Monday, May 14, 2012
Harcourt Children's Books, 2012
YA Fairy-Tale Fantasy
Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine.
I was so excited to pick this book up! I have loved fairy tales ever since I was little and I vividly remember my mom reading to me from her book of Grimm's fairy tales. While most recent YA fairy tale retellings and twists have focused on stories with a princess, this one promised to deliver a lot more, incorporating references to pretty much every fairy tale you know.
The primary story draws from "The Frog Prince" when a lovely young girl meets a frog and her kiss transforms him back to his human shape. But there is so much more to the story as the girl Sunday shares her crazy family history and the frog prince Rumbold struggles to recover his memories and woo Sunday despite her family's grudge against his family.
Sunday is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and a seventh son, destining her for a life filled with magic. She meets and befriends the frog, called Grumble, early in the book and soon decides she is in love with him; this makes his sudden disappearance very hard for her. The hardship is compounded when she meets Prince Rumbold and finds herself developing feelings for him despite her lingering love for Grumble. Meanwhile Rumbold is trying to win her hand on his own while also struggling to remember his life pre-transformation and the basic human functions. But pretty much everyone else has their own little story too that corresponds to one or more fairy tale so it is not just the love story of Sunday and Rumbold.
I did find the story a little overstuffed. Every character has a pretty detailed backstory and it sometimes took away from Sunday and Rumbold's story. I also found the tone a little too lighthearted at times. I guess I found the whimsy overwhelming. Perhaps I should have tried to read the book slower so that I could savor all of the connections. On the other hand, I am sure I will discover even more to love in this book when I read it again as I will be able to focus more on picking up the various references. I'm a big reader of fairy tales and I am sure I only picked up on a small proportion of the allusions.
Overall: Full of magic, this is an enchanting book perfect for lovers of fairy tales and romance.
Cover: The model makes me think more of "Sleeping Beauty" but I love the top part, especially the swirly "E."