Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Letters to Zell: Fairytales Modernized

Letters to Zell (2015) by Camille Griep was an interesting adaptation of classic fairy tale characters, with a modern-day twist. Told in the form of letters from Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White to their friend Rapunzel (the Zell in the title), who has recently moved to a different part of the fairy tale kingdom, this was definitely a fairy tale for an adult audience.

I really like stories that go beyond the ‘happily ever afters’ and this one certainly did that, at the same time taking characters that we all know mostly as an idea and fleshing them out with quirks and flaws of their own. These versions of the fairy tale characters seemed especially flawed as a matter of fact, which made the book more interesting. Also interesting was the way in which the characters moved between the fairy tale world and our 'real' world, and how they navigated the extremely foreign territory of present-day Los Angeles, CA.

The format was very welcome; each letter was only a couple pages, so the book was easy to dip in and out of when I could. This made it very simple to fit reading into whatever little chunks of time I had.

The ending of the book had a rather a tense buildup, and maybe not quite as much pay-off as I would have liked; in fact, I couldn’t tell if it was possibly setting up for a sequel, which could make sense. Luckily, it didn't end on what I would consider any kind of cliff-hanger (hate those), just a sense that lacked finality. Overall, a great new twist to some old characters and ideas.

Keep reading! Beth
"At the end of our lives we're made up of those bits and pieces of the people who came into our lives." (page 293)

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