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Sleeping Beauty’s Awake | Book Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

A Wicked Thing re-imagines the story of Sleeping Beauty from when she wakes up from her true love’s kiss…

Book Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

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a wicked thing rhiannon thomas book review

Title & Author: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Retelling

Release Date: February 24, 2015

Series: A Wicked Thing #1

Publisher: HarperTeen

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.”

A Bad Day to Get Out of Bed

A Wicked Thing can certainly be classified as a YA retelling, but technically, the book sort of picks up where the fairytale leaves off. Certain elements are certainly the same, but the book treats the Sleeping Beauty story as something that’s been created while Aurora’s been asleep for a hundred years.

The story literally begins when Aurora feels pressure on her lips and is then jolted awake across from a strange young man in a dusty room. Everyone and everything she knows is gone. There are new rulers on the throne – their son the prince kissed her – and she’s forced to play the role of a silent but beautiful pawn.

First of all, a good number of my concerns about this book were from a VERY unresolved ending and my assumption this book was a standalone. It is not! It has at least one sequel. PHEW.

However, some issues remain. A Wicked Thing is the type of book that deals with a lot of ideas. Like the concept that a “good girl” is obedient and malleable. Or that there such a thing as “true love.”

Although that makes for great ponderings, it left a lot of down time in the book, if you know what I mean. The plot sort of winds around to leave room for character growth but it made reading it feel like the book was going nowhere.

Even knowing all the many, many questions I have will potentially be answered in book 2, the conclusion of this book left too much open. As a reader, I felt like I got zero payoff. I was very unsatisfied.

On the the romance…let’s just say Aurora has choices. I have my personal fave of course, and even though ideas of true love and personal feelings come into play, the romances are winding and confusing and abrupt.

One of these complaints would have been minor, but when all wrapped together in one book, I was left slightly underwhelmed.


Although this book did a great job of tackling big concepts and societal norms, there wasn’t a lot of fun or life to this story. Between confusing romances and an uneventful plot, I think I enjoyed the concept of this book instead of the actual thing. I recommend A Long, Long Sleep for an excellent Sleeping Beauty retelling. If you really love YA retellings, give A Wicked Thing a shot.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.