The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern #1) by Shannon Hale

After having her travelling companions turn on her and take her place, Princess Ani is stuck alone in a new country where she was supposed to marry the prince.

Fantasy, 383 pages, published in 2003

After having her travelling companions turn on her and take her place, Princess Ani is stuck alone in a new country where she was supposed to marry the prince.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is absolutely going to be a biased review because I have loved this book for years and read it a ton of times!

This book is based off of the fairytale, also called The Goose Girl, by Grimm Brothers, but I didn’t know anything about the original when I read this (I still don’t, if I’m being honest).

I think one of the reasons I love this book so much is because it feels very soft and whimsical. The magic is very soft and not a huge part of the story, but I think it helps to add to the atmosphere.

Ani starts this book as a privileged, if looked down upon, princess, but she goes through so much change throughout this book. She recognizes that she has had an easy life so far, even if it was mostly loveless, and learns how much inner strength she has. At certain points, she is completely alone, but that also allows her to realize how she is without anyone else telling her who she is.

Ani also has to create all new relationships with the people around her. Some are easily formed friendships, but others are reluctant tolerance. I like how varied all of these relationships are. When I was younger, I thought the romance in this book was the best thing ever, and I still enjoyed it a lot, but there actually wasn’t too much emphasis on it.

This book balances on the edge of middle grade and young adult, though it was probably young adult when it was published, but is now considered more middle grade because of how the young adult category has shifted. Either way, it is definitely aimed at younger readers, but also doesn’t shy away from tough topics. It deals with betrayal, death, grief, and minimal violence and fear without going into too much detail, which I appreciate.

This whole series is on Audible’s new Plus catalogue, where you can listen to as much as you want from the selection, so I will be definitely be listening to the rest of this series soon! I’ve only read those a maximum of twice, whereas I’ve read The Goose Girl probably close to 10 times at this point.

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Books I Loved as a Kid!

I could swear I had done some sort of post similar to this before, but I can’t for the life of me find it, so here we go (either again for for the first time)!

I could swear I had done some sort of post similar to this before, but I can’t for the life of me find it, so here we go (either again for for the first time)!

Elementary School

I have such distinct memories of reading Captain Underpants on the bus with my friend in 1st or 2nd grade! We would make up a little jingle to remember what chapter we left off on…not sure why we didn’t just use a bookmark! The Magic Tree House series was an absolute classic! I specifically remember the one about Pompeii. When I suddenly remembered the Wayside School books, I was astounded that I forgot about them! They were so strange and I remember being obsessed with them because they were just so weird.

How could Harry Potter not be on this list? I was the exact right age group for it that grew up with Harry. My mom started out by reading these books to me, then we moved to the audiobooks, then I finally was able to read them on my own. The same thing happened with A Series of Unfortunate Events! We would listen to them on car trips, so I remember being super mad at a classmate who did a report on the 11th book and spoiling it for me because we hadn’t gotten to listen to the book yet. Also, Heartland. I was a horse girl! My best friend I were obsessed with (all 20) of these books.

Middle School/Early High School

So in middle school, we weren’t allowed to carry around backpacks, and we could only stop at our lockers once in the middle of the day, so I always carried around a huge stack of binders and folders, topped with a book. When I was reading Eragon, the stack must have been like over a foot tall! I remember carrying around Brisingr when it came out and many people staring at me because I was carrying this huge book around!

Ah, Twilight. I was actually a little late to these books, because I didn’t read them until after the last one came out but I was obsessed. That might actually be an understatement. It was 2008-09, so I was 14 years old, the target age for this series. I would write quotes all over my notebook, practice writing things on the chalkboards in the title font, I even lent my teachers my copies of the books.

I was also obsessed with pretty much all of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books. They were just so fun, there was magic and romance, and they were some of the first books I’d read that actually mentioned sex! I was 13 or 14 at this time.

Vampire Academy was definitely a high school series for me, since I was already in 10th grade when the last one came out. These books were just so fun! I’ve reread them multiple times since and I still love them! I feel the same way about Pendragon! My brother actually picked this series out for a carride audiobook, and seeing the cover, I was not excited, but I fell in love with the series! I recently reread and it was still so good! Though, it is 10 books, so it definitely dragged more than I remembered at the end.

We have arrived at The Goose Girl. I can’t remember when I first listened to this in the car, because I have read it so many times since then that I can’t tell them apart. I’ve read this book at least 5 or 6 times, and it’s always the book I say when asked for my favorite book. It definitely has such a special place in my heart!


I was in the target group for so many huge series that turned into huge franchises. It’s hard to imagine my life without those, because they were such a part of my life at the time, and for some, like Harry Potter, I literally grew up with the characters as the books were released. I think that is a part of why I’m such a big reader now, but definitely not the whole reason.

