While Beauty Slept {Book Review}


Published Date: February 20, 2014
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Author: Elizabeth Blackwell
Pages: 432
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Fairy Tales

A beautiful princess lies in a sleep so deep it is close to death. Was Sleeping Beauty revived by a prince’s kiss? What really happened in that tower so long ago? While Beauty Slept re-imagines the legend through the lens of historical fiction, telling the story as if it really happened. A Gothic tale of suspense and ambition, love and loss, it interweaves the story of a royal family and the servants who see behind the glamorous facade, following the journey of a young woman as she lives out a destiny that leads her to the brink of death. – Summary from Goodreads

Have you ever stood in line for a ride {Tower of Terror, perhaps}? Have you ever felt overcome with anticipation? Have you heard the screams of the thrill seekers before you, wanting to know what they know, allowing it to build up the excitment inside of you? Then comes the ride and you’re completely and utterly awash with happiness that you were not let down? This book…was NOTHING like that. It was more like standing in line at Walmart. Shuffling idly, letting your eyes peruse the candy that you don’t need, hearing the beep of the items being purchased, knowing you’re going to have to fork over money {ugh} and only enjoying the process in the very end, when your food is sitting happily in your belly {yay}.

While Beauty Slept sounded like such a great idea. Sleeping Beauty as told by the chambermaid. But…it wasn’t. Elise, our main character, is 65 years old and telling the tale to her great-grandchildren. A story that she claims is so heinous, that she can hardly bear to tell it. Elise doesn’t speak of much doom but hints at it at the end of every single chapter. The story, in the end, was nothing more than “a day in the life of” recount of what it was like in the olden days in a far away palace. Knights flirting, the plague, wistful romances, broken hearts, black magic and a crazy Aunt Millie. I kept waiting for the bomb to drop, for all of Elise’s foreshadowing to come to fruition. But nada. She let me down. This book was no Tower of Terror.

I will say this much, the ending was great. And not because it ended, even though that was a relief to be finished. There was a little switcheroo that happens and makes for an interested story. Who’da thunk it? That the last few pages out of the whole 424 were the only interesting ones. *sigh* oh well. Onward and upward.

Ps and by the way, Beauty didn’t sleep a wink during this novel. The title is misleading. It should’ve been called “While Beauty Sat Around and Embroidered Things.”

So, if you’re looking for a book to read that won’t grip you until the very end, this is your book!!!!

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and The Book Depository.


6 thoughts on “While Beauty Slept {Book Review}

  1. This is hilarious 🙂 sounds like this was one of those books that people ask you about and you kinda just mumble an inaudible “eh” too. Not bad, but not very good either!

    • Thank you 😀 You’re quite right…it wasn’t the worst book but nothing to recommend either. I give a shrug and mumble “eh” for sure!! 🙂

  2. Ok, I’m not reading that one… I’m very selective about what I spend my time reading…. But I did like your review on the book. 😉

    • Thank you!! I don’t blame you. I had such high hopes for this one and felt kinda pissed when I got to the end. In my opinion, the ending should’ve been the middle- allowing for more elaboration instead of just an epilogue. *sigh* oh well. 🙂 thank you for commenting!!

    • I feel bad turning people off from reading this one as it feels like I’m doing Elizabeth Blackwell a disservice but I have to be honest, you know? I can’t do that to y’all! I loved the last few pages, so maybe just find the book at the bookstore and read the final chapter 🙂

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