REVIEW: “A Kiss in Time” by Alex Finn

A Kiss in Time

Alex Finn
HarperTeen, 2009

CHALLENGE(S): 2010 Challenge

Finished 12 May 2010

I seem to be getting a bit behind in my reviews, so I thought I really ought to write this one up today while I had the time. A Kiss in Time is essentially a retelling of Sleeping Beauty in a modern setting. The story follows Princess Talia of Euphrasia, a forgotten kingdom in long-ago Belgium, who pricks her finger on a spindle and falls into an enchanted sleep for three hundred years. She is finally awoken by Jack, a bratty American teenager who has wandered off from his tour group, and must learn to cope not only with the modern world but with the evil witch who is still stalking her every move.

Kiss alternates between Talia and Jack’s points of view, which can at times be a little annoying. So, too, are the characters themselves: Talia is very convincing as a spoiled, if well-intentioned princess, and Jack, as I said, is the quintessential brat-with-a-heart-of-gold. In spite of this, however, the story manages to be fresh and endearing. It is, of course, a love story, and in that sense is a little trite, but Flinn allows this to develop on its own time while focusing largely on the characters’ personal development, something I greatly appreciated. The supporting cast is also fantastically drawn, and I cheered along with them as they fought their way to the climax of the novel.

I will say that there were some things which felt a little artificial – Jack’s dad’s sudden change of heart at the end, for one thing – but this could perhaps be explained as Jack imputing more evil to his father’s motives than actually existed, and in spite of my reservations about the writing style I found myself quite charmed. Kiss is nothing if not sweet (the exact word I used was “cute”) and surprisingly uplifting in spite of tackling some weighty topics; the sort of book that warms the heart. I will look forward to reading more work from this author.

RATING:

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