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A deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale from a stunning new Australian talent. ‘He's gone the same way as those little birds that bothered me with their awful songs! And you will too, you and your horrible heart-music, because you won't stay out of my woods!' There's a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That's not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other peop A deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale from a stunning new Australian talent. ‘He's gone the same way as those little birds that bothered me with their awful songs! And you will too, you and your horrible heart-music, because you won't stay out of my woods!' There's a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That's not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other people don't. But when the girl appears at Isola's window, her every word a threat, Isola needs help. Her real-life friends – Grape, James and new boy Edgar – make her forget for a while. And her brother-princes – the mermaids, faeries and magical creatures seemingly lifted from the pages of the French fairytales Isola idolises – will protect her with all the fierce love they possess. It may not be enough. Isola needs to uncover the truth behind the dead girl's demise and appease her enraged spirit, before the ghost steals Isola's last breath.


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A deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale from a stunning new Australian talent. ‘He's gone the same way as those little birds that bothered me with their awful songs! And you will too, you and your horrible heart-music, because you won't stay out of my woods!' There's a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That's not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other peop A deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale from a stunning new Australian talent. ‘He's gone the same way as those little birds that bothered me with their awful songs! And you will too, you and your horrible heart-music, because you won't stay out of my woods!' There's a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods. That's not unusual. Isola Wilde sees a lot of things other people don't. But when the girl appears at Isola's window, her every word a threat, Isola needs help. Her real-life friends – Grape, James and new boy Edgar – make her forget for a while. And her brother-princes – the mermaids, faeries and magical creatures seemingly lifted from the pages of the French fairytales Isola idolises – will protect her with all the fierce love they possess. It may not be enough. Isola needs to uncover the truth behind the dead girl's demise and appease her enraged spirit, before the ghost steals Isola's last breath.

30 review for Fairytales for Wilde Girls

  1. 5 out of 5

    Allyse Near

    Am I allowed to rate my own book? I suppose it must be so, because no celestial Goodreadian deity has cursed me down - - yet. Anyway, this is my first ever book! It's weird and creepy and lyrical and tender. It's got grungy schoolgirls, fizzy morsels of pop-culture, a book-within-a-book and a sinister talking rabbit. It's not just for girls! Your grandpa would probably love it. Please come say hello to me on my twitter, or on here, or Facebook or on my Tumblr blog! We can talk about books and dead Am I allowed to rate my own book? I suppose it must be so, because no celestial Goodreadian deity has cursed me down - - yet. Anyway, this is my first ever book! It's weird and creepy and lyrical and tender. It's got grungy schoolgirls, fizzy morsels of pop-culture, a book-within-a-book and a sinister talking rabbit. It's not just for girls! Your grandpa would probably love it. Please come say hello to me on my twitter, or on here, or Facebook or on my Tumblr blog! We can talk about books and dead poets and heart-wrenching BBC programs and Harry Potter and the multiverse theory!

  2. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    Q: Isola Wilde was watching television with her brother Alejandro. She was an only child. (c) Q: ‘You smoke?’ said the boy. ‘Only passively,’ said the girl. ‘I mean dope.’ ‘What’d you call me?’ (c) Q: Alejandro had told her that, in his experience, people were all about the empty spaces; the things they don’t have, the words that aren’t said. Q: she had a secret universe a doctor once called a ‘fantastic flight of fancy’ Q: ‘Never be that girl, Isola. Never pick the beast or the wolf on the off-chance he wo Q: Isola Wilde was watching television with her brother Alejandro. She was an only child. (c) Q: ‘You smoke?’ said the boy. ‘Only passively,’ said the girl. ‘I mean dope.’ ‘What’d you call me?’ (c) Q: Alejandro had told her that, in his experience, people were all about the empty spaces; the things they don’t have, the words that aren’t said. Q: she had a secret universe a doctor once called a ‘fantastic flight of fancy’ Q: ‘Never be that girl, Isola. Never pick the beast or the wolf on the off-chance he won’t devour you.’ Q: … that truthful darkness that never sought to light candles, never tried to brighten the unhappy endings, to whitewash horror with morals. The stories were overwhelming reminders that evil begot evil, bad things often happened to good people and that villains often triumphed. Q: These stories, fables and memories are all true in one way or another. These stories are about you and me. These stories feature: – girls who kill – girls who are killed – girls who are alive – and girls who are otherwise. Q: The slight wind fell silent to listen, and she read aloud to the beglittered tree, like the visitor to the hospital patient. Q: Royalty’s a thing of the past. The kingdom chooses their monarch. Naturally, they elect a wolf. Q: ‘And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,’ … ‘But there’s nothing you wouldn’t do.’... ‘Exactly.’ (c)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laluna

