by Alex Flinn
First line: "If I hear one more syllable about spindles, I shall surely die!"
Princess Talia from the kingdom of Euphrasia is somewhat of a drama queen. All her life, she's been incredibly sheltered, because everyone knows that she's been cursed to fall asleep after pricking her finger on a spindle. Under guard at all times, and not allowed to leave the palace, her only way of rebelling is to speak rudely to all of her servants. In a way, she really can't help it when she is finally tricked into touching a spindle - she's never seen one before and doesn't know what to avoid!
Three hundred years later... spoiled rich kid Jack is thoroughly bored with his all-expenses paid European vacation. While trying to avoid a tour of yet another museum, he breaks the curse and awakens Talia quite by accident. Figuring it will make his ex-girlfriend Amber jealous, he brings Talia back with him to Miami.
One of the aspects to the Sleeping Beauty story which always had me wondering was... how does the princess adjust to the world after she wakes up? Imperious, haughty, totally unprepared for American informality and lack of respect for inherited titles, Talia really struggles to get along, although her mean-girl spirit serves her well when dealing with the popular girls in an American high school. Any and all technology is completely foreign to her, and she has several humorous misunderstandings concerning taking Jack's cell phone messages. To be honest, I found both Talia and Jack difficult to like. Like a lot of Flinn's characters, Talia is a spoiled brat who takes the long way around to finally getting over herself.
Even though I found the main characters a bit trying at times, I think teens who feel stifled by rules, full of energy, ready to get on with their lives and stop being told what to do at every turn by "grown-ups" will find them relate-able. I'll recommend this to anyone who enjoys fairytale retellings.
Spindle's End - Robin McKinley
Wisdom's Kiss - Catherine Gilbert Murdock
A Long, Long Sleep - Anna Sheehan
Briar Rose - Jane Yolen
I borrowed this book from the library.