Julie may look like an ordinary kid on the outside, but she is anything but. Her mother is Rapunzel, yes the Rapunzel, who was locked in a tower and forced to let her hair down so her mean witch step-mom could visit her. But that was years ago, and Julie’s mom, along with other fairytale characters have escaped the Wild.
The Wild was responsible for all the classic fairytales; Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and all the rest, but there was a price to pay for these classic stories; the characters were trapped in their stories, doomed to forever play their parts, eating porridge, testing chairs, and running away from bears, over and over again. Once the story ended, the characters had to begin again—they had no choice and were forced into their roles, doomed to such for eternity.
But then Rapunzel rebelled, and along with her, a group of other fairytale characters. After much toil and trouble, she finally broke free, along with her fellow characters, reducing the formerly engulfing and controlling Wild to a small vine-like creature. Then Julie was born, after the Wild was defeated, but Rapunzel’s husband had never made it out alive.
So Julie had a good childhood; her mother ran a local hair salon, her grandmother (the witch of Rapunzel’s story) guards the wishing well by her motel (for a wish made in the well could cause the Wild to grow and regain its strength), Cinderella (Cindy) gives rides to Julie every now and then, and Puss-in-Boots is Julie’s ‘brother’. Sure, Snow’s seven dwarves can be quite a nuisance sometimes when they’re over for dinner, but Julie has her mom, and her best friend, Gillian, who knows Julie’s secret.
But Julie’s mom rarely ever talked about what happened in the Wild, why her father did not make it out, and how Rapunzel got out in the first place. The Wild is just an annoying green lump under Julie’s bed now, eating up Julie’s shoes and transforming them into various magical objects.
Things go smoothly for a while, until one day Julie finds her mother gone, and runs into her room, only to find that the space beneath her bed is empty—the Wild is gone. Seeing a strange green object growing and taking over the town, Julie realizes that the Wild has gotten lose somehow, and is trying to regain its old powers and old characters. As her attempts to find her mother prove futile, her mother’s friends try to whisk her away to safety, but Julie needs to find her mother, so she and her friends will not be forced to endure the same fairytale stories over and over again.
Plunging into the Wild, armed only with the fairytales she remembers and a backpack filled with the magical objects the Wild had created during its residency under her bed, Julie is off to find her mother. But can she make it through the Wild’s paths, which are full of traps and dangers? Or will the Wild trap her in a fairytale of her own, making her a prisoner of the same plot and events over and over again?
There is only one way out: the Wild must be stopped. But can a twelve-year-old match up against all the foes of fairytales and the Wild’s plans? One thing’s for certain, if she cannot find her mother and a way to escape the Wild, Julie may be stuck in a story of her own—forever.
Into the Wild was a very creative novel! I loved how different classic fairytale characters were given new personalities and included into this great plot! Into the Wild was a very fun and action-packed adventure that made for a very enjoyable read that I would recommend to all fantasy lovers!
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