    The cover of this book is beautiful though it does not prepare you at all for what's inside. I couldn't put it down. Like actually. Father: Daughter, put the book down and eat dinner. Mother: Daughter, put the book down and get ready for school. Friend: Oi, put the book down and listen to my issues. Teacher: Student, put the book down and do some physics. Me: This novel,scared me, confounded me, turned my brain into moosh, made me sleep with a light on **cough** captivated me. I always feel the need The cover of this book is beautiful though it does not prepare you at all for what's inside. I couldn't put it down. Like actually. Father: Daughter, put the book down and eat dinner. Mother: Daughter, put the book down and get ready for school. Friend: Oi, put the book down and listen to my issues. Teacher: Student, put the book down and do some physics. Me: This novel,scared me, confounded me, turned my brain into moosh, made me sleep with a light on **cough** captivated me. I always feel the need to congratulate an author when they do such as it is quite a rare occurrence. Often these days novels are so predictable and... well... too much of the same. But not Fairy Tales for Wilde Girls. Stunningly original I loved the characters and the way in which the book's written. So I believe a round of applause is required for Allyse Near. Isola is an awesome character. Totally weird and gothic and individualistic with fashion and style and literary know-how... Yes, her and I would most definitely be friends. And although at first I found myself crippled with a severe case of 'mind fuck' everything came together. Isola's 'princes' to which you have to abandon any previous childhood connotations. E.g- fairytale princes who constantly ride around swishing their beautiful golden locks swords and saving daft distressed anti-feminists who need to grow a pair of doodleberries damsels. I grew to love the princes and each of their stories and pasts- espcially Alejandro, Isola's brother/hottie/ghost/prince ;) You can haunt me anytime! His ghostly goodlookingess is even reiterated in illustrated/visual form as there are beautiful drawings of some of the charcters inside the book. The drawings are stunning and contain some hidden, subtle symbolism so make sure you study them for a bit! But seriously... The picutre of Alejandro..**Boom** MY DEPRIVED OVERIES! And don't fret girls there is a romance!!! Yeah I'm a sucker for it too, godamn. But, the best part; it's not cliché or cheesy. IT'S AWESOME AND CUTE AND WITTY AND CLEVER. There's James who's been her friend since they were very little - typical surfer, cigarette smoking douchenozzle guy - and Edgar the cute, witty neighbourhood boy who draws cool shizzle. Never have I found braces so endearingly attractive- don't worry Alejandro I remain faithful to your beautiful, twinkling Spanish eyes, chiselled jaw and opium-induced deadness And it's not at all a love triangle. Allyse Near is far too good to stoop to such a clichéd, nonsensical, unoriginal 'plot device' - yeah notice the dangling quotations marks that hopefully submerge the previous statement with the appropriate amount of skeptical disgust. Anwyays, I disgress... This book deals with some dark and pressing topics. Dealing with grief, death, isolation, bullying and mental illness, yet Near does so in such a way that is vividly enchanting. This is not at all to say that she glorifies them. Near treats these topics with the appropriate amount of respect yet pulls of a realistic and believably endearing perception. Admittedly, at the start I did not like the 'notations' and 'play-like layout' of some of the interludes but they grew fewer and when they did show up again later on I found I didn't mind at all. I loved the stories - little eerie, fairytale-like excerpts written by Isola's favourite author Lileo. Lileo > Disney any day. This may be foolish, but I'd never realised that the Disney fairytales were so inaccurate. It was only after I did some research that I came to realise that no fairytales do not happen with happily ever afters all the time. As Near said; "Faeries don't have tails." Honestly, Near/Lileo are a geniuses. And be prepared for plot twists. There are several- especially at the end. Not to sound supercilious, but a lot of the time I am able to predict endings of novels and whilst I will admit that I did predict that the novel would end in a similar way to which it did, I missed one of the massive plot revelations and only half-guessed at the other. So again, kudos Ms. Near you're awesome. I will be reading you again so write something else. I won't spoil the end but I promise you won't be disappointed. The only thing regarding this book that left me slightly disappointed was the blurb description. Not a fan of the 'bubblegum gothic' description. What kind of description is that!? This book and writing style deserve a much better label. So go on fellow bibliophiles! Read it. Do it. I dare you. And come out the other disliking the blurb but loving everything else! And so concludes my first review! Hope you liked :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Bubblegum gothic is an apt description for this unique novel. I liked it a lot, even though it confused me quite a bit. Sort of reminded me of an even more trippy The Raven Boys. Never saw that ending coming, either. The style is a little difficult at first but once you get used to it the story shines. The prose is lyrical and the characterization of Isola is strong. I think her brothers may have been my favorites, though. If you want to read about faeries, ghosts, mermaids, gargoyles, witches, un Bubblegum gothic is an apt description for this unique novel. I liked it a lot, even though it confused me quite a bit. Sort of reminded me of an even more trippy The Raven Boys. Never saw that ending coming, either. The style is a little difficult at first but once you get used to it the story shines. The prose is lyrical and the characterization of Isola is strong. I think her brothers may have been my favorites, though. If you want to read about faeries, ghosts, mermaids, gargoyles, witches, unicorns, fairy tales, romance, and goretastic escapades all at once, this is your book. 4 stars. Might reread and feel differently each time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    The time has come to say what I really think. And what I really think is... I FREAKING LOVED IT I honestly dont even know where to begin. So I will subhead. Lets do this thiiiing. The Writing Above and beyond brilliant. Allyse's style is one of its own, so distinct that you could never mix her work up with anyone elses. Theres a touch of the old school about it (for me) reminiscent of Dickens, Austen & the like. But much more fun and quirky. Even quirky seems too simple of a word. But there's The time has come to say what I really think. And what I really think is... I