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Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

Review - Little Women a Retelling by Laura Wood

Review - Little Women a Retelling by Laura Wood

Little Women, the charming story of the brave and resilient March sisters, has been adored by generations of readers who have identified with the struggles of kind and pretty Meg; gentle, delicate Beth; precocious, artistic Amy; and of course wild, tomboyish Jo, determined to forge her own path and become a writer.

Another really lovely retelling of a classic novel by Laura Wood, one of my absolute favourite writers!

I recently reviewed Laura's retelling of Pride and Prejudice, (you can read that one here) a story I only really knew through half-watched television adaptations. Well, I knew even less about Little Women going into this one. In fact the only thing about it I really thought I knew wasn't even in this book! But more on that in a bit.

As I said, I went into this cold, so I really can't comment on how the style matches the original. But I did really enjoy it! The publisher, Barrington Stoke, specialises in publishing books specially adapted for people with dyslexia or other reading difficulties and reluctant readers. This permeates through the whole design, from the language to the length of the story to the paper its printed on. I think what they do is incredible and they're incredibly good at it! With such a strong pool of authors too, the stories are never dumbed down either, and personally I find they're perfect for those days where I just want something short and easy to read, whether because I'm busy, tired or coming down from an epic novel high. 

These classic retellings are a relatively new part of their offering and, like Pride and Prejudice, Little Women is presented here in a compact and incredibly readable format. Yes, I'm sure there's been material removed to keep the length down, but these are probably best thought of as the equivalent to a film adaptation, presenting the same story in a new, slimmed down format.

The characters all come across really strongly, particularly the four "little women", the March sisters. I loved how each one has their individual styles and flaws, and their squabbles and fallings out. They really came alive as fascinating characters. Then seeing how they develop, change and grow over the course of the book was really lovely. This is a real coming of age story, and it's great seeing how they grow into womanhood and come together as a really strong family against all adversity. The love and affection on show in this book is really quite beautiful. Obviously it isn't all plain sailing though, and some of my favourite bits were when they fell out with each other. It can be so hard to forgive someone who hurts you even, no, especially when you really love them, and this story really brings that across powerfully. 

And yes, I was waiting for a particularly character to die, and they didn't. I did wonder if it had been rewritten for a happier ending, but the truth is rather more complex. Louisa Alcott wrote a sequel, Little Wives, which is often packaged up with Little Women into a single book or film. This retelling focuses only on the first part. I'm hoping Barrington Stoke might get Laura to retell the next one as well though!

A beautiful, charming, often emotional and always accessible retelling of a classic coming-of-age novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Little Women.


Little Women - A Retelling by Laura Wood is published on 6 April 2023 by Barrington Stoke.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


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