A feminist retelling/remix of Sleeping Beauty that captured my heart.
Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!
Premise (from Goodreads)
It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.
Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.
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Review (No Spoilers)
I read this book as part of Trope-ical Readathon and I was definitely not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. A Spindle Splintered is a novella that is a multi-dimensional feminist retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I’ve actually never watched Sleeping Beauty and I always get a bit confused between how the basic story premise differs from Snow White. A girl goes to sleep because of a curse and is woken up by a prince’s kiss. That’s the same for both right?
The thing that A Spindle Splintered did so well was that it incorporated several different versions of what Sleeping Beauty‘s tale might look like, all while actively pushing back against the fact that at it’s center, Sleeping Beauty is basically the tale of sexual assault. After all, a sleeping person is not actually capable of giving consent.
On top of that, the book also does an amazing job at portraying a healthy relationship. The main characters in A Spindle Splintered are basically constantly flirting between platonic and a romantic relationships. There’s even a kind of complete-circuit love triangle thing going on at certain points that I was actually enjoying quite a bit despite hating the love triangle trope. There was absolutely no way I was going to get upset at all these women caring about each other so wholesomely. These characters managed to be relatable and realistic while also being unfailingly supportive of one another. It was incredible to witness.
A Spindle Splintered is the first book in Alix E. Harrow’s Fractured Fables series, and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment.
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