Bistro Book Club

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Anqi,    12  
Alex Flinn  
Cloaked  
HarperCollins    2011

        Johnny is an average seventeen year old who's merging out of adulthood on the down side of life. After his father left for a fishing trip and never came back, it's just been him and his mother working at their family-owned shoe repair shop to make ends meet. That's before he meets the princess of a foreign country, who is on the lookout for a guy just like Johnny... and before you know it, Johnny is whisked away from his home in Miami, leading up to conversations with foxes, elusive frog princes, and giants killing endangered deer. Now, after reading Beastly a few months ago I was very excited for Cloaked. Though it had a vague summary about the plot, and the idea wasn't as basic as Flinn's Beastly was (the story was a retelling of Beauty in the Beast), I knew it was going to have something to do with old fairytales. The thing was, I didn't know there were going to be that many. The whole story is a jumble of somewhat unknown classics, leading a hurried pace with confusing twists and turns, and eventually caused important characters to remain underdeveloped. Meanwhile, the plot was easy to figure out; not only were they fairy-tales, but Flinn seemed to write with a somewhat juvenile style, allowing easy dialogue to give you more than one hint about what was coming next. The romance was cute, but a bit too obvious. Alex Flinn seemed to try too hard for the oblivious kind of relationship, though the characters were just basically screaming when they liked each other. Characters, as I mentioned, were a bit bland, but Johnny was realistic, as to be expected. He was too much of a nice boy though; no obvious flaw was visible in his personality, and that irked me a bit. I like faults in my characters-that just makes them feel more real, and you feel more for them as well. To sum it up, Cloaked was your average, middle-of-the-road novel, though the fantastic-ness of Beastly left me expecting a lot more for it. Entertaining, but juvenile, I would suggest this novel more for middle-grade readers than anyone who loves serious young adult.      

Rating: 3 Readable

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