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Once Upon a Marigold: Part Comedy, Part Love Story, Part Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink (Upon a Marigold #1)

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Happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top! Christian is gaga for Princess Marigold. He's just a commoner, though, and no match for royalty. Heck, he lives in a cave with a troll! And now he's discovered another reason to put his love-soggy heart on ice: Queen Olympia is scheming to take over the kingdom -- and she'll bump off Marigold t Happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top! Christian is gaga for Princess Marigold. He's just a commoner, though, and no match for royalty. Heck, he lives in a cave with a troll! And now he's discovered another reason to put his love-soggy heart on ice: Queen Olympia is scheming to take over the kingdom -- and she'll bump off Marigold to do it! Can Chris foil her diabolical plans? Readers will gobble this story up. -VOYA Great fun. -School Library Journal Cold indeed is the heart not made warm by this bubbly fairy-tale romance. -Kirkus Reviews Winning characters, unabashedly lame jokes, and a fresh, energetic telling that will appeal to boys and girls alike. -Booklist


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Happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top! Christian is gaga for Princess Marigold. He's just a commoner, though, and no match for royalty. Heck, he lives in a cave with a troll! And now he's discovered another reason to put his love-soggy heart on ice: Queen Olympia is scheming to take over the kingdom -- and she'll bump off Marigold t Happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top! Christian is gaga for Princess Marigold. He's just a commoner, though, and no match for royalty. Heck, he lives in a cave with a troll! And now he's discovered another reason to put his love-soggy heart on ice: Queen Olympia is scheming to take over the kingdom -- and she'll bump off Marigold to do it! Can Chris foil her diabolical plans? Readers will gobble this story up. -VOYA Great fun. -School Library Journal Cold indeed is the heart not made warm by this bubbly fairy-tale romance. -Kirkus Reviews Winning characters, unabashedly lame jokes, and a fresh, energetic telling that will appeal to boys and girls alike. -Booklist

30 review for Once Upon a Marigold: Part Comedy, Part Love Story, Part Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink (Upon a Marigold #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    This is the cutest book in the entire world. You kind of just want to hug it and squeeze it and call it George, because it's just that damned cute. The subtitle is "part comedy, part love story, part everything-but-the-kitchen sink," and that's pretty accurate. I got a bit of a Princess Bride type of vibe from it. I just kept giggling throughout - totally mixed up fairy tale, just slightly surreal and a bit mocking. So much fun! (Okay, there were some parts where the author was clearly trying too This is the cutest book in the entire world. You kind of just want to hug it and squeeze it and call it George, because it's just that damned cute. The subtitle is "part comedy, part love story, part everything-but-the-kitchen sink," and that's pretty accurate. I got a bit of a Princess Bride type of vibe from it. I just kept giggling throughout - totally mixed up fairy tale, just slightly surreal and a bit mocking. So much fun! (Okay, there were some parts where the author was clearly trying too hard to keep the tone and did a bit too much telling instead of showing- this was mostly evident with the three older sisters who came for the wedding. But by that time, I was so involved that it only registered as a minor annoyance, and the end was back to the original level of fun. I kind of wonder if an editor was responsible for those pages, because they stick out.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sara ♥

