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Spindle by [Slayton, Shonna]
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Spindle Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3436 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled: Teen (4 October 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01CCWVURA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #335,315 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
3 Stars.

Spindle was an interesting read, more historical fiction than I had been anticipating, woven through with the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty, but more as a sequel to that tale. I did enjoy Spindle, but there were a few factors which didn't fully work for me, and I discuss them below.

The characters of Spindle are all really strong. Briar was a wonderful MC and I enjoyed very much being inside her head as she faced the numerous obstacles of life as a mill girl in America during the industrial age (namely, 1894). I found her voice intelligent, thoughtful, selfless, kind and caring. Henry was also a fun addition and a wonderful love interest. My only complaint is that I would have liked for him to be in the story a little more. Briar's siblings were delightful, and Fanny was another cute addition to the cast. Another factor which I really enjoyed about Spindle was the close female friendships of the mill girls in general, but with Briar, Ethel and Mim particularly - I adored all of those interactions and really brightened the story.

The setting of the cotton mills was fascinating and clearly very well researched, which I always appreciate a lot as a reader. The struggles, exploitation and troubles were clearly expressed in a sensitive and thoughtful manner.

Now, to the plot. Whilst Spindle, overall, has a solid plot, I can't deny that it is rather... slow. As a reader, we know that the spindle is going to enter the scene at some point so the good 40% plus it took of the book before it turned up was actually a little frustrating, because until then, the book was reading purely as an historical romance, which would have been fine, if that is what I had signed up for.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Read! 15 January 2017
By April VanDyke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again, Shonna Slayton drivers an historically intricate yet fantastical adventure. Her blend of history and fantasy leaves the reader believing that anything is truly possible! The characters are grounded and likeable, making it easy to relate to their circumstances. This book kept me up late more nights than I can count- that is my mark of a great book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Twist on Sleeping Beauty 10 February 2017
By Stephanie Ward - Published on Amazon.com
'Spindle' is a wonderful young adult fairy tale - a twist on the story of Sleeping Beauty. The author does a great job of keeping original parts of the tale in sync with the novel. I liked that it had a lot of the same aspects of the fairy tale, it made it feel familiar and easy to slip into Briar's world. Briar is a fantastic main character for the book. She's raising her three younger siblings on her own after the death of her parents. She works long hours at the mill as a spinner and does other sewing on the side for extra money to help provide for the kids. She's a loving and very devoted sister - it's pretty much her main concern in life. Briar's also practical, down to earth, smart, and hardworking. I found it easy to connect with her early on in the story, and I loved watching her conquer all of the obstacles she comes across.

The story is told from Briar's point of view, so we really get to know her character on a deeply personal level. Her thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears, and everything else are exposed for us to see. The first person point of view is my favorite writing style, and I'm very glad the author chose to use it for the story. I personally think it makes a big difference on how the story effects a reader - and the first person style seems to be the best option, in my opinion. One other part of Briar's character and background is her Irish heritage. I'm part Irish myself, and I liked reading about the different stories Briar had heard from her parents or others from the 'old country.' Some other readers probably won't think twice about this part of the book, but I liked it so much I wanted to at least mention it. All of the other aspects of the story are well done, from the setting and other characters to the plot itself. It felt a bit slow at the beginning, but once things started happening - it picked up speed and had me hooked. I definitely recommend this book to fans of fantasy and fairy tales - it's one you'll want to pick up!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spindle is a retelling take you don’t want to miss. 12 October 2016
By Michelle@Book Briefs - Published on Amazon.com
Spindle by Shonna Slyaton is a young adult fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I knew I had to read Spindle because I love retellings, because Sleeping Beauty is one disney classic that I never watched too much and because the cover is bea-u-ti-ful! I mean, seriously it is so pretty! I loved Spindle. I thought it was well executed, had a great flair for the classic story, but Shonna Slayton still made it her own.

Spindle is the story of Briar Rose, a young girl trying to work for a better life for her siblings. I really loved Rose. I thought her work ethic was admirable and I loved her dedication to her brothers and sister. But no story is complete without a prince. In this case, her best friend Henry Prince. Which I thought was a cute twist. His family is hiding a big secret, which totally intriged me. I had my guesses from the beginning but I would be lying if I said I easily had this one completely figured out. Shonna Slyaton does some really cool things with the twists and secrets in Spindle.

The only thing that annoyed me about Briar Rose was her continued fascination with Wheeler. I thought he was a jerk, but she couldn’t seem to get him out of her head. But other than that, and a few slow points in the story, I really really enjoyed this tale. I thought it was a lot of fun. I think fans of retellings will love Spindle. I do wish there was a little more romance. It builds throughout the story but it is loaded heavier on the back end of the book.

The industrial revolution time period is the perfect setting for Spindle. In fact, I think that was my favorite story telling decision. It set the mood of desperation perfectly. Spindle is a retelling take you don’t want to miss. I can’t wait for more from Shonna Slayton.

*Disclaimer- I got a copy of this book for free from the publisher or author.
4.0 out of 5 stars Spindle is Historical but Lighter on Fantasy... 16 October 2016
By Stephanie @ TeacherofYA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Title: Spindle
Author: Shonna Slayton
Publisher: Entangled Teen, 2016 (Oct 4)
Genre: YA Fairy Tale Retellings, YA Fantasy, YA Historical Fiction

**I received a copy of this book free from Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review**

This review can be found on my blog at Teacherofya dot Wordpress dot com

My Review:

I read Spindle by Shonna Slayton, because I'm a sucker for anything fairy-tale related!

I'm also a sucker for beautiful covers...and this one drew me in.

I have to say, though, that it was different than I expected...

