Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm sure this is someone's favorite book...but...

Here's some honesty for you: I don't care for novels where the protagonists are unlikeable. Sometimes the novel can overcome unlikeable characters, and it is realistic to expect them to pop up occasionally, since, you know, they pop up more often than occasionally in real life. Of course, I generally read fiction to escape reality or experience new realities, so that whole concept doesn't really jive much with my goals. But, like I said, I can get over it if the book is good in other ways.

Unlike A KISS IN TIME by Alex Flinn.

(omg, that was so harsh.)

That is not to say that this book didn't have it's high points - there was definitely some very good humor. And the two protagonists, I suspect, were supposed to be unlikeable, and they DO become more endearing as the book neared the end...but...they just...GRATED against my skin. I read on mostly because the plot was interesting and I wanted to see how it would all work out:

Talia was always told never to touch a spindle or the curse would descend upon their kingdom. Problem was, no one ever bothered to tell her what a spindle looked like... and so Sleeping Beauty slept for 300 years. And her prince never came. Well, until Jack stumbled into the forgotten kingdom... But Jack was no prince, he was just a kid from Florida whose parent's had gotten rid of for the summer by sending him to Europe. Now Talia's parents, the King & Queen, are FURIOUS at Talia and she so she runs away with Jack - back to Florida. Hijinks ensues.

So, Talia is a spoiled, but ignorant, princess who has just been plunged into the 21st century after 300 years of sleeping. Jack is largely ignored by his parents and expected to follow a career path he has no interest in. It's not that they don't have issues or the right to be surly. But seriously. Stop whining.

High points:

Talia, upon leaving her kingdom:

" will hard to be a commoner. They have to do a great deal of work, and sometimes they smell bad" p 113.

Talia, on living in the 21st century:

"I have never heard of a party without gowns. This is turning out to be a very disappointing century" p 167.

It's actually out-Disneyed Disney in that even the bad guys aren't really all that bad - just misunderstood. It has a happy ending. Which I can appreciate.

I know that I should write more in depth about other issues I have with the novel, but, I just don't want to expend the energy. So instead, I leave you...

Other opinions:
Young Adult Literature Review Blog
Sonder Books
And Another Book Read


Janssen said...

Oh, TOTALLY with you. I am SHOCKED at the good reviews this book is getting. I thought it was quite lame.

Belle said...

Unlikeable protagonists are difficult to overcome, definitely. It's unfortunate; the summary of this book sounds so interesting.

Jackie said...

The premise is definitely got a great hook, but a great plot can't overcome weak writing or flat characters.

Leila said...

Yeah, I enjoyed this one, but I wasn't bananas about it.

I just looked back over my post and it's pretty clear (to me) that I felt pretty 'meh', because I spent most of the post blathering on about things other than the book.


tanita✿davis said...

Can I join in the snarkfest and say that I hate her dress?

Debbie Diesen said...

I haven't seen this particular book, but I'm definitely with you that an unlikeable protaganist is a dealbreaker for me as a reader. I've been trying to think of exceptions to that rule on my bookshelf, but really, if I'm not connecting with the character, there's not much keeping me in the book!