Hello hello, and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of A Spindle Splintered, a novella from Alix E. Harrow.
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.
Having read and adored The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which still stands out as one of my favourite ever books, I was keen to read this novella. I kept hearing that the illustrations made it just as wonderfully creepy as the text, so I decided to go for the physical copy, and have absolutely zero regrets.
It might only be a short book, but it manages to pack in many punches. Zinnia is a witty, likeable protagonist, who is facing her short life span with a frank outlook. As a disabled reader who always wants for more representation, it was great to see a character talking about hospital visits and baffled doctors and rare conditions. It was also great to see family and friends being supportive, understanding, and loving of everything she is dealing with, from allowing her to drop out of high school, to planning a full scale Disney-level party. Oh, and reaching through the laws of physics to find more princesses to save the day. Everyone needs friends like that.
I loved the twists and crossovers from the real folklore behind the stories we know – and especially the ones we don’t. On top of that, the stories created to back up Zinnia’s adventures, and her desire to save Primrose if she can’t save herself, was moving. I felt it deep in my soul. I might not have the exact disease that Zinnia has, but I find myself as a fixer. When I can help people, I automatically find myself dropping what I can, where I can. It almost always leads to me overstretching myself and I’m having to practice saying no to others – and to my gut reaction – yet I can’t help it, and seeing this in a character with a disability I could relate to really warmed my heart.
As I mentioned above, Charm proves to be the best friend anyone could ask for, and I found myself texting the friends in my life I know would stop the world for me after I finished the book, just to let them know I loved them. And if a book can move you like that, then it’s worth reading.
Thanks so much for stopping by for this review of a book I loved by an author I adore. I’ll also be reviewing her other book after a reread, so keep an eye out for that one soon.