This book is a 2007 Science Fiction & Fantasy Cybils Award Finalist.
The Class of 2k7's Sarah Beth Durst has written a quirky, heartwarming novel full of surprises, humor, and fairy tale characters aplenty. Into the Wild is the story of Julie. Yup, plain old Julie, whose mother just happens to be Rapunzel. Yes, that Rapunzel. Only now her hair is short, she owns a beauty salon, and her mother, wicked witch Gothel, has chilled out on the evil-making and watches over the magic well at the Wishing Well Motel.
Julie's just a normal twelve-year-old girl--so normal, in fact, that she sometimes wishes her mother weren't an escaped fairy-tale character with weird friends like the embarrassingly outlandish Cindy (aka Cinderella) or the egotistical Goldie (Goldilocks). And she really wishes that she didn't have to deal with the Wild living under her bed and trying to eat all her stuff...until one day, the Wild escapes and begins taking over the town, absorbing everyone into its fairy tales. Even worse, it's taken her mother.
But this isn't Rapunzel's story, or Cinderella's, or even the Wicked Witch's. It's Julie's. Can she outwit the Wild's cunning fairy-tale traps? I really enjoyed every character, every imaginative depiction of their backstories in the Wild and out of it, and Julie is a feisty and determined protagonist. I love re-imagined fairy tales when they're done right, and this is a great one to add to my collection. Too bad it has to go back to the library...