**The Actor and the Housewife-- Shannon Hale

This review was very hard for me to write, and when things are hard for me to write/digest, I turn them into an analogy. So here I go, making an analogy off the top of my head.

Imagine having a favorite brand of candy bar. Say… Mars. And you know that just about every other person in the world likes Mars, too. But then, a package arrives in your mail. AH! It’s from Mars! They want you to review their new chocolate (Yeah, I know. Great analogy). You’re so excited! You get to be one of the first to taste your FAVORITE candy distributor’s chocolate. Then you pull it out. It has nuts. Uh-oh. You’ve had a hard time with nuts. Crunchy chocolate kind of weirds you out, but you trust Mars. They’ve never let you down before. Certainly they know how to put chocolate and nuts together well.

You take a bite.

Hey. That’s pretty good. A little nutty (heh), nothing truly special, but good.

You continue to eat. And then something amazing happens:

You reach the nougat center.

WOAH! Nougat?! Where did that come from?

Flavor bursts into your mouth. Tears spring to your eyes, and you can’t stop them from falling. This is something Mars has never done before! How dare they change their recipe? And yet, at the same time, it’s the most wonderful thing you’ve ever tasted. You finish the candy bar wishing with all your heart that you could go back in time and try it again, because now, even if you have another of those candy bars, you’ll know what’s coming. It will still be beautiful, but it won’t be as beautiful.

You sit down to write your review back to Mars, but then you just start to cry again. So you decide to wait.

A week passes. You try to write the review, but instead you end up writing some mess that you hate and throw away.

Then, you decide to write an analogy. The analogy goes something like this:

Imagine having a favorite author. Say… Shannon Hale. And you know that just about every other person in the world likes Shannon Hale too. But then, a package arrives in your mail. AH! It’s from Bloombury! They want you to review Shannon’s new book….

You know what else I love about analogies? They allow you to be vague about the true meaning behind them, while actually making the meaning perfectly clear. They allow the reader to make their own interpretations.

Have fun digesting this one!

~Enna Isilee


  1. I'm excited for this one. :)

  2. Wow, I wish Bloomsbury had my address.

  3. My opinion is that at first you were disappointed. It was Shannon Hale, but... it wasn't what you expected, maybe not what you wanted. And then you discovered that it was a really good book, but... not in the regular Shannon Hale way. This makes you sad and happy at the same time that it wasn't what you expected.

    *warning, slight rambling about to take place*

    Something that I've been thinking a bit of lately is how a person's writing changes over time. Take Gail Carson Levine for example. Her first book, Ella Enchanted, won a Newberry, was fabulously popular, well received, and continues to be a well loved book. However, he writing has progressed and changed as she's continued to write books, and some people haven't been happy with that. I loved Fairest. Many people didn't, because it wasn't like Ella Enchanted. I have mixed feelings about Ever, which continues to also get mixed reviews.

    Perhaps my rambling here is just to say that sometimes, maybe even oftentimes, the best writers have writing that grows with them, and sometimes they produce books we don't expect. While it's hard to read a new book by an author you like with a fresh outlook, perhaps it's important. Sometimes our expectations of an author, of what they write, gets in the way of how good the book really is. Maybe if we just look at each new book as just that, a new book, we can appreciate them for their uniqueness and not have expectations on what they should or shouldn't be.

    Bother, I can't seem to say what I want, and this comment is practically a novel. So, um, yeah. Basically I'm totally jealous you got to read it already.

    The end.

  4. Ah. Well, I was never displeased with my chocolate bar, remember. A bit hesitant and nervous, but never displeased.

  5. Oh my GOSH I love your review so much. I cannot WAIT to read this book now! (And did you know that the original Mars Bars were absolutely delicious and had nuts AND a nougat center? I wish they still made those. You made me hungry for one!!)What a review. You're a true writer!

  6. Nice analogy. You made me hungry. :)

  7. Kimber, I don't think I've EVER had a Mars bar.

  8. I wish I could write reviews like you. That was great :)

  9. So excited now after reading this.

  10. I cannot wait for this book to come out! And I had such fun reading your analogy! :)

  11. Wow!!! So exited for you! also a little jealous, but we shall ignore that.

  12. I'll admit I was a little frustrated with this book, which I read for Amazon Vine, but I LOVE your review with its yummy analogy and poetically circular form... (I'm just not a nougat person, I suppose. I'm inflexible chocolatey.)

  13. Oops! I meant to say, inflexibly chocolatey!

  14. I'm way more excited for Forest Born, but still excited for this one as well :)

  15. I can only say this;
    I exchange my right third toe to hear more reviews that involved that much chocolate, and were written that well.

  16. Best candy analogy I've ever heard. Mummy Dear wasn't sold on it (She's not a Shaniac) until she reached the nougat. The delicious, perfect nougat.

    Oh, by the way, I'm from LRRH, not an insane lurker with a taste for chocolate.


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