Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The World Above

Title: The World Above
Author: Cameron Dokey
Series: Once Upon a Time
Number of Pages: 175
Date Read: 9/29/14
Genre: Fairytale Retelling

Synopsis (Found on Goodreads.com)

Gen and her twin brother, Jack, were raised with their mother's tales of life in the World Above. Gen is skeptical, but adventureous Jack believes the stories--and trades the family cow for magical beans. Their mother rejoices, knowing they can finally return to their royal home.

When Jack plants the beans and climbs the enchanted stalk, he is captured by the tyrant who now rules the land. Gen sets off to rescue her brother, but danger awaits her in the World Above. For finding Jack may mean losing her heart....

My Review:
This was a cute quick retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

This book differs from the fairytale in that Jack is not the main character and not the one who saves the day. His twin sister Gen, is the main character. She is practical, quick thinking and a planner; a total opposite of her brother Jack who is impulsive and often finds himself in trouble. 

Gen and Jack grew up on their mother's tales of her life in the world above where she was basically royalty. Gen doesn't really believe her mom's stories but Jack does wholeheartedly. So of course when he meets someone who will give him magic beans to the world above, he trades the family cow for them. And he is the first one to climb the beanstalk to the world above while his mother and sister stay in the world below. And there are giants and the 3 things Jack steals in the original fairytale play a part but thats where the similarities end. 

The reason why Jack and Gen were born in the real world has to do with..yup you guessed it....love, betrayal and murder. Obviously if Gen's mother was royalty so was their father and by blood they are too. So going up the beanstalk is a matter of getting back what rightfully belongs to Gen's family. So Jack goes up the beanstalk a few times and the last time he goes up he goes to try to take back what's his. So of course he gets captured by the tyrant who rules there and it falls on Gen's shoulders to save him. 

I like Gen. Like I said she is very practical, level headed, quick thinking and a planner. She is deeply rooted to the world below and has no desire to rule over anything or to even live in the world above. Its only because of her brother that she goes up the beanstalk. Doing this also shows how brave and loyal Gen is to the people she cares about. She's willing to risk her life to save her brother. 

Jack was a bit annoying. He wasn't in the book for the most part but when he was he was impulsive, a dreamer, a risk taker and kind of a stereotypical dumb blond. He's more like "Oh your so pretty" when he does things. I also didn't care for how he was obviously their mothers favorite child. 

There were also a few other characters that I liked. I liked Shannon who is the giant Sean's normal sized sister. She was exactly like Gen; practical, level headed and more cautious that her brother who was a lot like Jack. I also liked Robin (Robert) who was the tyrant's son. Circumstances led him to be an outlaw in his father's land. He had the love of the people and would rob his father's rich men to give it to the poor. He was in essence, a Robin Hood. He and Shannon help Gen save Sean and Jack.

Of course there was romance between Gen and Robin. It was insta-love, which I hate but will accept in this book because it is a fairytale (fairytales can get away with that). I mean there was attraction between them but nothing more and the next thing you know they are madly in love. Whatever, I saw it coming so it didn't shock me. Robin and Gen were cute together. 

I wish the book was a little longer and had more romance involved. I would of liked to see Robin and Gen get to know each other more. Also the ending was a bit anti-climatic. The villain gave up way to easily. I was kinda disappointed. Oh well.


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