ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine, WICKED by Gregory Maguire, and ZEL by Donna Jo Napoli.
Someday, I'd like to meet all three of these authors and tell them how much they inspired and changed me. I actually almost met Donna Jo Napoli at ALA Mid-Winter this past weekend and I'm kicking myself that I wasn't just a little faster! I went to the Simon &B Schuster booth looking for an ARC of her new book STORM and was told that I'd just missed meeting the author, who'd been visiting the booth. I was really sad! But it was also kind of amazing to know that I was probably still breathing her air! I wish I could have asked her for her perspective on Rapunzel to share with you all now!
During A Week of Cinder(ella), I talked about my love affair with ELLA ENCHANTED and the movie Ever After with Drew Barrymore.
Both ZEL and WICKED are unique in that they both give us a villain's perspective. While the latter is not a fairy tale, but a classic novel retelling, I still classify it as getting me back into reading this genre of retellings.
These two books, in particular, made me want to know more about villains. I started having my own ideas for books featuring villains. Villains suddenly became infinitely more interesting to me. Who are they, who were they, what motivates them? I'm intrigued by movies like the upcoming Maleficent that seek to delve into a characters past and find that turning point that makes them evil. Right now, I'm reading SOLD FOR ENDLESS RUE by Madeleine E. Robins, which you'll hear more about later this week, and it also features a "villain's" perspective.
ZEL, of course, is told from three POVs, not one, but the fact that we could see the villain's motivations completely and utterly fascinated me.
Why did the witch lock Rapunzel away? Was it for something sinister, or was she just...scared? By seeing Mother's perspective in ZEL, she becomes so much more human, and the classic tell becomes a multi-faceted, fuller story. I love and appreciate that Napoli did this!
It's been years since I read this book, but my copy is staring woefully up at me from my bedside table, beaten and worn, but well-loved, asking me to remember. I'm scared to read it again and see if my opinion of this book changes, but I'm also eager to re-unite with it and see again what made me fall back in love with fairy tales! I hope to do so this week in celebration of CRESS!
Have you ever had a book or a movie or something to that effect make a huge impact on you and change the way you viewed things in the future?
These books really shaped who I would eventually become, and I remember them fondly for that (and so much more) to this day!