Elena's Reviews > Enchanted

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
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's review
Jul 12, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult, reviewed
Read from June 21 to July 10, 2012

Oh, Alethea Kontis. When I read "Sunday," the short story on which this novel is based, I was charmed. It was a lighthearted fairytale that didn't pretend to be weightier than it was, and it was just a really fun story.

However, the light, charming short story should never have become a novel. This story feels like it struggled to become a book. The plotline was disjointed and drawn out, and there were so many threads that never seemed to really connect, or didn't connect in a way that was emotionally resonant. I didn't like any of the characters except maybe Sunday's sister Saturday and Rumbold's friends, who don't get full-fledged subplots as I felt they ought. All the other characters, including protagonists Sunday and Rumbold, felt like archetypes rather than people.

This novel read like a short story writer's first attempt at a novel, and I would be surprised if this weren't the case. None of the characters were fully realized, plot threads weren't properly woven together, and it was just overall more of a parable than a book with characters who you could relate to and fall in love with. Enchanted is the sort of book that should have been tucked away somewhere and not shown to others, while the author went on to write a second book using the knowledge and skill gained on her first one. Someone, somewhere along the way, should have told Ms. Kontis that this novel just wasn't meant to be. But no one did, and that's a shame, because really, I'm confident that Ms. Kontis can do better.

If you read (or started) Enchanted and liked Kontis's ideas and her tone and approach to fairytales, I'd highly recommend you check out some of her short fiction. Her approach serves her much better in that medium than it did in this book.
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Reading Progress

06/22/2012 page 24
8.0% "Years ago, I read the short story on which this book was based. I really liked it. I'm not so sure the concept deserved its own novel. We'll see."
50.0% "If I had to guess, I'd say this is Alethea Kontis's first stab at writing a novel. It's...not very well constructed."
75.0% "Skimming now. Would probably have quit reading ages ago if I had anything better lined up."

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