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 Young Adult Readers. Beastly is now 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; 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; and Towering, a darkly romantic take on Rapunzel. 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.