Welcome to this week’s Fiction Friday. Today I am reviewing the standalone fairytale retelling ‘Cloaked’ by Alex Flinn, author of Beastly.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.
It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.
There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Keys.
Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got CLOAKED.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
This is my kind of book. I just love Fairytale retellings. After reading Flinn’s first fairytale retelling, Beastly, I had to get my hands on her others. I loved Beastly, and I’m happy to announce I loved Cloaked just as much. And now I can’t wait to read A Kiss in Time and Towering.
Flinn takes a handful of lesser known fairytales and mashes them together to make one story – and it totally works. Johnny is a poor 17 year old, working at his mother’s shoe repair stand at a fancy hotel. The beautiful princess Victoriana comes to stay at the hotel. Johnny is suddenly thrust into a world of magic and adventure when the princess asks Johnny to find her brother for her, who has been turned into a frog by a witch.
Suddenly Johnny’s life is not so boring anymore. Johnny sets out on his quest and the adventure begins. What I loved about this book is that Johnny goes on a magical journey in our own world. Usually you see the hero/heroine crossing over to the magical world and encountering all the magical things along the way as they try to complete the quest. In Cloaked, Johnny stays in our world, but it’s no less magical – there are talking animals that use to be humans, witches, giants and magical items.
Another thing I loved about Cloaked was Johnny’s obsession with shoes. He repairs shoes but he also wants to design them. It’s the first thing he notices about people. It gave him real personality. It’s just not something you see everyday in YA novels, especially in male characters, which is what made Johnny a stand-out for me. He was also loyal and moral, with the heart of a hero.
Cloaked was an exciting adventure of magical proportions. Funny at times, nail-biting at others. It’s a fairytale retelling unlike any other I’ve read, with all the adventure you’d find in a middle-grade novel but for teens. I feel like I’ve said adventure a lot in this review but that’s what Cloaked was. I can highly recommend this to anyone who loves a fairytale retelling – especially if you’re looking for something different.
For those who like to know, it was a fairly clean read with no swearing, sex and only mild violence. I think it would be suitable for younger teens up.
You can add it to your Goodreads here.