FREAKING LOVED IT I honestly dont even know where to begin. So I will subhead. Lets do this thiiiing. The Writing Above and beyond brilliant. Allyse's style is one of its own, so distinct that you could never mix her work up with anyone elses. Theres a touch of the old school about it (for me) reminiscent of Dickens, Austen & the like. But much more fun and quirky. Even quirky seems too simple of a word. But there's something in the writing that is just above par with whats out there in this genre (Young Adult). I read a lot of young adult and I do enjoy my cheap, easy reading fun. But this was something else. This was literature in dark young adult form. And by gosh I pretty much devoured it in one sitting (ok ok I read it in 2 days... But it felt like one sitting! It would've been one sitting if I DIDNT HAVE TO GO TO WORK ARGHHHHHHHH)... I'm back. Anywho... amazing writing. Metaphors and the like were mind blowing. Some descriptions so out there (yet perfect) that I actually had to read some passages over again just to get the full impact of what was being described to me. Basically, I think Allyse's writing conveys her love for literature in every.single.sentence. Much like poetry not a single word is a throw away - and if it is, its been cut. The Characters What a rich and bold cast this is. For me a lot of these characters are so much larger than life that sometimes I found myself visualising them in anime form. They are just so big and loud and BRILLIANTTTT. I loved the Princes. They reminded me of all good fantasy/anime/goodVSevil plights were the hero/heroine gets his/her group/followers/team/sailorscouts (yeaaah you saw that coming) who have her back and are in themselves amazing and stand on their own as representing something... which ties in well with 'The Seventh Princess' fairytale (more on that later). Basically, I thought the six Princes were some of the most memorable supporting characters I have come across in reading, especially the Y.A genre. No card-board cut outs here! My favourite prince? This could be a random choice but I was really intrigued by Christobelle (and I love love love LOVE her illustration. LOVE DAMMIT). Her backstory, her eye patch (eyepatch FTW!), her dark side, her unpredictability. Just so much awesomeness. Oh Christobelle, can you write a book just on her? Please? Pretty please? I'll be your slave for a month if you do Miss Near... I BEG YOU!!!!!!!!!!! Also I really loved Edgar. He was so sweet but believable. And his moments with Isola were REALISTIC. Not smarmy, tear-my-eyes-out-slowly-from-the-cornyness-of-it-all 'your love is my drug' usual gagfest that Y.A has to offer. This was real, genuine teen interest/lust/curiosity/puppylove going on. I dug it. Because it was well written and it took its time to develop. Cheers to that! The Fairytales Confession time. These fairytales were written so believable (in the style reminiscent of Grimm/ Anderson etc etc) that I actually thought... for a while there... that... *breathes in deeply*... LileoPardieuWasActuallyARealWriterPersonInRealLife *starts choking from lack of air*... sorry, sorry, Im good, Im good... *blushing* STOP JUDGING ME, HARRY, I REALLY THOUGHT SHE WAS REAL OK. I was at one point thinking 'man, I thought I was into my fairytales but I am such a hack. Maybe if I do a quick google of Ms Pardieu none will be the wiser...' Of course I was too busy reading to do said google search - and the convo in my head may not have gone down exactly like that, but Im trying to keep this exciting ok - but then there came a point in the book where Ive clicked that Lileo is another part of the puzzle in Fairytales for Wilde Girls. (view spoiler)[I had no idea she was Isola's mum though until the reveal! More on that later. (hide spoiler)] So yes, these fairytales were great. I liked how we were actually given excerpts to read throughout the story as opposed to being told by Isola what they were about or witnessing two characters discussing them. They were actually physically there. I think it was great too to have 'The Seventh Princess' broken up to match (view spoiler)[each time Florence overcame a Prince and basically turned them on Isola and took them away (hide spoiler)] . It was like being sucker-punched every 4 chapters. BAM! And theres another one! The Twist Twist. TwistS. Take it as you will. This will basically be spoiler tagged. For your own good! (view spoiler)[I had a suspicion. A Massive one regarding Mrs Wilde. I knew there was something up with that lady, mental issues aside. There was something real suss there. And when they kept talking about the witch in the forrest, I had her pinned. She was the witch! I dont care if it makes no sense ITS HER! Thats the only thing I worked out. Which is why it didnt make any sense because I had no idea why she was able to be in the house and the forest. Why Florence was also her daughter. Yada yada. I just had this feeling she was suss about something and it was her. And then I was disturbed. She killed Florence and left her in a birdcage (birdcages are so pretty. I want one. I... have detoured massively...)... Then it all fell into place at the reveal. AND I NEVER SAW IT COMING. Boom! Doppleganger! Boom! Lileo isnt no Grimm, no sir! Boom! She aint Bruce Willis but she sure is dead! Boom!Boom!BOOM! I loved it. I love not knowing. I love that I stupidly worked out one teensy tiny bit that wasnt even that big in comparison to the rest. And I love knowing that on a second reading this is going to read like a completely different story. Just like Shutter Island, The Sixth Sense, Inception... every viewing, knowing the resolution, blows your mind. (hide spoiler)] Last Few Words I suck at endings. So I thought I'd leave you with my favourite line of dialogue that had me loling for a good 10 minutes. 'What you've got to do, right, is collect pebbles,' said Pip seriously, 'and make a really impressive nest -' 'That's penguins, Pip,' interrupted Jella. 'Right, well then - just ask her out!' Oh Saint Pip, you are so wise. Also, the Odango hair reference actually made my day. Hugs for everyone!!! Allyse, you are the master. I can not wait for your next novel. Thankyou. And goodnight! (or day... its 3:30pm right now. Aw c'mon guys, your killing my buzz over here). P.S venture down below for more Sailor Moon gif awesomeness in my pre-review. Updated. 07/06/13 I HAVE MY COPYYYYYYYYYYYYY Just finishing off (ok, so Im on page 200ish of a 500 pg book... Eh, I can smash it in a few days... honestly) the book Im currently reading and then THIS BABY IS MIIIINE. And then I shall write a proper review, not some crazy (but awesome) Sailor Moon GIF party... well, it may include a few more SM GIFS... Oh yeah, and this is just my signed copy, Sailor Moon quote and all ;) See how well in sync my pre-review is now?! Proper review coming soon :P Can. Not. Wait!!!!! Updated. 