Genre: Young Adult, Re-tellings
Chloe Duncan is your average teenage girl who has found herself living a life she has always dreamed of. Everything seems perfect with her dreamy boyfriend Evan and close friends as the new school year opens, however the addition of a new student to the mix, Logan, sends Chloe reeling. Whenever Logan is around, she sees visions of another life, and when these visions start seeping into her dreams, Chloe starts to seek answers.
Dreaming of Beauty is the shockingly good indie retelling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty accompanied by a cast of wonderfully colorful characters. This was by far the best young adult book I read last year. The majority of the mainstream titles were extremely disappointing, lacking in quality and substance. Dreaming of Beauty is smart, funny, and offers a realistic portrayal of teens and their families. You know how in many YA books the parents seem to never be around, allowing their teens to have adventures with vampires, faeries, angels, and the like? Well the parents here are actually very involved and extremely likable.
The pacing feels a bit strange as it is split up into three sections, and each section feels like a new story. However, I was so taken in by the story and interested in finding out what was really going on, it didn't slow me down significantly. By the time I was half-way through section two, I was so enthralled in Camille's side of the story that I stayed up until 1:00 am to finish the book.
I very much enjoyed the juxtaposition between what was happening in Chloe's present day lifetime, and the events that happened to her as Camille. The backdrop of France was described in lovely detail and the bittersweet tale that unfolds there will capture your heart.
Overall, a fun read to cure your YA blues. I'm very much looking forward to a sequel which appears to be featuring a different fairytale princess.
Recommendation: A must read for YA fans and lovers of fairy tales and happy endings.