Author: Alex Flinn
Publish Date: February 8th, 2011
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, YA
I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.
It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.
There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Keys.
Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got CLOAKED.
So disappointed by this one.
I read Flinn’s book Bewitched about a year or so ago and I really liked it. Beastly immediately went onto my tbr list and I’ve been looking for a copy of it at the library for a long time now. However, 100% of the times I’ve gone, they’ve only had Cloaked. I finally cracked and picked it up instead of praying that Beastly was there. It probably would have been more efficient to put a hold on it, but I keep forgetting to.
Now this book is classified as YA but I think it’s too childish. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it three years ago when it came out. The characters were badly developed and as a result, made the book seem more unrealistic. I know that it’s a fantasy and about magic and isn’t meant to be realistic, but what I mean by this, is that Flinn didn’t bring this story to life.
Johnny had potential as a character. He wasn’t your typical teenage boy, and unique in the way that he’s fascinated by shoes and aspires to be a renowned designer.
The problem was that he was so dumb.
He knows that there’s magic and manipulations throughout the story. He uses the magical cloak and headpiece for Christ’s sake! Yet what happens? He is tricked more than once by mirages and tricks of manipulation. People tell him multiple times that he shouldn’t trust everybody. But what does he do? HE TRUSTS PRETTY MUCH EVERY SINGLE PERSON HE MEETS.
“Oh you’re forced to live here and you want to visit your parents in North Carolina? I’ve just met you, but you seem trustworthy. Here’s a magic cloak!”
“Aw shucks, I shouldn’t have trusted her.”
And then after he gets kidnapped, he resumes to come up with the stupidest plans of escape that I have ever heard. In a real-world situation, they wouldn’t ever work, but since this is book-world, of course it does.
“I don’t stand up. ‘Look, I’ve got a plan. When they get here, they’ll have the cloak, a magic cloak that transports you wherever you want to go. Now that I’ve got your flashlight, I’ll be able to see them. I’ll sneak up in the dark, turn on the light, and grab the cloak. So I’ll wish to be someplace impossible to guess, like the football stadium, and then I’ll be there. I’ll hide out a while. They’ll never find me.'”Page 157
Johnny, ever heard of the fact that your enemies own ears too? His plan could go wrong in so many ways, but naturally, since this is book-world, nothing does.
Aside from how dumb he acts, he’s also extremely flat. All of the characters are. They are painted with certain personality traits, but none of them have depth.
Another problem I have with the book is the relationships. It’s mentioned many many times that Johnny’s best friend is Meg but their relationship is so painfully awkward and so unnatural. The things they do for each other aren’t like best friends would. A real best friend wouldn’t lie to his best friend about his super big adventure and then use his AWOL father to guilt trip her into not questioning him. At one point he feels guilty that Meg doesn’t have sunglasses so he doesn’t use his. Wouldn’t a real best friend offer to let her use them?
What type of friendship is this and how the heck is it supposed to develop into dating?! At no point is there any concrete, emotionally-charged moments where you can see that they are friends.
I stopped reading at about halfway. I could not take any more of Johnny’s stupid decisions and the terrible relationships between the characters.