Sunday, September 23, 2012
Enchanted is one of those books that tries too hard. I am potentially the biggest sucker for fairy-tale retellings. I have to talk myself out of fairytale stories on a regular basis.
To some extent, this is the retelling of The Frog Prince. The main character Sunday, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, meets a talking frog at the fairy well behind her family's house. They become friends first, then quickly she falls in love with the frog. One day she gives him a kiss then goes home. After she leaves he transforms back into Rumbold, the crowned prince.
But this is not really a simple retelling. This is a fairytale mish-mash that feels a bit like an ADD fest, and not in a good way. It doesn't always make sense, but the author tries to shove in references to practically every fairytale. It's distracting, hard to follow and by the end downright obnoxious. Sometimes I found myself trying to figure out "Is this a fairytale references or a weird detail?" It became hard to distinguish the difference by the end.
This book tries to use clever turns of phrase that just don't work. For example. "He held a silver shoe the same size as the hole in his heart." It's very awkward wording. If your true love has left leaving only a shoe, is that really the size of the hole in your heart? What at first might sound cute doesn't make sense when you actually think about it.
One of the biggest flaws of this novel is that it almost feels like a sequel. As far as I can tell it's supposed to be a stand alone, but the whole story keeps referencing Sunday's dead brother Jack. The book references his life and death so many times without ever fully explaining. They do explain Jack's significance at the end of the novel but by that time it's too late and you still feel like you're missing details.
For me this book was just frustrating. There was too much going on and too many side story-lines. Enchanted would've done better to tell a simple fairytale retelling. Not every fairytale can fit into one book, and trying to fit them all just creates chaos and confusing. The beauty of fairytales is their simplicity and that was completely lost in this book.