Goldilocks and the Three Books

The story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is not exactly a princess story, but it is one of the only popular fairy tales that rarely gets adapted in mainstream media. That's because it acts more as an isolated event in a young girl's life than as a complete story. A few of you told me in my last survey that you would be interested in adaptations of this fairy tale, so I scoured the Amazon Kindle store and found a total of three full-length novels inspired by the story. Then I went ahead and read them all. (The things I do for you guys... :-P) What was particularly interesting was that the dichotomy between the three novels followed the progression of Goldilocks's experience in the bears' cottage, so I thought it would fun to arrange my reviews in a way that follows the story. Ready? It's time to enter the cottage of the three books.

Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed by Linda Winstead Jones - This book is too hot.

Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed by Linda Winstead Jones
This book is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I found it to be a creative take on the story. It takes place in Wild West America at the turn of the century and features a southern belle named Maddalyn who ends up trapped in a snowstorm after her coach gets robbed on her way to Wyoming to become a schoolteacher. She seeks food and refuge in the cottage of three brothers until she gets caught by one of them is invited to stay. Like most fairy tale adaptations, this book is part of a series containing five others, but it looks like most of the author's works are hardcore adult romances, which explains why the love story in this book felt so forced. Though it was the longest of the three I've read, the main character fell in love with one of the "bears" the fastest. The romance kicks off so quickly that the rest of the book is a tedious series of "Will they? Won't they?" close calls of Maddalyn and Eric wanting to be physically intimate with each other while his two brothers conscientiously work to keep them apart for their own protection. I liked it enough for what it was, but it seemed a little too steamy for my tastes. It would have been better if the romance was built up gradually instead of forced down my throat like a pot of hot stew.

Golden by K.M. Robinson - This book is too cold.

The Golden Trilogy by K.M. Robinson
This book was my least favorite of the three. There seemed to be no heart behind the story whatsoever. It's a fairly traditional YA dystopian novel that has very little to do with "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" about a girl named Auluria who wakes up with amnesia in the cottage of the "Baer" family. She seems to have a torrid history with them, but can't remember most of it. The book is dialogue-heavy and provides little explanation for the complex backstory despite being the first in a trilogy. Auluria is in love with Dom Baer, but it turns out that she did something terrible to him before she lost her memory. She works for some kind of rebel society that is trying to take down the government or something. Actually, I'm not really sure what the goals were for the rebels or the group they were rebelling against. All I know is that her cousin has some sort of agenda with the Baers, and she was working for him until she decided she had a thing for Dom and switched sides. I didn't care about any of the characters or their questionable decisions, and the book ultimately left me feeling too cold to care what happened in the rest of the trilogy.

Goldilocks and the Bear by Vivienne Savage - This book is just right.

Goldilocks and the Bear by Vivienne Savage
This is by far my favorite of the three. It is the third book in a series of fairy tale adaptations by this author and felt the most like a genuine fairy tale. Of the three books I read, this is the only one that contains magic and takes place in an era of princesses and kings. It was also the only one in which the cottage that the golden-haired heroine enters is inhabited by literal shape-shifting bears. Lady Victoria is a king's cousin who seeks adventure and wishes to avoid marrying into a boring life of royalty. She spends most of her formative years training to defend herself to support her desired lifestyle and gets more than she bargained for when she enters an empty cottage and falls asleep in the bed of Ramsay, a shifter from a Scottish clan. Though it does have some of the same spice as Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed, the steamy romance takes more time to build up organically. The second half of the book incorporates the story of "Aladdin" as Victoria and Ramsay agree to help an old sorceress recover her true love from his prison within Aladdin's lamp. This book is short and sweet and contains everything you could want from a fairy tale retelling without ever dragging out the story.

Books are kind of like stew. You never know which one will be right for you until you taste it. In this case, I found myself in a cottage with three delicious-looking books, but only one of them turned out to be to my tastes. This experience taught me that it's difficult for me to take an interest in a story without magic or some sort of feasible romance. Regardless of my opinions, I was impressed to find that there are people out there who were able to turn such a simple isolated incident into a full-length novel. It just goes to show that we all have unlimited creative potential if we are willing to apply ourselves instead of running from our responsibilities and falling asleep in someone else's bed.

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