Mini Reviews: Spinning Silver, We Regret To Inform You

Happy Friday friends! As this blog posts publishes, I’m on my way back home from Scotland, yay!

So, aerm, beware. I’ll probably spend my weekend flooding your blogs with love again.

Today, I’m back with some mini-reviews for some of my latest reads… One pretty unpopular opinion of a fantasy/retelling (insert sad smiley face here) ; one contemporary, sweet and fun read I appreciated so much. Let’s get to it! I tried to do mini-reviews, but you know me, I talk too much, so… #oops.

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

The biggest thanks to Penguin Random House International for the e-ARCs of these books. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and ratings.

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

Naomi Novik is pretty popular around the blogosphere and her other book, Uprooted, has been around a little while ago and gathering so many great reviews. Spinning Silver, a loose retelling of Rumplestillskin, seemed to have the same effect on people. Naturally, I was nervous to get into this story and… I’m sad to say some elements did not work out for me.

If there is something I can admit here, it’s that Naomi Novik writes like you would write a fairytale – somehow, her writing reminded me of these kind of stories. It had a slow rhythm, an interesting world-building at times. Yet, it did not manage to captive me as much as it did for others: somehow, I felt disconnected from the beginning to the end of the story, which prevented me from falling head over heels with it like others did.

The characters though were one good element here: I really liked their determination, I loved the siblings dynamics and the family dynamics we could explore as well. Told from multiple POV, I had a bit of a hard time when the POV changed in the middle of a chapter and did not know who it was until a couple of paragraphs in.

Overall, Spinning Silver was not a bad story, but for me, it felt like a long, slow and sometimes confusing read. Yet, with all the positive reviews out there, I think it’s just a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” and that so many people could, would and will really love this fairy-tale, atmospheric wintery story.

My rating : 3 drops !

Trigger warnings: parental abuse and violence, alcoholism, death of children (babies), murder, violence, anti-semitism, mention of past rape.


We Regret To Inform You, Ariel Kaplangoodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

We Regret To Inform You was a book I was eagerly anticipating, because I had this feeling. You know, the one you have for a book you know youโ€™ll enjoy. Iโ€™m really happy to say that, I was right.

Sweet, fun, entertaining, We Regret To Inform You was, for me, a bingeable kind of read. With the main topic of it being about a teenager not getting into the college of her choice, it really emphasized the process of getting into college at all in the United States. Being French, I never had to go through this stressful, complicated process with university applications (it is very different here from the US), so it was a really interesting discovery, too. You know me, I love books dealing with school and pressure.

Our main character really wants to be the perfect, straight A, Harvard and every Ivy-League school material and has worked, with her single momโ€™s encouragement, towards it her entire life (almost). I really empathized with her struggles as everything goes the wrong way for her and was rooting for her right from the start, too. Her narration, sarcastic, funny, bold, was really good to read. This book also got its share of good side-characters, from the best friend (who is bisexual, yay!) to the group of girls hackers (yay!).

Overall, We Regret To Inform You was a fun read, yet dealing with important topics such as the difference between who you are and the face you show to the world, school pressure. I’d definitely recommend it!

My rating : 4 drops!

Trigger warnings: panic attacks.

Did you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read them?

Did you read Naomi Novik’s Uprooted? What did you think of it?

Let’s chat in comments! ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. ๐Ÿ“š |๐ŸŒ | ๐Ÿ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

64 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Spinning Silver, We Regret To Inform You

  1. I didn’t know why I haven’t read Uprooted yet it has been on my shelf for years! Gah I think I need to move it up!! I Regret to Inform You sounds great!! I love sarcastic narration, and girl hackers? YES COUNT ME IN!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you’ll love Uprooted, I’ve heard great things about this book from … well, everyone haha ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, We Regret To Inform You was such a fun read, I hope you’ll give it a try ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in the middle of Spinning Silver right now and it’s definitely taken me a while to get used to all of the POV changes. It doesn’t help that Novik introduces new ones every now and then too. The story is slow but I don’t feel bored by that which is kind of weird, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh well that’s fantastic if you aren’t bored! The rhythm is a bit slow and I think, unfortunately, that’s why I wasn’t captivated by it all :/ I’m glad you’re enjoying it though, hope you’ll love it until the end ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you had an amazing time in Scotland! I’ve been loving the photos on Insta. I worked in Edinburgh for the festival the summer after I graduated and its one of the best things I’ve ever done. On one of my only days off the whole month I walked up Arthur’s Seat by myself and it felt just fantastic. It took me like a month to recover, haha.

    I think that fairy tale retellings are tough to pull off. If they’re done right then reading them is amazing (thinking of Marissa Meyer obvs), but when they’re even a little bit weak with the familiarity the story already has it falls flat.

