19 February 2011

A Kiss in Time - Alex Flinn

'A Kiss in Time', by Alex Flinn is a modern retelling of the classic story: Sleeping Beauty. It seems to be aimed at younger teenagers due to the first person narrative of the 16 year old Princess and the 17 year old boy who wakes her. However, I read it anyway.

Having read other retellings of classic fairy tales such as Gregory Maguire's 'Mirror Mirror' and his 'Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister', I thought that this would be an interesting read because of it's modernity.

The story is very similar to begin with.The Princess is born, the witch casts a spell because she wasn't invited to the christening, the Princess pricks her finger on her 16th birthday and falls asleep.

That is where the similarities stop though. I was surprised to find that the Princess runs away to America and THEN falls in love with her 'Prince', only to be spirited back by the witch, who believes that the boy is not, in fact, her true love.

It is interesting to see how cleverly Flinn imagines the 18th century ways of the Princess affecting the way in which she approaches the 21st century, having slept for 300 years.The plot can get a bit samey at times, due to most of the book being in America, showing the growing love between the teenagers and how the princess adjusts to modern life, but the pace is good throughout.

The characters were average, as they were not very well delivered, which made them pretty one dimensional. Talia wants to travel and for Jack to love her. Jack wants to get rid of Talia and do gardening. Not a lot comes through about our characters other than what is said to us by the opinion of the other character.

The fact that it s split into the narrative voices of both Talia and Jack is good, at the beginning and at the end. In the middle, it wasn't really necessary, and it would have left a bit more to the imagination if we only had Talia's view.

I personally feel that there should be twists in the plot, and this book didn't fail me there. The end was interesting as the Princess needed to be rescued yet again, with her 'Prince' having to go through a number of tasks before he could find her. At the very end, however, it was exactly what I had expected, and this disappointed me a bit.

Overall I would say that this book is worth a read if you are interested in fairy tales and Disney, from which this book is surely based on. I would say that this book was slightly too young for me, but someone aged 16 or 17 would definitely enjoy it for its humour and its plot.