Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Kiss In Time

A Kiss in Time
Written by: Alex Flinn
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen (reprint)
Language: English
April 2010, $8.99
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult

Talia fell under a spell... Jack broke the curse.

I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic...

I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.

I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger's soft kiss.

I couldn't help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn't know this would happen.

Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!

Now I'm stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels. . . . The good news: My parents will freak!

Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?


I didn’t choose this one to read. This was for the young adult book club that I go to every month. I haven’t read any of Alex Flinn’s other books and it certainly isn’t the sort I would pick on my own. Why? Because the prose even from the back blurb involved the words hot chick and bratty princess. In short it looked like the book version of one of those CW or ABC family movies. Just not my cuppa tea. I wanted to like it, but it was too cotton candy for me.

A Kiss in Time is a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Talia is a spoiled little princess of Euphrasia. When she pricks her finger everyone still falls asleep, but the entire country magically disappears off the map. A few hundred years later, Jack is off in Europe on an educational trip he could care less about still pining over his hot ex-girlfriend who ripped out his heart and stomped on it. He and his bumbling idiot of a friend, decide to ditch their tour group. They get lost and magically find the missing country of Euphrasia along with our sleeping beauty which apparently no one else has been able to do for a few hundred years.

And then there is a kiss. A kiss on a comatose girl. Like you do. She awakes. Sadly she is still just a spoiled brat because Jack is hardly her idea of what a Prince Charming should be. Oh but wait, she would rather hitch a ride with him rather than stay with her parents and an antiquated idea of how her life should be. Though granted she really doesn’t give her parents adequate enough time to really process everything that has gone down and how much the world has changed without them being in the thick of it. Oh and then there is the worry of the witch who cursed her in the first place.

It is a retelling of a timeless tale, but I am not sure if it was quite my thing. As I said maybe I would have loved it if I was a teenage girl, but I am not anymore. In fact I am at the age where I am beginning to contemplate having a future sixteen year old. *gasp*

Things I didn't love so much: Normally I actually like having alternating chapters with different voices and perspectives. The problem with this story is that I am not really attached to either voice. I don’t think either of them has depth or was very distinct and to be honest if you didn’t have the chapter names would you have been able to tell the difference sometimes?

I don’t like Talia which I probably shouldn’t since she is the Sleeping beauty in our Sleeping beauty retelling. She is self centered prissy little diva. When we first meet her she is cruel, acts like a toddler when she cannot get her way even though she has 20 different rooms full of gowns. I don’t like her. She is a spoiled brat, one dimensionally so. And then by the end she is selfless and absolutely wonderful? A bit of a stretch how quickly that occurs and with no real life changing events. She is a Rachel from Glee without the nice bits that make Rachel endearing. Maybe I am still reeling over the bad taste that Nomansland left, but are teenage girls that horrible? I don’t remember being that ignorant and…annoying? To be honest Malvolia’s curse was the best thing that could have happened to her.

For that matter I don’t really like Jack either. Jack is the typical teenage slacker who would rather spend more time at the topless beaches in Europe, but who also has a healthy dose of angst that puts season two Angel to shame. Talk about the stereotypical teenage boy. In fact he is just as beastly as Talia is. Maybe this is why they are meant to be together forever. Though to be honest the way that the book really should have ended is that they both grew tired of their little romance and broke up six months later because they realized neither of them had really grown up. As a couple they are a couple of brats with moments of actual personality and depth. But like an ABC Family movie or CW sort of show, we’re not supposed to look behind the curtain and see how much of a parody it all is.

In fact most of the book is like a pre-teen Disney-esque film. The ending is tidy, there are a few laughs, but in the end there is no real substance. I keep asking myself was teenage life always that easy? Was it always this superficial? Maybe this was meant as a light funny read, but is it wrong that I wanted more. I wanted serious problems like identity to be dealt with…well seriously. You can still make it fun. And enjoyable, but with character development and dimensions.

And lets talk about the ending…really? The trials Jack goes through, the whole misunderstanding, and then the giant understanding of all that has happened almost like it happens every day, etc. Lets just say the last 40 pages were…meh.

Things I loved: I like retellings of classic fairytales. Just not this one. I think I would love more if I were a teenage girl. I did enjoy the whole Medieval Times that Euphrasia turned into. I guess that is one way to make it all work and make sense. And to be honest I would love to stay at a hotel like that. Would be quite enchanting.

The king’s wrath was almost justified. It was due to Talia’s disobedience that she put the entire kingdom in peril. All because she was thinking about herself and not anyone else. But that happens a lot with Talia.

Again, like Nomansland I liked the idea of transporting the princess into a modern world. I just wanted more out of it. It’s a book I wouldn’t read again, nor will I keep it on the shelves. I hear that Alex Flinn is actually a good author and that Beastly was quite good, but I keep asking myself…am I just too old?

Buy or Borrow: Borrow. Or not. Maybe try Beastly instead.

Part of: Stand Alone.

Also Recommended: Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley (also a Sleeping Beauty retelling though not modern), or Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire.

2.0 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks

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