by Alex Flinn
Released: February 8, 2011
Courtesy of Star Book Tours
Don't believe in magic? It's time to get CLOAKED!
Think you know paranormal romance? Alex Flinn gives the genre a twist in this modern fairy-tale mash-up!
Johnny's not your average hero. But a little magic changes everything.
There isn't a fairy godmother or any of that. It all starts with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess. And before Johnny knows it, he is on a mission in the Everglades, with only a flock of swans and a talking fox named Joe to help guide him against the forces of an evil witch.
Johnny is a pretty average kid. He works in his mother's shoe repair shop in a swanky hotel, working double shifts to help pay the rent while his mom works a second job. His best friend is Meg, who works in the cafe across the hall. Johnny dreams of becoming a famous shoe designer, and even has a mock-up of one of his designs made from scraps from the shop, but he knows he'll never have the money to make his dream come true. One day, Princess Victorianna comes to the hotel, and Johnny's life is thrown into chaos. The princess chooses Johnny for a special mission: to locate her missing brother, who has been changed into a frog by an evil witch who is trying to make the princess marry an evil prince to gain control over her country. Johnny humors her at first, because she's hot. (He is a guy, after all.) But he believes her after it turns out that one of the things she told him is true. Johnny sets off to track down the prince, and his life will never be the same.
Alex Flinn did an amazing job combining classic fairy tales with a modern story. Each chapter begins with a quote from a fairy tale that ties in with the plot for that chapter, which is really very clever. Some of the fairy tales are more obsure than others, but an author's note at the end of the book leads readers to a website for further information. The beginning of the book was a little slow, as it's quite apparent that Johnny doesn't believe the princess, and I just wanted to yell at him to get on with it a couple times. But it does pick up after the first few chapters, and, though a little corny, Johnny's adventure is a joy to follow.
Alex Flinn is also the author of Beastly, which has been made into a movie that will be released, at least in the US, on March 18, 2011.