Here's a description of the book from the author's website:
"Rapunzel is not your average teenager. 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.
Filled with romance, adventure, and mystery, Rapunzel Untangled is one story you won’t want to put down. Discover the true meaning of love and friendship in this modern twist to the classic fairytale."
While that synopsis is pretty intriguing all on its own, here's the blurb the publisher shared on NetGalley:
"Told that she must be indoors at all times, Rapunzel feels trapped in
the huge mansion where she lives. But when school demands allow her
access to the Internet, she discovers Facebook and becomes friends with
Fane, a local teenager who changes her whole world. This story will have
you entangled from beginning to end."
I may not be a huge fan of Facebook, but that modern, quirky twist on the fairytale caught my attention!
With such a promising premise - a fairytale retelling where the hero and heroine meet via social media - I couldn't resist giving Rapunzel Untangled a try. And I found it be quite an enjoyable read, one that trapped me in Rapunzel's world through the majority of the early morning hours!
I love that Rapunzel and Fane meet early on in the story, and most of the plot centers around their interactions. Yup, I love a good romance! Fane is a great hero - thoughtful, funny, protective, generous, and always ready to chat through Skype or come to the rescue at the sound of a text message being received. He comes across as very true-to-life regarding his immaturity (albeit adorable immaturity) and his cocky, teenage-boy-ness. Yet his heroic qualities really shine, making this a well-mixed blend of YA fiction and happily-ever-after romance.
Towards the beginning, when the plot focuses on Rapunzel learning about the outside world and falling in love with Fane, I was completely enthralled. The mystery of Rapunzel's "back story" remains vague for a while, and the suspense that comes with that is built up well. How the ending comes about, though, was what kept me from loving the book. Mostly, it's a lot of creepy and bizarre and mystical all tangled up together, without a compelling, believable, or (in my opinion) fitting conclusion.
I can't say how closely this story parallels the original fairytale, but I did notice some parallels with the Disney movie Tangled, and I'm not sure exactly how much of that was because these two retellings were drawing from the same fairytale. But Rapunzel Untangled is definitely unique in its YA re-imagining, and the sweet romance - due to Bennett's great characterization - is all its own. The ending of Tangled, however, left me with a much lighter and more gratifying feeling than the ending of Rapunzel Untangled. The messages in this book about seeking the truth and finding love (not just
romantically, but also in a familial sense) are great. The message about the triumph of
inner strength/power didn't really go over so well with me.
Note: I am happy to say that this is actually a rather "clean" read. The sexual content goes no
farther than kissing (and some mild innuendos), and there isn't really any foul language to note. But the references to witchcraft (etc.) are a bit troubling, so proceed with caution. (There isn't anything super "graphic," but it's there, nonetheless.)
*With thanks to Cedar Fort, Inc. and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC e-galley of this book in exchange for sharing my honest opinion.*
This book will be released February 12, 2013.
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