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I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.

It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.

There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Keys.

Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got CLOAKED.

341 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Alex Flinn

30 books5,598 followers
Love Jacaranda is out in the world! Hope you'll check out this fun wish-fulfillment romance!

Now, bio:

I grew up on a street called Salem Court. This probably influenced my interest in witches. When I was five, my mom said I should be an author. And when I was eight, I got my first rejection letter from Highlights Magazine.

I learned to read early. But I compensated for this early proficiency by absolutely refusing to read the programmed readers required by the school system -- workbooks where you read the story, then answered the questions. When the other kids were on Book 20, I was on Book 1! My teacher, Mrs. Zeiser, told my mother, "Alexandra marches to her own drummer." I don't think that was supposed to be a compliment.

My family moved to Miami when I was in middle school. I had a really hard time making friends, so I spent a lot of time reading and writing then. By high school, I'd made some friends and gotten involved in various "gifted and talented" performing arts programs. I studied opera in college (I'm a coloratura -- the really loud, high-pitched sopranos.) and then went to law school.

It was law school that probably helped with my first novel. Breathing Underwater deals with the serious and all-too-common problem of dating violence. I based the book on my experiences interning with the State Attorney's Office and volunteering with battered women. I thought this was a really important topic, as 27 percent of teenage girls surveyed have been hit by a boyfriend. I'm happy that the book is so popular, and if you are reading this bio because the book was assigned for school, I'm happy about that too.

I think I write for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I’m continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy. It’s a way of going back to being thirteen . . . knowing what I know now.

Right now, I live half a mile away from my old middle school, in Palmetto Bay, a suburb of Miami, with my husband, daughters, dogs, and cats.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,633 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah.
226 reviews368 followers
April 1, 2011
OHMYGOD! Alex Flinn is a girl, I mean a woman! All this time, I thought she was a guy. Like a man-man. Like Rick Riordan who retells(is this even a verb?) Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology. This would totally change my perspective in reading his---I mean her books.

I am so regretting that OHMYGOD. Oh here I go again, using the Lord's name in vain. I swore not to but it's hard when you're so surprised. Honestly, I am.

Anyway, I read the premise and I do not know what retelling would this be. It's not as clear as Beastly or A Kiss In Time which are the retelling of Beauty and The Beast and Sleeping Beauty, respectively. Or maybe I am not familiar with the story but I will soon find out, I guess.

Seriously! Alex Flinn, a female?! Sorry, I just can't get over it.

And now I've read it and I can honestly say that it's my favorite out of all Flinn's work.

It must be the adventure, or the lovestory, or the tales she used. I actually am quite familiar with some of them. Like The Valiant Tailor which when I was kid, I read as The Little Tailor and The Firebird and The Gray Wolf which I know only as The Firebird and of course The Frog Prince which I know as The Frog Prince or I guess the new Disney's Princess and The Frog. DUH! But the rest not so much so I enjoyed the somewhat newness of it all.

Is it just me or is there really a Percy Jackson feel to it? And you know how I love that series so it definitely helped.

I can sum it up in three words: Refreshing. Captivating. Fun. For those who can't get enough of Alex Flinn's work won't surely want to miss this.

Profile Image for Cara.
279 reviews703 followers
August 26, 2016
Before anything I have to mention that for some reason I assumed that this was a re-telling of Red Riding Hood , and for those of you (probably not too many because I'm exceptionally dim sometimes) who thought it was as well I'm here to tell you it isn't. There is a cloak in the story, but no oblivious girls or furry looking grandmothers in sight.

This story follows the life of Johnny, a seventeen-year-old who aspires to be a shoe designer, but what he does is help out with his family's business. They repair shoes in South Beach, Florida. It's just him and his mom, and his dad has been missing for years. Unfortunately they have a hard time making ends meet, but with some luck or fate you could say, a princess comes to town that will seem to have the key (or more like money) to make all those problems go away. The princess claims that her brother has been turned into a frog and she thinks Johnny is the right person to find him and bring him back. What ensues is a whirlwind adventure, and Johnny gets a lot more out of it than he had anticipated.

I'm a huge fan of fairy tale re-tellings and though I did enjoy this I gotta say it was a bit of an overload. The fairy tales used here aren't that commonly known by people (myself included), and it felt too stuffed. Too many events happening and too many storylines for one story. I felt like we were jumping from crisis to crisis ALL the time. But then again that was probably what the author was trying to achieve; the feeling that our character was almost literally flying by the seat of his pants. All that aside I did appreciate the magical elements, and how they were interwoven in the storyline. I'm getting too clever for my own good though (probably not true but...) because I could see the "twists" coming most of the time, but fairytales are often that way. Meghan, who is Johnny's best friend, is a great character and I loved the relationship between them.

