The Rapunzel Dilemma by Jennifer Kloester: another cute-licious book

the rapunzel dilemmaTitle: The Rapunzel Dilemma

Author: Jennifer Kloester

Genre: YA contemporary retelling

Published by: Penguin

Published on: August 27th 2014

Source: Received for review (thanks, Penguin!!)


Lily’s had a charmed life so far, and now she’s off to London to pursue her dream of becoming a great actor. But life at the London Drama Academy is full of surprises – and for the first time, Lily finds that things don’t always go her way.

It’s not just the other students who are making life difficult. Lily’s got a secret she’s not sure how to handle, but she finds that a room in one of the Academy’s deserted towers makes a perfect refuge. Lily can’t stay locked in the tower forever, though. And when she meets the mysterious Ronan Carver, everything starts to change . . .


Everyone knows that all good reviews begin with a Tangled gif.

Okay so there were a few things I didn’t like about this book (especially compared to The Cinderella Moment, which I loved).

But before we talk about those, let’s talk about the awesome things, yes?


I’m a drama kid. I love performing (not on my own, but with others). When I had to choose between maths and drama for years 11 and 12, it was NOT a difficult decision. So I could relate to Lily for that, quite a bit. I loved reading about all the classes – Mime and Movement and Voice, and the scary Arathula Dane…that part was all great.


A YA contemporary retelling. I mean, that’s cool.

Most retellings are fantasy, or sci-fi, not contemporary. I really liked the parallels between this and Rapunzel – not that there are many, but it was good picking them out. They were cleverly done, I thought.


Fast pacing.

I read this quite quickly. It’s a nice, quick, little book, and fun in a lot of parts too.


But there were parts I didn’t like as much.

For example, I found it really difficult to sympathise with Lily. She’s not like our wonderful Rapunzel in Tangled. She’s…well, she’s spoiled. Extremely. She goes out and spends a ridiculous amount of money on some bedspread or something, and she’s always complaining about how she should get a second chance, that she deserves it. She should KNOW that she isn’t in this school just on her merit – she’s privileged, and I think she needed to be aware of that more.

The plot wasn’t too strong, either. What I loved about The Cinderella Moment was that it didn’t take itself too seriously – sure, it was about following your dreams, and it had a good family focus, but a lot of it was a bit silly, and very funny. Halfway through this book, it felt as though the plot changed around, and rather than focusing on Lily, it went in a completely different direction.

A direction which included a love interest I cared absolutely nothing about…unfortunately.

I also wanted to see more of Angel!! Why didn’t that happen?

In the end, I wanted to love this more than I did.

I will probably read anything Jennifer Kloester writes, because I LOVE the ideas behind these retellings, and The Cinderella Moment was such a lovely read. And don’t get me wrong – this was often a fun and enjoyable read, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me.


Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties


Oh, and tell me: what’s your favourite YA retelling (because I LOVE them and I’d like to read more!!

26 thoughts on “The Rapunzel Dilemma by Jennifer Kloester: another cute-licious book

  1. Oh, gosh, the very lazy and very bad part just wants to link to your review and say “JUST READ EMILY’S REVIEW I’M TO LAZY TO SAY WHY I HATED IT” when I post my review of this book. 😐 I JUST DIDN’T GET IT. Lily was SO ANNOYING AND WHINY I just wanted to stab her eyes out with a fork :/ *stabs Lily* And she was so snooty and bitchy…ack, the idea of reviewing this book depresses me *slumps* It’s probably going to be filled with angry gifs, lol πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and I didn’t like the love interest either. He can die stabbed by fork along with Lily 😑 DIE ALL OF THEM. I mean, I can’t even remember his NAME, which just shows how much I ship him and Lily together. *sighs* Okay, I’m off to find some angry gifs. *toddles of to Google*

    The sad thing is, this book has completely put me off the idea of trying any other books by the author 😦 Now THAT is sad.

