E-ARC Review: Ballad of the the Beanstalk by Amy McNulty – An Interesting Prequel for Jack and the Beanstalk

Hi guys! I got another review for you, and today’s book is Ballad of the the Beanstalk by Amy McNulty! Now first, I want to make a few announcements.

  1. We have an Instagram now, which is going to be 100% controlled by Cayli. Go follow us @LILbooKlovers (and make sure you also follow our Twitter where you can find my latest ramblings about stuff). She’s going to provide some pretty photos and updates there, so you don’t want to miss it!
  2. I am suspending Weekly Quote-Flection for the summer because I have so many author guests on the blog from Summer of Authors and I’m limiting myself to post 2-3 times a week (Monday, Friday, and Sunday). I know, I did one, and I stopped. But by then, I’ll have a ton of quotes to pick from and write about once the school year’s here!

Hope you enjoy the review!

About the BookBallad and the Beanstalk

As her fingers move across the strings of her family’s heirloom harp, sixteen-year-old Clarion can forget. She doesn’t dwell on the recent passing of her beloved father or the fact that her mother has just sold everything they owned, including that very same instrument that gives Clarion life. She doesn’t think about how her friends treat her like a feeble, brittle thing to be protected. She doesn’t worry about how to tell the elegant Elena, her best friend and first love, that she doesn’t want to be her sweetheart anymore. She becomes the melody and loses herself in the song.

When Mack, a lord’s dashing young son, rides into town so his father and Elena’s can arrange a marriage between the two youth, Clarion finds herself falling in love with a boy for the first time. Drawn to Clarion’s music, Mack puts Clarion and Elena’s relationship to the test, but he soon vanishes by climbing up a giant beanstalk that only Clarion has seen. When even the town witch won’t help, Clarion is determined to rescue Mack herself and prove once and for all that she doesn’t need protecting. But while she fancied herself a savior, she couldn’t have imagined the enormous world of danger that awaits her in the kingdom of the clouds.

A prequel to the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk that reveals the true story behind the magical singing harp.

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Overall Thoughts: I really liked the premise of the book. How did the Harp in Jack and the Beanstalk get there? It was a very interesting and unique “prequel” to Jack and the Beanstalk, and I finished it in two days. It was a quick read that keeps you hooked from the beginning! I stayed up one night just to finish the book, and I couldn’t put it down until the end. I remember I was reading another book as I was starting this one, and I was like “I just want to read this one.” Now was this a 4- or 5-star book for me? Not really; I didn’t like it and I wasn’t as emotionally connected to it as I wanted, but fairy tale lovers will like this book!

Fairy Tale Prequel: Ballad and the Beanstalk takes place right before the events of the actual fairy tale. Now it’s supposed to explain how the Golden Harp got there in the first place. Once you get to the end, you’ll finally figure out how everything ties together, and it will shock you. My prediction wasn’t what actually did happen. I think fairy tale lovers would like this book because it creates a very interesting take on the events before Jack’s arrival. The ending is suprising, though it takes a while to process. But I liked it. It shocked me a lot!

Didn’t Like It As Much: Now, there are a few reasons why I’m very conflicted with this book. I didn’t like how you don’t know how both stories will relate until the very end, and I, at the very least, would have appreciated some foreshadowing, but there wasn’t any. There were also times where I was confused with what was going on, the characters, etc. I just wasn’t as connected with the main character and the story as I have with other books, but regardless, it was a fun, quick read!

Concluding Thoughts: Just because I didn’t like it a lot means that you shouldn’t read it? No way! If you are a big fan of fairy tales and different takes on them, then you should go read it! It won’t take that long (which I like), and it’s a fun adventure that takes you through many twists and turns. The ending definitely gets you, and it will explain how the events of Jack came to be.

Favorite Quote: “All the best things in this life will cause you some pain. But they’re worth it, I promise. So long as you never give up because the pain seems frightening.”

Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Do you have any thoughts or questions?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

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13 thoughts on “E-ARC Review: Ballad of the the Beanstalk by Amy McNulty – An Interesting Prequel for Jack and the Beanstalk

  1. Awh, this seemed intriguing. I may wait a bit more on it, because I have read a few books where it did pop out some stuff without foreshadowing and it totally messed with me. Wonderful job, though, explaining it! Great review, Kester! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! And yes, it was surprising. I liked it but I wished I could have gone “Oh my gosh how did I not notice that before?” Flora Banks is a great example! We Were Liars (albeit it was clever but had not-so-great execution) did that too! I love those little details that make you facepalm after the end! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Definitely! I love that feeling. And also, when I feel like I’m a total detective, managing to catch the clues. And ooooh, I’ll definitely have to check both of those out then. I love that too, so any book that does that is brilliant in my book. XD

        Liked by 1 person

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