Saturday, 14 January 2017

Book Review: The Forgotten Fairytales by Angela Parkhurst

The Forgotten Fairytales – Angela Parkhurst

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Angela Parkhurst
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
First published: 2014
Edition: ePub
Pages: 360
Blurb:    (Taken from goodreads)
               A psychotic, shoe obsessed Princess.
               A not-so-charming, alcoholic Prince.
               A hot Big Bad Wolf she absolutely cannot fall for – no matter how well he kisses.
               If seventeen-year-old Norah Hart had known she’d be attending a boarding school for the nut job reincarnations of fairy tale characters, she would have insisted on going to Moscow with her father. But getting out isn’t as easy as she thought. Especially once Norah realizes she, too, is a storybook character. An Unknown. The first one in one hundred years.
Soon Norah learns she can help others break free form the story binding them. But in doing so puts everyone’s Happily Ever After in jeopardy. Some princesses will do whatever it takes to protect their endings. Even if it means betraying the one closest to you.

History of my copy: I received a copy of The Forgotten Fairytales through YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

In all honesty, this is the kind of book I should adore. I am a huge fan of fairy-tale retellings, especially those with a twist. To me, it sounded like a high school version of the hit TV show Once Upon A Time, of which I am a huge fan of. Although The Forgotten Fairytales wasn’t a bad book, I think that my high expectations kind of ruined it for me when it turned out to not live up to them.

Plot: We follow Norah Hart and her sister as she enters boarding school whilst her dad moves to Moscow. However, this isn’t an ordinary school – it’s a school where all the students are an ‘alternative’ version of fairy-tale characters. It is also very cliquey where the princesses stick together, as do the heroes, villains, sidekicks, etc. It turns out that Cinderella, of all people, is evil and so Norah and her best friend turned boyfriend Wolf have to stop her whilst not getting killed.

Setting: One thing I did enjoy about The Forgotten Fairytales is the setting. The castle-turned school may feel a little Hogwarts-y, but it certainly suited the fairy-tale nature of the book. I do wish Pankhurst had given it a little more character and description though as it had the potential to be a fantastic setting.

Characters: Whilst the main characters of the book were all individual, none of them really connected with me. The protagonist, Norah, was sometimes a bit if a bad-ass, but became a complete wuss when it came to her sister. She just felt a little two-dimensional and flat, and had no outstanding personality.
               Wolf was another conundrum. Starting off as a broody, humorous person, he became all soft and sweet as soon as he and Norah became a thing. That just felt too fake. In fact, their whole relationship was just a little too cliché and fake if I’m honest.
               Then there is Cinderella because, of course, the innocent, kind, angel of a girl definitely is evil.. right? Pankhurst did explain it well and did it justice but it just felt a little too far gone. It felt very much ‘let’s take the kindest person and make them evil!’

To read or not to read: Not read. Whilst The Forgotten Fairytales was far from a terrible book, it just really didn’t live up to my expectation. It was such a brilliant idea but I think it fell a little flat, with perhaps too much effort going into making the characters ‘different’ from the traditional tales. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an alright book, but I wouldn’t go recommending it to anyone in a hurry.

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