Sunday, November 9, 2014

Book Review: My Name Is Rapunzel, by K.C. Hilton

My Name Is RapunzelMy Name Is Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

My Name Is Rapunzel, by K.C. Hilton
★, rounding up to 1.5….maybe

Synopsis: (what made it intriguing) My tale has been told again and again, and I’ve heard each one. Except for my hair, I barely recognize the pitiful renditions. Muddled versions, crafted to entertain laughing children…but the children wouldn’t have laughed if they’d known the real story. It wasn't their fault. They didn't know the truth. Nobody did. My name is Rapunzel. I will tell you my story. I will tell you the truth.
(what it is really) Rapunzel gets cursed with eternal youth by the witch who wants her hair for a youth potion (oh, btw, the witch turns out to be her grandmother). Apparently Rapunzel’s maternal side of the family is gifted with long life and beauty, and it’s in Rapunzel’s hair, which she can’t cut off (huh?). The witch also curses Rapunzel’s fiancé Henry, turning him into a dragon, but Rapunzel thinks he’s dead, and the dragon is the witch’s pet or something.

When her parents die of old age, she moves into her father’s inherited castle with the witch (that part doesn’t make sense, I know), and they live there together for 200 years, with the dragon/Henry preventing them from leaving (oh, and Henry can sometimes turn back into a human, but if he sees Rapunzel’s face he turns back into the dragon. Why it takes him 250 years to tell her who he really is, I don’t know).
Oh, and there’s a love triangle in the last 50 pages. There’s some newspaper reporter guy who didn’t believe Rapunzel’s story at first, but then fell in love with her. It all climaxes in the last 15 pages with the witch getting shot and killed by an old guy who has been taking the long-life potion given to his family by the witch (apparently she was in love with his father? Huh?). the reporter guy gets the dying witch to take the curse off Henry and Rapunzel and he gets turned into a dragon instead, which, coincidentally, is what he always wanted. Everyone lives happily ever after. Yeah. ‘K.
In A Sentence: An interesting story idea, really, really poor execution
My Thoughts: I read this for an online book group I joined; it was the first book they were going to read this month, and was curious about the book. I mean the synopsis sounds like an interesting YA novel, right? Not!
I was really intrigued by the story concept; seriously, what a great idea! But the execution of the story was horrible! There were huge plot holes, an absurd amount of contradictions and geographical inaccuracies (the author’s clearly American, and the setting is supposed to be in Europe), a vague, sometimes rushed plot, poor grammar, awful use of language (18th century maidens do not say “okay”, okay?), and, I kid you not, the author copied and pasted whole chapters when the story was coming around full circle. I couldn’t stop cringing when I read this! This was a book that could have been so much better had the author spent more time re-reading and revising her work. She could have fleshed out the details a bit more, fixed some inaccuracies and mistakes, made sure there was some nice flow, etc. But no, she didn’t.
Apparently this author self-published her book, and apparently this is not her first book. While I admire authors who have the courage to self-publish their works, I am suspicious of the quality of those works, because that could mean that the book didn’t hold up under the scrutiny of a recognized book publisher. I wish this author pursued some publishers before publishing it herself; even if they wouldn’t accept it, they would have given her plenty of reasons why, and she could have used that criticism to go back and revise her story. The story would have done so much better under the scrutiny of a critical editor, not the author’s friends.
So why did I bother finishing this book? Because despite the poor execution, I still wanted to know what happened next. I’ll give the author that much; she does keep you chained to the book.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this read (surprise, surprise). It had so much potential, and it just fell way short of the mark.
And now my rant is done. My apologies to those who liked this book, but clearly our tastes are different.

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