6/5/13. It it June 3rd yet???? WHAT'DYA MEAN THERE'S STILL A MONTH TO GO??!!!!!! I can't... I just can't go on... Pretty please can I just have it now? No?... NO?!!!! Fine. I'll wait...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads 3.5 stars Mini review: Thank you Random House Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review. I wasn't necessarily disappointed with Fairytales for Wilde Girls, I was more at loss in anything. Nevertheless, Allyse Near's debut was rather pleasing despite a number of imperfections. A mix between fantasy and contemporary, despite the gorgeous cover, this novel reaches some grittily suspenseful scenes, with some patie See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads 3.5 stars Mini review: Thank you Random House Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review. I wasn't necessarily disappointed with Fairytales for Wilde Girls, I was more at loss in anything. Nevertheless, Allyse Near's debut was rather pleasing despite a number of imperfections. A mix between fantasy and contemporary, despite the gorgeous cover, this novel reaches some grittily suspenseful scenes, with some patience. The highlight of Fairytales for Wilde Girls had to be the writing. Entirely beautiful and detailed, Near's words seemed practically magical in a sense. A highly commendable aspect here, and definitely made me enjoy this novel to a larger extent- reminded me a tinge of Markus Zusak. This novel is character based- our selection is a bit like a packet of colouring pencils, all uniquely looking yet most revealing similar core features. I'll introduce one to y'all. It's called realism. (I bet you didn't know that!) The characters were by no means stereotypical but humorous, believable and thoughtful. My two favourites would be Isola and Edgar. I just- I have no words. They are fantastic. On the other hand, a great contributing factor to my dislike was the monotonous beginning and snippets. It took me time to devour this book, the writing could get overly sophisticated and awkward instead, and I just have no patience some days. While this can seem like a small issue, if really effected the way I saw this book for the last half- full of reluctance and platitude. Fairytales for Wilde Girls is really like a fairytale, the characters were well crafted and the writing effortlessly accompanied the plot line well. My boredom and plot that lacked coming through at times really disappointed me, however. Still recommended!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    From the first page of this wonderful book, I knew it was going to be something special. The writing style is quirky and densely poetic and you're thrown headlong into a world that blends magic realism, urban fantasy and fairytale motifs. It's rare to find a book that you want to keep reading not for the plot but for the details you hope to discover on the next page - the world building and the juicy imagery that peppers the entire story. My only worry was that I would get sick of the eclectic s From the first page of this wonderful book, I knew it was going to be something special. The writing style is quirky and densely poetic and you're thrown headlong into a world that blends magic realism, urban fantasy and fairytale motifs. It's rare to find a book that you want to keep reading not for the plot but for the details you hope to discover on the next page - the world building and the juicy imagery that peppers the entire story. My only worry was that I would get sick of the eclectic style - this kind of poetic writing can work perfectly in a short story but be hard to sustain over 350+ pages. Never fear - the plot, pacing and character development are all equally good. Near finds the perfect balance between stylistic flourishes and readability. This book can be read on several levels. The fairytale elements are enjoyable in themselves but there's a serious commentary on mental health in there that gives weight to the more fanciful aspects. An ambiguity about whether the supernatural characters and events are real or in Isola's imagination pervades the whole narrative, which allows the reader to enjoy the fantasy adventure plot and at the same time explore the idea of it as an allegory for mental illness. (view spoiler)[I'm a sucker for a book with a twist in the plot and this one really delivers. The perfect twist is one you don't see coming but then has you thinking "Of course! How could I not have realised that?" The truth about Isola's mother was one of these. I now have to re-read the whole book to look for the clues I missed the first time. (hide spoiler)] I'm not crazy about the 'bubblegum gothic' description in the blurb, because I don't think it does justice to Near's writing style. It's not a corny pastiche - yes, there is some wonderfully overblown imagery and symbolism but there's a sincerity to the writing that makes it more poignant than you might expect. And while it borrows to a certain extent from mythology and popular culture, much of the story and world building is startlingly original. What this book reminded me of more than anything was Peter Pan. It has the same mixture of innocence and world-weary sophistication and a similar writing style. Angela Carter's fairytale writing also comes to mind - again, a similar style and a heady combination of the familiar and the strange. I hope this book gets the readership it deserves, as I think it will appeal not only to fairytale-retelling fans like myself but also to lovers of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Highly recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I was given an ARC of this title at work, and it is one of the most perfect books I've read in the last year. Perhaps best summed up by the description given on the back cover (bubblegum-gothic - love it!), it is both traditionally child-fairytale-traditional and adult-dark-fairytale in turns. Not one for younger readers as the mental health issues described are disturbing, it is one I'll be recommending to teens and adults alike who love fairy stories, something quirky, completely unpredictable I was given an ARC of this title at work, and it is one of the most perfect books I've read in the last year. Perhaps best summed up by the description given on the back cover (bubblegum-gothic - love it!), it is both traditionally child-fairytale-traditional and adult-dark-fairytale in turns. Not one for younger readers as the mental health issues described are disturbing, it is one I'll be recommending to teens and adults alike who love fairy stories, something quirky, completely unpredictable and breathtakingly beautiful. An excellent choice for people who are interested in the art of writing too, almost poetic in spots and with turns of phrase that are so original but oh-so-right, wannabe authors could learn a lot from Allyse Near's writing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jocie

