Book Review: Rapunzel’s Revenge

I guess I might’ve spent my whole life in that villa never learning the truth if not for that darn wall. Deep in my gut, I believed if I could just look over it, just see what was there, my dreams would make sense.  Everything would make sense.

Rapunzel's RevengeRapunzel’s Revenge written by Shannon & Dean Hale and illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation) is a retelling of the Rapunzel story in which Rapunzel saves herself, teams up with a stranger named Jack, and sets out to free her birth mother and fellow countrymen from adoptive mother Gothel.

What I Liked

– Rapunzel is an awesome character.  She’s driven and determined, and she refuses to let her circumstances overwhelm her.

– There’s a lot of humor in the book–from making fun of Rapunzel’s ugly, ugly clothes to the banter between her and Jack.  There are lots of great moments and a couple of laugh out loud funny ones.

– I love that Rapunzel and Jack are more partners than anything.  Sometimes it seems as though he’s her sidekick and sometimes she’s his, but that’s because they both have different strengths and any given situation could favor one or neither.

– There’s some mystery around Jack.  I figured it out right away, but my daughter really enjoyed the twist when it was revealed.

– Mother Gothel’s motivation for locking Rapunzel up really surprised me–in a good way.

– I love the artwork.  Clear and crisp with great facial expressions.  It was as much fun to look at the pictures as read the text–as it should be with a graphic novel.

– Rapunzel uses her hair as a weapon.  I like that instead of it being the tool of her imprisonment, it becomes empowering.

What I Didn’t Like

– I would’ve liked to know just a little more about Gothel besides her being evil.  You know, just a smidge.

In conclusion: The book is a lot of fun and a great read.  It’s also great for the tween set or anybody who really enjoys adventurous stories.  My daughter read it, immediately reread it, and then bought it when she saw it a the book store (I checked it out from the library).  I think she really appreciated that Rapunzel is such a badass female character.

YA Reading Challenge:  17/75

Book Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The one thing he longed for more than anything else was…CHOCOLATE.

Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryWe went to see a high school production of Willy Wonka, which was such great fun and so much better than I remembered either of the movies being.  Then, when we got home, we watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory–the first movie adaptation–and I still didn’t like it that much.  So I went online to see what the differences between the book, the movies, and the play are and found out (via Wikipedia, of course) that Roald Dahl (allegedly) hated the burping scene in the first movie, so I immediately put Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl on hold at the library so I could investigate the differences for myself.


It is so much fun. I love Dahl’s storytelling style.  It’s so much like listening to someone tell you a story that they’re making up as they go along.  So conversational and fun.  I’m sure this would make an excellent audiobook.

I was surprised to learn that the Oompa Loompas really do sing throughout the book.

Also?  I totally understand why Dahl allegedly hated the burping scene.  The whole point of the book is that Charlie is not like the other kids and his parents are not like the other parents.  Even though he’s poor and hungry, he doesn’t break the rules.  What’s really hateful about the scene in the movie (original flavor–I can’t remember how it happens in the Johnny Depp version) is that Charlie’s grandpa says, “Let’s try it while no one’s looking.”  Which is a dick move and again disrupts the integrity of both of the characters.  I think there’s a way to show Charlie was tempted if that’s what the movie people wanted without having him drink it or his grandfather be the one to encourage it.  Not to mention, it makes the ending (of the movie) ring false because none of the other children get a chance to apologize.


The book is so amazingly fun.  Read it.  Screw the movies.