Saturday 23 June 2012

175. Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Cloaked By Alex Flinn
Published April 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:

I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all. It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission. There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Because before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Keys. Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

With the popularity of the TV show Once Upon an Time, there is probably no time like the present for books like this one to hit the shelves. This isn't the first book that Alex Flinn has written using characters from Fairy Tales, but this one combines many traditional tales and characters into one new story.

Johnny works in his families shoe repair business in a fancy hotel in Miami. This is just a day job, what he really wants to do with his life is to design shoes. When the Princess Victoriana comes to stay at the hotel his world is turned upside down. This gorgeous real life princess needs his help, she wants Johnny to help find her brother. The twist is, her brother has been cursed, and turned into a frog.  If Johnny agrees to help he will not only be given a financial reward, but he will also marry Princess Victoriana. How can any teenage boy refuse such an offer?

On his journey he must seek the help of some unlikely characters, the swans who live in the hotel, a rat at the docks and a fox called Todd.  With the help of an invisibility cloak Johnny fights giants and tries unsuccessfully to avoid a wicked witch who is the master of disguise.

His friend and fellow hotel employee Megs helps him out of a tight scrape and he finds that she is not what she seems either, and when his task is complete, and his marriage to the princess is a real possibility, he realizes that he loves another.

The fairy tale references are everywhere in this book, some obvious (Frog Prince) and some obscure (The Salad). All of the fairy tales  are listed at the back of the book which is handy, because some of the stories I had never heard of. There's also a recommended website for those interested in all that is Fairy Tale.  It showcases 49 traditional tales and also looks at the history of each story, examples of similar stories across cultures as well as modern interpretations.

Who will like this book: Girls age 13+
Read it if you like: Beastly by Alex Flinn

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