22 October, 2010

Advance Review: Cloaked by Alex Flinn


Published: February 2011, HARPER

I received this book for review through STAR BOOK TOURS (ARC edition)

From Good Reads:
Johnny works after school in a shoe repair shop in a swanky hotel in Miami. He loves shoes and is talented; he even aspires to be the next Manolo Blahnik. But the real reason that he is working so hard is because his dad left when he was a baby and he needs to help his mom pay the bills. At least he has his friend, Meg, who works at the hotel coffee shop, to keep him company.
When beautiful Princess Victoriana comes to stay at the hotel, Johnny is thrilled when Victoriana invites him to her suite. There she tells him that her brother has been turned into a frog, and that she needs his help finding him in the Florida Keys. Johnny thinks she is crazy and does not believe her,
until she gives him a magical cloak that immediately transports him to another location. Armed with the cloak and a magical earpiece that can help him talk to other transformed humans Johnny sets out to save the Prince ...

My Review:
I've heard so much praise about Alex Flinn, as an author, and her fresh take on classic fairy tales. Also, her previous release, BEASTLY, is on my wishlist, but I haven't actually had a chance to read any of her work. So, when I had the opportunity to get an early look at CLOAKED, I was pretty excited.

Right from the beginning, I liked the premise of the novel. Johnny is the type of character that I would like to read in books more often. One that isn't super-wealthy, doesn't drive an expensive car, or doesn't have an ambiguiously large (impossible) NY (or other large city) apartment. A character that, in fact, I might truly be able to connect with.

The dialogue was snappy, and at times -the right ones- even a bit snarky. I loved the encounters that Johnny had with the talking animals, especially the swans in the hotel. And, all of this is a more technical review of the book than I usually do. Because, I thought the book was good...

BUT. I didn't engage with CLOAKED the way that I expected to. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book. But, I didn't fall in love with it. I wanted to. The story kept me reading, because I did want to see how Flinn was going to take the book to its conclusion. And, I wasn't disappointed in her "fresh" take on the fairy tale. I'm not sure what I was disappointed in. Myself, a little, because I suspect that I was in a reading slump, and nothing might have satisfied me at the time.

3/5 for plot
3/5 for characters
3/5 for language

My Rating: 9/15 Worth Trying

Find out more about the author, Alex Flinn, and her work from the following links:

Alex Flinn's website
Speaking Engagements

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