Tuesday 26 August 2014

REVIEW: My Name Is Rapunzel, by KC Hilton


Review contains spoilers

Genre: Young-Adult, Teen, Romance, Fantasy

Rapunzel is about to get married and run away with the love of her life-Henry. But their plan is interrupted when the witch, Gretta, intervenes and ruins Rapunzel's life forever.

As a young girl she befriended Gretta and promised never to leave her; little did she know the seriousness of this promise. When Gretta sees her try to escape with Henry she curses Rapunzel to immortality- frozen in her current young woman state. 

After losing Henry and ultimately her parents, Rapunzel moves into the family castle with Gretta, being guarded by the dragon, and lives hundreds of years in solitude and grievance for Henry. 

Then in current day, Rapunzel decides to tell her story to a journalist; John Jenkins. And thus begins the start of a plot-twisting romance and Rapunzel gets a second chance of escape...but it won't be an easy fight.

My Thoughts:
I love fairy-tales and this really sounded like a novel that I'd enjoy. I think the main issue with it for me was that it was more suitable for younger teens more so than young adults. 

The story held a lot of promise; Rapunzel's true love, Henry, being banished from the start and subsequently turning out to be the dragon who tried to protect her and then a love-triangle. 

However, the story just fell apart, soon after it began and never really got back together.

  • Rapunzel~ all talk and no action. She constantly moaned or dreamt about escape and how she wanted to leave Gretta but didn't because... ? Gretta would never let her. Well, Gretta's power fell through a lot but I'll get on to that in a moment. Rapunzel reads John Jenkins' sceptical article about fairy-tales and she feels the need to write to him with her "story." And in a "letter" to him that read more like a flashback novel, we find out about Luke, her son (not really but she becomes his guardian) and his story- and by the end we find out the whole story was pointless. There was no purpose whatsoever. It also didn't make sense that Rapunzel, after making it quite clear that she could not go into town for fear she'd be noticed and her secret revealed, writes a letter to a journalist confessing her tale who would ultimately want to publish said story. So her wanting for secrecy fell through here. And considering she sacrificed further love because of Henry, she fell for John way too easily.

  • Gretta~ the "powerful" witch. As I said, Rapunzel was in fear of her. She had cursed Rapunzel and had to live with her and Rapunzel could never escape because of her. There was a constant threat of Gretta but never any evidence. There were the spells she did at the start, obviously, and the bit at the end... but in the middle? There was no evidence of any brutality or evilness. Rapunzel was able to follow Gretta into town one morning, go out for coffee another, go out with John a few times; but yet she couldn't run away because Gretta would know. How? How could she punish her if she was thousands of miles away?!  Rapunzel didn't even try to escape or defeat her. Just accepted her fate and spent 250 odd years complaining about it. If it were me, I would've died trying to escape (if it were possible that I could- if not, well I'd have no excuse for not trying!) There was also no real indication as to why Gretta wanted Rapunzel or her hair, everything was just insinuated and this was only sort of answered in the final few chapters.

  • Plot~ held so much promise, didn't deliver. Henry was the dragon, okay good idea. But when that was revealed it was a bit too much of a surprise/unbelievable; for 250 years this dragon supposedly "protected" Rapunzel, but we never really got a great idea if he was protecting her or holding her prisoner. He still loved her and claimed that he had hoped their love would stand the test of time but yet never once did he try and explain who he was or what had happened! John made the ultimate sacrifice for the woman he loved, and became her "hero" by taking Henry's place as the dragon. Cute and romantic gesture but then Rapunzel just happily went off with Henry to have their happily ever after. She claimed to love John too and yet didn't even react to him giving up his life as a human!?

  • Characters~ no development. Rapunzel, Henry, John, Gretta... all of them just lacked. They lacked depth and lacked major development. John wavered between loving and trusting Rapunzel to having speculated her all along and Henry, being honest I didn't trust him at the start and didn't feel his love for Rapunzel despite all the writing about how true and powerful their love was. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to much younger readers who don't read too much into books or aren't avid readers. Unfortunately, I have read too many that I cannot overlook all the red flags throughout this book. I expected so much more and it ultimately fell through on poor writing and an under developed characters. There were too many holes in the plot and as a novel with romance, the romance was never believable or heartfelt.