Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Plot Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Johnny literally lives for shoes. He spends a majority of his time in the shoe repair store his mother owns waiting for a something exciting. Unfortunately, Johnny and his mom are flat broke and can barely get by until Princess Victoriana visits Miami. Known as the stereotypical party girl/rich girl, she is not what she seems. In fact, she is actually searching for her brother who has been missing for quite some time. In order to find him, she asks Johnny to be her "knight in shining armor" and find her brother who happens  to be lost somewhere in the Florida Keys. However, there one small problem--her brother was turned into a frog. In this fabulous tale is a story where one guy takes on the impossible to fulfill the opportunity of a lifetime and become a famous shoe designer somewhere between saving the day and winning the girl.

Critical Evaluation:
Of all of the fractured fairy tales, and new renditions, this story is just brilliant. Not only has Flinn combined the popular tales with lesser known stories, this combination makes a unique, funny, and thrilling ride where one guy, who has never been outside of home state, takes on the magic realm. As readers devour this story, not only will they not be able to put it down, they are totally unprepared for the twists and turns. Flinn's characters are absolutely believable, but, at the same time, they will start to question if this world is ready for magic and, if so, how do we, as mere mortals, survive?

Information about the Author:
Alex Flinn was born in a small town on Long Island, New York. When she was five years old, her mother told her she should become a writer one day and, from there one, she submitted every poem to her favorite childhood magazines. Along with poetry, she was an avid reader who read so many books that she refused to read the reader's that were passed out to her that teach her how to read-SHE COULD ALREADY READ! As she got older, she continued to write, but never really published anything; however, all of that changed when she went to law school and that is what helped her first YA novel: Breathing Underwater. According to Flin: "I started writing an early (and laughable) version of Breathing Underwater in college (I was really bored on a car trip with my parents). I didn’t get back to it until I had my first daughter, Katie. I’m self-taught. I went to the library and took out books on writing. Then, I read a lot of young-adult novels by writers I admired, particularly Richard Peck" (para. 5). By reading novels by those who were already in the field, Flinn created her own craft simply by observing and lots and lots of practice. Moreover, she enjoys what she does because "[she writes] for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I’m continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy. It’s a way of going back to being thirteen . . . knowing what I know now" (para. 7).

Teen Fantasy, Teen Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Cloaked:

Awards & Recognition:
  • Positive Review from Booklist
  • Positive Review from School Library Journal

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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