Kendra, the witch behind the transformational curse in Beastly (2007), finally has the floor. In 1666, teenage Kendra relates the horror of watching her family die from a plague, halted only when she becomes aware of her own magic and heals her remaining brother. Starving, they set out for a new life and find themselves at a gingerbread house. Sound familiar? Flinn twists more fairy tales into this engaging, time-jumping tale as Kendra reflects on helping—and harming—those around her. The Little Mermaid rescues a Titanic passenger. The Princess and the Pea takes place at Versailles. But the showstopper is a clever spin on Cinderella, the pieces hovering just above the puzzle until they fall brilliantly into place in a satisfying and surprising retelling in contemporary Florida. Kendra’s chatty first-person asides can be jarring next to the larger sections filled with a rich storyteller tone. Regardless, the inventive takes on the traditional will please fans of Flinn and fairy tales alike and leave them eager for Kendra’s next volume. Grades 8-11. --Heather Booth
About the Author
Alex Flinn loves fairy tales and is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Beastly, a spin on Beauty and the Beast that was named a VOYA Editor's Choice and an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Beastly is also a major motion picture starring Vanessa Hudgens. Alex also wrote A Kiss in Time, a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty; Cloaked, a humorous fairy tale mash-up; and Bewitching, a reimagining of fairy tale favorites, including Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, and The Little Mermaid, all told by Kendra—the witch from Beastly. Her other books for teens include Breathing Underwater, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva. She lives in Miami with her family.