Author: Denise Marques Leitao
Genre: Fantasy| YA
Goodreads rating: 3.65
My rating: ★
She’s got the fate of a kingdom in her hands—or rather, in her shoes.
14-year old Karina is not sure what she wants, but she knows what she’s found: fascinating silver shoes. Fascinating, dangerous, and potentially evil. On the upside, they do bring cool visitors.
When two princesses ask her to go to Whyland, a kingdom in a parallel dimension, to destroy the shoes, of course Karina accepts. Who would refuse a free trip to an alternate world?
Advised by a wise master and threatened by a beautiful stepmother, Karina goes on a journey with a princess to defeat a powerful witch. But Whyland is nothing like she expected. Karina finds herself stuck in a kingdom she doesn’t understand, with no clue on who to trust. Before saving anyone, she’d better save herself—if she figures out how.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
As I started to format this review I realised this is a YA book. I thought it was middle grade? Not when I requested it, but I had forgotten about that. It read like a middle grade book to be honest.
As the title of this post already suggests: I’M VERY CONFUSED ABOUT THIS BOOK.
Barely anything was explained, and if they did explain things, I was still left confused. I don’t get what the point of the silver shoes was, because apparently what we’re first told about the shoes wasn’t true? But now I don’t know what the shoes do? And what the point of them was?
Also there was some kind of revolution/coup sub plot going on, which kind of came out of nowhere and didn’t feel built up at all to me. We’re told that the king is apparently a tyrant, but we’re only briefly told this and never really shown. It was barely even touched upon. That’s another big problem of this book: lot’s of telling instead of showing.
But let’s get back to the fact that this book is incredibly confusing. The entire book felt incredibly rushed to me, so that didn’t help me understand what was going on either. I also didn’t understand who was on which side. The fact that they all seemed to constantly switch sides and pretend to be on one side but actually be on the other didn’t help. Especially one character constantly switched: first they’re good, then they’re evil, then good again, then evil, then good – AND THEY NEVER EXPLAIN THINGS.
Towards the end of the book we find out the king has locked someone up for years, but either I missed it because I was so bored or it was never explained why? I did consider that maybe the king was afraid that this person was going to try and overthrow him, as he fears his daughters would in the present, but if I was supposed to make that out myself… Then that’s really bad writing. In this case we should’ve been told, not very very subtly shown.
All the characters were really flat. They could’ve easily been replaced by each other. Karina could’ve been an interesting, complex character, as she wants to wish for world peace and is upset at the idea that people wouldn’t know that she was responsible for it:
”because she would like to have statues made for her and win prizes.”
This would’ve made a more unique, interesting kind of hero, since a lot of the time in YA and middle grade we see heroes who are heroes because they want to do the right thing. Unfortunately this is never really touched upon. Karina was too two-dimensional to even stand out.
Apart from the characters, I also didn’t have a clue about the world this was set in. It’s set in an alternative fantasy world, but I don’t know anything about it, nor really what it looks like.
Basically this book kind of read like a first draft. There’s too much missing, there are plot holes and it was incredibly confusing. I really wanted to like this one, but alas.Have you read Karina’s Silver Shoes? Have you read a book that confused you a lot recently? Any fairytale inspired books you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!