Author: Adam Gidwitz.
Published: September 27th 2012
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Sort: Stand alone, but part in the ‘A tale dark and Grimm’ series.
Part: A tale dark and Grimm.
Take caution ahead--
Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound.
Lest you enter with dread.
Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true.
Step lively, dear reader . . .
Happily ever after isn't cutting it anymore.
Jack and Jill are the main characters in this book. Jill is the daughter of a mean and appearance obsessed Queen. One day, Jill is laughed at by her people when she walks naked in public and she runs away to her nephew Jack. On her way, she befriends the talking frog.
Jack is a dreamer. He is bullied by the popular boys in the village and he longs to be one of them. His father wants to make a man out of him and sends him with their cow to the market. Instead of selling her for money, Jack returns with a magic bean. His father is furious and that leads Jack and Jill to make a stupid decision. When an old woman asks them to find a seeing glass, they accept the deal. If they can’t find it, they will die. If they return it, they are granted their wish. Jack will be loved by everyone and Jill will be the most beautiful girl in the world.
Together, they go on an adventure which will bring them high in the sky with giants and down below the earth with goblins and a huge salamander. There are many dangerous times, but Jack and Jill are learning one important thing in life.
This book tackles one of my favorite things when it comes to retellings: originality. The use of the different fairytales was so much. It’s great when you can search for the true stories. What I also like is the fact that he integrates fairytales from different authors. Not only the Brothers Grimm, but authors like Hans Christian Andersen and the nursery rhymes from Mother Goose. The Brothers Grimm are the popular and we sometimes forget that there are more great fairytale authors.
Jack and Jill are great and easy to connect with. They are insecure and a bit lonely, I think we all know how that feels. It wasn’t hard to understand their choice to help the old woman. Their journey is exciting. There is a lot of action. I really like the friendship between Jack, Jill and the frog and how they find a way to get out of dangerous situations.
One thing to ‘warn’ you: this is not a sequel. A tale dark and Grimm and this one are only connected because of the use of fairytales, but they can be read as stand-alones. I never expected this to be a sequel, but you could be disappointed if you did. Keeps in mind that this book is also a mixture between YA and MG, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact genre.