Everyone knows how the the Disney version of "Sleeping Beauty" ended: Maleficent turned into a dragon, Prince Phillip killed her and they all lived haEveryone knows how the the Disney version of "Sleeping Beauty" ended: Maleficent turned into a dragon, Prince Phillip killed her and they all lived happily ever after. But what if she wasn't all the way dead, and when Phillip kissed Aurora he fell asleep next to her? And now Aurora's stuck in a dream world where she thinks her parents were heartless monsters who gave her away to three evil fairies in return for untold power. And now, only kindly "Aunt Maleficent" is there to keep her safe from the outside world in a castle surrounded by thorns.
Definitely not the story the way Disney told it...but it does point out a few flaws in that version. For example, in one part Aurora dreams her parents have died and she is unceremoniously plunked onto the throne. And there is a financial crisis they expect her to immediately solve. The ministers want to raise taxes, the populace is against it, and she spazzes out because she has no idea what a "tax" is. Which raises the point, how does running around barefoot in the woods and communing with animals prepare you to run a kingdom?
Aurora herself complains about her parents' lack of a plan on how to be a real princess. They were just going to slap her into fancy clothes and marry her off to Phillip with no clue what she was supposed to do. "You're 16, congratulations, you're really a princess, welcome home and BTW here's your fiance. Now go wave to the crowd."...more
What absolute total horseshit (pardon my French). There are very few stories I've read that I want to sling across the room but this oneSPOILERS BELOW
What absolute total horseshit (pardon my French). There are very few stories I've read that I want to sling across the room but this one makes the list. The mother is an overblown harpy who makes Cruella Deville look like Mother Theresa in comparison and can somehow circumvent the law at a whim because she's just so powerful and awsome that the whole government caters to her every whim.
Dad is supposedly a powerful attorney who cowers like a wimp at his wife's every command. The heroine has the intelligence of a brain damaged gerbil. She runs away from her total confinement (after psycho mom keeps her under lock and key for a decade) and heads to a Podunk town in Tennessee her Grandmother took her to once and she hopes her mom won't think about. So a mixed-race girl with no ID and no back-story to explain her alleged life history hops off the bus in a small town where everyone knows each other's business and no one bats an eye. At the same time a mixed-race teen goes missing. She blunders into a job where the boss pays her under the table so the lack of ID problem conveniently gets avoided.
There are only 2 people in the whole town who might be able to recognize her. So naturally the town man-whore is one of them. She sees him climbing out a girl's window to evade her boyfriend, multiple people tell her horror stories about his past dickhead behavior, his psychotic ex-girlfriend threatens her for even looking at him, he tries to kiss her but gets interrupted by his date for the evening (who she later sees him groping the ass of in the club), and he admits he's got a key to her apartment complex because he was boning the former roommate. And, like I said, he might be able to figure out who she is while she's trying to stay incognito and hidden from the parentals. So naturally she falls in love with him, and he within a few days goes from being a total ass-hat to a monogamous man who's found his one true love. And he only met her for a couple of days when he was 6 but remembers everything. Barf...
But the ending is why I wanted to take the book and burn it. The author somehow thinks Mom is God Almighty and not just one of 100 U.S. Senators. So supposedly Her Highness gets the FBI, without a shred of evidence and a case that would explode like the Hindenburg in court, to arrest two totally innocent individuals and charge them with kidnapping (just so she can get her daughter back in her evil clutches).
The whole premise that she can really command them to arrest people is totally asinine; like anyone would really throw their career away authorizing arrests that are totally indefensible and would leave the Bureau as laughingstocks to the world if they ever tried to prosecute. Especially since a couple of days earlier they announced to the world that it was a runaway and not a kidnapping; now they're going to do a 180 and say it was a kidnapping after all. Can you say total lack of credibility? And you're talking about a Senators daughter and man-whore is now a minor Country music star, and it's been front page news for a week, so it isn't like the FBI can make everything just going away without anyone asking any questions.
You're charging them with kidnapping when there are literally hundreds of witnesses who saw her arrive by herself and roam freely around town for days. And how do you explain how two teens from TN just happen to show up at a funeral in rural FL and snatch a Senator's daughter from her security escort without anyone noticing? The whole premise is MORONIC.
Then Her Majesty somehow is along for the ride with the FBI to take her daughter back into her clutches; we know the FBI always invites politicians to tag along with them. It just makes no sense whatsoever; it was like the author just wanted to end it like a Monty Python sketch.
Seriously, did anyone over the age of 12 not figure out who her father was about 100 pages before she did? This girl was no Nancy Drew;SPOILERS GALORE
Seriously, did anyone over the age of 12 not figure out who her father was about 100 pages before she did? This girl was no Nancy Drew; I'm not sure she's even Harriett the Spy. The author made it so obvious that if Wren had rubbed her brain cells together instead of chasing after Red Herring from Scooby Doo, she would have found Daddy Dearest much sooner.
The other problem I had was with the number of implausible events that had to come together to make this story. Her mom is a Ventura stringer for the LA Times, she's not even a regular journalist for them. She mostly reports the local football scores. Her one big story was about the impact and aftermath of a local mudslide that wiped out some homes and killed a few people. She's not even a scientific journalist but somehow she, of all the available writers in the country, gets chosen to spend 6 months in Greenland on a study.
Then she calls up the guy she dated at prep school (and later committed parenthood without his awareness) out of the blue and asks him to help get her daughter into their alma mater. No contact for 15 years and a waiting list to get into the uber-school but he gets Wren in (where the sudden vacancy just happens to make Wren and his daughter Honor roomies so the sparks can fly).
I didn't really get why Honor suddenly decided to tank her horse show. She's in the finals of a national competition at Madison Square Garden and she sneaks away to get hammered with a guy in his 20's. Wren et. al. show up to drag her puking passed out ass to the show and toss her onto her horse to save the day. Apparently she's a phenomenal rider, because, despite a BAC that would earn her a DUI and a night in the slammer, she finishes third.
Wren's mother is a selfish moron. She's going off to an assignment where she could die and she makes no provisions for her daughter other than potentially dooming Wren to the life she despised on Butt Crack Island. She got out of Dodge and never looked back, but, if she became a Popsicle, her daughter was going to be condemned to live in that hell hole and never escape. She's going to be gone for 6 months and she didn't even make plans for paying next semester's tuition (not that they ever explained how she came up with the swag to get Wren registered in the first place). Not exactly a Mother of the Year candidate...
Her newly discovered Dad was pretty blase about getting informed he had another child; he announces it to the world at a party and pretty much writes her a blank check to keep her enrolled. There was literally no drama; it was like "Oh, you're my kid, here's next semester's tuition."
On the positive side:
I love a good villain and Great-Aunt Helen was an absolute harpy. You can see why Wren's mom fled for her life. Helen lives in this old house on a tiny New England island with only 40 students in their school. She offers Wren grapefruit and black coffee for breakfast and pontificates about her mother's "inappropriate choices." Needless to say, Wren is more than a little pissed off at her Mom for potentially condemning her to live with this old battle-axe, but she also understands why Mom fled to California before letting the family know she was pregnant. Raising a kid on your own was preferable to the condemnation of the locals for committing parenthood (a quick wedding that neither wanted would have been arranged to save face with their contemporaries).
The necklace turned out to be a bit of a red herring; not meaning what either Honor or Wren assumed. But the explanation made sense....more
Better than expected story of a couple at an ultra-competitive brainiac private school which publicly posts and updates the ranking of every student iBetter than expected story of a couple at an ultra-competitive brainiac private school which publicly posts and updates the ranking of every student in each class. They're both comic geeks with the exact same IQ and they've been trading the #3 & #4 class rankings between them. But they've been bitter rivals ever since he pushed her off the monkey bars and she broke her arm in elementary school. So they literally have nothing good to say about each other but they've got plenty of snarky comments to make.
Now they're seniors and Trixie's mission in life is to finish #3 ahead of Ben. She and a couple of friends have stayed among themselves, but suddenly her BFF's are interested in guys who happen to be friends of Ben (who has returned to school sporting a cheesy handlebar mustache Trixie can't help deriding). So, like it or not, they're forced to spend more time together, which makes them extra smarmy towards each other.
But meanwhile a cheating scandal is erupting among the top 10, with several students winding up on academic probation and dropping off the list. They all maintain their innocence but the electronic evidence is against them. Did they really crack under the competitive pressure of the school or is someone trying to help move themselves up the rankings? And will anyone else be accused? ...more