Book Review: Letters to Zell By Camille Griep

23308599Title: Letters to Zell

Author: Camille Griep

Publication Date:  July 1st 2015

Format: ARC

Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them? In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.

 

 

2 stars

**I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions, as always, are my own.**

PLOT

When Zell (Rapunzel) leaves Grimmland with her husband Jason so they can pursue their dreams, her friends don’t take the news well. Not only did she leave, but she informed them of her departure in a letter! Ceci (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White) and Rory (Sleeping Beauty) are aghast, sad, and devastated. The three send her letters voicing their thoughts about what she did and when it appears that she won’t be changing her mind anytime soon, they continue on sending them as a way to keep in touch with her.

Because of Zelll’s departure, or more like the reason for her departure, the princesses start having doubts of their own. What will happen if they ditch the life that is already decided for them and do what THEY want? Are their dreams and hopes worth throwing away their responsibilities and duties?

How could a ridiculous dream be worth the risk in the end?

THOUGHTS

I happened to start reading this book (and reached about 11% in) the day we were moving houses and by the time we settled in, I had no desire to pick it up again.

This book is written in letter format, which should be pretty obvious because of the title. But does that mean that I thought it would be like that? No. I’m stupid like that sometimes. Like seriously Jinan it’s called ‘LETTERS to Zell’ so of course it’s going to be written as letters. I’m not partial to books that are written that way, to be honest. I feel like the characters expect us to know about their universe from the very beginning because the receiving end of the letter does. For example, they talk about something called Pages. I only infered the meaning of Pages from one of the letters. And who the hell is Figgy? Is it some sort of character from the Grimm’s book? I guess this book was wrong for me because I have zero knowledge with the Grimm fairy tales. I only know the Disney versions.

CHARACTERS

Bianca

I would’ve never pegged Snow White to be so bitchy. Usually I like bitchy characters. Did I like Bianca? No. All she did was swear at this and that, complain about god knows what, and swear some more. Not cool, Snowy.

I do appreciate her view though. Don’t stop dreaming, people of the earth. Never stop dreaming.

Despite all their misguided storytelling, I’m not convinced Humans get to decide when things are over any more than Figgy does. We all- Humans and Fairy Tales alike- stop living when we stop dreaming. So screw Figgy. I’ll go and dream what I want, Pages be damned.

Rory

Rory was the goody two shoes. Hell, I bet she was the first person whom that expression was used on. She was so annoying and I kept on thinking about how on earth was it possible for someone to be so freaking naive. You were always my least favorite princess. Bleh.

Since then, she hasn’t been able to talk of anything besides become a real chef (and some silly chasing ones dream nonsense)

my reaction when I read this line: EXCUSE ME LADY BUT CHASING YOUR DREAMS IS NOT NONSENSE K???

then I read this

She was right. I know too well that dwelling on things that didn’t happen doesn’t do anything but keep you from living.

Awh 😦 It’s because your dream is dead isn’t it, Rory?

Ceci

If Bianca and Rory were the extremities of the scale, then Ceci was the balancing point in between. I picked her out to be my favorite since the very first round of letters. Maybe it’s because she wants to be a chef (I’m a baker so yeaaah!) and I felt like I understood her a bit. She just wants to create food for others and have them enjoy what she makes. It’s a wonderful feeling, that. Then she disappointed me. The first thing the girls do after going to the Outside is go to a cooking class because Ceci wanted to go. Do we read any part of her experience in her letter since this was so important to her? No we freaking don’t. SHE GLOSSES OVER IT AND ALL SHE SAYS IS THAT IT WAS FUN. So you read all about it from people who couldn’t care any less but not from her? How is this right?

Bottom Line

This is the first time that I’ve written an unfavorable review and felt bad for it. I was really really excited to read this and was let down by the format and the characters. However, Griep’s writing style is really nice and perhaps I’ll pick up her future books.

Recommended for: Fairy tale lovers and people who don’t mind books in letter format.

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