    OH. MY. CUTENESS. This book was awesome! And, okay, I DO happen to have a thing for cheesy young-adult romance fairy-tales, but still, it was really clever and totally adorable! And CLEAN. I wouldn't hesitate to read this book to an 8-year-old (or younger, if they were interested). It was predictable (I guessed who Christian was in the first chapter, but whatever... the goal of the book wasn't to be cryptic), but it was just so sweet and innocent and SO funny! Okay, so it's about this 6-year-old b OH. MY. CUTENESS. This book was awesome! And, okay, I DO happen to have a thing for cheesy young-adult romance fairy-tales, but still, it was really clever and totally adorable! And CLEAN. I wouldn't hesitate to read this book to an 8-year-old (or younger, if they were interested). It was predictable (I guessed who Christian was in the first chapter, but whatever... the goal of the book wasn't to be cryptic), but it was just so sweet and innocent and SO funny! Okay, so it's about this 6-year-old boy, Christian, who runs away from home and ends up living with and being raised by a Troll, Edric (Ed) in a cave. The kid turns out to be quite nice and resourceful (i.e. he's an inventor). Ed realizes he's gotta raise the kid right, so he gets a book of etiquette, and teaches the kid out of that. But the best part is that Ed has like ZERO grasp of clichés, and is CONSTANTLY mixing them up (like, "I can see I'm beating my head against a dead horse" and "After all, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the eager beaver.") Oh boy, those were great... So 13 years later, Christian (sometimes Chris) is a strapping guy... haha... And he has this telescope, and has been (very innocently) admiring the pretty little brunette princess (Marigold, 17) whose balcony happens to face the cave... ;) In fact, he's so taken with her that he starts sending her messages via carrier pigeon. Heehee... But the pigeons can only hold a piece of paper big enough to hold 3 lines of text (and later 3 per side, I think), so they have these TINY conversations... It's REALLY cute. They become best friends, even though they've never met. Then Christian and Ed decide he needs to go out on his own and experience the world, so he gets a job at the castle, and all sorts of craziness ensues... Marigold's mom is trying to hook her up with any eligible bachelor who will have her, and Christian is REALLY jealous... *cute!!* And it's really fun... Anyway, it goes on from there, but I don't want to give TOO much away. I'm REALLY looking forward to Twice Upon a Marigold... It looks really great, too!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I totally judged a book by its cover on this one. The font the words are printed in reminded me of the font from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (easy read, I knew), and it proclaimed itself to be “part comedy, part love story, part everything-but-the-kitchen-sink; happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top!” Well, I don’t know about all that, but it was an entertaining read — a fairy tale with a modern, fun, whimsical feel to it. I must admit I liked the fir I totally judged a book by its cover on this one. The font the words are printed in reminded me of the font from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (easy read, I knew), and it proclaimed itself to be “part comedy, part love story, part everything-but-the-kitchen-sink; happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top!” Well, I don’t know about all that, but it was an entertaining read — a fairy tale with a modern, fun, whimsical feel to it. I must admit I liked the first half of the story much better than the second half. It seems that the first half is spent getting attached to the main characters in the story: Christian (a runaway who is raised by a troll) and Ed (the aforementioned troll who can never get his cliches right and is obsessed with dethroning the Tooth Fairy) and Marigold (a cursed princess who becomes Christian’s penpal). I came to like them. I loved their "p-mailing" (pigeon-carrier mailing) back and forth. But then we don’t get to spend any time with them in the second half of the book. Peripheral characters (mostly Marigold’s dad and her triplet sisters) get turned into main characters, too, so their stories have to be told — and all the while Chris and Ed are in the dungeon, out of sight and out of mind. My only guess as to why the king’s and the sisters’ stories took the limelight was because they hadn’t proven to be particularly sympathetic to Marigold in the past, and they needed to explain themselves so it would make sense when they band together to save her from the queen’s evil scheme. But other than that complaint, I liked this book. There was just the right amount of quirkiness and just the right amount of seriousness. A quick, fun read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nariman

    This was a sweet pleasant fairytale-like romance , but it was predictable and had some of the most famous cliches in fairytales , with some originality though. The narration was fantastic !!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Absolutely delightful even the second time around. I am glad to have a chance to re-read the first two, and to finally read the third. EtA: I like how this one is from the pov of the male character. Btw, I guess I really do love this author. I also own her Love Among the Walnuts (which I found at a thrift store, sans jacket, and did not realize as YA because it read as adult) and am going to reread that before releasing it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    My name is Christian- I don’t know what my last name is, because when I was five years old, I decided I’d had enough with boring lessons about how to sip tea properly and wearing silly uncomfortable clothes all day. So I ran away- and that’s how I met Ed. Ed’s my dad. He found me hiding in the woods and tried to take me back to my parents, but I decided I liked Ed way more than them, so I tricked him into adopting me. Oh, yeah, Ed’s also a troll, and he pretends to be all grumpy and troll like m My name is Christian- I don’t know what my last name is, because when I was five years old, I decided I’d had enough with boring lessons about how to sip tea properly and wearing silly uncomfortable clothes all day. So I ran away- and that’s how I met Ed. Ed’s my dad. He found me hiding in the woods and tried to take me back to my parents, but I decided I liked Ed way more than them, so I tricked him into adopting me. Oh, yeah, Ed’s also a troll, and he pretends to be all grumpy and troll like most of the time, but I know he’s really just worried about being a good father to me. We live in this cave in the forest, that’s actually really comfortable, and Ed lets me do all the things I really care about. Like inventing things. I’ve invented all sorts of useful things, like an elevator to bring water from the stream up to our sink. Man, I do not know how people live without indoor plumbing. Not even the people in the castle across the river have a flushing toilet like we do. I can see that castle from my cave, I even came up with an invention, a kind of glass in a tube, that lets me see things up close that are far away. I call it a tube glass. Which brings me to another invention I came up with. It’s called p-mail. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s short for pidgeon mail. I trained this fat little pigeon who lives in our cave to carry messages back and forth from the castle, because in that castle, there’s this girl. She’s smart and funny, and loves to read books, just like me. We p-mail all day long, and I can talk to her about anything and everything. Unfortunately for me, she’s also the princess. And a really unhappy princess at that. Her three sisters all came out perfect and pretty and blond. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Marigold, that’s my princess’s name, is quiet and bookish and cursed. You see, whenever she touches someone, she can see into their minds and know what they’re thinking. Which means that no one ever hugs her or even wants to be anywhere near her because they are afraid she’ll know what’s going on in their heads. The end result is, she’s got no friends, except for me, and I’m pretty sure that her own mother the queen hates her. That mean old queen is a piece of work. She’s throwing this ball, and basically selling off her own daughter to any prince who’ll take her. And those princes and knights just want to marry Marigold for her money, they don’t care that she’s got a great smile, when she does smile, which isn’t very often, or that her hair is the prettiest shade of brown, like rich mahogany. Believe me, I’ve been spying on some of these guys, and they’re just a bunch of greedy Neanderthals. And that’s what brings us to why I’m packing up all my worldly possessions and heading to the castle to find a job. I’m the only friend Marigold’s got in the world, and if there is anything I can do to save her, then I’ve gotta try. This book was a bunny rabbit. Cute, fluffy and made me want to snuggle.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Violet

    Wonderful and orginal fairy tale! And one that is not like any other fariy tale out there. *** This is my second read. It's just one of those books that you can't seem to put down, but not the kind that you can't stop thinking about. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful book. But.....it's just a good story. It's not something you can't get off your mind. There were some cheesy parts, but that's part of the charm of the book. It's silly, crazy, touching and cheesy. That's basically the novel in a n Wonderful and orginal fairy tale! And one that is not like any other fariy tale out there. *** This is my second read. It's just one of those books that you can't seem to put down, but not the kind that you can't stop thinking about. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful book. But.....it's just a good story. It's not something you can't get off your mind. There were some cheesy parts, but that's part of the charm of the book. It's silly, crazy, touching and cheesy. That's basically the novel in a nut shell. It's a wonderful fairy tale and deserves to be placed a long side the classic Princess tales made popular by Disney. I remember when I first read it (basically two years ago), I LOVED it. I rememeber that it was one of the best books I've ever read. I even had it on my 5-star list. Well, since then I've read even better books (ex: Golden Compass and it's companions) and now that I've read it for the second time, it's not worth 5 stars. Don't get me wrong, I still really like this book. I just don't think it's 5 stars anymore. Wonderful fairy tale/love story/crazy and cheesy book. Anyone that loves a good story to take them away from the real world for a few hours, should read it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trina

