Monday, January 14, 2013

Enchanted - Alethea Kontis

Enchanted Alethea Kontis book cover
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Series: Woodcutter Series #1
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Estelle (Thanks!) || ARC

It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers? (from Goodreads)

I grew up reading fairytales, and that explains my weakness for books like this one which incorporate them into an entirely new story. Enchanted contains a whimsical collection of characters and plots and objects from my childhood favorites. The author managed to weave these familiar elements into a tale with a unique twist, and I enjoyed it, though I lacked a personal connection to it.

The book follows a typical fairytale set-up, with a main character or, in this case, two main characters who must face all these challenges in order to win their happily-ever-after. Readers will initially meet Sunday, who is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. She's also girl gifted with the power of writing stories that just so happen to come true. Though the bits of her writing we become privy to are fun, I found that I lacked a personal connection to her. I can commend her great devotion to her family, and her earnest desire to do the right thing.

The second main character, Grumble the frog, is the character I love most. When he's a frog, he's kind to Sunday and eager to listen to her amazing stories. And when he transforms into Rumbold, he just gets even more interesting! I loved reading about his struggle to cope with being human again, and his struggle to regain his memories, as these things made him seem more real to me. Plus, his occasional awkwardness and his intense devotion to Sunday are all things that work in his favor!

There are so many other characters in this book, and even though I got little bits and pieces of insight into their personalities, I still feel like they could have been developed more. For instance, her siblings have a wide range of personality quirks, and I definitely think it would be interesting to explore each of their stories a wee bit more!

This book is definitely a fairytale - there are princes and princesses, fairies good and evil, lots of crazy random magical moments and more. Though there's a tendency to be a little over the top and very far-fetched, it works simply because of the premise. The book ended up being very entertaining, and just fun to read.

The only complaint I have is that the deluge of fairytale elements is a bit intense, as there's a lot to try to keep in mind. I was overwhelmed slightly, though my comprehensive knowledge of familiar fairytales helped me sort of keep things in place.

Enchanted manage to combine a lot of familiar fairytale elements into this unique new story, which will have you rooting for Sunday and Rumbold to get together. While I certainly think that the story was a tad overwhelming, I did have fun reading it and closed the book with the satisfaction of knowing that there's always a way to find happily ever after.

19 comments:

  1. I love fairy tales! I'm glad you reviewed this, I haven't heard of it before. It's on my wishlist now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I'm a big fan of fairytales, so it was fun to see how it was incorporated into this book :)

      Delete
  2. i loved echanted . i <3 rumbold dearly
    and can't wait for the companion novel. great review

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks really cute! I'm a huge fan of Alex Flinn's fairy tale adaptions. Is this anything like that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, I think it's a bit different because it takes a whole bunch of fairytales and weaves them into a story that reads like a fairytale...

      Delete
  4. oh you and I felt quite similarly about this then. It was a lovely read overall, but I have to agree that the characters could have been easier to connect with. Still, I was quite impressed with the unique storyline. :) Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! That's exactly how I felt. There could have been more overall character development, but the story was fun.

      Delete
  5. Oh! I didn't realize that this is a series. Also, don't you think the cover is so pretty? I've always wanted to pick this one up, but for some reason I haven't yet. If it is a series, maybe I'll wait on it. Or maybe if I listen via audio it won't be as intense? Anyway, thanks Alexa for the honest thoughts! Love them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't realize it until fairly recently either! It looks like there's going to be a second book.

      Delete
  6. I'm a huge fairytale retelling fan, but I struggled with this one a lot. I don't think I even finished it. I was really enjoying it up until Grumble became a human again, and went back to the castle, and then the whole thing with Sunday's aunt and her learning magic. I don't know, I just lost interest.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a hard time with it too, to be honest. The scene that made it more interesting for me was when they first go to the ball.

      Delete
  7. It sounds like there's a lot going on in this one, so I surmise a baser knowledge of fairytales would be helpful to have prior to reading it?

    What I love most about fairytales are the whimsy and enchantment that they bring and the fact that there's always a happily ever after to be found. I'm really interested in knowing more about the "evil forces" that are at play in the story since you didn't really touch on it. The premise kind of reminds me of a mixture of The Princess & The Frog and Thumbelina.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you definitely need to know your fairytales if you're going to read this one!

      Oh, and the evil forces aren't particularly evil, which is why I didn't really think about mentioning them.

      Delete
  8. I love retellings and I have had my eye on Enchanted for some time now. I don´t have an extensive knowledge of fairytale elements, so I should definitely keep in mind that it can be overwhelming. I still really want to read Enchanted and I hope, since you mentioned that there are two main characters, that there is a dual POV. I love books that have that.
    Glad you liked it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you end up enjoying it! I know it's been garnering mixed reviews, but it is pretty fun to read.

      Delete
  9. I love fairy tales too and that's what appealed to me so much about this book. I believe there is going to be a sequel so hopefully that will fill in the characters more.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This has been on my TBR forever and a day because I am definitely a fairy tale fan! One of these days, I'll definitely make time for it, especially if it's fun to read! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks, Alexa! *hugs*
    Thank you, everyone!

    I agree--a broader knowledge of fairy tales is almost essential when diving into ENCHANTED. (A love of Jane Austen helps as well.)

    I do definitely recommend the audiobook -- it's read by Katherine Kellgren, one of the greatest narrators in my estimation, and she does ALL THE VOICES, like Jim Dale did for Harry Potter. She is simply AMAZING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'm going to have to dig up this audiobook now, because that sounds great! Plus, I feel like the effect will be totally different :)

      Delete

Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...