Sunday, August 21, 2011

Alex Flinn. CLOAKED

I'm really impressed by the diversity of genres that Alex Flinn writes in, as well as the quality of writing in all of those different areas. Her more serious books, like FADE TO BLACK and BREATHING UNDERWATER are memorable years after reading them. But the more lighthearted books are just as memorable. BEASTLY was the first book she wrote with a fairy tale inspiration. Then A KISS IN TIME followed.

CLOAKED is an adventurous, joy ride! Johnny is an average shoe repair guy working in his family's shop in the lobby of a South Beach resort. His father was a shoe repair guy, and his grandfather was a shoe repair guy. Pretty exciting, right? Yeah, that's what Johnny thinks too. When the Alorian princess comes to stay at the resort, Johnny hopes to get a glance of her to add a little adventure to his life.

But, Johnny gets way more than glimpse of Victoriana. His wish of adventure is granted when she asks him to save her brother who's been abducted. The only catch is that her brother will be difficult to locate, since he was turned into a frog. And he's somewhere in Miami. But, if he's able to bring her brother back, then Victoriana will marry him and he'll be rich beyond his wildest dreams. Johnny decides to go on the quest armed with a magical cloak that Victoriana claims will transport him anywhere he wishes.

Surprises abound in this adventure! Johnny discovers secrets about witches, giants and animals who used to be human. He also gets quite a shock to learn that his best friend was keeping a magical secret from him.

I loved the combination of new ideas coupled with classics that felt familiar, such as The Frog Prince and The Elves and the Shoemaker. Plus, there are some more obscure fairy tales that intrigued me enough to want to know more. Luckily, the Author's Note in the back answered my questions. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter that referenced a particular fairly tale were a nice touch and gave you a little foreshadowing at times. You will enjoy the ride in CLOAKED!

By the way, I was able to get Alex Flinn's autograph at ALA in June, so I couldn't help but show off the picture of us. I've wanted to meet her for years, so that's while my smile is so big that my face can barely contain it!

Also, check out the book trailer for CLOAKED:
And her newly designed website for all of her other great books!