What made this story good, even though it felt hurried, was Johnny. He tries hard to help his mom, and he has a vision of how things should be. But at the same time he has his faults. He's convinced the money will fix everything and he'll do almost anything so he and his mom can have a better life. How can you not like a character like that?

Now for what has been irking me since I read this book: Does anyone know why there is a red flower on the cover? I do not remember a red flower being mentioned, or somebody saying something about a red flower. I'm baffled, stumped, and it's really nagging at me. I feel like I missed something, so if anyone can inform me I would greatly appreciate it.
Profile Image for Joy.
192 reviews24 followers
May 24, 2018
"All the good quotes have shoes."

Johnny is just a normal guy who works at his family's shoe repair shop in South Beach, Florida. Then one day, a princess from Aloria shows up and asks him to help her find her brother who's been turned into a frog by a nasty witch. She calls him a "good boy," gives him money and two magical things then promises to marry him after he completes the quest. Soon, Johnny's world is turned completely upside down as he explores a magic that he never knew existed and learns some truths about his own relationships.

Overall, Cloaked reminded me of a more childish and adventure-filled version of Cinder & Ella. While the premise of this novel is quite interesting, in the end, I wasn't super impressed by the story.

First of all, Johnny pissed me off so much. There were so many points in the novel where I would just stare at the page and say, "Stupid." Also, he just wasn't a very developed character - he kept making the same mistakes, always fell for the enemy's tricks and was overwhelmingly dense. And even though he did mature a bit by the end of the novel, it just wasn't enough for me.

I have a real love for fairytales and retellings, so I thought it was really cool how there were so many Grimm stories all woven into one novel - Cinderella, Princess and the Frog, Six Swans, etc. This aspect of Cloaked made me think of Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile, which is just an amazing mix of fairytales.

But this novel has way too many plot holes and "happy" coincidences. The whole talking to animals idea was very interesting, but there was little to no explanation as to how exactly these animals came about or why there are different magical obstacles for each animal. I also hated how Todd (the fox) just so happened to be important to both Johnny's quest and personal life...

One thing I liked about Johnny was how obsessed he was with shoes not just because it was the family business but because he genuinely enjoyed making and repairing them - many times losing himself in the act. Another part that I did enjoy was .

More lows than highs but not a terrible book. Definitely on the younger side of Young Adult though. 2.5
Profile Image for Beatrice Masaluñga.
1,137 reviews1,662 followers
May 4, 2016
Cloaked is an enjoyable, fun, and adventurous book. Alex Flinn is well known to write Fairy Tale Retellings and I've only read Beastly, which I really like. In this book, it's a mash-up fairy tales and most of them are unfamiliar to me (I only knew The Frog Prince).

The first half of this book is indeed fast paced and I'm enjoying the main character's quest as he helps a gorgeous Princess to save his brother who's cursed by a witch to become a Frog. Now the Frog Prince is missing, Princess Victoriana sees something in Johnny wherein she can trust him to do this magical quest. However, Johnny's deal with the Princess Victoriana ticked me off. He is a talented shoe-maker who is struggling financially and is in need for money to sustain his everyday expenses. When he succeeds this mission by saving the frog prince, he will be marrying the Princess as a reward. Okay? So he's blinded with money.. Never mind. I'm after the quest… take a chance having an adventure and hopefully Johnny gets on the right senses to truly love someone.

Halfway through of this book, it started to get dull. I don't know why I feel that.. Maybe because he keeps on running and get side-tracked by his main mission. Not that being side-tracked to help others is bad (they helped Johnny as well in exchange), it's just that everything beats around the bush. Don't get me wrong, I still like the way it ends I just wish that it focuses on ONE FAIRY TALE. Oh well, just enjoy the adventure.

I don't like The Prince here. Who the hell calls his milady some cheesy names of various animals?
* Dainty Komodo Dragon
* My Dear Leetle Turtle
* My Tiny Newt
* My Leetle Anemone

I don't find it sweet. It's ridiculously cheesy and eye-rolling annoying.
Profile Image for Ivy.
957 reviews52 followers
March 21, 2019
Schönes Retelling, unterhaltsam und die Märchen-Vibes sind da.

Johnny ist 17, arbeitet beim Schuster und träumt davon reich und berühmt zu werden, als Schuhdesigner.
Prinzessin Victoriana scheint seine perfekte Möglichkeit. Und die will nicht nur seine Schuhe tragen, sondern ihn gleich heiraten. Dafür muss Johnny nur ihren Bruder, Prinz Philippe, finden, der verflucht und verschwunden ist...

Das Ganze ist auf jeden Fall ein Abenteuer. Wie Johnny mit seinem magischen Umhang unterwegs ist, verschiedene Figuren aus verschiedenen Märchen trifft und einen Kopfhörer besitzt, der ihm die Sprache der Tiere übersetzt.
Aber es ist zwischendurch schon sehr verwirrend, weil einfach viele Märchen zusammenkommen. Dadurch konnte mich die Story im Verlauf auch nicht fesseln.

