Sunday, April 29, 2012

{Review & Giveaway} ENCHANTED by Alethea Kontis


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O P E N I N G   H O O K:
Publisher's Weekly listed ENCHANTED as one of the top Great Beginnings of 2012.  Here's Why: 


My NAME IS Sunday Woodcutter, and I am doomed to a happy life.
(pg. 1, US Hardcover Edition)

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Don't forget to check out today's designer interview with Christine Kettner, which is made of awesome.  And check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

Whoever said "Don't judge a book by its cover" was obviously lying.  This cover made me want ENCHANTED immediately.  As soon as I saw it was a fairy tale, I wanted it even more.    I was lucky enough to be granted early access to the novel.  The first time I read it, I wasn't in the right frame of mind for a fairy tale, so I enjoyed, but didn't love ENCHANTED.  I just read the book for a second time last week, however, and was in just the right frame of mind.  I loved ENCHANTED in brand new ways the second time around and am so glad I re-read the entire thing and not just pieces.  It feels very much like a fairy tale as you read, and is easy to get swept up in (Unless you're being a cranky-pants and not in a fairy tale frame of mind, lol!).

One of my favorite things about ENCHANTED is the way Alethea Kontis mashes fairy tales together.  It's thrilling to see beloved tales twisted around in new ways, even as small asides.  I loved discovering these the most.  I also enjoyed the new take on The Princess and the Frog.  In ENCHANTED, the Sunday Woodcutter isn't a princess, but the frog is a prince.  Just kissing him won't remove the curse, however.  In the vein of true fairy tale magic, only True Love's Kiss can remove the curse.  But love isn't enough.  The frog is Crown Prince Rumbold, sworn enemy of the Woodcutter family.  Rumbold is torn apart when he becomes human and realizes that his true love can never be with him because her family won't approve.  He's desperate to prove his love and show everyone the way he's changed, but a deep, sinister magic may prevent everyone from finding a Happily Ever After if it descends upon the kingdom.

There are so many new directions Kontis takes us with ENCHANTED.  You think you know what's coming, but never quite do, especially when it comes to what becomes a passing tale.  While I wish there was deeper development between the characters over the course of a longer length of time, it felt like a traditional tale and read perfectly in that regard.  Kontis is working on Saturday's tale (Sunday's sisters are creatively named after the days of the week), and I hope Harcourt picks it up for publication.  In the meantime, Kontis has many short stories available to read, from online freebies THE UNICORN HUNTER (Snow White) and HERO WORSHIP (Little Red Riding Hood), which are both set in the universe of ENCHANTED.  Kontis has also published the short story BLOOD & WATER in the HAPPILY EVER AFTER anthology available in bookstores everywhere.  While BLOOD & WATER isn't from the world of ENCHANTED, it features the fairy tale The Little Mermaid in a dark way you've never seen before.  Perhaps I'll do something with it for Splash into Summer this year! ^.~
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C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love this cover.  LOVE!  So much that I interviewed cover designer Christine Kettner today.  Have you seen it?  You should, she's AWESOME.


I have wanted ENCHANTED since the moment I saw the cover.  It's gorgeous.  I love the swirls around the title, the banner it rests upon, the gorgeous "E," the way this font is used for the nested letters that begin each chapter.


I love the gorgeous dress the model is wearing (And I recently saw another cover [forget the title now] with the same dress and think it's from the same shoot, lol!)  I love the way she's sleeping, but doesn't look vulnerable like the model would on most YA novels.  She looks happy and at peace.  I never saw it until I was holding a finished copy (The images on the internet aren't as detailed), but I love the inclusion of the frog on the cover...and what a cute frog!  I also get to see, for the first time, the way the garden image continues on the back cover and the creamy, sophisticated nature of the spine and flaps.  When you take the jacket off, the cardboard binding mirrors this color palette beautifully.


I would pick this up at the store immediately and want to know more!!

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O F F I C I A L   I N F O:


Title: ENCHANTED
Author: Alethea Kontis
Release Date: Out May 08, 2012
Publisher: Harcourt Children's
Received: Received for Review;
just purchased finished copy!

SUMMARY:

It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.


When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.


The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?





All right! GIVEAWAY TIME!! 

 Because Alethea is MADE OF WIN she has donated an awesome gift basket full of Enchanted goodness and Fairy Tale win. She has donated a finished, signed copy of Enchanted to one lucky winner along with other fun swag and surprise gifts. TO ENTER: Use the Rafflecopter form below.

 There are extra entries available for commenting on Enchanted related posts on Ashley's blog, Misty's blog, and Bonnie's blog. The Rafflecopter widget is the same on all three blogs. You can enter through any of our blogs, but you must visit and comment on each individual post for the extra entries. Giveaway is US only. Ends May 7th. 
 
Visit:

Ashley's Blog          Misty's Blog          Bonnie's Blog 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 comments:

  1. I enjoy mashed-together fairytales too. And thank you for directing me to the free reads!

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  2. Love this give away. Thanks a lot Bonnie!

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  3. I simply ADORE this cover! It's very wonderfully made and eye catchy
    Brilliant work!

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  4. I love that dress on the cover also. That's what got my attention. Now I need to find that other book with the same dress on it.

    I love retellings too. They are everywhere now, television, movies, video/computer games and books.

    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. I love the cover!! I really wish I could get my hands on these gorgeous dresses that they keep using.

    Retellings are great too!!

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  6. I find the cover to be very attention getting. I would definitely stop and look at a book with that cover in a store!

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  7. I never noticed the frog on the cover until you mentioned it in your comments above! The model looks very content and relaxed, as you said, and the frog adds that "fair tale" connection that might not be there without the title.

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  8. I hadn't noticed the frog on the cover before either, I'm so happy you pointed it out! I agree that this is a fancy dress girl, but she's not sad, and it's fairy tale--so it fits! I am SO happy/excited to read the short stories you pointed out, I love retellings, and will be reading those today!

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  9. I think that the cover is beautiful!!!! I don't see the frog but maybe when I read the book I will be able to see it better!!! I am so excited to read this book!!!

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  10. It's so beautiful! I judge books by their covers, and I would definitely pick this one up!

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  11. I love this cover! It's gorgeous. I would definitely pick it up by the cover alone.

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  12. This is one of the most beautiful covers yet - it really conveys the mystical sense of a *fairy tale*!
    And thank you Bonnie for the wonderful giveaway :)
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

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  13. Also, I LOVE that opening *hook* ... doomed to a *happy* life! :D

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  15. Ah, now this sounds like a book I could fall in love with. And you're right, the cover is gorgeous.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

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  16. Awesome review, this book sounds really good. The cover is gorgeous, can't wait to read this! :)

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  17. The cover is middle of the road for me. I find it interesting, but I prefer illustrative covers. The book does sound interesting.

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  18. I do like the dress, since it's kind of unusual, but I'm not as much a fan of the scroll work behind her head. It's a bit too distracting. Looks like a great fairy tale book, though!

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