A review by paradoxically
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale


The Goose Girl is a lovely, lyrical book that is based loosely on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. I was rather surprised to find that I enjoyed it as much as I did, but I found that I couldn't put it down and raced through the pages and just lost myself in the world that the author created. The most important bits of the fairy tale are placed in the book, but enough artistic liberty was taken so that the tale seemed both fresh and new, even if one knows how it would generally go.

The beginning is a bit slow, and I found myself a bit frustrated with Ani and her struggles because she is clumsy and a bit meek and when her mother sends her off to get married (
Spoilerat the same time making her relinquish the crown for her birth country
) she hardly protests. Ani acknowledges the fact that she would obey, and dislikes that fact, and that's when you see the start of Ani's journey to find herself and find her place in the world. To evolve and stand up for herself and believe in the people around her.

And that's one of the best things in the story, Ani's personal growth. You see her go from weak and helpless to someone more self assured, filled with both purpose and direction. She doesn't learn how to fight. She doesn't try to directly go against Selia and the conspirators. But she finds strength in herself and in others that was just a joy to read.

The world in this book was lovely. Full of magic and yet ordinary at the same time. Both good and bad people--and people who are neither--fill the pages, and while you can't sympathize with the villains, you understand how the plot unfolds (well, for the main two conspirators).

Granted, a few things went a little too easily, but this book isn't particularly deep, and it doesn't have to be. Just take it at face value as a pretty, entertaining read, and that's pretty much all you need, sometimes. 4 stars.