Thursday, February 11, 2010

Review: Zel by Donna Jo Napoli

Book: Zel by Donna Jo Napoli
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: B+
For: F2F Book Club
From: Paperback Swap

So this month for book club at my house, coming up next week, we are having our much looked forward to Fairy Tale Month. We choose several books to read, this Zel being one of them.

Zel, if it's not already obvious, is the retelling of Rapunzel. Do y'all know that story already? :) If not, there's a witch who wants a baby. She catches the husband of her pregnant neighbor stealing lettuce from her garden, and says "fine, but you have to give me the baby!" That baby is of course, Rapunzel.

Later, when she has a panic attack of sorts, she hides Rapunzel away in a tower. Of course, we all know the prince comes to her rescue... sort of.

I expected to like this particular retelling much better than I did. I mean, it was okay, but I found it a bit boring, and then, surprising in parts... shocking I might even say. And there was really nothing new, well, except for that shocking part. I enjoyed the setting, Switzerland in the 1500s, and getting to know the prince a bit better. But I didn't enjoy the Mother/Witch at all (and I think we were supposed to feel for her or something) and Rapunzel herself, I guess I just didn't make the connection.

Bottom line: I liked it okay.

Other reviews (most with a much more favorable opinion):


  1. This wasn't a favorite of mine either. It was just boring and I didn't see anything unique about it. My review is here:

  2. I enjoyed this one, though I too was shocked at parts. Granted I was also fairly young when I read it.

    Now I'm curious to reread it...



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