Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
In the back of the book Kontis mentions that the original idea for Enchanted came when she started a writing prompt which was to use two from a list of over 20 fantasy tropes in a drabble and she chose to use all of them. I've seen other stories do a similar thing before and I'm half tempted to say yes, THIS is how you do a fairy tale retelling, forget just rewriting one story that a hundred other people have already tackled when you can do all of them at once! I say that not just to be silly but because more often than not it works, when you take inspiration from so many different places it ceases to be a reworking of any one particular tale but a story with many tropes dipping and weaving around and there's a certain amount of fun catching a reference that the author has slipped into the background of the setting. I can't remember even half of the little nods Kontis put in this book, or sadly any specific examples. but I remember being surprised at how many she worked in and how obscure some of the stories were.
If I sounded a little condescending earlier I didn't mean it since I really did enjoy this book just as much as I had hoped. Sunday and Rumbold were interesting characters and I was glad to see that other characters in the book seemed to share my views that Sunday was a bit slow on the uptake that her frog was now the prince and that Rumbold was being a little manipulative by not outright telling her. This is not only one of the few stories I can think of where someone falls in love with an enchanted animal and then the story continues on after the spell is broken (East, an "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" retelling by Edith Pattou also did this but that's part of the original tale) but this is the only one I can think of that follows both the girl and the boy afterwards and I rather liked that since Rombold is the clear deuteragonist in this story. His family is the cause of half the trouble for Sunday's and he was less cursed to be a frog than spelled, he's the one with the great character development here, although he starts off as way more of an unlikable character so this makes sense. I really liked watching the two of them get to know each other all over again, it was quite frankly adorable, and while I had been worried that the story might be a little "light" with such a simple premise the subplots came together nicely to help carry the story (not quite on the same level that say Diana Wynne Jones would weave together subplots but in a similar vein). It was an imaginative, fast-paced book with fun characters, good usage of foreshadowing and general knowlege of fairy tales to keep the tone just right, and I now really can't wait for my library to get Hero in!