Book review by: Josie
Magic for Unlucky Girls
By: A.A Balaskovits
☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆
Rated: W for Whoa
“The fourteen fantastical stories in Magic For Unlucky Girls take the familiar tropes of fairy tales and twist them into new and surprising shapes. These unlucky girls, struggling against a society that all too often oppresses them, are forced to navigate strange worlds as they try to survive. From carnivorous husbands to a bath of lemons to whirling basements that drive people mad, these stories are about the demons that lurk in the corners and the women who refuse to submit to them, instead fighting back — sometimes with their wit, sometimes with their beauty, and sometimes with shotguns in the dead of night.” –Back cover
Being honest, this book isn’t quiet what I expected it to be. In a way, it was more and, it was less. I don’t typically read collections, but this one caught my attention one day. The description for one pulls you in, which is why I decided the quote the entirety of it word for word rather than paraphrase it.
The first story is a very interesting take of humpty dumpty- rather than have a person prone to breaking; we have a city, and a man who is unbreakable. Another story is based vaguely on Little Red Riding Hood. But rather than being saved by the huntsman, dear little Red is taken in and raised by the wolf. One other story, which I personally can’t figure out what story it’s based on, is about a father alchemist, who is determined to bring his dead wife back to life, but in turn neglects his daughter.
The array of stories leaves me in a tricky spot to write a review, so for the review I’m trying to convey how the book as a whole made me feel. Each story left me feeling a different emotion, the manner they’re written in is truly something else- and after finishing each story, I was left wanting more. Some stories left me wondering, others, left me on the verge of tears, while some- left me baffled. I overall am left feeling very neutral about this book, and am struggling to find the words to describe this book properly. One thing I have to admit, is that this book isn’t for everyone. Some stories are very dark, depressing, and gory, and in other words, certainly aren’t suitable for everyone. Most of the stories are written to reflect the original morals of fairy tales, leaning towards the Brothers Grimm tellings, rather than the Disney ones most of us know and love. And honestly, if you go into this book expecting Disney, you are going to be slapped in the face. So reader beware.
But please don’t be daunted. This book is truly an experience, and is definitely worth your time and effort. I’d recommend this to people who love fantasy, tragedies, and stories that don’t always end with happily ever after.