From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—When Annie is born, fairy Moonbeam passes a magic wand over her and proclaims that magic will have no effect on her. (This could be a curse or a blessing.) A spell was cast on her older sister, Princess Gwendolyn, at birth and now, for fear that she will prick her finger, all spinning wheels have been banned from the land. On her 16th birthday, one is secretly delivered, and the inevitable happens. The entire castle falls asleep except for Annie. It is up to her to find Prince Charming to awaken the sleeping beauty. Along the way she meets Hansel and Gretel, dancing fairies, Rapunzel, and a lumpy mattress. Each one of these embedded fairy tales has an enjoyable twist. Eventually she finds all the available princes in the land and sends them to the castle for the big event. Annie is a down-to-earth character who eventually learns that there was a plot to take over the kingdom. Readers will like this wrinkle in the action as well as the surprise kiss that eventually wakes Princess Gwendolyn. Humorous at times, this fractured fairy tale will be enjoyed by readers who like adventure with a touch of romance.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
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Baker, the author of The Frog Princess series, offers a lively take on “Sleeping Beauty” in this stand-alone title. Lacking magical abilities, Annie feels out of place and ordinary, especially compared to her older sister, Princess Gwendolyn, a fabled beauty. Then, on Gwendolyn's sixteenth birthday, a curse puts her and the entire castle's inhabitants into an enchanted sleep, all except for Annie, who is immune to magic. Setting out to discover the enchanter and true-love prince who can break the spell, Annie is helped by handsome Liam, a castle guard, in a journey filled with obstacles and sinister plans. The day needs saving. Can Annie do it? Annie is an enjoyable, independent, and undaunted character, who uses wits and skills rather than spells in her endeavors. Fairy-tale-savvy readers will recognize tongue-in-cheek nods to other tales, elements that sometimes include a mature angle, such as Annie's discovery that apparently Rapunzel wasn't a one-prince gal. Overall, this blend of romance, suspense, magic, and humor offers an entertaining, peppy fractured fairy tale. Grades 7-10. --Shelle Rosenfeld