Johnny ist nett und man mag ihn direkt - aber auch blass. Seine beste Freundin Meg ist toll, weiß was sie will, ist stark, durchdacht und setzt sich durch.
Ansonsten sind alle Figuren nicht aussagekräftig genug, da fehlt es an Details um zu überzeugen.
Die Hexe und ihr Sohn, zum Beispiel. Interessant aber tauchen immer wieder auf und sind trotzdem relativ nichtssagend.

Der Schreibstil ist super, flüssig und klar und man fliegt durchs Geschehen. Und zum Ende hin wird es auch besser. Klar ist das märchenhafte Happy End obligatorisch. Aber ich finde das passt so und es gibt auch einige Überraschungen. Die Geschichte mit dem Fuchs ist ja super.
Auch wie Meg den Frosch zu Prinz Philippe zurückküsst und das Verhalten des Prinzen ist so lustig.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews709 followers
March 9, 2011
I vowed not to take the book too seriously and just to go with where it would take me given the constant reference to its nature.. It is a FAIRY TALE RETELLING. So just take it at face value and don’t expect any mind-blowing revelations (Although any such revelations would not be unwelcome.)

Am I glad I attacked it with this light perspective. I most definitely enjoyed CLOAKED. Once I had shucked off my expectations, Johnny’s story became entertaining though of course, most definitely unbelievable. Then again, author isn’t asking us to believe Cloaked is she?

A couple of things entertained me when it came to the protagonist, Johnny. At one point he is so surprised at being called smart because, apparently, he is so used to being called nice. He even likens himself to a yellow lab and an economy car.. All three are “nice, reliable and sweet.“ He definitely is all those things, but one thing as well: he is clueless. The girl who likes him has to practically put up a sign saying so… and he still doesn’t take the hint *at this point I remind myself “FAIRY TALE RETELLING” in a sing-song hum.* Then there’s the funny note of what he wants to become when he grows up (that made me chuckle.. It‘s so different from what one would expect from a seventeen year old boy.) Plus Johnny really is nice… all the little adventures he gets himself into are because he is doing something for someone.. See? Nice.

Speaking of adventures… his were just down right cute. You recognize the elements but have to chuckle at how they were incorporated into Cloaked.

Over all… don’t take it seriously, and you will definitely have a blast.
Profile Image for Lectus.
1,029 reviews32 followers
January 5, 2013
Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/01/...

This book would make a wonder animated movie for children. Yes, for CHILDREN!

Johnny is poor, and he works in the family's shoe repair business in South Beach and secretly wishes to be a famous shoe designer. Her mom has just taken a second job because they don't even make enough in the business to pay the bills.

One day, a princess (real princess from another country) comes to South Beach and, what are the odds? - meets Johnny! Even more, she asks for his help to rescue her brother (the prince) who has been turned into a frog and vanished from... I don't know, around. So the princess asks Johnny to find her brother but before, she gives him $10 thousand dollars for his troubles; that is, money he gets to keep regardless of accepting the mission or not.

Obviously, the striving business is striving no more and Johnny goes in a journey to find this frog/prince. Along the way, he gets to talk with different animals... because we really live in a magical word where all you need is a magical hearing device to be able to talk with birds, foxes, bears and the like.

As I said, this is a nice story for middle graders (maybe?) that would make a nice animated movie.

I'm too old for this type of fantasy and way past stories this simple.
Profile Image for Weinlachgummi.
976 reviews44 followers
August 3, 2020
Nachdem ich schon das erste Buch von Alex Flinn Beastly gelesen hatte, landete auch Kissed auf meinem SuB. Und auch wenn ich das Print Buch besitze, habe ich mich nun für das Hören entschieden. Was durch den famosen Hörbuchsprecher Simon Jäger eine super Entscheidung war.

Die Geschichte hat mir grundsätzlich gefallen. Ich liebe Märchen und so haben mir die Märchenelemente natürlich zugesagt. Und ich fand es eigentlich auch recht spannend. Ja, an der Geschichte an sich habe ich nichts zu meckern. Der Protagonist stolpert ein bisschen von einem Abenteuer in das nächste.

Dabei wirkt er manchmal ziemlich unbedarft. Aber das ist schon okay und macht ihn in meinen Augen menschlich. Mein Problem war eher, dass er das offensichtliche nicht sieht und manchmal echt oberflächlich ist. Bei manchen von seinen Gedanken hätte ich am liebsten die Hände vorm Gesicht zusammen geschlagen.

