Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Modern Fairy Tales- Alex Flinn

When I was younger, I was so completely enamored with the idea of a fairy tale life. Princesses, princes, evil witches, poisoned food, white horses, castles, and of course- happy endings. However, as I grew older, and more cynical, I began to harbor a deep-seated loathing for fairy tales. This was mainly because I saw them as being completely unattainable ideals that could never be realized in our world. However, maybe I was being too harsh on the fairy tales, after all sometimes happily ever after is the reality. Alas, I digress, here is my review over two of Alex Flinn's modern retellings- Beastly and A Kiss in Time.

Beastly is a modern retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast. It was publised by Harper Teen in 2007 and has 336 pages.
Synopsis:Privileged, popular, and proud, high school student Kyle Kingsbury knows he can get away with virtually anything because of his good looks and his father's money.  But Kyle goes too far when he sets out to humiliate a mysterious and unpopular girl at the school dance.  The girl turns out to be a witch who casts a spell on Kyle, turning him into a beast who is now as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside. The only way for Kyle to break the curse is to fall in love with someone who will look past his appearance and love him in return.

Beastly was an overall enjoyable read. It was light-hearted, adorable, with great dialogue and some funny scenes. At the same time, it carries a very important message about the power of love and true beauty. I liked this book. Some of the ideas Flinn added to modernize the book, like the chat room for mythical creatures, were unique touches that really helped the book along. At the same time, you could definitely see the basic storyline of BATB in the plot, characters, and events. The only problem I had with the book is that Flinn seemed to rely to much on that story and the ultimate happy-ending. I felt that she knew that her ending was going to put Adrian and Lindy together and therefore she didn't really develop much of her own storyline. The ending came too easily and without enough conflict for me. That aside, the book is certainly worth a read.

A Kiss in Time is loosely based on the story of Sleeping Beauty. It was published by Harper Teen in April of 2010 and had 400 pages.

Synopsis: An agreeable, fluffy expansion of "Sleeping Beauty," this novel conflates the traditional story with that of an American teenage boy. Talia (the princess) has the world's most overprotective parents—not without reason, of course. Seventeen-year-old Jack's parents think about him only when they are criticizing him. When he awakens Talia with a kiss, she is thrust more than 300 years into a future in the 21st century.

I enjoyed A Kiss in Time much more than Beastly. Perhaps that's because Sleeping Beauty is my all time favorite, perhaps not. =) All bias aside, the story line, characters, and plot felt a lot more unique than did Beastly's. I enjoyed the novel and found it entertaining. Talia's growth as a character was probably my favorite part of the novel. It is far from a deep, thoughtful novel but it is perfect if you're looking for a quick read to fill in between other novels. It would make the perfect beach book. It was overall really good and I definitely recommend it.

Until next time,
The Book Nook


  1. Hehe, saying you wanted to stop by and steal "Wither" isn't creepy at all! You should have SEEN me when I saw it in the ARC pile. I bet my eyes bugged out like in a cartoon. I literally GRABBED it and started saying, "Mine, it's mine!" Our Customer Relations Manager started laughing at me and all I wanted to do was pet it and read b/c it was *my* precious! Hopefully I'll post a review Tues. or Wed. for you to read. I already have it written, but I won't post until one week or less before a book's launch date.

    I'm glad you liked Alex Flinn despite not liking fairytale novels. I have "Beastly," but haven't read it b/c I'm working on my own fairytale novel atm (another for you to read, haha) and don't want to read anyone else's modern interpretations. "Entwined" by Heather Dixon comes out at the end of the month, is a 2011 Debut Novel, and is based on my favorite fairytale, "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." Fairytales are one of my favorite genres...

    I always liked this version of Sleeping Beauty" "Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card. It has a Russian flavor. Also, I believe the newest "Tales of the 500 Kingdoms" book by Mercedes Lackey is a Sleeping Beauty tale, though I haven't read this one yet...which is horrible b/c it's sitting on my shelf. I love that series. It starts with "The Fairy Godmother." Um, and I recently started reading a really cool series by Jim C. Hines. The first book is "The Stepsister Scheme." Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White band together and go off on adventures and it's made of WIN!

  2. I've actually found that fairytales are starting to grow on me. That's awesome that you're writing your own. I hope to have it on my shelf one day! Good luck with it!

    I'm excited about "Enchantment." I'm in love with Russian Lit, so to find that it has a Russian flair makes me want to read it! I also have "Entwined" on my list.

    I have been obsessed with dystopian books this year. I'm pretty close to completing the level I chose and I might have to move up to the next one. =)

    I was at B&N yesterday looking at some books, but I didn't see you.