author’s website: Alex Flinn
appeals to: Young Adult
genre: Contemporary Fantasy
length: 371 pages
overall rating: 4 stars
*the inside flap*
Talia fell under a spell…Jack broke the curse.
I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic…
I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.
I awakened in the same place but in another time – to a stranger’s soft kiss.
I couldn’t help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn’t know this would happen.
Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!
Now I’m stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels....The good news: My parents will freak!
Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all – even time?
I picked this book up thinking that a retelling of “Sleeping Beauty” would be a quick, fun read, but this book far exceeded my expectations! I love the twist that 300 years have passed before the spell is broken. It seems that Princess Talia has no clue about how to handle herself in the 21st century, and expects Jack to respond to her every need. But as you read, you realize that Talia has it more together than you would think, and that Jack hasn’t really got a handle on where his life is headed.
When Talia awakens, she comes across as naïve, bratty, and spoiled – but then again, she is a princess from the 17th century, so she is probably supposed to be that way. However, in a modern world, that just comes across as clingy, whiny, and needy…especially to Jack! As the story continues, Talia begins to learn about the modern world and adapt to it. Her diplomacy skills are mentioned and highlighted in several scenes, and I grew to really like her character.
Jack comes across as cocky and slightly arrogant in the beginning of the book, but as you learn more about his family, you realize that the arrogance is really just a shield from his parents’ lack of faith in him. He grows in confidence throughout the book, and I think events toward the end really made him quite likable.
The story is told with chapters alternating in perspective between Talia and Jack. I think it really adds to the telling, because both Jack and Talia are thinking things that are quite different than their actions. The first-person perspective makes it easier to understand the characters and shows that Flinn has really created depth in both of them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a modern twist.
*short and snappy*
writing: light – I especially like that Talia’s speaking is very proper, as is fitting a 17th century princess (this detail also comes through in Talia’s clothing choices and mannerisms)
plot: cute and enjoyable, and, while slightly predictable, there were a few unexpected twists characters: complex – both Talia and Jack have moments that you love them and moments that you hate them, but Flinn created depth in both
judging by the cover: I love the cover and it really ties in to the story (but I pictured Talia differently)miscellaneous: There is an excerpt from chapter 1 on Alex Flinn’s website (here)