    I love the sound of We Regret To Inform You. I think stories about kids failing to get what they want but being okay regardless are so important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much, I had a fantastic time – I’m really sad to already be back to reality, haha. Edinburgh is so pretty, even if it was rainy and cold, it was gorgeous and I loved it. It was very busy with the festival though haha ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yeah I think so – I wasn’t too familiar with the story altogether though, and the writing just failed at captivating me. It was a bit slow and I felt, disconnected the whole time. I’m certain it works out well for other people, as this book got TONS of praise from everyone else…. it’s just a case of, “it’s not you, it’s me” here, I think ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      These stories are SO important, yes and I loved that it tackled that difficult topic well. I hope you’ll want to give it a try someday, it was such a quick read, too ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment โค โค โค

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Aww, I am kinda sad you didn’t enjoy Spinning Silver as much you probably should have. I loved it because I guess, in a way, I was prepared for the long haul. Uprooted has a sort of atmospheric but admittedly meandering writing but for me, it worked. Maybe for you, it didn’t. Oh well. Also, I didn’t know anything about the second book, now I am intrigued. โ˜บ๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like it’s just a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” here. So many people loved Uprooted and Spinning Silver, I feel like the writing style just didn’t work out for me in a way and I didn’t feel captivated by it all. I’m sad about it, but I guess we can’t all love the same things ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m happy it worked out well for you though ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for stopping by! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was such a good book, I loved it – and yes, I feel like a lot of young adults could relate to it. I hope it will have success ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Angela! โค

      Like

  5. I’m sad to hear you didn’t like Spinning Silver; I have both that and Uprooted out from the library right now. I tried to start Uprooted but I felt the same thing you did about being kind of disconnected from the story, so I’m not sure if I’ll finish it. There’s just something about her writing style that makes the story seem really slow. I also just got an eARC of We Regret to Inform You, which I’ve been super excited about, so I’m happy to hear you liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so happy you feel the same way about her writing, I feel like a bit of a black sheep here, especially with everyone praising her books so much. I somehow felt too disconnected from it all at times, while at some other times, when action picked up a bit, I was into it a bit more. It makes me a bit sad, but I guess books can’t be for everyone ๐Ÿ™‚
      OHHHH yay I’m so glad to hear that – I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, I hope you’ll enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you so much for your comment, Mel! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Confession, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Novik’s Uprooted book. I thought the writing was beautiful, but it also was too flowery in some places so I felt like the big dramatic moments of anticipation were halted by the writing and ultimately lost its tension. That’s why I am nervous about Spinning Silver. I do like that the characters are multi-dimensional though.
    I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be trying to find a placement at university in the States. I mean, the cost of it alone is daunting enough. I love that this book seems to do a good job of balancing the light-hearted moments with the serious moments. That sounds like my kind of book.
    Hope you enjoyed your Scottish adventure. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m glad that I am not the only one feeling this way. It made me a bit sad, given how much praise there is around the blogosphere for Novik’s books ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I hope you’ll give Spinning Silver a try though and that you will enjoy it a bit more than I did ๐Ÿ™‚

      I can’t imagine either, this book opened my eyes a little bit on the process and I’ve always been curious about it. University here is so different haha. I hope you’ll want to give that one a try and that you will enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you so much!! I had an amazing time, so sad to be back haha.
      Thank you! โค โค

      Like

  7. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Spinning Silver as much as you hoped. I actually loved it despite the slow pacing. I also enjoyed Unrooted but it’s also a slow read. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a shot.

    Great mini reviews btw! I hope you had a great time in Scotland! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fantastic reviews (as always), Marie! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’— I’m sorry that Spinning Silver wasn’t the best read for you, but I’m glad you liked We Regret to Inform You! It sounds a YA contemporary I would enjoy, because I can definitely relate to the stresses and pressures of the college application process here in the US, haha. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ (In fact, I’m going through it right now, since I’m in my senior year of high school! ๐Ÿ˜…)

