Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Horror/Fairy Tale
Release Date: 11/11/2010
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About the Book: You might think you know the tale of Hansel and Gretel, but you don't know the rule tale-the true one. The one with gore, violence, witches, devils, evil adults and bad parents, heads chopping off, and dragons. Nine interwoven short stories that tell the true story of what happened to Hansel and Gretel.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: A Tale Dark and Grimm received a lot of buzz late last year, so I was eager to check it out. The book starts out explaining that the fairy tales and stories we know are altered and that the author is going to tell us the true Grimm tales the way they were meant to be told-gory, gruesome, dark and all. And they are that-gory and dark, but they're also brilliantly woven together to tell one large story arc.
The author often interjects into the story to break up some of the tension and "scarier" parts. (But honestly, they weren't too scary-maybe for younger readers, but the author always warns the reader when this are coming-very clever!) I don't think it's anything scarier than any other horror novel for middle grade or young adult, especially if they're at all familiar with the original Grimm Fairy Tales. But even with the violence, there's also lots of snark that the author interjects into his comments which gives the book a lot of humor.
I loved the opening and was hooked from the first page. The way all the stories connect all throughout the book is fantastic. Details from one story spill into the next and everything comes together in the end to make a nice circular narrative. My only complaint was that I felt the last few stories were a bit lagging, especially the story with the dragon. I know the author was trying to pull all the stories together, but the dragon tale was my least favorite-it just didn't have the same spark or snark that the other stories had.
I still think the book is fantastic and I'm eager to read more from Adam Gidwitz! This one won't be for every reader, but for readers who like fairy tales or a good "scary" story, this would be a great read. The opening tells the reader that Hansel and Gretel get their heads chopped off in the first story and after an opening like that, you can easily sell this book to older tweens and teens! I can't wait to start booktalking it to readers-I'm sure they'll snatch it up!
Book Pairings: Coraline by Neil Gaiman, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett, Reckless by Cornelia Funke
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy