The Reading Obsession

Reviews of Fiction Books: Everything from Young Adult Romance to Crime Thrillers

A Tale Dark & Grimm - Adam Gidwitz A delightful and thoroughly entertaining tale, A Tale Dark & Grimm takes elements from the original Brothers Grimm book and adds a new spin. The book is a collection of bloody yet charming stories that follow the adventures of Hansel and Gretel. Yes, that Hansel and Gretel. The ones that pushed a witch into the oven. That story isn't where tale ends, or even begins, though.The books opens before their birth. The book talks about how their parents met and how they averted tragedy. After those two or three chapters, it starts talking about Hansel and Gretel.I don't know about you, but I never liked the story of Hansel and Gretel. It wasn't because it was violent. I think it was because Hansel and Gretel seemed so idiotic. I mean, if you walk into the woods and find a house made out of candy, are you really going to start eating. Seriously, think of all those germs! And yes, I was a strange child, caring about mud and dirt on clothes. I didn't even like sweets.Before I give you an entire essay about how weird I was a kid, and how crazy I still am, I should probably start talking about the book.Hansel and Gretel started as naive little children. Their parents were the king and queen of the Land of Grimm. One day, the king and queen had to cut off their heads to bring someone back to life. Yeah, just casually take an ax and chop off the heads of their only children. No biggie.Around five minutes later, after they brought said dead person back to life, he tells them that Hansel and Gretel can come back to life. This was the part where I was reminded of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess, because three people came back to life in the first part of the book.Naturally, Hansel and Gretel were a bit pissed at their parents for killing them. Just a little. Not enough to- you know- run away into the scary world filled with murderers and thieves and cannibals and- most important- germs. Oh wait. Never mind. They did run away. And thus begins the start of their adventures to find good parents, and later on- yeah, I'm not telling you people. Find it out yourselves. And read the book.I really liked how there was so much character growth to Hansel and Gretel. They started out as childish children and ended up as mature children. The changes in the characters were slow, and I didn't even realize it was happening until the book ended. So I did what anyone else would do: I reread the book and completely psycho-analyzed it. I'm talking about sticky notes filled with every little detail of what the author chose could possibly mean.Talking about Adam Gidwitz, there is a lot of commentary in this book. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but then decided it added on to the story. Gidwitz is basically talking to the audience throughout the entire story. So, 7th grade Language Arts teacher who told me I couldn't talk to the audience, I prove you wrong.My favorite parts of the story were probably all of the bloody and gruesome parts. I mean- the message. Totally the message of courage. Not the wonderful killing parts. Because that would be weird. And I am most certainly not weird. I'm the normal-est person ever.Basically, read this book. It's really, really good.Now, some of my favorite quotes:“You see, to find the brightest wisdom one must pass through the darkest zones. And through the darkest zones there can be no guide. No guide, that is, but courage” “Once upon a time, fairy tales were AWESOME!”  “You see, Hansel and Gretel don’t just show up at the end of this story.They show up.And then they get their heads cut off.Just thought you’d like to know.”  Seriously, go get this book.

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