Title: The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess #1)
Author: E.D. Baker
Release date: May 11, 2010
Reading level: MG
In this new stand-alone fairy tale, Princess Annie is the younger sister to Gwen, the princess destined to be Sleeping Beauty. When Gwennie pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie is awake, and only Annie—blessed (or cursed?) with being impervious to magic—can venture out beyond the rose-covered hedge for help. She must find Gwen’s true love to kiss her awake.
But who is her true love? The irritating Digby? The happy-go-lucky Prince Andreas, who is holding a contest to find his bride? The conniving Clarence, whose sinister motives couldn’t possibly spell true love? Joined by one of her father’s guards, Liam, who happened to be out of the castle when the sleeping spell struck, Annie travels through a fairy tale land populated with characters both familiar and new as she tries to fix her sister and her family . . . and perhaps even find a true love of her own.
The Wide-Awake Princess is pretty much the perfect middle grade novel. It’s fun, it’s cute, it’s not too serious, and it’s a super quick read. It was just what I needed!
Princess Annie is the younger sister to Princess Gwendolyn, the princess who becomes Sleeping Beauty. Annie has the rare quality that no magic can touch her, good or bad. That’s why, when the curse is put on everyone in the castle, it skips over Annie and it’s up to her to find her sister’s prince. Along the way she is joined by Liam, a castle guard who was out running errands when the spell hit. The two of them set off on a journey full of fairies, witches, fairytales, and frights.
From the very first page of this book I was hooked. I was really intrigued by this Sleeping Beauty retelling and I was even more pleased when I realized that Sleeping Beauty was not the only fairy tale included in the book. As the story progresses a bunch of fairy tale characters pop up and I loved trying to catch all the different references.
Every character was a ball of laughs and I grew very attached to them throughout the story. Annie was fun, fierce, loyal, and so sweet. She was always trying to help people even if she didn’t know them. She was a very kind-hearted person. There were a few times when I wished she would put herself first above others but it just wasn’t in her nature. Liam was the same way. He was always looking out for Annie. He was kind, smart, brave, and funny. I knew he had a secret but I wasn’t able to guess what it was. Luckily it wasn’t a secret that made me change the way I felt about him. He was adorable. I wasn’t really happy with Annie’s family though. They treated her terribly! They left her out of things and they just made her feel alone. I felt terrible for the way they treated her.
The story is really fast-paced. Annie is always getting into crazy situations and readers will be on the edge of their seats trying to figure out how she’s going to get out of them. There was also a little mystery to the story that kept me guessing til the end. I never could have guessed who Princess Gwendolyn’s prince would be but I kept trying. Like I said, I also couldn’t guess Liam’s secret which really added to my enjoyment of the story. Then there was the mystery of who sent the spinning wheel that caused the curse to go into effect. All these things added up to make the book super hard to put down.
Overall, The Wide Awake Princess is one of the best middle grade books I’ve read so far. I am so glad that there is a sequel. I will be checking it out very soon and I suggest you check this one out in the mean time.
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