    • HAHAHA I love how passionate you are about how you disliked that one. Lily was quite annoying, yes. Although I’m quite forgiving for that kind of thing – a lot of reviewers have said worse things about her.

      Oh yeah…Rowan? Was that his name? Just…ugh. No. DIdn’t like it. It was quite a nice story until he arrived…

      But you should totally read The Cinderella Moment! IT IS SO SO MUCH BETTER πŸ˜€

  2. I really loved the contemporary retelling, My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison. I think that’s the only retelling I like, though. I wasn’t a big fan of Cinder (I feel like I’m in the minority here XD), but then again, I only read the first book.

    Nice review. πŸ™‚

  3. I like the idea of a contemporary retelling of a fairytale, but it sounds like this one doesn’t have much substance to it. Kind of disappointing.

    Actually, I think I’m possibly the last human being on the planet who hasn’t read the Lunar Chronicles yet. (I know, I know. It’s shameful. Grab your torch and pitchforks.) In my defense, though, I’ve heard enough about them that I desperately want to–I’ve just had issues actually getting my hands on a copy of Cinder. Hopefully I can get around to it soon.

    Excellent use of Titanic gif, by the way!

  4. Like you, I think it would be really cool to read a YA contemporary retelling because I’ve never read one. Also, even though I’m not into acting (don’t even try to put me on stage), it would be neat to read about all of the different drama classes. However, I really don’t want to read about a spoiled brat. Like Kiwiyoungwriter I liked your blurb better. Still, it shall remain on my maybe list.

    • I know!! That’s part of what made me request it πŸ™‚ buuuuuut it could have been better. Yes, the spoiled brat bit was kind of annoying, and I think that’s part of why I loved The Cinderella Moment so much more – the MC in that one was the exact opposite of Lily πŸ™‚

  5. I had such high hopes for this one too, damn. It sounds as though it’s not meant for much more than a light, and entertaining quick read, or more so an in between book for when you’re just after something fun. To be honest, Lily sounds like the typical privileged white girl that features in most YA, I really don’t think I could relate in any way whatsoever. She sounds like an utter whine hole. I’m so sorry you couldn’t enjoy this one more Em, awesome review ❀

    • I know, same!! *sobs* I definitely think it’s supposed to be a light read, but then the plot had a few heavier themes that did NOT fit at all. Oh yes, the privileged white girl, GOD I hate white people (I am a white person…that did not make sense).

  6. I snickered quite a bit at your gifs, I admit. x) They are epic picks. I think I’d be frustrated at the narrator being kind of a brat. *sigh* Those kind of narrators always tick me off no end and I never get really onboard with the book. Unfortunately. ALTHOUGH it is cool that it’s a contemporary retelling!! I think the only fairy-tale-retelling-but-contemporary book I’ve read is Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood (that is awesome, btw).

    • Hahahhaa if you’re the gif-master, Cait, can I be your second-in-command? Yes, bratty narrators do annoy me. There is some character development, though, which was nice. Oooh, I’ll have to add Six Impossible Things to my TBR – I didn’t REALLY like Wildlife, but I’ll give this one a go πŸ™‚

  7. “Everyone knows that all good reviews begin with a Tangled gif.” FACT.

    Um, anyway. A shame you didn’t like this one as much, Emily. I agree that most retellings are usually sci fi or fantasy, so it is nice to see things like this around. I haven’t read The Cinderella Moment, however I would really like to eventually. Then again it’s not like I need *another* book to add to my TBR list! πŸ˜‰

    • HAHA. Yes. I am always right with these things πŸ˜›

      I really need to find more contemporary retellings. Since that’s like my two favourite genres combined. I would definitely recommend Cinderella Moment, especially compared to this (don’t bother with this one if you don’t like the Cinderella Moment, though!!)

      Oh, gosh, tell me about it. My TBR has exploooooded this week.

  8. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves: the MEGA EDITION | The Loony Teen Writer

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