Through the Woods: A Horror Graphic Novel


This was by far my most favorite horror graphic novel to date. Emily Carroll’s folk tales and illustrations weave a thread of anxiety and unease as you turn the pages. Some stories are definitely more frightening than others, particularly “The Nesting Place” which I made the mistake of reading just before bed. A few images could be labeled as downright grotesque, but are tame in comparison to most horror-related graphic novels. The coloring is utterly beautiful and each page is stylized to unite each story within an overall aesthetic. If you’re looking for fairy-tales gone very, very wrong you won’t be disappointed with this quick read.

Grab a copy here!



I grew up on Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid. I fell in love with the story, and I fell in love with the handsome Prince Eric.

Prince Eric

(He’s so dreamy!)


Anyway, at some point I realized that Disney had  brutally changed the story, and that it didn’t really resemble the tone of the story written by Hans Christian Andersen. Especially the ending. You see, Dear Readers, the real story doesn’t end with a happily ever after. SPOILER ALERT: The real story ends with our favorite mermaid turning into foam. Disney fooled me!!



I can’t even be bitter, because I love that movie.


Recently I read the book Inland by Kat Rosenfeld. This book is kind of the opposite of The Little Mermaid. In The Little Mermaid, a mermaid falls in love with a man and she’s willing to give up everything to be with the man she loves. Inland is the story of a girl that falls in love with the sea- she falls in love with the sea deeply and madly- in a way that is completely unhealthy. The word I use to describe Inland is insidious. This story has a creepy vibe. This book played with my mind and my emotions. This book put me in such a dark frame of mind I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone suffering from depression. On the flip side, the book takes a fearless look at a teen suffering from serious health issues with real family problems. Inland is the story of Callie Morgan, a sick girl that is bounced from doctor to doctor and hospital to hospital and when she finally begins to get better physically, she suffers emotionally and mentally. This is a dark dark story. And even though its been a few years since I was well and truly afraid of the dark, there was something so eerie about this book that I definitely kept a light on hand.

I felt like I was drowning in a sea of words by the end of this book. And all of those words were designed to mess up my mind and emotions. This book is good in the way dark chocolate is good, or bass on the radio or I guess, like the ocean. It is deep and rich in a way that spoke to some deep-seated fears I didn’t even know I had.

You MUST READ Inland by Kat Rosenfeld if you like :

H. P. Lovecraft

Stories of the Sea

Stories about Mental Illness

Stories of Sick Teens


You MUST READ The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen if you like:

Original Fairy Tales

Stories of the Sea

Love Letters


Bonus Fact: I’m told that Hans Christian Andersen wrote The Little Mermaid as a love letter to another man. He hoped his feelings might be reciprocated, but instead his love interest rejected him and got married. Don’t believe it? There’s more info on the subject here:


Thanks to for the cool Gifs!

Rule Breaker: Rump- A Fractured Fairy Tale

With Once Upon a Time getting ready to start again on Sunday, I figured this would be a good week to review a different fractured fairy tale.


I am placing Rump in the rule breaker category because it is not a teen book, it is in fact written for the 8-12 year old crowd. But, if there is something about Grimm’s Fairy Tales that you find intriguing, I would highly recommend this book. My family and I (ages 8-43) listened to it in the car and we all enjoyed it. In most version’s of the tale Rumpelstiltskin he is portrayed as an evil baby-stealing fiend. This story, however, makes you think twice about that stereotype.

It all starts with Rumpelstiltskin as a boy whose mother died in childbirth and was only able to breathe out part of his name – Rump. This name has been a burden his whole life, as other kids tease him and give him wonderful nicknames, like Butt. Rump is being raised by his wonderful grandmother and he spends most of his time trying not to be noticed by other kids. Everything changes when he accidentally stumbles upon a magic spindle that allows him to weave straw into gold. Rump sets out on a journey to learn his true name and gets wrapped in a web of magic that forces him to accept any bargain that is made. This story is wonderful and it makes you think twice about supposed villains and their intentions. It includes fun fairy tale elements like gold-loving pixies and rather nice trolls and trees with poisonous apples.

This was Liesl Shurtliff’s first novel and she said that she is looking forward to writing more fractured fairy tales and I am looking forward to reading them!