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Fairytale stories are well known amongst just about everyone. From LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD to THE UGLY DUCKLING, even if most people haven’t actually read the original story, they understand the reference/meaning of it and its numerous versions. However, what most people don’t know is the history behind these “fairytale” stories. In BEHELD, readers follow Kendra, an immortal witch, as she searches for her lost love and helps create these fairytale stories. From the time of the Salem Witch Trials to present-day Miami, readers travel by time and location to see the full story of tales like LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, RUMPELSTILTSKIN, EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON, and THE UGLY DUCKLING and how Kendra’s magic influenced the stories.

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to fairytale lovers as well as any readers looking for a good and magical story."

Alex Flinn is a phenomenal author who is best known for her stories that retell well-known fairytales. I have only read BEASTLY, Flinn’s most famous piece which was turned into a movie, but I’ve heard praises for all of her other titles so I was definitely glad to have read BEHELD. In all honesty, the book seemed more like a collection of stories rather than a story of Kendra’s life because of how the book is formatted. With every new story, the main character changes, the plot changes and the fairytale changes. The only times I would remember that the stories were connected was when Kendra and her magic were mentioned. Even though the transitions might not have flowed too well between the different stories I feel like Alex Flinn still did a good job at captivating the audience and tying them all together at the end of the book.

The only time I was confused by the book’s formatting was at the very beginning when Kendra’s introduction to the book and the start of her love story tangled with the origins of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD. I’m not sure if this confusion occurred because it was the beginning of the story and I still wasn’t used to it or if it was because the two stories were tangled so deeply together that the different perspectives of the same time period and event was too hard to follow.

Overall, with all of the different parts of the story being so well written I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to fairytale lovers as well as any readers looking for a good and magical story.

Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board Member on January 10, 2017

by Alex Flinn

  • Publication Date: January 9, 2018
  • Genres: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Young Adult 14+
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062134566
  • ISBN-13: 9780062134561