Friday, April 26, 2013

Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy Bennett

I received Rapunzel Untangled as an E-ARC from Netgalley and Cedar Fort, Inc. This is a modern twist on the Rapunzel story. In this story, the Rapunzel fairy tale does not exist, so even though the main character's name is Rapunzel, there is no comparison to the fairy tale by the characters.

Cedar Fort, Inc.

Rapunzel has spent almost her entire life in the tower of Gothel Manor. Her mother who goes by her surname, Gothel, takes care of Rapunzel and she is the only human, except for her doctor, with which Rapunzel has contact. Rapunzel has a rare immune deficiency disorder SCIDs and any contact with germs could kill her. Her mother mainly visits at dinnertime and afterward brushes Rapunzel's extremely long hair each night. Her mother also reminds her about the prophecy, the one in which Rapunzel will save the world and she guilt trips Rapunzel into never trying to leave her tower, because she could die. Rapunzel is allowed to do her homeschool work on a computer with Internet access and her mother does not realize she is using social networking. Through Facebook, Rapunzel meets the Fabulous Fane and makes a new friend. When her mother leaves for a six day trip, Rapunzel agrees to allow Fane to visit her in the tower. The two start to fall for each other and Rapunzel learns the secrets behind her house and her mother. Rapunzel begins to question the truth of her imprisonment, but can she learn all the secrets, before Gothel tries to fulfill the prophecy?

This was an interesting twist on the fairytale and the reader has to remember that the Rapunzel story does not exist, otherwise you keep thinking how could they not know Gothel is evil, etc. At times Rapunzel seems a little naïve for someone who grew up with the Internet, but overprotected children are often a little more innocent about certain things. It does seem odd that she would not realize the truth about her home, but really most of us would not think our homes were all that great to have stories on Google. I thought the relationship between Fane and Rapunzel seemed realistic and their Facebook and Skype chats were humorous.

Favorite Character: Fane. He is loyal to Rapunzel, doesn't make fun of her for her life, and really patient. He seems a little too mature for a teen boy at times, but he does have some male teen humor in his posts.

Favorite Quote: "He brought her hand to his lips, the gesture somehow more intimate than all the times he'd done so before-more intimate than the kisses they'd shared."

"She wanted to stand as a warrior, to command her destiny rather than having it thrust upon her."

It was a good modern take on the fairy tale and the disease excuse was a plausible way to get someone to stay in a tower. Rapunzel proves to herself that magic lies within and people can only have power over you, if you give it to them. It was a cute story with a happy ending. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

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