Sometimes I think I should give this book another chance. Maybe I was too harsh?? But then I read my review again and think, NO.
Originally posted 17 September 2012.
This story starts well, with young Sunday making friends with a talking frog by a magical well and you think, Oh, this could be interesting. But there are TOO MANY STORIES GOING ON IN THIS BOOK. Every single sibling (and there are lots) has a story; the parents have a story; a couple of aunts have a story; the frog has a story; the king has a story. The book is super confusing. By the end of two chapters, we’ve heard about Sunday’s brother who got turned into a dog, her sister who danced TO DEATH, another sister who ran off with a pirate king and is busy robbing people and then sending gifts to her family, another sister who had to take refuge in a stranger’s cabin and then the stranger turned out to be royalty so she got married, and a whole passel of other relatives with complicated stories.
It’s really frustrating because there are so many good elements there, they just don’t come together cohesively. AT ALL.
Plus: Sunday knows this frog for THREE DAYS and he’s the best friend she’s ever had and she doesn’t know how she’s going to live without him and his disappearance is enough to send her plummeting into depression. Really?
EVERY SINGLE FAIRY TALE EVER WRITTEN was referenced in this book, and the main character of said fairy tale was probably closely related to Sunday. This just added to the general chaos of the plot, as the story constantly hares off after some other random tale that has absolutely nothing to do with (what little there is of) the main plot.
This book is also randomly gruesome (the king apparently has been living for hundreds of years by marrying young women and then turning them into geese and EATING THEM!?) and just pointless, pointless, pointless. It was dreadful; please do not waste your time. I simply could not make heads or tales out of this book.
In the end, Sunday is upset because the prince has been lying to her by not telling her that he was the frog so she runs away (and turns into a tree and he picks a branch from the tree not knowing that it’s her and then later the branch turns into her shoe and he’s all like, Haha good thing I only picked a small branch! Could have been awkward there!) and meanwhile, the prince is realizing that his dad is a cannibalistic magic-thief so blah blah blah he turns the king into a giant and the giant chased the prince across the clouds and they climb down the beanstalk that Sunday’s brother who is actually a fairy who has been adopted by their family when he was a baby planted with the beans he got in exchange for their last cow when Sunday was supposed to be watching him but she let him go to the marketplace by himself so she could go chat with her frog ANYWAY the prince climbs down the beanstalk and THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED by this giant and one of the fairy godmothers and Sunday is POUTING because the prince hasn’t come back to apologize!?
Trix rejoined her [Sunday] at the base of the tree with bow and arrows in hand and the rest of the family in tow, all in dressing gowns, save Aunt Joy, who must have been the one keeping the fire in the kitchen company with her confounded tea. Mama and Friday were both swaddled in blankets. Sunday should have been cold in her ancient nightgown and bare feet, but she felt nothing. She looked up at the beanstalk, at the resolute face of the man whose dreams she shared, and she felt nothing. He had come, as she hadn’t dared hoped he would.
He had come, but he hadn’t come for her.
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!? HIS FATHER IS A GIANT AND THEY ARE UNDER ATTACK AND HE JUST FOUND OUT THAT HIS DAD IS A CANNIBAL AND ATE HIS MOTHER AND YOU’RE UPSET BECAUSE HE ISN’T HOLDING YOUR HAND APOLOGIZING FOR YOUR STUPIDITY!!?!
Then there’s more about the giant trying to get to the prince and wanting to eat all of them. Then,
The prince looked as if he’d been beaten and then dragged a few miles down the road. She yearned to ask him questions, but now was not the time. She ached to tuck herself under his weary arm and give him comfort, but he stood apart from them and did not meet her eyes. He had not come for her.
Maybe because the giant is on the beanstalk yelling down to his son, “I CAN TASTE YOUR BONES!” ????
I can’t even go on. This book was so dreadful. Sunday was shallow, selfish, and vain. The prince was stupid and uninteresting. The king was disgusting and bizarre. The rest of Sunday’s family was complicated and very, very bad at communication.
DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. If anything, my review is simpler and easier to understand than the actual book. Seriously.