Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Name is Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton

Title: My Name is Rapunzel
Classification: Young Adult
Genre: Fairy Tale Remake
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First edition (November 23, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1492863009
ISBN-13: 978-1492863007
Author's Website:
Notes: I bought it.

Many people think they know the story. Many believe it has all been written down. But tucked away in a castle Rapunzel still lives, as young as she ever was, with the witch who cursed her. No happy ending was ever found, but hope can be found on the horizon for this is Rapunzel's story and the rest is about to be written...


Making a fairy tale remake is not an easy task. I do not envy any author who tries it. Trying to remake a story that is beloved by all, and has been told time and time again, into your own creation may seem easy, but in truth it isn't. You're story will always be compared against the original or the version most people are familiar with. There are basically four ways I've seen of doing it. The first is to stay true to the original story, but expand upon it by adding more details and lengthening it. As there are usually many versions already out there, this could very well be the hardest to accomplish. The second is to take the original story, but put your own spin or twist on it thereby making it your own and changing the story in some significant way. This takes a lot of creativity and imagination as you have to get past reader's pre-conceived expectations. The third is to use it as your base and create something entirely new that only slightly resembles the original. Perhaps changing the setting or time period. This is perhaps the easiest to accomplish but will take the most creativity on the writer's part and the ones with only the most subtle of hints are usually the best. The fourth is to take a character from the original story and tell a counter story from their perspective (think Maleficent). Again, a lot of imagination and creativity are needed, especially if you want to switch a person's opinion about a villain, but if you can pull it off you can create something very special. In My Name is Rapunzel, K.C. Hilton attempted to put her own twist on the original.

I confess to liking Fairy Tale remakes, this one, however, just didn't live up to expectations. There are so many problems with this story that I hardly know where to begin. Parts were so predictable that I had to wonder how Rapunzel hadn't figured out what was so seemingly obvious? While living 250+ years as a teenager, she seemingly acquired no wisdom, showed no growth as a character, and at times seemed startlingly shallow. Perhaps that was a result of her self imposed isolation? I really haven't a clue. Then after years of living in constant fear of discovery, afraid she'd be mistaken as a witch and killed, she gets upset with a reporter who writes an article about how he doesn't believe in fairy tales nor believe that Rapunzel or any other of the fairy book characters ever existed. Isn't that the type of thing she'd want? Yet, she writes to him exposing her secret. Seriously? Then when she has the perfect opportunity to provide credence to her story, she opts that he not see the very thing that will prove beyond a doubt her story is true and kisses the man as a means of distraction providing the author with a means to work in a love triangle? Gah!

As I said before, there is so much wrong with this one from the repetition of a good portion of the first chapter, to the lack of response certain situations would normally garner, to the jumbled ending that held revelation after revelation at which point I could really care less and mostly held no real relevance to the story. Additionally, the hair element, although not an exact copy of, reminded me an awful lot of what was done in Disney's Tangled. If you haven't guessed, I gave this one 1 out of 5 roses. This is NOT one I would recommend. It had a novice feel to the work, and I was surprised to find in the Literary Classic's review that it took the author "two and a half decades" to make. If you're looking for a good fairy tale remake, check out The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, any of Alex Flinn's fairy tale remakes like Beastly or Cloaked, The Selection series by Kiera Cass, Beauty by Robin McKinley, or Anne Fortier's Juliet. I've read each, and they're really good. If you're looking for a good historical romance novel, then check out Eloisa James' When Beauty Tamed the Beast. There are countless more, but those are the ones that came to mind first. I wouldn't waste your time or money on this one. I know I wish I hadn't. Oh, and if I ever see a book with the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval (CLC), I'll totally disregard it from this day forward. I read their write up for this book and totally disagreed with it. I was extremely disappointed. This is definitely a book you can't judge by it's cover.

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