Author: Alex Flinn
Release Date: February 2011
Published By: Harper Collins
Goodreads Rating: 3.59
Review: Johnny's just a normal guy with aspirations of being a shoe designer but only currently works an after-school job at a shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. That is, he was until the curse happened. And the frog-napping. And yes, a really pretty princess. The princess wants him to help her recover her frog brother, and what results is an adventure he'll never forget.
CLOAKED opened with an intriguing premise, and I liked that it was somewhat of a fairy tale retelling but didn't really use the same fairy tales that other books have. For instance, there are tons and tons of novels out there that focus on Red Riding Hood or Cinderella, but this book used elements of lesser-known stories, which definitely brings some variety to the fairy-tale genre.
Unfortunately, I ended up not liking this book very much, and this is due primarily to the fact that the characters came across as very flat and without much of a personality. Johnny seemed like he'd be an interesting character, what with being a dude into shoes and all, but instead he was as generic as white bread with reactions that came across as forced. The same applied to the other characters, too, and I had a hard time trying to relate to anyone in this novel.
Another aspect that I didn't enjoy so much was that the plot just seemed so static. I don't have a problem with slow-paced novels in general, but it wasn't something that appeared to work well here. Much of the scenes were written in an attempt to be comedic rather than suspenseful or gripping, but the humor didn't really come across that well (at least for me), and so these scenes didn't really work at all.
All in all, CLOAKED was a novel with an interesting concept that unfortunately didn't deliver. The characters seemed to be too flat, and the plot didn't improve matters much. Still, if you've enjoyed Alex Flinn's other novels, the style may work for you and I'd encourage you to pick it up and give it a try.