Monday, October 22, 2012
Book Review: Enchanted
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?
This book is just plain fun. I love anything related to fairytales, and Enchanted takes me back to the days when I had just started reading YA fiction and I read all the fairytales/fantasies I could get my hands on: books by Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, Gail Carson Levine, etc. Enchanted is a classic fairytale retelling that reminds me of those authors.
Actually, it's not really a fairytale retelling, it's more of a fairytale mash-up, haha. There are quite a few elements from different fairytales mixed in: Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, the Frog Prince, and more! I've read reviews of some people complaining about how bizzare it was, but personally, I loved it. I smiled every time I saw a fairytale reference.
The characters are completely charming. Our main character, Sunday, is sweet, wishful, and full of dreams. I liked her a lot. She has that whimsical charm that I love to see in fairytale characters. Her family is just as endearing. At first I got all her sisters and family members confused, but you get used to it quickly and I came to appreciate all the different characters in her family. The relationship troubles Sunday went through with her parents was so well-done, and I love how it was all resolved and how Sunday respected her parents and their decisions.
Rumbold, the other narrator, is quite funny. He gets turned back from a frog into a human and you can't help but feel sympathetic for him as he tries to readjust. He has a lot thrown on him and I admire how he handled everything. (And I loved how supportive his cousin was - he was a great minor character!) I also liked his unfailing determination to find Sunday and make her fall in love with him. Soo cute. :)
Let me mention the romance briefly - yes, it's insta-love, but I didn't find that to be an issue. Usually I hate insta-love but it was handled well in Enchanted. Let's face it, lots of fairytales have insta-love in them anyway. In fairytales, we already know that the hero and heroine are in true love and are destined to be together, so the insta-love theme actually is kind of realistic in that case. Besides, the book isn't all about romance. There's some really great family themes in it.
At first it doesn't seem like there's much to the plot, but things quickly escalate and I loved how spellbinding and unexpected the conclusion was. I mean, it's a fairytale, and usually it's easy to predict how a fairytale ends..."and they lived happily ever after." And while Enchanted does have a satisfying ending, I loved the climax and the struggles near the end. Also, I appreciated that it wasn't a super action-packed, fast-paced read. This is a book that should be read slowly and savored. It really does whisk you away into a fantasy world!
I would definitely recommend Enchanted. However, I do think that people who don't care for fairytales probably will not connect much with it. But if you enjoy fantasy, then Enchanted is a must-read!
My rating: 9 out of 10
~ The Bookworm