Published by 47North on July 1, 2015
Genres: adult, Romance, Humor, Fantasy & Magic
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher
Reading Challenges: Booking Through Summer, COYER Scavenger Hunt
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 to 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 do 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 stories 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.
Where to start with this one? Letters to Zell is a hilarious and zany ride that takes what we knew of fairy tale princesses and turns it on its’ head. Told in letter format, Letters to Zell starts off with a letter to Zell (Rapunzel) from Ceci (Cinderella- but don’t call her that! She hates it!). Apparently, Zell up and left her princess friends to run off and tend to Unicorns. Zell, Ceci, Bianca (Snow White) and Rory (Sleeping Beauty) are all a part of a book club, and the other princesses are not too happy that Zell left them without any notice.
The letters drop you right in the middle of their world, and it takes a good bit of time to get your bearings. Since the book is told in letter format, and alternates between the princesses, the author- Camille Greip, has to weave details into each letter. Although this method took longer than a couple setting the stage paragraphs or even chapters would have, it felt more authentic to the story telling method. If these princesses were really writing letters to their friend, they wouldn’t explain the world they all grew up in, in one go around. (If my friend wrote me a letter and described Florida, it would be one bizarre letter.) So even though this often left me a bit confused until I could gather enough details to paint a picture of the world, I kind of liked it. It made me feel like I was on a scavenger hunt of sorts.
Let’s talk a little bit about the letters. They completely cracked me up! I loved Binaca’s. She is so crass. All of her letters started with “Important F-ing Correspondence from Snow B. White” Bianca is also still living out the pages of her story, so her letters were of particular interest to me. The book on a whole was a lot of fun to read. I loved the concept of these princesses bonding together and doing something so ordinary as drinking (a lot!) and having a book club. Parts of the story did seem to drag on a bit, and I had to put the book down a few times and pick it up again later, but overall, I enjoyed this story.
Letters To Zell reminded me of the song “Fairytale” by Sara Bareilles. Where all of the Fairy tales have taken a decidedly less happy(and maybe more realistic?) turn than their happily ever after. Each of these princesses are trying to figure out what they really want to do with their lives. I think this is a great book for people in their 20s to read, because I feel like we all are trying to figure out our passions and what we really want to do. And I think everyone has at some point wondered, or known someone who has wondered, if the path they were on was the right one. This takes that idea, throws in some adventure, princesses and a whole lot of wine, and takes us on a journey to answer that questions. And there are a lot of laughs, and some behavior unbecoming of fairytale princesses, along the way.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: