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A Spindle Splintered

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It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one. Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty ex It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one. Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate. USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow's A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story.


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It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one. Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty ex It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one. Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate. USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow's A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story.

30 review for A Spindle Splintered

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    ooof. this has about twenty pop culture references too many for me to personally enjoy this. i think i will stick to AHs full length novels because this was too short for me to appreciate the story. it honestly felt like it was trying too hard, cramming in so much into such a limited space. and also, i know this is fiction, and a fairytale inspired story on top of that, but not a single character acted realistically and the world-building made no sense. so between the pop culture references, rushe ooof. this has about twenty pop culture references too many for me to personally enjoy this. i think i will stick to AHs full length novels because this was too short for me to appreciate the story. it honestly felt like it was trying too hard, cramming in so much into such a limited space. and also, i know this is fiction, and a fairytale inspired story on top of that, but not a single character acted realistically and the world-building made no sense. so between the pop culture references, rushed narrative, and weird characterisation, this just felt like a bunch of nonsense. ↠ 2 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 5 stars Sleeping Beauty comes crashing into the multiverse by way of Alix E. Harrow, author of The Once and Future Witches and The Ten Thousand Doors of January. Destined to not survive her twenty-first birthday due to a rare genetic disorder, Zinnia Gray has always felt a strong affinity to sleeping beauty, someone who shares in her fate. Then miraculously her birthday arrives and nothing of note occurs, that is until her best friend decides to throw a birthday party worthy of sleeping beauty ↠ 5 stars Sleeping Beauty comes crashing into the multiverse by way of Alix E. Harrow, author of The Once and Future Witches and The Ten Thousand Doors of January. Destined to not survive her twenty-first birthday due to a rare genetic disorder, Zinnia Gray has always felt a strong affinity to sleeping beauty, someone who shares in her fate. Then miraculously her birthday arrives and nothing of note occurs, that is until her best friend decides to throw a birthday party worthy of sleeping beauty herself. All Zinnia does is prick her finger on the spindle of the spinning wheel and she’s transported far from her hometown to a strange world, one not so different from her own. Though the world may be lacking in some respects there in it also lies a girl desperate enough to escape her fate. Together Zinnia and Beauty rally other sleeping beauties from across the worlds to try to change their circumstances, taking their destinies into their own hands. Well Alix E. Harrow certainly never misses the mark when it comes to crafting a fascinating story I would sell my soul to read immediately. This time it's a short sleeping beauty retelling that spans a little over a hundred pages but crosses multiple worlds. I would say this is in the vein of Into the Spider-Verse since it deals with multiple dimensions and characters of similar titles joining hands. Just as her first two novels completely mesmerized me, this one was no different. Turns out even when Harrow writes a shorter novel I am still bound to enjoy it as much as the others, to the point where my only complaint is that I wish it was longer. Sleeping beauty was never one of my favorite fairy tales for the reasons Zinnia so aptly points out at the beginning of the novel. However, I am happy to say I have changed my tune now that Harrow has sunk her teeth into a reimagining of the story. This crossed a search for agency with the original tale so brilliantly I cannot stop thinking about it. There is just something about finding unity among those to which you share similar situations with that Harrow has exemplified in her writing time and time again. Though Zinnia and Beauty are from different worlds and backgrounds, there is a sense of solidarity that binds them and the other sleeping beauties together as they go forward on their quest. It really was one of the more compelling parts of the text. Not that the entire novel did not sway my emotions and make me have deep feelings at any other point than that. A Spindle Splintered is Alix. E Harrow’s love letter to the transcendence of sisterhood and the common struggles that bind all women. Ties that can bring us together oftentimes in strange ways, but are by no means any less powerful. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review Trigger warnings: blood, genetic disorder, terminal illness, rape (mentioned)

