opinion is just that.  And maybe I will enjoy the second installment of this series even more.  I have to admit that I like Briar!  He gave a good comic relief, and he was quite a character.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews


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