Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: Off With Her Heart: By Amy Dale

Off With Her Heart isn't a book you can buy from Amazon, but is actually being offered through my favorite crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter, by author Amy Dale. Two things caught my attention about this project. 1) The cover is gorgeous. It is simple but exactly fits the book. 2) The fact that you (almost) immediately receive the ebook if you donated at the $8 level. Usually you have to wait until a campaign ends and is successful to get a product, so it was cool to get the book whether project succeeded or not (though it has succeeded at almost 5 times it's goal). So I donated, got my book, and started reading it.

The book is about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and how she became the woman she was.  It's a fairly straightforward and increasingly common theme: the "villain" is actually a victim if you knew the character's back story. The book is a fast read; I read it in about 2 days. I believe this would classify as a YA (young adult) book due to the age of the Queen (just a teen for about 95% of the book) and the reading level. But it's entertaining enough to keep you going. I did enjoy it and seeing the history of all the characters in Wonderland develop, not just the Queen. And finding out how "a raven is like a writing desk" was a really nice inclusion.

The ending is much too rushed with getting through the arrival of Alice and the "what happened to the Queen after Alice left" taking only about 20 pages. In fact, much of the book could have been elaborated on quite a bit. I honestly don't read a lot of YA fiction, so maybe is it just the genre, but I think the book could have been much longer and much darker.

Overall, Off With Her Heart is a really good example of a YA fractured fairy tale. If you enjoy these types of stories, definitely consider supporting Amy's kickstarter project by clicking here.

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