A Kiss In Time is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. In this story, when the princess of Euphrasia pricks her finger on a spindle and the entire country falls asleep, it also disappears off the map. No one knows it’s there, until a couple of idiot teenage boys (escapees from an educational trip) hack through the thickets and find it. One of them, Jack, decides to kiss Talia when he finds her asleep on the floor. Which I personally find really creepy (Edward Cullen level creepy) even if it’s supposed to be fairy tale love or something. Remember, Edward watches Bella sleep because they’re meant to be; destiny (real or imagined) does not make this any less creepy.
Anyway. Talia wakes up, and so does everyone else in Euphrasia. They discover they’ve been asleep for three centuries, and the modern world is not what they’re used to. Jack and Talia tell the story, alternating chapters, as this Sleeping Beauty leaves the only place and time she’s ever known, still looking over her shoulder for the witch who cursed her centuries ago.
This is a fun twist on fairy-tale retelling, and I do love fairy tales. I like the idea, but the story itself isn’t really fast-paced, and it took me awhile to get through; it does not beg to be read. Despite the fact that it’s easy to put down, though, it’s also easy to pick back up, and overall an enjoyable reading experience.
The characters weren’t extremely well-drawn, but I did appreciate that they change realistically based on their new experiences; at first, Jack is an idiot and Talia is a spoiled brat, but they manage to move beyond that. The changes, however, are told more than they are shown. It’s sad, but I was more intrigued by some minor characters (particularly Meryl, Jack’s sister) than I was by the (kind of boring) main characters.
The alternating narration was not particularly necessary. Neither voice was particularly distinct or developed; it was more like the same person was changing point of view than two different people were changing the story. It’s like a picture drawn by the same person from two different angles, rather than the two different interpretations of a scene drawn by different artists, like good alternating narration should be. The writing as a whole is fine, but not exceptional.
[SLIGHT SPOILER WARNING]Jack and Talia’s happy-ever-after is too easy. The great quest that all fairy tales come with is relatively simple, but they act like it’s a hard-won battle against evil, when really it’s all kind of a misunderstanding.[END SPOILERS]
As a whole, however, this book was, while unremarkable, not terrible. I don’t finish terrible books. For fans of fairy tale retellings, it will do. However, I expected more of Alex Flinn, because she is a talented writer, and could do much better than this. Two and a half out of six windows.