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.
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.