So for this book tour I’m in I was given 4 books to read and review: 3 short stories by Heidi Garrett; The Girl who Watched for Elves, The Girl who Dreamed of Red Shoes and The Girl who Couldn’t Sing all of which are preludes to Beautiful Beautiful.
The Girl who Watched for Elves. ★★★★
Synopsis: Do you believe in fairy tales? One afternoon, a young woman visits a tarot reader. When he interprets the images in a twenty-card spread, she begins to understand her past, present, and future, in a new way. Follow her transformational journey as she rediscovers a sense of life’s magic.
I’d put this somewhere between the contemporary and fairytale genre. It’s a lovely little quick read, where the ‘young woman’ looks back over her childhood and tries to interpret it differently. I definitely think this would have a made a good opening to a longer novel, because it seems like she’s found a new objective, which could have made a good story.
I didn’t really like that it was 3rd person but not in the usual way, I think it’s easier to understand ‘she’ than ‘the girl’ but that’s just a personal preference.
Overall, 4 stars from me, would recommend if you have a bit of free time.
The Girl who Dreamed of red Shoes ★★★★
Synopsis: When she listens to the cantadora tell an old fairy tale, her life changes. Disconnected from her spirit, a young woman lives a life of longing. She feeds herself reckless amounts of doughnuts and candy, but there’s never enough to fill the void inside her. What will? She comes across an audiobook exploring an old fairy tale, and can’t resist buying it. When she gets home, and listens to the story of The Red Shoes, the threshold between her dreams and daydreams begin to blur…
A weird coincidence that my Grandma and I were talking about the story with the girl who puts on the red shoes and then basically dances herself into oblivion, funny how that’s included in this story. I think this story is actually quite a bit darker than the first, with the ‘young woman’s’ depression and with the Red shoes story entwined, but that makes it all the nicer when she finds her sense of freedom.
Again there’s not really a name it’s all ‘young woman’, I think that as well as the way we flick between the woman’s story and the audiobook she bought, and the way we flick between past and present in the other short story defines Heidi’s quite unique way of writing.
As a whole, another 4 star review, a good book though when thinking about it it’s quite a sad little story.
The girl who couldn’t sing ★★★
Synopsis: Heather Baker struggles to find the balance between fantasy and reality in her everyday life. Enticed by Neptune, the planet that rules everything hazy and glamorous–she’s desperate to become the next indie singer/songwriter sensation. Dogged by Saturn, the planet that rules obstacles and everything practical–she’s confronted with the limitations of her abilities and talent. Which planet will win?
As a musician I’m always very interested to read a music based book, even if it’s only a short one. This book also had a lot of astrological things with ‘Neptune’ and ‘Saturn’ being mentioned a lot.
“Unfortunately her performance didn’t ascend with her climb up the vocal ladder…. Things scratched…. They squeaked.”
I can nearly feel and hear the type of music being described, the inability to sing. I could relate to that because I’m a hopeless singer, haha.
When I was in the opening chapter or two I didn’t like it that much, I just couldn’t really connect, but as I progressed through the novella I came to like it more. As she came to find herself I thought the book became better and better, especially when it reached the last chapter, it turned into a very sweet book.
I like how Heidi Garrett entwines her stories with existing fairy tales, it creates a fresh experience for the reader and makes you connect with the characters more.
And then when we get to the end and we realize why she’s never been able to sing, well I could stop myself from letting free a chuckle. After everything it was something else not her diaphragm.
Beautiful, Beautiful ★★★★★
This book I think deserves a 5 stars because of the length you really get to see more of Heidi’s unique style of writing, again incorporating fairy tales into the story. And the fact that the character’s story follows what is happening through out the story being told to Mibi, though I know that’s intentional since it’s Kerrin’s who’s telling the story of her past.
Now, I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a cover, especially one with a pretty guy on the front, so before I’d read it I was thinking I’d like the book.
One thing I don’t understand is what the connection between the three pre-novellas are to the main story, since they don’t share any characters or the plot or place etc.
“Guts like jelly”, well I’ve never heard that before, quite an amusing comparison. But it all fits in with the ‘he’s a monster’ theme.
It’s quite a short story but it seemed to go on and on, I felt like I’d spent the whole day reading it. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but let’s call it good, it prolongs the story makes you feel as if you’re more part of it.
Now, I can’t really do a review without bringing up Anthony. The hot, sexy up and coming actor, who also happens to like Kerrin. She thinks this is a dream come true, but like they say if things seem to good to be true they usually aren’t. I think that goes without saying, especially when Anthony’s character develops more and more, and we see his true personality, I’m going to tell you now, it actually quite scared me. Is this dude a psycho? Yes, I think he is, I really do, or is he just angry with the world, or possessed by his own demons? Has he become the role of what he was supposed to be acting? When we pass the half way mark I didn’t really understand why Anthony started to do what he did, though that might be because of my very bad observation.
Overall, a very dramatic book with loads of different themes incorporated into a small amount of paper, I’d recommend, and if the film Demion Glass came out I’d probably recommend that too.
The series as a whole, well the four books so far are very good and entertaining to read. I look forward to reading the other books, and seeing how Heidi can surprise me by intertwining yet another fairy tale into yet another deep, and meaningful, story!