Monday, May 18, 2015

Two Awful Retellings

Hello Lovelies! I'm going to a two-books-one-post today. I had to read both of these for a class, and I wasn't impressed with either of them, so I thought I'd just stick them together here, okay, alright?

Published: April 28th, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Received: Borrowed from the library

"Can pity be turned into love?"

Apparently, yes, according to Alex Flinn. First of all, this is a Sleeping Beauty retelling. And let's be honest, Sleeping Beauty isn't really the best fairy tale to start with (cause of its creepy rapetastic plot line), and then Flinn's characters are just awful--not to mention the frankly, amateur writing. 

Talia is a spoiled brat of a princess in the early 18th century. She hasn't been allowed to leave the castle because of the looming spindle in her future. Of course, she was destined to prick her finger on one, so one finds her. Three hundred years later, we meet up with Jack, a spoiled brat in the 21st century. He hates Europe. He wants to go to the beach. So him and a friend hop a bus which leads them to getting lost and wandering through overgrown hedges. Jack finds Talia and thinks she's so beautiful. He has to kiss her. So he does. She wakes up. Everyone wakes up. But they weren't prepared for the reality of sleeping for three hundred years. Talia leaves with Jack to experience the new century without letting anyone know. 

Basically this book was just a hot mess. Like besides the rape-y overture, (on top of kissing someone without their permission while they're in sleeping/dead statsis, Jack gets egged on by his friend Travis who says she's asleep, nobody will even know), there is no visible character growth. Readers are told that the characters have changed, but we don't really see it on the page. It's just like, no really, here's the climax which shows how they've changed. I would not recommend this book.

Fairest of All by Serena Valentino
Published: August 18th, 2009
Publisher: DisneyPress
Received: Borrowed from the library

"No, it was something more terrible than love"

Valentino takes Snow White's tale and attempts to tell it from the Queen's perspective. It's definitely a middle-grade novel, so the writing is suitable for the level. Honestly, the worst part of this book is that Valentino only names the characters which she unnecessarily inserts in to the narrative. Otherwise she uses epithets as names: the King, the Queen, the Prince, and then Snow White (which is arguably her name--it's just not a very good one). I wanted to tear my eyes out after about ten pages of this. It was obnoxious. And for all the hard work Valentino puts in to making the Queen relateable, this barrier of a name is just ridiculous. 

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