Official Stuff –
Author – Cindy C Bennett
Pages – 304
Publisher – Cedar Fort, Inc.
Expected Release Date – February 12th, 2013
For one thing, she has a serious illness that keeps her inside the mysterious Gothel Mansion. And for another, her hair is 15 feet long. Not to mention that she’s also the key to ultimately saving the world from certain destruction. But then she meets a boy named Fane, who changes all she has ever known, and she decides to risk everything familiar to find out who she really is.
My Rating – 3 Stars
*I received a digital ARC of this novel from Netgalley on behalf of Cedar Fort, Inc.*
There are three things in fiction that I love; vampires, mythology, and fairy tales. I am pretty much sold on any one of those types of stories, even though I’ve been disappointed in the past.
Rapunzel is a seventeen year old girl that, like the original fairy tale, has been locked in a tower her whole life. She has been told by her mother, Gothel, that she has a disease called SCIDs (think the boy in the plastic bubble) which means she can’t leave the tower. Ever. She’s not even supposed to have the window open but she breaks that rule occasionally to breathe in the fresh air and to make friends with a bluebird (he doesn’t talk. He’s just a regular bird.) Rapunzel does have a computer and internet access that, up until now (the “until now” strikes again!) she only used for her homeschooling. She accidentally discovers facebook. (oh dear. facebook.) and after some random searching comes across a cute boy, Fane. Rapunzel is desperate for some human interaction, so she sends the boy a friend request, which he accepts and they being a friendship.
Soon Gothel tells Rapunzel that she must go away on a trip and Rapunzel will be alone for six days. Rapunzel sees this as a chance to get Fane into her tower and he sneaks in and their relationship moves forward (not that way, dirty pervs!) Fane makes sneaking in a regular thing and he convinces Rapunzel to not only break out of her room to explore the infamous Gothel Mansion but also to sneak out of the mansion completely.
During their adventures through the mansion, they discover creepy rooms, stairs that lead to nowhere, and a whole bunch of secrets about her mother’s real past and Rapunzel’s supposed role.
The description of the Gothel Mansion is practically spot on with the Winchester Mystery House in Northern California. Actually Mother Gothel’s story is almost an exact match for Sarah Winchester’s. (Gothel lost a daughter. She continuously builds to appease spirits. Etc.) The book is even set in Northern California. This is one aspect of the book that bothered me. Winchester consulted mediums and fortune tellers, so did Gothel. I feel like the author used a bit too much of the Winchester story, so much so that I’m willing to bet it’s not just a strange coincidence.
It was a decent book, don’t get me wrong but the characters fell a little flat. There was no real depth to Rapunzel or Fane, and Gothel was just plain crazy. The mixture of fairy tale with modern times is an excellent idea but I’ve learned a lot of the time, the authors just don’t get it right. Also the forced pop culture references are a tad annoying. (Especially the Twilight reference. Really?) Fane continues to make references through the whole book even though he knows Rapunzel has no idea what he’s talking about. There are a few things that doesn’t make sense, more than one plot hole but it was a cute, quick read. So if you are diehard fan of modern fairy tale retellings, then go for it.