Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy Bennett


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Told that she must be indoors at all times, Rapunzel feels trapped in the huge mansion where she lives. But when school demands allow her access to the Internet, she discovers Facebook and becomes friends with Fane, a local teenager who changes her whole world. This story will have you entangled from beginning to end.
MY TAKE:
I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't really connect with it at all.

In Rapunzel Untangled, Rapunzel is a teenager who has spent her entire life in a tower. Her mother told her that she has SCIDs so she can't leave the tower. While browsing the internet, she gets on Facebook and befriends Fane. This soon leads to her finding out more about her mother and her history than she could ever dream about.

The idea of Rapunzel contacting the outside world via the internet was really good and allowed for her to find out relevant information organically. The mystery of her house and the identity of her mother and the reason for her long hair to stay that way was also interesting.

However, Rapunzel and Fane's almost instant attraction even before I could get a feel for Rapunzel's personality felt a little forced to me. Their relationship and attraction was so sudden and perfect that it felt unrealistic and took me out of the story. This was disappointing to me because had the focus of the story been on the mystery and Rapunzel and Fane's attraction would have developed slower and more believably, this book could have been a 5-star book. As it is, I'm already bothered by Rapunzel being a damsel-in-distress for most of the book. I thought that perhaps the reason for Rapunzel relying on Fane to save her majority of the time because in fairy tales, that's really how it goes. However, it meant that in the end, when she was finally able to save herself, it felt cliche to me (damsel-in-distress saves herself). Had she been a little more independent and self-reliant, or at the very least, if she had been a little bit more analytic and tried to come up with a solution or a way to escape, I would have been more invested in Rapunzel.

As for being an adaptation of the fairytale, I think this book had more in common with Tangled than with the original Rapunzel. In Rapunzel Untangled, Rapunzel has blond hair, her original parents weren't royalty, and the witch's name really was Gothel, just like the fairy tale. However, the characterization of both Rapunzel and Fane reminded me so much of Rapunzel and Flynn. There were also little things about the book that reminded me of Tangled, but it's spoilery to reveal them.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sweetwater for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. The addition of other bad people into the mix adds a new element to the Rapunzel story.
  2. The witch character in this book was better characterized than in the movie.
  3. The mystery of the house is a nice twist.

THE BAD:

  1. Fane and Rapunzel's relationship feels a little bit like insta-love.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"Don't eat breakfast," he said. "I'm going to introduce you to the wonders of an Egg McMuffin."
READ IT IF:

  1. You liked Tangled.
  2. You like heroines who are damsels-in-distress but manage to save themselves in the end.
  3. You like fairy tales that are mixed with paranormal elements.

RATING:
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