Briarly Rose Jenny (or Briar for short because that name is a mouthful!) is an Irish immigrant living in Sunrise Valley during the 1890s. Her Mam and Da dead, Briar must care for her twin brothers and little sister. She works at the mill as a Spinner girl, the only decent paying job, and she knows she must become independent before her seventeenth birthday. Right now, Nanny (Mrs. Prudence) takes care of the children during the week while Briar stays at a boardinghouse in town, and on the weekends Briar rushes home to spend time with her siblings. 

She was previously engaged to Wheeler, another factory boy, who had dreams of returning to the Old Country...which is exactly what Briar's Mam always wanted for her family. But Wheeler strayed to Sadie, another Mill girl, and left Briar with a broken heart and broken plans. Only Henry Prince can make her laugh: Briar does not want to get involved with him, though, because his family is notorious for living and dying in Sunrise Valley. With her seventeenth birthday on the horizon only two weeks away, and her frame in the Mill constantly slowing her down, Briar fears her family will be torn apart.

Suddenly, Nanny disappears and another takes her place. A strange woman that seems to come from nowhere and insists Mrs. Prudence left for an emergency. Then Henry, the dependable one, tells her he's leaving for a trip across the ocean. While Briar tries to adjust, a mysterious peddled comes to town and offers Briar a beautiful wood Spindle: just the thing to fix her finicky frame. Since she cannot depend on Nanny or Henry, Briar must make a decision to change her own luck. 

What Briar doesn't realize is that the story of Sleeping Beauty was not just a fairy tale...and this time, there isn't going to be a happy ending...

Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Yes. I'm having a good streak with appropriate YA literature lately. As Spindle is set in the 1890s, it is rich with historically accurate references like the Women's Temperance movement and the invention of the bicycle. The Author's Note in the back mentions all the materials used in cresting the story...it sheds light on the potato famine that brought the Irish here to the US in the first place, and the discrimination against them once they arrived. NINA, or No Irish Need Apply, was a real problem when it came to finding jobs. Speaking of jobs, the life of a Mill girl is examined in detail, and I could see this book used more for its historical references than its fairy-tale ones. I could see a history unit using this book. It's cute and it's light...and I could see some activities that could even be done in the middle grade level.

Age Range:

Though most YA is located through Lexile.com for its scores, it tends to leave out A LOT. Despite the fact that Spindle isn't listed, I would feel confident recommending this book for ages 11 and up. It's not too advanced for a middle grader, and it's clean enough to allow younger readers access to it. I would happily let my 12 year old niece read it...if only she liked historical fiction or fairy-tale retellings. Unfortunately, she's on a horror kick and would probably throw this out the window.

End Result:

This one is tricky for me. I kept waiting for the climax to build as I continued to read, and it didn't really get moving until about 70% of the way through. There was a TON of historical information, but sometimes I felt it took away from the fairy-tale aspect. It seemed like 70% historical fiction, 30% fairy-tale retelling, to be honest. And I don't have a problem with that...but I was just expecting a little more focus on the Sleeping Beauty aspect.

I'm torn between a three and four star rating: the writing was good, and the story was ok, but it's not something that I'd rave about. I would normally go with 3.5, but in our lovely rating world, there are no half stars (and there really should be!). So because of this, I'm going to round it to ★★★★☆, because I usually give three to the books I have to push through. I was captivated by the story, but when I realized what I was getting was all I was going to get, I was a little disappointed.

So, in short: a great historical read, but don't read it simply for the fairy tale: there's not enough fairy tale to tide you over. Would use in the classroom, but only for its historical benefits. If you like period lit, then I recommend it for you. 

I do wish you Happy Reading! I thank NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC, and the book is now available to purchase!
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising 23 October 2016
By Suze Lavender - Published on Amazon.com
Briar isn't even seventeen years old yet, but she has many responsibilities. She has to take care of her siblings. Because she's the sole provider of her household she needs to leave them with a nanny while working at a spinning mill. Her best friend Henry is the person who makes her laugh. He brings joy in her life and Briar is sad when he has to leave. He tells her he will come back, but there's hardly any news from him and she misses him terribly.

One day a peddler offers Briar something from his cart in exchange for information. Briar chooses a wooden spindle, which she wants to take with her to the mill to make her work easier. Briar's spindle draws a lot of attention. From the moment it's there the girls at the mill are getting sick. They're having a strange sleeping sickness. While Briar learns more about her new spindle she knows she should be careful with it. She also tries to prevent others from coming near. Can she keep herself safe from harm at the same time or will the spindle find a way to prick her anyway?

Spindle is a mix of a fairytale retelling and historical romance. Shonna Slayton has done her research well and that clearly shows in her story. It's quite literary and very different from what I expected when I first started reading. It's not a light and fun read, but a book about serious topics like voting rights for women, the freedom of having a bicycle and the consequences of wages that are being cut. The historical background is as important as the mysterious spindle and the consequences for Briar of having it in her life. As I love magical realism I didn't mind this at all and decided to let the story surprise me.

Spindle isn't fast-paced and I think that suits the historical timeframe. There is a lot going on though. Briar has to take care of an entire family by herself. Her nanny will leave the children after a given deadline, which gives Briar stress. The guy who is the sunshine of her life has to leave, but she tries to make the best of it. She's an incredibly strong girl with many talents. Briar always manages to find a way out of any difficult situation she's in. She never whines and she shoulders her responsibilities in the best way possible. She's a sweet girl, but she's also confident and brave, which is a combination I really liked.

Spindle is a story about an enchanted spindle. It's a Sleeping Beauty retelling. This is one of my favorite fairytales and I like the way Shonna Slayton has used this beautiful story. There are interesting family bonds, supernatural secrets and unexpected twists and turns. Spindle is a special story, it's got a solid basis and there's a clear message for women. Shonna Slayton can definitely write and I think Spindle is a great multifaceted story.