The Wide Awake Princess
By E. D. Baker
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I picked this book up on a whim based entirely on it's cover. Although part of me really wanted to hate the style of illustration, I was drawn to it and knew instantly it was a book that I'd enjoy. The back blurb helped confirm that feeling when I read that it's a new take on an old fairy tale and there was going to be just a little romance and a whole lot of humour in there amongst all the action.
The story is one that most everyone knows, a princess is cursed at birth to prick her finger and sleep for a hundred years until she's woken by true love's first kiss. What you might not know is that the princess has a little sister, Annie, who happens to be completely immune to all forms of magic, good and bad. When the spell is cast and the entire castle is put to sleep, it's up to Annie to find the right prince to break the spell.
Non stop action fills each page as we're thrown from one fairy tale to another with ease, including elements from tales such as The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, The Princess and the Pea and many others.
There was so many things happening to Annie and her companion for her journey, Liam, that I occasionally wished for more time to breath within each stop in Annie's journey. As it was, we barely get a chance to imagine each setting of the story before we're pushed forward to the next location and fairy tale.
The characters were mostly well developed despite the sometimes overwhelmingly large cast, but they were all outshone by the main character who's clever wit was very appealing.
This was a very amusing and entertaining read that contained everything that it promised; action, humour, romance and a strong heroine.