Started: October 24, 2016
Finished: October 29, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
I received this book as an ARC from Doublet Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Considering all of the fairy tale retellings that have appeared over the last few years I was pretty excited to see this appear on my NetGalley feed. A Shakespeare retelling? Count me in! And yes, this was a pretty cool book to read.
It draws you in, this little novel. I started it earlier this week and read through five-six chapters in less than forty minutes and the only reason why I didn’t continue the day after was that I was hosting a theme week at school and it drained me (seriously; I fell asleep before nine every night). But I had a feeling that once I actually had time to read I would be able to get through it pretty fast because of the writing style and what I’d picked up from the story line in those first chapters. And I did – and I liked it!
This book follows Robin, more commonly known as Puck. She’s a troublesome teenager who’s been moved from foster home to foster home. At the start of the book she is jerked awake by two strangers – Nick and Barb – who take her away from her current foster mom, Paula, to a place called DreamRoads. DreamRoads is essentially a program for kids with issues. The people there – teenagers and counselors alike – spend 99% of their time out in the wild, doing various tasks in an effort to let nature change who they are. Puck, being the rebellious girl she’s always been, decides to not let this “hippie thing” get to her and basically keeps her shield up. Question is how long she’s capable of doing that and if her past will actually catch up with her.
The story’s funny, brutal and honest, but at times it seems that the authors have taken the easy way out. When you meet Puck you get the impression that she has a lot of baggage to deal with and you get really interested in finding out how she’ll deal with all of it once it comes back to the surface – but then the authors opt out of it by letting a lot of it be lies that Puck told people to keep herself safe. That did disappoint me a bit; if the authors had not taken the easy way out, this story could have been longer and even more in-depth when it comes to teenagers with a bad family background.
Overall, however, the story is a really good read and a novel that you can easily snuggle up with during a rainy October/November day.