The two books that I read in January were fairytales, but in two different ways.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
by Fredrick Backman
This tearjerker of a novel is about a Harry Potter loving, but lonely young girl whose wild story-telling granny (who lived an independent life asa surgeon) dies and leaves behind a series of letters. As Elsa delivers them, she learns more about her grandmother, her neighbors and life itself. This entire book is set as a hero's journey. The young girl was given a task and sets off to accomplish it. She has her own goals, there are hardships to overcome, etc.
I only was annoyed slightly by some of the constant reminders of "almost eight". The only other issue is Elsa's life feels like she is not in her generation. (She is bullied by kids constantly and no one (but Granny) makes a stink about it. Later in the book, she crosses town with a Monster and a Wurst.) However, it is set in England. Perhaps parents are allowed to helicopter a little less there, but in the US, lawsuits would be filed for the bullying or the parents might be sued for neglect. (Hence, the reason there are so many orphans in Western Literature.)
I also felt the ending felt a little too wrapped up, without spoilers, I just wished it had ended the chapter prior, but the pacing is solid. There are verses where Backman's writing is poetic. Multiple times, I felt myself tear up for Elsa--both for her anger and sorrow.
I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to seeks magic in the everyday and fans of Harry Potter.
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
by Leigh Bardugo, Sara Kipin (Illustrator)
I received the hardback Language of Thorns for Christmas. It is a gorgeous illustrated volume of short stories of new fairy tales that feel like old fairytales--full of darkness and a little creepy.
I loved this book and recommend it for any lover of fairy tales.