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The Princess Revolt (Unraveled Series #1) (Hardcover)
Disney’s Twisted Tales meets the Half Upon a Time trilogy in this “lively” (School Library Journal) first book of a new fantasy series following a young girl who discovers that fairy tale characters are real when she becomes the target of vindictive princesses who want their Happily Ever Afters.
Cia Anderson hasn’t slept in ten days, but she doesn’t feel one bit tired. She knows that something is up, even if no one but her best friend believes her. Hundreds of pairs of shoes have appeared in her locker, small woodland animals are trailing her, and the only boy she’s ever had a crush on has been quarantined with a mysterious illness. There’s even talk of closing her middle school.
Something strange is going on.
Cia discovers that she has accidentally upset some fairy tale characters who are trying to find their happily ever afters in the modern world. Desperate to set things right, Cia enlists the help of Cinderella’s stepsister, gets kidnapped by Snow White’s dwarves, and makes a deal that she might regret with the Evil Queen—all while trying to stay one step ahead of the furious princesses who want her dead.
Turns out there’s nothing meaner than a fairy tale character who can’t find her prince charming.
About the Author
Cathy O’Neill was one of those kids who opened every wardrobe expecting to find Narnia. Years later, her own kids brought make-believe games and fairy tales back into her life and, with them, the inspiration for the Unraveled series, which includes The Princess Revolt and TheTapestry of Tales. Cathy grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and four daughters. She is a coauthor of the bestselling self-help book Babyproofing Your Marriage.
This hits the ground running with a fascinating mystery: 13-year-old Cia hasn't slept in 11 days. After some strange happenings and an unsuccessful visit with a pediatrician, Cia looks to the boxes in her attic to search for clues and finds the information of a fortune teller. Cia learns that the person who once helped her with some baby insomnia also slipped her a little anti-princess spell, which is now manifesting in all sorts of magical princess aftereffects: A boy turns into a beast. Cia suddenly has a phenomenal singing voice. Woodland animals attack her on sight. The unpredictability of these side effects make this a fun page-turner, even as the plot takes its time to develop the mystery. It isn't until about halfway through that major discoveries are revealed and readers can begin to guess what might happen next. What would a princess do for her Happily Ever After? Any reader who loves magical adventures and references to classic fairy tales will not want to miss this one.
— Kristina Pino — Booklist
Gr 4-7–When 13-year-old Cia finds herself no longer needing to sleep, her best friend, Indian American Romy, theorizes that pale-skinned Cia is a vampire. But Cia seeks a better solution and tracks down Madam Fredepia, fortune teller and sleep whisperer. To her astonishment, Cia learns Madam Fredepia placed a fairy-tale counter spell on her when she was an infant. Cia’s mother wanted her baby girl to grow up strong and independent, not like a fairy-tale princess. Now all the familiar fairy-tale elements are backfiring on Cia: she is being stalked by a deer, her school locker is full of shoes, and she is losing her hair. After her crush turns into a beast, Cia becomes desperate to break the spell before her friends are injured and a league of irate princesses take her down in order to restore their perpetual Happily Ever Afters. This original spin on modern fairy tales stands out for its delightful voice. Cia’s first-person narration, by turns insightful, intelligent and snarky, keeps readers engaged and giggling. However, the story also prompts readers to consider the downside of beloved fairy tales. Do they promote unrealistic standards of beauty? Do they discourage self-reliance in girls? Are they racist? O’Neill leaves readers with enough questions to begin critically examining the tales as old as time while keeping the magic intact. VERDICT Readers will be captivated by Cia’s lively voice while discovering that they may wish to view fairy tales through an updated lens. A solid purchase for middle grade collections where fantasy is appreciated.–Nancy Nadig — School Library Journal