*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*
Honestly I just feel kind of apathetic toward this book. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either.
There were a few minor things that mildly annoyed me, like the way Maggie kept thinking, “SAT word!” anytime she used a big word; I know she and her friends were studying for the SATs at the beginning, but she wouldn’t be thinking about SAT words while in danger. And the strange, proper way she talked while impersonating her friends’ mothers on the phone, as if that’s how adults talk. And the instalove (though she at least wasn’t talking about dying for him or anything that extreme).
I was also bothered by the way magic and fate seemed to play a large part in a rather deus ex machina way.
My biggest issue though was that there were a lot of things that just didn’t make sense. What exactly did the emerald do? Like, how were the Parkers using it to gain power? It did give them lots of gems, so I suppose it was helping them financially, but that’s another thing, the description Garon gave of how the emerald worked (he gave the example that feeding the gem a pine needle created a bunch of trees) didn’t at all match what the gem was doing in the present, which was *SPOILER ALERT* taking the life essence of girls and somehow using that to turn rocks into gems. *END SPOILER ALERT* Another thing, why would the Parkers all die at the end of the 400 years? The way the 400-year life extension was explained, I figured they would just go back to aging at the end of the 400 years. Not to mention the fact that it lasted 400 years seemed really random. Yet another thing, *SPOILER ALERT* I understand that they were able to undo the bindings that were made, but that doesn’t explain how they all traveled back in time all the way to before the Parkers even got the emerald, or why Lindy and Garon and Maggie still remembered when no one else did (having royal blood is the only possible explanation I can think of for that). I also had an issue with the whole changing history/time travel thing in general. I mean, if they changed history so that Lindy was never taken by the Parkers, then that means Garon never left to help her and never found O and never learned to time travel in the first place. Which means he wouldn’t have been able to go to the future and be with Lindy. Not to mention the entire present would probably be different—Maggie and her friends probably wouldn’t even exist if so much history was changed. *END SPOILER ALERT*
The one thing I liked, however, was that it was actually realistic that Maggie pretty much had no clue what to do and floundered and needed other people to help her and do most everything for her. For example, if any teenager (or any adult even) in real life were told they needed to steal something from a museum, would they be able to do it? No, of course not, so I was glad Maggie wasn’t able to either. My favorite scene was actually when she tried to break into the museum because that is exactly what I imagine would happen if someone tried to break in with a screwdriver and an internet printout on lock-picking. Same goes for Lindy and how she wasn’t sure what to do about the binding.
Oh, the other thing I liked was that it was kind of a Princess and the Pea retelling. I’d never seen that before! I say kind of though because, in the world of the book, it was Lindy and her past that the story was inspired by (it just got altered over time).
So overall, I just never felt all that invested in the characters or the story and didn’t like all the things that didn’t add up, but the writing itself wasn’t bad, so others may enjoy it more.
YA readers looking for a Princess and the Pea inspired story with a slight fantasy twist.
A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairytale…
Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse. At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate.
Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late.
If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend.