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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Review: The World Above

The World Above is one of many books in the Once Upon A Time series that I am in love with. Cameron Dokey affirmed her place as my favorite author in the series with another really good fairy tale redo. This story is the retelling of "Jack & the Beanstalk" and it was fabulous. I definitely prefer this rendition. Instead of the focus being on Jack, this tale's heroine is Gen, Jack's twin sister. Although there is one Hagrid sized tall person in the story, the world above the beanstalk is not a land filled with giants, but a magical place ruled by a murderous duke.

Gen is a practical girl who prefers hard work and planning to dreams and chance. She lives in the world below and doesn't even quite believe the world above exists until her brother, Jack, sells the family cow for magical beans. He grows a beanstalk and climbs up to discover that the place their mother told of in their childhood bedtime stories is as real as he is. When he doesn't return it's Gen who has to go after him and hope he stays alive long enough to be rescued. Along the way she makes friends with thieves (think Robin Hood), meets a handsome prince and learns the truth about her parents, where she comes from, and ultimately what lies within her.

This story was good from the beginning, unlike many of the stories in this series which usually take a few chapters to really hook me. It felt shorter than the others too, but that's probably because I couldn't put it down from the start. If you like romance, fairy tales. and a little (predictable) adventure I highly suggest this series. All the books are retelling of classic stories and are short, easy reads. Don't expect a big twist at the end because they all end with a happily ever after, which is why I read them. These are the ONLY books I don't read ahead in because I know the end will not disappoint this romantic's heart. The bad guy never wins, although there have been times I couldn't see how it was going to get there.

So far The World Above, Golden (Rapunzel). Midnight Pearls (The Little Mermaid), Belle (Beauty & the Beast), & Violet Eyes  (The Princess & the Pea) are my favorite.

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