Book Review: Quite Contrary by Richard Roberts

January 18, 2016 Advanced Readers Copy, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Fairy Tales, He said / She said, Horror, How To's 0

I received this book for free from AudioBook Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Quite Contrary by Richard RobertsQuite Contrary by Richard Roberts
Published by Curiosity Quills Press on March 30th 2013
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
Genres: Fairytale, Young Adult
Pages: 317
Source: AudioBook Reviewer
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The secret of having an adventure is getting lost. Who ever visited an enchanted kingdom or fell into a fairy tale without wandering into the woods first?
Well, Mary is lost. Mary is lost in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, and that is a cruel and murderous story. She's put on the red hood and met the Wolf. When she gives in to her Wolf's temptations, she will die. That's how the story goes, after all.
Unfortunately for the story and unfortunately for the Wolf, this Little Red Riding Hood is Mary Stuart, and she is the most stubborn and contrary twelve year old the world has ever known.
Forget the Wolf's temptations, forget the advice of the talking rat trying to save her - she will kick her way through every myth and fairy tale ever told until she finds a way to get out of this alive. Her own way, and no one else's.

audiobook review done


This is an interesting, yet disturbing book. I really enjoyed the idea behind the book, but it did not totally work for me.

Mary is twelve and finds herself lost and stuck in fairyland. She’s quite contrary and does not do what she is told to do. This is explained a little later on in the book, but I do not think the explanation was enough. It does explain some things but I still do not really understand her character.

First, she does not really fit into any groups at home, but she does not really want to either. She knows she is different and she is fine with that. Mainly because many people are stupid and follow paths that are laid out before them without thinking about it. She is determined not to do that. This part of Mary I really like. I love that she thinks for herself.

Where it gets weird is that she is constantly cursing. Her favorite word starts with an F (I’m sure you can fill in the blanks) and she uses this as much and as often as she possibly can. While I know most kids want to say or do things that are contrary to what their parents want, this seemed a little much. A smart girl does not have to curse to show her inner strength.

Another issue is that there is no rhyme or reason for how she falls into different stories. The second she is lost she can find herself in another story. This means the characters she met prior are gone. This means most of the characters, whether the reader likes them or hates them really do not mean anything to the reader. It makes me not want to invest any of my time in the story.

I did like her way of going about the stories. She does use her mind but at the expense of others. She is actually really selfish. What is really ironic about this is that she makes sure to do her own thing but normally winds up following the story that was originally in place! Then she has to fight to get out of it. She does have a lot of spunk but I would have been more comfortable if she was a bit older.

The audio and narration were done well. Every once in a while Amy Rubinite would miss a mark and would say something in another character’s voice but that was only a few times. And I instantly knew what was happening. That might be something that editing probably needs to catch? I enjoyed her Mary voice the most. She really does sound contrary which just gave her more spark.

Overall, fun story but I needed a little more reasoning behind not only the way Mary is but the plot. Makes me curious about the author’s other work though!

Rating Report
4 / 5
Character Development
3.5 / 5
Writing Style
4 / 5
Personal enjoyment
4 / 5
5 / 5
Overall: 4.1 / 5
The Author


I’ve been writing for a long, long time. A long, long, long time. Do you remember when dirt was invented? I was using it to scratch out stories. Getting published was harder, but now I’m hooked up with Curiosity Quills and I have real books in paper, and you should buy some!

As a writer my fascination has always been children’s literature, especially children’s lit that is also adult lit. For some reason, this means that instead I write gothic light romance for fun, and very dark and tragic young adult books for passion. I love seeing the world through the eyes of strange people, and I believe that happy endings must be earned the hard way. There’s a reason my friends started calling me Frankensteinbeck.

I could talk about how great my writing is until I turn blue, but I should let an expert do that for me. Check out the Kirkus Review for Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Teeth!

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