Book Reviews

Book Review: A Grimm Curse by Janna Jennings

Title: A Grimm Curse
Series: Grimm Tales
Author: Janna Jennings
Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller Publisher: Patchwork Press
Release Date: November 20, 2015 Format: Kindle
Pages: 174
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Long before Andi discovers Elorium, an orphan girl befriends an enchanted frog while her cursed stepsister plots revenge in a twist that can only transpire in a fairy tale.

This stand-alone prequel to the Grimm Tales follows Cynthia, Andi’s grandmother, who is dragged in to the palace’s circle of glitter and privilege by her stepmother. Lady Wellington’s obsessive quest for a crown for one of her daughters has ensnared Cynthia and her musical talent in her scheme. Cynthia turns the nightmarish concert into a gesture of true friendship in an attempt to reverse the curse of a frog prince.

Attempting to be invisible to her abusive stepfamily while sidestepping the arrogant prince, Cynthia searches for an understanding princess to change Remi back to his rightful form.

Things do not go as planned when Remi disappears, leaving their friendship in his wake. Meanwhile, the single-minded Prince Wilhelm is determined to make Cynthia his bride. With a cursed stepsister threatening to upend Cynthia’s delicately balanced situation, her time in Elorium is drawing to a close as revelations of who she is and the truth about their world comes to light in this reimagined fairy tale.

Ok, I’m all for reimagined fairy tales. After all, just look at the reviews I’ve done for three of the Disney Twisted Tales books. I love a good reimagined fairy tale. Please note I said a good reimagined fairy tale.

A Grimm Curse is not a good reimagined fairy tale. As a prequel, I honestly feel this book raises far more questions than it actually answers. It is all over the place and makes absolutely no sense.

There are elements of Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and even Jack and the Beanstalk in this book. Just in case you wondered, as a general rule, fairy tales don’t crossover. Yes, I know… they do in Into the Woods and Shrek, among others. And it works in those places. But it didn’t work here.

There was so little of Jack in the Beanstalk it seemed like that addition was pure afterthought – kind of like the author said “Hmm, I should add yet another fairy tale, but which one?? Oh! I know! I’ll stick Jack in the Beanstalk at the end and hope no one notices.” There wasn’t much of Rapunzel either and you have no idea how Cynthia and Rapunzel became friends in the first place, they just were.

The story was just too disjointed and wonky for me to be able to enjoy it. I made it through because it’s a relatively quick read – about 4 and half hours, but honestly, I won’t read it again, nor would I consider reading the previous books in the series.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.