Book Note: Outlawed by Anna North
Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

Book Note: A Spindle Splintered by Alix Harrow

In that moment he reminds me of Charm’s parents, or maybe my own: A person whole love is a burdensome thing, a weight dragging always at your ankles. 

Spindle splinteredI absolutely loved Alix E. Harrow’s books The Ten Thousand Doors of January and The Once and Future Witches. So I was excited to read her novella A Spindle Splintered.

This is a contemporary retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Zinnia is terminally ill, struggling with a rare condition that affected her after industrial pollution infiltrated the town she grew up in. No one else who contracted the condition has lived past 21, so her twenty-first birthday is a big deal: it’ll likely be her last.

In an attempt to live as much of her life as possible, Zinnia’s already completed her college education, majoring in folklore, and she’s obsessed with the Sleeping Beauty tale. So, to celebrate her birthday, her friend Charm finds an actual spinning wheel for part of the party decorations. When the party’s about to end, Zinnia spins the wheel—and is shuttled into an alternate universe, where a real-life princess is under a spell that matches the Sleeping Beauty curse.

How Zinnia, Charm, and Primrose manage to escape (or not) their fates is the bulk of the story.

While I loved reading this story, I wanted it to be more. It felt very much like a novella, in fact: a complete story, but not...not textured enough. A bit more shallow than her other works. Or, to look at it a different way: it’s a fun book, but I wanted it to have more substance.

But I’m still glad I read it because it was a puzzle piece for me. That quote I opened with: burdensome love that drags around your ankles. I’ve felt that about other people in my life, but I never really realized that *I* am that weight to someone else in my life. Reading those words didn’t take that realization away, nor did it fix an of this issue I’m struggling with, but it gave me a frame of reference. Word for the experience.

Which is all part of the magic of reading. 


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