by Kristine Grayson
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published February 1st 2001)
ARC Courtesy of Publisher & Netgalley
Kristine Grayson's bestselling fairy tale romances bring the classic stories into the present day, where fairy tale characters must grapple with the complexities of modern life as well as their own destinies. Emma (Sleeping Beauty) fell into a magical coma that lasted for a thousand years when a boy she didn't even liked kissed her. Now that Emma's awake, she's determined to be a normal girl...a normal girl who is deathly afraid of kissing. When she meets history professor Michael Found, Emma has to choose between her fear of kissing and her potential Prince Charming.
Thoroughly Kissed is a unique take on the age-old tale of Sleeping Beauty. Only this time, Sleeping Beauty gets to do the saving, while her Prince plays the supporting role.
The story focuses almost entirely on the journey of Emma and her companions, Darnell (the appropriately pompous cat) and Michael (her new boss). Emma has hit magical “puberty” just a wee bit earlier than expected and all hell has begun to break loose. Michael accompanies her after a rather astounding visit from an old literary favorite to ensure she arrives at her destination safely, so that she can begin to get her wild powers under control.
I enjoyed the very real characters of Michael Found and Emma Lost. While the story line doesn’t ever really hit a climactic point (or a low point, really), the premise was intriguing enough that I continued to turn the page with anticipation.
There were a number of times that I expected something climactic and was presented with a simple progression in the plot, yet I didn’t really feel cheated. In fact, it was actually rather nice not to be able to predict what would happen. Furthermore, the simplicity of the story was rather agreeable; without the many ups and downs often found in similar books.
I will admit to liking Michael much more than I liked Emma. I didn’t truly feel connected to her pain and it did feel as though both she and the supporting characters projected her past sorrows as beyond painful and near impossibly to overcome. I would have accepted it a bit more if I’d had more than just “a millennia of missed lifetime. Emma did seem like a petulant child, as well, but I really liked her growth. I also felt a bit “preached to” by the characters’ dialogue, at time. It tended to disconnect me from the characters quite a bit.
The book did continue to surprise me, however. While the “absolute ending” was what I’d imagined it would be, the means of its arrival was definitely unanticipated.
Perhaps the best part of the book was the humor. The Fates were my absolute favorite characters and the comedy throughout the book was well done: more than being “not forced”, it was sort of hidden amongst the dialogue and jumped out at just the right times to add levity to the situation. I think the comedy really tied all the emotions together.
Kristine Grayson did a brilliant job on narrative and her descriptions are brilliant. There is a particular scene with a hotel restaurant that really made me giggle. And the food was dazzling!
All in all, this is a great summer read! If wishes were horses, beggars would… well, read the book and you’ll see. ;)
Rating: 4 Wine Glasses