Yep, finally someone thought of this. And it works, actually. The scenes with Talia feel like a Jessica Day George novel, which I enjoyed a lot because I like my girly-princess stories. Jack and his family, on the other hand, provided a stark contrast. Talia and Jack together equal an enchanting love story.
Alex Flinn goes a little beyond what Disney was able to achieve in their movie Enchanted, by addressing the issue of teen girls and their desperation for beauty and attention from boys. Instead of speaking to little girls who don't have to worry about such things, Flinn tries to explain that beauty doesn't have to fit in with society's standards. She makes Talia mourn over stick-thin girls and remark that if anyone were that tanned and skinny 300 years ago, they would have been a lowly peasant. The story shows that sometimes you may have to wait a long time for the right soul-mate (maybe even 300 years). Flinn makes both Jack and Talia blossom as they realize that instead of their happiness depending on getting what they want, it's about giving everything up for each other.
Another fun twist was the encounter Talia and Jack have with the 'villian' at the end of the story-but I really don't want to give that away. It was too fun for me to ruin it for anyone else.
My only qualm was that I thought the ending was too sudden and too soon. I think kids are a little too perceptive to be that wrong about their parents. I could be mistaken, but I don't think a person can do a one-eighty turn with their personality like that so suddenly.
But then again, it's a fairy tale, right?