    Welcome back from Scotland! I hope you had an amazing time on your vacation; all of the photos you posted on Instagram and Twitter looked so cool. ๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so, so much Dezzy! โค โค
      I'm sorry to hear you're going through that process right now, it seems so complicated and… kind of draining, too? I feel like here in France it's not that complicated, or maybe it just wasn't for me haha. Fingers crossed everything goes well for you!! โค โค And I hope you'll want to give this book a try, it was such a lovely read ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thank you SO much! I had an amazing time there โค โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  9. oh noo I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Spinning Silver as much as you wanted to!! I’ve been seeing A LOT of hype for that book, so it’s way up there on my TBR. but as with all hyped books, I’m a lil hesitant to read :”) buuut after all, I love, love, love fairy tale retellings so I’ll probably still end up reading it. fingers crossed that you adore your next read! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no please don’t let my review prevent you from reading it! I’m a bit of a black sheep here, so many people have been loving this book and who knows, you might too, especially if you love retellings like these ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Hannah โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This was my first Kaplan book, but I really enjoyed it – I might have to check out her other book – or books? ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m so happy you enjoyed this one just as much ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so sorry you didn’t love Spinning Silver. I also struggled a bit with few of the narrative such as Wanda’s brother and didn’t get into the first page onwards but it really won me over and I was in love by the end of it! But I completely understand where you’re coming from.
    We Regret to Inform You sounds great! I was also the kind of straight A’s student who didn’t get into the place I wanted (but it worked out well for me, no regrets) so I think I can really relate to it. Thanks for introducing me to this book, Marie! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d never heard any other blogger talk about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so happy to hear that – I feel like I’m kind of the black sheep here, everyone has been loving this book and I’m glad they all do ๐Ÿ˜€ It was an interesting story, I just… I don’t know, I couldn’t quite get into it :/

      Oh that’s so great – I hope you’ll want to give We Regret To Inform You a try sometime soon then ๐Ÿ˜€ It was such a fun read ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment and for stopping by! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

    1. CONTEMPORARIES FOREVER ๐Ÿ˜‚โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™ˆ I love how much you love the genre, just as much as I do haha.
      I can’t wait for you to read it, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment โค

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ohhh definitely adding We Regret To Inform You to my tbr! Sounds like my cup of tea ๐Ÿ˜€ Sorry to hear you didn’t like Spinning Silver Marie! I had similar problems with Uprooted, so I don’t think I’ll give Spinning Silver a try. It sounds like this author is just not for me. Great reviews though! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHH this makes me SO happy. It was such a fun read, I have a feeling you’d enjoy it – and I really hope I’m not wrong about this haha ๐Ÿ˜€
      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one having issues with that author, I felt alone for a second there ๐Ÿ™ˆ
      Thank you so much!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great reviews for both of these books Marie. ๐Ÿ™‚ I havenโ€™t read We Regret to Inform you (Iโ€™m glad you enjoyed that one though) but I have read Spinning Silver and Iโ€™m sorry that one wasnโ€™t as good for you. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    Still I think three stars is a decent overall rating, and I guess in books and with authors who write the way Naomi Novik does there are always going to be some readers who donโ€™t connect with the story or the world right? Spinning Silver is a beautiful story but it takes a while to get into it and for the story to get moving doesnโ€™t it? Have you read her other book, Uprooted? Part of me thinks I can remember seeing a review for it on your blog but Iโ€™m probably wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Great reviews for both of these books. Also welcome back! I hope you had a brilliant holiday as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was still an enjoyable read overall – there were moments where action was there and I got really into the book, but others were it felt too slow and failed at holding my attention :/ I feel like, like you said, the author has a writing style that either works or doesn’t work for people.
      I haven’t read Uprooted, but I’m not sure I’ll give it a try, I’m not in a rush to read more from her, I’ll admit it. I think you loved it though, didn’t you? ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thank you so much, Beth! I had a fantastic holiday – I miss it already haha. โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah there are books like that every now and again. I’ve probably read a few myself. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Maybe one day you’ll be in the mood for her writing, and then you know you’ll have Uprooted you can pick up, but given what you’ve said about Spinning Silver I wouldn’t say I’d recommend it to you or anything.
        That’s all right! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Great reviews, Marie โค๏ธ

    I have not yet read Uprooted, but I’ve heard it’s really good! I’m not too sure if it’s up my alley since I’m not the biggest fantasy/retelling fan. I’m sad to hear you didn’t like Spinning Silver since it sounds like something that you’d really enjoy. I’m sorry you didn’t connect and I understand the โ€œitโ€™s not you, itโ€™s meโ€ feeling you sometimes get from reading a book!

    I’m happy to hear you liked We Regret To Inform You – it sounds way more like my type of read! I love sarcastic and funny characters and I love when a book has fleshed out side characters, also yay for great diversity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Michelle! โค โค
      I was a bit sad that I didn't love Spinning Silver as much as everyone else did – I feel like the writing wasn't for me and unfortunately failed at holding my attention for too long :/ If you're not the biggest fantasy fan, I don't think I'll recommend it – I'd definitely recommend We Regret To Inform You though!!
      It was such a sweet and fun read – I hope you'll read and love it ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I just discovered We Regret to Inform You today and I thought it sounded like it would be a great read. I am so happy that you enjoyed it. Spinning Silver is one that I have had my eye on, but I have been on the fence about it. Maybe I will wait until the hype fades away a little. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhhh this makes me really happy – I hope you’ll be able to give it a try at some point, it was such a fun read ๐Ÿ˜€
      I guess that, if you’re not certain about Spinning Silver, the best thing to do is to wait a little bit ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค

