Publishing Info: February 12, 2013 by Cedar Fort
Genres: Contemporary, Retelling, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 9, 2013
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 was definitely interested to see how a Rapunzel retelling would come across into modern-day, but sadly I was kind of disappointed. I think the main reason is that obviously in the original tale, Rapunzel’s in a tower and she can see what’s outside but can’t go outside. Not a big deal. Trees, forest, birds, etc. In order for a girl to stay locked in a tower in modern times, she becomes incredibly naive about what actually is out there. Now modern-day Rapunzel is missing vocabulary, technology of all sorts, common phrases and pop culture knowledge, etc. Some of that naivite towards the pop culture & technology was cute, but unfortunately most of it just came off as a little annoying. This actually caused me to not like Rapunzel about half of the time which is a long time to not get along with a character.
The other thing that really put me off was the fact that Rapunzel meets Fane by randomly adding him as a friend on Facebook and then chatting with AND meeting a total stranger. Chalk it up to curiosity and being naive I suppose, but I just didn’t like the message it sends to young readers. I mean, I was one of those stupid kids talking to strangers in AOL chat rooms with my friends (God, AOL. Remember the days?) but never would I meet with them, and as something that’s a real danger nowadays, I just didn’t like that younger audiences may pick up on that idea, thinking it’s cool to add random friends. That being the basis of the entire love relationship for a teenager really turned me off. That could just be me overreacting, but either way I was not a fan.
Overall, I was kind of iffy on the plot at times but I did like how it was adapted into a modern story, especially explaining some of the more magical features towards the end. Even still, not sure I’d recommend it for someone to pick up. I found myself racing through it towards the end, but simply as a means to finish and not because I was enjoying it. It never really grabbed my attention and the motivation to keep reading really wasn’t there a lot of the time.
Rapunzel: I think my big issue here was just the difficulty of adapting a concept that works well as a fairy tale but didn’t come across well as a modern story. Because of the way it was adapted, I just wasn’t a huge fan of Rapunzel. She was incredibly naive, afraid, and ignorant — none of which were her fault, but it still didn’t help make her character endearing to me.
Fane: Is there a reason Fane had such a fantastical name? Is there something I’m missing? Because he was a totally normal kid in the story. I kept expecting him to burst out with some sort of magical powers or something. He was a big insta-lovey with Rapunzel but not unbelievably so, I guess. Eh. Just not really my thing.
Gothel: Has some serious mental problems. But I guess all evil step-mothers do!
I really wouldn’t recommend it but it wasn’t terrible. If you feel like trying it, grab it from the library but it’s not really one I’d go out of your way for.
5 thoughts on “Rapunzel Untangled – Cindy C. Bennett”
Great review! Rapunzel is one of my favorite fairy tales so I was really excited about this book. My excitement is considerably low now. And if she did have internet wouldn’t she at least have some knowledge about the outside world?
Too bad it was a disappointment! I was intrigued by this one but I think I shall pass now!
I have this from Netgalley as well. I haven’t read it yet, but I think I might push it towards the bottom of my TBR pile.
Too bad it was a disappointment.
I had been curious about this book (I adore fairy tale retellings), but meeting a stranger you just randomly added on Facebook seems more like the set-up of a horror novel to me. 😉 Great review, glad I read yours first before buying the book!
Alice @ Alice in Readerland
You’re the nicest reviewer, B. I am sorry that you didn’t like this one as much as you had hoped!