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Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Classical Twist: Little Vampire Women by Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina, Review + CONTEST!

Hello, hello!
Welcome back to another day, another post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  The BEA event in New York is still going strong and Twitter is all a buzz with news of signings, ARCs, panel discussions...*SIGH*  If your little green eyed monster is starting to come alive at the thought of it, not to worry!  For those unable to attend the event, there is something new this year called the Armchair BEA.  Hope over to the site and join the know you want to (just wait til after the post...hehe)!  Anywho...

In the spirit of BEA, Armchair BEA and reading in general, today's post is not only a review, but a contest too!  I'll shed a little light on a recent read of my own and then you, my fair readers, get the chance to snag a copy of your own.  Sound good?  Alrighty, let's get this show on the road!  Today's featured title comes to us from the shadows of the past with a twist of current trends and still, after all is said and done, is a highly recognized title by most generations.  It's takes a little old, a little new...nothing blue, but red is surely seen.  Today's book of choice is....

Lousia May Alcott

Aw, yes..the March sisters, in all their crowning pale glory, are gathered round for the Christmas festivities.  We have the common food staples and the long desired plum pudding...and yet not a morsel of this feast is seen on the lips or plates of these young girls.  How odd!  *squeak squeak* What was that?  Oh look...a mouse!  Or perhaps I should say it WAS a mouse as it seems one of the sisters just stealthily reached out, plucked it mid-jump and drained the little critter dry.  Yep, that was unexpected...oh, wait....they are little VAMPIRE women this time around.  Never mind...TOTALLY expected. 

Here we find the March household, consisting of Marmee (their "mother"), Mr. March (their "father"), Aunt March (their feisty relative who always thinks that someone is plotting to kill her), Meg (destined to be the "belle of the ball"), Jo (first female vampire permitted to attend 'Gentleman Jackson's Preparatory Salon for the Training of Vampire Defenders'), Beth (a happy, quiet soul whose unlikely battle lies just ahead), and Amy (a tad bit vain but otherwise a self-important type of girl).  They laugh, they play, they live in society as any other citizen would....  That's right!  In this forward thinking society, vampires have "come out of the coffin" so to speak and live right alongside everyday folks just like you and me.  In fact, their next door neighbor and his grandson (Laurie, who is definitely a love interest although not exactly of whom you might think) are quite enraptured with the girls (though the grandfather was not quite as taken at first...ha ha, "taken"...he kind of is at one point, but that's a spoiler I intend to keep).  (Boy I'm using a lot of parentheses in this review....and this is another set....sorry!)

All is not well in their seemingly peaceful little town as a string of illnesses begin to creep across the land.  No worries, right?  I mean vampires are not of this world so they are immune to the ailments of the living, right?  Right?  WRONG!  In this case, perhaps dead wrong (that is if an undead person can indeed die once again of natural causes....).  The illness is quite sinister as it seems to be affecting vampires in a most peculiar way and the March family is in grave danger....on more levels than they know.  It seems that Aunt March may have been right in this case, but the who, where, and why are still to be determined.  Will the March's survive this battle against unseen foes?  Will Jo with all of her "slayer hunting" skills be able to unmask the culprits behind the grand scheme and expose the evil lurking around them before it is too late?  (dun...dun...dun...)

First things first (and no pitchforks or feathers please), I don't believe I've ever actually read the original novel.. (GASP! ShOcK! AWE!) Yes, yes, I's a classic. It's a great story although the ending more often than not from what I gather alters from what readers would expect (and kind of wanted) to happen. Thing is, I'm fairly certain I've seen at least one or two movie versions of the story...but still none in their entirety. So, why did I fancy trying this one? Well, who says you have to read the original before you read a variation?  In some cases, it just might help you enjoy the story more...I'm just sayin'. 

Speaking of "just sayin", I have to comment really quick on the cover choice for publication.  If you notice, the ARC version (as seen at the top) includes all of the March girls, even the little blond child (okay, little "woman") Amy.  The final art...we see a zoomed in portrait of the other girls sans Amy....???  If I had to guess as to the final art choice reasoning, it'd be because Amy's blond locks and impish smile seem in direct contrast to the other sisters darker beauty..but then again, that's kind of the point (it makes sense when you read the story).  Just something to ponder I suppose.... (Curious though...which one do YOU like more?)

For me, it reads like a classic, using slow diligence to build a story of substance, centered on values and morals, and starring a family that takes care of its own...only, with a twist.  It also reads like a paranormal, the vampire aspect (of course), the mysterious plotting foes, and the bloodshed (most was necessary, and not overtly graphic).  Oddly enough, it also reads as a bit of a love story...quite unexpected with the other two aspects already so closely entwined.  What does all of that boil down to?  I enjoyed the book, perhaps not as much as others I've read recently, but I can't really say anything truly negative about it.  It is what it is and a good read is certainly where I would rank it. 

This book hit store shelves a little earlier this month so you can run off and satisfy your "need to read" right after this review if you like.  Recommended reading for young adult readers all the way through your great-great-great-great-great-great (you get the point) grandparents.  Everyone will take a little something different from it (happens that way with almost every book), but I'm fairly certain that there is a character with which they will identify and the storyline is a good combination of genres that will keep a reader motivated (but be forewarned, some small parts tend to drag a little...that's the classic coming out though...they pass).

Special thanks to Karen at Linwood Publicity for the review copy.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, check out the author's site.  To learn more about the original work by Louisa May Alcott, check out the wiki page on this book or search away for many other references.  And've read the good part...let's move on to some more fun with a giveaway!  (YAY!)


Thanks to Karen at Linwood Publicity, I am able to offer YOU a chance to WIN a copy of this book for your own READING PLEASURE.  Excited?  You should be!  Mash up novels are all the rage right now, but this one sits within the realm of the Young Adult genre so it's a great introduction to possibly a new favorite genre of reading for you.  Here's the details....

The prize:

(1) copy of Little Vampire Women by Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina

How to enter:
Fill out the form HERE.
(No filled out form = no entry...SORRY!  To access the form just click on the word "here" in red above.)

For EXTRA entries:
(all are listed on the form, but just to give you a lookie)
+2 - Comment on this post
+2 - OLD Blog follower
+1 - NEW Blog follower
+2 - Follow on Twitter
+1 - Tweet about the contest
+1 - Link the contest on your blog

The rules:
*Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only!  No P. O. Boxes please.
(Following the guidelines set by our gracious provider.) If you are an international participant with a friend in US/Canada willing to forward the book on to you, you are free to enter as well.
* Entries will be accepted from Thursday, May 27th, 2010 through Saturday, June 5th, 2010 at midnight CST.  The entries will be tallied and entered into the randomizer, after which a random number will be picked by their number generator.
(This way all the entries are mixed up nicely.)
* All entries must be submitted using the form accessible through this post.  You MUST include your email address in order to be counted as well as contacted should you be chosen as the winner!
*Winners will be contacted via email by Monday, June 7th, 2010 and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.  Should they fail to respond in the given time, a new winner will be chosen.
*Winners name and address will be forwarded to Karen at Linwood Publicity for prize send out and then discarded.

Until next time...happy reading!


The1stdaughter said...

I'm actually interested in this one and some of the other remakes have really bothered me. Maybe because, I too, have not read the original??? I don't know.

As for the cover choice, I actually think I like the ARC cover better, something about it is easier on the eyes. Not so slasher like, maybe.

Anywho...great review, definitely interested in picking this one up as opposed to some of the other remakes. Thanks!

Melanie said...

Ooohhh this sounds really good. I haven't read the original either.

When I look at both covers, I think the final one is better. It caught my attention with the added red. I still love the ARC one but not as much as the other. Just my thought.

Thanks for a chance to win this! :))

Natalie said...

I haven't gotten a chance to actually read any of the mash-up novels that have been coming out recently, but they're all on my TBR list. Thanks so much for the giveaway! :)

IT Boss Lady said...

Thanks for the contest! I'm like Natalie above, I haven't had a chance to read any of the new twists. I have a couple in my TBR pile though. Can't wait to get started!

Carina said...

I haven't read any of the mashups yet, but this looks interesting!

Johnny said...

I have just finished reading Pride Prejudice and Zombies. I would love to read this mash-up. Sounds hilarious.
caliblue7 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

A mash-up of Little Women. Can't wait! I love mash-ups!
dakotasky55 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Hope to win this mash-up. I loved Little Women and will love this one too I'm sure. Thanks.
dianarod23 at gmail dot com

Tracey said...

sweet! sounds like a winner.

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I have yet to read one of these mash-up books, but maybe I'll get a chance now! :)

artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

The Social Frog said...

I've heard about this book and it really sounds interesting, I like twists on things!

Natalie W said...

So cool! Love the cover.
Great giveaway,
Natalie ;0)

Tales of Whimsy said...

Why did they cut Amy? Weird. Good question :)
(not an entry)

Sissa said...

Alrighty. I'm reading the original story right now and i'm curious to see how they would change it.

Melissa or
+2 comment
+2 old follower.

Julie P said...

I haven't tried this genre yet, but you're right--it is all the rage right now! Thanks for hosting this giveaway....

fredamans said...

This looks like a mash-up book I would really get into. Thanks for hosting this one!

Alexia561 said...

You never read Little Women as a young girl? *gasp* (jk)

Sounds like a fun one! And I agree with you that the ARC cover was better. Why remove Amy and add the blood? The ARC was definitely a better cover!

Christinabean said...

Great giveaway! Thanks for posting it!

angie said...

I would love to read this twist on an old classic. Thanks for the great giveaway!

Melissa said...

This is a great giveaway! I'm really looking forward to how they changed up Little Women. I first read it when I was 12 and of course have seen the movie reincarnation with Susan Sarandon (?), Kristin Dunst, Wynonna Ryder, etc.

I finished reading Jane Slayre recently, and I really loved it. Jane Eyre is my fave novel, and Sherri Erwin really didn't disappoint.

I heard they also have a werewolf version out of Little Women. :)

Unknown said...

This one looks good. I enjoy mash up stories.

Julie said...

I haven't read any of the "mixed up" books yet! This looks like a great one to start with!

jewell330 at aim dot com

Karoline said...

ahhhhh!! I haven't heard of this until now!!! thx for the info! I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Unknown said...

I loved Little Women and I'm really enjoying the new mash-up trend. Thanks for the great giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Now here's a book mash-up that I'd definitely read!

Gina said...

Wonderful to see the enthusiasm you guys are showing for this title! I happen to know that the author was very impressed by it as well (gotta love getting email from the author...*smile*). For those that have entered...good luck! If you know someone that hasn't but should...send 'em over. Time's a wastin'!

iheartbooks said...

I just finished reading it and it was simply AWESOME!
But i do wonder why they took out Amy...
it was a great read anyway:)

Gina said...

iheartbooks: YAY! Glad you enjoyed the book...and yes, the removal of Amy from the cover is one of those mysteries that shall remain unsolved (at least to a reader's satisfaction). Thanks for stopping by!

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