      Like

  15. Lovely reviews, Marie and welcome back ๐Ÿ™‚ I have seen almost all the readers raving about Uprooted and when Spinning Silver came, everyone who read it had the same reaction. I am sorry that you didn’t like it that much I have added them to my TBR. Hope to read them someday ๐Ÿ˜€

    We Regret to Inform You wasn’t on my radar till now, but you are an evil who keep on increasing my TBR ๐Ÿ˜› Hope to read it soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sim! ๐Ÿ˜€
      I hope you’ll love Uprooted and Spinning Silver, just like everyone else did, I feel like I’m just one of the rare people that didn’t manage to get swept away by the storytelling, unfortunately ๐Ÿ˜ญ hopefully it will work out well for you! ๐Ÿ˜€

      AHHHH. I am SO evil hahaha I’m so sorry haha. I hope you’ll read it and will love it, it’s such a fun read ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m sorry Spinning Silver didn’t work for you ๐Ÿ˜ข I’ll read it soon and see what I think as I haven’t read Uprooted either yet. We Regret to Inform You sounds really great, I love everything about overachievers and girl hackers yaay! Sounds amazing!
    Lovely reviews, Marie! โค๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope you will love it more than I did – it worked out for A LOT of people, I feel like my opinion is pretty unpopular. I hope you’ll enjoy it ๐Ÿ˜€
      and yay, We Regret To Inform You was such a great read, I hope you’ll give it a try sometime ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much, Marta!! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great reviews Marie! Love Naomi Novikโ€˜s Temeraire series. I still need to finish the last two. Spinning Silver is on my TBR, it hasnโ€™t been shouting read me!
    I Regret to Inform You sounds like a fun, yet insightful read. I love when an author fleshes out the side characters. Make the reading even more enjoyable. โค๏ธ Put the book on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dani! โค I hope you'll enjoy Spinning Silver, whenever you can get around to reading it ๐Ÿ™‚
      YES exactly, it was such a fun and insightful read, definitely want to read more from the author now. I hope you'll give this one a try ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค

      Like

  18. I had quite a lot of fun reading these mini-reviews! They are condensed but very interesting and give us the gist of your opinion, reading the book ๐Ÿ™Œ

    I donโ€™t know if itโ€™s your reviewsโ€™ doing or if itโ€™s just my taste in stories in general but Iโ€™m much more interested by the plot of We Regret To Inform You than by the plot of Spinning Silver. And Iโ€™m glad to see you enjoyed it. I might add it to my TBR now and be judged by the Moutain of books beside my bed, THANKS MARIE. Canโ€™t wait to see what you read next! ๐Ÿ˜˜โœจ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much, I’m so happy you enjoyed reading this โค
      It also makes me happy to hear you're enjoying We Regret To Inform You 's plot, it means you have the same books taste than me haha ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you'll be able to read it at some point, it was a fun, quick read for sure ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for the love, you're the sweetest โค

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh no I’m so sad to hear that you didn’t enjoy Spinnign Silver, because I’ve been unsure about this book for a while myself ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I highly disliked her first book, but I wanted to give Naomi Novik a second chance, even though I’m nervous that this author might not be for me ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I do think I’ll wait a bit longer to decide if I really want to read this book.
    However, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed We Regret to Inform you, because it sounds really good ๐Ÿ™‚
    Fantastic Reviews as always ๐Ÿ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH no ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m sorry you didn’t love the author’s first book. I feel like her books and especially her writing, are either a hit or miss? I think, in your case, waiting might be best to see if you’re still interested in it all a couple weeks later ๐Ÿ™‚
      yay! We Regret To Inform You was such a fantastic book, I loved it SO much. I hope you’ll give it a try someday ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค โค

      Like

  20. I actually haven’t read anything by Naomi Novik before but I do see her books everywhere and reviews all over the blogsphere like you mentioned! I own Uprooted and hopefully can read it this year. I’m sorry you didn’t connect to the story though ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It Sounds like We Regret to Inform You was worth the wait! It sounds like a fun book – not sure if it’s for me but I am glad you loved it ^.^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like everyone loves Naomi Novik’s books so much, I am a bit of a black sheep here haha. I hope you’ll love Uprooted when you can read it! ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Olivia! โค

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh no! Iโ€™m so sorry Spinning Silver didnโ€™t work for you! I still want to try it but it does intimidate me! Iโ€™m so glad that you liked We Regret to Inform You! It sounds very promising! Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

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