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Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George


Title: Princess of Glass
Author: Jessica Day George
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub. Date: 5.25.10
Genre: MG/YA
Keywords: Fairytale, Retellings, Cinderella, Love, Family, Hidden Identity, Magic
Pages: 257
Description (from GoodReads):
Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other’s countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It’s got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.


As a fan of fairy tale retellings, I'm always excited to hear that Jessica Day George is releasing a new novel. Her retellings always offer a unique twist, while incorporating small details that allow the reader to clearly identify the original tale.


With PRINCESS OF GLASS, George retellls the classic tale of Cinderella in a way readers have never seen before. George's version features a dark love triangle and a not-so-nice fairy godmother, causing my childhood perceptions of Cinderella's story to crumble. While PofG does have a more sinister feel than the original, I feel that younger readers will have no issue with its content. In my mind, PofG is more of a middle grade novel than young adult, though readers of any age will enjoy it.


Readers are briefly introduced to Poppy in George's PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL and I was delighted to find that she is PRINCESS OF GLASS' main character. Poppy is smart, independent, and skilled with a deck of cards. I definitely think that I better understood Poppy's motivations and attitude in PofG because I read PatMB first, but it isn't required to identify with Poppy or enjoy the novel.


I loved the villain in PofG. I think that this aspect of the novel was the element that made it truly unique. After all, who suspects the fairy godmother to be the villain? Even more compelling is the why behind her nefarious deeds.


The only part of the novel that I was bothered by was the prince. I found him to be exceedingly bland and extremely easy to manipulate. This unfortunately, ruined the romantic elements of the plot. I would have liked someone with a bit more fire for Poppy. Luckily, the rest of the novel made up for my disappoinment in the prince.


I highly recommend George's retellings. They're light, quick reads and always entertaining!


Grade: B


Cover Notes:
I must say, I liked the cover of PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL better than this one. This cover looks too MG for a YA novel, which probably explains, in part, why I feel like PRINCESS OF GLASS is more MG than YA.

46 comments:

  1. I really want to read these retellings. Great review!

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  2. Glad to know this one is just as worth reading as the last!~

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  3. I love fairytale retellings too! Great review. Can't wait to read this one.

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  4. I'm always excited when I hear of a new Jessica Day George novel as well. I loved Sun and Moon, Snow and Ice as well as Princess of the Midnight Ball.

    Ah there is something a little off about how Poppy's head is turned I think on the cover that is. Though I'm happy to see she makes a come back! She was fun!

    Lexie C.

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  5. Who wouldnt like this fairytale being retold and with such a pretty cover too.

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  6. I want to read this one and Princess of the Midnight Ball so bad! I love retellings like this! So glad you liked it :)

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  7. Retellings are really big right now. I'm interested, but I hope there's some originality. (A lot of these kind of books run together.)

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  8. it seems interesting. I haven't read anything about the author but I love reading new things ! =D

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  9. This one sounds good! It sounds just like a novel I would probably like.
    Thanks for the great review.

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  10. Fairy godmother as villian? Original. I think that's what makes a retelling stand out--originality.

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  11. I read Princess of Midnight Ball a couple of months ago and loved it! I had no idea this was some kind of sequel, can't wait to read it!

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  12. This looks good and it's awfully pretty! I can't wait to read it!

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  13. I love fairy tale retellings too and Midnight Ball was really good. thanks for the review!

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  14. Looks great. I love fairy tale retellings!

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  15. This sounds like a great book. I will put it on my wishlist. Thanks
    Debbie

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  16. The cover is so pretty. The book seems interesting too. Thanks for the review!

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  17. She is a new to me author. The book sounds really good. After reading your review, I will be putting it on the to buy list!

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  18. I loved Princess at the Midnight Ball and I can't wait to dig into this one. :)

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  19. I haven't read any of Jessica's books as yet and I must admit your review would not have me battering down the bookstores doors to get a copy.

    Nevertheless I don't mind giving new authors a try and might do that to see how she retells the story.

    Carol T

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  20. I love Cinderella re-tellings & ever since I saw the cover & heard the premise I've been wanting to read this book. Still haven't yet, though. Then a few days ago on Amazon, I found the Princesses of the Midnight Ball & got even more excited. : ) Now they're even higher on my Wish List. MG or YA, I love it when authors re-tell Fairy Tales. : )

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  21. Sounds great! I love fairy tale retellings and the dark twists you mentions deffinitely appeal to me! I haven't read anything by Jessica Day but I'm definitely adding this to my wish list :)

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  22. I enjoy reading fairy tales and how authors can take an older version and make something it new.
    Thanks for the review and your take on the characters.

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  23. I like fairy tales, so definitely should read this one!
    Thanks for your review, it's a shame that the prince isn't so awesome....but still sound good to read.

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  24. I love these types of retellings :) Sounds pretty good!

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  25. Great review! ^^ I think fairy tale retellings are always interesting to read because you get to be presented with an alternative viewpoint to popular stories of our childhood. c:

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  26. +JMJ+

    You sold me on the villain!!! I always love a good baddie. =D

    The bland prince charming is kind of a let down, though. =S

    Well, I guess one can't have them all? It still sounds like a great book, over all.

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  27. I really like how they touch on the more political aspects as well (or at least I can assume they do based on the Goodreads synopsis!).
    Thanks for the review!
    Love, Hannah

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  28. :O the prince is easy to manipulate?! I hope he won't be too boring for me LOL

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  29. I love retellings! This one sounds like a good one too. That's a shame about the prince. I hope it doesn't spoil the story for me.

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  30. Hm, this looks interesting. Overall, from your review, I think the story has its problems but would still be enjoyable. I'd like to read it.

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  31. Beautiful cover, and the story sounds like such fun! Thanks for hosting the giveaway for this book!

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic

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  32. Oh, and the fairy godmother as the villain!?! Can't imagine. This will be interesting!

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic

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  33. I've been looking for some NEW fairytale retellings for a while, and this looks like it fits the bill. The cover is also gorgeous, which is a plus. ;)

    Thanks for adding another book to my TBR list!

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  34. Hi Sara, I was on the tour of this ARC too, and just posted my review as well!
    http://tiffanysbookshelf.blogspot.com/2010/07/princess-of-glass-by-jessica-day-george.html

    It was great reading your review!

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  35. It sounds interesting, thanxs for the information and a grat review ^^

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  36. Great review. This sounds like a really interesting book, I'll have to check it out!

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  37. I always thought Cinderella was quite dark so I will be interested to read this book.

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  38. The retelling of Cinderella? I'm interested! Thanks for your awesome review!

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  39. Cinderella is one of my fav fairy tales so I'm looking forward to this one!

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  40. Fairy tale retellings are so interesting!

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  41. This book sounds wonderful! I really love fairytales

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  42. Ooh~! This sounds great! I love fairy tale retellings as well (or new ones) but I've been disappointed by most of the ones I've picked up recently. I'll be sure to give this one a try.

    Thanks for the review!

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  43. Thank you for the wonderful review!

    It was the cover which grabbed my attention. Conderella has always been my favourite fairy tale, so I will simply HAVE to read this new retelling :-)

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  44. This is a great review, although I'm hoping that knowing ahead of time the Fairy Godmother is the bad guy doesn't ruin anything! Hopefully, we find that out early on. That's pretty trippy though!

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  45. I just finished this one and I really enjoyed it! Although I agree about the prince, in the end I loved his devotion and passion for Poppy.

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