Monday, 6 March 2017

Bull [Book Review & Giveaway!]

Hello there!

Title: Bull
Author: David Elliott
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Published Date: 28th March 2017
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*



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Synopsis: SEE THE STORY OF THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR
IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT

Minos thought he could
Pull a fast one
On me,
Poseidon!
God of the Sea!
But I’m the last one
On whom you
Should try such a thing.
The nerve of that guy.
The balls. The audacity.
I AM THE OCEAN!
I got capacity!
Depths! Darkness! Delphic power!
So his sweet little plan
Went big-time sour
And his wife had a son
Born with horns and a muzzle
Who ended up
In an underground puzzle.
What is it with you mortals?
You just can’t seem to learn:
If you play with fire, babies,
You’re gonna get burned.

Much like Lin-Manuel Miranda did in Hamilton, the New York Times best-selling author David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur for a new generation. A rough, rowdy, and darkly comedic young adult retelling in verse, Bull will have readers reevaluating one of mythology's most infamous monsters.

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Review: I won a copy of this book in the Instagram giveaway from HMH Kids. As soon as I saw the cover on Instagram, I knew I wanted this book. I might be one of those kind of readers, but I have to admit that it’s just one beautiful cover. All the cover love. And when I heard it was about Greek mythology as well. After reading the Percy Jackson series, I have a love for all things Greek mythology. So I was incredibly happy when I won an ARC copy of the book. 

I have to say, this is the fifth novel in verse I’ve ever read, and they continuously surprise me. I really like the room they give each author to play with the style, and how they can morph it to fit the novel. Elliott really takes advantage of the opportunity, using a different style for each character. When one of the characters go insane, the form of the poems change to show how spaced out her thoughts are. I won’t say which character spends some of the book in a dark place, but then the pages are black, which just added to the atmosphere of the novel and the setting. It really suited the story. 



I also liked the retelling aspect of things, and the fact that it did not alter the story. This novel stays true to the original myth, down to a fault. I have read alternated versions, so it was nice to get the true story (well, as true as a myth can be.)

I did feel like reading this one was a little bit awkward in the beginning. Mostly because the myth cannot begin without a woman sleeping with a bill to make the Minotaur. Which of course, is a pretty awkward event to bridge in a young adult novel. I feel like the author struggled a little bit with handling that so that he could get on with telling the story. I know he tried to keep the story clean as well, which is why the beginning felt a little off. But once the myth is set on its way, it improves.



At the same time though, I wondered why he had such an issue with bridging that beginning seeing as there is a lot of language in this novel. Not an overwhelming amount, but enough for parents not to want the younger young adults to be reading this one. So if it’s mostly for the mature young adult readers anyway, there’s not really such a need to hop and skip over the beginning as much as he did. 

Other than that though, I really liked this story. I really liked getting to see everyone’s character, and how we got to really view the story from everyone’s perspective. Having all these unique characters and seeing how the plot wove together, with Poseidon narrating it all, showed how much detail there really is incorporated in this myth. 



I really enjoyed reading this one. I flew through it in about an hour, and I think many other readers will really enjoy this one too!


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Gif Summary:

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Giveaway: Enter to win a finished copy of Bull, US only!


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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What’s your favourite myth?

Olivia-Savannah x

31 comments:

  1. Hi Olivia. I worked for a a man once long ago and everyone said he was a writer. I was his secretary, but his previous secretary, who had shiftd to another position in the office claimed that he once gave her a batch of short stories to type. He didn't give that job to me, thought. About two decades later, I was browsing in a bookshop and to my amazement, I found a recently published book, by my old boss. Now retired, he has time to devote to his writing. Here's the thing....the novel was written entirely in rhyme. The book was great, but that's because I understood his world. This man was an Indian diplomat who travelled to the Indian Embassy in different countries to work. I've often wondered if it was a really great book or did I like it because I knew the man. I think it was good. But I have a new book of his on my Kindle now and I can't wait to read it. It seems he is basically a writer of historical fiction and I love that.

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    1. My favourite myth? Don't really have one. I suppose the Indian myth about the evil king who 'won' his cousin's queen in a gambling game. He went to grab the woman by her sari adn she ran away as fast as she could. The god Krishna helped the queen and the further she ran the longer her sari became. That queen's name was Draupadi.

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    2. It's great that he has the time to write now that he is retired! Writing in verse is becoming more popular I am seeing. I am glad you could enjoy his novel, and I hope you enjoy his historical fiction book now too. I hadn't heard of that myth before but it sounds really cool :)

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  2. So I need this book now. I feel like I could potentially love it. And my favorite myth? I have so many... But to name one that isn't probably everyone's first choice I really like the myth of Atlantis.

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    1. As I know how much you like mythology, I would recommend this one to you. I don't know of that myth, I will have to look it up!

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  3. I'm quite partial to Icarus and the Sun by Picolo-kun. I think it is b/c the meaning of my birth name closely resembles a Phoenix. =)

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    1. I think that really does suit you. A transformation into something burning and beautiful <3

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  4. Sounds like a fun book! Thank you for the contest!

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  5. I have to agree that the cover is gorgeous. I like the idea of a book written in verse but I don't think I would really enjoy reading it. It is a unique way to tell a story for sure.

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    1. I love a beautiful cover and always end up falling for them. Maybe not for you, but that's okay because not every book is for everyone ;)

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  6. How could you not be attracted to that cover?! Too bad this is only open to US entrants. I like the sound of the story as well.

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    1. I am sorry about that! You know, publisher's decision and all :(

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  7. Aw. Too bad it's only for US.
    Great review!

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  8. Lovely review :)
    I haven't yet read a novel thats written in verse, but your review really has me tempted to give this one a go!
    I love mythology and re-tellings (when they're good), so might pick this one up! Sounds really interesting :)

    www.believeinfairystories.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I think you should definitely try a novel in verse sometimes. They're really fun! And this one was unique :)

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  9. A book influenced/based on a Greek myth...stop right there. You had me at Greek. Adding this to my TBR list.

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    1. I hope you'll love it whenever you get the chance to read it!

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  10. The Minotaur and the labyrinth actually is one of my favorite myths. I'm not even sure why? It's just so intriguing to me! I've never read a novel in verse, but your description of how the author uses it really well and the black pages and everything has me curious!

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    1. I really like this myth as well... I think there's something about labryinths that intrigue me a lot. You should give this one a go ;)

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  11. This book seems interesting. I haven't read a whole book in verse so it'll be interesting to see if I like it. Lol, I am quite stuck in my ways sometimes...
    I love Greek mythology. I have read many Rick Riordan's and enjoy those because of the Greek mythology in them.

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    1. I know what you mean. I was a bit nervous trying my first novel in verse as well. But it's worth the time! I really like Riordan's works too :D

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  12. This book looks interesting and I LOVE Greek Mythology so it seems like I would definitely enjoy it!

    Medusa's story is my favourite myth! I think it's because it was the first Greek myth I was told about.

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    1. I love Medusa's story! I actually think that may be one of my favourite myths as well ^^

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  13. A novel in verse? Please count me in!

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  14. My son would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance. Deana

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  15. 'woman sleeping with a bill to make the Minotaur.' Now, while I'm sure Bill prefers this arrangement to the alternative, I think that's probably a typo Liv ;)

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