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A Kiss in Time

Review

A Kiss in Time

A long time ago, a European kingdom called Euphrasia welcomes the birth of a princess named Talia. At Talia’s christening, a group of fairies offers gifts of beauty, grace, musical talent and intelligence. However, a certain witch wishes revenge on the kingdom and casts a spell on young Talia. The spell states that before her 16th birthday, the princess shall prick her finger on a spindle; the entire kingdom will fall into a deep sleep, and then fade away into the forest from view. The only way to reverse the spell is for a prince to discover the princess and awaken her with a kiss. Every citizen of Euphrasia works together to keep the princess safe; all spindles are banned in Talia’s vicinity.

As Talia’s birthday celebration approaches, everyone begins to think they’ve thwarted the curse, but the witch wins in the end. The kingdom falls into a deep sleep, and the forest creeps around to obscure it from the rest of the world.

Three hundred years later, 17-year-old Jack is in Europe on a month-long tour. Most American teens would jump at the chance to travel to Europe with a best friend, but Jack and Travis are bored out of their minds with every minute roped up in museum tours. Plus, Jack knows his parents sent him on this trip to get him out of their hair; he has barely heard from them all summer. And life after the tour doesn’t promise much improvement, as he’ll probably be stuck at a boring job in his father’s office, being hounded about college and a career.

Jack is confused about plans after high school. He knows he doesn’t want his father’s life, but also is aware that his father would never approve of his interest in landscaping. The one thing he does know is that he loves the beach, so he and Travis decide to ditch the tour and look for a great beach to visit. Unfortunately, they get lost and never find it. But what they do stumble upon is the hidden kingdom of Euphrasia.

Jack and Travis are puzzled by their discovery. The village looks as if it is a tourist spot highlighting the life of long ago, like Colonial Williamsburg, plus there’s the strange fact that all its citizens appear to be sleeping. After a bit of exploring, they discover the beautiful Talia. Jack can’t explain his intense yearning to kiss her, but he does, hence breaking the curse and awakening the entire village. In the mass confusion of realizing they’ve been asleep for 300 years, the king takes his anger out on his daughter. Talia convinces Jack to take her with him to America.

Talia is a spoiled brat, and Jack is a lost wondering soul, but together they make an awesome team. Jack introduces Talia to modern technology, like indoor plumbing, airplanes and cell phones, and Talia shares her gift of communication and helps him find a direction in life. And then they start falling in love. But will two teens with such vastly different backgrounds be able to find their happily ever after? Especially since the witch feels her curse has been cheated and now wants the princess back.

Alex Flinn has cleverly brought an old fairy tale back to life with a modern twist, offering an incredible and humorous page-turner. She alternates the chapters’ points of view between Jack and Talia, allowing the reader to see out of both of these colorful characters’ eyes. And despite coming from 300 years difference, they find they share some of the same concerns and problems. Flinn keeps the energy flowing throughout the book, never dropping off in a middle lull or an ending disappointment; in fact, she weaves a creative series of tests for Jack to prove his love that highlights the ending chapters with color and spark. Overall, A KISS IN TIME is entertaining, romantic, funny and enchanting.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on April 27, 2010

A Kiss in Time
by Alex Flinn

  • Publication Date: April 27, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 006087421X
  • ISBN-13: 9780060874216