  3. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Two girls destined to die have their paths cross, perhaps altering their once doomed fates, in this whimsical modern-day reimagining of Sleeping Beauty. Due to an industrial accident, Zinnia Gray, was left with a rare and fatal condition. The prognosis of which means she won't live to see her 22nd-birthday. As bleak as that is, Zin has had a great life, surrounded by people who love her so much. Including her best friend, Charm, who decides to throw Zin a Sleeping Beauty-themed party for her 21st- Two girls destined to die have their paths cross, perhaps altering their once doomed fates, in this whimsical modern-day reimagining of Sleeping Beauty. Due to an industrial accident, Zinnia Gray, was left with a rare and fatal condition. The prognosis of which means she won't live to see her 22nd-birthday. As bleak as that is, Zin has had a great life, surrounded by people who love her so much. Including her best friend, Charm, who decides to throw Zin a Sleeping Beauty-themed party for her 21st-birthday, complete with tower and spinning wheel. Zin, not really in the mood for a party, goes along with it nevertheless. Charm put in so much effort. As the festivities come to a close, Zin pricks her finger on the spinning wheel at midnight, and is thusly transported into another world. It happens to be where the real Briar Rose lives. It is there that the two women's lives become intertwined, as they work together to try to save themselves from their fates. It's no secret that I wasn't the biggest fan of The Ten Thousand Doors of January, but I never give up on an author off after only one try. This story is the perfect example of why. Oh, my goodness! Wow, holy smokes. I am floored by how different my opinion of Harrow's writing is now; after only 128-pages. Alix E. Harrow redeemed!!! As mentioned above, this is a fairly short novella, but no less impactful because of it. It is a rollicking good time, with adventure, friendship, danger and just the right amount of hat=tipping to the original story. I loved the feminist undertones woven throughout, as well as the relationship formed between Zin and Briar Rose. The dynamic between them was just so fun. Because they were from completely different worlds, they had a lot to discover about one another, but Harrow kept it so witty and fun! I'm so excited that the next intallment of this novella series will be tackling the tale of Snow White; absolutely my vibe. It's going to be great! Thank you so much to Macmillan Audio for providing me with a copy of this one to read and review. I listened to it in one night and had an absolute blast doing so!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Fractured To say fairy tales are only full of fun, magic, and songs would be a false assumption. From the Grimm Brothers, regional folklore, and Disney, there is a sinister side in most tales; whether it be narcissism or murder, child abuse or kidnapping, evil spells and witches, or some dreadful songs, there is a darker side lurking. I have grown up enjoying fairy tales and being Peter, like the boy who never grew up, I’m aptly named to delve into these stories without hesitation. Although I lov Fractured To say fairy tales are only full of fun, magic, and songs would be a false assumption. From the Grimm Brothers, regional folklore, and Disney, there is a sinister side in most tales; whether it be narcissism or murder, child abuse or kidnapping, evil spells and witches, or some dreadful songs, there is a darker side lurking. I have grown up enjoying fairy tales and being Peter, like the boy who never grew up, I’m aptly named to delve into these stories without hesitation. Although I love the more fractured modern versions, A Spindle Splintered playing on the Sleeping Beauty tale called out to me Once Upon a Dream. Zinnia (Zin) Gray is a young woman fated to be living her last year because of a rare terminal illness, and no one has ever lived past twenty-one. Zin’s close friend, Charm, has organised a Sleeping Beauty themed twenty-first birthday party complete with a tower, decorations and spinning wheel. Playing out the theme, Zin touches the tip of the spindle, and when she draws blood, she is transported to another universe where she meets Primrose – the perfect image of a fairy tale princess. I appreciate that Alix Harrow carries multiple messages in her stories, and fantasy is always a perfect genre to use as the vehicle. She delivers a strong take on the power of women to take charge and not accept the stereotypical behaviour of a damsel in distress or asleep in this case. Both Zin and Primrose challenge the typical inevitability and seek answers to the curses that have befallen them. This context also expands to a multi-verse that introduces many instances of the Sleeping Beauty characters. Zin, Primose and Charm embark on an adventure to find answers and not go quietly to a predestined fate. Their journey of busting open the fairy tale is enthralling, captivating with clever surprises, and embraced with calculating humour. I experienced this story as an audiobook wonderfully narrated by Amy Landon. She effortlessly switches between accents that underpin the characters and the scenes in the story. I would recommend this book, and it’s the start of a “Fractured Fables” series which will appeal to those fascinated with modern retelling and repositioning of renowned fairy tales. I want to thank Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in return for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    Recently someone told me they’re “tired of retellings”, which I cannot at all relate to. Every time I feel myself approaching that thought I see another fairytale retelling advertised somewhere and I’m like “Ooooh?!?!!???”, immediately falling down a new rabbit hole. But if you feel this way, even though you are wrong, I can understand where that feeling comes from. Sometimes you see your millionth YA Fantasy Beauty and the Beast retelling and it’s like OH MY GOD, ENOUGH. But what I think separat Recently someone told me they’re “tired of retellings”, which I cannot at all relate to. Every time I feel myself approaching that thought I see another fairytale retelling advertised somewhere and I’m like “Ooooh?!?!!???”, immediately falling down a new rabbit hole. But if you feel this way, even though you are wrong, I can understand where that feeling comes from. Sometimes you see your millionth YA Fantasy Beauty and the Beast retelling and it’s like OH MY GOD, ENOUGH. But what I think separates the good ones, like A Spindle Splintered from the ones that make me want to walk into the ocean, like the Camila Cabello adaptation of Cinderella, are one of two things. Either the fairytale is a less prominent one, like Little Thieves’ take on The Goose Girl, or it significantly challenges the source material while also honoring the important pieces of it. And while you could definitely argue that though Sleeping Beauty is a famous princess, she’s not usually the most enticing one for authors to emulate, I think Alix Harrow’s novella A Spindle Splintered falls more in the second category than the first. Zinnia Gray, a girl with a degenerative illness, is Harrow’s take on the titular character from the original fable. After pricking her finger on a spinning wheel, Zinnia falls through a sort of fantastical princess multi-verse and ends up crashing into someone else’s story. Desperate to escape her own looming ending, Zinnia tries to save another Beauty as a last ditch effort to also save herself. This is a novella, and around one third the size of a full-length fantasy novel. For me, this was perfect for the story being told here. Anything more could have easily turned into a big bloated mess, unnecessarily adding filler in order to reach some arbitrary page quota. Instead, what we got was a funny, emotional and sharp examination of a classic fairytale that has traditionally symbolized the lack of agency for female characters in their own stories. Instead of allowing the pieces on the board to move around her, Zinnia seizes her fate and bends it to her own will, and I loved every minute of it. I’m sure there’s some people who think anything that diverges from the ‘traditional’ telling they’re used to is a kind of bastardization of the story. This is ridiculous for a number of reasons, not least of all because there is no true original versions. Humans have twisted our stories to accommodate the times we live in since we first started telling them, and your own personal, rose-colored nostalgic interpretation is not inherently correct. The idea of an innumerable amount of renderings of Sleeping Beauty and other princess stories is brought up in Spindle, with the opening to introduce even more into this literary universe. And I am so excited to see what tale Alix Harrow spins for us next.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    3.75 Stars! This was an enjoyable novella. I mention this all the time but I am a sucker for fairytale retellings, especially if they are sapphic or gender bending, so I was really looking forward to this book. After a really promising start to my November reads, I’ve gone into a mini slump so this novella was exactly what I needed. I loved how this had a modern feel, yet it was still mixed with magical fairytale-ness. There was also a new spin –that you will really understand if you are a super 3.75 Stars! This was an enjoyable novella. I mention this all the time but I am a sucker for fairytale retellings, especially if they are sapphic or gender bending, so I was really looking forward to this book. After a really promising start to my November reads, I’ve gone into a mini slump so this novella was exactly what I needed. I loved how this had a modern feel, yet it was still mixed with magical fairytale-ness. There was also a new spin –that you will really understand if you are a superhero fan- and I loved all the different possibilities that it opened up for new storylines. There is a sequel coming in ’22, that really utilizes this new spin, and I’m even more excited about that book than I was this one. My only slight miss was that I could have used a little more character development. I know that it is hard to fit everything into a novella, and I think Harrow did a good job considering, but I wanted more which I think would have helped me connect more. I did finally feel like I was getting to understand Zinnia, but it happened at the way end of the book. This is another reason why I’m so excited for the sequel because I expect with more time I will connect a lot more. This is a series that I can really see just getting better and better with each book and I can’t wait to read more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    I thought I wouldn't be surprised by this thin volume. I was wrong. This book is just what I like about stories that keep reeling you in, while you enjoy every scent, every sight, every sound that it has to offer. I think the half happy, half sad ending was entirely out of the blue. I would have preferred a happier ending. But the end is not yet come. I wish I could meet the author and ask her how she devised this thing that I read in hours. How cascading, and how illuminating this experience rea I thought I wouldn't be surprised by this thin volume. I was wrong. This book is just what I like about stories that keep reeling you in, while you enjoy every scent, every sight, every sound that it has to offer. I think the half happy, half sad ending was entirely out of the blue. I would have preferred a happier ending. But the end is not yet come. I wish I could meet the author and ask her how she devised this thing that I read in hours. How cascading, and how illuminating this experience reached her imagination. The book is a fairy tale. It is that. It is much more. Look, part of me was aloof when beginning reading. I knew there will be manipulative twists to this story. I was a willing participant in this read. But the best twists are those that you forget are manipulative. Even now, I don't know what hit me. Perhaps others won't be impressed. There is a certain love story here, but that too is a surprise. I hope when reading this book you'll understand this review. I want to read the sequels, the more manipulative the better.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (on hiatus for the holiday)

    This is a wonderful novella--a "fractured" re-telling of the Sleeping Beauty story with a modern day twist. I'm shocked at how much I enjoyed this book, because I'm definitely not much into this genre, but Harrow gives the perfect feminist, lesbian-affirming twist to the tale. Zinnia Gray is turning 21, and knows she's living on borrowed time. Afflicted with a disease that causes protein deposits to build up in her organs, she knows her life is short. Her lifelong obsession with all Sleeping Beau This is a wonderful novella--a "fractured" re-telling of the Sleeping Beauty story with a modern day twist. I'm shocked at how much I enjoyed this book, because I'm definitely not much into this genre, but Harrow gives the perfect feminist, lesbian-affirming twist to the tale. Zinnia Gray is turning 21, and knows she's living on borrowed time. Afflicted with a disease that causes protein deposits to build up in her organs, she knows her life is short. Her lifelong obsession with all Sleeping Beauty-related stories spurs her best friend Charmaine to organize an epic Sleeping Beauty themed 21st birthday party in "the highest tower in the land" (the guard tower of a defunct penitentiary), complete with a spinning wheel on which Zin pricks her finger. Zin is transported to another dimension, a fairy-tale world with a perfect princess, Primrose, whom Zin knows she needs to save because she knows what's ahead for Primrose. But the events that follow aren't like any fairy tale Zin has ever read, and who knows what might happen to provide a happily ever after? This tale is fast-paced and creatively told. I was rooting for the best outcome for all involved, and Harrow delivered that for me. There's a great deal of sarcastic humor throughout and I'm all for that! There are surprises around every corner, and I just loved the directions and twists the author took in her writing of this tale. The characters are unique and fun, and the dual timelines? dimensions? are also totally unexpected and fun. I listened to this as an audiobook and Amy Landon's narration is fantastic. She provides the perfect voice for Zin and I believe helped me to be even more invested in the story than if I had read it on the page. This is the first book in the Fractured Fables series, and I can't wait to see what happens to Zin and the crew in the next installment. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Feminism crashes into Sleeping Beauty, and Sleeping Beauty will never be quite the same. And that's not a bad thing. Also, Alix Harrow's writing is amazingly good. I wish I could put together a sentence like that. I love fairy-tale themed stories AND multiverse fiction, and this is such a fun combination of the two! Plus I've gained a new appreciation for novellas after reading so many doorstoppers in the last few years. So I started looking at this last night and somehow ended up reading the wh Feminism crashes into Sleeping Beauty, and Sleeping Beauty will never be quite the same. And that's not a bad thing. Also, Alix Harrow's writing is amazingly good. I wish I could put together a sentence like that. I love fairy-tale themed stories AND multiverse fiction, and this is such a fun combination of the two! Plus I've gained a new appreciation for novellas after reading so many doorstoppers in the last few years. So I started looking at this last night and somehow ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. RTC. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    2.5⭐I wanted to try something different and this was a novella that was available from my library so I jumped right in. Please read other glowing reviews! 😊

  11. 4 out of 5

    Holly (Holly Hearts Books)

    Alix E. Harrow proves to me in 100 pages she has a masterclass in the art of doing a great deal with very little. A Spindle Splintered is an entertaining and frequently tense portal fantasy adventure, one full of oddball characters and offbeat diversions that made each trek through the world of Sleeping Beauty feel unique and totally worthwhile. Harrow has done a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of this childhood nostalgic story while giving us a massive toolbox of modern elements. A main c Alix E. Harrow proves to me in 100 pages she has a masterclass in the art of doing a great deal with very little. A Spindle Splintered is an entertaining and frequently tense portal fantasy adventure, one full of oddball characters and offbeat diversions that made each trek through the world of Sleeping Beauty feel unique and totally worthwhile. Harrow has done a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of this childhood nostalgic story while giving us a massive toolbox of modern elements. A main character with an incurable illness, gay princesses, and cleft chin princes who don't do any of the saving. Full review to come on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/hollyheartsbooks

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow is the first book in the new Fractured Fables which is a fairytale retelling series. This first book of the series is a new twist on Sleeping Beauty. Following the first book the series will move onto other fairy tales but with the same main character making them a series that will best be read in order although this first could be enjoyed as a standalone. Zinnia Gray is quickly approaching her twenty first birthday and for most that would be a wondrous occa A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow is the first book in the new Fractured Fables which is a fairytale retelling series. This first book of the series is a new twist on Sleeping Beauty. Following the first book the series will move onto other fairy tales but with the same main character making them a series that will best be read in order although this first could be enjoyed as a standalone. Zinnia Gray is quickly approaching her twenty first birthday and for most that would be a wondrous occasion but for Zinnia it may be her last birthday. Zinnia was diagnosed with a rare condition when she was young due to an industrial accident which lead to a grim prognosis, Zinnia’s days were numbered with no one making it past twenty two. Zinnia’s best friend, Charm, wants to make Zinnia’s last birthday special and knows of Zinnia’s obsession with Sleeping Beauty. When Zinnia arrives for her last party she finds Charm has hunted down an old spinning wheel and urges Zinnia to prick her finger. Zinnia finds shortly after that she has been transported to another world where another young girl was about to prick her own finger. No matter how old I get I have always held onto an obsession with fairytale retellings so when I saw A Spindle Splintered I knew I wanted to read it. Getting a copy of this new audiobook I was really excited and as soon as I pressed play I fell into Zinnia’s world and became engaged. I loved Zinnia’s sarcastic nature and her view of the tale right away and couldn’t wait to see how it would unfold. This retelling definitely had it’s own twist which I always love to find and after finishing this first book I’ll definitely be interested to see what the author does with the second book in the series. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  13. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    Are you up for a feminist, subversive retelling of Sleeping Beauty ? I’m all in for Alix Harrow's A Spindle Splintered . ⁣ “ Sleeping Beauty is pretty much the worst fairy tale, any way you slice it. It’s aimless and amoral and chauvinist as shit.”⁣ ⁣ Zinnia Gray is turning 21. She’s dying of something called General Roseville Malady, a disease about which little is known except that no one has lived past the age of 21. Zinnia has always been obsessed with fairy tales and, because of her il Are you up for a feminist, subversive retelling of Sleeping Beauty ? I’m all in for Alix Harrow's A Spindle Splintered . ⁣ “ Sleeping Beauty is pretty much the worst fairy tale, any way you slice it. It’s aimless and amoral and chauvinist as shit.”⁣ ⁣ Zinnia Gray is turning 21. She’s dying of something called General Roseville Malady, a disease about which little is known except that no one has lived past the age of 21. Zinnia has always been obsessed with fairy tales and, because of her illness, was able to graduate high school early and attend college, where she studied in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology.⁣ ⁣ For what is expected to be her last birthday, her best friend Charm goes all out, throwing her a Sleeping Beauty -themed party in an abandoned tower, complete with spinning wheel. Of course, Zinnia pricks her finger, but instead of falling asleep (or dying), she finds herself in another world, a modern traveler in a fairy tale kingdom of sorts, where another cursed princess is in need of her help.⁣ ⁣ This was so freaking creative, fun, poignant, and beautifully done. I love retellings and this one really just hooked me completely. My understanding is that this is the start of a series of novellas Harrow will write and I’m here for them.⁣ ⁣ This is a definite Bookstagram made me do it (or more specifically, my friend Deedi made me do it), and I’m so grateful!!⁣ See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Beary Into Books

    Rating 4.5 “A Spindle Splintered” was such a fun and unique sleeping beauty retelling. What makes this story special is the queer feminist take on a classic story. The author did a great job of taking a well known story and truly making it their own. Honestly, I was laughing from the first page due to the main character Zinnia. She has such a fun and blunt personality even though she is expected to die after her twenty-first birthday due to an illness. She spends what little time she has trying t Rating 4.5 “A Spindle Splintered” was such a fun and unique sleeping beauty retelling. What makes this story special is the queer feminist take on a classic story. The author did a great job of taking a well known story and truly making it their own. Honestly, I was laughing from the first page due to the main character Zinnia. She has such a fun and blunt personality even though she is expected to die after her twenty-first birthday due to an illness. She spends what little time she has trying to please her family and her best friend Charm instead of living her life full of adventure. So when she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel she finally uses this time to live a little. I absolutely loved Charm’s character. I thought she was just so charming (haha). Zinnia and Charm had such a sisterly bond it was heartwarming to see them interact with one another. Charm is the type of friend who would literally give her heart and soul if it meant saving Zinnia from her illness. She was ready to devote her whole life to finding a cure for Zinnia. This book is filled with twists and turns, time travel, larger than life characters, laughable moments, and moments that will rip your heart out. Compared to other books I’ve read this one was definitely shorter and honestly, that didn’t bother me. I never felt like I was missing out on anything important due to the shorter length. I listened to the audiobook version and was happy that the story kept constantly moving. The narrator did a great job of keeping me interested and to me, I feel as though the narrator really connected with Zinnia’s character. I would recommend this story to anyone who loves a retelling that is unique, fun, and completely original. **Received an advanced copy through NetGalley in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Sleeping Beauty meets the multiverse in this feminist retelling! I really loved A Spindle Splintered. It's smart, funny, and offers a modern perspective on the changing mythologies of Sleeping Beauty. Zinnia is turning 21 and with only weeks to live due to a chronic disease she's lived with since childhood. She's always loved Sleeping Beauty and her friend throws her a themed birthday party, but the spindle slips her into another world where other versions of the same tale exist. This novella of Sleeping Beauty meets the multiverse in this feminist retelling! I really loved A Spindle Splintered. It's smart, funny, and offers a modern perspective on the changing mythologies of Sleeping Beauty. Zinnia is turning 21 and with only weeks to live due to a chronic disease she's lived with since childhood. She's always loved Sleeping Beauty and her friend throws her a themed birthday party, but the spindle slips her into another world where other versions of the same tale exist. This novella offers a subversive look at this story that has often been about female subjugation and passivity, even abuse of the titular character depending on the version. It's about taking back control of your own narrative, getting out of assumed heteronormativity, and the importance of sisterhood and fighting for other women. Given that the main character suffers from a chronic, life-threatening disease I was wondering if this would include a magical "cure". There has been discourse on how harmful that trope can be. I won't spoil what happens, but I think the author does a good job of deconstructing the magical cure trope in an interesting and empowering way. Definitely would recommend checking this one out! I received an advance copy of this book for review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nils | nilsreviewsit

    The reimagining of sleeping beauty which I never knew I needed! These princesses won’t settle for what fate has landed them, they’ll rewrite their own ending. Alix E Harrow writes the most beautiful prose, every sentence holds so much depth and meaning! Joint review with my friend Beth can be found here on The Fantasy Hive: https://fantasy-hive.co.uk/2021/10/a-... The reimagining of sleeping beauty which I never knew I needed! These princesses won’t settle for what fate has landed them, they’ll rewrite their own ending. Alix E Harrow writes the most beautiful prose, every sentence holds so much depth and meaning! Joint review with my friend Beth can be found here on The Fantasy Hive: https://fantasy-hive.co.uk/2021/10/a-...

  17. 4 out of 5

    ~ a foray in fantasy ~

    “Well, Harold,” I say, “they’re lesbians.” Creative but weird is the best way to describe this book. This book was interesting and I bet the pop culture references are going to be so difficult to understand in a decade— luckily I understand all of them now. It was a bit too short, and a touch too weird. I do love the fairytale history. The different iterations of Sleeping Beauty were so interesting— I hadn’t heard of half of them. Zinnia was an okay character, but not my favorite.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    It was my own shitty story made mythic and grand and beautiful. A princess cursed at birth. A sleep that never ends. A dying girl who refused to die. Alix E. Harrow is an easy auto-buy for me. Her writing is gorgeous, her stories are chock-full of literary references, and she believes in hope; even if she has to sprinkle a little magic around to give it to her readers and characters. Zinnia Gray has always identified with Sleeping Beauty - she's got her very own version of a curse waiting to strik It was my own shitty story made mythic and grand and beautiful. A princess cursed at birth. A sleep that never ends. A dying girl who refused to die. Alix E. Harrow is an easy auto-buy for me. Her writing is gorgeous, her stories are chock-full of literary references, and she believes in hope; even if she has to sprinkle a little magic around to give it to her readers and characters. Zinnia Gray has always identified with Sleeping Beauty - she's got her very own version of a curse waiting to strike around her 21st birthday, in the form of a genetic condition that's only a question of when, not if. In the highest room of the tallest tower, in her decidedly modern home town, though, a spindle waits, and her story suddenly veers off onto a different page than she ever expected. This is so good, though, just so good. The writing is just as beautiful as you'd expect from this author (which is to say absolutely bloody gorgeous); her heroines are given agency and aspirations; and the tone hits a really nice balance between serious, hopeful, and vindication - plus a nice sprinkle of humour. (If you can work in a "They're lesbians, Harold" reference without even the slightest hiccup in the story, colour me impressed AND delighted.) So yes, if you know this author already, rejoice because this is both excellent and appears to be the start in a series. If you don't - this is a great place to start!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    What if Sleeping Beauty’s 100 years of slumber wasn’t a curse at all? What if this fairy tale collided in some multiverse with the fate of a modern day woman, doomed to die young? Alix E. Harrow enchants readers with this contemporary retelling of a classic fairy tale by way of portal fantasy and adds feminism, sisterhood, and pop culture for truly impressive world-building in a novella. I really want to gush over this book but I’d much rather you read and experience the surprises and badassery f What if Sleeping Beauty’s 100 years of slumber wasn’t a curse at all? What if this fairy tale collided in some multiverse with the fate of a modern day woman, doomed to die young? Alix E. Harrow enchants readers with this contemporary retelling of a classic fairy tale by way of portal fantasy and adds feminism, sisterhood, and pop culture for truly impressive world-building in a novella. I really want to gush over this book but I’d much rather you read and experience the surprises and badassery for yourself! (Then come find me and we’ll gush over it together, of course) Thanks to Tordotcom and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. A Spindle Splintered is scheduled for release on October 5, 2021. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristina (heartsfullofreads)

    As soon as I heard Alix E. Harrow describe this as Sleeping Beauty meets Into the Spider-Verse, I was sold. This was such a fun read. It was light, funny, and filled with adventure. I truly enjoyed the feminist take on the story and it made me examine Sleeping Beauty in a new way. I also thought the disability rep was great. Some things about the story were slightly predictable, but that's to be expected in a fairytale retelling. Other than that, I have no major complaints. I really enjoyed this As soon as I heard Alix E. Harrow describe this as Sleeping Beauty meets Into the Spider-Verse, I was sold. This was such a fun read. It was light, funny, and filled with adventure. I truly enjoyed the feminist take on the story and it made me examine Sleeping Beauty in a new way. I also thought the disability rep was great. Some things about the story were slightly predictable, but that's to be expected in a fairytale retelling. Other than that, I have no major complaints. I really enjoyed this novella and I'm looking forward to seeing what the author does next. **ARC received from Tordotcom Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I got an early copy of this Sleeping Beauty retelling and it is fun to read with drawn illustrations and a bit of a dimensional spin. My favorite character is the main character's best friend, and I think Alix E. Harrow should write a novel about her! I got an early copy of this Sleeping Beauty retelling and it is fun to read with drawn illustrations and a bit of a dimensional spin. My favorite character is the main character's best friend, and I think Alix E. Harrow should write a novel about her!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rincey

    3.5 stars If you're a fan of fairy tale retellings / reimaginings, then this is a quick novella worth adding to your list. Watch my discuss it in my November wrap up part 1: https://youtu.be/lC4fAH-_itc 3.5 stars If you're a fan of fairy tale retellings / reimaginings, then this is a quick novella worth adding to your list. Watch my discuss it in my November wrap up part 1: https://youtu.be/lC4fAH-_itc

  23. 4 out of 5

    Intisar Khanani

    This little novella packs a big punch, but who's surprised when it's Alix Harrow writing? As anyone can tell you, I'm a sucker for fairytale retellings, and most especially ones that involve some serious twists on the original, while still keeping their magic. A Spindle Splintered is one such story--sleeping beauties crossing each other's timelines across the multiverse? Evil fairy godmothers with actual honest-to-goodness backstories and motivations? Girls who don't take their fates lying down ( This little novella packs a big punch, but who's surprised when it's Alix Harrow writing? As anyone can tell you, I'm a sucker for fairytale retellings, and most especially ones that involve some serious twists on the original, while still keeping their magic. A Spindle Splintered is one such story--sleeping beauties crossing each other's timelines across the multiverse? Evil fairy godmothers with actual honest-to-goodness backstories and motivations? Girls who don't take their fates lying down (pun intended)? SIGN ME UP. This is a distinctly feminist twist on the original tale, and I am 100% here for it. While the story isn't without its flaws, the gorgeous writing, brilliant characters, deep themes around mortality and agency, and the near-constant thread of humor make it a 5 star read. Definitely recommend!

  24. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    Okay, this was delightful. I've found Harrow's writing style to be dense and falling more onto the beauty of its prose than the strength of the story, but this novella prunes the prose just a touch and falls deep into the storyline of a multiverse-like Sleeping Beauty. Zinnia's voice shines through, the chronic illness storyline is well handled, and the aftermath of corporate pollution is done quite well—and I adored how Harrow twisted and turned various version of Sleeping Beauty and made shit qu Okay, this was delightful. I've found Harrow's writing style to be dense and falling more onto the beauty of its prose than the strength of the story, but this novella prunes the prose just a touch and falls deep into the storyline of a multiverse-like Sleeping Beauty. Zinnia's voice shines through, the chronic illness storyline is well handled, and the aftermath of corporate pollution is done quite well—and I adored how Harrow twisted and turned various version of Sleeping Beauty and made shit queer as hell. And Zinnia is a fantastic bi heroine. Yes! Bi!!! Full RTC, with quotes and shit. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hamad

    Enjoyed this one because of its simplicity!

  26. 4 out of 5

    JasonA

    This was a really fun, fast read. It's essentially Into the Spider-Verse with Sleeping Beauties replacing Spider-Man, and a handful of pop culture references thrown in for seasoning. I really liked all of the main characters and hope they all return for the sequel. This was a really fun, fast read. It's essentially Into the Spider-Verse with Sleeping Beauties replacing Spider-Man, and a handful of pop culture references thrown in for seasoning. I really liked all of the main characters and hope they all return for the sequel.

