Monday, April 4, 2011

Everyone Loves a Little Beauty Sleep

April's recommendation of the month goes unquestionably to Cameron Dokey's Beauty Sleep, a retelling of the well known story of Sleeping Beauty. I believe it is a part of a group of books published by Simon & Schuster known as the Once Upon a Time series. Essentially they are all retellings of classic fairy tales although they are not all written by the same authors. I read one once before. I can't remember the title or even the story it was based off of for the life of me. All I remember is thinking although it wasn't bad, it wasn't my favorite either. For me, it just landed on that "okay" mark. My expectations for Beauty Sleep were that it too would land on that "okay" mark despite the fact that it is writeen by a different author. I was in for a pleasant surprise.

I fell in love with this book almost instantly. It may have something to do with the fact that it begins like so:



I was amused from the get go, and already I was curious. One of my favorite things about this story is Aurore's voice. The story is told by her, which I love. It worked well as she tells you the main plot and every once in a while gives her own insights in a way that isn't distracting but helps the story form and move along. It's funny, thoughtful, loving--it's interesting how such a well known story can be retold in such a way that it so fantastically becomes it's own story.

I'm one of those people who gets way too connected to characters. You know that person who tries to hide the fact that their eyes are watering during a mvie? Yeah, that would be me. But it's not just with movies. I believe I've admitted previously how emotionally involved I can get with characters in books (see that post I wrote about Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Not every story does it. I'm not that much of a cry baby :) But every once in awhile there seems to come a book that for it's entire duration or perhaps just for certain moments touches me on an even deeper level. I tried to explain it to my mother who so graciously listens to me when I go on such rants. I think she got it. The question is, can I explain it adequately twice?

Beauty Sleep is one of those books that connected with the very core of my being. I don't how else to explain it, and no doubt it will not have the same effect for everyone. It was the way she spoke about certain characters that got to me, how without physically being there and without a blatant declaration of love, I could feel it. And I'm not just talking about romantic love either. Without I doubt, I knew her father loved her. True, they are only fictional characters, but when you create a shadow of a love that deep in my heart as I read the symbol actions of these characters, I suppose you'd called that talent, a gift even. That is the greatest thing this book did for me.

Even if it doesn't hit your core like it did mine, it's still a great read. It's a great look at a story we all know so well. Once again, her voice is delightful. The characters are believable and heartfelt. The plot itself is interesting. The ending was different than I expected. I am happy with it simply by the fact that it fulfilled the desires I had for the romantic side of the story. It wasn't a bad ending by all means. I'm just preparing you in case you like to form your own ending before you even reach the actual end like I seem to do.

In other bookshelf challenge news, I've just finished reading The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman. It's the story of Calvin Schwa, a boy with the unique ability to blend in to the point of near invisibility. The story is told by Anthony "Antsy" Bonano, a friend of The Schwa.

Take a look at the back cover:

They say his clothes blend into the background, no matter where he stands. They say if you stare at him long enough, you can see what's written on the wall behind him. They say a lot of things about the Schwa, but one thing's for sure: No one ever noticed him. Except me. My name is Antsy Bonano--and I can tell you what's true and what's not, 'cause I was there. So if you all just shut up and listen, I'll tell you everything there is to know about the Schwa, from how he got his name to what really happened with hi mom. I'll spill everything. Unless, of course, "the Scwa Effect" wipes him out of my brain before I'm done...

There you have it. It was a good book, but not necessarily one that hit home for me. However, I think it will be the right fit for another reader. It has unique characters, an interesting concept, and it seems tons of nerdy references which I'm a fan of. I can guarntee that Darth Vader is mentioned at least once. So although it landed more on the "okay" line for me, if it sounds interesting to you, I'd still recommend picking it up. Maybe it just wasn't the type of adventure I was in the mood for. Maybe it just wasn't my soul book. It still made me smile and chuckle even though it won't rank among my favorite books.

In conclusion, the next book on the list for my bookshelf challenge is Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I think it's about time I read it. Happy reading :)