Da ich aber die Idee der Geschichte mochte und der Sprecher wirklich einiges herausgerissen hat, war es doch ein Spaß der Geschichte zu lauschen. Und ich kann mir gut vorstellen, dass sie Märchen Fans gefällt.
Profile Image for Jackie "the Librarian".
870 reviews260 followers
May 26, 2011
Mash up of several fractured fairy tales by the author of Beastly. Johnny is a hard-working 17-year-old who works in a shoe repair store in a fancy Miami hotel. He designs shoes, but since his dad disappeared years ago, the family has barely been able to scrape by, let alone send Johnny off to college, or fashion school, or wherever you go to become a famous shoe person like Jimmy Choo. And no, Johnny’s not gay. He just likes shoes. Okay? Okay.

Ah-hah, you think! Shoes! There will be elves! And, you’re right, but that’s not the focus of the story. Because in walks a princess from some European country that speaks French, and she’s pretending to be like Paris Hilton, but she’s not really a party girl, she’s just throwing off the press from her real reason for being in Florida. She’s trying to find her brother, the prince, who’s been turned into a frog. And she wants Johnny’s help. Naturally, Johnny is skeptical of her story, too bad about the crazy princess. She’s so pretty, too! Until he tries out the magic cloak she gives him to enlist him in her search, and is magically transported to wherever he wishes to go. Okay, NOT crazy. The money she’s offering as a reward doesn’t hurt, either.

It turns out, there’s magic all OVER Florida, mainly in the form of transformed animals. Swans and rats and foxes and suddenly I’m thinking it’s too bad a talking alligator didn’t show up somehow. But Alex Flinn was incorporating some lesser known folktales, and I guess she couldn’t find one with a gator to work in. Too bad. Instead, we get eastern European villains in the midst of Key West, which was a little jarring.

Of course there’s a girl-next-door, and confusion about who loves who, and do you REALLY want to marry a princess as your reward, and it all works out about the way you’d expect, and that’s fine. This isn’t great literature, it’s just fun. A little sloppy, and not as well developed as it could have been, but it’s short, what do you want? I’m not sure what the moral of the story is, other than work hard, try your best, and go a little crazy now and then when you’re following your dream because sometimes magic really CAN happen. Also, take good care of your shoes. :)

Recommended if you want a light, funny teen fantasy with talking animals.
Profile Image for Meg.
3 reviews
July 9, 2012
This is the worst Alex Flinn books I've ever read. Hell, this could quite possibly be one of my least favorite books I've ever read.

I LOVE Alex Flinn's books. I love her characters, the plots, her writing style, everything! I could read both Beastly, Breathing Underwater, and Breaking Point over and over and OVER AND OVER.

So when I saw this book at my school's library..I was pretty dang excited. Beastly is my favorite Flinn, so I was like...FAIRY RETELLING LETS GO.

Let me tell you, I've never been so disappointed. I'd hate to rate one of her books one star..but I must. That's how much I hated this book.

I felt like it was a never ending goose chase with no depth, no character development, and above all...no magic. NONE. Just boring and plain.

It was awful. I hated the characters. I hated the pairing at the end and how they just ALL OF A SUDDEN were magically in love. Like, oh my gosh. That's...just..peachy. Really? :|

One of the most annoying things about this book was the princess. That accent DOES NOT NEED TO BE WRITTEN OUT. I couldn't stand it. I found myself skipping through what the girl was saying because I got so annoyed with it.

Its been months since I've read this book, so I can't really go deeper with things I disliked..but, I'll just say I wanted to stop reading this book very early on. Even before I got bored with the plot and it's lack of just pure awesomeness, I didn't connect with the characters..at all. They were just /there/ and I couldn't get in to it.

I'm so glad I had checked this one out at the library and not purchased it from the bookstore. That's all I really have to say. :/

Profile Image for Anne.
3,920 reviews69.3k followers
February 20, 2013
3.5 stars
If you go into this with the expectation that this is a light fairytale retelling, you'll probably like this one.

I was expecting it to be a modern version of The Frog Prince, and even though that is one of the main fairytales in this book, it's not the only one. At the end of the Book, Flinn lists all of the stories that she drew from, and there were waaay more than I was expecting. One of the stories I wasn't even familiar with (The Salad?). There are (I felt) three main retellings going on at once (The Frog Prince, The Six Swans, and The Elves and the Shoemaker). The rest of the tales are sort of worked into the sub-plots. In a way, I wish she had just focused one story at a time, but, at the same time, it was also interesting to see how she wove them all together.

Again, as with most fairytale retellings, the characters had a tendency to be a tad flat and unreal, but I still think Flinn does a better job than most when creating them. I love this genre, and I'll definitely be checking out whatever she puts out in the future.
February 13, 2017

Before I knew anything about this book aside from the title, I automatically assumed this was a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, and I was a bit disappointed when I found out it wasn't. There aren't enough good ones out there of that fairy tale.

Anyway, this is just a hodgepodge of various Grimms' Fairy-Tales, all because in her first book readers had no idea what Snow White and Rose Red was. Seriously?! Will you people read a book?! Who DOESN'T know that fairytale!? Especially since Disney is thinking of turning it into a movie in a few years. I even knew what The Salad was!

I enjoyed this one. The fairytales, despite the volume, were interwoven together in such a great way. Even though the setting is contemporary, I never once found myself questioning the believably, unlike when I read Towering. The twist about who loved who was a good twist, and also the twist that the fox is actually the main character's dad. I also liked the Florida setting! Makes me wish I could go to our lake-beach in town.

Overall I had fun reading this. It was an unusual and daring experiment to take, but I think it paid off rather well. I can't wait to finish the two remaining Alex Flinn fairy-tale retelling books I have left!
Profile Image for Anne Osterlund.
Author 5 books5,517 followers
July 25, 2013
Johnny fixes shoes and dreams of designing his own, along with paying the bills, saving the family business, and helping his mom so she doesn’t have to work a second job. Then the princess of Aloria arrives. And she wants Johnny—JOHNNY—to rescue her brother. Whom she claims was turned into a frog by an evil witch, then set loose in the Florida keys.

She’s even willing to marry the guy who rescues her amphibian relation.

Of course, Johnny’s not buying it. Like there might actually be transformed frogs. Or witches. Or magic cloaks like the one the princess offers him, that can actually transport him wherever he wishes to go.

But—hey!—she hot. So he’s prepared to feign an interest.

At least he’s feigning until the cloak zaps him from the princess’s quarters to his own bathtub. And then he runs into the talking swan and the man with the gun. At which point Johnny realizes this mission just might be getting out of control.

Alex Flinn’s Cloaked is a potpourri of various fairytales, all mashed up and interwoven within one wacky adventure. Personally, I enjoyed all the transformed animals (the rat, the swans, the fox), and I liked Meg. Who is NOT a hot princess.
Profile Image for Kristy.
98 reviews10 followers
June 16, 2012
Meh - 2.5 stars

This book contains mashup of fairy tale retellings including "The Elves and the Shoemaker," "The Frog Prince," "The Six Swans," "The Golden Bird," and "The Brave Little Tailor." It's a light, quick read, that's supposed to be funny, but the humor didn't come across for me.

Johnny who works at his family's shoe repair shop, is chosen by the beautiful princess Victoriana, to go on a quest to rescue her brother who has been turned into a frog by an evil witch. If he triumphs, he is to be rewarded with the princess' hand in marriage. Shenanigans ensue. He realizes that he's in love with his best friend, the girl next door. Blah, blah, blah.

I think teen girls looking for a quick escape into a cheesy fantastical world will enjoy this. If that's not you, don't bother.
Profile Image for Mollie Katie.
13 reviews26 followers
March 15, 2011
Towards the end of January, I was selected by GoodReads to be an advance reader of "Cloaked" by Alex Flinn. I'm not really sure why, as I haven't written a review there. In fact, I had only made a basic account and I hadn't started using the website to its full potential yet. I don't think I'm optimizing it now... My plan is to use it to catalog all the books I've read in 2011, since one of my goals for this year was to read 300 books. I've never really counted how many books I've read in a year, but it seemed doable. And I do like a nice round number. So here we are.

"Cloaked" came out on February 8th. I didn't get around to writing about it due to my health and all that jazz until now. Which I think means that GoodReads won't be picking me as an advance reader anymore, but I'm okay with that. It's a lot of pressure. And just to warn you, I have hardly anything nice to say about this book. So without further ado, please to enjoy my review...


For starters, I hate the cover art of the book. That's often what draws me in, what prompts me to stop in my tracks, pick up the book, and read the inside flap to see if it's worth buying. This is an image of a hibiscus growing out of the stylized thorn-covered "Cloaked" title text. Fun fact about the hibiscus plant? They do not have thorns. *headdesk* I understand that the story takes place in Miami and the Florida Keys so the hibiscus is a reasonable choice symbolically, but if you're going to evoke the fairy tale side of things --- the immediate visual that springs to mind is of the rose under glass in Disney's "Beauty & The Beast" (1991)--- could you at least choose a flower that actually has thorns? Awful. So before I even crack it open, this book has made a terrible impression on me.

Quoting the plot summary from the book jacket flap: "Johnny’s not your average hero. But a little magic changes everything. There isn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. It all starts with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess. And before Johnny knows it, he is on a mission in the Everglades, with only a flock of swans and a talking fox named Joe to help guide him against the forces of an evil witch."

