Sorry for the muddled state of some of the older posts. Mist is slaving away to reformat them ASAP ; ).

1/19/09

Ransom My Heart by HRH Princess Mia Thermopolis

Ransom My Heart by HRH Princess Mia Thermopolis by Meg Cabot is part medieval road romance and part gimicky marketing ploy which I absolutely fell for hook, line, and sinker. I really wanted to love this book in fact I was part in love with it waay before I even turned the first page. I've been trying to get my grubby little hands on it since it was released last January 6 and when I finally did, I did a little happy dance. I locked myself in a vacant room in the house with explicit instructions that I am not to be disturbed come hell or high water. Part of what I love about this book is the grand marketing scheme of it; I liked both the Princess Diaries books and movies (I can see your eyes rolling) and I have always enjoyed Mia's voice which I hoped to hear in Ransom My Heart, however, that's not the only reason why I assumed I'd love it. The synopsis is awesome too:

He's a tall, handsome knight with a secret. She's an adventurous beauty with more than a few secrets of her own. Finnula needs money for her sister's dowry, and fast. Hugo Fitzstephen, returning home to England from the Crusades with saddlebags of jewels, has money, and lots of it. What could be simpler than to kidnap him and hold him for ransom? Well, for starters, Finnula could make the terrible mistake of falling in love with her hostage.
Ooh. Fun. Strong heroine with criminal tendencies? Yes, please! So the question is, did the book hold up to it's premise? Err. Not so much. The Backdrop: 5 words for you: Robin Hood Men In Tights. That's how I pictured the setting for this story. I mean that as no insult; I adore that movie. The Hero: During the first part of the book, I couldn't help picturing Hugo as Hagrid (Harry Potter series). All that bushy facial hair and height. I really couldn't help it. Color me shallow but I really can't get into a hero when he looks like our favorite gentle half-giant. At the second part of the book, after he shaves, he came to me as a freakishly large Aaron Eckhart (maybe because I saw No Reservations on HBO before reading); better, but still didn't do it for me. His appearance is only a small part of the problem though. He was pretty assholic towards everyone (except the heroine, I'll grant him that) in the story. He is unnecessarily mean to his squire and was, for the most part, a barbaric boor. He has a tendency to grab and use his sword (both literal and figurative) rather than his brain. I'm not sure if this is done for the sake of historical accuracy but, really, why bother when you aren't historically accurate in other aspects of the story. The Heroine: Finnula had all the makings of an awesome character. She did, however, turn out to be a Mary Sue. True, she was disliked by a lot of the villagers but what made her unlikable to the characters in this story made her even better for the reader. She, truly, is too good to be true. A great beauty (even more beauteous than the comeliest Crais sister), the best markswoman in the Shire (even better than the hero), Honorable, Noble, Charitable, Intelligent, blah, blah, blah. There really was no end to her list of virtues. Which can be pretty annoying at times. She did come off as immature when she and Hugo argued which, unfortunately, was not a redeeming imperfection. The Villains: Big Surprise. Not. You can tell who the villains are within the first chapter of this book. I know I did. Nothing can be said about them other than they're evil. EEEEVIIIIL I tell you. No depth, no characterization, no nothing. Those are just a few of the things that came to me while reading Ransom My Heart but I'm going to stop there before I give anything away (I'm trying to learn how to review without spoiling). I have a bit more to quibble about but, to be fair, there are also some truly entertaining moments where I laughed out loud a little bit. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for me to really enjoy the book. *sighs* I'm gonna go and watch Princess Diaries now. Grade: C

7 comments:

Wanderer Monday, January 19, 2009 9:42:00 AM  

What? Hagrid doesn't do it for you? I'm shocked!

Reader Monday, January 19, 2009 9:44:00 AM  

I know, I know. My taste in heroes are appalling. *shakes head sadly*

Katiebabs a.k.a KB Monday, January 19, 2009 11:54:00 AM  

This was my very first Meg Cabot and I loved it to pieces. It was a bit silly in places but an overall enjoyable read.
At first I thought it was a YA book and then when Finn and Hugo get it on, that showed me how wrong I was.

Reader Monday, January 19, 2009 12:38:00 PM  

Glad you enjoyed it Katie. There were some pretty memorable moments in there. I think part of why I'm so disappointed with this book is the expectations I had already set before I actually got to read it. It's like getting tricked into watching Lord Of The Rings (which I really expected the worst of) and walking out the cinema loving it. Only the opposite.

Katie Sunday, February 01, 2009 7:26:00 AM  

Aw, that's disappointing. :( I hadn't heard of the book, but before the fold, I was all YESSS! because I, too, love the PD books. So I'm bummed it wasn't fab. Ah, well. I don't dig the overt sex in books anyway, so I suppose it's just as well. I look forward to your review of She Went All the Way. :)

Reader Sunday, February 01, 2009 8:08:00 PM  

Thanks for dropping us a line Katie. I may have not enjoyed it much but there are also others who liked it so who knows, right?

Re: She Went All The Way, I believe Mistress is reviewing that one. I usually review the Historicals.

Katie Monday, February 02, 2009 5:54:00 AM  

Oh yeah, duh. I keep forgetting 3 of you review here. Sorry!

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