Thursday, September 10, 2009

Saving Fairy Tales from Themselves...

Reviews of two fantastic books!

Into the Wild Sarah Beth Durst

Being the daughter of a refugee from the Wild isn't easy. Julie's mom, Rapunzel, is nice and all, but she only hangs out with other refugees--escaped fairy tale characters. Julie feels like she doesn't belong anywhere, she's the only non-character who knows what's going on in town, but because she didn't escape the Wild, the characters don't truly accept her either. All Julie knows is that for some reason she and her mom are the ones to guard it, and her dad died in the escape.

But one day, the Wild gets loose and takes over town. It's not just that there are trees and vines growing everywhere, but once you're in the Wild, it wants you to be part of a story and it will force you in. Once you're in a story, there's no escape, you just live your days and then, when the story ends, you forget everything and start over again. FOREVER.

Only Julie can save her family and the town.

Really, really well done. I loved this. I'm a sucker for fairy-tale characters in new settings, but this one is above the cut. I loved Julie's adventure and how the familiar characters were more bit players and Julie got to take center stage as she worked to save the day. I also the loved how the Wild took normal townspeople and warped them to a fairy tale standard.

Out of the Wild Sarah Beth Durst

It hasn't been that long since Julie had to defeat the Wild. Northboro is still cleaning up the mess. Then, one day, the Wild spits out her dad, for no apparent reason. Prince Charming doesn't know our world and isn't willing to learn. Before Julie and her mother can explain everything to him, Sleeping Beauty is whisked off in a coach made from an apple and Zel and Gothel are turned into pumpkins. The Prince is off after Sleeping Beauty and Julie can only follow him and try to help. Unfortunately, he recreates fairy tale moment after fairy tale moment, causing the Wild to grow like never before. There is someone who wants the loose and is causing this to happen, but why?

I liked this one even better than the first. As Julie and her dad go on their cross-country adventure, they meet new fairy tale characters that we didn't see before. We also have the mystery of who is doing this and why, and what Julie can do to stop it, as well as the complex feelings of having her dad back, her dad who's more into saving random princesses than being Julie's dad.

Such a great couple of books! Fairy tale fans need to check them out!


Caroline Starr Rose said...

Hey Jenny,
I'm digging around for your "read the books on your shelf" challenge and can't seem to find it (probably because I've got the name all wrong!).

I'd love to join in.

Anonymous said...

Do I hear fairytale with a new twist? I do like those!


Anonymous said...

These look intriguing! Very different from normal fare.

Are you familiar at all with the Once Upon a Time series of retellings?

Anonymous said...

Oh, hooray! I was waiting for your reviews of these.

Jennie said...

Caroline, are you looking for S. Krishna's Challenge?:

Jennie said...

OH! Wait! Are you looking for the thing in my challenge update about where I read 50 books I own? Because that's not an official challenge. That was just one of my goals this year.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Yes! I'll join you. Now it's official. :)