First Lines: “Perfect,” the Corley said, lips stretched in a wide smile. She took a shallow pan of molten glass and set it in the air over her head. “Yes, everything will be perfect this time.”
I’m finally done with all the Outlander books (that are currently released), which means I’m back to a steady diet of YA! And after getting used to the length of Outlander books, I’m flying through these. I thought a fairytale might be a nice way of easing back into YA.
*I know this is the 2nd book in the series, but you don’t necessarily need to read the first book to understand this one, so I’m not marking it with spoilers.*
Princess Poppy wants to escape the troubles of her kingdom. Whispers and rumors follow Poppy and her sisters everywhere because of what they survived. So when nearby kingdoms decide to do a prince/princess exchange program to promote international relations (and marriages), Poppy finds herself in the country of Breton. It all goes well until a hapless servant named Ellen is tricked by a vengeful godmother into competing with Poppy for the heart of the eligible prince. Can Poppy stop what’s coming?
(Ironically, while I’m reviewing this, I’m listening to the soundtrack from Into The Woods, which shares some similarities with this book. I did not plan this.)
I actually started reading this book back in 2010, and somehow got interrupted and never finished it. So this time around, I was determined to get it off my to-read list.
This book was just…meh. I find that a lot of fairytales are this way. I think some of they try too much to rely on the charms of the fairytale they are retelling (in this case, it’s a vaguely connected Cinderella). That’s what I feel happened here. There wasn’t anything here that charmed me.
The characters didn’t seem to have real personalities besides a couple of identified traits. Poppy calls herself “the tough one” at one point, and that’s really her personality. Like, that’s it. She’s tough and stubborn. Christian, the eligible prince, has even less personality because he spends half the book…not himself. You can’t really have a personality when you’re not yourself, right? And Ellen…by Zeus, I hated that girl. Every time she came into the book, I just wanted to curl one hand into a fist and skip her section. (I don’t think this is the effect the author intended.)
There were some things I genuinely enjoyed about the book. The character banter, for one, is usually interesting. There’s some sarcasm and a few jokes. There were a couple of variations to the Cinderella story that intrigued me. But overall, this book is just forgettable.
And forget about there being any kind of romance/love story. It’s supposed to be there, but, like magic, it just sort of appears out of nowhere. No build-up, no cutesy crushes, nothing. That was a huge disappointment.
Overall, I just wasn’t impressed with this. It was just…mediocre.