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VOYADokey adds to her Once Upon a Time series-Beauty Sleep (Simon Pulse/S & S, 2002/VOYA February 2002),The Storyteller's Daughter (2002/Paperback Update, VOYA April 2003), and Sunlight and Shadow (2004/VOYA December 2004)-another nontraditional fairy-tale retelling. In an ironic twist, Rapunzel is born without hair and is rejected by her mother. After she is taken in by the sorceress Melisande, time passes peacefully until one day Rapunzel finds that Melisande has a daughter, Rue, who has been cursed to live alone in a tower. Rue can be freed if she learns how to love, and it falls upon Rapunzel to help her. In the end, both girls find the love they seek, and Rue takes Rapunzel's name so that long golden hair will always be associated with it. By manipulating a traditional story, Dokey provides an appealing modern fairy tale. The distinctive twist brings some fresh, new insights by delving deeply into the inner thoughts and feelings of the well-drawn characters. Rapunzel will resonate with teenage girls as she struggles to find her place in both the heart of Melisande and the boy she loves. Although the story builds very slowly to the rushed ending, everything wraps up in a satisfying, happily-ever-after finale. Just the right amount of romance and adventure will make this novel appeal widely, and librarians should find it a good addition to their collections. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2006, Simon Pulse/S & S, 256p., pb. Ages 11 to 15.
—Rachel L. Wadham