The book is filled with shoe-related quotations, because Johnny is a cobbler in his mother's shoe store within a posh Miami hotel... Which is where he meets the dazzling bronzed and blonde Princess Victoriana of Aloria, who promptly asks Johnny to go on a quest to find her older brother, who has been turned into a frog by the evil witch of her oppressive suitor. Said suitor is trying to oppress Victoriana (oh God that name is just ridiculous) into marrying him; Johnny's reward for successfully locating the princess' brother and helping to turn him back into a human is, coincidentally, her hand in marriage. Which is great because (a) she's this Paris Hilton lookalike which I guess is appealing to men these days and (b) Johnny and his mom are trapped in a life of poverty and said marriage would solve all his financial woes. The title of "Cloaked" stems from a magic-endowed cloak that transports the wearer anywhere he or she wishes to go by sheer force of thought. Of course, Victoriana's foil is present in the guise of Meg, the coffee shop girl next door, his best friend who's secretly in love with him and who (SPOILER ALERT)

Profile Image for Megan (ReadingRover).
1,506 reviews39 followers
April 1, 2017
Rarely do I rate a book so low. And honestly I really would have given this one star but there were a lot of obscure fairy tales included which I love and talking animals so it was entertaining in that respect. Otherwise it was an epic fail. Johnny was just a dumb hero. He never did what he was supposed to. He was impulsive and just kind of a ditz. Just follow the damn instructions you're given but nooo he always would do some dumb shit and then get into trouble. I won't even get into how oblivious he was to Meg. I get that he's a teenage boy but c'mon. He was just stupid. It was so frustrating to be in this guy's head. This book needed to be cut down to like half its size and then I would have maybe given it another star. I know a lot of it was meant to be funny too like the prince but he was more annoying. The only saving grace for me was that I listened to it and the narrator was fabulous. He did tons of different voices and accents for all of the characters and that made it so much more enjoyable.
Profile Image for Vampire-lk.
300 reviews23 followers
June 28, 2018
Disclaimer this has been placed on the DNF list!!!!! At first I thought this was a cool concept! I love classic fairytales especially the creative twist when an author makes it a modern retelling of (princess & the frog) classic fairytale, but sadly this novel was a flop for me! It was too frivolous & lacked any real emotion or attention grabber to me as the reader! I look forward to being so excited & along for the ride next to the characters! Truly submerging myself in that world! That spark was not there for this novel!
Profile Image for Phoenix Olivia .
106 reviews1 follower
October 5, 2019
This wasn't really what I expected. I kind of expected more and I thought this book would turn out differently. I have enjoyed author books by this author such as, Beastly and that was a brilliant book. This one just didn't really measure up to that. That's just the reason why I gave it 3 stars but there were things I liked in it.
Profile Image for Jessi.
895 reviews34 followers
November 19, 2019
Witzige Geschichte, vor allem der Sprecher ist toll!
Profile Image for Misty.
796 reviews1,230 followers
April 25, 2011
Being the fan of fairy tales that I am, I had heard of Alex Flinn, of course.  But for whatever reason, I had never read anything by her, so Cloaked is my first.  And I have to start by saying: SHE USED THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER!!!

Let me set the scene for you:
Misty, as a small child, had 3 books she was obsessed with.  One was The Velveteen Rabbit, which we don't need to discuss here, other than to say she still has it, of course.  The other 2 were fairy tales: somebody's (?) beautiful version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and 2 copies of The Elves and the Shoemaker (one was a Little Golden Book, the other was part of a fairy tale series).
Misty read The Elves and the Shoemaker constantly, and always hoped to catch little cobbler elves doing something -- anything -- to her shoes.
Misty dreamed about the day she'd see them, and even though it would make her sad to see them go, she wanted to make tiny clothes for them. (If you don't know what Misty is talking about, go read the story)

[I'm now done speaking in creepy 3rd person; you can relax.]
So, years later, I've often said "I wish someone would do something with The Elves and the Shoemaker.  But I'm afraid they'd make it creepy, and I liked my Elves."
Well, among other tales (this is a mash-up), Flinn uses The Elves and the Shoemaker, and she didn't make them creepy!  It's incorporated in such a sweet, cute way.  I just had to start with that, because it made me endlessly happy to see the tale even included.  And I think it was a good indicator of the story over all.  It makes use of some lesser known tales right alongside the more obvious ones, and it uses them all in a way that I can't help but describe as cute.

It's sweet, it's wholesome, it's completely kid-friendly -- but this isn't to say that it's saccharine or boring.  One of the things I discovered reading my first Flinn is that she is genuinely funny.  Like really lol funny.  Her writing has an air of playfulness and silliness that's enjoyable to read, and makes for a nice balance to the darker, more depressing tones many fairy tale retellings take.  It's fun and refreshing and thoroughly modern, and I think will appeal to a variety of readers because of that.  In a strange way, it reminds me of The Sea of Monsters, the 2nd book in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.  That's partly due to the location and the quest aspect of it, and some of the character interactions.  But it's also got the same silly/funny style that works for lots of age groups and style preferences.

