Johnny Marco is a shoe repair guy. Nobody special. He'll tell you he's not a hero. But when a princess gives him a quest, how can he resist? Johnny's world goes from humdrum to fantastical in a flash. He encounters things he thought only exited in fairy tales. The quest isn't as easy as he imagined, but Johnny's more heroic than he gives himself credit for.
What I thought: I liked this one. Cloaked seems to confirm for me trend in fairy tale retellings. It began back in 1942 when Eudora Welty published her novella The Robber Bridegroom. Welty borrowed from a total of seven fairy tales. Then there's Polly Shulman's The Grimm Legacy and Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm. Cloaked is a fast paced adventure. Johnny makes the perfect hero because he thinks he's not one. Meg is a wonderful friend and sidekick. I love how Flinn blends the different tales together. I will definitely be reading the originals. I also like the Florida setting. It grounded the story and helped tie the different tales together. Johnny as narrator adds guy appeal to the book. I always find it refreshing to get a male perspective (see also Flinn's Beastly and Donna Jo Napoli's Beast). This is Flinn's third fairy tale novel. Beastly is now a movie. I haven't read A Kiss in Time but plan to soon.
(Harper Teen, 2011)