    This book is just as cute as a pile of puppies and kittens licking each other's ears on a glittery pink blanket. Surrounded by cupcakes. That is to say, there's a certain audience for this kind of thing and everyone else should keep their cute-sickness bags handy. (I am saying this as a fan of Cute Overload with a very high tolerance for cuteness.) It's the light and fluffy side of a fairy tale without the darkness. But it isn't bad. Ed and Christian are relatively enlightened buddies. While Princ This book is just as cute as a pile of puppies and kittens licking each other's ears on a glittery pink blanket. Surrounded by cupcakes. That is to say, there's a certain audience for this kind of thing and everyone else should keep their cute-sickness bags handy. (I am saying this as a fan of Cute Overload with a very high tolerance for cuteness.) It's the light and fluffy side of a fairy tale without the darkness. But it isn't bad. Ed and Christian are relatively enlightened buddies. While Princess Marigold is smart (though not very funny), confident, and gutsy. The bad guys are appropriately evil, boorish, and dull with few redeeming qualities. The plot rolls along pleasantly enough. And it kept me entertained while I read it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    What do you get when you mix an evil mother, a not so typical princess, a grumpy troll and a lost boy? You get “everything but the kitchen sink”. Once upon a Marigold is a book that follows a young boy falling in love with a princess across the river who exchanges little notes with him using p-mail (pigeon mail) creating a beautiful distant relationship. That’s when Christian decides it’s time for him to pursue his dreams and decides to leave his father troll, who has raised him since he found C What do you get when you mix an evil mother, a not so typical princess, a grumpy troll and a lost boy? You get “everything but the kitchen sink”. Once upon a Marigold is a book that follows a young boy falling in love with a princess across the river who exchanges little notes with him using p-mail (pigeon mail) creating a beautiful distant relationship. That’s when Christian decides it’s time for him to pursue his dreams and decides to leave his father troll, who has raised him since he found Christian in the woods, to go work at the castle. Keeping his identity hidden from Marigold, Christian’s loyalty remains as he watches over her from the sidelines falling even more in love with his one and only princess. Things take a turn for the worse though when Christian discovers that Marigold’s mother Queen Olympia is planning to take over the kingdom and even willing to sacrifice her own daughter to do so. Christian must do everything in his power to protect his love and find his own destiny in the process. Themes: World of make believe (story takes place in another world with magical creatures) Loyalty to others (Christian’s loyalty to Marigold) Love in different forms (Not only love for a significant other but also love for a parent, sibling or animal) Masked intentions of different characters (There are a lot of intentions that are hidden from the reader as the book goes along)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emilee

    Ok. So I decided to read up on some of my favorite books ever just to remember how much I really do love them. And it also reminded me how sad some of the science fiction stuff can be compared to this lovely and just plain cute fantasy! I freaking love this book! It's just adorable. It makes me happy and joyous and I must say, a bit hyper. :) This is one of those books that you just have to read when you're having a dumper day. And I was kinda having one when I read it all yesterday when I was s Ok. So I decided to read up on some of my favorite books ever just to remember how much I really do love them. And it also reminded me how sad some of the science fiction stuff can be compared to this lovely and just plain cute fantasy! I freaking love this book! It's just adorable. It makes me happy and joyous and I must say, a bit hyper. :) This is one of those books that you just have to read when you're having a dumper day. And I was kinda having one when I read it all yesterday when I was sick. So cute. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Savannah

    This was actually the second time I had read this book and I always love it. It is a good story and not some heavy book that makes you think all deep. It is just a good book with trolls and princess and an even mother who wants to take over the kingdom. It is a good book for anyone who is ready to get out of reading super serious books. It's a great book and I do recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barbara ★

    This is super cute and sweet as hell. I loved Christian, Marigold, Ed and the dogs...all five of them. I particularly liked Ed because he reminded me of Eve Dallas (In Death series) with all his mixed cliches. Made me smile every time. "He'd buttered his bread, and now he'd have to lie in it." "What's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the eager beaver." "You just have to take the bear by the horns." I'm looking forward to Twice Upon A Marigold.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Denae Christine

    4.5 Reader thoughts: I almost put the book down on page two. So glad I didn't! (It starts with an old man walking through the woods. Not interesting, until you find out he's a troll.) The book's climax reminded me of Ella Enchanted. There was a curse to break, a step-mother to face, a prince to marry, people shouting, and a dog-powered flying machine (okay, not exactly like Ella Enchanted). Fun though, and lots happening at once. The relationship between Christian and his foster father was well-don 4.5 Reader thoughts: I almost put the book down on page two. So glad I didn't! (It starts with an old man walking through the woods. Not interesting, until you find out he's a troll.) The book's climax reminded me of Ella Enchanted. There was a curse to break, a step-mother to face, a prince to marry, people shouting, and a dog-powered flying machine (okay, not exactly like Ella Enchanted). Fun though, and lots happening at once. The relationship between Christian and his foster father was well-done. It wasn't saccharine, it wasn't bitter, but it was practical. Both accepted the other for what they were, inventor or collector, tooth-business entrepreneur or secret-messages-sending stalker. The villain was well-done. I kept thinking, "This is too easy," but then the good guys would get locked up again. The villain wasn't stupid; she knew what was going on and took reasonable measures to stop it. Writer thoughts: The pov was omniscient, and I wonder why. Maybe it was to sound a little like fairytales. Maybe it was to give a more complete approach to the story (like seeing into the doctor's head at the climax; perfect! That made me laugh out loud for over a minute). There were quite a few times I wished the pov was more limited, though. Why a sequel? As much as I liked this book, I wouldn't want a sequel. It would be like trying to write a sequel to Ella Enchanted, which is perfect by itself. I'd have to read it to decide, but I feel like it wouldn't fit at all. The people are married, and everything's tied up! Olympia has no power that a conniving author doesn't give her.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Naytona Faedtke

    this book was good, it is about a boy named Chris who left his family as a kid and now lives with a troll for a dad, he starts sending messages to princess marigold and he decides to go to the castle to get a job but marigold's mother is a blood thirsty queen and wants the throne to herself and would do anything to have it even if it means killing her family in order to get it, will Chris be able to be with marigold without put themselves in danger ?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sherylcarlin

    This is a great book for tweens and early teens. It is a clever story that communicates that true love is based on friendship, partnership, and being someone's "bulwark." My daughter, (11) and I have truly enjoyed reading it together and she cannot wait to start the next in the series, "Twice Upon A Marigold"

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This is fantasy in a fairy tale kind of way for kids and I just have to say that this was such a cute little story. I enjoyed this one....and the ending....oh my. What a perfect set up for the next one. This is one book that I would read to my own kids if they were still little, especially my girls, but I think my boys would have thought it was kind of cool too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

    My younger brothers were complaining about listening to a "princess girly-girl book," but a few magic spells later, they said that they loved it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Moriah

    I'm a sucker for a good romance. Really, I'm weak when it comes to romantic gestures. The book began with Christian, a six-year-old, that ran away from home being found in the forest by a troll, Ed. The humor of the story, the ridiculousness of it, began here. From the beginning the dialogue contained a light, airy, and modern quality that didn't fit with the time period common with princes and princess. The anachronistic air reminded me of The Princess Bride. Since it's one of my favorite roman I'm a sucker for a good romance. Really, I'm weak when it comes to romantic gestures. The book began with Christian, a six-year-old, that ran away from home being found in the forest by a troll, Ed. The humor of the story, the ridiculousness of it, began here. From the beginning the dialogue contained a light, airy, and modern quality that didn't fit with the time period common with princes and princess. The anachronistic air reminded me of The Princess Bride. Since it's one of my favorite romantic comedies, even though it wasn't my favorite book, it convinced me to continue reading. While this is categorized as a young adult, it felt more like a middle grade novel to me. For someone looking for something light and quick to read, this is the way to go. I read most of it in one sitting and would finish entire chapters without even realizing that I was reading. One of my friends sent me this book and said that I would fall for Christian, and I did! He took things with Marigold slowly, first by p-mail (contact through pigeons) and then when he met her in person, he didn't force himself on her. He was romantic without even trying to be, and she wasn't wrong about me falling for him. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue the series yet, considering the book does have some sense of finality, but I am curious to know what could happen next. Once Upon A Marigold appeals to fans of Ella Enchanted and The Princess Bride. It was funny and light and there were moments when it was difficult not to break out in a ridiculous smile.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lakhsesis

