Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mini Book Review: Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde

Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Pages: 208
Received: ARC from publisher, via NetGalley
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


From Goodreads:

One should be able to say of a princess “She was as good as she was beautiful,” according to The Art of Being a Princess (third revised edition), which the almost-thirteen-year-old Princess Imogene is supposed to be reading. Not feeling particularly good, or all that beautiful, she heads for a nearby pond, where, unfortunately, a talking frog tricks her into kissing him. No prince appears, as one might expect. Instead, the princess turns into a frog herself! Thus launches a funny, wonderfully spun fractured fairy tale in which Imogene wonders if she will be forever frogified.

Mini Review

I don't even know how to describe this book. It's Vivian Vande Velde. I like Vivian Vande Velde. I haven't read a book she's written that I haven't liked, though some I've LOVED (but this one I liked). I recommend her to everyone because she's just that kind of author. Basically, amazing.

What I mean to say is that this is a solid read. It didn't leave a huge impression on me, but that's mostly because it's the more MG Vivian Vande Velde as opposed to the more YA Vivian Vande Velde, and I like her YA stuff more than her thinner MG stuff.

Her YA stuff has more character depth and deeper plots, whereas her more MG stuff sits a little closer to the surface and the characters aren't nearly as developed. 

But that's ok, because YA or MG, I can pretty much always count on Vivian Vande Velde to give me these things:
  • Sarcastic, sly, witty humor
  • A sweet, but background, romance
  • An imperfect main character who is fun, stubborn, smart, and ultimately good
  • An engaging mystery or conundrum with a satisfying conclusion
  • A plot with no boring filler and enough momentum to keep me engaged from start to finish
  • A feel-good, comfort read story
  • Funny side characters
  • Slap-in-the-face characters who aren't as good or nice as typical MG/YA book characters tend to be
  • A unique twist on ho-hum plot
And I got all that, so I'm happy.

Also, I loved that her prologue basically chastised me for remarking on how I usually skip prologues and author's notes. Ha! Well, I assure you, while I STILL skip most author's prologues (you know, the kind that are ABOUT the book and not actually a PART of the story), I ALWAYS read Vivian Vande Velde's prologues and author's notes (and you should too. They're funny!)

Recommended for fans of Vivian Vande Velde and fractured fairy tales.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Frogged that I haven't addressed?
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Looking for another book like this?
You might like:

 Click on the pictures to go to my reviews.


  1. Yep, you hit the nail on the head for this one! It was just so young and that tends not to work for me. I still want to check out more VVV though as I have also enjoyed everything I've read from her.

    1. Yeah, her younger stuff is always nice, but doesn't go beyond that for me.

  2. I haven't heard of VVV before. I'll have to check her YA stuff out especially. I'm all for sassy, sarcastic, witty dialogue.

    Oh, and I posted my Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom a few minutes ago.

    1. Oh you you must! I love the YA book I linked (a omnibus of two companion novels).

      I saw! Love it!

  3. Thanks for pointing this one out, and also your link to Spellbound, which I haven't read. I completely agree with your assessment of VVV: I'm always willing to pick up one of her books.

    1. Spellbound is an omnibus edition of two of her YA companion novels. I love both of them. I'm always willing to pick up one of her books too. :)

  4. Sounds super cute, the MG books which are written for youngsters aren't really resonating well with me lately though. In order for me to really get on board it has to go deeper and work for both MG and Adults - kinda like Shrek - lol!

    1. I have the same issue with the younger MG books. I know just what you mean. I like the MG books with more substance.

  5. Sounds pretty good all in all :) and kind of sweet.

    1. Exactly. I haven't gone wrong with her books, just different degrees of good to great :) I think you'd like her.

  6. Ooh, ooh! I have a copy of The Changeling Prince (though I didn't realize it had been published with The Conjuror Princess in one volume!). I can add that to my extremely long list of books I wish I had time to read.

    I've only read some of Vivien Vande Velde's books, but I think even her YA tends to be geared toward a younger audience. That's why I haven't tried her MG stuff. I'm betting it would be too young. I also think that one of the reasons she's so great for reluctant readers is that her stories are always pretty quick reads. She's not a meaty writer, for all that she's a talented storyteller.

    1. You have to read it!!!! It's so short. Dooo iiittttt.

      I agree. Her YA is more like upper MG and her MG is more like upper elementary/lower MG. I think her MG stuff would be too young for you.

  7. I've never heard of Vivien Vande Velde, but I wonder whether saying that is a travesty here :O? It sounds like her work would give me anything I could ever ask for in a book... (although what is a "ho-hum" plot and what do you mean by "fractured" fairy tales?)

    PS - I saw that you'd entered my giveaway for the duplicate ARC of Horde. The other ARC is about to arrive soon, back from an ARC tour, and if I remember correctly, you really liked Enclave, right? Deuce and Fade? I think I commented on that review... Anyway: do you want to borrow it? If you do, shoot me an email or something. :)


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