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September 2021

Into the Wild To an outsider, it would seem as if Julie lives a fairly ordinary life. She has a mom, Zel, a cat, Boots, and a slightly eccentric grandmother, Gothel. But Julie’s life is far from ordinary. Her mom’s full name is Rapunzel, of “let down your golden hair” fame. Hundreds of years ago, Rapunzel was responsible for rescuing all of the fairy tale characters from their imprisonment to their stories. Trapped in the Wild, and forced to re-enact their stories over and over again, the fairy tale characters never had a chance for freedom, until Rapunzel defeated the Wild.

Now Zel and her daughter Julie are responsible for keeping the Wild under control. But when the Wild somehow escapes and begins to trap Julie’s friends one by one in its stories, it is up to Julie to make the right choices that will save everyone once again, without being captured herself.

Durst creatively weaves numerous fairy tales into one grand retelling, and challenges both Julie and her readers to decide what is really a “happily ever after” ending.

Another phenomenal book by Shannon Hale. This time she retells the little-known Brother’s Grimm tale entitled: “Maid Maleen.” Dashti is a maid who, along with her mistress Lady Saren, is imprisoned by the Lady’s father in a tower for 7 years. Dashti keeps a record of their time in the tower–her book of a thousand days. When their supplies begin to run low, and enemies threaten from the outside, Dashti must find the courage to save them both from certain death.

Hale writes fairy tales, but her stories seem real. Her characters–their culture, languages, traditions and lands–come to life as you read. You won’t be disappointed by this fine addition to Hale’s collection.

Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of A great retelling of a classic story. I really enjoy how Dokey (what a name!) is able to look at the traditional fairy tale character and portray him or her in a whole new way, but yet stay true to the story.

Golden by Cameron Dokey

19th July 2007

Golden (Once Upon A Time)A retelling of Rapunzel. I enjoyed it right up until the ending. Rapunzel’s escape from the tower was strange, and didn’t really fit with the rest of the book. However, the story leading up to the tower was very good, and as with Before Midnight, the characters were interesting and not at all like the traditional ones.

Before Midnight: A Retelling of I love a good fairy tale retelling. I stumbled onto this one while browsing at my library, and was pleasantly surprised. The author brings new life to the Cinderella story and adds her own spin on the motives and magic behind the characters. It’s part of the Once Upon a Time series, and I’m looking forward to some more entertaining tales.

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