There are a few things I want to point out quickly: Alex Flinn writes in accents.  If you watch my video, you'll see what I mean -- I'm reading it as written (albeit a little over the top and ridiculously...)  There are characters with French and German (?) accents in the book, and things are spelled/pronounced accordingly.  I found it amusing, and think it adds to the charm and silliness, but it bears keeping in mind because I know things like this can irritate or frustrate some readers.  I would suggest popping online somewhere, like Amazon, where you can look inside, and see if this bothers you before you decide to buy it.

Also, I think some people may find Johnny irritating.  I liked him, but he can be completely bumbling and clueless.  I found this to be in keeping with fairy tales in general, actually (men in fairy tales seem to be either riding up on white horses to save the day, or doing incredibly stupid things), but some readers may wish for him to wake up a bit and use the brain we know he has.  But the great thing about him being kind of clueless is Meg -- Meg is a great foil for Johnny, and she's intriguing and strong and really interesting.  It's fun to watch them work through things together, and to know what's really going on when Johnny is completely lost.

You can see me reading an excerpt of this with a ridiculous French accent here...
(Oh, we also interviewed Flinn. :D )
Profile Image for Melanie Dickerson.
Author 46 books5,547 followers
April 23, 2011
I really enjoyed Cloaked. I had read two other books by Alex Flinn, and while they were entertaining, this one is my favorite because I really liked the two main characters.

I liked the hero a lot. He was super nice and yet struggled with lots of things. He was so endearing. It was a sweet story that included a hodge-podge of traditional stories and fairy tales. It was never boring, and it had a very nice ending. I would recommend this book to young people, because it included a lot of values and morality. Also, it made me wonder, Is magic really all around me and I just haven't been paying attention? Fun story. People who love YA fantasy will love it, and it's "safe" for younger readers.
Profile Image for Lyssa.
202 reviews
April 1, 2012
Cloaked was extremely childish and the plot did not flow smoothly. The main character, Johnny, was actually stupid. The things he said and did were completely ignorant. The author tried to mash a bunch of fairy tale retellings together and failed. The dialogue was also poor. The prince and princess spoke in the most annoying accent where every other word started with the letter z. I enjoyed two other books by this author but this is the last one I will read.
Profile Image for Kathrin.
800 reviews45 followers
May 24, 2022
I appreciate the author's approach to incorporating (apparently) lesser-known fairy tales into the narrative. I found it challenging to get into the story, though. Too wanted? Too YA? I guess I'm not the target audience. The middle, however, I found very well done, and the ending was well done. All in all, I know what to expect from the books and will also read the other works by the author that I already own, but it doesn't fit at the moment.
Profile Image for Nour.
24 reviews1 follower
January 24, 2022
I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t my favourite read ever to be honest. It felt like it was missing some depth and there wasn’t that much of character development. It was very fast paced but not always in a good way, and some elements felt really random. But there were still some things I liked: the friends to lovers trope and the mixing of many classic stories.
Profile Image for Louisa.
6,909 reviews31 followers
August 3, 2012
Great book, loved seeing the obscure fairy tales, and yeah, really great to read!
Profile Image for ضحى الحداد.
Author 3 books619 followers
August 24, 2017
4.5 stars
LOVED this quick fast paced adventure that I couldn't put down the book until I finished it .. oh man these characters are so adorable I can't even describe how cute they are ..
the story is basically a bunch of retellings of less known fairy tales and it is told in a series of adventure johnny and his best friend Meg have in a quest to find an enchanted frog for princess Victoriana .. love this so much and it is a really nice adventure :D
Profile Image for Sabrina .
219 reviews122 followers
April 21, 2012
"When you find out the person you love, loves you, you can't delay. You have to hurry"

May I be the first to say, "AWWWW!". Throughout the entire book, I was displaying 4 types of emotions:

1) Aww-that's-so-cute-he's-so-cute-they're-so-cute

2) Why-can't-I-have-love-like-that-I-guess-I'll-be-forever-alone

3) LOL

4) Omg-I-did-not-see-that-coming-where-the-hell-did-that-come-from

Let's cut to the chase now, shall we?

This book was amazing. Go read it

Oh, you're waiting for a review? An elaboration on why this book is amazing and why you should go read it. Isn't it enough that I told you to? Don't you value my opinion enough not to question it? *Sigh*, I suppose not. Okay then, on with the review ...

The Romance
Alex Flinn writes very good and comical romances. Its like she takes all the humor and loveydovey-ness from chick flicks and rom/coms and puts it into a novel. And I love it! I eat it up like I would for a hot bowl of Alphagettis! That is how good it is!

