Release Date: July 1, 2015
Source: Publisher for Review
Edition: Paperback (336 pages)
Everything is going according to story for Ceci (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)-until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell's best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined "happily ever afters," regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca's wedding approaches, can they escape their fates-and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?
In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn't write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.
**Thank you to Amazon and Wunderkind PR for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!**
Letters to Zell follows Snow White (Bianca), Cinderella (CeCi), Sleeping Beauty (Rory) and Rapunzel (Zell) in Grimmland. Bianca doesn't love William as anything more than a friend, yet they're getting married anyway because that is what was written in their Pages to begin with. If they want to live their own lives, they must first finish their Pages that were assigned to them. However, the two of them are best friends anyways. They both know and understand that they don't love each other as more than that, but William is still glad that he will at least get to rule with his best friend at his side... or will he? She's also on the hunt for her father, who disappeared a long time ago.
CeCi loves her husband Edmund and he loves her, but they don't really want to have kids. She also wants to become a chef, but everyone just seems to scoff at her when she says that because she spent a lot of her life cooking for others. The thing is, CeCi feels at home when she's cooking because it does make her genuinely happy. That's why she is overly ecstatic when Bianca tells her that she signed her up to earn her cooking degree in the Outside which is Hollywood.
Rory just wants to finally have her husband love her, because Henry surely doesn't. He's always traipsing off on hunting trips and paying no attention her Rory whatsoever. Rory wants him to settle down so that they can finally start a family, but every time they try, they fail. It's hard enough for her to try to move on after being asleep for 100 years while her past boyfriend Fred as well as the rest of her friends continued on with their lives and died off.
Zell decided to move away near Oz all of a sudden with her husband and the twins. She makes it sound like she's having a blast there, but soon enough she thinks that her husband may be having an affair with the milkmaid, though everyone assures her that it's probably nothing because everyone loves the milkmaid.
I have to say, I was completely blown away by this book. It looked like it would be a light, fun read that would be great for the summer, which it was, but it was also so much more than that. It's filled with romance, sure, but it's also about chasing your dreams and doing what you believe in with the help of your friends, and I loved that so much. There was also tons of humor interwoven which was fantastic because I love things that make me laugh! I was originally thinking that I'd get lost by all of the princess's new names too, but after a few chapters, I knew their names easily.
I felt so great for CeCi when she began to do what she wanted by going to the cooking classes. It's excellent that she was so good at it too! Bianca was hands-down my favorite character. She was incredibly hilarious and reckless, but in a good way. She knew what she wanted and she wasn't about to let anybody else stop her. She told jokes a lot and let others know what was on her mind, even if they didn't want to. Rory was very old-school, which was obvious by the manner in which she talked and presented herself. It was kind of sweet. I felt so bad for her though because of her husband!
The funniest parts would probably have to be when all of the princesses began to travel to the Outside. They didn't know much about it at all, so people were a bit confused by them, thinking that they were drunk because they were talking about what happens in Grimmland. They even went and visited Disneyland in California to see their castles which was hilarious! Rory was so upset that Sleeping Beauty was a blonde because she's actually a brunette.
The coolest thing about this book is that it consists of only letters, mainly all written to Zell recounting what life is like in Grimmland since she moved away. It was great to get into the minds of each of the princesses too. This book was just so incredibly magical and surprising! I'll be sure to check out more by Camille Griep in the future. Letters to Zell is a highly intriguing read that is hard to be put down. It's one of my favorites of 2015 thus far! I definitely want to go and follow all of my dreams now, thanks to Ceci, Bianca, and Rory.