    4.5 stars. yays + the writing. THE WRITING. THE. WRITING. + the characters + the plot & pacing + setting nays - how the plot was written (will explain in proper review) - the beginning (i.e. first 50 pages or so) really confused me - wish that the whole james characterisation was a little more in depth/drawn out expect a review on friday! :) link to review: http://youtu.be/cB9-7J_dJqg 4.5 stars. yays + the writing. THE WRITING. THE. WRITING. + the characters + the plot & pacing + setting nays - how the plot was written (will explain in proper review) - the beginning (i.e. first 50 pages or so) really confused me - wish that the whole james characterisation was a little more in depth/drawn out expect a review on friday! :) link to review: http://youtu.be/cB9-7J_dJqg

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cass - Words on Paper

    #1- "It's a pulp-fable about grunge girls, the occult, and slightly sinister talking rabbits." Random House Australia | June 2013 #2- I MUST read this! Look at the cover! The synopsis, the book-within-a-book, the gothic-ness, the title, the quote, and hello-- Aussie author! Thanks, Allyse, for following my reviews and I hope to one day have the pleasure of reviewing it. ;) #3- Aw, I preordered a copy a week or two ago. A review copy just arrived for me today. Giveaway! :D It is *SO* pretty. (I'll be #1- "It's a pulp-fable about grunge girls, the occult, and slightly sinister talking rabbits." Random House Australia | June 2013 #2- I MUST read this! Look at the cover! The synopsis, the book-within-a-book, the gothic-ness, the title, the quote, and hello-- Aussie author! Thanks, Allyse, for following my reviews and I hope to one day have the pleasure of reviewing it. ;) #3- Aw, I preordered a copy a week or two ago. A review copy just arrived for me today. Giveaway! :D It is *SO* pretty. (I'll be posting an AU-only giveaway with my review, whenever that is. Further details to come...) --- #4 FINAL REVIEW This review can be found on my blog. +Giveaway for Aussie residents! :D 5/5 Book Tunes ~ ♪ Lenka, Trouble is a Friend ♪ Fairytales for Wilde Girls is described as a "deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale". In just one word I’d say that this book is, quite simply, magic. Allyse Near’s debut novel follows the somewhat twisted and macabre everyday life of peculiar Isola Wilde. She converses with brother-princes that no one else can see; and death seems to follow her. She and her estranged father and manic-depressive mother live on the outskirts of society, right by Vivien’s Wood, where they have quite the reputation. New neighbours move in across the street who will each move Isola in their own way—but none more-so than “Edgar Allen Poe”, an unconventionally charming guy who is instantly taken by Isola’s unusual behaviour and wild locks. Isola’s newest haunt will not leave her alone, and the Woods are dying. She will have to trust her new friend, and rely on the loyalty of her seven brother-princes, if she wishes to have any hope of helping the ghost to move on. I loved this book. And I wish I could just end my review there, but I won’t let myself because that would serve an injustice to Near. Fairytales for Wilde Girls is spectacularly bold in its delivery. There is not one dull moment. The writing is lush and descriptive, and it created such great mood to the story, adding tension and mystery throughout. Every sentence is just wonderfully constructed; Near is a mix tape, her lyrical prose simultaneously captivates and destroys. Perhaps a part of why this novel continued to captivate me was the pacing. It was just perfect. The first 150 pages: uniquely innovative; an introduction of the best kind. Near allows the reader to dip their toes in and gradually immerse themself into this world so removed from reality. The middle: a dizzying series of episodes that reveal more, while also somehow unearthing more mysteries along the way. The end: glorious and fantastical, wonderful, beautiful, heart-breaking, raw and true. When I say “uniquely innovative”, I mean that Near actually presents her story and characters by implementing elements found in scripts for plays and fairytale books. It’s actually very fitting for the feel that she was trying to achieve. It’s also a pleasant surprise when you find that the novel you’re reading has ILLUSTRATIONS in it! (Extra points!) I went into this book and didn’t expect such depth to the story. It was a real treat to get to the end and feel completely satisfied—the story felt like it had gone full-circle. Another aspect that I really enjoyed was all the references and allusions to gothic stories and storytellers, as well as fairytales. I’m not a massive fairytale geek by any stretch, but reading this book made me want to explore and discover more of the origins and influence of every single tale that was mentioned in some way. This is definitely a must-read for fans of fairytales. I didn’t even touch on the characters. We’re presented with a vast cast of characters that move in and out of the story—kind of like in a play—each providing their own quirks. I enjoyed getting to learn more about these characters and being introduced to more as the story progressed. No details here, but let’s just say there are mermaids, fairies, furies, ghosts, a regular guy whose (mis)fortune is his namesake, a surfer boyfriend and a rebellious Catholic school best friend. The actual characterisation and development of these characters felt lacking, but I got the notion that it was a very conscious decision by the author. When you take into consideration that this is a very fairytale-ish story, it seems justified. If this is just the beginning of what Near has to offer, I cannot wait to read more!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bec (booktineus)

    This review first appeared on Readers in Wonderland INITIAL REACTION DNF at 17% - Review outlining reasons to come. But basically I'm struggling to get into it because it's weird and I have no idea what is happening/ why REVIEW I hate DNFing so much, and it frustrates me that my first DNF of 2018 happened so early on. But I wasn’t going to force myself to go on when I have many other books staring me down. Especially with a book I actually had attempted to start at the end of last year but put aside This review first appeared on Readers in Wonderland INITIAL REACTION DNF at 17% - Review outlining reasons to come. But basically I'm struggling to get into it because it's weird and I have no idea what is happening/ why REVIEW I hate DNFing so much, and it frustrates me that my first DNF of 2018 happened so early on. But I wasn’t going to force myself to go on when I have many other books staring me down. Especially with a book I actually had attempted to start at the end of last year but put aside for other novels. There is really only one reason I decided to stop reading FAIRYTALES FOR WILDE GIRLS at 17%: I didn’t know what was happening. I was still really early on so things were being stet up. Well, theoretically set up. It more felt like information was being thrown at us without much explanation. That would be okay… if it weren’t Isolde having ghosts prince brothers, of which only one was actually a ghost (that I’d met so far. Another was apparently a valkyrie or something I’ve forgotten, another a fairy). And then there was the writing. It was nice writing overall, but also a lot of metaphors… or what I though was metaphorical prose but then couldn’t entirely be sure with some of the other shit going on. Isolde saw a lot of things (like ghosts) that no one else ever saw. This had me wondering if Isolde was actually mentally ill or if there was an actual paranormal explanation for her being able to see ghosts and fairies. Unfortunately there were no clues no early on. The whole thing just added up to me being confused and not being able to connect to the characters or get into the story because of it. There is a good chance that all the stuff confusing me is explained over the course of the novel, but I needed a few more tidbits at the beginning to help me make some sense of it all. With nothing to go on I had no incentive to hang around and uncover the mystery. In Summary FAIRYTALES FOR WILDE GIRLS certainly had some interesting elements, but unfortunately I couldn’t get into it. Lack of world building and explanation left me confused. It’s really hard to continue reading when you have no idea why the main character can see the things she does. I might try again in the future, but for now I’m putting this aside.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Noelia Alonso