    So after The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which almost killed my brain (in a good way, of course) I decided to pick up this book, because I love fairy-tale like stories. This book did a good job at making me feel alive again. As usual, we have a commoner handsome but nice boy, an ill king, a princess and a scheming, evil queen in this book too. There were lots of cliches, but this book was so innocent and cute, I couldn't complain at all. The romance made me warm, and the foster family of Christi So after The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which almost killed my brain (in a good way, of course) I decided to pick up this book, because I love fairy-tale like stories. This book did a good job at making me feel alive again. As usual, we have a commoner handsome but nice boy, an ill king, a princess and a scheming, evil queen in this book too. There were lots of cliches, but this book was so innocent and cute, I couldn't complain at all. The romance made me warm, and the foster family of Christian which included the troll and his dogs were equally good. There were no complicated schemes, the writing was easy to understand, and overall I felt really good when I read this book. Because who doesn't like happy endings? Though I kind of didn't really appreciate the part where (view spoiler)[ we get to know Christian is a prince after all, because honestly, when there will come a time when commoners get beautiful princesses? Nevermind that, though. (hide spoiler)] I was lazy to complete it at times, but this book was perfect. It surely joined among the list of books I would love to read to my nieces or nephews (if I have any) in future.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shae Bright

    We read a chapter of this nightly before bed. My daughter really liked it and it was complex writing for the average 9 year old I think. I have to admit, at bedtime I am the one reading out loud generally and she stopped me quite a few times to find out what a word meant, which interrupted my flow and frustrated me at times, but I hid that pretty well and can feel good about all the new words that we added to her vocabulary ;) We have the second book on hold at the library right now.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ellen B

    A cute little story that made me think of Shrek (minus the third-grade humor) or Tangled. :)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Bizzell

    This is one of those books that when I am really down, I read as a pick me up. I've read it so many times and I love it so much. The most adorable.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marlena

    I was in desperate need of a light, fluffy read when my sister pushed Once Upon a Marigold into my hands. It's pretty much exactly the feel-good story I needed - fun, cute, happy and just a bit silly. Really enjoyed it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rmsooon

    i enjoyed it .. it was like المكتبه الخضراء

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jacque

    This was a silly but fun read. Parts of it were a little more intense than I thought would be found in a book that seemed very light-hearted. I loved reading about rainbow crystal caves, p-mail, and dogs that could harmonize. The author is very creative.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aaliyah B

