Title: Ondine: The Summer of Shambles
Author: Ebony McKenna
Who Should Read It? This is a great book for anyone who loves retellings of classic fairy tales. I think most YA and middle grade readers will absolutely get a kick out of it, but I would also recommend it to adults with a penchant for YA or adults just looking for a brief, funny escape.
What I Have to Say:
Ohman, this book was so absolutely quirkily and wittily fantastic. It starts off when Onine De Groot, native of the fantasy country of Brugel, accompanied by Shambles the ferret she just recently met, runs away from psychic summer camp and returns to her home, which just so happens to be in a bar. With a psychotically overprotective father.
On her way home, she discovers that Shambles can actually talk. Why? Because he's not a ferret, but a cursed prince. What follows is a laugh out loud hilarious retelling of the classic fairy tale, with Ondine the princess and Shambles the frog (don't tell Shambles I compared him to a frog, though - I'm sure he would be mightily offended). Shambles, with his Scottish accent and expressions (thank goodness there were footnoted translations, otherwise I would have been helplessly lost) and his quick-witted humour, absolutely made this book. His interactions with Ondine and the rest of her family had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.
Ondine herself was funny, and she was very much your typical teenage girl. Her "falling in love" and "imagining hot guys" reminded me so much of my high school years that it made all those other books seem like they've got teenagers all wrong. Which at times made her ridiculous and annoying but was also slightly refreshing. We never really got to know her family too well, but what we did see added nicely to the image I had formed of Ondine, and their interactions (especially with her father and mother) were sometimes nearly as funny as the scenes with Shambles.
My biggest problem with this book? I would really like to know what Ebony McKenna has against vegetarians. There were so many references in here that made it seem like she thinks that vegetarians are unhealthy wusses. Which is ridiculous, because healthy vegetarians are by far healthier than meat eaters. And how is it wussy to choose a lifestyle that doesn't promote torture? It was weird, and it bothered me on more than one occasion.
I also had trouble understanding the whole "falling in love" part of the book. Of course it had to be there, but I didn't really feel like it was developed as well as it could havae been. It just seemed to happen, and in a way, didn't make sense to me.
Oh, and we never really got to see what makes Brugel so awesomely different. I wanted to know more about Brugel.
Still, Ondine was an absolute pleasure to read, and if you've got an hour or two in which you want a good laugh without having to think, I absolutely recommend picking up a copy of this book!
Summary: This is a brilliantly witty fairy tale with a mystery that is as surreal as it is sinister. One girl. One boy. One spell to be broken. Ondine de Groot is a normal fifteen-year-old who lives with her family in the European country of Brugel. She has a pet ferret called Shambles. But Shambles is no ordinary ferret...He's Hamish McPhee, a boy cursed by a witch. A witch who happens to be related to Ondine. When Shambles turns back into Hamish temporarily, Ondine knows that she has to help him break the spell. He is the most gorgeous boy she has ever met and her one true love! He just can't remain a ferret forever. Can he?
Cover Story: I absolutely love this cover. It's sort of enchanting, in a way, which totally goes along with the feel of the book, which is, after all, about an enchantment. I actually like the Australian cover (which you can see all small-like to the left there) even more. It focuses more on magic and enchantment and less on Ondine's face! I like! :-)
Now, Becky from the Bookette knew how much I wanted to read this book, so she was so kind as to pass along to me an uncorrected bound proof. So nice, right? Well, since I immensely enjoyed this book, I want to pass along the love to one of my followers! Enter the form below to win a copy or click here to access the form on another page.