Saturday, 17 October 2015

Let Down Your Hair by Fiona Price

Title: Let Down Your Hair
Author: Fiona Price
From: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Release Date: 11th December 2014
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Raised by her strict feminist grandmother, Sage Rampion has been sheltered and kept from the world. That is until she sees a life model posing for a drawing class. As soon as Sage meets Ryan Prince she is drawn to him, and he starts to teach her about the world around her, including the popular culture she's missed out on by not owning a phone or watching a TV. But when Sage starts looking for the mother that walked out on her, things start to fall apart, and she finds herself in a completely new world.

I think that Let Down Your Hair could quite possibly be the best Rapunzel retelling I've read. (Though there does seem to be a fair bit of dislike for it on Goodreads). Personally I thought the author brought the fairy tale to life using the modern world in such a way that fit as well as making the story pretty much spot on.

At one point I found myself wondering if an event would happen because it did in the original fairy tale (the Grimm version, not Tangled!) and every time I was rewarded with something that stayed faithful, even things such as the Prince losing his sight (not a spoiler it's in the original fairy tale!) though that doesn't happen in quite the same way due to no magic in the story. There were also little nods all over the place, such as Sage's surname "Rampion". For me that really worked.

I loved Ryan, he was a great character. He was genuine and really seemed to care for Sage. But also he had a great sense of humour, and I loved what the author chose to do with his t-shirts (e.g. Severus Snape, an illustration from The Little Prince, Prince, a Frog...if you guess the common theme then go you cause I didn't until I was told!) I did get a little angry with Ryan for a while during the middle of the book and wondered how (or even if) he'd claw it back.

The Mother Gothel figure was actually split in two, one for each of the first two sections of the book (parts 1 & 2 were towers, the third the wilderness and the fourth the castle). On the one hand you had Andrea, Sage's grandmother, who was a staunch feminist and refused to cave on anything. Then there was Sage's model mother, Emmeline, who thought money could buy everything. Though it was possible to see that they had Sage's interests at heart, they didn't necessarily go about things in the right way.

The main focus of the story I thought was about Sage finding herself. Because of how she'd been brought up she was somewhat clueless about the real world and so about herself, and I enjoyed being along with her for the ride.

I really enjoyed this retelling, for me it worked.