I’ve been a long time fan of Jennifer Donnelly, reaching back to when she was writing sprawling historical fiction novels (I reread Tea Rose at least once every couple of years). I was delighted when she ventured into fantasy, especially fairy tale rewrites. Her first attempt- Stepsister (what happens to the so-called wicked stepsisters of Cinderella after she marries her prince)- was awesome. I had high hopes for Poisoned, a take on Sleeping Beauty.
Overall? A fun read. Great characters. As always for Donnelly, well-written.
But, to me at least, she flubbed the ending.
I’ll keep it vague, but **spoilers** I suppose…
It felt like Donnelly sacrificed plot for an inspirational lesson/metaphor that made the entire book feel like A Very Special Episode of a ’90s sitcom.
Will I buy her next book? Heck yes. Do I hope she does more story telling and fewer lessons about the importance of being kind and loving yourself (or at least is less ham handed about it)? Oh yes please.