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on June 11, 2011
This is the second book in the Twisted Tales series by Maureen McGowan. It's a stand alone read and is a twist on another fairy tale we all know. Sleeping Beauty, aka Lucette has been cursed ever since she was a baby by the Vampire Queen, Natasha. The curse is that after turning 16, if Lucette pricks her finger she will fall asleep during the day and can only wake during the night when the rest of the kingdom asleep. So with the curse upon her and with the ever increasing vampire threat, Lucette not only has to protect her parents but also find a way to break the curse.

For most of her life Lucette has been protected in every way possible. After finding out about the curse, Lucette knows that she must learn to fight and protect herself so that's exactly what she does. With her mother's help, she trains to be a vampire slayer. Along the way she meets two boys: Tristan, a fellow vampire slayer from a neighbouring kingdom and Alex, Queen Natasha's son and the vampire crown prince. Tristan was a bit bland and too perfect for me but Alex was my favourite character.

Compared to the Cinderella story this was a darker story what with vampires and vampire slayers you're bound to have lots of fighting and some sort of bloodshed. If you like fairy tale retellings or vampires in general than you'll probably like this book.
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Reason for Reading: I enjoy fairytale retellings and when I was offered this book it just sounded like plain fun.

I went into this book expecting fun and I was not disappointed! I can't give a complete book summary as at various places in the story you make decisions for Sleeping Beauty (Lucette) affecting the telling of the story. There are 8 possible routes through the book and they are shown at the end of the book. They all do end with the same outcome though. The basic premise is very close to the original Sleeping Beauty tale but with a twist that certainly adds a major change in the plot.

The baby is cursed at her naming party by a neighbouring ruler who "accidentally" did not recieve an invitation to the party. This is the Queen of Vampires from the land of Sanguinia. She curses the child that she shall prick her finger one day, drawing blood, and at that time she shall fall asleep during the hours of daylight and wake up only for the hours of night, while the entire population of her country shall fall asleep during the nighttime hours and be awake during the day. Leaving Lucette all alone at night and the kingdom virtually helpless against any vampires who wish to drink human blood, which they don't normally do as a rule. The fairies do manage to put a bit of a counter spell on the curse; they extend the time so that this event will not happen until after Lucette's 16th birthday and they give a way to end the curse: when Lucette has proven that she has found true love the curse will fall. Seemingly pretty impossible since she'll never have human company once the curse has taken effect!

This was a joy to read! I had a lot of fun with it. Being able to become involved in the story and actually make choices for Lucette was an interesting addition to the story. This is similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure books, but in this novel the opportunities are less frequent and only happen at crucial moments so one feels as if they really have a hand in controlling the story. One could read the book multiple times, to experience different versions, but that idea holds no interest with me. Lucette is a fun tomboy princess, who leads an overprotected life whose father does everything imaginable to make sure Lucette never pricks her finger in her childhood, but her mother feels Lucette must be ready for the inevitability of the curse and learn to defend herself when the time comes so she secretly sends her to the Vampire Academy, telling the father she is attending charm school. Add a bit of romance as Lucette must decide between two suitors whom she both likes very much and we have a fun, exciting fairy tale with all the ingredients for a great read. This is a book one reads for simple entertainment and it doesn't disappoint. My only quibble would be that it would be more fun (and enticing) to read the book multiple times if there were different outcomes. Otherwise a pleasant read.
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