Wednesday, 11 April 2012

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: A Kiss in Time

This is part of my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge for more info on it click here 

Hey, guys its the holidays now, meaning I actually have time to review things (and read more). 

Book Number: 13
Title: A Kiss in Time
Author: Alex Flinn
Date of Completion: 19/1/2012
Rating: 4 stars

Why I Read it: Well I have had no previous experience with Alex Flinn (heck, I didn't even realise she was a female until a week or two after I read this) but my internet searchings have led me to believe that Beastly is quite good (and its based on Beauty and the Beast :3) so I was at this bookstore yes, and then I saw that this mysterious Alex Flinn character also had other books which also happen to be fairytale retellings (I love fairytale/myth retellings! unless they are horrible) so I picked up this and I could tell it was Sleeping beauty - the blurb was like: something something.. Talia something something..kiss Hey, this has got to be Sleeping Beauty...something something... sleeping for centuries yep definitely Sleeping Beauty retelling of Sleeping Beauty I knew it. Personally I wasn't a fan of Sleeping Beauty, it was just a bit too boring, but it is a retelling so they might add something fresh to it (another reason why I adore retellings) and you can't judge an authors merit by 1 book, so if she was a good author this as well as Beastly would be good. So I picked it up. 

Summary: Jack wasn't looking for anything when he stumbles a kingdom with all its members in comatose.  With a kiss he wakes up Talia, and her entire kingdom who has been asleep for 300 years. Now Jack is stuck with a spoilt princess, in a world completely different to the one she left. All this because of a curse and a kiss.

The Characters 
Jack - Average-ish kinda guy, he wasn't really to note-worthy but I guess that was the point. To have some average guys life turned around by this one action. He was nice, likable, funny and pretty realistic. But he has the qualities that good characters should have (motivations, descriptions, relationships, talent, weaknesses etc.). It's sweet how he takes responsibility for Talia even though he doesn't have to and could have just left her there. 

Talia - Was just a nice and thoughtful as a Disney fan would expect of their princesses. So basically she wakes up 300 yrs past her time, so you would expect her to need someone else's help and frankly if she did her own thing she could get into trouble (so all you super-feminists can be quiet about the meaning of Alex Flinn creating a semi-but-totally-justified-damsel-in-distress and how everything is sooo sexist), so what, she needed help and she got it. She genuinely tries to help her people as well as those who have helped her and always sees the best in people and I really felt sorry for her. Also, she couldn't help touching the spindle, it was in the spell, and its kind of annoying how the readers as well as the townspeople blame her for it. I also liked how it kept both the traditional fairytale's names for Beauty in (Talia is the most common, but a lot of versions call her Aurora) but her other 3 middle names are pretty funny, Ludwiga, seriously? 

Malvolia - Well I liked the backstory for her a lot better than the original tale's. I mean seriously, she doesn't get invited to little beauty's christening so she goes and curses her in revenge, to touch a spindle and die, extreme much? Yeah, thought so too. Whereas in this she has a real reason to have revenge on the royal family of Euphrasia. It's also creepy how she spies on Talia as a flower and all. 

Others - Jack's dad and sister were interesting, they didn't get along too well with Jack but they still looked out for him and wanted what was best for him. I also found the commentary on beauty today from a modelling perspective today to be interesting: Talia is pretty much the image of beauty but they'd rather take the sister (forgot the name sorry) who is tall, thin and not curvy at all, although she is plain looking. I also relate to Talia's disgust at the slutty girls who hit on Jack. 

The Plot: 
Was much more deep than in the original story, like I said I like Malvolia's backstory it makes things so much better. The changed curse makes things a whole lot more complicated, and the fact that it took 300 years for her true love to come does as well. Really its the nice fairy's (forgot the name) fault that the kingdom is in such a rut. The death of a princess would be sad, but the kingdom could go through it, but being forgotten waking up 300 yrs into the future is pretty disastrous. I also like that never-ending hill part. And this was definitely much better then the old rape unconscious girl, get her pregnant with twins, she gives birth to twins in sleep version - much better. 

The Writing: 
Was relateable, easy to understand, funny and realistic. It helps explain why Jack kisses some random unconscious girl, which I never got in the original versions. If you hate 1st person, then this probably isn't the book for you.

Recommendation: For anyone who loves fairytale retellings, and doesn't mind 1st person. Or fans of Alex Flinn's other stuff.

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