    My full review: http://adayinbookland.blogspot.com.es... THERE ARE NO WORDS. READ THIS My full review: http://adayinbookland.blogspot.com.es... THERE ARE NO WORDS. READ THIS

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tsana Dolichva

    Fairytales for Wilde Girls is Allyse Near's début novel. It's about sixteen-year-old Isola Wilde, who lives in contemporary England and whose life is intricately interwoven with fairytales. Isola can see ghosts and fairies and other magical beings and often roams the woods by her house. At first she reminded me a little bit of Luna Lovegood sans Hogwarts, but as we learn more about her we see that there is more to her character than meets the eye. Magical creatures aside, in the real world Isola Fairytales for Wilde Girls is Allyse Near's début novel. It's about sixteen-year-old Isola Wilde, who lives in contemporary England and whose life is intricately interwoven with fairytales. Isola can see ghosts and fairies and other magical beings and often roams the woods by her house. At first she reminded me a little bit of Luna Lovegood sans Hogwarts, but as we learn more about her we see that there is more to her character than meets the eye. Magical creatures aside, in the real world Isola has to deal with a severely depressed mother and an increasingly distant father. She goes to a nun-run school and has a few ordinary human friends but her struggles to cope with her aggressive haunting make her withdraw further into herself and away from her human friends. Fairytales for Wilde Girls is not a book to read quickly. Although it's not that long, I found it took me longer to read than another book of comparable length might have because there is so much in it I had to pay careful attention to try to catch all the nuances. Isola has a particular attachment to a book of fairytales her mother used to read from when she was younger — darker fairytales than the usual Grimm and Andersen — and throughout the text we're treated to several of the stories from that book. I've found those sorts of interludes jarring in other books, but in Fairytales for Wilde Girls they flowed and tied in with the overall story nicely. The transitions between contemporary teenage life (parties, mobile phones) and the magical world provided a change of pace that kept things fresh. This is a book I want to re-read at some point because I'm sure I'll pick up on things I missed the first time through. Near weaves some interesting social commentary through her story. Isola's magical friends are brother-princes, including the female ones, because princes in stories are the ones who protect the princess. Quote: Isola had never learnt to call them sisters — a sister was a wicked nun who smacked Mother's hands, and a sister in a fairytale was almost always evil. And so, Ruslana, Christobelle and Rosekin had remained brother-princes to Isola. The fairytales Isola cherishes most tend not to be the kind where the princess needs rescuing, instead they are the kind of stories about girls who kill, and girls who are killed. They are more empowering to Isola than Disney-fied fairytales. Her Rapunzel isn't rescued, but hangs herself with her hair. Those kinds of stories. Perhaps not a book for someone looking for a happy fluffy read. Honestly my only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen a bit more resolution between Isola and her friend Grape. Things are sorted out between them, but the denouement focussed more on Edgar rather than Grape. Not that I had a problem with Edgar, but I sort of wanted to be reassured about Grape as well. Definitely not something which marred my overall enjoyment. Allyse Near is an author to watch. I will not be surprised if Fairytales for Wilde Girls makes next year's Aurealis shortlist. I look forward to seeing what Near writes in the future. I highly recommend Fairytales for Wilde Girls to all fans of dark fairytales and gothic fantasy. It's not a terrifying read, but it is dark and there are definitely elements of horror throughout. Readers of YA and adult fantasy alike will find much to enjoy in this book. 5 / 5 stars You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shaheen

    I had to stop reading this book 30 pages in to process. This is what I wrote on Goodreads: "I'm on page 32 of 432 of Fairytales for Wilde : So far: Deliciously creepy. Haunting. Clever. Witty. Impeccably imaged. Brilliant. Perfect." That basically sums it up, you don't need to know anything else, except that you should grab yourself a copy of this novel as soon as it's possible for you to do so. My favourite thing about Fairytales for Wilde Girls is the imagery, the dreamlike quality Near instills I had to stop reading this book 30 pages in to process. This is what I wrote on Goodreads: "I'm on page 32 of 432 of Fairytales for Wilde : So far: Deliciously creepy. Haunting. Clever. Witty. Impeccably imaged. Brilliant. Perfect." That basically sums it up, you don't need to know anything else, except that you should grab yourself a copy of this novel as soon as it's possible for you to do so. My favourite thing about Fairytales for Wilde Girls is the imagery, the dreamlike quality Near instills in the book, the vivid, raw, chilling atmosphere that permeates the world. It's easy to lose oneself in Isola's world of faeries and wild woods and ghosts. This is definitely a fantasy world I would happily escape to in my spare time. The author's realisation of this world goes hand-in-hand with the creativity - it's brought to life with a level of mastery rarely seen in début authors, and all I can say is, if this is Near's début, I can't wait for what she delivers next. Fairytales for Wilde Girls is populated with clever, dimensional, believable characters. I liked every character I met in this book, from Isola's weird parents and her bubbly friend Grape (awesome, awesome name!) to Edgar's family and Isola's ethereal princes. I have to admit that I love the main character, Isola, even though I have absolutely nothing in common with her and never imagine myself in a similar situation. There's something about her, a fragility that Edgar envisions as glass, that endeared me to her almost instantly. Edgar is another breath of fresh air - genuinely supportive, sweet, and all-round great guy. This book is a wonderful example of beautiful storytelling. I haven't been this enthralled by a book in a long time, and I strongly encourage anyone looking for a book with a gothic feel, a dark fantasy, to give it a go. I don't think Fairytales for Wilde Girls will disappoint. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic .

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jack Shanks

    I mean, whoa. This, considering it was Near's debut novel... I'm absolutely in awe. And definitely proud, fellow Australian AND Melbourne resident, she totally kicked butt! Truthfully, the beginning of this book was a little confusing. I was reading on the train and had no idea what I was actually reading. Like, okay... This girl sees a suicide on TV with her older brother... But she is an only child. I was like, "What the heck? Okay? Only child... but brother... I don't understand." But everything I mean, whoa. This, considering it was Near's debut novel... I'm absolutely in awe. And definitely proud, fellow Australian AND Melbourne resident, she totally kicked butt! Truthfully, the beginning of this book was a little confusing. I was reading on the train and had no idea what I was actually reading. Like, okay... This girl sees a suicide on TV with her older brother... But she is an only child. I was like, "What the heck? Okay? Only child... but brother... I don't understand." But everything has an answer in this book, and I love that. Near really is captivating in her writing. A text that is fast-paced, magical and coherent is definitely something I am interested in. Especially considering I have taken a great pleasure from fairy-tales lately, this was a dark spin on fairy-tales and I adored it. Mystical, magical and fantastical creatures, plus supernatural elements. I mean, if you aren't sold and ready to pick up this book after that little description... I don't think anything else I say will change your mind. I loved this book, okay. I don't even know why I borrowed it from the library, but I was drawn to it and I'm so glad I picked it up in the end. Definitely a great book. The second half is so much darker than the first half, and it gets real dark real quick. I mean, I had my theories about this book. This is why this is happening, this is why that's happening... But I was absolutely wrong. I didn't see it coming. The end of this book was just so surprising for me, and the conclusion was definitely a concept that interests me. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending, despite the darker elements of the book. As a debut novel, this sets my expectations for Near's other published works quite high. I am definitely expecting great things when I reach out to read more of her books, and I seriously hope I don't get too disappointed. Loved this book, and I'm definitely looking forward to hunting down more of her works in the near future.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Acacia Ives

    I promise you I will be doing the full in-depth review on my channel. This book was amazing it was like somebody wrote fairytales for my teenage self. It was beautiful it was stunning and dark and desperate and sad and so good!!! If anyone has any books that are like this that they want to recommend me please do so I am completely floored and stunned and so excited to see anything else that this author comes out with auto buy absolute! The story and format were written in a very miracle he Grimm I promise you I will be doing the full in-depth review on my channel. This book was amazing it was like somebody wrote fairytales for my teenage self. It was beautiful it was stunning and dark and desperate and sad and so good!!! If anyone has any books that are like this that they want to recommend me please do so I am completely floored and stunned and so excited to see anything else that this author comes out with auto buy absolute! The story and format were written in a very miracle he Grimm esc fairytale way and it was very different from any other retellings I've read because usually they try and use language that's more modern this one just did what fairytales do and made beautiful words happen and sound wonderful in your ear! Characters were vivid and amazing and I'm still thinking of them there were loops in Poe and other mythical or fictional characters it was phenomenal literature, i'm in love

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    What a wonderfully written and unusual book about fairytales, magic, mental health, suicide and coping mechanisms. Kept me guessing until the end, and talked about deep, difficult, complex things with understanding, allegory and wonder. The ending wasn't quite as artfully written as the rest of it, but i can imagine it was an extraordinarily difficult piece of writing to end. So much respect for this author. What a wonderfully written and unusual book about fairytales, magic, mental health, suicide and coping mechanisms. Kept me guessing until the end, and talked about deep, difficult, complex things with understanding, allegory and wonder. The ending wasn't quite as artfully written as the rest of it, but i can imagine it was an extraordinarily difficult piece of writing to end. So much respect for this author.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This novel was absolutely incredible. The imagery, the story, the characters, everything about it. It was inspiring and I was completely engrossed in the story - it's been a while since I've read a novel I couldn't put down, I kept wanting to go back into that incredibly dark and beautiful and scary world. I read this as an e-book but I'm going to buy it again as a hard copy to keep close by me when I need to feel less lonely and need inspiration. Can't wait for more! This novel was absolutely incredible. The imagery, the story, the characters, everything about it. It was inspiring and I was completely engrossed in the story - it's been a while since I've read a novel I couldn't put down, I kept wanting to go back into that incredibly dark and beautiful and scary world. I read this as an e-book but I'm going to buy it again as a hard copy to keep close by me when I need to feel less lonely and need inspiration. Can't wait for more!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Can I give this 6 stars? Can I go back and turn my other 5s into 4s? Like the girl who circumnavigated fairyland in a ship of her own making I loved this from the very first few pages. Clever, dark and compelling. I loved the writing style, the pace, the quotes, the drawings, the characters, the creatures. I definitely recommend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    If I could give this book more than five stars I would. All I can say is, read this book. It's..Wilde If I could give this book more than five stars I would. All I can say is, read this book. It's..Wilde

  21. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Oh my goodness I am in love with this book! Everything is just amazing and perfect and I’m really sad it isn’t a series because I just want to read more about this world but at the same time it’s perfect as just one book!!!! Words can’t describe my feelings right now! I already know I’m going to re-read this 100 times.... ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  22. 5 out of 5

    Beth_Adele

    If a thousand words can paint a glorious portrait, then even the whimsically talented illustrations of Courtney Brimms cannot match the glory of Allyse Near's Fairytales for Wilde Girls. (And the illustrations are the kind you commit to skin memory, so graphically and achingly haunting they remain tattooed on your eye lids forever.) There's a witch in Vivien's Wood. Isola Wilde knows this as surely as she knows what she saw, what she cannot unsee. That dead girls swinging stockinged leg dangling If a thousand words can paint a glorious portrait, then even the whimsically talented illustrations of Courtney Brimms cannot match the glory of Allyse Near's Fairytales for Wilde Girls. (And the illustrations are the kind you commit to skin memory, so graphically and achingly haunting they remain tattooed on your eye lids forever.) There's a witch in Vivien's Wood. Isola Wilde knows this as surely as she knows what she saw, what she cannot unsee. That dead girls swinging stockinged leg dangling from her arboreal cage-grave. But then Isola Wilde sees things others don't. A teenaged girl with a litany of "imaginary friends" that stepped out the very pages of her favourite old french fairytales, Isola's fantasy world and real world are about to collide head on. Even with her seven prince brothers, (only one of them a real live human boy, and he being the most reluctant brother of all), her one true friend Grape and new boy next door Edgar, keeping their eyes and ears on her, Isola may never be safe from the dead girl's ghost. Can Isola figure out what the vengeful dead girl wants before she not only breaks the fragile membrane between Isola's two world but takes her very life for her own? In this debut novel, Allyse Near has pulled magic from thin air and weaved the most gloriously modern gothic fairytale that has to be read to be believed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ian Tymms

    I picked this book up because I hadn't read much Australian YA literature for a while and, when I went to look at the lists, the reviews had me intrigued. This is not a genre I usually choose to read and, as a 47 year old male, my interests and experience are far from those of the intended audience of adolescent girls. It's to the book's very great credit that, despite all the likely hurdles, I enjoyed it so very much. This is Allyse Near's first novel and whilst there were places where the stor I picked this book up because I hadn't read much Australian YA literature for a while and, when I went to look at the lists, the reviews had me intrigued. This is not a genre I usually choose to read and, as a 47 year old male, my interests and experience are far from those of the intended audience of adolescent girls. It's to the book's very great credit that, despite all the likely hurdles, I enjoyed it so very much. This is Allyse Near's first novel and whilst there were places where the storyline seemed clunky, there was so much that was remarkable in the novel. The writing was often superb - for example this sentence introducing one of the key characters: 'His face was a ghost story: graveyard eyes, cheek-bones as sharp as urban legends, a sealed-coffin mouth.' But what I found really staggering was Near's ability to write a story that was both "realistic fiction" and "fantasy" and to navigate a path which maintained the integrity of both genres right to the end. I won't be promoting this novel to my younger students because I think some of the exploration of mental health issues is too confronting, but my Grade 8 students and older will, I think, love it. It has so much to say that is worth hearing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    Wow!! I don't quite know how to describe this book apart from it being so different to anything else I have ever read. The writing is beautiful and carried me away into another world and I gave myself over to the brother-princes. Isola was wonderful and my heart broke for her on more than one occasion. This story gave me everything I could wish for in a 'deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale'. I downloaded this from Kindle after heading off and realising I had left the book I was actually r Wow!! I don't quite know how to describe this book apart from it being so different to anything else I have ever read. The writing is beautiful and carried me away into another world and I gave myself over to the brother-princes. Isola was wonderful and my heart broke for her on more than one occasion. This story gave me everything I could wish for in a 'deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale'. I downloaded this from Kindle after heading off and realising I had left the book I was actually reading at home - and now I can't wait to go and buy myself an actual copy. 'Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear' - Edgar Allan Poe

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cris Daining

    This book was absolutely delightful. It was a modern Gothic fairytale, and it kept me entranced in the world from start to end. The writing of this book was incredibly beautiful. There were so many sentences that I wanted to write down in my journal because I love how they were phrased. So many beautiful sentences that I realized it was like I was just copy/pasting the entire book. If you love gothic tales, if you love fairytales and fairytale retellings, if you love beautiful writing, READ THIS This book was absolutely delightful. It was a modern Gothic fairytale, and it kept me entranced in the world from start to end. The writing of this book was incredibly beautiful. There were so many sentences that I wanted to write down in my journal because I love how they were phrased. So many beautiful sentences that I realized it was like I was just copy/pasting the entire book. If you love gothic tales, if you love fairytales and fairytale retellings, if you love beautiful writing, READ THIS BOOK!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I'm devastated that I didn't like this. So many people have said great things about this, and I always want to support local authors. But everytime I would read a little bit and put it down, I wasn't dying to pick it up again to read more. I got to about 100 pages, and decided there are so many other books I'm more excited to be reading. Maybe one day I'll re-visit it but for now I'm letting it go. I'm devastated that I didn't like this. So many people have said great things about this, and I always want to support local authors. But everytime I would read a little bit and put it down, I wasn't dying to pick it up again to read more. I got to about 100 pages, and decided there are so many other books I'm more excited to be reading. Maybe one day I'll re-visit it but for now I'm letting it go.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    There simply aren't enough superlatives to describe how fantastic Fairytales for Wilde Girls is! In what can only be called pulp fantasy, Allyse Near has created a wonderful tale that's both enchanting and gritty, whimsical and wicked. Clever, dark and compelling with a brilliant cast of characters and creatures, I have to insist you read this book. It's Wilde! There simply aren't enough superlatives to describe how fantastic Fairytales for Wilde Girls is! In what can only be called pulp fantasy, Allyse Near has created a wonderful tale that's both enchanting and gritty, whimsical and wicked. Clever, dark and compelling with a brilliant cast of characters and creatures, I have to insist you read this book. It's Wilde!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bron

    Oyeyemi x Alice in Wonderland + a little nod to Plath I adored this - it was weird and sweet and super creepy - and like nothing I've ever read before. I had no idea where this was taking me but loved every minute of the journey! Oyeyemi x Alice in Wonderland + a little nod to Plath I adored this - it was weird and sweet and super creepy - and like nothing I've ever read before. I had no idea where this was taking me but loved every minute of the journey!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shoi

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS!! i recently reread it and fell in love with the story, the characters and the writing all over again. honestly nothing to fault about this book and i plan to reread it many times in the future

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura Morrigan

    TW mental illness Absolutely brilliant and magical, chick full of female centred fairytales and other things I love!

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