Title: The Stillness of the Sky
Series: Flipped Fairy Tales
Author: Starla Huchton
Date Added: August 16, 2017
Date Started: November 21, 2018
Date DNF: November 23, 2018
Reading Duration: 2 days
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tales (Retellings), Romance, Young Adult (YA)
Publication Date: January 7, 2015
Once upon a time, my life was certain: it was insignificant, and it was cruel. But I refused to let it define me, no matter how great the cost.
Once upon a time, I made a wish. The world I knew grew wider than the sky and higher than the stars, and I listened to the voice within me, reaching out for freedom.
Once upon a time, my wish became my fate, and my destiny the hardest lesson to learn: kindness may be the most difficult path, but it can save entire kingdoms.
This is a “Jack and the Beanstalk with a different gender retelling,” which has never been one of my favorite fairytales. I don’t hate it, but I could never be completely on Jack’s side. I mean he did break into someone’s house and steal their shit so why wouldn’t the giant be angry about that?
As with most fairytale MC’s the mother is absent, though this time not dead. She left when Jack was younger, leaving her with an abusive and alcoholic father, though apparently this was by Jack’s own choice, because if she’d gone with her “who would’ve taken care of the animals” 🙄. Of course there needs to be a catalyst for a story (had Jack gone with her mother there wouldn’t be a plot), and I think Huchton is trying to say it wasn’t that the mother didn’t want her, but rather Jack made her own (poor) choices, but it’s pretty infuriating.
I could’ve gotten through this if Jack didn’t embody one of my hated characteristics: unrealistic naivete. Maybe this is one of those “you hate what you see in yourself,” but it irritates me to no end when a character has had enough experiences that should inform their worldview, but it doesn’t. I know I can be gullible, and I always hate when I am, but if someone constantly shows you who they are, why would expect anything different? She overhears her father offering to sell her to a “wh*rehouse” to pay his debts, and it’s then she decides it’s time to go, but it’s her inner dialogue about “always choosing kindness” and her sympathy/kindness towards this absolute douchebag that just sets me off. No matter what he’s gone through, you do not deserve his abuse! Fuck abusive parents and fuck kindness in the face of such. I have to try so hard not to blame the victim in situations like this, because I want to shake them for putting up with what I know, on an intellectual level, is unfair. It’s not the victim’s fault the abusers are trash and they (the victim) has been gaslit and almost groomed to sympathize with them. It’s a coping mechanism in order to rationalize why they’re being treated in such a way.
I do intend to continue the series with the next book Ride the Wind, and I enjoyed the first Shadows on Snow (though I can’t remember much about it now even though I reviewed it).
No stars since I didn’t even finish half of it, and it’s always possible the rest of the story makes up for the issues presented above.
One thought on “The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton (Flipped Fairy Tales #2) (DNF)”
Pingback: The State of the Writer: 5/28/23 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks