Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Truth Is Never A Fairy Tale

"None of us can know what we are capable of
until we are tested."
--Elizabeth Blackwell, While Beauty Slept

Genre: Adult Fantasy, Fairy Tale Re-Telling
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Pages: 435
Publication Date: February 20th, 2014
Source: Borrowed from library
Find on Goodreads

Goodreads Description

A beautiful princess lies in a sleep so deep it is close to death. Was Sleeping Beauty revived by a prince's kiss? What really happened in that tower so long ago?

While Beauty Slept re-imagines the legend through the lens of historical fiction, telling the story as if it really happened. A Gothic tale of suspense and ambition, love and loss, it interweaves the story of a royal family and the servants who see behind the glamorous facade, following the journey of a young woman as she lives out a destiny that leads her to the brink of death.

The Story This will be a quick mini-review of this book. I loved the idea of this story and how the entire overall plot. I think this Sleeping Beauty re-telling was plotted out extremely well. The narration is given the wisdom of hindsight with a foreshadowing that constantly alludes to evil doing and dark themes. I LOVED how dark this story got. I know that sounds weird but I found it super intriguing how the story progressed. The parallels to the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty were there with a much darker twist. I couldn't wait to see how the story would trace back to the legend we all learned as children.

Rose I loved Rose and her characterization. I feel like she was the most complex character even though we never really get her point of view. I loved her spirit and her desire to be free and her own person. I would have loved a narration from her perspective.

Elise Elise is our narrator and while I empathized with her struggles and her desire to find a place in this world, I found her character lacking the emotional connection I needed to really care about her. That sounds horrible but her inner monologues and point of view felt very superficial and objective in her observations. A lot of good and bad things happen to her and it was discussed in a very matter-of-fact way. I struggled to really connect to her. While I was rooting for her success, it fell just short of me really feeling with her. I would have liked this book A LOT more had I been able to really connect with Elise and feel what she was feeling.

Maybe I think it was a good book and I enjoyed reading it but I wasn't DYING to talk about it when I was done. The story was good but it didn't stay with me or having me rushing to turn the pages. I think it is worth looking into if you like fairy tale re-tellings and maybe you'll connect more to Elise than me because that is really what held this book back from being REALLY good in my opinion.

1 comment:

  1. I actually really liked While Beauty Slept, though it didn't reach that elusive 5 star rating with me! It was a strong retelling, I'd say, and I enjoyed the historical sort of spin they put on the story and what "really" happened.


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