Monday, June 5, 2017

Frogkisser - Garth Nix

Title: Frogkisser
Author: Garth Nix
Format: Audiobook

The last thing she needs is a prince. The first thing she needs is some magic.

Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.

Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land—and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.

Frogkisser, by Garth Nix, is a perfect middle grade book.  It has giants, talking animals, princesses, and an evil stepstepfather.  How can one have a stepstepfather, you ask?  Well - Morven and Anya's mom passed away.  So their dad got remarried.  Then their stepmother got remarried - so they call Rikard their stepstepfather.  Anyway, you can tell from above what this book is about.  It's basically this: Anya wants to find Morven's dream-prince, who has been turned into a frog, kiss him, and turn him back into a human.

Things you will find in this book:
* A Shallow Princess:  Let's face it - Morven is very shallow.  Very.  Now, granted she's 15, but even for a 15 year old she is unbelievably shallow and vapid.
* A StepStepfather:  Morven and Anya's stepstepfather, Rikard is about as charming as a box of rocks.  His big plan is to marry Morven off to anything - yes I said anything.  At one point in the book, he charms a magpie to make that magpie look human.  The human/magpie then sings to Morven in an attempt to charm her.  See - is Morven marries this magpie, then Rikard can usurp the throne because Morven won't be married to a human....
*  A bunch of humans turned frog: Another of Rikard's plans is to turn all of Morven's potential love interests into frogs so she can't marry an actual human.  (This is why Anya is off frog hunting.  She wants to turn the frogs back into humans.
*  Talking Dogs that live As Long As Humans: I think talking dogs is all I need to say!

I think the characters all fit together well in this novel, and Anya showed enough growth to be a bit more mature at the end.  The story flowed well, and it was enjoyable enough that young readers will want to find out how it ends.

Overall, this book was cute, and totally readable.  I would only rate is 2.5 stars, but that's because it was a bit immature for me.  For the age range it's intended for, this book is perfect.  It's lighthearted, with age appropriate mystery and a good plot that moves along well.  Now, I should clarify something - when I picked up that audiobook, it stated on the back that this book was appropriate for readers 12 to 17.  No 17 year old is going to want to read this book.  This is solidly a middle grade book - it is perfect for readers in the 10 to 13 age range.

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