“A cleverly-woven, riveting adventure paradoxically known as a fractured fairy tale.”
The book’s dedication to “anyone whose story didn’t go as planned. Seriously, who writes these things?” is a clever synopsis for this unpredictable, humorous adventure blending classic fairy tale stories. Jack, the son of the guy who went up the beanstalk, is failing at his princess rescue training. When a sarcastic girl named May falls from reality into Jack’s fairy-tale world wearing a t-shirt deeming her “Punk Princess,” Jack takes a more literal approach to prove his damsel-saving abilities as he helps May on her search to find her kidnapped grandmother, Snow White. While the characters could use a little more development throughout the story, Jack has a refreshing realness about him due to his imperfections. If you’re not a fan of sarcasm, you might be bothered by the leading lady, May. The villains in this story (the Huntsman, Red Hood, Ifrit the Genie, and the Wicked Queen) could be frightening for younger or more sensitive readers, but appropriately-aged audiences will be riveted by the action and adventure this story holds. This page-turner is full of surprises and twists and ends somewhat abruptly, so make sure to have the second book in the trilogy on hand for when you finish.
In the village of Giant’s Hand Jack’s grandfather has been pushing him to find a princess and get married, so when a young lady falls out of the sky wearing a shirt that says “Punk Princess,” and she tells Jack that her grandmother, who looks suspiciously like the long-missing Snow White, has been kidnapped, Jack decides to help her.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell which characters are good or bad. Discuss this topic with your children, and when they finish the book, ask them how their perspectives on many of the characters changed.
I love that Half Upon a time is a more modern, beautiful tangle of all of the fairy tale stories we know—or thought we knew. With a few fun twists, you won’t want to put the book down! Jack and May are on the run from the Hunstman and have so many adventures along the way. I didn’t want to put this book down. :)