    I thought it was an interesting book and very fun to read but there were some things I didn't like. Overall, it was good.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ugh, well, it basically feels like the beginning of a chain of books (which is what it is) and it's incredibly campy and cheesy. Not to mention it tries too hard to be funny, something I really didn't enjoy. There were too many plotlines going at once (ie, Olympia trying to kill off Marigold and Swithbert, finding out that the four girls aren't actually from Olympia and Swithbert, discovering that Christian is a prince, Christian trying to marry/be close to Marigold, and then there's also Marigo Ugh, well, it basically feels like the beginning of a chain of books (which is what it is) and it's incredibly campy and cheesy. Not to mention it tries too hard to be funny, something I really didn't enjoy. There were too many plotlines going at once (ie, Olympia trying to kill off Marigold and Swithbert, finding out that the four girls aren't actually from Olympia and Swithbert, discovering that Christian is a prince, Christian trying to marry/be close to Marigold, and then there's also Marigold's curse that mysteriously goes away after she "heals" Chrisitan...That wasn't explained at all.) All in all, if you're about 7 you'll like this book and look past its obvious plotholes as well as the obnoxious attempts at being funny by mixing up two different phrases (ie, "Keep your shoulder to the grindstone and your nose to the wheel." said Ed...He's the one that's always doing this wonderfully unfunny thing) and then there's the cacophony of dogs, which is apparently somehow important. I really didn't care for it, I most likely wouldn't have as a child either.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    Chris didn’t like his home with all its rules and punishments for making messes (inventing, his favorite pastime, is messy in its very nature), so he ran away at the age of six and made a new home with a troll and two dogs in a multi-colored crystal cave. Princess Marigold could never be touched, because her fairy gift (which turned into a curse) was that she would be sensitive to the feelings of others, though unfortunately she became so sensitive she could sense others’ thoughts and feelings v Chris didn’t like his home with all its rules and punishments for making messes (inventing, his favorite pastime, is messy in its very nature), so he ran away at the age of six and made a new home with a troll and two dogs in a multi-colored crystal cave. Princess Marigold could never be touched, because her fairy gift (which turned into a curse) was that she would be sensitive to the feelings of others, though unfortunately she became so sensitive she could sense others’ thoughts and feelings via touch. On his daily traipses through the forest, Chris could see Marigold on the palace terrace, and eventually he worked up enough courage to send her a ‘p-mail’ (pigeon delivered mail), and a friendship was quickly formed. After a year of p-mail, the two friends meet in person, just in time to thwart some suitors, stop a wedding, and, of course, prevent an evil queen from taking over the kingdom. This was a very cute and fun to read book. There’s always something going on, the pacing keeps up through the whole novel, and the plot is interesting enough to keep me reading. This is actually the second time I read the book, but when I finally decided to review it, I figured I needed to reread. All I really remembered was that I’d enjoyed it, a feeling I still had after the second reading. One thing that might bother a reader about the book is that while it is a fantasy world, they make plenty of current comments and jokes, like calling Marigold’s sisters blonde, but not dumb. Because the overall tone of the book was rather modern anyway, I only noticed these lines because I was reading it with my brain in review mode. If it had been a more serious fantasy book, where the author was building a complex world and culture, then these modern comments and names would have bothered me. Instead, this is just a story that happens to be set on a traditional fairytale world. Plus, the main character invents p-mail, which by the end of the book is used throughout the kingdom just like e-mail is today. Really, I think this book could have taken place in our world with some names and situations changed, but it’s more fun against a fairytale backdrop. Marigold’s curse, on the other hand, did bother me. It’s her fairy gift, yet somehow she can break it so she no longer accidentally reads people’s thoughts? All right, I’ll buy that, except they never really talk about it, except in the vaguest terms, and then it randomly breaks thorough no conscious actions from her, so that it can conveniently save Chris. I would have liked to have seen a bit more development of the curse and some setup on to how she might break it. The other thing that bothered me was some confusion on secondary character ages. But that’s a bit of a spoiler, so I’m sticking it at the end, past the parents’ rating. Not a giant spoiler (it’s pretty clear throughout the book this is going to happen), but still a spoiler. Read the rest at Bookwyrm Chrysalis

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    5/10 I feel bad giving this such a low rating because I think there are a lot of young girls who would really, really like it. But, for me, it was just too juvenile...and that's coming from someone who LOVES children's and young adult literature. I know it's a little unfair to say that a middle-grade book (written for 9-12 year-olds) was "too juvenile." But I'm comparing it to other books for the same age group (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, anyone?), and it can't even hold a candle aga 5/10 I feel bad giving this such a low rating because I think there are a lot of young girls who would really, really like it. But, for me, it was just too juvenile...and that's coming from someone who LOVES children's and young adult literature. I know it's a little unfair to say that a middle-grade book (written for 9-12 year-olds) was "too juvenile." But I'm comparing it to other books for the same age group (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, anyone?), and it can't even hold a candle against some of them. First of all, the characters all say dumb things that I guess are supposed to be funny. For example, from Marigold: "I'd rather be boiled in oil! The kind with cholesterol!" See? Painful. Then there's the troll who is constantly taking well-known phrases and accidentally changing them just enough that they make no sense at all. This is also supposed to be funny. The problem is, a 9-12 year-old is not going to know what the real phrase is so she won't be able to catch the humor, and it isn't clever enough for an adult to think it's funny. So, fail and fail. The plot itself was boring and predictable. Christian wants to meet Marigold. Done. Christian wants Marigold to like him. Done. Christian wants to be more than a peasant. Done. There were, um, count them, ZERO moments of tension. (Okay, I'm probably being a little harsh since a 9-year-old probably would have felt some drama in the dungeon or during the wedding...yes, there was a dungeon...for about 8 hours...really nail-biting). So here's my final take: I've been reading so many long books lately that I was just looking for something short and easy. This definitely fit the bill, but it made me ready to go back to more thought-provoking books. Also, a nine-year-old girl will like this book. I promise.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary H

    Really really good audio. Once Upon a Marigold has been a favorite since I was a kid. It's comforting and sweet. Like having a grilled cheese with a piece of confetti cake for dessert.

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