It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.
Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.
"Maybe the universe doesn't naturally bend toward justice either; maybe it's only the weight of hands and hearts pulling it true, inch by stubborn inch."
An entirely irreverent take on Sleeping Beauty with alternate universes or timelines – A Spindle Splintered is a fun, quick read. The emotions are strong, as is the feminist take on fairy tales. I love that every character fights the expectation, stepping outside the norm. Zinnia is brash and apparently fearless – though she, thankfully, softens over time. Charm is the perfect friend, and she’s not afraid to call Zinnia on her shit as needed. And Primrose is not the modest fairy tale princess she first appears to be – when someone offers her a chance to save herself, she is more than prepared to step up.
"I used to see Sleeping Beauty as my wildest, most aspirational fantasy—a dying girl who didn't die, a tragedy turned into a romance. But suddenly I saw her as my mere reflection: a girl with a shitty story. A girl whose choices were stolen from her."
As expected as a fairy tale retelling can be, there are still plenty of twists and surprises. I like that modern Disney stories are mashed together with creepy Grimm and medieval versions of the story. I read A Spindle Splintered because I received the eARC for A Mirror Mended and am very glad to be introduced to the Fractured Fables duology.