Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
When I first found this book – I literally can’t even remember how I did…I think it was on a blog? I’m not sure, but let’s go back to the story – When I first found this book, I thought it sounded like an adorable fairytale book that would remind me of one of my favorite princesses, Tiana. And when I read a few of the first pages, it reminded me of one of my favorite cult classics: The Princess Bride. So of course, I had to pick up this Princess Bride meets The Princess and the Frog type book, and it was just as good as I thought it to be!
Once Upon a Time…
The last thing she needs is a prince. The first thing she needs is some magic.
Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.
Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land—and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.
Now, I saw there was a bit of conflict on whether this was middle grade or young adult. I believe it is being marketed as young adult, but I truly believe it is something in between. It’s not quite YA, but it’s not quite middle grade in a true sense. I do believe it leans a bit more toward middle grade, though, and that did not deter from my enjoyment of the book.
I absolutely enjoyed Nix’s writing throughout. As I said, it had a witty humor to it, and some things were outlandish were taken seriously – which made for brilliant humor. The first few chapters were the best in the book because the setup of the novel were hilarious. He had a very fairytale-esque writing style to the novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I also loved the whole concept. There were so many humorous parts to it, and it was both celebrating and parodying common fairytale tropes at the same times. The fact that she needed lip balm to save a prince? The evil guy is a step-stepfather? One of the great sorcerers turns into an owl when he gets scared? It was amusing, and I loved all the odd little additions. Don’t even get me started with Gerald the Herald. XD
Anya was a fantastic heroine as well. I loved her, and she was such a great role model – especially if this was for a middle grade audience. She didn’t really want to go on a grand adventure or have big responsibilities, but she steps up to the plate. It’s so easy to relate to, and I loved reading about her adventure.
Her team was adorable and fantastic at the same time. Each one was so unique and brought such an odd and wonderful dynamic to it. There were no swoons to be had, and I was totally fine with that – surprise, surprise, I know.
The only issue is that sometimes I would have a disconnect with it. I really enjoyed it, but sometimes it would have a slower pace or it just dropped out of my interest. I’m not sure what that was, but it didn’t leave me with a super big impact by the end – despite my enjoyment of the novel throughout. That is why I have a drop in crown.
Overall, this was an adorable read. It’s the perfect mix of middle grade, YA, and fairytale retelling. Nix took The Princess and the Frog fairytale and made it wholly unique. Can’t wait to try Newt’s Emerald now! Four crowns, and a visit from Tiana and an Ariel rating!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read this? Do you want to? What do you think of authors reinventing fairytales? Let’s discuss in the comments below!