A KISS IN TIME
One more trip to a stuffy European museum and this will officially be the worst trip of Jack's life. Would it kill them to take an excursion to the beach? There are girls at the beach. European ones, which means there's the possibility they'll be topless. Much better than a museum.
To avoid a possibly fatal case of boredom, Jack and his friend Travis quickly decide to leave their tour group behind, manage to irritate the hotel concierge so much he gives them the wrong directions to the beach in the process, and consequently find themselves in the middle of a medieval-looking town populated by a large number of unconscious people. The castle they discover yields no better results than the town, everyone asleep there as well, until Jack stumbles across a room in a tower where a beautiful young girl rests peacefully.
Jack feels compelled to kiss her for reasons he doesn't understand, and after he does, he finds himself face to face with a fully awake princess, proclaiming him to be her one true love and the one who's broken her curse. Wanting to escape the ire of her father the king, Talia convinces Jack to take her home with him, determined to make him love her and fulfill a witch's prophecy dispensed over three hundred years ago. Thus, a journey begins where both Jack and Talia start out searching for different things, but soon find themselves wishing for the same fate in this humorous retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
Every once in a while it's undeniably refreshing to read a story full of charm and whimsy, one that sweeps us off our feet in a torrent of sweet simplicity and brings a giddy smile to our faces as though our very own prince charming has just stepped from the pages and pledged his undying love. Reality is eclipsed by fantasy, whisking us away to a world where fairy tales are not merely stories passed from generation to generation for entertainment, but instead are tangible truths, weaving their spell through real life and bringing with them a joyful effervescence that speaks to the child in us who loves to believe in magic. Humor abounds, new and old worlds collide, and a heartwarming destiny is fulfilled as we walk alongside Jack and Talia, laughing at their antics and reveling in their merriment.
Talia is positively adorable, approaching her new environment with a playful curiosity, questioning the smallest of details and viewing the world with an innocence and purity that forces us to take a step back and appreciate our own surroundings so we may share in some of pleasure of her experience. Though she is severely lacking in modesty, Talia is not the least bit vain, her beauty instead a mere statement of fact. She does not lord her station over Jack, nor force those she meets to gratefully condescend to her magnificence as one might expect a medieval princess to do; instead her royal visage is rapidly discarded as she gleefully appreciates each and every moment with the boy who broke her curse and his family. She is utterly genuine despite being a chronological implausibility, and it's nearly impossible not to be affected by the incandescence she effortlessly radiates page to page.
Perhaps most entertaining is watching as two people previously unhappy, though somewhat unaware as to the extent of their misery, with the direction of their lives find themselves traveling a new path together, one paved with the wishes and dreams they fear to admit to themselves or others as they walk side by side with the person who has the potential to bring them immeasurable happiness. Both Jack and Talia have hidden their innermost desires, trapped by the expectations of those around them and burdened with the pressures of fulfilling their commitments and obligations to their family, only discovering the strength of their own passion for something different through a relationship with one another. Each is granted the ability to see their life through the unbiased and naive eyes of the other, thereby halting their willingness to succumb to what's been outlined for them, and allowing them both to find the voice that's been suppressed formerly by a sense of duty.
A Kiss in Time pulls us into a fantastical story characterized by joy and fancifulness, one that doesn't take itself too seriously, finding amusement in the unbelievable and levity in the usually dramatic teenage true love scenario. It's one that is content and successful in it's relative superficiality, keeping us thoroughly entertained without leaving us with any lingering questions or haunting memories. Pick this one up if you want to breath a sigh of contentment upon reading the conclusion, completely satisfied by an endearing tale of discovering one's place in life, in love, and in happily ever after.