by Elizabeth Paulson
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 25, 2015)
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It's a fairy-tale nightmare . . .It is no secret that I positively adore re-tellings of fairy tales. I’m anticipating reading A COURT OF ROSE AND THORNS (I know, I need to get with the program.) and the recently adult-ish publication of sleeping beauty—as well as MONSTEROUS BEAUTY, which is supposed to be some sort of “The Little Mermaid” re-telling. All of the fairy tales I love most smushed together should be rather epic and lovely, yes? I thought so. Especially with an uber creepy edge to them, right? Right? *looks around*
One girl is kept in a room where every day the only food she's given is a poisoned apple. Another is kept in a room covered in needles -- and if she pricks her finger, she'll die. Then there are the brother and sister kept in a cell that keeps getting hotter and hotter. . .
A sinister kidnapper is on the loose in Kate's world. She's not involved until one day she heads to her grandmother's house in the woods -- and finds her grandmother has also been taken. Already an outcast, Kate can't get any help from the villagers who hate her. Only Jack, another outsider, will listen to what's happened.
Then a princess is taken, and suddenly the king is paying attention -- even though the girl's stepmother would rather he didn't. It's up to Kate and Jack to track down the victims before an ever after arrives that's far from happy.
Am I wrong?
So, what made DEAD UPON A TIME fall so terribly short? Well, for starters, the plot development was rather sub-par. Also, where in the world did that romance come from? Thin air? BECAUSE THAT’S ALL I CAN THINK OF, Y’ALL.
I was hoping for Jack to be the kind of young lad who croons things like ‘my lovely little nightmare’ and then proceeds to let the girl handle her own dang fights. And hopefully not underestimate her. (he didn’t croon, and I’m not sure about the climax-ridden fights. I don’t recall anything other than flies. And honestly that amused me more than anything) WHILE I’M HERE—I was hoping for more death and bloodshed and loud proclamations of poof and more inclusion of the actual fairy tales.
DEAD UPON A TIME mentioned the fairy tales it advertises. But, in all honesty, that pretty much concludes it. They’re supposed to be on a mission of rescues. And I suppose she and Jack are. But, I don’t know, y’all. I want more.
More fights. More kissing. More confessions. More magic. More explanations. More world-building. More evil. I want a whole lot more evil. *cackles* Oh, how I love a good dose of beautiful savagery with my pancakes in the afternoon.
I feel a grand desire for explanations. I want to know more. However, that actually being said, I don’t really want to read any more of the novel. I was never desperate to turn the page or on the edge of my seat with anticipation. The emotion of the actual book was pretty constant. And that’s neither and plus or a deduction from the book itself. It kind of just is what it is. But I wish it was more. I really wish it was more.
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