A review featuring Bit (Bibliophile in Training), age 6
Bit and I have just finished another retelling of "Sleeping Beauty", The Wide Awake Princess by E.D. Baker.
Princess Annie is the younger sister to Gwen, the princess destined to be Sleeping Beauty. When Gwennie pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie is awake, and only Annie—blessed (or cursed?) with being impervious to magic—can venture out beyond the rose-covered hedge for help. She must find Gwen's true love to kiss her awake. But who is her true love? The irritating Digby? The happy-go-lucky Prince Andreas, who is holding a contest to find his bride? The conniving Clarence, whose sinister motives couldn't possibly spell true love? Joined by one of her father's guards, Liam, who happened to be out of the castle when the sleeping spell struck, Annie travels through a fairy tale land populated with characters both familiar and new as she tries to fix her sister and her family . . . and perhaps even find a true love of her own.
Bit's Thoughts:I mostly enjoyed the book but there were some parts I didn't. I like how Annie can rescue people. I like how Liam is smart and a little bit cute. I thought the middle was boring but I liked the ending. It was just a fun book. I liked how there were so many fairy tales mixed together in it. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.
My Thoughts: Honestly, I really didn't enjoy this book all that much. That is probably because I prefer character driven stories and this is all about the plot and how many different fairy tales could possibly be squeezed into one story. I checked it out because I liked the premise and thought it was an inventive take on the story. Overall it is cute but sometimes a little too cute. Gag on the saccharine kind of cute. This is due to the interactions of Annie and Liam. Their romance is very tame and amounts by the end to no more than a kiss on the cheek so anyone looking for a book to put in the hands of a young princess enthusiast, might consider this. Although Bit didn't like it as much as I thought she would given how she loves princesses, combined fairy tales, romance and magic. She asked at one point halfway through if we could skip to the end. Strangely enough it was in the exact same spot I chose to skip to the end when I was reading it on my own. (I did skim the in between parts.)
For Concerned Parents: Bit saw me reading this and begged me to let her read it when I was done. I opted instead to read it to her because there is one part where it is uncovered that Rapunzel has been spending her time in the tower with more than one prince, one of whom already has a wife. I wanted to discuss this with her when it came up. I am glad I made that choice as she was a bit disturbed by this development.