Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Release Date: September 12, 2013
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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A dark and sexy reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale from the author of THE DEMON TRAPPERS.
For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She's stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won't let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who's spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She's tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she's actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes . . . And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can't do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.
After all the praises I heard from The Demon Trappers, I was truly convinced that Briar Rose would be an outstanding read. However, that was not the case.
Briar Rose has been obsessed with fairy tales from a young age–however she does not live in one. With her parents following her every move, and not letting her go anywhere near the boy she once played with all the time. But it’s worse as her ex-boyfriend has been spreading fake rumours around and nearly everyone believes them. Then on the night before her sixteenth birthday, Briar learns why her parents have been so over-protective. A curse has been put on her and she is to die on her sixteenth birthday. Yet, the next day Briar wakes up, only not in bed. She wakes up in a fairy-tale like setting. More specifically, on like Sleeping Beauty’s.
I liked the idea of what Jana Oliver was trying to spread. Reality over imagination, even if reality seems harsh at times. We have the main character, Briar trying to accept that imagination/the fake world is not real and will never be as great as reality in the long run. However what killed my enjoyment was the characters. The entire cast was bland and they all seemed far too similar or non-outstanding from one and another. It doesn’t really help in this case that it’s written in third person as it just weakened my connection with Briar. Briar was actually bearable, I liked her strong headed-ness to save someone she had merely met but that just opened a logic hole of; why the hell would you want to save someone you barely know? Especially when you have an opening to get out of the curse and to the real world. I get that the author is attempting to promote a selfless character yet other plot holes (that I shall not divulge) are not really convincing either.
Not really convincing story or likeable characters is an immediate no-no for me. I guess I went in with high expectations yet I still cannot shake the thought that I expected more from such a highly-praised author.
~Thank you Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me this copy!~
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