I also thinks it’s kind of funny that my tastes really haven’t changed all that much! The vast majority of these are fantasy, and as I got older, I got way more interested in books with romance in them. My top two most read genres right now are fantasy and romance.

(OKAY, so I actually did find that old post…it was only a year ago that I posted it. It feels like so much longer ago! I did say some of the same things in this post, but I’ve added some more.)


What books did you read when you were young that you have specific memories of?

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Books I Plan to Reread This Year!

One of my goals this year was to reread a lot, so I’ve come up with a lot of books I want to try to get to this year. I was originally going to make a schedule of when I wanted to reread everything, but that’s really not who I am.

One of my goals this year was to reread a lot, so I’ve come up with some books I want to try to get to this year. I was originally going to make a schedule of when I wanted to reread everything, but that’s really not who I am. These are in no particular order!

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES

I had lukewarm feelings about the first and third book of this series, and with the next book coming out soon-ish, I want to give these a reread. ACOMAF was an all-time favorite of mine, so I want to see if my opinion has changed on that.

THE BOOKS OF BAYERN

I’ve read The Goose Girl probably close to 10 times, but I’ve only read the other books in this series once, maybe twice. I finally bought them all when they came out with these gorgeous new editions! They are gonna be super quick reads.

SIX OF CROWS

I really loved this series when I was reading it, though I do remember being confused by Crooked Kingdom. I would like to savor these a little bit more this time around because I was definitely rushing the first time.

MISTBORN

As I am writing this, I just started reading The Eleventh Metal, a short story to go with this series, and it gave me a HUGE rush of nostalgia for these books! The atmosphere, the characters, the magic, I loved it all! I can’t decide if I want to reread the second era as well. I think I would enjoy them more the second time around because I know what to expect.

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO

I seriously adored this book the first time around! I want to feel that way again. This book is unlike anything else I’ve read before.

STRANGE THE DREAMER

Laini’s writing is absolutely stunning and I want to experience it again! Also, these books just speak to my soul, okay I need to reread them.

AKEMI DAWN BOWMAN BOOKS

I related to Starfish when I read it more than any other book I had read before. Both of her books are beautifully written and are so powerful. I can’t wait for her next book!

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES

I read this series right when I started getting back into reading and I loved it! I know I got a little burnt out on them by the last book, so I may try and space them out a little more this time.

THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS

This book is absolutely gorgeous! I don’t normally love books of short stories, but the artwork combined with the creative and memorable stories makes this one of my favorites.

Do you have any goals to reread this year?

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Fantasy Favorites

I haven’t talked about myself much yet on this blog, so I figured the best way to introduce myself would be through my favorite books! I won’t be giving a synopsis for each book (Goodreads does a much better job at it than I do), but I will be talking about why I love them or what makes them special to me.

I haven’t talked about myself much yet on this blog, so I figured the best way to introduce myself would be through my favorite books! I won’t be giving a synopsis for each book (Goodreads does a much better job at it than I do), but I will be talking about why I love them or what makes them special to me.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

I read this book when I was in middle school, and I immediately fell in love with it! It was actually my family’s roadtrip audiobook, but we finished the roadtrip before the book ended, so I remember sitting in my room with my boombox so I could finish listening to the cassettes. I did enjoy the rest of the series, but this book is just so good that I’ve read it at least 7 or 8 times.

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

This whole series means a lot to me. It really got me back into reading when I was in a really dark place in life. I know it definitely has some issues, but I think overall the story, the characters, and the relationships will be some that I remember and hold dear for a very long time.

The Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor

I had heard so many people saying great things about this book, so I was skeptical when I first started it but oh man, it really ended up being one of my favorites!! It is so unique and interesting, and the language is magical. Whenever I read Laini Taylor’s writing, there will be a sentence that just makes me stop and think “wow“.

The Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

If you read my King of Scars review, than you already know I love this duology. I was also skeptical going into this one because I didn’t enjoy the Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo, but I was proved wrong. This book doesn’t even include that many fantasy elements, but I love groups of misfits and outcasts coming together!

I’m realizing that I have too many fantasy favorites to justify putting them all in one post, so this will have a part 2 eventually, but I will finish off the post with an important favorite:

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is one of the first books I remember reading. I have a super specific memory of my mom and I sitting at a table in the kid’s section of Barnes & Noble, and her telling me that we should get this book because it was getting popular. I was only in first grade at the time (like 6 years old) so it was too advanced for me to read on my own, so my mom would read it to me and I would follow along. I really think this started my lifelong love of reading and of fantasy! The series will always mean a lot to me no matter how much JKR makes a fool out of herself by coming up with more content for it.

Stay tuned for part two of this post, as well as posts about my favorites from other genres!