It's even better because I was wrong. Initially, I believed Jack, the protaganist, would fall madly in love with the hot and rich princess from Paris. I took little notice of Megan, Jack's true love interest. Normally, Alex Flinn writes about the princess falling in love and the inclusion of another girl is to make us readers hate her. Think Beastly and that one girl ... I forget her name, but she was a popular meanie. And in A Kiss in Time, the boy's girlfriend dumped him and then wanted him back.

But this time, I felt there was no one to hate, no one to release my anger on. The love triangle was so small, it was practically non-existant. Sure, there was some jealousy but the princess was so oblivous and innocent that it was too hard to be mad at her.

Back on the subject at hand, the romance was developed very nicely and I always love the best friend to dating relationships. It seemed real (or as real as you can get in a fairytale retelling).

And there was a LOT of "aww" moments. A LOT!

The Fairytale

I really liked the fairytale readaption this time around. I loved the magical elements, loved the cloak, but what I really enjoyed was that Alex Flinn took snippets from different fairytales and put it into one.

I recognized the obvious one of the shoemaker. The Swan Lake reference with the talking swans did not go by unnoticed. But what I was so pleased with was the idea that the swans are bewitched and are actually humans but need their sister to make them jackets out of roses.

Why did I love this so much? Because, as a child, I used to always make my dad read me this fairytale, "The Wild Swans" from a big book of fairyales I used to treasure. I can now retell it by heart, after reading it over a 100 times, no hyperbole. I must have made my dad read it to me twice a week for an entire year. It was about this princess who has to save her 11 brothers who are turned into swans by their evil stepmother. She is taken away and when she learns that the only way to save her brothers is to sew them shirts from roses, she accepts without a doubt. The only catch? She cannot utter a word while making the shirts or else her brothers will be in great pain. Many people do not know of this fairytale which I held so dear to me for so very long. I was beyond happy when it played a part in this novel.

I think that is the best thing about fairytell retellings. If done right, they can transport us back to our childhood and back to the times where our parents would come to us at night to read us one of these beloved stories for us to fall asleep. Now we can read ourselves to sleep with the same fairytales from years ago, but made a bit more modern and funnier for our older brains to enjoy.

I loved it, I truly loved it. Characters were all interesting, plot was a tad rushed but amazing retelling of various fairytales and kick-ass romance.

Now go on and read it! Same beloved fairytales just made for a slightly older audience!

Profile Image for Jersey.
253 reviews70 followers
July 17, 2015
Dear god, reading through this is like dragging yourself off the bed in a Monday morning.

I got no problem with the concept. I mean, who doesn't want to read a mixture of fairytale retellings in one? But unfortunately, this book fell short in its execution.

If there's a medal for the most absurd book I've ever read, this might be on my top ten. Of course, it is a story based on several fairytales and we all know that fairytales aren't really supposed to be logical or sensible. But Cloaked has a different level of absurd. The kind where it mostly leaves you befuddled and really, just kinda dumb. It seemed like Mrs. Flinn is making up the story along the way which also explains the plot's many, many inconsistencies and the story's lack of explanation.

Things just sort of happened. And sometimes, it seemed like the author just try to create scenarios out of the blue just so the story could keep going. Like whenever Johnny is in trouble (which is most of the time), there's always this stroke of luck which always worked the first time, like Megan popping out of nowhere and helping, the giants easy fall to unconsciousness, their many escape from the bad guys...they all happened easily and rather smoothly almost comical. I know some scenes are the way they are from the fairytales but I think I'm expecting something not far from the original yet heavier and more complex than what this book presented.

Johnny Marco, the main character, is very vapid. He do things without thinking and won't see the obvious even if it's dangling in front of him. Good thing though, he knows he's stupid; too bad, it doesn't stop him from acting. Also, reading his point of view is like reading from the point of view of a girl. Still, he's pretty likable at some parts BUT the other characters, dear god, they are all flat and one-dimensional that I can't even give a piece of my mind about them. They got no personalities and even Megan seemed more like a walking stick, occasionally trying to save Johnny's stupid ass. I barely care about any of them and they're not really that interesting in return. No depth. Which is one reason why I find this book so incredibly BORING.

For a modern fairytale retelling with a lot of promise, this book just seemed dull. I don't mean I didn't enjoy any of it -- I did enjoy a good number of parts -- but most of them , especially at the end just fell altogether and is really predictable. And the romance too...


No sparks, no swoony-feeling. Flat like the characters and absurd like the rest. It just sort of happened, too, without any concrete evidence of their true feelings. Megan just loves Johnny and Johnny just realize he loves her back more than a friend when Megan tried to get him jealous. I don't even feel anything.

There's also a lot of too-obvious things in here that was made into a great fuss after being discovered and again, it makes me feel dumb and cheated. About 87% through the book, I actually decided to skim it because all I want for it is to end.
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