REVIEW: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

REVIEW: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam GidwitzA Tale Dark and Grimm (A Tale Dark and Grimm #1) by Adam Gidwitz
Published: Puffin Books (2010), Paperback, 256pg
Source: BEA 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Horror

Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Because once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome. (from Goodreads)

The problem with reading series out of order is that sometimes you like a later book more than an earlier book. And then it gets awkward! That’s what happened here, because I totally LOVED In a Glass Grimmly (so much so that I couldn’t even REVIEW IT) and I only liked A Tale Dark and Grimm.

(Just fyi, though: The series isn’t a series as in “a continuous plot from one book to the next.” So you could totally just skip around like I did anyway.)

What’s my problem with A Tale Dark and Grimm? It’s not really a PROBLEM, actually, just, well, it’s like all the good stuff in Tale was refined into something BETTER than good in Glass. Kinda like when you take a rough diamond and cut it into something fantastically sparkly. The rough diamond is still pretty cool, and it’s still worth something, but the shiny sparkly finished version is EVEN COOLER. So going from a shinypretty to a kindacool thing is gonna be disappointing to anyone, right?

I don’t know why I don’t like Tale more, though! It has all the same elements that’re in Glass: kid heroes, fairy tale elements, darkish horror elements, adventure and excitement and lots of learning about life. Theoretically, it should kick butt. Instead, I’m underwhelmed.

I think it’s because the morals were pushed SUPER HARD. Almost like they were jabbing me in the face. I think also maybe some of the darker fairy tale elements (like Gretel cutting off her finger to use as a key) weren’t mixed in as well as they are in In A Glass Grimmly. They stuck out more– more in your face HORROR than the kind of slow creeping-up-on-you stuff that’s in Glass. And I just prefer the creeping kind to the sticking-out kind, know what I mean?

That said, despite my misgivings about some aspects of A Tale Dark and Grimm, I didn’t HATE IT. Look, I rated it 3 stars and everything! If you like fairy tales and if you like children’s horror stories (like I do), you’d no doubt enjoy reading Tale. But if you liked Tale you’ll ABSOLUTELY LOVE In A Glass Grimmly. Just saying.

Read: June 22, 2013

5 thoughts on “REVIEW: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz”

  1. I’m going to read the second book first. I tried reading the first book, but couldn’t get passed the first pages. It felt like it was trying too hard to be great.

    1. There is a LOT of horror, yo. Also gory stuff. But in a fantasy kind of way? If you’ve ever read an original Grimm fairytale (like Cinderella, where the stepsisters chop bits of their feet off?), it’s sort of like that.

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