Beauty Sleep (Cameron Dokey, 2002)

Read as part of the Fairy Tale Retelling Challenge

Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" (Once Upon a Time)The Princess Aurore has had an unusual childhood. Cursed at birth, Aurore is fated to prick her finger at the age of sixteen and sleep for one hundred years — until a prince awakens her with a kiss. So, to protect her, Aurore’s loving parents forbid any task requiring a needle.

Unable to sew or embroider like most little princesses, Aurore instead explores the castle grounds and beyond, where her warmth and generosity soon endear her to the townspeople. Their devotion to the spirited princess grows as she does.

On her sixteenth birthday, Aurore learns that the impending curse will harm not only her, but the entire kingdom as well. Unwilling to cause suffering, she will embark on a quest to end the evil magic. The princess’s bravery will be rewarded as she finds adventure, enchantment, a handsome prince, and ultimately her destiny.

(Text from goodreads)

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I had quite mixed feelings about this retelling of Sleeping Beauty. First of all, when I started and discovered it was a first person narrator in a story about Sleeping Beauty I immediately began to have my doubts, because how can you tell a story in a first person narrator when the protagonist is meant to be asleep for the majority of the story? However, it soon became evident that there wasn’t going to be much sleep in this story.

It is the story of Princess Aurore and the curse that was put upon her, and how her mother desperately tried to do everything in her power to protect her. Time, however, has a funny way of intervening in this story that pretty much created rather a messed up story.

Overall I liked Aurore as a character; she was head-strong and had a mind of her own while she was true to her heart and an honest girl. I also liked her parents, her father the most perhaps, because while he was protective he was still a relaxed father, just like a fairy tale father should be in my opinion. Oswald as the prince charming struck me as odd. At first he seemed rather unpleasant, then he changed for the better, then he changed back a bit and then he was just a bit of…. Well, I don’t think I’ll say.

Then another male lead was introduced and I thought he was going to be the romantic interest, and then he wasn’t! I was not completely surprised by the ending, you could sense something was off with the forest and it made sense. What I did not like was the romantic pairing at the end. Honestly, it was just too wrong in my eyes, I know it’s a fairy tale world, but in this story it was just too off putting for me.

So all in all this was not one of the best fairy tale retellings I have read. I would much rather prefer it to be closer to the original story, because I hardly saw anything from the original tale other than the fact that Aurore was cursed as a child.

3 star

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