Saturday, May 05, 2007

Letters from Rapunzel

Holmes, Sara Lewis. 2007. Letters from Rapunzel.
Note: Winner of the Ursula Nordstrom First Fiction Contest

First Impressions: The cover of the book is, in my opinion, somewhat deceptive. With the long-haired Rapunzel gazing out the tower window, it could be just another fractured or retold fairy tale. It could be. But it isn't. Whether that is good news or bad news depends on the expectations of readers. Although I must say that while Rapunzel and her tower feature predominantly on the cover, there are rows of houses--modern-day houses--on the cover as well. So there are some clues that it is contemporary. The book is described thusly, "an enchanting debut novel [that] is a breath of fresh air. Told through letters, with a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust, Rapunzel's quest for a happy ending gives every reader something to believe in."

When "Rapunzel" finds a scrap of a letter in her father's chair addressed to "Box # 5667", she begins an unusual correspondence with one of her father's inspirational muses. Her father, a poet, has been hospitalized with clinical depression. Rapunzel, however, is too young to really understand that diagnosis. All she knows is that her father is under an evil spell. She hopes by writing her father's friend--his poetic guide--that she will somehow break the spell. That she will be rescued from her tower--the horribly yucky after-school Homework Club. And that her father will be rescued from his tower--the hospital. (Or clinic, or institution--I can't remember if the book was too specific in saying where the father was being kept).

Who is Box #5667? A mystery that won't be solved until the final chapters. I certainly won't tell--or even hint. But the correspondence isn't so much about "Box #5667" as it is about a young girl's inner thought life. Her joys. Her concerns. Her worries. She can be funny. She can be entertaining. But she can also be quite serious. She wants to do anything and everything she can to help her father. But there is nothing she can do. School and the homework club are just two of her troubles. Homework--so isn't fun. Teachers--so don't understand her sense of humor. Classmates--don't understand where she's coming from.

Letters from Rapunzel is an enjoyable read. The characters are well-written, and the story is heartfelt.


Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP