Friday, January 11, 2013

ARC REVIEW: Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett

Rapunzel Untangled
Title: Rapunzel Untangled
Author: Cindy C. Bennett
Pages: 304
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Expected Publishing Date: February 12, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Received from Publisher via NetGalley

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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.
I absolutely adore fairytale retellings, so I jumped at the chance to read and review Rapunzel Untangled.  Writing a retelling has to be a very difficult thing for any writer.  How do you take a story that's been told for years and give it your own unique twist?  It's all been done before!  Well, Cindy Bennett has done an amazing job of giving us a unique and imaginative story while keeping to the basics of the classic fairytale.  This is probably the darkest Rapunzel story I've heard.  Most all have the same basic plot:  Rapunzel is kidnapped as an infant by the witch Gothel and grows up in a tower, trapped there for years.  Sometimes Rapunzel lives as a prisoner, sometimes as a daughter of Gothel.  This story is no different, but that is where the similarities end.  Rapunzel Untangled is modern and fun, but gives us a twist filled with darkness and horror.

Rapunzel is nearly 18 years old, and she has lived in her rooms in the tower of Gothel Mansion all of her life.  She has a serious illness that makes it impossible for her to go outside without getting sick.  Her mother, Gothel, is the only other person she has ever had contact with.  She does all of her schoolwork online, and when she accidentally finds this wondrous site called Facebook she realizes she can use it to connect with other people her own age.  This is how she meets Fane.  At first they only correspond online, but Rapunzel eventually agrees to meet him.  He climbs her tower and the two become close friends.  When Fane convinces Rapunzel to sneak out of her rooms one night, they find stairways that lead nowhere and doors that open up to cement walls.  There's also a creepy room covered with black scorch marks and decorated with 6's.  Soon Rapunzel starts questioning everything she's been told.  Things don't add up.  The more Rapunzel learns the more questions she has, and the answers aren't at all what she wants to hear.

I enjoyed the uniqueness of Rapunzel Untangled.  It was unexpected and refreshing to read a story that's so classic, yet it's turned into something so much more modern and fun.  Rapunzel transforms throughout the book from the quiet girl that obeys every order to a strong woman willing to risk everything just to live a real life.  What we see of Fane is great.  He's funny, and he's completely loyal to Rapunzel.  I'd like to have seen more of his personality.  This would have been a great book to have alternating points of view.  His mind had to have been blown by the circumstances surrounding Rapunzel, but we don't really see that.  I also found the ending bit incomplete.  It would have been nice to see more about Rapunzel's real family.  Without a doubt, Rapunzel Untangled was a great read, and a great fairytale retelling.

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