Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Entwined - Heather Dixon In this retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Princess Azalea and her eleven sisters are in mourning after the loss of their mother, who died after giving birth to the twelfth princess, Lily. Locked up inside their home and pushed away by their father at a time when they need each other the most, the girls are miserable... until they discover a magic passageway that leads to a land of silver and beauty. The Keeper, the man that is trapped there, extends an invitation to the girls, allowing them to come back every night and dance their troubles away. Such an offer comes at a price and Azalea must find a way to put an end to the Keeper before he hurts her loved ones.For having such a large cast, you would think it would be easy to start mixing up characters and be unable to remember who is who and who likes what. Wrong! Each and every one of the twelve princesses has their own traits and makes it easier to remember who is who. I certainly never mixed up Jessamine, the princess that rarely speaks, with Ivy, who loves to eat Personally, my favorites were Delphinium and Bramble. Girls with a flair for the dramatic (the right kind, the kind that does not irritate me) are so much fun and yet so hard to find. Well, Bramble is more enthusiastic than dramatic, but it's close enough. I love them both.The writing flowed so well and more than a few times, it was. It brought to mind the Theatre Illuminata series by Lisa Mantchev, which is the absolute best thing it could do because I love that series to death and beyond. Here's one little snippet that made me giggle:"Is d-dancing allowed?" Clover stammered.Azalea bit her lip and turned her head away."Oooh!" Delphinium lifted a dainty hand to her forehead, closed her eyes, and fell back onto the wood floor. Thum-thump thump.She lay on the floor, unmoving."Oh, get up, Delphi," said Bramble. "When people really faint, they bang their heads up on the floor. It's very unromantic.There's the strangest similarity between the Keeper, a pretty creepy man I had fun reading about and whose twist I saw coming but OH WELL, and the lead love interests in many currently popular YA paranormal romance books (none of whom shall be named because we know who they are). If I had to compare how certain YA "heroes" act toward their leading ladies and how the Keeper treats Azalea, I would have to say they're almost alike. The difference? The Keeper is the antagonist, not a love interest. What does that say for the state of some of the love interests in YA right now? Not a lot of good, I'll tell you.Okay, I admit, that was a very cheap shot. I'm full of them today.Yes, Entwined had a few issues. It develops slowly and the little bits and pieces that are given out at a time might not be enough to keep all readers invested. Heck, I was loving each and every page and even I had trouble keeping my attention on it sometimes! (Okay, maybe that was because I was watching InuYasha while reading.) Anyone looking for an actiony book that moves quickly will be pretty disappointed. I should take a star off for it. Will I? No! I am so in love with this lovely, lovely book that it gets its lost star back. It has inspired me to happily squee and as regular friends and readers of mine might now, I AM NOT SO EASILY INSPIRED TO HAPPILY SQUEE OVER BOOKS (unless kittens are involved).Bonus, but did you know that this author is awesome? Because she is. I found her blog when I was looking to see if she was busy writing away on any other books at this time (and woe, I do not think she is) and she's so funny! Like the little comic strips that show up and how back in March 2011 when her book first came out, she had a giveaway of her book where you entered by coloring in one of three pictures in any medium you wanted and sending it in. This was one of said pictures:I will not lie: I laughed. I laughed and said, "Oh, that is so Bramble." Fans of fluffy novels so adorable that you start squealing, "This is so effing cute!" (which I have been doing since before I even finished the book) need not look any further. Here is your next read.