Alex Flinn
HarperCollins, 2011

When you pick up an Alex Flinn fairy tale, you know it's going to be fun and fast reading. Cloaked is no different, though nailing down that one particular fairy tale its retelling is a little impossible. You see, this is a combination of fairy tales, in one big, glorious, modern mix-up! The main theme is "The Frog Prince," but "The Elves and the Shoemaker" is also a key player, as are "The Twelve Swans." There are also sprinklings of so many other fairy tales too, I loved it!

It all starts when Johnny happens to meet the Princess of Aloria - Victoriana - somewhat by accident. (He's a humble teenager, repairing shoes for the wealthy patrons of a swanky hotel in Florida, not exactly the type of guy management wants hobnobbing with royalty). The Princess sees something she likes, and enlists Johnny's help in finding her brother - who has been turned into a frog by a wicked witch. After a bit of convincing, involving promises of marriage and wealth, not to mention experimenting with the magic traveling cloak, Johnny finds himself on an impossible quest. Wandering around the Keys, talking to animals-who-were-once-humans and passing (or failing) test after test, Johnny soon discovers that there is so much more to the world than what meets the scientific eye. And once his best friend Meg (who has plenty of secrets of her own) joins the quest, Johnny begins to take a closer look at all aspects of life - trying to see what lies beneath the surface.

As with any good fairy tale, there is a happy ending. Or several happy endings, since there are multiple fairy tales taking place simultaneously. The course of true love never did run smooth, and what's a good story without some unexpected twists and turns and "oh my gosh!"-moments right at the end? This was a fun, lighter read than Beastly, but I enjoyed the mish-mash of fairy tale goodness. Great for summertime.

Book provided by my public library.

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