  27. 4 out of 5

    chai ♡

    (review to follow)

  28. 5 out of 5

    DivaDiane

    I just adored this short book. I wish it were longer, but actually, it was just the perfect length. A subverted retelling of Sleeping Beauty, naturally, the MC is a young woman of our era and world (well, mine: USA). She is foul-mouthed and tragic. This will be fun for any reasonably well-read and pop-cultured person since there are many references sprinkled through the story. I’m looking forward to the next one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Smith

    “We dying girls, we sorry girls, gallows-bound...” Thank you so, so much to Tor.com Pub for sending me an influencer box for A Spindle Splintered, which I will soon post pictures of on my bookstagram: greenteareader. Alix said she put me on the list herself and my heart is still singing. And thank you to Netgalley for the digital copy as well. A Spindle Splintered follows 21 year old Zinnia Gray, a girl with an incurable, terminal illness she obtained from some kind of chemical accident. No one wi “We dying girls, we sorry girls, gallows-bound...” Thank you so, so much to Tor.com Pub for sending me an influencer box for A Spindle Splintered, which I will soon post pictures of on my bookstagram: greenteareader. Alix said she put me on the list herself and my heart is still singing. And thank you to Netgalley for the digital copy as well. A Spindle Splintered follows 21 year old Zinnia Gray, a girl with an incurable, terminal illness she obtained from some kind of chemical accident. No one with the disease lives to 22 years old. And since she’s a dying girl, somewhere along the way amidst hospital beds and tests, she became obsessed with Sleeping Beauty. She watched the movie, she read all the alternate versions she could, and ended up graduating high school early and getting a degree in folklore, so Zinnia knows Sleeping Beauty is the least feminist folktale of them all. On Zinnia’s 21st birthday, her best friend, a stem lesbian named Charm, throws her a Sleeping Beauty themed party and when Charm dares her to prick her finger, Zinnia does, and falls into a fairytale world with another Sleeping Beauty. If Zinnia can’t save herself from her fate, she wants to try to save Primrose from hers, and the clock is ticking for both of them. A Spindle Splintered is an amazing feminist take on the least feminist [western] folktale of them all. It’s self-realized and takes a good, critical look at different versions of Sleeping Beauty while still being an enjoyable, humorous novella with a mostly happy ending. The sisterhood and friendship that ties these characters together are truly inspiring and brings about a fierce desire to cherish and defend them. Alix Harrow truly never disappoints. I loved Zinnia’s drive, I loved Primrose, I loved Charm, I loved the queer representation, the pop culture/meme references, and, as always with Alix, who I trust with my life, the writing. I highly recommend this for people looking for a short and quick read (I think the novella is under 130 pages, and some pages are the gorgeous fairytale silhouettes) and love empowering retellings and sapphic rep. Go preorder, you will not regret it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    4 STARS "A feminist reimagining of Sleeping Beauty." Umm, how could I not fall in love with this book? A tale of fate and miracles, A Spindle Splintered reinvents the classic fairytale and creates a riveting story that would surely appeal to fans of dark and twisty fantasy books. A Spindle Splintered is an adult novella that retells the story of Sleeping Beauty. Zinnia Gray is turning 21, which is, quite frankly, a miracle considering she has a rare condition that has doomed her from a young age. 4 STARS "A feminist reimagining of Sleeping Beauty." Umm, how could I not fall in love with this book? A tale of fate and miracles, A Spindle Splintered reinvents the classic fairytale and creates a riveting story that would surely appeal to fans of dark and twisty fantasy books. A Spindle Splintered is an adult novella that retells the story of Sleeping Beauty. Zinnia Gray is turning 21, which is, quite frankly, a miracle considering she has a rare condition that has doomed her from a young age. Determined to make her possibly last birthday a memorable one, Zinnia's best friend throws a Sleeping Beauty inspired birthday party that includes a tower and a spinning wheel. When Zinnia pricks her finger, her fates become intertwined with another Sleeping Beauty. A Spindle Splintered caught my attention from the very beginning. I knew that I would love it from the moment I read the first page. The characters were written with such detail and background and they were compelling to read about. I definitely loved Zinnia the best, but Primrose and Charm were also amazing. The setting spanned across multiverses and will leave readers with a sense of wishing to be in the story with Zinnia. The plot was enjoyable, but I think this book was more of a character driven story. I loved the representation of queer and terminally ill characters. Harrow did a great job at spinning this classic fairytale into a feminist reimagining that had me hooked from the beginning. After reading this novella, I thought to myself, "How have I not read any of Harrow's work before?" I'll definitely be on the lookout from now on for her work. Thank you tordotcom for sending me a physical ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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