Cloaked

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3.0 (3)
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Cloaked
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
February 08, 2011
ISBN
0060874228
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I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.

It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.

There wasn't a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I've ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades.

Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either. But you'll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Alex Flinn Does it Again!
(Updated: March 10, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I'm totally a fan of Alex Flinn! She cast a spell on me with her last two books, BEASTLY and BEWITCHING. Flinn is able to put her own twist on classic fairy tales and weave them into engaging stories.

In CLOAKED we meet seventeen-year-old Johnny, who works at his mother's shoe repair shop in Miami, Florida. Then Alorian Princess Victoriana asks him for help in finding her brother, who she insists was turned into a frog. Johnny doesn't believe her until she gives him a magical cloak. Then the real fun happens. There's also a device that helps Johnny be able to 'talk' to animals that used to be humans. With this and the cloak, Johnny goes on an adventure to find the missing Prince. On the way he meets some swans that ask for help in finding their missing sister; a fox, who might be more than he lets on; some giants in Key West; and of course, witches.

Let's just say the dialogue in this story had me in stitches. Hilarious exchanges take place between Johnny and some other characters from classic fairy tales. Meg, his childhood friend, isn't all she seems to be either. The chemistry between these two is slow in building but the reader can sense there is more to their relationship. If only Johnny can see this too!

The princess isn't the typical shallow, party going royalty figure but hides her own secrets. There's twists and turns throughout CLOAKED with a very satisfying conclusion.

Yet again, Flinn succeeds in capturing the essence of a YA with her own special brew that is guaranteed to keep readers wanting more. I know I did!
Good Points
1. Alex Flinn has a real gift of putting twists on classic fairy tales--ONCE UPON A TIME--look out!
2. Great voice
3. Hilarious dialogue
4. Engrossing tale
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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
2.7  (3)
Characters 
 
3.0  (3)
Writing Style 
 
3.3  (3)
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Cloaked by Alex Flinn
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Seventeen-year-old aspiring shoe designer Johnny Marco is approached at his family’s struggling shoe repair shop in a ritzy Miami South Beach hotel, by Victoriana, an Alorian Princess, who asks him to find her brother Philippe, who has been transformed into a frog by an evil witch.

In exchange for his heroic deed the Princess agrees to marry Johnny. This would save him and his mother from poverty and not surprisingly the idea of marrying a ‘hot princess’ appeals to the teenage boy.

To aid him on his quest Victoriana gives Johnny a magical cloak that allows him to transport himself anywhere he wishes and a magical earpiece that allows him to talk to animals. Johnny is later joined on his journey by his best friend Meg who has a few tricks of her own up her sleeve.

It is not an easy adventure for Johnny, as he searches for the Prince he battles scary biker dudes, giants and the evil witch.

The story mixes traditional fairytales in a modern setting. Unlike Flinn’s other novels, such as Beastly (2007, Beauty and the Beast), A Kiss in Time (2009, Sleeping Beauty), Towering (2012, Rapunzel), which are a retelling of one main fairytale, Cloaked is a mash up of numerous stories. In an author’s note at the end of the book, Flinn lists her inspirations to include The Frog Prince, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Six Swans, The Golden Bird, The Valiant Tailor, The Salad, and The Fisherman and His Wife.

Being that it is mash up several fairytales was one of the reasons picking this book over one of Flinn’s others.

The novel is written in first person narrative and Flinn does a reasonably good job at capturing Johnny’s spirit and voice. Johnny is a nice guy, he wants to do best by his mum and help his friends, but at times he could be a little oblivious when it came to reading other people and often I was left wondering how he could be so clueless.

The book is an easy read with short chapters, and I did enjoy the shoe quotes that Johnny and Meg collected and quoted to each other. It is also a fairly clean read with no coarse language, sex and only mild violence.

Cloaked will appeal most to readers who have an interest in fairytales or fantasy adventure stories.
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Cloaked audiobook review
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Cloaked is a fairly average read (or listen, as it may be). It was good for what I needed (a light read after the tear-jerkers and pulse-pounders I've read lately), but that's about it. The plot was pretty predictable and the romance was a little cheesier than I would've liked (and I can handle a lot of cheese).

I like all the different fairy tales that were incorporated. They aren't the fairy tales you're used to hearing about, so I enjoyed learning a bit about them. I enjoy a good talking animal, so that element of the story was fun.

I liked that Johnny was into shoes. And not just kind of into shoes either. He actually designs them and knows a whole heck of a lot about brand names and styles. It was a nice little twist to give him a more interesting personality.

The audio reading surely didn't do the story any favors. There wasn't a whole lot of distinction between male and female, except most of the guys sounded like your stereotypical surfer dude. That seriously drove me nuts. And the accents sounded completely fake (it sounds like that's the way it was written so, I can't completely blame the narrator.)

The Nutshell: Basically, I don't have a whole lot to say about Cloaked. It wasn't particularly bad, but it wasn't really notable either.
Near Miss
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My Cloaked Review
(Updated: May 08, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I love fairy tales. There is something about magic, love, witches, and the supernatural that just captivates me. Cloaked, however, fell a little short. The story was a little flat for me. I am really saddened because so far I have loved retellings of past fairy tales. I am not sure if it was because there were too many stories thrown into one or if it was just the cheesy characters, but it was not my favorite.

Johnny was the poor kid who has to work for all his family have. His father up and disappeared when he was young leaving him and his mom to despair. Of course, I could not help but feel horrible for him. I just felt that his story went from being fairy tale to cheesy. He meets a princess who promises to fulfill his every desire. He then embarks on this wild goose chase to make everything that’s gone wrong right. This is where things get weird for me. Johnny has so much going on it’s hard to keep up.

OKAY….. rant on what drove me CRAZY! The accents in this book! AHHHHHH, it made me shake the book a couple of times. My poor husband is probably traumatized. I shouted in frustration more than once. It was just EXTREMELY ANNOYING!!

The characters, well, there was hardly development. To me, it was a rush of stories in order to fit everyone in. I would have really liked to get to know Meg more. She seemed like a legit person. It was just weird when her predictable “secret” came out of nowhere. And of course, the Prince and Princess were just obnoxious, spoiled characters with not much else to be remembered by.

I hate to rag a story. I am sure there are people out there who will love this book. I just felt there could have been a better execution of this concept. The story was just everywhere. Although there was a happily ever after, the ending had a cliche feeling. How did everyone else feel about this book?
Good Points
Fairy Tale retelling/ Happy ending
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