Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kelvin O'Ralph - The Enchanted Book

The Enchanted Book

By Kelvin O'Ralph

Kindle Edition No Longer Available

Product Description (from Amazon)

Jimmy Evans has less than a year left to graduate from high school and move into his dream college, but relies on his stepfather's support to achieve his dream.
In his struggle to enter college, he comes across a special book, and a gorgeous girl. These two are linked in a way even young Jimmy doesn't know, until he finds himself in need of both of them
The Enchanted Book is a typical Cinderella story with a twist.
Cover art: Hannah Sher
Designed by Kelvin O'Ralph

About the Author (from Amazon)

Kelvin O'Ralph is a student at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. He is an avid writer and reader, who loves writing Fantasy/Romance novels. LS: The Beginning is the first book in his fantasy series 'LS'. He released the sequel early October 2011.
Kelvin is a huge admirer of Emma Watson, the Harry Potter star and hopes one day she gets to act as one of his characters. Personally, he'd love her to act the role of Lisa Morgan in this book. At least, that's how he envisioned it while writing.
Still in his teens, Kelvin has released four books on Amazon Kindle in 2011. He's working on the final book on the 'LS' series and also on a new project. Like most authors, Kelvin hopes one day his books will be transformed onto the big screen.

You can always follow Kelvin on twitter -!/KelvinO_Ralph

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Rachel

This is a simple retelling of the old Cinderella tale with a distinct twist.  The hero of the story is a young man named Jimmy.  He lives with his stepfather and twin stepbrothers.  He works two jobs for his stepfather, and if he is very good and helpful and obedient, then he is allowed to go to high school.  His dream is to attend a good college, so his stepfather uses this to get Jimmy to do every sort of distasteful and mundane chore of the household.  ... You know the story.

Another twist is that the fairy godmother is a book.  A magical book that shines when it wants to talk to Jimmy.   It use to belong to his mother, but has been hidden in the basement.  Jimmy is sent to the basement and while trying to find what he is sent for in the dark, he discovers this book, rescues it out of curiosity and hides it in his room.

Once he reaches school, the most beautiful girl in the world has transferred to the high school – Michelle.  Every boy in the school is transfixed with awe.  Jimmy doesn’t stand a chance.

At only 100 pages, the action in this story keeps moving at a pretty quick pace, but still takes the time to develop the characters enough so that you are rooting for Jimmy (even if he does cry a lot and is scared to death of his stepfather) and hoping that the twins and their father lose out on their free servant.  George holds Jimmy’s future in his grubby hands with glee and threatens to shatter it with any infraction, mostly imaginary or outright lies from the twins.

Things go from bad to worse when the twins decide to have the party of all parties while their father is away, and Jimmy finds himself in the worst situation possible.  He is sure this is the end ...

What a fun little book this was to read, and while there are some minor editing issues that may irritate some people,  most young teens will completely enjoy all of the very Cinderella parts of the story enacted as a boy.  Ummm ... no ... Jimmy doesn’t ask for a ball gown, and there is no pumpkin, sorry to disappoint.

If you have any love of fairy tales or enchanted princesses (or princes), this is fun read.  Jimmy may appear a bit sissified, but he is really very honest and kind hearted.  Some may find Jimmy to be a whiner as well.   I could see this being picked up as a movie someday.


This story would likely be enjoyed best by young teen girls, and anyone who enjoys fairy tales and legends. 

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Kendra

One way to win me over as a reader is to rewrite a fairy tale in a fun, original way. My mom knows this, and, after reading it, she slipped it over to my collection on our Kindle. Intrigued by the title, and mom telling me that it was a rewriting of Cinderella, I pulled it up and began to read. For the most part, I liked it. It wasn’t the best rewriting of Cinderella, or the most original, but it wasn’t the worst rewriting or the least original, either.

In my mind, gender-swapping is not the most original twist you can give a fairy tale – I’ve done it myself. Nor is modernizing, I can probably go to the bookstore and find you a stack a foot tall of modernized fairy tales – most of them Cinderella. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of modernizing Fairy Tales, mostly because I think better in the middle ages.

What got me for originality was the Enchanted Book. I have only read one other Cinderella retelling where “Cinderella” has an Enchanted Book, and in that one it was merely a gift from her Fairy Godmother.

In this one, the Enchanted Book was the Fairy Godmother.

Now, there were a few things I didn’t like. Not the modernizing, though – that worked for this retelling. First of all, there were a few things that didn’t make sense to me. For instance, before Jimmy is able to open the book, there is golden writing on it that says, “I open at her touch.” However, he is soon after that able to open it, and there is no “her” that touches the book as far as I could tell.

Another thing I didn’t like was Ashley. Ashley should have been a boy. It’s not that she did things that boys usually do, but she was Jimmy’s best friend, and I have issues with a boy having a girl for a best friend. I actually found myself cheering for the two of them to fall in love, rather than him fall in love with the “princess.” (In fact, the only ones that are for poor Jimmy are girls: Ashley, the “princess” and the Book)

Also, I didn’t see the cover until after I had read it, but had I seen it first, I would have expected a very different story. I’m glad I didn’t see the picture first, or I would have been very disappointed.

All in all, it was a good book, and the author did a good job – I was surprised to note in doing this that it was a teenaged young man! He did a great job and I’m sure that with more practice and refining, he can write some even better stuff as he matures.

Genre/Theme:  YA, Fairy Tale

Reading Level:  TEEN
Profanity:  LOW - few mildly offensive words  (usually from the stepfather and stepbrothers)
 Sexuality:  MILD - descriptions of affection/desire   (two brothers sleep with girlfriends, but this is not detailed outside of  seeing the girls carried upstairs and finding them under the covers in the mornings)
 Other: Bully behavior from stepfather and stepbrothers.  Left in abandoned building to die. 

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