Bitsy is no one’s ideal princess.
She’s heard it all: that it’s a shame she’s so plain, so lacking in grace. That the best thing for her to do is simply wait (and wait some more), and hope some prince will grant her a happy ending.
Then Bitsy pricks her finger on a spindle and falls down, down,
I'm not sure where to start with this review. I feel like I have a lot to say. Having read the synopsis of this book, I was excited for a fairytale retelling. For the most part, they've always proved to be fun. Unfortunately, this retelling was just not it for me.
Let's start with the characters. I don't feel any of them were fleshed out well. I wasn't able to connect with them. I wasn't a fan of the main character, Bitsy. I feel like there could have been so much more growth for her, but her story felt rushed. And her annoying way of speaking to the reader just did not work with the storyline. I feel fantasy books work much better in third person as you get so much more information about the characters. Her talking to the audience was almost childlike, having to explain everything to the reader rather than showing it to the reader. The kind and Queen, too simple, not enough background. Peregrine was probably the most interesting, but he, too needed more background.
The plot left something to be desired. I didn't feel like it truly went anywhere and at the same time had so many plot lines drawn into it, it was hard to understand why they were even there. Why did we travel through these different Kingdoms? What did they lend to the story. I really liked the idea of the Sleeping Beauty story transforming into an alternate universe but it just didn't work with the writing and first person retelling. And the world building was lacking. Having shown me all these kingdoms, I would have thought to be able to picture them in my mind, but I could not.
The pacing, pretty fast, I will say, but I think it may have been more me rushing through it to get to the end rather than because I wanted to see where the story would take me.
Overall, this book missed the mark from me. The writing, the characters, the plot, all of it. I feel like it needed a huge amount of editing and ideas revamped.
Her novels include HICK, BURY THIS, ANATOMY OF A MISFIT, and THE FALL OF BUTTERFLIES. Portes is also the author of the upcoming LIBERTY book series and the upcoming HENRY & EVA book series. She also published the SUPER RAD graphic novel series for Dark Matter Comics.
Portes was raised in rural Nebraska, outside of Lincoln. She attended Bryn Mawr College on full scholarship and later received her MFA from University of California, San Diego. After graduation, Portes moved to the neighborhood of Echo Park in Los Angeles.
In 2007, Portes published her debut novel HICK that was an instant bestseller. After the book's huge success, the movie adaptation of HICK went into production in 2011. The film, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Alec Baldwin, Eddie Redmayne, Juliette Lewis, and Blake Lively premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011.
Portes's second novel, BURY THIS, was published in January 2014 by Counterpoint Press's imprint Soft Skull Press to critical acclaim.
In 2012, she wrote SUPER RAD, a sci-fi series for Dark Matter Press.
Portes' third novel, ANATOMY OF A MISFIT, was published in September 2014 by HarperCollins. In July 2014, the book was optioned in a pre-emptive deal by Paramount Pictures, with Allison Shearmur (THE HUNGER GAMES, CINDERELLA) producing.
In Winter 2015, Portes spy thriller series LIBERTY was bought in a three-book deal by HarperCollins. Twentieth Century Fox-Fox 2000 acquired the rights to LIBERTY and will be producing the series with Wyck Godfrey (TWILIGHT, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS).
Her fourth book, THE FALL OF BUTTERFLIES will be out in May 2016 published by HarperCollins.
Portes also chose HarperCollins to publish HENRY & EVA AND THE CASTLE ON THE CLIFF, the first in a middle reader series of HENRY & EVA books. The second release in the series will be HENRY & EVA AND THE FAMOUS PEOPLE GHOSTS.
Portes is currently working on THEY WERE LIKE WOLVES, a work of literary fiction.