Title: Letters to Zell
Author: Camille Griep
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Source: From Publisher
Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left tow wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will o anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale sorties we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.
I am always game for anything to involving fairy tales. I may be in my twenties, but I will never get tired of fairy tales in any form, whether the originals or re-imagined versions. So when I was approached to review Camille Griep’s Letters to Zell I was totally interested. And reading about these new versions of fairy tale princesses I know and love turned out to be a lot of fun.
Bianca was so close to being done her Pages and finally being able to live her life the way she wanted. No more having to do what the Godmothers wanted her to do, all she had to do was marry her best friend and it would all be over. But then Zell had to go and leave Grimmland to follow her dream, throwing everything of course. Now CeCi wants to chase her own dreams of becoming a cook and Rory is determined the make the most of the hand she’s been dealt and finally make her husband fall in love with her. And Bianca, well, she would do anything to avoid her impending wedding. But tempting fate in Grimmland never ends well.
Letters to Zell was pitched to me as being for fans of Once Upon a Time. As a lover of the show, I was all over that and excited to see what Camille Griep would do with stories that have been retold more than once. And let me just say that this is not the Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty I remembered from when I was a kid. But that was more than okay with me because this was more than a story about fairy tale princesses. Letters to Zell, beyond making me smile, laugh and cry, also made me think a lot about the idea of happy endings. Everyone kind of takes for granted the happy endings that come with fairy tales, and in a way, it’s what we all hope to get in our own lives. But what happens when happy endings aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be. From the outside looking in, they often seem pretty good, but that’s often not how it is when you’re the one getting the supposed happy ending. And that’s exactly what Letters to Zell showed. It showed what it’s like when you don’t like your life but decide to do something about it. That those happy endings don’t come easy and you often really have to work for them. And ultimately, that happy endings are endings so much as they are being happy with the life you are living is. Seeing all of this though fairy tales was even more interesting because they’re stories we’ve all taken for granted and just accepted that they are the way they are, when in reality we should be questioning them.
Remember when I said that this wasn’t about the Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty that I remembered from when I was a kid? That was true in so many ways and it made Letters to Zell that much more fun to read. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read about a Snow White who curses every other sentence and may or may not be bisexual. Because that was definitely a thing that happened in this book. And that’s just Snow White. Sleeping Beauty was hilariously always tired, constantly needing a nap. Until she discovered coffee and then that changed. And Cinderella just wanted to be a chef but good old Prince Charming just wouldn’t have it because he’d taken her out of a life that would lead to her always serving other people. But she wanted to cook, damn it. So yeah, Bianca, Rory and CeCi were fun. But things weren’t always so fun for them. There were moments when the tory took unexpectedly dark turns but it worked well within the context of the story. And to offset it all, there was a trip to Disneyland and that was just hilarious.
I am so happy to have been told all about Camille Griep’s Letters to Zell. Had I not been offered this book for review, I never would have found out about it and that would have been a shame. Because this story took everything I knew about fairy tales and flipped it on its head. And I loved it.