Anne & Kristilyn’s 2013 Book Bingo Reading Challenge – Update 1

In January I decided to take part in the 2013 Bingo Reading Challenge which is hosted over at Reading In Winter.

This is the first update in the challenge! You can see my scorecard below…

As you can see I’ve got the whole top line filled and have started on the second! Here are my reads:

Read 2 books from your TBR pile

Beauty by Robin McKinley has been in my TBR pile for years! I finally got around to reading it in January. My review is here.

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris is a library book that I’ve had for a year now! I finally read it this month and the review is here.

Read 2 books that are part of a series


Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is a part of one of my favourite series, True Blood. It was actually a re-read as well as I’ve read this series a few times!

Marked by PC and Kristen Cast is a book I’d been wanted to try for a while. It’s from the House of Night series which I am now desperate to read. The review is here.

Read 1 book that is released in 2013

Splintered by A.G. Howard was on my list of 2013 debuts I needed to read and my spring to-read list. My review is here.

Read 1 book everyone but you has read

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is a must read for all vegans and a book that it seemed every vegan in the world has read. I finally finished my copy this month and enjoyed it a lot. My review is here.

Re-read 1 book

Living Dead In Dallas by Charlaine Harris is the second in the True Blood series. As above, I love this series!

Are you taking part in this challenge? I’m looking for a recommendation for the middle square which is a book chosen by another participant or a genre chosen by another participant!

Review – Beauty by Robin McKinley

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“Cannot a Beast be tamed?”

Beauty, believing herself plain and awkward, loves roses. But when her father goes travelling and plucks just one magnificent, crimson rosebud from the garden of a magical castle, a fearsome Beast demands revenge. Either Beauty’s father must forfeit his life – or his daughter must promise to live with the Beast for ever.

A captivating retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast from a Newbery Medal-winning author.

Hunting through my shelves for the next book to read I came across a novel that has been on there for a year (or more). I actually remember starting this novel and then putting it down and starting something else. I now have no idea why I did such a thing! My mum gave me this book to read because I’m such a huge fan of Wicked and Gregory Maguire and a fan of fairy tales in general. Beauty and the Beast is also one of my all-time favourite Disney films (after the Lion King of course!).

The story starts off with not a lot in common with the original tale at all (which might be where I went wrong the first time I read it). Beauty lives with quite a well off family in the city and has a wonderful life. It’s when the family lose everything they own that they have to sell the house and move to a little village in the middle of nowhere that is on the outskirts of a magical forest. Here she lives a good life too but has to put up with certain changes such as working harder and losing her beloved library of books. Unlike in the original story, Beauty has some lovely sisters and a wholesome family. This makes it ultimately harder to choose to go to the Beast. Once the Beast appears the story is very similar to the original and just as captivating.

Once I’d got through the first few chapters I sped through this book. It’s a lot more realistic than the original story and Beauty is a character who is easy to relate to. Her growing up throughout the novel is something that is not as prominent in the original story or the Disney adaptation. This is what would make this book so popular to the young teenage girl audience and I wish I’d discovered it while I was still at high school. As it was though I adored this book and would recommend it to anybody else who loves their fairy tales.

After looking at the Robin McKinley website (here) I really want to read Sunshine and Pegasus so I will be hunting those two down!

Have you ever read a Robin McKinley novel? How do you feel about retellings of fairy tales?