Monday, April 27, 2009

The Goose Girl

Author Shannon Hale and in particular her book The Goose Girl is one of my first blogging finds. I don't think I would have ever heard of her if I hadn't started blogging. This is one of the aspects I really appreciate about our community!

So I've been wanting to read this for over a year, I think, and it's been sittting on my shelf for about 6 months. I picked it up now for Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge.

I'm disappointed that I didn't love it. I liked it but there were so many fantastic reviews that I so wanted to love it! I wanted it to be one of those books that engrossed me completely, I wanted to read it and forget our world and become part of the story. For whatever reason - and it may well be that I have some big stuff distracting me at the moment - this didn't happen. Well, maybe until the last third of the book - I didn't really want to put it down then.

I guess I should be happy that I really liked it, rather than upset that I didn't love it, but hey, that's what happens when you have too many expectations!

The Goose Girl is a fairy tale about Princess Ani who has led a sheltered life and is forced to grow up very quickly when certain events come to be. She has to learn to be independent, she has to deal with her friends betraying her and she has to learn who she really is, aside from her background and her title. And it's not like she fits in where she ends up - she looks different than the others, has serious secrets and can communicate with animals... it's certainly not easy but she gets through it and comes out a winner.

The tone of the book is completely magical. I'd start reading and feel all warm inside. The characters are great and the story has some nice twists that keep it interesting. Most interesting is Ani's coming-of-age journey of self-discovery. She does it so well too - she has the perfect balance of confidence and strength and self-doubt. I think her thinking process is beautifully captured.

I'll definitely try another Shannon Hale book, her writing is superb - any thoughts on which one I should get next?

Challenges: 999 Challenge, Countdown Challenge, New Authors, Once Upon A Time, What's in a Name?, Young Adult Challenge, YA Romance


Thoughts of Joy said...

Fairy tales are not my preference, so I was really surprised when I actually thought it was very good (4/5). I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, too. I also read A Book of a Thousand Days, but didn't like it as much.

joanna said...

Hi Joy - wow, 4/5 from you IS very good! :-) Yes, I've heard of Book of a Thousand Days and am wondering about it... I'll probably end up getting it anyway! :-o

Ana S. said...

Expectations can really do us in! Sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as you were hoping to. The next one in the series, Enna Burning, is actually completely different, so maybe you could try that!

joanna said...

Nymeth - Enna Burning it is, thanks!