With a Kiss (Twisted Tales #1)
By Stephanie Fowers
Released: March 15, 2013
Publisher: Triad Media and Entertainment
eBook, 282 pages
Faerytales. They're real . . . they just haven't happened yet. Halley Starr finds this out when she loses her heart to a terrible curse. Now she has to get it back from that dirty faery who stole it from her. But first she must fight against the seven rules of the faery kingdom that mortals must never break:
2. Don't ever say thank you
3. Using a faery’s given name is a no-no
4. Resist all faery music
5. Never break a promise to a faery
6. Reject all faery food
7. And never, never fall in love with a faery
But if Halley wants her heart back again, she can’t worry about the rules.
"With a Kiss" is the first book in the Twisted Tales Series.
With a Kiss by Stephanie Fowers is a cute, fun fairy tale retelling that is similar to Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series, but has more heart and teenage angst to draw readers in. Although this was far from being perfect, there is so much packed into the book that makes it enjoyable to read.
We are introduced to Halley Starr, a girl born with literally no heart. By no heart, she doesn't love anyone, even though everyone loves her. When she is forced to bring a baby back to her mother with a fairy gang, she learns to love and discovers who she truly is. Despite the straight forward summary, this book seems to ramble off on several points. It makes it extremely difficult to follow certain events and to gain a full understanding of the plot. At several points, I was a little confused on where the author was trying to lead the reader to in the beginning. Once the action begins in the Sidhe world, the action and humor picks up a bit. Still, the slow beginning was rather trying at times.
Even with the awkward beginning pages, With a Kiss manages to pull of the journey to giving the baby, called Babs, back to her mother. With the help of Hob, a mysterious stranger and a silent, but snarky leprechaun, Halley faces the strange, eerie Sidhe world. The problem was that there were so many unexplained plot devices that kept on adding on to my mental list. While a few of these questions were partially answered, there was still a bulk of the questions that I am still trying to answer by sorting out the book. For example, I am still wondering exactly why Halley is sent off by the mother to return Babs to her mother. Hello! Babs' mom sent Babs to Halley herself, so why does she just ship Babs something off, expecting someone else to return her to her. It is somewhat unpractical, even with the answer offered at the end. Also, why is Halley have a crown stuck to her head that tells her things? These were just the tip of the many puzzling problems that I came across.
Although I was confused for a majority of the book, the reading experience I had with this book was spectacular. Halley and her gang's conversations were cute and witty, and could draw the reader in easily. The romance in this book was pleasantly sweet, even if I didn't like the people in the couple in general. Halley was somewhat flat in characterization. She begins as an "ice queen" and immediately after being kissed, feels the emotion love for the first time. However, she does not really ever reveal it to anyone else besides Babs, making it hard to be empathetic with her. Hobs was so mysterious, annnoyingly so. If there was one character I could shoot first in the world, it would be him. I am telling you dude now that your secrets are not furthering your cause or saving the world. Go join the CIA if you wanna become in charge of classified information.
Regardless of its several faults, With a Kiss excels in painting the picture of a journey to the unknown. Unfortunately, the details of the journey are somewhat muddled, which makes it difficult to root for. Initially, we are told that Halley needs to return Babs to her mother, or else she will die, but then the objective seems to shift somewhere else. The three stars I give as a rating is what I believe that With a Kiss deserves, but my enjoyment of this book surpasses five stars because it was a new twist on the fairy tale retellings that are typically offered.
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