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Rapunzel Untangled; another take on Rapunzel

Monday, December 24, 2012 Geraldine Lee 0 Comments

Rapunzel Untangled was a book I picked up, largely due to my love for fairytales and retellings of them. A particular book, Bewitching, by Alex Flinn started this love. However, Rapunzel Untangled, by Cindy C. Bennett, did not enchant me like the previous book did. Reading this introduction, you can understand why I was so interested in this Rapunzel retelling:

'Told that she must be indoors at all times, Rapunzel feels trapped in the huge mansion where she lives. But when school demands allow her access to the Internet, she discovers Facebook and becomes friends with Fane, a local teenager who changes her whole world. This story will have you entangled from beginning to end.'

Firstly, it's clear that this retelling is a modern one, from the slight mention of Facebook and the Internet, and as the intro states, Rapunzel becomes friends with Fane, a local teenager. This, I found, was quite peculiar. Considering that Rapunzel has been kept indoors all her life, how could she possibly know a local teenager? As I dove further into the book, I found out that she didn't know Fane before she friended him on Facebook. Odd, is it not? Rapunzel has been locked inside all her life and yet, she seems to throw caution to the wind and friend a random person on Facebook, who for all she knows, may not even attend the school he states he does. Dispite this, Fane and Rapunzel gradually become real friends, conversing with each other on Facebook daily, to the point that Rapunzel reveals her real name and where she lives and starts going on trips outside with Fane. I felt that befriending a friend on Facebook like this was highly careless of Rapunzel, who would have been raised as a caution treading girl by Gothel, her mother.

This book wasn't bad though. Although some parts may have been a tad unrealistic for me, I quite liked the magical component of the tale. I liked how Bennett incorporated the theme of magic in this novel, rather than try to find rational reasons for, for example, why Rapunzel's hair grew longer than normal.

Bennett places twists in the book, twists that can be predictable for the thoughtful reader, but still interesting. These twists all lead up to the finale, where the final truth is revealed. The revelation of why Rapunzel leads the life she does is revealed. The motives of several characters are revealed, as well as the mysterious Vedmak's. After all this excitement, Bennett ends the story in the typical fairytale manner, a 'happily ever after'. Thankfully though, the ending is a 'happily ever after', but not in the way that readers would expect. I'm glad Bennett chose to end the book in this way, because, if she hadn't, she wouldn't be faithfully retelling the tale of Rapunzel. Every fairytale needs a happily ever after, and that's what Bennett has given in this novel.

The characters in this book were rather flat, and did not live up to my expectations. I felt like Rapunzel was supposed to be more brave, especially at the start of the novel. She was too cowardly, in my opinion, especially when asking Gothel questions on, let's just say, suspicious activity. Fane was the stereotypical hero. He loved Rapunzel so much that he worried about her all the time, even when she says she's fine. Although this is 'so romantic', I found that it was creepy. Loving a guy that you barely know and having him love you back is just so, once again, unrealistic.

Overall: I'd rate this book 3 out of 5 stars, based on how unrealistic this book could get at times and how the characters didn't live up to my expectations. The plot, nevetheless, was gripping, and left me wondering what certain symbols and motifs meant in the novel, like any good book.

This book comes out on February 12th, 2013. For all you fairytale lovers, grab this book and devour it! Same to everyone who likes books with a bit of romance and magic in it! This book is suitable for a light read, for anyone!

Keep reading and loving books!

(I got a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review)

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