This is the third book I've read of Flinn's fairy tale series. I always wonder just how she'll be able to make timeless stories work in modern settings. Timeless is a funny thing, it is by definition without time and I'd be hard pressed to figure out a way to make it work in conjunction with the modern. I'd like to think she did it, at least a little, with tongue firmly in cheek as she reworked Sleeping Beauty.
Princess Talia is spoiled and sheltered and the pride of her parents. She's been told that she was a miracle child conceived when her parents began to lose hope of ever having one. She is cursed at her christening by the witch Malvolia, to be cut by a spindle on her 16th birthday and die. The fairy, Flavia tried to mitigate the damage and changed to the curse a little so when the curse comes to pass, Talia and the rest of the kingdom would fall asleep and the entire country would disappear from the thoughts and view of the world. The curse would only be broken by true love's first kiss. However, it was a curse and not just a warning and despite everyone's best intentions it came true and 16 year old Talia and the rest of her countrymen fell into a deep and lasting slumber before she even got to go to her birthday ball. All of Euphrasia disappeared from the consciousness and the maps of the world as all of its inhabitants slept on. It was still there, but hidden by an almost impenetrable wood for centuries.
Enter Jack, morose teenager on a European tour with a friend, who decides to see something different from the usual sites and winds up finding Euphrasia, after the entire country has been asleep for 300 years. He wakes Talia and then things really get crazy. Is he her true love? 16 year old 21st century people don't generally marry and she has centuries to catch up on. Jack has plenty of his own issues, too. But, Talia and Jack are likable and you do want them to find their way in the world, whether or not they end up together.
I think I like this one least of the three I've read. I think Beastly was my favorite and Towering was okay. I love the idea of reworked fairy tales. I think that with the amount of technology created at the alarming pace we move forward, younger readers can't appreciate the classics as much. We advance so quickly, technologically, that a teen's life today can't even imagine a life without all the toys, no less be able to comprehend a world without electricity or indoor plumbing. Flinn's idea of taking these stories, turning them on their heads and moving them to the present is clever and entertaining. I would like to believe that the new versions of old tales will give new life to the originals. For my next Flinn book, I want to go back to the Kendra stories. As I understand it, she's got quite a backstory and Flinn's Bewitching tells all about it.
Here is a fan made trailer about the book: