Set during the Industrial Revolution, Sleeping Beauty's happily ever after isn't the end of the story...
In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger.
Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?
When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness—and Briar’s not immune.
If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.
I will be honest I am not entirely sure how I feel about this book. This is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty in the Historical YA fiction genre. I absolutely loved Shonna’s Cinderella duology retelling so I grabbed this one as soon as I saw it. While I enjoyed it I wasn’t beyond thrilled with it. I felt like I was waiting for something to happen the whole first half of the book and then BAM right in the middle of the book everything started happening. The first half talked about Briar Rose’s job at the spinning factory, her siblings and the Prince family. So you get all the back story in the first half and all the interesting things in the second half. This would usually bother me but in this book it seemed to work. I still kind of feel like the book was left unfinished but we will just have to see what Shonna has up her sleeve for us next.
Anyways, Briar Rose grew up with her mother telling fairy tales about fairies and Sleeping Beauty. With her parents gone she has to leave her two brothers and her sister in the capable hands of Nanny and get a job in the spinning factory in town. Close to her seventeenth birthday her best friend Henry Prince decides he needs to leave and go back to Ireland where they are both originally from. While he’s gone Briar comes into THE SPINDLE for which she has no desire to touch. When it starts to make some of the other girls sick she worries. Needless to say she ends up pricking her finger but survives the curse though luck and love.
I enjoyed learning about the characters, immensely, and loved how they grew and learned about themselves. The plot was well thought out and intriguingly written. I love Shonna’s writing style. The flow of the book was well done. However the pace is where I had issues with this book. It started out slow and then when everything started happening it seemed to go too fast. Now of course that could be began it was so well written that I didn’t want it to end, so of course it did all too soon. While I enjoyed all the backstory at the beginning of the book, I think it could have done without so much as it just slowed down the book. I loved that it was set in the era of Women’s Suffrage and some of that is thrown into the story as well. I did enjoy the historical aspect of the book!
I have no doubt that I will continue looking for books by Shonna because I am a sucker for both historical books as well as retellings. Also because I have enjoyed the three books I have already read by her. I love her style and thought process. Can’t wait to read more.
4.5 sleeping stars