Summary: Annie is the younger sister of the princess whom the world will come to know as Sleeping Beauty. Her fairy godmother sought to protect her from a curse like that given to her sister, however, so magic has no effect on her. When the curse strikes and the castle falls asleep, Annie determines to break the spell and save the kingdom. She travels through various kingdoms seeking her sister’s true love with the help of her faithful guard Liam, but may unexpectedly find love herself.
Review: The Wide-Awake Princess is a lighthearted tale that keeps the reader engaged with its playful tone and quirky characters. Though not overly inventive like many of the retold fairy tales on the market, the story remains original and Baker clearly has fun incorporating allusions to fairytales other than “Sleeping Beauty,” and often subverting them. The characters are the strongest point of the story as readers can relate to the ordinary (that is, lacking magic to make them perfectly good-looking and talented) protagonists while looking up to them for their thoughtfulness and determination. Though the princes whom Annie seeks often turn out less-than-ideal in their personalities, even if gifted with charm and good features, their flaws add a certain amount of humor to the story and readers will find themselves interested in their fates, keeping them turning pages even when the story tends toward the predictable. Baker does an excellent job of reimagining “Sleeping Beauty” and her book stands out with its unique focus on those characters who remained awake after the curse struck.